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Memorial to Polish 307 Squadron Mosquito crew

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23 February 2023

Memorial to Polish 307 Squadron Mosquito crew

The Polish flag will fly over the east Devon parish of Farringdon near Exeter Airport on 24 March when The 307 Squadron Project will unveil a memorial to commemorate pilot W/Cdr Jan Michałowski and navigator F/Lt Stanisław Szkop. They were both killed during a night time training flight 80 years ago when their 307Sqn Mosquito DZ261, flying on one engine, crashed in a field at Farringdon during its final approach to the runway.

W/Cdr Michałowski was the squadron commander at the time of the accident on 21 March 1943. He had arranged the training flight in an attempt to ease airmen’s concerns about flying the Mosquito, especially when one of the two engines failed, which made it difficult to land the aircraft safely.


Approximately 400 people attended their funeral on 24 March 1943 at the Higher Cemetery, Exeter including the Mayor and Mayoress of Exeter. Four months before the crash W/Cdr Michałowski presented the Polish national flag to the city of Exeter as a sign of international cooperation and friendship.


The unveiling of the memorial will be outside Farringdon Village Hall and relatives of the two airmen are expected to travel from Poland for the event. Local civic dignitaries and representatives of the Polish Embassy and Polish Consulate are also expected to attend.


307 Squadron Project has arranged a number of events on 24 March in Farringdon and Exeter. 


The main events include:

*Raising of the Polish flag outside Farringdon Village Hall followed immediately by: 

Unveiling of the memorial outside Farringdon Village Hall 

Speeches by the airmen’s relatives, 307 Squadron Project, and civic officials

*Opening of 307 Squadron exhibition at Farringdon Village Hall

*Closing of 307 Squadron exhibition at Farringdon Village Hall   

*Commemoration ceremony at Higher Cemetery, Exeter, led by an official of Exeter Cathedral, will include wreath laying and lighting of candles, in the presence of the Devon & Dorset Regimental Association.


During the Second World War 307 Sqn was the only Polish night fighter squadron and defended the South West of England. The Lwów Eagle Owls airmen fought the Luftwaffe over the skies of Britain and prevented Exeter from being totally destroyed during the blitz on the city in 1942.


More information is available on the 307 Squadron Project Facebook page




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