The Airmen's Stories - P/O Z T A Wroblewski
Zbigniew Tadeusz Adam Wroblewski was born in Warsaw on 25th December 1914. He enlisted in the Polish Cavalry Reserve Officers School in 1934. He entered the Polish Air Force Officers School in Deblin in 1936 and after graduating as a pilot in 1939 was posted to 114 Fighter Squadron in Warsaw, a unit known as 'The Swallows'.
On 1st September 1939 Wroblewski was immediately in action. In an early morning interception of He111's Wroblewski claimed one probably destroyed and returned to base with his own aircraft badly damaged.
He shared in destroying a Me110 on 4th September. After Poland fell the remnants of Wroblewski's squadron flew to Cernauti, Romania on 7th September and the pilots were interned. Wroblewski escaped and boarded a ship at the Black Sea port of Balchik, bound for Malta and Marseilles. He arrived in France in November 1939 and joined l'Armee de l'Air.
He was posted to a Polish unit, Groupe de Chasse I/145. He served throughout the defence of Paris and the fighting in May and June 1940, flying at various times the MS406, C714 and Bloch 152.
When the French collapsed Wroblewski made his way to La Rochelle and sailed for England on 19th June, arriving two days later. He went to the Polish Wing at 3 School of Technical Training Blackpool to await a posting.
He joined 302 Squadron at Leconfleld on 23rd August, was attached to 5 OTU Aston Down on 2nd September and after converting to Hurricanes rejoined the squadron on the 26th. He was commissioned in March 1941.
Above: with 302 Squadron, L to R: F/O PEG Carter, P/O ZTA Wroblewski, F/Lt. JA Thomson.
Above image courtesy of Brian Gates.
Wroblewski destroyed a Me109 on 8th May 1941, probably destroyed another on the 21st and destroyed another on 25th June 1942.
He was awarded the KW (gazetted 10th September 1941) and a Bar (gazetted 15th November 1942).
On 25th February 1943 he was posted to 317 Squadron at Kirton-in-Lindsey as a Flight Commander. He destroyed a Fw190 on 26th July.
On 5th September 1943 Wroblewski went to the Polish Air Force Staff College. He was awarded a second Bar to the KW (gazetted 20th October 1943) and the VM (5th Class) (gazetted 20th December 1943). After a spell at HQ Polish Air Force he was posted to 16 FTS Newton on 5th September 1944 for a refresher course.
On 20th December Wroblewski joined 602 Squadron at Matlask and before the end of the war he carried out 58 operational sorties, mostly bomber-escorts and attacks on V2 sites. On 9th June 1945 Wroblewski was posted to RAF Coltishall as Station Adjutant.
He was released from the Polish Air Force in December 1945 as a Flight Lieutenant and was awarded a third Bar to the KW (gazetted 31st October 1947).
In 1953 Wroblewski went into civil aviation. He became a captain for a British airline and for the last eleven years of his career he flew with Nigeria Airways in Lagos.
After retiring in 1980 Wroblewski returned to England to live. He died on 23rd April 1995 in Hove, East Sussex.