Poland’s RAF pilot dies
PR dla Zagranicy
Włodzimierz Chojnacki, one of the last surviving Polish pilots who fought in the Royal Air Force, died in Melbourne, Australia on 1 October, seven weeks before his 100th birthday.
303 Squadron: photo - wikipedia
According to aviation expert Sławomir Hordejuk, who was in contact with him during his last days, Chojnacki remained active almost till the end.
Chojnacki’s career as a pilot begun in 1932 in his home town of Poznan. Having got his license, he quickly distinguished himself as a skilful aviator.
By the time the war broke out, he was already a qualified fighter instructor in the Polish Air Force. After Poland’s defeat in the September 1939 campaign, Chojnacki escaped to Britain where he served in the Royal Air Force’s 303 and 129 Squadrons in 1941-42 , flying Spitfires Mk. Vb and Vc. After the Dieppe Raid, an attack on the German-occupied port of Dieppe in northern France, he was awarded the Polish Cross of Valour.
During his flying career, Chojnacki flew nearly 4, 000 hours on 28 different types of aircraft.
Having settled in Australia he changed his name to Don Merrill for convenience. (mk/pg)