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Antoni OSTOWICZ

Born 22 May 1911 in Rożdżałów, Chełm district, Poland, Flying Officer Antoni Ostowicz began his military career with an observer position in the 24th Stage of the 2nd Air Regiment, but he knew that the only love of his life would always be flying on fighters.

After completing difficult and intensive training, he achieved what he wanted, and in 1936 he was assigned to the ranks of the 123 Fighter Squadron stationed in Krakow. After four years of turning theory into practice and honing his skills, he gained an excellent opportunity to realize his dreams.

He was ready to face the enemy in the air. On July 16, 1940, the first Polish pilot was assigned to the RAF front unit. At the age of 29, he was assigned to the 145th Squadron stationed in the RAF Tangmere and led by Squadron Leader John Peel, who was only a few months younger than the Pole.

Promoted to 2nd Lieutenant in the Polish Air Force on 15 August 1934. At the outbreak of WW2 he was serving as an instructor at Deblin airfield. He escaped to France, then reached England in December 1939. At the age of 29, he was assigned to the 145th Squadron stationed in the RAF Tangmere and led by Squadron Leader John Peel, who was only a few months younger than the Pole. His RAF Service No. 76705, RAF rank: Flight Officer/Pilot.

He shot down a Heinkel just three days later. After landing, Ostowicz shared his joy with his friend, Flight Lieutenant Wilhelm Pankratz, another Pole assigned to 145th Squadron. Pankratza was later appointed as commander of A 303 Squadron.

On 11.08.1940, Antoni Ostowicz, the 1st Polish pilot to shoot down an enemy aircraft in the Battle of Britain, became the 1st Polish airman to lose his life in combat during the battle. He was killed in action over the English Channel in the region of Swange.

 

He was 29 years old. His body was never found.

 

He was awarded:

  • the Cross of Valour (twice)

  • the Empire Gallantry medal

  • the Pilot Field badge

Source: Translated from the original Polish text

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