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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 Fl 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 Fl 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)