The Airmen's Stories - P/O S Kleczkowski
Stefan Kleczkowski was born on 8th April 1917 in Debowo, west of Bydgoszcz. In 1937 he entered the Aviation Academy at Deblin and graduated as a pilot.
At the start of the September 1939 campaign he was serving in a reconnaissance unit. He escaped via Romania and Beirut to Marseilles but elected to carry on to England, he was commissioned in the RAFVR in late January 1940 at RAF Eastchurch.
On 1st June Kleczkowski moved to the Polish Wing at 3 School of Technical Training Blackpool to await a posting.
He was on the 5th Polish Pilots Course at No. 1 School of Army Co-operation Old Sarum from 23rd August to 1st September 1940 for testing and grading.
He then went to 6 OTU Sutton Bridge, converted to Hurricanes and joined 302 Squadron at Leconfield on the 23rd.
On 17th October Kleczkowski took off on an afternoon patrol in Hurricane V6735 and made a forced-landing near Sittingbourne one hour later. No injuries were reported but on the 28th he was posted to RAF Northolt as non-effective sick. Kleczkowski rejoined 302 on 31st October and flew an operational sortie next day.
He was with the squadron until 9th February 1941, when he was posted as a staff pilot to 10 B&GS. Kleczkowski later instructed at 16 FTS Newton. He returned to operations on 7th October 1944, joining 303 Squadron at Coltishall.
Kleczkowski was awarded the KW (gazetted 27th September 1945). He went to RAF Hethel on 5th June 1946 and was released from the Polish Air Force in December 1946.
He died on 14th February 1992 and was buried at Kleczkowo.