Bio / Text:
Mieczyslaw Gorzula was born in Cracow on August 11th 1919 and joined the Polish Air Force in 1938.
Serving as an instructor when Germany invaded Poland, he was ordered to take his aircraft and students to Romania. They flew to a Romanian airfield well inside the country and surrendered their aircraft and weapons.
He managed to escape to France via Syria where he served in one of the Polish-manned units of the Armee de l'Air. After the French collapse he escaped once more overland through Spain and into Portugal, evading German agents in both countries. He eventually reached Cherbourg and sailed for England. Arriving in England he trained at 5 OTU before being commissioned and posted to 229 Squadron at Northolt. He then went to 607 Squadron at Turnhouse in October 1940.
Gorzula was posted to 302 Squadron at Kenley on 16th May 1941. He moved to 87 Squadron at Colerne on 4th November but rejoined 302, then at Harrowbeer, on 16th March 1942. He was awarded the KW (gazetted 20th August 1942), posted to 58 OTU, Grangemouth on April 23rd 1943 as an instructor and awarded a Bar to the KW (gazetted 7th July 1943).
On 10th November 1943 Gorzula returned to operations with a posting to 315 Squadron at Ballyherbert as a Flight Commander. He went to 84 Group Support Unit on 8th May 1944, was with 306 Squadron for two months from 31st July after which he was attached to HQ Polish Air Force, Blackpool before joining 309 Squadron at Andrews Field on 17th November 1944 as a Flight Commander.
Gorzula destroyed a Me262 on April 9th 1945.
He went back to Blackpool on 25th May, went to HQ 133 Wing on 14th June and was posted to RAF Coltishall on 8th August 1945. Awarded a second Bar to the KW (gazetted 5th January 1946), Gorzula was released from the Polish Air Force in January 1947.
He obtained a secondment to the Royal Pakistani Air Force where, with other former Polish Air Force pilots, he taught cadets how to fly.
He then emigrated to Australia but was unable to settle. A self-confessed gambler and heavy drinker, he worked in accounting and insurance before serving as a security guard at the Mint for 15 years.
He died on 6th December 2005.
Battle of Britain Monument