Hurricane and two spitfires during training 01091942 CREDIT PA
WWII

Last Polish WWII RAF Fighter Pilot Dies Aged 97

Jerzy Główczewski was awarded the Polish Cross of Valour three times.

Hurricane and two spitfires during training 01091942 CREDIT PA

The last known Polish fighter pilot to fly for the RAF during World War Two has died aged 97.

Jerzy Główczewski passed away in New York on 12 April. 

Mr Główczewski fled Poland in 1939 and went on to undergo flight training in the UK, eventually flying Spitfires as part of No. 308 "City of Kraków" Polish Fighter Squadron.

He was awarded the Polish Cross of Valour three times.

On the news of Mr Główczewski's death, the Royal Air Force said: “The RAF is saddened to hear of the passing of Jerzy Główczewski, the last known Polish WWII RAF fighter pilot.

“We remember the heroism of the Polish men & women who served in the RAF, especially the Poles of 'the Few' as we mark Battle of Britain 80.”

‘The Few’ refers specifically to the Battle of Britain aircrew who defeated the German Luftwaffe in 1940.

After the war, Mr Główczewski lived in France for a short period, before returning to Poland in 1947. He then moved to the United States in the 1960s.

Mr Główczewski went on to write several memoirs, originally in Polish, that were later translated into English.

He said: “I have lived on the edge of a precipice, yet have somehow managed to miss the worst fate. I have been steps away from death, a refugee fleeing deportation, starvation, and death camps.

“While fighting on two fronts during World War II, I had been shot at innumerable times; while in combat, I have without a doubt caused the death of others.

“Looking back, I can hardly believe that through it all my luck held out, and that I was able to write my memoirs in the peace and quiet of my own home."

Cover image: (Picture: PA).