Pilot in the Polish Air Force in Poland
and Pilot in the Polish Air Force in the UK
Lieutenant-pilot Romuald Suliński, as early as 1 September 1939, flew reconnaissance flights from the airport in Zduny, Poland. On 4 September 1939, he took part in an air raid on the circular HQ armored unit near Nowe Dwór.
After 17 September 1939, he went through Romania to France and then to Great Britain, where he joined the Polish Air Force in the West, together with others Polish airmen.
Due to heavy losses, the 42nd squadron, traveled by road via: Brest - Kowal - Torczyn - Łuck - Dubno - Wiśniowiec - Buchacz - Ternopol – to Kolomyia. Sulinski took command of the flight personnel. They crossed the border in Kuty (on Czeremosz) on the night of 17/18 September 1939.
After crossing the border, the group was disarmed and had to change into civilian clothes. Reached the Polish Embassy in Bucharest, everyone received passports (with false names, professions, and dates birth) along with visas to France. They waited for sea transport near Constanza, then sailed from the port of Balcic (on the Black Sea) on a ship called "St. Nicolaus" to Beirut and then on a ship called "Ville de Strassburg" to Marseille, France. They arrived there on 31 October 1939.
Romuald Suliński went ashore in Marseille, from where he was transported to the camp in Salon-de-Provence, now Base Aérienne 701. There, as the commander of 42 squadron, he wrote a report to the Air Commanders. In January 1940 (via Cherbourg and Southampton), he ended up at the Eastchurch RAF station in Great Britain.
On 25 October 1939, at a conference of the airlines of England, France and Poland, the British side expressed consent to accept 2,300 Polish soldiers (including about 300 flight personnel). Airmen arriving in Great Britain were sent to Eastchurch Airport near London.
In 1940, pilots were sent for practical training to Redhill near London, while navigators and gunners underwent preliminary training at Eastchurch, and were later directed to appropriate British schools. At first, two Polish bomber squadrons were created.
On 1 July 1940, Captain-pilot Romuald Suliński was in the starting lineup of 300 Bomber Squadron, where he took command of "B" squadron.
The main actions of the 300 Squadron were:
attacks on the German invasion fleet in France
destroying V weapons (both V1 and V2)
offensive action across the English Channel
the Millennium Offensive
the Battle of the Ruhr (Essen, Duisburg, Dortmund)
the bombing of Hamburg
the Battle for Berlin
landing in Normandy (deployment on 6 June 1944)
participation in the invasion of Germany
operation EXODUS (transport of former POWs to Great Britain)
operation MANNA (food drops)
DODGE operation (transportation of British soldiers from Italy)
Romuald’s actions 1940-1941:
On the night of 14/15 September 1940, Romuald Suliński, as the commander of one of the three crews, performed the first combat task for the 300 Squadron - a raid on the port of Boulogne (his navigator was Lieutenant Aleksander Bujalski, and the gunner-radio operator was Sgt. Jan Bieżuński).
During the Battle of Britain, he flew at night from 26 to 27 September over Ostend. After the squadron was rearmed in November 1940 to twin-engine Wellingtons I, Suliński became the commander of the crew composed of: Lieutenant navigator Aleksander Bujalski, Sgt. Radio Operator Aleksander Bieżuński, Sgt. Gunner Antoni Żychowski, Sgt. Gunner Julian Talkowski.
From June 1941, Romuald flew as first pilot with various crews, including newcomers to the 300 Squadron that he led in their first combat flights. He flew Wellingtons I, IV and III successively, bombing the following: Rotterdam, Boulogne, Düsseldorf, Brest, Berlin, Kiel, Bremen, Cologne, Mannheim, Hamburg, Duisburg, Le Havre, Rotterdam, Dunkirk, Emden, battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau in Brest. Then again Cologne, Essen three times, Hamburg, Dortmund, Rouen and Warnemunde. Including flights during Battles and one harassing flight over Germany, this totaled 37 combat flights.
A few of his flights deserve an additional comment. On the night of 22/23 December 1940, Suliński participated in the first battlefield flight of Poles on Wellingtons. Tanks were the target in Rotterdam. On the night of 2/3 March 1941, during a raid on Brest, the throttle of one of the engines broke down shortly after take-off. As a result, he had to fly at full throttle the whole time. Nevertheless, he successfully completed the task and returned to base, landing on one engine.
Less than three weeks later, on the night of 23/24 March 1941, he was among the seven crews of 300 Squadron,assigned to bomb Berlin. Due to difficult weather conditions of the airfield, the crews took off not from Hemswell but from Langham Airport. Only four appeared over the target, one of which was the Sulinski crew.
On 27 January 1942, Suliński took over command of the Squadron from Major-Pilot Stanisław Cwynarze. After completing a round of combat flights, he held this post for nearly half a year.
On 9 July 1942, he handed command over btoy Major-Navigator Wladyslaw Dukszto, while he left for staff work (NW advisor).
After the end of hostilities, on 17 September 1945, he took over once more the command of 300 squadron, from Major-Pilot Bolesław Jarkowsk.
Romuald Suliński was the commander of 300 Squadron twice. The first time was between 27 January 1942 and 9 July 1942, when he was in major (W/Cdr - Wing Commander) and again from 17 September 1945 until his death on 4 February 1946.
In August 1942, he was transferred to a ground position in the Polish "C" squadron in the 138 British squadron. From the beginning of 1943, he served as a liaison officer in the Staff Command in London on behalf of the 138 Polish squadron.
For heroism in dogfights pilot Romuald Suliński received the following battle awards:
Silver Cross of the Order of Virtuti Militari (#9043)
Cross of Valor (4 times)
Distinguished Service Order (awarded on 13 October 1942)
Distinguished Flying Cross (on 2 January 1942)
Pilot's Field Badge
Bronze Cross of Merit (in 1938)
On his last flight. Romuald Suliński took off on 4 February 1946 at 12.00. He piloted the Avro Lancaster PA-269 lettered BH-U in a training flight. It was 1.20 pm, with extreme weather conditions. The planes took off from Faldingworth Air Base. There were 8 planes.
The PA269 flight crew were:
W/C Major/pilot Suliński Romuald, born 12/13/1908 (Service # 76647)
Gunner Jędrzejczyk Wladyslaw Ryszard, born 04/03/1915 (Service # P-2516)
Radio operator and F/O Sułgut Czeslaw Kazimierz, born 2/10/1918 (Service # P-2930)
Flight engineer, F/O Brzezinski Waclaw, born 11/02/1918 (Service # 793023)
Navigator, F/Sg. Michael Felix, born 09/16/1920 (Service # 783490)
Pilot W/O Szwandt Michael, born 08/11/1917 (Service # 794532
The aircraft was marked with the letters BH-U (300 Squadron designation). After flying for over an hour, the plane encountered a severe thunderstorm in the area of Leicester and, according to witnesses, at 1.20 p.m. it spiraled out of the low clouds in flames and exploded on impact with land in Wigston-Magna. The entire crew died in the accident. They were buried at the Newark Air Cemetery near Nottingham.
Source: These excerpts were translated from a document written
by Jerzy Kobacki in Polish in 2008.