Bio / Text:
Michal Miroslav Maciejowski
Service Nos: P1912 (Polish) 780485 (RAF)
Born on October 28, 1913 in Gródek Jagielloński.
After he finished his secondary education his family moved to Poznan, where he entered St. Mary Magdalene College, graduating in 1931. He then enrolled in the Department of Chemistry of the University of Poznan while carrying out flying training in the Polish Air Force Reserve.
He was mobilized in August 1939 and posted to 3 Aviation Regiment in Poznan but did not fly operationally due to a shortage of aircraft.
On 17th September, with many other Polish airmen, he crossed into Romania but to avoid internment carried on to France. It seems that he enlisted with l'Armee de l'Air but the only account has him flying the Breguet 693, highly unusual as all other Polish and Czech airmen were assigned to units operating single-engine aircraft.
Again the details of his passage to England are unclear, one account has him flying a stolen aircraft with two other airmen, but he arrived in June 1940. After assessment and training he was posted to 111 Squadron on 10th September but went on to 249 Squadron on 11th October.
He claimed a Me109 destroyed on the 29th, a Me109 destroyed and two more probably destroyed on 7th November, another probably destroyed on 28th November and Me109's destroyed on 5th December, 10th January 1941 and 10th February.
Maciejowski was posted to 317 Squadron at its formation on 22nd February 1941. He claimed a probable Ju52 on 22nd May.
He was awarded the KW and Bar (gazetted 1st April 1941),a second Bar (gazetted 15th July 1941) and the DFM (gazetted 30th October 1941).
Maciejowski claimed two Me109's destroyed on 30th December. He was awarded the VM (5th Class)(gazetted 5th May 1942) and commissioned in June.
He claimed a Ju88 and a Fw190 destroyed and he shared a Do17 over Dieppe on 19th August and was posted away from 317 on 25th August to 58 OTU Grangemouth as an instructor.
Maciejowski was awarded a third Bar to the KW (gazetted 15th November 1942) and the DFC (gazetted 15th November 1942).
He returned to operations on 23rd March 1943 when he joined 316 Squadron at Northolt. He probably destroyed a Fw190 and damaged another on 4th May and destroyed a Me109 on 11th June.
Maciejowski was over Montreuil on a Ramrod on 9th August 1943 in Spitfire IX BS302/SZ-E when he collided with F/O LA Kondraki in BS457/SZ-R. Kondraki was killed, Maciejowski baled out and was captured.
He was imprisoned at Stalag Luft III, PoW Number 2021 and was liberated and returned to duty on 1st June 1945.
After a refresher course at 16 FTS Newton on 21st August Maciejowski was posted to 309 Squadron at Coltishall on 11th November. He remained with the squadron until its disbandment on 6th January 1947. Maciejowski was then released as a Flight Lieutenant. He settled in England and changed his name to Manson.
Manson rejoined the RAF in June 1951. Initially a test pilot, by 1963 he was doing a ground job. He later transferred to the Catering Branch and in 1970 was running a large RAF Transit Hotel in Malta.
He retired in 1972 as a Flight Lieutenant.
He later emigrated to Canada and died in August 1988 in Montreal.
Flt Lt Maciejowski is known to have flown the following Spitfires.
30/12/41 AA762 JH-W
19/8/42 AD295 JH-C
19/8/42 BL927 JH-L
4/5/43 BS463 SZ-G
11/6/43 BS403 SZ-K
9/8/43 BS302 SZ-E
Battle of Britain Monument
Maciejowski Michał Karol (Michael Manson) Lt. pilot. F / L. P-1912
He was born on October 28, 1913 in Gródek Jagielloński.
The son of Stanisław I Katarzyna née Leniut. Roman Catholic, he was baptized on October 29, 1913 in the parish church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross in Gródek He intended to attend the seminary, but he quit and extramurally completed the 6-year Jan Sobieski gymnasium in Rzeszów.
In Lviv, he is finishing a 2-year Trade School. In 1935, he was called up for military service in the 40th Infantry Regiment, volunteering to pilot the 6th Aviation Regiment in Lviv. He completed the training in the degree of kpr. remote.
On September 9, together with the staff of the Regiment, he moves to Łuck and Kleań, and on September 12 to Kuty.
On September 17, he crosses the borders of Romania. He is interned there. He manages to escape and get on a ship bound for Syria. At the beginning of 1940 swam to Marseilles and then to Lyon, where he joined the remnants of the Polish air force fighting alongside the French.
When France fell, he went to England and joined the RAF (Treble One) in North Weald. Then trained at RAF Blackpool Center and assigned to the British 111 Fighter Squadron.
On September 4, 1940, he shot down his first plane.
During the Battle of Britain he shot down three more German planes for sure, one probably and damaged one. Then he fought in the British 249 Fighter Squadron.
On April 10, 1941, after training in the 52nd OTU, he was assigned to the 317 Fighter Squadron. He also fought in the 316 Fighter Squadron.
On August 9, 1943, around 6.30 p.m. during the Ramrod 191 mission, flying a Spitfire IX designated SZ-E BS302, in flight over occupied France near St. Nazaire, had a collision with the pilot Lieutenant Lech Kondracki (Spitfire IX marked SZ-R no. BS457) Kondracki died and Maciejowski saved himself by jumping on a parachute (he lost his helmet and frostbite damaged his ear).
He was captured and taken to German captivity. Imprisoned in Stalag Luft III (Sagan, Żagań). He worked there at the great escape tunnel, he was 98 in the queue, so fortunately he did not escape, otherwise he would almost certainly be among the murdered (10% of the 50 murdered were Poles serving in the RAF).
Liberated and restored to service on June 1, 1945. After a refresher course at 16 FTS Newton, on August 21, he was assigned to Squadron 309 in Coltishall.
He remained in the squadron until its dissolution in January 1947.
Dismissed from the army with the rank of aviation lieutenant and changes his name to Michael Manson.
He returned to the RAF in June 1951. Initially as a test pilot and from 1963 he performed administrative work.
In 1966-68 he was the commander of section 2 of the RAF Gaydon Air Navigation School, later he became a catering officer.
In 1970, he ran the large RAF Transit Hotel in Malta.
He retired in 1972 as an aviation lieutenant. He lived in England until his wife Christine died.
In 1987, he moved to Winnipeg Manitoba, Canada, to live with his only daughter, Karen Schmidt. He worked there for the City Hall.
He died on April 26, 2001 in Winnipeg at the age of 87. He was cremated and the urn with his ashes was given to the family. Say goodbye to military honors by the Canadian Armed Forces.