top of page


Wacław Butowski was born on 10 April 1926 in Starogard Gdański. His father, Bernard, was a decorative painter by profession, who also ran a vulcanization plant.

“After graduating from the seven-grade elementary school, Wacław Butowski started his studies at the Middle School in Stargard. From an early age, he learned to play the violin. After the outbreak of the war, he attended vocational school, while being forced to work in a German factory building barracks. In 1943, he was deported to Lower Saxony, where he worked for three months in the construction of the airport in Quakenbruck".

In January 1944 he was forcibly conscripted into the Wehrmacht. He served in the south of France and in Normandy. A few months later, he escaped the German army and surrendered to the Allies.

He joined the Polish Armoured Division od General Stanislaw Maczek and served as a radio tank operator in the 24th Ulan Regiment. To protect his identity from the Germans, he served under the pseudonym Under the assumed name “Wacław Rogowski”.

In the autumn of 1944, he was on the western front in Belgium and the Netherlands. The following spring he was in northern Germany. In April 1945, he was seriously injured and when he recuperated, he served as a driver.

He was awarded with:

  • the Knight's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta,

  • the Medal of the Army,

  • the Medal of the Centenary of Reclaimed Independence,

  • Pro Bono Poloniae Medal

  • and other Polish and British decorations.

After demobilization in July 1947, Waclaw returned to Poland. He obtained a high school diploma and became a violinist at the Baltic Philharmonic, where he worked until his retirement in 1981. He also ran a choir and orchestra in the Union of War Invalids in Gdańsk, worked socially for the Polish Blind Association and worked in the veteran community of former soldiers of the 1st Polish Armoured Division.

He died on 2 April 2021 in Gdansk at the age of 94 – one of the last soldiers of the 1st Armoured Division of General Maczek in Poland. He was buried at the Gdańsk / Centralny-Srebrzysko Cemetery.


Source: Office of Veterans and Repressed Persons on Facebook

(translated from the Polish text)

bottom of page