Pilot Officer Franciszek Surma was born on 1st July 1916 in Poland. He served with a number of RAF squadrons and was shot down over Essex on 29th October 1940 during combat with an ME109.
He managed to bale out and survive with no injuries and was lucky a second time when he had to bale out of his aircraft again, this time over Malvern. On the 8th November 1941, his luck finally ran out when he was shot down over the English Channel at 13.05 hours. He was posted missing, his body and aircraft were never recovered. He is commemorated on the Polish War Memorial and the Warsaw Memorial.
Rank : Pilot Officer
Regiment : 308 (Polish) Squadron Royal Air Force
Conflict : WW2
Awards: Virtuti Militari; Cross of Valour
Date of death : 8th November 1941
Memorial : Callow End Flying Officer Franciszek Surma WW2 Memorial
FLYING OFFICER FRANCISZEK SURMA OF
308 (POLISH) SQUADRON R.A.F., LANDED
BY PARACHUTE, NEAR THIS SPOT, ON 11
MAY 1941, HAVING ABANDONED HIS
BURNING SPITFIRE AIRCRAFT, R6644.
FLYING OFFICER SURMA IS BELIEVED TO
HAVE BEEN KILLED IN ACTION NEAR
DUNKIRK ON 8 NOVEMBER 1941 AND
HAS NO KNOWN GRAVE.
WE WILL REMEMBER HIM.
Franciszek Surma's aerial victory credits
30 August 1940 He 111 (probably destroyed)
26 September 1940 - Bf 109
29 October 1940 He 111 (damaged)
26 March 1941 1/3 Ju 88 (probably destroyed)
22 July 1941 - Bf 109
16 September 1941 - Bf 109
20 September 1941 - Bf 109 (and one probably destroyed)
27 September 1941 Bf 109 (probably destroyed)
12 October 1941 - Bf 109
The more prominent cemeteries and memorials are preserved by government and councils. Smaller private and out-of-the way plots sometimes languish without care. The After Brexit Support is developing guidelines and outreach for all groups seeking support in preserving the resting places and memorials of WWII fallen heroes.
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