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The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. J Budzinski


Jan Budzinski was born in Grudziadz, Poland on 22nd June 1916. After three years service in the army he volunteered to stay on in the Air Force and after training was posted to 141 Squadron of the 4th Fighter Regiment at Torun.

After the Polish campaign he escaped through Romania to France but elected to serve with the RAF, he arrived in England in January 1940 and was sent to RAF Eastchurch, where he was enlisted in the RAFVR.


He was at the Polish Wing at 3 School of Technical Training Blackpool from 11th June 1940. He was on the 3rd Polish Pilots Course at No. 1 School of Army Co-operation Old Sarum from 22nd to 29th July for testing and grading.

Budzinski was then sent to 7 OTU Hawarden and after converting to Hurricanes he joined 145 Squadron at Westhampnett on 12th August and went to 605 Squadron at Drem on the 31st.

The squadron went south to Croydon on 7th September and on the 11th Budzinski claimed a Me109 destroyed, on the 27th a Me110 and on 7th October he shared another Me109. He was non-effective sick, with meningitis, from 31st December 1940.

He was awarded the KW (gazetted 1st February 1941) and on 27th April 1941 he was posted to 302 Squadron at Kenley. Budzinski received a Bar to the KW (gazetted 15th July 1941).

On 8th August he was posted to No. 2 Air Observers School as a staff pilot. One month later he went to 2 ACS at Dalcross.

Budzinski was posted to 2 FIS Montrose on 28th July 1942 and at the end of the course he went as an instructor to 16 (Polish) FTS Newton. He remained there until 20th November 1945, when he went to 3 PHU for release, as a Warrant Officer.

Budzinski did not return to Poland but stayed in the UK until 1953, when he moved to Canada, where he worked as an inspector in a factory producing jet engines.

He moved on to the USA in 1958, he lived in the United States.

He died there on 26th August 2007.

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