January 26, 1943. Major Stefan Janus during his mission and France goes into German captivity. This pilot from Krakow was a fighter ace and commander of an important unit
Stefan Janus was born on March 22, 1910 in Wola Duchacka in the family of a railwayman with many children. He studied at the VI Junior High School. Tadeusz Kościuszko in Podgórze, and then, as a free student, she began law studies at the Jagiellonian University. This direction does not suit him very well, because after a year he moved to geography. In line with the practice of the time, he launched a military service after the first year of service. He was sent to the Artillery Reserve Officer Cadet School in Włodzimierz Wołyński. He liked the military as a person who was a plu person who got sick or made a decision to decide or make a decision with an official.
As Wojciech Zmyślony, the author of an extensive biography of Janus, writes, it is unexplained that for him he is to have a material work: an attempt at a key with meaning and significance for life, as well as a painting creation at that time, a painting action in the prevailing in Poland and position. In 1932, Stefano started teaching professional artillery officers at the Artillery Cadet School, and then he was put into practice by the 7th Light Artillery Regiment.
In the meantime, the place where she became a pilot has changed. Already as artillery, already assigned to the Aviation Officers Training Center in Dęblin, where theoretical training is needed. He flew RWD-8, PWS-16 and Potez XXV planes. After the course, he was assigned to the 2nd Air Regiment stationed in his hometown of Krakow.
After finishing work at the Rakowice airport, he improved it on a higher course in Grudziądz. After the panels for the unit, he flew PZ P.7 and PZL P. (the famous P.11) planes “if he fell down eating Polish fighter planes. In 1938, in the garrison church of St. Agnieszka married his fiancée, Jadwiga Wróblewska, with whom he later married for 40 years.
In the same year, Janus was transferred from Kraków to Dęblin, where he took command of a platoon of cadets in the school squadron at the School of Eaglets. You can do that you could not do at the workplace, or that it was not possible to do at the workplace by the pilots. “Service in combat gave more to be considered as very prestigious,” writes Wojciech Zmyślony.
Janus broke out in Dęblin. On September 6, 1939, she began to evacuate her charges to the east (his wife, Jadwiga, also accompanied him). On foot and with various vehicles, avoiding German planes, and then the Red Army and armed Ukrainians, he led them to the Polish-Hungarian border.
Across Europe and Africa
In Hungary, Janus quickly got out of the internment activity. Provided by the Polish consulate in Budapest in a passport, through Yugoslavia to Greece. In Athens he boarded the ship “Warszawa” and in English to France. For some time he was in training-Bron, but during his stay in 1940, he was directed to Algeria in North Africa, the local aviation school locating in the training of French cabin shooters.
When the Germans attacked France, Polish airmen in Algeria did not have the opportunity to take part in the fight. They were evacuated to Casablanca in Morocco, at the turn of June and July 1940, Janus received them via Gibraltar by sea to Liverpool. His wife Jadwiga stayed in Algiers.
In the UK. Janus – like other Polish machines – theoretical and linguistic training, he also got to know British. Flying them required a change of ingrained habits and reflexes. “It was necessary to remember about changing the propeller pitch and extending and retracting the landing gear after take-off and in front of the landing. The on-board instruments were graduated in miles per hour, feet and gallons, instead of the popular Polish hours per hour, meters and liters ”- reported by Wojciech Zmyślony.
After training, in September 1940, Janus was assigned to the emerging 308th Fighter Squadron. There, too, for the first time, the problem was in action in combat. The squadron carries out patrol flights in southern England, deploys emergency, sheltering sea convoys.
– The 308th Squadron was formed after it was and was in the Battle of Britain to do milk operations only in 1941. The nature of these actions was different then. The RAF began studying in France, and the nature of the organization changed. Now, when shot down, it did not approach its own terrain, but was captured. Besides, due to the saturation of units and anti-aircraft defense, it was on a very difficult expedition – explains Wojciech Zmyślony.
Commander and ace
It was over France that Janus scored his first shootings. July 22, 1941 During the attack on the German airport near Guines, the 109 Messerschmitts standing on the ground fired and caught fire. And, returning to England, he came across the English Channel on the third, point of which. He shot down another Meserschch109 in late September, and third and fourth in late October.
In the 308th Squadron, Janus established himself as an outstanding fighter. Thanks to this, in June 1941, he was appointed a commander – he was led by squadron A. During the training and France, he gained experience and, checking that he would change it, he led the squadron. In autumn, he was awarded the Cross of Valor, and in 1942 the Silver Cross of the Order of Virtuti Militari.
After several line services in 308. Janus was promoted – in 1941 he took command of the 315th Fighter Squadron. -Initial US Officers Station outpost stats. Then it turned out that young pilots who had already acquired fighters were better as commanders – says the author.
As a commander, Janus flew at the head of the squadron on expeditions over France. These flights were heavy, and almost all of them resulted in loss of man or machine. The Luftwaffe was still going strong, and there was this powerful fire from anti-aircraft artillery whatever you acquired in a coastal spot after France. In command, Jan showed prudence and timus. The workmanship and safety are more important to them than the success and subsequent kills.
– He was highly respected by his subordinates and who knew that his caution could be relied upon. He had a lot of authority. Already during the war, they gained access to a pilot: from the pilot, through squadron and squadron, to the pilot commander. Commanders knew that he had the skills and abilities acquired in modern times – the fight for Wojciech Zmyślony.
From other pilots it appears that the main one was distinguished by a cheerful disposition, sense of humor and comic talent. From the latter, the star was called Lopek, referring to the well-known pre-war comedy actor Kazimierz Krukowski pseudonym. Lopka. Indeed, in conjunction with the numerical combination in the registration of Wojciech Zmyślony’s photos, Janus is smiling broadly, and many stories about the gathered gathering on the matter to his colleagues.
Success on Dieppe
In May 1942, Stefan Janus was appointed commander of the 1st Polish Hunting Wing. The wing was a large tactical unit with three (later) squadrons. The 1st Wing, to which successive Polish fighter squadrons rotated, was a titled operational unit of Polish aviation in Great Britain and its main strike force. Along with the new position, also the issuing of Janus tasks, which real. Now he flew over France at the head of four squadrons, or almost 50 aircraft.
The wing of his command won participation in the separation in Dieppniu Dieppe. Although the landing itself ended in combat, the battles of the Polish airmen appeared. The pilots of the Polish Wing (consisting of five squadrons: 302, 303, 306, 308 and 317) performed 240 tests and shot down 15 and a half pages in one word, which were killed. Squadron 303. higher tier is the most effective Allied unit for shootings, and Squadron 317 – higher. “Janus, shaping from the past way of flying and fighting the First Wing as a whole, has been registered as godfather of this success” – writes the author.
At the end of 1942, he had his hundredth fate, which was painted.
The major’s thriving career was interrupted by the unfortunate reception of Janus. On January 26, 1943, he had his lot over France, the last one before giving up command of the Wing and going to rest. On his way back over the English Channel, his Spitfire collided with the air with the machine of Sgt. Wawrzyniec Jasiński from the 306th Squadron. Both planes fell into the sea, Jasiński was killed, Janus jumped out with a parachute. He was fished by a French fishing boat, which a German patrol boat swam and took the aviator captive …
Janus was transported to the XXIC offlag in Szubin in northern Greater Poland. It was immediately turned into garbage, but quickly disposed of. From Szubin, go to Stalag Luft 3 in Żagań, where you will join a group of several dozen Polish airmen. As the first position level (wing commander) he became the senior among Polish officers. He also entered the escape group, i.e. the so-called Committee of the X.
In June 1943. Participation in the film action of awarding the shares. A group of prisoners, a layer by two disguised as guards, left the stalag, allegedly going to de-loach. There were Stefan Janus and his friend Witold Łokuciewski from the 303rd Squadron. Posing as Hungarian workers who wanted to get to Szczecin, and from there to Sweden. They only made it to Legnica, where they were captured by the Gestapo on a train.
In Żagań, Janus is also in the preparation of the Great Escape. I was the head of the escape committee at Barrack 107, and it was predicted that he would come out to use Harry. Fortunately, he did not have time, because he would probably have been captured and murdered like other Polish participants in this action.
He was released from captivity in May 1945 by the British. After convalescence, she returned to service. When the war ended, on January 21, 1947, he joined the Polish Resettlement and Deployment Corps, which provided soldiers for civilian life. Lopek you chose to be returned in the UK. He unsuccessfully applied for admission to the RAF.
In the early 1950s. Our interview service offer. It was suggested to him that an agent who would like to teach: Americans wanted to train a group of pilots and lead them to Poland, now headquarters from the current design. The training takes place in Germany, where Janus got acquainted with jet planes. The action was not, however, interesting. On March 5, 1953, the pilot of the Polish People’s Army, Lieutenant Franciszek Jarecki (born in Gdów near Kraków) fled to Bornholm.
Janus managed to join the RAF in 1953, when the British introduction was expanded before the Cold War. He received a degree a and services in military administration, incl. in Cyprus. In 1965 write retire. He lived modestly with the king at Maidstone in southern England. In the 1970s, Poland was marked three times (including Kraków, Bochnia and Zakopane). He died of a heart attack on November 11, 1978. The urn with the ashes was placed a year later at the Rakowicki Cemetery. After her death, Jadwiga’s wife was buried next to her husband.
– Janus was a former pilot and commander and yet you don’t remember much about him. There are several reasons – he did not take part in the Battle of Britain, he survived – the fallen again always remember), he stayed in exile, he did not write any memoirs. Meanwhile, boldly talk about him as the fastest aviator of World War II available from Krakow. Not which may be with which title – ruling on which one is cared for. Fortunately, his hometown did not forget about him. Years later, a street named after him will be built in Krakow, and a commemorative plaque was hung over the garrison avele.