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1. Kazimierz Chomacki – the Early Years

 A young Kazimierz

Born 24 November 1918 in Dubienka, Poland; a small village located on the River Bug. One of six children of Jozef Chomacki and Katarzyna Gularowska. A family of three boys and three girls. Jozef Chomacki worked a small holding and the family were often involved with fishing and forestry work.

After completing his primary education Kazimierz’s efforts were rewarded with a scholarship to the State School of Handicrafts in Rudnik as a journeyman in Carpentry. Graduating on the 15 June 1936. These carpentry skills were to prove valuable in his later life especially after the War.

After training Kazik went to work in the aircraft factory in Lublin where the aeroplanes were mainly constructed from wood.

Early Service – short lived

Kazimierz 7 May 1938

On the 1 September 1939 Europe was plunged into war when Germany invaded Poland thereby precipitating the second devastating World War of the 20th Century.

On that day Kazik swapped from building aircraft to flying them. He started on his training to be a pilot enlisted in the Pilots Training School (Osrodek Wyszkolenia Pilotow G.P.L.)

First experiences were with the RWD-8 Trainer – a common monoplane in service with flying academies. His term of service was short lived for although the Polish Army fought bravely and with determination they were soon overwhelmed by the superior German forces.

Kazik’s record of service ended 18 September 1939 the day after USSR forces invaded from the East and the fate of Poland was sealed. Many of the Polish forces were transported to Soviet camps (in Kozielsk, Ostaszkow and Starobielsk) with many perishing in Kharkov and Katyn.

The Polish C-in-C Marshall E. Smigly-Rydz ordered withdrawal of forces to the south-east. So began the „March to France”.

The RWD-8 Trainer

Escape

Kazimierz joined the mass movement of Polish Forces, with 12,000 Polish airmen amongst them, across the borders into neighbouring Countries. Along with the majority of the remaining forces he trekked south into Romania where he was imprisoned on a working farm.

Although allied to the Germans the Romanians where not too strict in the enforcement of internment despite great pressure from the Germans. But conditions were very difficult and food was very scarce.

Kazik and a small group of comrades escaped their encampment after bribing a guard. They then walked south and entered Hungary. Here the authorities showed more sympathy to their plight and assisted in their escape to reform as a new force to rejoin the fight. The Polish Ambassador was assisting in all ways, operating out of the French Embassy in Bucharest.

Following a directive from General Sikorski some effective escape networks had been quickly developed with many 1,000’s of airmen travelling, many by foot, to Bucharest in Romania where they regrouped awaiting passage to France via Greece, Africa and Scandinavia. In early October 1939; to speed up the movement of men needed to create new fighting forces in France, a route was opened via the Black Sea port of Balchik in the Varna area (now in Bulgaria). So Kazik and his comrades journeyed to the Danube Delta port and waited…




Next page

Kazik’s trek – 1. The Early Years
Kazik’s trek – 2. New Horizons
Kazik’s trek – 3. Escape Again
Kazik’s trek – 4. Island of Last Hope
Kazik’s trek – 5. The War into Europe
Kazik’s trek – 6. The Summer & the Autumn
Kazik’s trek – 7. For Your Freedom and Ours
Kazik’s trek - 8. Some sources and acknowledgements


Copyright © 2005 Mike Leonard, Webmaster Mirek Chomacki

 


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