The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. W Klozinski
Wojciech Klozinski was born on 26th February 1915 at Kaznad in Germany. Klozinski entered the Polish Air Force NCO Training School at Bydgoszcz in 1931. He passed out in 1934 as an aircraft mechanic and with some elementary flying training.
He completed his training, as a bomber pilot, at Sadkow and was posted to an Air Force Regiment.
Above image courtesy of Jaroslaw Gwardys via Joel Diggle.
He returned to Bydgoszcz as an instructor. In September 1939 he was evacuated with student pilots from Krosno to Romania. He reached France on 12th November and then moved on to England in early February 1940.
Klozinski was enlisted in the RAFVR on 9th February at RAF Eastchurch. He moved up to the Polish Wing at 3 School of Technical Training Blackpool on 1st June 1940 to await posting.
He carried out his testing and grading at 15 EFTS Redhill after which he went to 7 OTU Hawarden, arriving there on 15th July. He converted to Spitfires and joined 54 Squadron at Hornchurch on 9th August. He made his first flight that day, to Sutton Bridge for air firing, carried out with three other Sergeant-Pilots, also newly arrived from 7 OTU.
Klozinski probably destroyed two Me109s on 12th August on his first operational sortie. Three days later he crashed at Hythe, shot down by Me109s in combat over Dover, in Spitfire R7015. Severely wounded, Klozinski was admitted to Ashford Hospital.
He was awarded the KW and Bar (gazetted 15th July 1941).
He did not recover fully until October 1942 and was then unfit for flying duties.
He was posted to 58 OTU Grangemouth on 5th November 1942 as a Link Trainer instructor. He went to 61 OTU on 15th October 1943 on the same duties and to 14 Base at RAF Faldingworth on 12th January 1945.
After release from the Polish Air Force, Klozinski went to Canada on 24th August 1945 and later changed his name to VK Stewart.