On 1943-08-22, Pilot L Kurylowicz (Flight Lieutenant, RAF) with an unknown servicenumber, flew a Spitfire IX with serial BS456 for this duty: Ramrod. His mission was not completed. Circumstances of the aircraft loss: Crashed in sea. This aircraft was a part of squadron no. 316. The location for the map is English Channel, United Kingdom. Circumstances at the end of this mission for Kurylowicz: he died, but circumstances of death are unknown. There is no commemoration location known.
Mail by Martyn Spence
I came across your article when looking up data about Lefty. He didn't die as you describe, he had engine failure over the channel after destroying a FW109, ditched and spent 5 days in his dinghy until rescued.
My logbook shows that I flew with Lefty in the back seat of a Ka13 out of Weston on the Green airfield on the 3rd of April 1976, he being a well known and long-standing member of the RAF Chilterns Gliding Club. In fact that was his last flight and I am sort of proud to have flown him, because he couldn't get over the death of his dear wife earlier that year and soon after I flew him, he shot himself with his old service pistol. A very sad end for a BoB decorated pilot. His funeral was in the Russian Orthodox Church in Oxford. Several of us (as we were then) RAF people were at his funeral in parade uniform.
This link is an article Lefty wrote about ditching his Spitfire in the Channel......
Lefty gets a mention at the foot of this exchange.....
This is a link to a Spitfire that Lefty flew in WWII......
He was nicknamed Lefty because he had a damaged finger amputated in the war, having been told that it would take a long time to heal with treatment, during which period he would be grounded. Seemingly he couldn't wait to get back airborne and fighting and amputation was the fastest way of doing so.
He was still a member of the RAF Gliding & Soaring Association (RAFGSA) Chilterns Gliding Club in 1976 and we (others I have been in contact with) are sure that the last time he flew was sat in the back seat of a Schlieker Ka13 2-seater I was flying out of RAF Weston-on-the-Green on the 3rd of April '76.
Like most Poles he was always mad to get at the Luftwaffe and I remember at a club AGM a lady asking him 'how many aircraft did you destroy in the war, Lefty?' His answer was 'theirs or ours?' Great man and as I mentioned, he shot himself shortly afterwards, being quite unable to get over the death of his wife of so many decades. Truly a tragic end for one of the WWII Polish pilot heroes.
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