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Old 18th August 2019, 16:54
keith A keith A is online now
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316 Squadron 24 July 1941

As part of Operation Sunrise the Poles of 316 Squadron engage in this combat

"During the escort mission over Brest - bombers went for German battle-cruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau - squadron’s pilots fought with 3 Bf109s. Some 20 miles N of S/Ldr Julius Frey scored one Bf109 destroyed while F/O “Olek” Gabszewicz (Z3573) was credited with a probable."

The combat report of SLdr Julius Frey reads

“Right before taking our designated place over the escorted bombers I ordered a change of formation, and for an instant I could see our planes against the sun. I had an impression that somehow they multiplied themselves. I thought them to be British squadron’s Spitfires, which was flying top cover. Later, it came apparent that some of our other pilots thought the same thing. Then, while the squadron’s sections were repositioning themselves, I noticed a strange looking Spitfire, which appeared suddenly some 60 meters from me. At that moment, we all realized that these “Spitfires” are German Messerschmidts. It looked like Jerries made the same error, mistaking our Hurricanes for their Bf109s. A wild mêlée erupted and Jerries tried to escape while all our guys tried to shoot at them. Obviously, many got in the others way and one German took advantage of the confusion and disappeared. The two others weren’t so lucky. I stuck to one and from a distance of 150 meters gave him two short bursts. It was enough to make him explode into flames. The other one was trounced by Olek (F/Lt Gabszewicz). His Jerry went for the deck smoking heavily but managed to get away.”

However there seems to be various versions of this event. FCWD states claims of 1-0-1, as does Foremans excellent "FC victory claims of WW2". He also credits FO Gabszewicz in the latter with a share in the confirmed victory which seems at odds with Frey's combat report. Wynn's "Men of the Battle of Britain" records a shared kill and a probable.... and AH also credits Gabszewics and Frey with shares in the kill. (The opponents appear to be I/JG2 which lost several Bf109E on this date (5 pilots killed, 2 wounded).

Most accounts would appear to credit Gabszewicz with a shared kill but can anyone tell me definitely what was credited to the squadron?


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Old 18th August 2019, 19:20
Col Bruggy Col Bruggy is online now
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Re: 316 Squadron 24 July 1941


I notice Frank Olynyk hasn't got back to you yet (probably snowed under at the NA). Here is what he has recorded in his RAF 300 Series (Occupied Europe) Victory Credits: 316 (Polish) [113 Eskadra Warsaw] Squadron:

Page 24.

072441 - 1425 - Sqn/Ldr Juliusz Frey [0.5] - Me-109E - 20m N of Ushant -316 Sqn. ORB. CR: PRO.
.....................- F/O Aleksander Klemens Gabszewicz [0.5]
..............1430 - F/O Aleksander Klemens Gabszewicz - Me 109E dam - 20m N of Ushant - 316 Sqn - ORB. CR: PRO.
..............1525 - F/O Stanislaw F Skalski - Me-109E - SW of Gravelines - 306 Sqn - ORB. CR: PRO

Daily Totals: 2/0/1.


Page 94.

072441 - 1425 - Me-109E - Sqn/Ldr. Juliusz Frey [0.5] - Hurricane I Z2805
.....................................- F/O Aleksander Klemens Gabszewicz [0.5] - Hurricane I Z3573
072441 - 1430 - Me 109E dam - F/O Aleksander Klemens Gabszewicz - Hurricane I Z3573

Olynyk,Frank J.
Aurora (Ohio):Author,1990.
pp.24 & 94


Last edited by Col Bruggy; 19th August 2019 at 15:23.
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Old 19th August 2019, 08:30
keith A keith A is online now
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Re: 316 Squadron 24 July 1941

Many thanks Col. My copy is somewhere in the attic....and when I say "somewhere" I'd need to mount an expedition to find anything specific, and everytime I try I find books I'd forgotten I had
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Old 26th August 2019, 12:41
Greg S. Greg S. is offline
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Re: 316 Squadron 24 July 1941

On the way back S/Ldr Frey and F/O Gabszewicz saw 3 Me 109s which were preparing to attack some Spitfires. They attacked them and claimed one of Me 109 together and another one was claimed as damaged by Gabszewicz.
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