North American P-51 Mustang Mk.III, FB166, "PK-G", No. 315 ´Polish´ Fighter Squadron RAF
18th August 1944, pilot Cpt Eugeniusz ´Dziubek´ Horbaczewski
oil on canvas, 60x40 cm
original painting in personal collection
On 18 August 1944, at 7:20 a.m., a dozen "Mustangs" under Horbaczewski's lead took off from Branzett airbase, on fighter sweep "Rodeo 385". The mission target was in the area of Cormeilles-Romilly. When the Squadron was 13 km on north-east of Beauvais, Polish pilots noticed a group of sixty Fw 190 fighters of II./JG 26 taking off and landing.
The Polish pilots had the advantage of altitude and surprise. In 10 minutes of heated battle, the 315th claimed 16 kills, 1 probable, and 3 damaged, while the II./JG 26 pilots claimed 6 (of which 3 were officially confirmed). Amazingly, none of the Polish "Mustangs" were hit by a single German bullet, except for the P-51 flown by the Squadron Leader.
"Dziubek" destroyed three German fighters, but in the process, was shot down himself. His wingman, Lt. Bozydar Nowosielski, witnessed "Dziubek's" victories, but none of 315's pilots saw the moment "Dziubek" was shot down. When Lt. Eugeniusz Horbaczewski's "Mustang" crashed near the village of Vellennes, the pilot's final kill board read: 16 1/2 - 1 - 1. .
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