Wellington HZ251, near Skipton.

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Wellington HZ251, near Skipton

September 23rd 1943. Wellington HZ251 was on a training flight from RAF Silloth in Cumbria, when for reasons unknown, the port wing spar failed and the wing detached. The Wellington crashed beside the Leeds Liverpool Canal killing all on board.

Instructing the crew was highly experienced airman Flt Lt Wolnik, holder of Poland’s highest military decoration, the Virtuti Militari. He had married just 3 weeks earlier.

Crew, all Polish Air Force
Flight Sergeant F Ciaston, 27, Pilot
Sergeant W Ostrowski, 27, Co-pilot
Flight Lieutenant J Wolnik, 31, Navigator
Corporal B J Swieca, 28, Wireless Op / Air Gunner
Corporal B Rychel, 21, Wireless Op / Air Gunner
Corporal J Czyzewski, 23, Air Gunner
Segeant A Kawenocki, 22, Wireless Op / Air Gunner

Report in the Blackpool Gazette from June 2009 in which Flt Lt Wolnik’s widow is interviewed. Thanks to Flickrer Chrissie T for the link.

Flight Lieutenant Josef Wolnik. (Photo © Crown Copyright/MOD 2007)


Josephine Stebbing, wife of Fl Lt Jozef Wolnik at the unveiling of the memorial. (Photo © Crown Copyright/MOD 2007)

9 comments on “Wellington HZ251, near Skipton.
  1. redrocker_9 says:

    Nicely shot Ian, great shadows~

  2. pasujoba says:

    Super research and how I now wish I had carried my camera from the car 🙂 so much better than mine with the addition of blue sky and light .

  3. sidewinder54 (Closed For Business) says:

    Superb shot to accompany this story.

    Excellent series of shots!!

  4. Tech Owl says:

    Nicely taken – I can almost hear the last post being played

  5. Pleasureprinciple2012 says:

    That’s some memorial stone there Ian, very impressive.

  6. bazylek100 says:

    A beautiful memorial to these unfortunate airmen.
    Cześć ich pamięci!

    Historia Polski / History of Poland

  7. Dariusz Karkula says:


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