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Polish Air Force

March 6, 1914, Henryk Pietrzak was born in Łódź, Poland. He later became the Polish RAF 309 Squadron Leader and World War II fighter ace.


Pietrzak joined the Polish Air Force in 1933. He flew light bombers against the Germans in the Polish campaign of September 1939, and flew fighters with the French Air Force in the short-lived Battle of France.


After France surrendered to the Germans in June 1940, Pietrzak escaped to Britain with most of the Polish and British forces. He flew both Hurricanes and Spitfires with the RAF in 306 Polish Squadron, eventually becoming a Squadron Leader. On New Year’s Eve 1942, Pietrzak scored the 500th victory in WWII for the British-based Polish Air Force. In 1944 he joined the 315 Polish Squadron where he flew Mustangs.


After the war Pietrzak settled in England. He commanded 309 Polish Squadron from July 1945 to January 1947. Pietrzak continued to serve in the RAF, attaining the rank of Group Captain.

His WWII score was 7 (plus 2 shared) German fighters destroyed, 2 damaged. He is also credited with destroying four V-1 flying bombs.


Pietrzak was awarded the Virtuti Militari, Silver Cross; the Cross of Valor, four times; the Air Medal for the War of 1939-1945 by Poland. The British awarded him the Distinguished Flying Cross.


This distinguished fighter ace, Henryk Pietrzak, died January 28, 1990 in England.

Source: Aquila Polonica Facebook page

Copyright: Pietrzak family

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