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Translation of parts of an

interview by Prof. Patalas

Stanislaw was born in 1918. At eighteen, he signed up for the Youth Work Brigades, a paramilitary youth organization, and reported in Stryj. Most of the boys who arrived there were sixteen or seventeen years old. They were issued brigades uniforms and assigned to one of two companies, each some 200 youths strong. As in the army, the companies were subdivided into platoons and teams. The discipline was also military style.

His dream was to fly glider planes. He applied to the Glider School in Polichno, in the picturesque, hilly part of the Kielce region, and was admitted to the program. After graduating from the glider school, he returned to the Youth Brigades in Cisna. Soon he received a draft notice for the 6th Air Force Regiment in Kniuchów. In March 1939, he was promoted to private 1st class and assigned the duties of a wireless operator.

On August 24, 1939, they immediately started loading equipment onto railway cars, and the following day our train convoy moved towards the northeast. Their destination was Biała Podlaska, or, more precisely, the temporary airstrip in nearby Nosowo.

Eventually, they crossed the Romanian border in Wyznica, surrendered their arms, and went on to Râdâuţi. They set up camp at the market square, waiting for the trains. When they arrived three days later, they boarded them, not really knowing where they were being taken. There was talk that the air force was to be the first wave transferred to France, but the details were fuzzy at best. They stopped some ninety kilometers west of Constanţa, in the middle of a field. The train was immediately surrounded by Romanian soldiers, and they received orders to get off. They were being interned in violation of the pact Poland had earlier signed with Romania, allowing Polish soldiers free passage through Romanian territory.

Stanislaw and his unit escaped through Lebanon to France where 3,000 Polish pilots were sent. He reached England because of the Dunkirk evacuation. He was assigned to ground services and sent to Bomber Squadron 300 in Swinderby, in Lincolnshire. He began service there in February 1941, working as a radio operator, responsible mostly for receiving meteorological forecasts for the air force.

In 1943, he was moved to Cammeringham, and in January 1944 was reassigned to special operations Squadron 301, based in Italy, and he stayed there until the end of the war.  

Eventually, Squadron 301 was returned to Britain and dissolved. The remaining crews, including Stanislaw, were reassigned to the transport command. He was sent to a radio station near Carlisle. Their task was to retrain bomber crews for the needs of air-transport companies. He taught flight radio operators, who had to master Morse code with the speed of 120 signs per minute and an accuracy of maximum one error per minute. He also taught them the conventions of establishing radio contact and various civilian procedures.

After the war, he signed up for a vocational program, organized by the Polish Resettlement Corps, that was training radio mechanics and, upon completion, got the papers of a certified electronics technician. In 1952, he emigrated to Canada and found work at MacDonald Air in Winnipeg. He also became very involved with he Polish Combatants Association #13.

Copyright: Kloczkowski family

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