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Polish Air Force



Marian Pisarek was born on 3rd January 1912 at Losie near Radzymin, east of Warsaw in Poland. He was educated at Radzymin, Chelm and Warsaw.


In 1932 he commenced his military service and spent two years in the infantry.

He volunteered for the air force in 1934 and a year later graduated from flying school and was posted to the 6th Aviation Regiment in Lviv. He was later sent for further training at the Air Firing and Bombing School at Grudziadz. He then went to the 4th Aviation Regiment in Torun.

At the time of the German attack on 1st September 1939 he was serving with the 141st Fighter Squadron, operating the PZL P-11C. On the 1st of September he shot down a German Henschel Hs126. On 4th of September, he shot down a Ju 87 "Stuka".

He escaped to Romania and made his way to France via Yugoslavia and Italy. He was involved there with the training of Polish airmen and did not fly operationally. Moving from airfield to airfield as the Germans advanced, Pisarek ended up at Gaillac near Toulouse.


After the French surrender, he was part of a group of Polish airmen who flew in a Caudron Goeland aircraft to Oran, in French North Africa. Eventually, via Casablanca and Gibraltar, he arrived in Great Britain to join the Royal Air Force.

Pisarek arrived in England on 23rd June 1940. After assessment and converting to the Hurricane, in early August 1940, Lt. Marian Pisarek joined 303 "Kosciuszko" Squadron at Nrtholt, and took part in the Battle of Britain.


On 7 September 1940, after shooting down one Messerschmitt Bf 109, he was shot down and had to bail out.

Pisarek was posted to 315 Squadron at Acklington at its formation on 21st January 1941. On 30th March 1941, Pisarek was posted to 308 "City of Krakow" Squadron at Baginton as a Flight Commander. He took command of the squadron on 23rd June 1941. He destroyed Me109’s on 2nd and 17th July, probably destroyed one on the 22nd and destroyed another four Me109’s on 14th August, 20th and 21st September and 13th October.

On 14 August 1941, Pisarek claimed a Bf 109F destroyed. On this day Pisarek was himself shot down by a Me109 and baled out, unhurt. His Hurricane, R4173, crashed in the back garden of 40 Roding Road, Loughton, Essex, killing three ARP members in an air raid shelter.

On 15th September Pisarek claimed a Me109 destroyed, on 5th October destroyed a Me110 and damaged another and on the 7th destroyed another Me109.

He was posted away to HQ 11 Group on 8th December 1941 as Polish Liaison Officer. In April 1942, Pisarek was made Wing Commander of the 1st Polish Fighter Wing (consisting of No. 303, 316, and 317 Squadrons).


On 29th April 1942, the wing was attacked over Le Touquet/Boulogne by a formation of JG 26 Fw 190's. Squadron Leader Piotr Ozyra (of 317 Sqn) and Wing Commander Pisarek (in Spitfire BM307) were shot down and killed. He was shot down by a Fw190, and his body was never recovered.

A flying ace of World War II, with 11 planes confirmed shot down and an additional three probable. Pisarek is remembered on the Polish Air Force Memorial at Northolt

He was awarded:

  • The Gold Cross of the Virtuti Militari - posthumously 11 June 1945, Cross No. 00143

  • Thee Silver Cross of the Virtuti Militari  - 17 Sep 1940, Cross No. 08830

  • The  Cross of Valour - four times

  • The Air Force Medal 1939-45 

  • The Field Pilot Badge

  •  Distinguished Flying Cross (United Kingdom)

Copyright: Pisarek family

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