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Cichociemni (Elita Polskiej Dywersji)
The Role of Couriers


We are the unseen and silent. This name, though queer, has proven to be very apt. It describes those who appear silently where they are not expected, play havoc with the enemy, and disappear whence they came, unnoticed, unseen”.(Irenek-Osmecki, 1954: 2)

The origins of the name “Cichociemni” remains elusive and has become part of the ‘folklore’ surrounding this legendary unit. Irenek-Osmecki (1954) suggested it was born in the exiled Polish Army based in Scotland in 1941 when soldiers disappeared from their unit with no real explanation other than transferred. Through excitement, curiosity, speculation, songs and through boredom, the name seemed to ‘stick’.

The creation of the Cichociemni and the arrival of the first highly trained paratroopers from Great Britain improved the effectiveness of the AK (Koskodan, 2009; Turner 2022) whose identities had been changed to protect them and surviving families still in Poland (Irenek-Osmecki, 1954; Koskodan, 2009).

Early Days:

While the exiled armed services and government had settled in France, it became quickly apparent that communication lines with occupied Poland needed to be established by radio and using secure courier routes. Radio and aircraft were at that time close to its range limits thereby limiting operations from afar that became the catalyst for the need to incorporate clandestine warfare in the overall strategic planning. Polish missions in Budapest and Bucharest were vital links in the flow of personnel, information, and intelligence until December 1940. Link: SOE and the Poles in Hungary

Parachute and glider training had been introduced during the inter-war years and based in Bydgoszcz, Jabłonna-Legionowo, Biała Podlaska and Bezmiechowa with parachute training being incorporated into the physical training of Officer Cadet Schools and selected Non-Commissioned Officer Schools in 1936 (Lorys, 1993). Each school had towers built for controlled descents. The courses included clandestine training for operations behind enemy lines, and such was their success in military exercises in 1938 that a parachute training centre was created in Bydgoszcz (Wojskowy Ośrodek Spadochronowy or WOS) (Lorys, 1993). At the outbreak of war, the base was evacuated east to an airfield at Małaszewicze near Brześć, close to the river Bug.

Senior officers based in Scotland since 1940 began screening units for suitable candidates from the armed services who were being re-organised into a modern army based on British lines after the debacle of Narvik where the Polish contribution was largely overlooked by the British (Kochanski, 2012). Link: Norwegian Campaign. The candidates were in temporary camps close to ports and based in temporary camps under canvas in former parks, golf courses and open land mainly on the east and south-east coasts (Irenek-Osmecki, 1954; Pruszynski, 2010). The initial candidates were selected, then interviewed by an officer sent from the Polish forces HQ based in the Rubens Hotel in London (Irenek-Osmecki, 1954). Those who were successful were transferred to ‘unspecified duties’ attached to the newly formed and very secret Polish VI Bureau (Irenek-Osmecki, 1954, Rogalski, 2022).

Since the outbreak of war and the collapse of the Polish army in September 1939, Captain Jan Górski and Captain Maciej Kalenkiewicz understood the need for occupied Poland to be supported from the outside in updated equipment, communications, and specialists to wager clandestine warfare in the preplanning of an uprising against the Germans (Lorys, 1993; Rogalski, 2022). Despite their plans being initially rejected, the support of Jan Jaźwiński was instrumental in finally being received by General Sosnowski. They were endorsed by him with a request through General Jając for parachute training to commence with the newly formed parachute brigade. Jan Górski and Captain Maciej Kalenkiewicz were transferred to General Sosnowski’s office to develop their concept further which later became incorporated into Sikorski’s plans for covert operations in Poland on 20th September 1940 (Lorys, 1993, Grabowski, 2013, Rogalski, 2022) which included the concept of an uprising Link: Warsaw Rising

For the ‘unseen and silent’ to survive in the field, a new approach to training was adopted. As Irenek-Osmecki (1954: 10) observed, for the ‘wily fox’ to survive they must become a daring saboteur, first class shot, an agile all-in fighter, a watchful observer and finally a good parachutist.

The camps were secret and relatively isolated with all courses designed to build skills, stamina and meet the needs of the AK in the filed which resulted in periodic changes to course content which was designed by the Polish 6th Detachment of the General Staff (Oddział VI Sztabu Naczelnego Wodza) and the British Special Operations Executive (SOE).

Typically, the initial courses focussed on physical conditioning, self-sufficiency, and resourcefulness to ‘live off the land’ while cross-country runs for further conditioning in the Scottish Highlands and unarmed combat, paramilitary training, small weapons training, or demolition skills honed the combat skills needed for missions. These skills also included ability to ‘blend-in’, follow targets or shake off being followed within civilian scenarios and develop observation skills of troop and shipping movements. Fines were levied on poor performance skills or failure to sneak into accommodation without being caught (Irenek-Osmecki, 1954; Valentine 2004; Rogalski, 2022). Some were caught and arrested by British Police on these exercises and were required to spin a cover story or lie without giving away their role (Irenek-Osmecki, 1954, Rogalski, 2022, Turner, 2022).

At Leven, like Manchester Ringway (Śledziński, 2012), there was a parachute training camp where the Monkey’s Wood and parachute tower was used to develop skills and ability to respond to the jump commands and avoid injury (Śledziński, 2012). The real jumps started from tethered balloons (as they do today) from 700 ft and practiced forward, backwards or crosswind parachute landings according to the conditions of the day before the real jump from an airplane that could be in single or multiple drops. Fatalities and broken limbs were not uncommon (Irenek-Osmecki, 1954; Valentine, 2004). Completion of parachute training and paramilitary skills enabled the candidates to move onto to more specialist courses in communications, codes, espionage, demolition, and leading operations mainly based at Audley End where the training was adapted to mission needs (Valentine, 2004; Śledziński, 2012; Rogalski, 2022; Turner, 2022). On completion, the successful candidates swore an oath.

Cichociemni often chose short pseudonyms as ‘keys’ to speed up their transmissions in Morse, cutting down on transmission time to reduce detection. Couriers chose names to conceal their identity with fake documents produced at STS XIV (Turner, 2022).

Location of Training Centres:
The training camps were located at:

  • Inverlochy Castle, Fort William
  • STS 25a Garramor House Paramilitary training
  • STS XIV (then 38) Briggens House, Stanstead Abbotts () Forgery, deception, and training for guerrilla warfare
  • STS 43 Audley End
  • STS 46 Chigley Hall, Newport Pagnell
  • Largo House (Monkey Wood, Monkey Grove, or Monkey Paradise)
  • Leven: parachute training had the first tower constructed by Polish engineers
  • Ringway (Manchester) for Parachute training (led by Lt. Jerzy Góecki and Lt. Julian Gęgołyś)
  • Ostuni (Italy) near Brindisi which was used as a transfer site to Poland in 1944 and completion of training (Code B10 in training files)
  • STS 102 Mont Carmel, RAF Ramat David for parachute training and holding camp at Athlit (Hoffman, 2015) for Polish paratroopers designated for the Balkans
  • Holding Stations were located at:

    • STA 18 Frogmore farm, Aston, Herts.
    • STA 19 Gardener’s End, Ardley near Stevenage
    • STA 20a Pollards Park House, Chalfont St. Giles
    • and 20b Pollards Wood Grange, Chalfont St. Giles

    Award of Polish Parachute Badges


    Combat Operations

    Market Garden1992
    Soviet Russia26
    Trained, non-combat3861
    Source: Lorys (1993)


    The first airbridge to Poland was on 14th – 15th February 1941 (Irenek-Osmecki, 1954; Lorys, 1993; Koskodan, 2009; Rogalski, 2022) dropping three Cichociemni in Operation ALDOLPHUS/: Maj. Stanisław Krzymowski, Cpt. Józef Zabielski (Zbik) and courier Bombardier Czesław Raczkowski. They took off from Newmarket in Suffolk in a Whitley Z6473 Z and were dropped over the village of Dębowiec near Skoczów. Their route took them over Haarlem, Brandenburg, close to Berlin before turning towards Wrocław, Częstochowa then towards Włoszczową and then the LZ (Bieniecki, 2013). Krzymowski became established as a co-ordinator of airdrops from his base with the ZWZ in the vicinity of Kielce – Radom. Zabielski worked with the ZWZ alongside Krzymowski until his family was arrested in Warsaw in April 1942 and was returned as an emissary of the C-in-C AK on 29th July 1942. His escape route was through Germany to Switzerland and arrived in London on 24th October to be re-assigned later to STS 10 in Ostunia in Italy as a trainer for the Cichociemni.

    The airbridges typically flew over Denmark (Route 2) and Sweden (Route 1) before turning south towards Poland to avoid ground defences (Flak) and higher densities of night-fighters. Flights were typically around 13 hours and close to operational limits of the Halifax where refuelling stops were made at Scottish airfields (Cynk, 1998). These routes were used by the RIPOSTE (Counterstroke) Missions Link: Operation Wildhorn until Route 3 from Brindisi flew over Lake Balaton in Hungary to the Tatra Mountains and then on to Kraków in southern Poland or routed via Szeged in Hungary. Although these were popular routes, they were adjusted or abandoned after Soviet advances in the spring of '44. Route 4 was further east and flew over Budapest while Route 5 flew via Albania and Yugoslavia to Lwow.

    The next operation was RUCTION that took place on the night of 1 – 2nd November 1941 consisting of Capt. Niemer Bidziński (Ziege), Capt. Jan Piwnik (Ponury) and a courier Lt. Napoleon Segieda who carried money to support ZWZ activities. They took off from Linton- on-Ouse in Lincolnshire and dropped over Czatolin, 20Km from Skierniewic in the Łódź Voivodeship in central Poland with four W/T’s and radio receivers plus correspondence for the ZWZ. The Halifax (L9612) of 138 Squadron made an emergency landing in Sweden with the crew destroying the aircraft.

    Piwnik (Ponury) served in various positions until transferred to Równe in eastern Poland (Ukraine) until his arrest by the Gestapo and managed to escape from prison and returned to Warsaw where he was ordered to lead the storming of the prison in Pinsk where he successfully released members the Wachlarz unit. His next assignment was to organise AK groups in the Radom area before his transfer after his dismissal to the Nowogródek District as leader of the VII battalion of the 77th Home Army Infantry Division. He was killed in action against the Germans during operation TEMPEST on 16th June 1944 near the village of Jewlaszcze (Śledziński, 2012, Turner, 2022). Link: Warsaw Rising. His wife, Emilia Malessa (Marcysia) commanded the AK cell Zagroda consisting of about 100 couriers working on foreign communications at the AK HQ. She participated in the Rising and managed to escape from transports taking her to a labour camp. On the disbandment of the AK Marcysis was arrested for membership of NIE by the UB and tortured possibly giving away the identity of comrades on the premise no further action would take place by Józef Różański (NKVD). Although pardoned by Bierut and shunned by former AK combatants, committed suicide in 1949.

    Operation JACKET took off on the 27-28th December 1941 with an expanded team of Cichociemni and couriers. The team consisted of Captain Maciej Kalenkiewicz was transferred to III Bureau to continue developing roles and strategies for parachutists in combat with some concepts being incorporated into the formation of the 1st Independent Parachute Brigade. On 27th December 1941 he was part of the second group of Cichociemni to be dropped into Poland. The group consisted of Lt. Marian Jurecki (Orawa), Lt. Alfred Paczkowski (Wania) and Lt. Andrzej Świątkowski (Armurat). They were accompanied by political couriers: Cadet-Officer Tadeusz Chciuk (Celt) and Cpl. Witor Strzelecki (Buka). Navigational error dropped them over the village of Kiernozia on the edge of the General Government 61Km north of Łodź. Some of the group were arrested and marched to a local border post where they overpowered their captors and escaped, making their way to the intended LZ at Brozow Stary. Lt. Marian Jurecki and Lt. Andrzej Świątkowski were killed at the LZ by an anti-partisan unit while trying to hide their equipment.

    Kalenkiewicz acted as an emissary for the commander-in-chief, met General Stefan Rowecki, then head of the ZWZ, a for-runner of the AK and joined the operations department within the General Staff. Kalenkiewicz’s contribution to the AK should not be under-estimated as he became the author of Plan W (TEMPEST) or the Warsaw Uprising. Tadeusz Chciuk (Celt) would later return to Britain and be infiltrated again in operation SALAMANDER.

    Working on clandestine operations, sabotage, and guerrilla warfare, Kalenkiewicz’s principal role was to train officers for the forth coming Uprising (Plan W). Much of his duties were taken up inspecting AK districts around Radom-Kielce, Lublin. In August 1943 he participated in operation ‘Eastern Tape’ (Taśma Wschodnia). His underground activities were challenging since in March 1944 he was sent to the Nowogródek District to investigate the collaboration with the Nazis of a cousin “Lech” or Józef Świda who was sentenced to death and commuted to the war’s end. Tensions between the AK and Soviet backed partisans around Vilinius led to a small delegation travelling to the Vilinius district in mid-April 1943 to seek cooperation. Aleksander Krzyżanowski "Wolf", the commander of the Vilnius District, the local chief of staff Major Lubosław Krzeszowski "Ludwik", the deputy government delegate Dr Jerzy Dobrzański "Maciej" brought a temporary peace prior to the advancing Soviet forces.

    On 12th June 1944 operation OSTRA BRAMA was approved for operations in the Volozhin – Vilnius area to maintain AK control of local resistance groups. Kalenkiewicz was wounded in action with gangrene setting in and resulting in his arm being amputated. Kalenkiewicz was critical of the planning of the operation and its disastrous outcome, however on his appointment to lead the 77th Infantry Regiment, the Soviets rescinded any local agreements which resulted in officers being arrested and troops conscripted into Soviet units in the area. Kalenkiewicz hid in the Rudnicka Forest with a force of about 1,000 troops. Between 22nd and 24th of July 1944 Kalenkiewicz with two Cichociemni: Capt. Franciszek Cieplik "Hatrak" and Capt. Jan Kanty Skrochowski "Ostroga" moved to the Grodno Forest where there were fewer Soviet backed partisans to carry out anti Soviet propaganda campaigns.

    On 19th August 1944, the Soviets instigated the liquidation of the AK in the area around the Rudnicka Forest. On 19th August 1944 Kalenkiewicz led a unit towards Surkonty when they were attacked by the NKVD’s anti-guerrilla unit operating in the district. The attack was repelled by Capt. Bolesław Wasilewski "Bustromiak" who led the counterattack, killing the Soviet commanders and 30 troops. Although the AK only suffered wounds in the first attack, the unit was wiped out with Kalenkiewicz being killed.


    Operation SHIRT was launched on 6th – 7th January 1942. The team consisted of Lt. Col. Henryk Krajewski (Wicher, Bak), Capt. Jan Smela (Wir, Janusz, Lipek), Lt. Tadeusz Klimowski (Klon), 2nd Lt. Jan Marek (Walka), and Lt. Zbigniew Piasecki (Orlik). Accompanying them was a courier: 2nd Lt. Benedykt Moszyński (Andrej Zasobniki) carrying money. They left RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk in a Halifax (L9618 W) and dropped over Cegłów/ Stefanówka, near Mińska Mazowieckiego just east of Warsaw.

    Krajewski held various posts, notably for training sabotage and led the operation WIENIEC to damage the rail network around Warsaw. In 1944 he became commander of the AK in the Polesie district (30th Infantry Division) in readiness for operation TEMPEST in the Białystok area where they assisted the Soviet offensive against the Germans. Arrested on 18th August 1944 by the NKVD near Otwock, was sentenced to 10 years in prison. On 27th July 1945, while in transit to with other prisoners to Rawicz, the train was attacked by an AK unit led by Lt. Kęsk (Świt) and freed, however, due to his injuries through torture had to be carried to safety. He gave himself up when the AK was disbanded and remained a target of the UB/ SB until his death in 1970s.

    Smela was appointed commander of the Święciany District and moved to the Vilinius district to organise sabotage actions as commander of the 1st battalion of the 85th Infantry Regiment (19th Infantry Division) which later took part in the OSTRA BRAMA action. Caught by the NKVD on 17th July 1944 he was imprisoned and released from the prison in Morshansk, near Tambov in Russia. He was released on 17th July 1947 and returned to Poland.

    Operation COLLAR commenced on 3rd – 4th March 1942 after previous attempts had failed. Parachuted into Poland were Capt. Bohdan Piątkowski (Mak), Capt. Zygmunt Milewicz (Róg), Lt. Franciszek Pukacki (Gzyms), Lt. Jan Ragowski, (Czarka), Lt. Stanisław Jankowski (Burek) and Lt. Jan Kochański (Jarema). They took off from Stradishall in Suffolk in the specially adapted Halifax (L9618 W) already used in other operations. They were dropped over open countryside near the town of Łosinno, 9 km from Wyszków near the River Bug in the Masovian Voivodeship to the N.E of Warsaw.

    Jan Ragowski became commander of a platoon before joining Jan Piwnik “Ponury” in June 1942. He was arrested with Jan Piwnik (RUCTION) and imprisoned. Both managed to escape and reached Warsaw in September 1942 and then sent to an AK cell in Kielce. In June 1942 he commanded the 1st "Warsaw" platoon of the 2nd Battalion. On 18th January 1943, he staged a daring prison break in Pinsk and continued daring missions to sabotage and raid arms dumps or steal cash (Śledziński, 2012) until finally wounded after attacking a train at Łączna on 12th – 13th July 1943. Caught by the Gestapo on 3rd January 1944 driving a lorry over a bridge with Fryderyk Serafiński at Białobrzeg with supplies, he was taken to Radom and tortured before being shot on 16th February.

    Piątkowski became the commander of a sabotage group targeting the Mińsk–Orsza line and was caught by the Gestapo on 12th December 1942. In an attempt to escape around 10th January 1943, he was seriously wounded and hospitalised where the AK attempted a rescue that failed. It is believed the Gestapo secretly murdered him.

    Milewicz initially assigned to Syrena Air Transfer Dept planning drops over Poland. On 1st September 1944, he commanded the Czata 49 battalion in Czerniaków. During the Rising, he managed the reception committees for airdrops. On 21-22 September 1944, he was defending a house on ul. Wilanowskiej 5 from attack and was seriously injured and one of the few to survive the assault. He was evacuated to a field hospital and camp at Skierniewice before returning to duty managing airdrops.

    Operation BOOT followed on 27th – 28th March 1942 from Tempsford after an aborted flight in February. The team consisted of: Lt. Zbigniew Bąkiewicz (Zabawka), 2nd Lt. Lech Łada (Żagiew), Lt. Jan Rostek (Dan), Lt. Tadeusz Śmigielski (Ślad) and Rafał Niedzielski (Moncy). Accompanying them was a courier: 2nd Lt. Leszek Janicki (Maciej, Zasobniki) carrying money for the underground army and assigned to the Government Delegation. They were dropped over Przyrów, 34 Km from Częstochowa with their kit spread around the LZ taking time to retrieve it.

    Lech Łada was assigned to Section II of Wachlarz at Równe and in the autumn 1942 formed a sabotage unit with the help of Gryzoni partisans (escaped Georgians) who joined the AK. Jan Rostek was transferred to the intelligence unit in Kiev and arrested on 14th January 1943 by the Abwehr and murdered. Rafał Niedzielski served with the Wachlarz diversionary unit in the Lvov – Tarnopol – Płoskirów – Winnica – Żmerynka area until joining the Ponury and carried on with sabotage. He was killed while attacking a train near Wólka Plebańska in August 1943.

    On 30th – 31st March 1942 operation LEGGING took off from Tempsford in Bedfordshire at 19.45 in Halifax (L9618 W). The team consisted of Maj. Stanisław Gilowski (Gotur), Col. Józef Spychalski (Grudzień), Lt. Wiesław Ipohorski-Lenkiewicz (Zagroda), Lt. Aleksander Kułakowski (Rywal) and Lt. Janusz Zalewski (Chinek). The courier Lance-Corporal Stanisław Zaborowski (Grzegorz Zasobniki) carried money for the AK. The route took them over Denmark, the German coast near Kolberg and onto the LZ. Dropped wide of the LZ, they landed in open countryside close to a railway line in Podstoliska, 3.4 km N.E of Tłuszcza and 41Km from Warsaw

    Stanisław Gilowski, a careers officer had serviced in the Austrian Army. Assigned to train in diversionary tactics, he was eventually posted to Lvov District. Józef Spychalski was also a careers officer and had already experienced Soviet treatment when the NKVD had imprisoned him in the Lubyanka. After he was released, accompanied Sikorski out of the USSR. His post was in counterintelligence and posted to Kraków where his position was undermined through his brother who was in the communist People’s Guard. He was captured on 24th March 1944 and probably died in Sachsenhausen.

    Wiesław Ipohorski-Lenkiewicz was assigned to intelligence operations in the eastern Department covering the Ukraine. On 14th January 1943 he was arrested by the Abwehr in Kiev and disappeared and presumed murdered. Aleksander Kułakowski ran diversionary patrols in the Lvov-Tarnopol-Ploskiriv-Zhmerynka-Vinnica areas. After the Soviet occupation of Tarnopol he was forced to join the Polish People’s Army and commanded a artillery platoon in the 3rd Howitzer Artillery Brigade. Aware of Soviet repression after a mutiny by Poles in the Polish People’s Army, he fled to Lublin where he was caught by the NKVD on 28th October 1944 and sentenced to death which was carried out on 13th December 1944.

    Janusz Zalewski joined Wiesław Ipohorski-Lenkiewicz in Kiev and assigned to the 2nd Information and Intelligence department collecting offensive intelligence. He was arrested by the with Wiesław by the Abwehr on 14th January and also presumed killed.

    Operation BELT also took off on 30th – 31st March 1942 at 19.05 from Tempsford in Halifax (L9613 V) for south-central Poland near Końskie. The team consisted of Maj. Jerzy Sokołowski (Mira), Capt. Tadeusz Sokołowski (Trop), Lt. Stefan Majewicz (Hruby), Lt. Piotr Motylewicz (Krzemień), and Jan Jokiel (Ligota). The courier Lt. Jerzy Mara-Meyer (Filip Zasobniki) also carried money to fund the local AK detachment. They were dropped 6Km from the planned LZ.

    Sokołowski left for Warsaw before being transferred to the Wachlarz sabotage unit that operated behind the German Eastern Front and he was joined by Tadeusz Sokołowski and Piotr Motylewicz. On attacking a prison in Mińsk, many prisoners and the attackers were killed. Sokołowski survived and became an instructor at the diversionary school Zagajnik in Warsaw. In an assassination attempt on a German agent in Warsaw, he was shot and handed over to the Gestapo and taken to their HQ in Alei Szucha and tortured. Sentenced to death, he was transferred to Auschwitz on 5th October 1943 along with 1,500 prisoners.

    The courier, Lt. Jerzy Mara-Meyer had been made head of the special branch to resist expulsions in the Zamość region and was killed in the Battle for Wojda blocking the expulsion of Poles whose successful actions forced the Germans to abandon the plan.

    Operation CRAVAT was the last one for the trial period. The Halifax (L9618 W) took off from Tempsford 8th – 9th April 1942 as the dark season was coming to an end for these missions. On board were Lt. Teodor Cetys (Wiking) who later wrote about his exploits, Lt. Stefan Mich (Jeż), Lt. Alfred Zawadzki (Kos), Lt. (General Staff) Henryk Kożuchowski (Hora), Lt. Roman Romaszkan (Tatar) and Lt. (General Staff) Adam Boryczka (Brona, Adam, Albin) and carried packages of money for the AK. They were dropped over Drzewicz, near Lake Dybrzk in the Pomeranian voivodship in northern Poland.

    Adam Boryczka was engaged in sabotage operations against railway traffic and trained saboteurs at the Wachlarz commanding the AK Vilnius district between January and March 1943. The Gestapo ambushed him on 7th July 1943 and was wounded requiring convalescence until August 1943. He Commanded an AK unit in the Rudnicka Forest (Brony) and was involved with many skirmishes until injured again on 1st April 1944 at Ostrowiec. On 7th July 1944 attacked a column of escorted prisoners with many hundreds escaping into the surrounding countryside. When the NKVD entered Vilnius, AK soldiers were forced to lay down arms or join the Soviet Army. He fled to the Rudnicka Forest and met up with other units commanded by Lt. Col. Janusz Prawdzic-Szlaski and Lieutenant Colonel Maciej Kalenkiewicz. He remained in the forests until the disbandment of the AK.

    The autumn operations re-started with Operation CHICKENPOX on 1st – 2nd September 1942. After the success of the initial airbridges run by 138 Squadron, the new season represented greater confidence in their effectiveness with more trained Cichociemni ready for duty. Halifax (W7775 R) left Tempsford with Lt. Bolesław Jabłoński (Kalia), Lt. Władysław Kochański (Bomba), Lt. Stanisław Winter (Stanley), Franciszek Rybka (Kula). While over the Netherlands, a night fighter strafed the Halifax causing superficial damage and the drop was successful over Mariew near to the Kampinos Forest to the west of Warsaw.

    It was reported that on 30th January 1944 a Cichociemni officer Bomba had disappeared and believed to be in Soviet hands (TNA HS4-138). It was established that he had been taken to the Soviet HQ in Broniłsawka 42Km south-west of Warsaw, under instructions of General Newmanow and Colonel Bohun along with two officers and ten men of the local AK unit. Taken to Moscow, Bomba was sentenced to 25 years of hard labour and sent to the notorious Kolyma camp. He survived the hardship of the Gulag and was released to return to Poland in 1955. Link: Norwegian Campaign.Link: Katyn Massacre

    Operation SMALLPOX took off from Tempsford in Halifax (W7773 S) also on 1st – 2nd September 1942. The team consisted of Capt. Bolesław Kontrym (Żmudzin), Lt. Mieczysław Eckhardt (Bocian), Lt. Hieronim Łagoda (Lak), Lt. Leonard Zub-Zdanowicz (Ząb), 2nd Lt. Michał Fijałka (Kawa) and Lt. Wacław Kopisto (Kra). They were dropped over Łoś-Bogatki area between Grójec and Warsaw.

    Kontrym was assigned to the Wachlarz for sabotage operations at the beginning of September 1942. He took part in the storming of the prison at Pinsk and later became head of security of the Central Investigation Service liquidating agents and informers. During the Warsaw Uprising in 1944, he commanded 4th Company and wounded four times. Appointed commander of the 3rd battalion (36th Infantry Regiment) until capitulation and sent to POW camps: Lamsdorf, Fallingbostel, Bergen-Belsen, Gross-Born and Sandbostel from where he escaped in April 1945. From May 1945, he was deputy commander of the 9th Flanders Rifle Battalion attached to the 1st Polish Armoured Division. Mieczysław Eckhardt was assigned to the Łoś-Rogatki forest district, north-east of Grójec. He was arrested on 19th November 1943 and was murdered.

    The following night, Operation RHEUMATISM left from Tempsford in Halifax (W7774 T) on 3rd – 4th September 1942 for Łyszkowice between Łódź and Warsaw. On board were Maj. (General Staff) Wincenty Ściegiennysent to (Las), Maj. (General Staff) Jan Lech (Granit), Capt. Zygmunt Policiewicz (Świerk), Lt. (General Staff) Stanisław Sędziak (Warta) and couriers Lt. Adam Cużytek (Roman), Lance-Cpl Stanisław Stach (Marian Zasobniki ).

    Wincenty Ściegienny was sent to Białystok District as the Chief of the District Staff to restructure the command and set up training facilities. On the arrival of the Soviets, he went underground and later attacked by NKVD anti-partisan unit and caught. Imprisoned initially in Białystok, he was transferred to Mokotów prison in Warsaw and charged with subversion (for belonging to the now outlawed AK). He was released from Rawicz prison on 26th November 1945. Jan Lech during his service commanded units around the Lvov Area and on 15th March 1943 was made Chief of Staff of the 3rd Operational Area and subsequently second deputy commander. In April 1944, he was betrayed and captured by the Gestapo and shot on 24th June 1944.

    On the same night Operation MEASELS left from Tempsford in Halifax (W7773 S) for Stachlew N.E of Łódź. On board were Maj. Wiktor Zarembiński (Zrąb, Azis), Capt. Julian Kozłowski (Cichy), Lt. Kazimierz Smolski (Sosna), Capt. Wacław Zaorski (Ryba), Lt. Wincenty Michalczewski (Mir) and 2nd Lt. Jan Grycz (Dziadzio). They were dropped near Stachlew, 12km S.S.E from Łowic and close to the Bolimowski forest.

    Zarembiński was assigned to the Lwów District as the deputy commander of the Lvov City Inspectorate. Captured by the Gestapo on 17th February 1943 in Lvov and tortured before committing suicide. Julian Kozłowski became head of the technical and legal department and later held posts as a delegate for Volhynia. Arrested in the beginning of 1944, he escaped from the prison camp at Kowel (Ukraine), east of Chełm and made his way to Warsaw. During the Rising, he was commander of Oaza in the area Mokotów District. On 18th-19th August 1944 his unit broke through Wilanów to meet units entering from the Kabacki forest south of the city and was killed attacking the Wilanów Palace.

    Operation CHISEL was the first of several airbridges to assist in the funding of the AK to help build up the force and supply W/T sets for communication along with medicine that was in short supply. The first to take-off from Tempsford on 1st – 2nd October 1942 in a Halifax from 138 Squadron (W7776 U) for Siedlec in central Poland. The team consisted of Lt. Eugeniusz Kaszyński (Nurt), Lt. Artur Linowski (Karp), Lt. Adam Trybus (Gaj) and 2nd Lt. Waldemar Szwiec (Robot). The designated LZ was Lupiny about 11Km from Siedlce. The second flight was Operation HAMMER heading for Gościewicz with a reception party led by Bór (Stefana Waneckiego). The team consisted of Capt. Bronisław Żelkowski (Dąbrowa), Capt. Adam Borys (Pług) and Lt. Stanisław Kotorowicz (Kron). Accompanying them was Lance-Cpl. Jan Cegłowski (Konik, Zasobniki) as a courier. Third aircraft in the air was Halifax W7774 T heading for Dęblin in Operation GIMLET. The team consisted of Lt. Władysław Klimowicz (Tama), 2nd Lt. Ryszard Kowalski (Benga) and Lt. Ewaryst Jakubowski (Brat), 2nd Lt. Marian Gołębiewski (Ster), 2nd Lt. Stanisław Jagielski (Gacek) and 2nd Lt. Jan Poznański (Pływak). Carrying more Cichociemni, meant the aircraft carried less supplies to keep a safe margin on operational limits. The reception committee was located at a castle near Pawłowice led by Jana Ptaszka (Rzutny).

    Also on the night, 1st – 2nd October 1942 Operation LATHE on 29th – 30th took off from Tempsford for the town of Mokobody N.W of Siedlce. The team consisted of Capt. Tadeusz Stocki (Ćma), Capt. Władysław Szubiński (Dach/) and 2nd Lt. Antoni Jastrzębski (Ugór) again carrying money, medical supplies, and W/T sets for communication. The LZ was Osa Zrzut about 15Km from Siedlce with a reception committee led by Stanisława Ostasa (Osa).

    Tadeusz Stocki became head of sabotage equipment for the AK in Warsaw. Caught in a Gestapo round-up on 13th September 1943, he was imprisoned in initially in Pawiak, then sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau and Buchenwald concentration camps. After liberation by US troops on 11th June 1945, he decided to return to Poland settling in Katowice where he was under constant surveillance by the UB. Władysław Szubiński was assigned to the East Department of Offensive Intelligence in Warsaw. The Gestapo arrested him on 19th November 1942 at ul. Sękocińska 16 in Warsaw. Imprisoned in the Pawiak where he was probably murdered. Antoni Jastrzębski was killed in action in January 1943 on a sabotage mission in the Skarżysko-Sandomierz area between Kraków and Lublin.

    The next mission, Operation PLIERS on 29th – 30th October had possibly been delayed due to weather conditions. Halifax W7773 S set off for Poland with Lt. Wiesław Szpakowicz (Pak), Lt. Stanisław Hencel (Pik) and 2nd Lt. Jerzy Bichniewicz (Błękitny). In the early hours of the morning, the plane crashed into the mountainside at Helleren, south of Stavanger in Norway with all crew and Cichociemni killed. A bitter blow to the airbridge operations.


    Airbridges resumed on 25th – 26th January 1943 with Operation BRACE taking off from Tempsford in Halifax DT727 K with Lt. Col. Roman Rudkowski (Rudy), Lt. Ignacy Bator (Opór) and Lt. Tadeusz Gaworski (Lawa). Accompanying them was courier Cpl. Wiktor Czyżewski (Cap) carrying money and correspondence. The designated LZ was by the roadside between Warsaw and Radom at Białobrzegów.

    Rudkowski was appointed head of aviation in the 3rd Operational Department of the General Staff until his recall on WILDHORN II as a courier for the Government Delegation in Poland, then returned in Operation POLDEK 1. Lt. Ignacy Bator was killed during the Warsaw Rising when the Germans stormed their building on ul. Chałubiński around 5th August 1944.

    Tadeusz Gaworski led a platoon attack on the airfield at Okęcie during the Rising. After the collapse of the uprising, he escaped to the Kampinos forest and joined Palmiry-Młociny regiment. He was part of the units that successfully attacked the SS RONA brigade. Later, during the battle of Jaktorów, the Palmiry-Młociny were defeated, and Gaworski escaped and joined units in the Brudzewici forest. Wiktor Czyżewski returned to Britain on WILDHORN II and later returned with Roman Rudkowski in operation POLDEK 1. Later he was involved in the Polish civil war Link: Operation Vistula. and caught by the SMERSH/ UB and imprisoned in Łódź from 1945-1946. On his release, he worked for both Britain’s SIS and CIA.

    On the same night, Operation SCREWDRIVER took off heading for Łowicz with the team led by 2nd Lt. Władysław Miciek (Młot), 2nd Lt. Bronisław Grun (Szyb) and 2nd Lt. Mieczysław Kwarciński (Ziut) and accompanied by courier Stanisław Łuczkiewicz (Sęp).

    Władysław Miciek was posted to Rzeszów. And took part in numerous sabotage and diversionary actions against the Germans and later participated in the street fighting in Warsaw and killed on 6th August 1944. Bronisław Grun was posted to the “Motor 30” Dispatch Centre and trained soldiers in sabotage. His actions included: “Goral” (stealing Pln 106m for the AK), “Pogorzel”, “Hunting” and “JulaLink: Operation Jula and Ewa April 1944 sabotage operations on the Rzeszów-Przeworsk railway lines.

    Mieczysław Kwarciński commanded a radio station No.77 in Zamość. His unit, 9th Infantry Regiment (3rd Infantry Division) surrendered to the Soviets on 30th July 1944 and attempted to travel to Warsaw when he was arrested in Falenica, a suburb of Warsaw by the NKVD. Taken to Majdanek, he escaped to Szczebrzeszyn. He planned to steal a Soviet airforce plane but was caught again by the NKVD and sentenced to death. While imprisoned in the Lublin Castle, it was stormed by former AK units and freed. He made his way to the British Occupied Zone and re-enlisted in the 1st Parachute Brigade.

    The following night 26th – 27th January, Operation GAUGE took off from Tempsford for Kielce carrying money for the AK. The team consisted of Capt. Michał Tajchman (Mikita), Lt.Wacław Pijanowski (Dym), Lt. Florian Adrian (Liberator) and Cadet-Officer Stanisław Sołtys (Sowa).

    Michał Tajchman worked in the aviation department assessing equipment for air operations and was killed during the Uprising alongside his family. Wacław Pijanowski was assigned to the technical department in Warsaw and during the Uprising oversaw the production of grenades and Molotov cocktails. Although he escaped Warsaw as a civilian, he was imprisoned in camps at Pruszków, Erfurt and Ohrdruf until freed by US troops on 1st April 1945 when he migrated to Britain.

    On 16th – 17th February 1943 Operation VICE took off from Tempsford after a cancelled flight for the leader of Cichociemni team. It consisted of Capt. Feliks Dzikielewski (Oliw), Lt. Tadeusz Burdziński (Malina) and Sergeants Stanisław Kazimierczak (Ksiądz), Michał Parada (Mapa) to the designated LZ 12Km from Mińska Mazowieckiego in the Kampinos Forest.

    Feliks Dzikielewski headed Section II for diversion and sabotage. He survived the Uprising and became the technical manager for WiN (Wolność i Niezawisłość Link: Warsaw Rising before he was eventually caught, but not charged for espionage after spending about three years in prison. Tadeusz Burdziński was a communications expert and commanded the Iskra communications battalion. During the Uprising he ran the Północ communications in the Old Town of Warsaw. Having escaped through the sewers, he emerged in Mokotów and continued his duties until capture on 27th September 1944 and escaped to survive the war.

    On the same night, Operation SAW took off heading for Sulejów. The team consisted of 2nd Lt. Henryk Januszkiewicz (Spokojny), Lt. Adolf Pilch (Góra), Cadet-Officer Bolesław Odrowąż-Szukewicz (Bystrzec) and 2nd Lt. Michał Busłowicz (Bociek) carrying money for the AK as well as six canisters of arms.

    Henryk Januszkiewicz was assigned to the sabotage ‘cell’ in the Kraków Nuszkiewicz District. Together with Lt. Ryszard Nuszkiewicz (Powolny) from operation FILE, they took part in the assignation of the Gestapo agent Michał Panków (a Ukrainian nationalist who had murdered Dr. Engelbert Dollfuss, Chancellor of Austria) who was shot in ul. Długa in Kraków on 12th October 1943, one of the first assassinations ordered by the AK. He was also involved in blowing up the train used by Governor Hans Frank to travel from Krakow to Lvov near Grodkowice, east of Kraków. After the war he was arrested by the UB and spent five years in prison.

    The following night Operation RASP took off from Tempsford Końskich between Warsaw and Kraków. The team consisted of Lt. Marian Mostowiec (Lis), 2nd Lt. Stanisław Olszewski (Bar), Cadet- Officer Leszek Ratajski (Żal) and a courier 2nd Lt. Tadeusz Samotus (Lis-2) supervising the containers of money for the AK which were not dropped for some undisclosed reason.

    Marian Mostowiec was a sabotage and explosives expert and trained recruits in diversion and liquidation tactics. Posted to the Vilnius in September 1943, he was tasked to blow the bridge over the Uła River near Marcinkańce (Ukraine) during operation TEMPEST (BURZA). In August 1944 he was arrested by the NKVD and sent to Russia to camp No. 150 in Gryazovets until his release. In October 1950 he was re-arrested by the UB for espionage and imprisoned in Mokotów until his release in May 1951.

    Stanisław Olszewski was assigned to the Lvov and involved in numerous actions ranging from rescuing Jan Bojczuk (Wiga) from the hospital in Lvov on 4th July 1943, to blowing railway lines between Lvov and Tarnopol or attacking Ukrainian partisans (UPA). He also participated in the assassination of a Gestapo agent, stealing machine guns and a failed springing of AK leaders from the prison in Rava Rus’ka. The NKVD deemed him to be a threat and was sentenced to hard labour in the Arctic Gulags: Vorkuta and Norilsk in extremely harsh conditions and survived. Later he was transferred to Soviet prisons in Butyrki in Moscow and Pot’ma in Mordovia before transfer back to Poland and imprisoned in Służewiec in Warsaw. He was finally released in 1957.

    On 17th – 18th February 1943 Operation WALL took off from Tempsford (Halifax DT725 J) assigned to 138 Squadron for the area near Mińska Mazowieckiego. On board the team of Cichociemni consisted of 2nd Lt. Antoni Iglewski (Vanadi), 2nd Lt. Władysław Wiśniewski (Wróbel), 2nd Lt. Tadeusz Jaworski (Gont) and Officer-Cadet Antoni Żychiewicz (Przerwa) and dropped near Cegłów – Zgiechów, S.E of Mińska Mazowieckiego with no reception party despite carrying money for the AK.

    Antoni Iglewski became head of subversion and guerrilla attacks in the ‘Maria’ district which included Miechów, Olkusz, Pińczów. In July 1944 fought to free the area of around (Rzeczpospolita Kazimiersko-Proszowicka) Kraków and form an independent state free of German troops. In August 1944 during TEMPEST, he was commander of the AK assault battalion "Suszarnia" of the 106th Home Army Division. When hostilities ceased, he became involved with NIE and in December 1948 after the rigged elections in Poland, was arrested and imprisoned in Kraków. In 1953, he was sentenced to eight years in prison and released under an amnesty in 1956.

    Antoni Iglewski was injured during the parachute jump and made his way to Warsaw where he was arrested by the Gestapo. He escaped during his interrogation by jumping out of a window. Re-assigned to Kraków, he became a sabotage instructor and took part in sabotage and assassination operations. He was also part of the team that attempted to destroy Hans Frank, train near Grodkowice on 29th-30th January 1944. Tadeusz Jaworski was sent to the Lvov District as a commander of sabotage and assassination cell “Zachód” who were tasked to kill Polish and Ukrainians co-operating with the Germans. He was involved in raiding munitions dumps and participated in the rescue of Jan Bojczuk from the Lvov prison hospital on June 15-16, 1943. In the autumn 1943 he was involved in sabotaging trains and railway tracks in the Lvov region and fighting UPA partisans. On 14th September 1943, he was caught by the Gestapo and murdered in Buchenwald concentration camp on 9th March 1945.

    On the same night of 17th – 18th February 1943 Operation FLOOR took off in Halifax DT627 P for the area around Siedlce. The team consisted of 2nd Lt. Piotr Szewczyk (Czer), 2nd Lt. Józef Czuma (Skryty), Lt. Jacek Przetocki (Oset) and 2nd Lt. Tadeusz Benedyk (Zahata) with containers containing money and were met at the LZ in Stare Łepki with a reception committee commanded by Szczepana Raczyńskiego (Śmiały).

    Piotr Szewczyk was assigned to the Lvov-Miasto area for sabotage missions and participated in the liberation of Lvov between 23rd and 27th July 1944. He escaped to Britain and returned to Warsaw on 15th October 1945 where he was arrested by the NKVD, charged with spying, and sentenced to death. Later this was changed to 15 years in prison after petitions sought commute the sentence and was released under amnesty on 8th May 1956.

    Józef Czuma commanded his own cell (Kedyw) in Warsaw carrying out sabotage and diversions around Warsaw, Otwock and Celestynów. He was part of the team that successfully sabotaged a train carrying Wehrmacht soldiers. He was arrested by the Gestapo on 12th July and tortured to death in the prison at Aleja Szucha in Warsaw. Tadeusz Benedyk was assigned to the AK’s ‘West Area’ in the sabotage cell “San”. During the Warsaw Uprising, he was operating in the 4th District "Grzymała" in Ochota, central Warsaw. He was captured and shot while in Buchenwald prior to the arrival of the Allies.

    Operation SPOKESHAVE took off from Tempsford on 19th – 20th February 1943 in Halifax DT620 T for central Poland. The team consisted of cadet-Officer Czesław Pieniak (Bór), Sergeant Piotr Nowak (Oko), Lance-Sergeant Kazimierz Człapka (Pionek) with courier Lt. Jerzy Lerski (Jur) and dropped over Radzice S.E of Łódź with containers of money to finance the AK.

    Jerzy Lerski at the outbreak of war was a gunner and caught in the Soviet occupied zone during the partition of Poland. He escaped through Hungary and went to France before being evacuated to Britain. He was an emissary for the Government in Exile and was recruited by Jan Karski and became secretary to PM Tomasz Arciszewski in December 1944.

    Operation RIVET departed Tempsford in Halifax DT620 T on the night of 20 – 21st February 1943 for Koniecpola to the east of Częstochowa. The team consisted of 2nd Lt. Kazimierz Rzepka (Ognik), Cadet-Officer Lech Rydzewski (Grom), 2nd Lt. Henryk Jachciński (Kret) and Lt. Marian Garczyński (Skała) along with six canisters of money to finance the AK and were met on the LZ at Nakło by Lt. Aleksandra Kuśnierskiego (Sęp).

    Kazimierz Rzepka had been caught by the Germans during the fall of France and escaped from Oflag VI B Dössel through a tunnel on 24th June 1941. He crossed the Spanish border and made it to Madrid (a journey of six weeks) where he was arrested by the police and imprisoned in Miranda de Ebro Link: Miranda de Ebro where he escaped through hiding in rubbish and arrived in Gibraltar before arriving in Britain on 13th April 1942. He was assigned to a cell (Kedyw) as a saboteur in the Lvov area. His activities included raiding arms dumps, blowing a train carrying munitions on the Lvov – Krasne line on 26th November 1943. Henryk Jachciński was assigned to the sabotage cell “San” with Józef Czuma. On 8th-9th March 1944 he derailed a freight train at Błonie, west of Warsaw. During the Uprising he was platoon commander of heavy machine gun detachment “Gustawa" based in Ochota before being sent to reinforce “Ryś" Battalion in Mokotów on 19th August 1944. Taken prisoner by the Germans, he managed to leave for Britain on 4th August on liberation.

    Operation FILE took off on 20th – 21st February 1943 from Tempsford in Halifax DT726 H for Pińczów, N.E of Kraków. The team consisted of Lt. Ludwik Witkowski (Kosa), 2nd Lt. Ryszard Nuszkiewicz (Powolny<), 2nd Lt. Walery Krokay (Siwy) and 2nd Lt. Witold Pic (Cholewa) and dropped with them were canisters of money to fund the AK.

    Ludwik Witkowski was injured on landing and after convalescence, he was assigned to a cell within the Silesian AK District, however due to operational duties was recalled to Warsaw where he was taken ill. In July 1943 he joined the Batalionu Saperów Praskich under the command of Capt. Józef Pszenny (Chwacki) and later commanded his own cell “Kosa” which was responsible for many actions against the Germans. These including stealing weapons from a train at Skruda near Niwa Babicka and attacking other trains at Choszczówka and Dębe Wielkie in the autumn of 1943. On 26th July 1944 he was commander of a Guards unit in Warsaw and captured the Victoria Hotel. He also attacked the police HQ. Taken prisoner on the capitulation of the Rising, he was treated as a POW and sent to Lamsdorf then Oflag VII A in Murnau where he was liberated on 29th April 1945 by US troops. He returned to Poland in the late 40s having completed his officers training.

    Ryszard Nuszkiewicz commanded a platoon of “Grey” scouts, an elite paramilitary unit in the Kraków district. His role was to train and participate in sabotage, assassinations, and liquidation of informers. He took part in the assassination attempt on Wilhelm Koppe, the SS-Obergruppenfüher Waffen-SS and the train of Hans Frank. He participated in the Battle of Złoty Potok on 11th September 1944 as part of the “Skała" battalion before the disbandment of the AK.

    Operation TILE took off from Tempsford in DT725 J attached to 138 Squadron on 13th – 14th March 1943. The team consisted of Lt. Oskar Farenholc (Sum), 2nd Lt. Janusz Prądzyński (Trzy), 2nd Lt. Edwin Scheller-Czarny (Fordon) and 2nd Lt. Jan Rostworowski (>Mat) and dropped near Kielce with six canisters of money to build up financial reserves for the AK.

    Janusz Prądzyński was assigned to the intelligence service (Dept. II) in Warsaw. His cell, “Lombard” captured blueprints of the prototype Panther tanks and Panzerfaust anti-tank weapons and located the Focke-Wolf factory near Poznan. During the Uprising, he commanded the “Golski” Battalion and escaped during the capitulation of Warsaw disguised as a civilian. Both Edwin Scheller-Czarny and Jan Rostworowski were assigned intelligence duties. Jan, a veteran of Link: Narvik. was arrested by German counterintelligence in Munich and imprisoned in Berlin and Warsaw before being transported to Groß-Rosen concentration camp near Rogoźnica in Lower Silesia. Here, he participated in a prisoners’ revolt and later tortured to death.

    Operation WINDOW took off from Tempsford on the same night heading for Koniecpola with Lt. Antoni Chmielowski (Wołk), Lt. Stefan Ignaszak (Drozd), 2nd Lt. Stefan Jasieński (Alfa) and Engineer Władysław Maksyś (Azot). They were dropped over Lelów 8Km south of Koniecpol and met by a reception committee led by 2nd Lt. Henryka Furmańczyka (Henryk).

    Antoni Chmielowski initially headed up the intelligence and legal department in the AK in cell “993/G" of Department II B (counterintelligence). After TEMPEST he became head of Dept. II in the NIE organisation until its disbandment and made his way of Kraków. He was captured on 20th December 1945 and tried in an NKVD show-trial in Kiev. Sentenced to death, which was commuted, he served 20 to 25 years hard labour in the Gulag at Kolyma and returned to Poland on 15th December 1955.

    Stefan Ignaszak was responsible for the discovery of the research, development, and production sites of V1 and V2 rockets at Peenemünde. During the Rising, he was in the 6th Armoured Battalion. He escaped to Bydgoszcz where he was arrested in 1945 by the UB and charged with espionage that carried a death penalty which was later reduced to 5 years in prison on appeal.

    Władysław Maksyś was assigned to offensive intelligence cells “1 AW” and “51 KK” whose agents covered Elbląg, Berlin, Vienna and Wiener Neustadt in Austria and controlled double agents within the Gestapo. Caught on 5th September 1944, he was imprisoned in Pruszków from where he escaped and returned to the ruined city of Warsaw and contacted friends in the NSZ.

    Operation STOCK took off from Tempsford on 13th – 14th March 1943 in Halifax DT726 H heading for Celestynów, close to the main railway line and S.E of Warsaw close to the nature reserve that extends south to Pilawa. The team consisted of Lt. Col. Kazimierz Iranek-Osmecki (Heller), 2nd Lt. Witold Strumpf (Sud), 2nd Lt. Jan Hörl (Frog), and Officer-Cadet Czesław Rossiński (Kozioł). The pilot dropped the team as an out-landing after confusing train lights for the LZ. Kazimierz Iranek-Osmecki was head of Dept. II (Information and Intelligence) in the AK and was sent on the personal request of Gen. Rowecki. He negotiated the capitulation conditions after the collapse of the Rising and imprisoned in the infamous Colditz Castle.

    Witold Strumpf was assigned to the legal dept of the 1st Organizational Department (Wydziału Legalizacji Oddziału I Organizacyjnego). On 8th July was court-marshalled for losing a container of $450,000 which had been captured by the Germans and later cleared of the crime. During the Rising, he was the quarter-master Śródmieście Południowe Sub-district. On capitulation, he escaped disguised as a civilian and reported to the AK HQ in Częstochowa, in their legal department before his arrest by the Gestapo. He was taken to Groß-Rosen concentration camp with other surviving members of the underground and was shot when the camp was emptied for evacuation. Jan Hörl fared less well. Initially sent to the Lublin District, he was arrested by the police on 6th August 1943. Interrogated by the Gestapo in Pawiak prison, he was subsequently shot in the ruins of the Jewish ghetto.

    Operation DOOR took off from Tempsford on 13th – 14th March 1943 in Halifax BB281 O heading for the Kozienicki Park Forest. On board were Lt. Stanisław Kolasiński (Ulewa), 2nd Lt. Adam Riedl (Rodak), 2nd Lt. Lech Zabierek (Wulkan) and W/T operator Ivan Szabo (Hun) carrying a small amount of munitions and money for the AK and dropped near Zwoleń on the edge of the forest making it an ideal LZ.

    Stanisław Kolasiński was assigned to Lvov District. Their activities included sabotage and counter-partisan actions against the Ukrainian UPA partisans. Although he was commander of the 2nd company of the 19th Infantry Regiment, he was thought to be a civilian and sent to a labour camp and survived the war and eventually returned to Poland in 1996.

    Adam Riedl was assigned as Adjutant to the commander of the Kielce Home Army District. Arrested either in January or March 1944, he was sent to Groß-Rosen concentration camp and murdered.

    Lech Zabierek was assigned to the sabotage cell “San” and participated in many sabotage actions blowing up trains (Błonie and Boże Wola on 4th-5th February 1943) and railways near Łubno on the 8th-9th March 1943. He was almost caught at the outbreak of TEMPEST and escaped into the Kampinos Forest where he joined the “Palmiry-Młociny" Regiment as deputy commander and assigned special operations around Zaborów Leśny, Truskaw and Piaski Królewskie in the summer-autumn 1944. On the disbandment of the AK, he worked as a courier for WiN in the Kraków area.

    On the same night Operation BRICK departed in Halifax DT627 P for Końskie. The team consisted of Capt. (Cavalry) Franciszek Koprowski (Dąb), Cadet-Officer Wojciech Lipiński (Lawina), Cadet-Officer Longin Jurkiewicz (Mysz) and Cadet-Officer Janusz Messing (Bekas) as a money and small arms drop for the local AK.

    Franciszek Koprowski was a careers officer, originally in the German army fighting on the Western Front in France and participated in the “Greater Poland Uprising” in 1918. Assigned to the 2nd Information and Intelligence Department in Vilnius, he was tortured by the Gestapo and broken. He managed to escape and commanded the 6th Vilnius Brigade during OSTRA BRAMA. On 17th July 1945 he was arrested by the NKVD and sent to the Gulags in Ostashkov and Murshansk before returning to Poland in July 1948. Wojciech Lipiński was arrested by the Germans on 13th March 1943 along with Janusz Messing. He caught Typhus and released for convalescence. He was then posted to 2nd Information and Intelligence Department covering Belarus and Polesie. While operating in the Vilnius area, he attacked Lithuanian partisans killing Poles. Recalled to Warsaw in the spring of 1944 as deputy commander of security, he survived the war. Longin Jurkiewicz was a specialist in microphotography and communications, was operating throughout Vilnius, Latvia, Lithuania, and Belarus. Caught by the Gestapo in November 1943 he was tortured to death.

    The following night, 14th – 15th March 1943 Operation STEP took off in Halifax DT543 G heading for Grodzisk Mazowiecki S.W of Warsaw. The team consisted of Capt. Jan Górski (Chomik), Cadet-Officer Janusz Jarosz (Szermierz) and Cadet-Officer Olgierd Stołyhwo (Stewa) carrying money for the AK. The LZ was located at Książenice. For the co-creator of the Cichociemni, Captain Jan Górski was moved to Białystok to support the local units operating in the area. Promoted to Major in March 1943 he conducted sabotage operations near Warsaw and Kraków and was caught in Kraków in August 1945. He was executed either by firing squad or, while trying to escape from the camp at Lengenfeld, a sub-camp of the Flossenbürg concentration camp in the Fitchel Mountains in Bavaria close to the Czech border. The two cadet officers Janusz Jarosz and Olgierd Stoły posting to Poland were sadly brief. Janusz Jarosz was initially sent to Białystok area. He was arrested in Warsaw on 6th August 1943 and transported to Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp before being transferred to Dachau and then Buchenwald. He survived the war. Olgierd Stoły was also sent to Białystok and arrested with Janusz and Jan Hörl (STOCK mission). Janisz was tortured in the Gestapo HQ on ul. Szucha, and later shot in the ruins of the ghetto.

    Operation ATTIC departed 16th – 17th March 1943 in Halifax DT727 K for Stachlew S.S.E Łowicz close to the Bolimowski Forest N.E of Łódź. At small team led by 2nd LT. Jerzy Kowalski (Baba) and Cadet-Officer Ezechiel Łoś (Ikwa) was accompanied by courier Lt. Roman Litwin (Zasobniki) as a resupply mission of money and light arms.

    Jerzy Kowalski was sent to a cell based in Lvov as the deputy commander of the district. He trained soldiers in combat, diversion and sabotage and participated in the battle for Lvov 23-27th July 1943. On 27th April 1945, he was arrested by the NKVD and sentenced to 10 years hard labour and transported to the Gulag in Vorkuta, one of the harshest camps in the system and survived to return to Poland. Ezechiel Łoś was initially sent to the Białystok Area and then operated in Nowogródek District where he was the commander of the 1st Company of the "Stołpecki” Battalion" that saw action in the autumn 1943. On 1st December 1943, he was arrested by a Soviet backed partisan unit and transported to Moscow. It is known he escaped the labour camp and was re-arrested in Leningrad but survived the war. The courier, Roman Litwin was a representative of the ‘Delegatury’ and was arrested by the Gestapo on 14th September 1943 in Warsaw and taken to the Pawiak prison where he was murdered.

    Operation BEAM took off on the night of 19th – 20th March 1943 in Halifax BB-340 D with 2nd Lt. Wiktor Wiącek (Kanarek), Cadet-Officer Ignacy Konstanty (Szmaragd) and 2nd Lt. Wilhelm Pluta (Pion) on board. They were headed for Opoczna carrying cannisters of money and small arms.

    Wiktor Wiącek was appointed as an instructor in sabotage and mining in secret schools for cadets in Warsaw. Posted to Vilnius for sabotage missions, he was posted to the “Brona” cell and then caught on 1st September. He escaped on 14th September and returned to his duties. During a skirmish with Latvian partisans, he was wounded. On 1st November 1943. He was attached to the Zygmunta Szendzielarza “Łupaszki” unit as an instructor. The unit was renamed 5th Vilnius Home Army Brigade (Death Brigade) who fought both the Soviets and Germans and sabotaged trains and captured weapons. In March 1944, he commanded an assault company and deputy commander of the brigade who carried out reprisal raids against the Lithuanians at Dubinki after atrocities at Glinciski on 23rd June 1944. After the disbandment of the brigade, he made his way to Britain and exile.

    Wilhelm Pluta was injured on landing and once recovered, was sent to Warsaw, and joined the Legalization Department (Central Legalization Office) of the 1st Organizational Department of the Home Army Headquarters issuing false travel documents for agents. On 29th July 1944 was attached to a cell in the Śląsk District for training, diversionary missions and sabotage around Rybnik, Skoczów, Wodzisław and Żory. He was never caught.

    Operation CELLAR was one of the last flights out of Tempsford on 24th – 25th March 1944 in Halifax DT727 K with 2nd Lt. Eugeniusz Chyliński (Frez) and Cadet-Officer Zbigniew Twardy (Trzask) with the courier Corporal Aleksander Olędzki (Rab) carrying mixed currency on board heading for Wola Wodyńska situation between Wodynie and Helenów in the Siedlce district in east-central Poland. Six canisters of arms were dropped with a reception committee led by Błażej Szostak (Slim).

    Eugeniusz Chyliński was sent to train and select sites for sabotage in the Vilnius area. He mined the Vilnius – Lida railway and several failed attempts to disrupt the local railway system. He was arrested on 19th April 1944 in Vilnius and rescued by local AK cells “Baza” and “Egzekutywy” through faking an illness while being transported to hospital. On 19th May he was attached to the “Frycza" cell as an instructor and participated in operations around Vilnius with the 3rd company of Czesław Dębicki, "Jarema" battalion. He avoided capture after the Soviet invasion and was caught by the NKVD in July 1946 and deported to Siberian Gulags until his return in 1957.

    Zbigniew Twardy commanded 3rd Battalion of the 50th Infantry Regiment of the 27th Volhynian Infantry Division in Kupiczów area. On 29th – 30th January 1944, in an operation against UPA partisans at Babie and later in February at Budyszcze met fierce resistance. Further action in March on rail communications at Kowel, he was wounded in the hand in action while on 10th April was severely injured in action at Stawki. Taken by Hungarian medical orderlies, he was sent to a Soviet POW camp near Okszów near Chełm. Gangrene set in and was transferred to hospital in Chełm and refused amputation and died of complications on 6th October 1944.

    Operations recommenced in the autumn 1943 under the RIPOSTE (Counterstroke) missions and pre-preparation for the ‘Rising after Col. Rowecki’s request for 300 OW (Ognisko Walki) and 40 MD (Minersko Dywersyjny) sets to be dropped over Poland (Cynk, 1998). It was originally planned to drop 200 tons of material, 800 agents by parachute with assorted radio and communications equipment and considering a 25% loss rate would need 450 ‘sorties’ or 200-night drops with the balance being achieved through major collaborative operations Link: Operation Wildhorn.

    On 1st April 1943, the Air Ministry reorganised 138 Squadron into three-flight unit by the addition of the Polish ‘C’ Flight under Sq. Ldr Stanisław Król (Cynk, 1998) with the 301 Squadron recognition plate. Six Halifax’s were delivered to the flight and after a period of training became fully operational on 4th May 1943 with initial duties over France, Belgium and Holland and completed 70 ‘sorties’ and it was not until 4th November 1943 that ‘C’ Section was detached from 138 Squadron was reformed as No. 1585 (Polish) Special Duties Flight. This move was welcomed by the Poles as their relationship with senior officers of 138 Squadron were not always amicable over managing and allocation of operations to Poland. The Squadron now consisting of Liberators and Halifax’s assembled at Sidi Amor near Tunis before forming part of the 334 Wing and relocated to Brindisi on 22nd December 1943 (Ward and Hodyra, 2017). The NEON missions were designed to improve communications between London and the AK which required a network of radio and communication stations to be set up across Poland.

    NEON 4 departed Tempsford aboard Halifax JD171 D in central Poland Grodzisk Mazowiecki S.E of Warsaw on 9th – 10th September 1943. The team consisted of Lt. Bolesław Polończyk (Kryształ), 2nd Lt. Fryderyk Serafiński (Drabina) and Elzbieta Zawacka (Zelimma, Sulica, Zo) one of the few women to parachute with Cichociemni as a courier and an emissary to the C-in-C Stefan Rowecki to improve communications between London and the AK in Warsaw. They were dropped between Chawłowo and Wólka Brzozokalska with Zawacka travelling on to Warsaw.

    Bolesław Polończyk was assigned to the Lublin District of the AK to organise and manage airdrops and sabotage. When the Soviets entered Poland at the end of July 1944 and set up the puppet government of the Lublin Committee, Bolesław was arrested by the NKVD and imprisoned with hard labour at Borovichi in Russia which had a series of camps run by the NKVD housing former Polish army soldiers and returned to Poland in 1946.

    Fryderyk Serafiński was initially attached to the cell “Rowne” in Volhynia. As commander of the Kielce area, he was involved in raids and sabotage, including the storming of the Pinsk prison, and attacking a Wehrmacht train at Suchedniow. Although seriously wounded on a raid 12th – 13th July he was caught by the Gestapo crossing the river Pilica at Bialobrzegi in a lorry containing supplies for the AK. He was taken to the Gestapo prison at Radom and tortured before being shot on 16th February 1944.

    On 14th – 15th September 1943 five more NEON missions were planned. NEON 7 consisted of Cadet-Officer Kazimierz Fuhrman (Zaczep), Cadet-Officer Roman Wiszniowski (Harcerz) And Lance-Corporal Franciszek Żaak (Mamka) were dropped over Łucznica in east-central Poland with a reception committee to assist with the six canisters of small arms led by Wacława Rybarczyka (Opór).

    Kazimierz Fuhrman was a highly trained communications expert and assigned to the 5th Department of the Wołyń District as a radio communications officer, and then the chief of communications of the 27th Volhynia Infantry Division. He commanded the 50th Infantry Regiment and to survive the war, he changed name and cities many times until the UB ‘turned’ him to trap British agents operating in Poland. Roman Wiszniowski was also a communications expert and assigned to the 5th Liaison Department of the Lvov Area of the AK where he commanded the “Palma” and “Opacz” radio platoons and launched radio stations in Poland, London, and Italy. During operation TEMPEST, he was wounded and evaded arrest by the Gestapo. After the Soviet invasion and occupation of Lvov in 1944, he secretly continued clandestine radio work for NIE before his arrest by the NKVD and sent back again to the Gulag at Vortuka until his release in 1955. Roman Wiszniowski and Franciszek Żaak were radio operators assigned to the 5th Communications Department of the AK’s HQ in Warsaw. Franciszek was transferred to Lvov area in February 1944 and later caught by the Germans and shot on 19th July 1944.

    The second flight NEON 10 took off in Halifax JD319 A with Cadet-Officer Józef Nowacki (Horyń) with Lance-Corporals Henryk Ostrowiński (Smyk) and Ryszard Chmieloch (Błyskawica) with six cannisters containing small arms and ammunition and also carried gold and different currencies for the AK 14Km from Łowicz.

    Józef Nowacki was a radio communications expert and assigned to the Łódź District before being transferred to Piotrków Trybunalski on 3rd August 1944. In January 1945 he returned to 5th District Department in Łódź as head of communications. ‘Turned’ by the UB, he exposed many secret radio operators and continued with his work under the new SB until his enrolment to study medicine in the 1950s. Henryk Ostrowiński and Ryszard Chmieloch were both radio communications experts. Henryk survived the war. Ryszard was initially assigned to 5th Communications Unit in Lvov and operated in the “Palma” unit. Caught on 14th February 1944 together with Józef Sosnowski "Maria" and Franciszek Golik "Nikita", he was sentenced to death and shot on 29th April.

    NEON 8 took off in Halifax JD319 A with cadet-Officer Stanisław Kujawiński (Wodnik), Cadet-Officer Józef Żakowicz (Tabu) and Lance-Corporal Anatol Makarenko (Tłok) with Six canisters containing munitions and carried different currencies at Mokra Wieś 8Km from Tłuszcz close to the main railway line N.E of Warsaw.

    Stanisław Kujawiński a radio communications expert assigned to the Radzyń Podlaski in the Lublin District and commanded radio station No.31. After the disbandment of the AK, he continued clandestine radio broadcasts to the Government in Exile. Caught on 22nd November 1944 with Leonard Melaniuk by the NKVD, he was sentenced to death then commuted to 10 years in prison in Butyrki, Moscow before a petition by his wife had the sentence reduced to 5 years. Released on 27th December 1945, he fled to Britain with his wife.

    NEON 6 took off in Halifax BB309 T with Cadet-Officer Zdzisław Peszke (Kaszmir), Lance-Corporal Ryszard Zyga (Lelum) and Cadet-Officer Jarosław Poliszuk (Arab) with six canisters of small arms and carried mixed currencies for the AK on 14th – 15th September 1943. They were dropped between Nieporęt and Radzymin.

    Zdzisław Peszke was assigned to V Communications Department in October 1943 and was arrested by the Germans in Milanówek at the end of his first month and was probably poisoned. Ryszard and Jarosław fared worse. Both were caught by the Gestapo on 15th October and were imprisoned at Aleja Szucha before being moved to the Pawiak prison and then transported to possibly Groß-Rosen and after to Hersbruck and Dachau, from where they were liberated on April 29, 1945.

    NEON 9 took off in Halifax JD269 Q on 14th – 15th September 1943 with 2nd Lt. Kazimierz Lewko (Palec), 2nd Lt. Władysław Siakiewicz (Mruk) and 2nd Lt. Ryszard Skowroński (Lechita) in Halifax JD-269 Q carrying various currencies. They were shot down over the coast of Denmark near Esbjerg with all killed in action.

    The following night 16th -17th September 1943 Operation NEON 1 left Tempsford in Halifax BB378 D for Wyszków, N.E of Warsaw and half-way towards Ostrów Mazowiecka. The previous attempt was aborted after missing the designated LZ. On board were Lt. Bronisław Rachwał (Glin, Róża) and cadet-Officer Hieronim Dekutowski (Zapora) and accompanying them was courier 2nd Lt. Kazimierz Smolak (Nurek Zasobniki) with eight cannisters of arms and carried mixed currency for the AK with the LZ designated at the remote village of Garnek, 8 Km S.E of Ostrów Mazowiecka with no reception committee due to a navigation error.

    Rachwał took part in the Uprising in the Śródmieście District of Warsaw and was killed in action on 2nd September 1944. Hieronim Dekutowski was posted to Lublin and operated with Tadeusz Kuncewicz (Podkowa) in Hosznia Ordynacka in operations against the local Volksdeutche, rescuing Jewish partisans and liquidating informers. In January 1944, he commanded a cell (Zapora) in the Lublin- Puławy area that was involved in over 80 missions attacking the German supply lines. During TEMPEST he was in a protection unit for the local HQ in Lublin. After the Soviet invasion, local AK units were disbanded on 28th July 1944. He attempted to join the Uprising, but could not cross the Vistula. In January 1945 he rejoined the underground and was involved in the Polish civil war against the NKVD in the San area. He led over 300 partisans (Zapora) and raided many military posts within the region. On 7th April 1945 raided the bank in Lublin and during their escape killed UB agents. On 19th May 1945 they attacked a UB post at Bełżyce, abducting the deputy commander and stealing arms and ammunition before attacking another UB post at Kazimierz Dolny killing several militia and Soviet officers. These activities continued into 1946 when after the rigged elections took up the amnesty in January 1947. During a secret trial that included Witold Pilecki, many of the underground soldiers were sentenced to death which was carried out on 7th March 1949.

    Kazimierz Smolak was part of a cell that assassinated Gestapo informer Franz Wittek in Kielce on 15th June 1944 and was killed during the action against the Germans.

    On the same evening, NEON 3 departed Tempsford aboard Halifax BB309 T for Tłuszcz to N.E of Warsaw with good rail links into the city. The team consisted of 2nd Lt. Mirosław Kryszczukajtis (Szary) and Cadet-Officer Bernard Wiechuła (Maruda). The LZ was at Kąty – Borucza in open farmland to the north of Stanisławów with no reception committee to collect the six cannisters of arms and carried mixed currency. Unfortunately, Halifax BB-309 T was shot down over Denmark by a night fighter near Slagille in Zealand.

    Mirosław Kryszczukajtis was an explosives expert. He was assigned as head to the Technical Research Office of the Sappers Department of the 3rd Department of the AK HQ in Warsaw. He was killed by a mortar round during the Rising on 17th September on ul. Mokotowska. Bernard Wiechuła was also a sapper assigned to the “Szary" partisan unit and survived the war.

    NEON 2 took off just after the other group in Halifax JN911 Z from Tempsford heading for Mińsk Mazowiecki to the east of Warsaw. On board were 2nd Lt. Bogusław Żórawski (Mistral), 2nd Lt. Norbert Gołuński (Bombran) and Cadet-Officer Otton Wiszniewski (Topola). The team were largely naval intelligence experts. They were dropped with six cannisters of arms and carried mixed currency for funding AK activities. The LZ was located at Mienia in open farmland S.E of Mińsk Mazowiecki that took three attempts to dispatch the team and their equipment. Bogusław broke a bone in his foot on landing.

    Bogusław Żórawski was attached to the “Lombard" team in offensive intelligence of the 2nd Department in Warsaw monitoring shipping. He was caught during the Uprising and transported to Kraków form which he escaped only to be caught again and sent to Germany for labour and freed by French forces on 29th April 1945. Norbert Gołuński was worked with Bogusław as an inspector of naval intelligence. He was caught during the Rising and transported to a labour camp near Lübeck until freed by the British army on 2nd May 1945. He returned to Poland in July 1947 to work for the Polish Ocean Lines and dismissed as a spy. Otton Wiszniewski (a close friend of Jan Serafin in WELLER 18 mission) was a communications expert and sent to Wołomin-Otwock-Karczew-Piaseczno area to command the 3rd platoon “Kram” company. During the Rising he operated a radio station (No.265) from various positions within the city and was ordered to leave Warsaw to re-establish communications after the collapse of the Rising. In May 1945 he was arrested by the UB and forced to cooperate with the authorities until an amnesty released him.

    On 21st – 22nd September 1943, Operation NEON 5 took off for the area around Mińsk Mazowiecki. Halifax LW276 E transported the communications team which consisted of Lance-Corporal Tadeusz Seeman (Garbus), Cadet-Officer Stanisław Skowroński (Widelec) and Lance-Corporal Stanisław Zapotoczny (Płomień) and dropped over Mistów, 9 Km north of Mińsk Mazowiecki with six cannisters and parcels of mixed currency and arms.

    Tadeusz Seeman was assigned to the Wołyń District and was arrested by the NKVD on 29th March 1944 disguised as Wiktor Popławski. He was sentenced to 20 years hard labour and deported to the Gulag in Vortuka with the sentence being reduced to 10 years. He was subsequently sentenced to life in prison and shipped to a tungsten mine at Akchatau in Kazakhstan until his release on 10th April 1956, taking over four months to return to Poland. Stanisław Skowroński was attached to the “Iskra” battalion as a radio operator before being sent to the 5th Department of the Vilnius district. Caught by the Soviets, he was sent to a Gulag in the Donetsk region and eventually fled in October 1945 back to Warsaw. The UB arrested him at Głogówek and managed to flee into Czechoslovakia with his wife. They escaped over the border into Germany and eventually settled in Argentina. Stanisław Zapotoczny was assigned to the Vilnius district as a radio operator in the 5th District Communications Division. Caught by the Germans on 18th February 1944, he committed suicide in the Gestapo HQ in Vilnius.

    On 18th – 19th October 1943, the last RIPOSTE flight of the season took off. Operation OXYGEN 8 heading for Łowicz in Halifax JD362 L from Foulsham in Norfolk with Capt. Michał Wilczewski (Uszka), Cadet-Officer Włodzimierz Klocek (aka Niewęgłowski) (Garłuch) and courier Lt. Franciszek Młynarz (Biegacz, Zasobniki). The designated LZ was at Nieborów 14Km, S.E of Łowicz at the edge of the Bolimowski Forest. Six cannisters of arms and packages were dropped with them along with mixed currency for the AK.

    Michał Wilczewski was posted to the Lvov area for sabotage and subversion activities blowing up railway lines and receiving airdrop supplies. He fought against the UPA partisans and Germans in the area until the unit was disbanded with the arrival of the Soviet army. He joined the local NIE unit and committed suicide during his arrest by the NKVD. Włodzimierz Klocek was assigned to a cell (Kłak) in the Lublin district. He was involved in numerous sabotage missions on road and rail communications as well as disarming retreating German units. Although caught at Leśna and taken to Lublin, he managed to escape undetected as a Cichociemni and survived the war.


    The RIPOSTE missions resumed in April 1944 with a marked increase in activity in preparation for the Rising. Operation SALAMANDER which was part of the Operation WILDHORN (Link: Operation Wildhorn commenced the series of missions. The operation was historically significant through the role of the occupants: special envoy Józef Retinger (Józef Brzoza) and Lt. Tadeusz Chciuk-Celt (Sulima) who had already completed one mission Operation JACKET when he was dropped on on the 27-28th December 1941. The flight left Campo Casale just outside Brindisi on the 3rd – 4th April 1944 in Halifax JP-180 V and despite Retinger’s age and disguise, was dropped over Belzyce. The account of the mission is well written up and an excellent read in Jan Chiuk-Celt’s memoir: “Parachuting into Poland, 1944: A memoir of a Secret Mission with Józef Retinger” Link: Book Reviews/ Parachuting into Poland. In addition, eight Halifax’s from No. 148 Squadron dropped supplies to the Warsaw, Lviv and Lublin areas. The AK now could handle up to 126 drops per night (Cynk, 1998).

    On the same night Operation WELLER 5 took off from Campo Casale onboard Halifax JP207 E which was assigned to Special Duties 1586 Squadron. The routes from Campo Casale (Route 3) were shorter in time and distance and enable the special flights to carry more supplies. The designated LZ was near Mińsk Mazowiecki. The team consisted of Lt. Zygmunt Sawicki (Samulik) with Sergeants Jan Bieżuński (Orzyc), Marian Pokładecki (Zoll) and Stanisław Biedrzycki (Opera). The LZ was Malcanów to the S.E of Warsaw in open farmland with nine cannisters containing money and arms for the local AK.

    Zygmunt Sawicki, a former PAF officer was assigned to the AK’s Aviation Department. During the Rising he was head of communications for the Warszawa Północ - Wachnowski Group in the Old Town managing communications and observation posts. He escaped within a civilian group and headed for Czestochowa to take up his position again. When the Soviets invaded Poland, he hid temporarily in the forest at Rędziny and survived. Jan Bieżuński, a former radio operator in 300 Squadron (Ziemi Mazowieckiej) had completed 45 operational flights before transferring to the Cichociemni. On 7th April 1944, he was accidently arrested and then released. He was posted to Lublin District and joined the "Pająk" cell running a radio station and communications until the war’s end. Marian Pokładecki had served in the PAF and was posted to the Kielce District as a communications instructor. At the close of the war, he was arrested by the UB and tortured for his association with the Cichociemni. Stanisław Biedrzycki, a former radio operator from the PAF 309 Squadron (Ziemi Czerwieńskiej) a fighter-reconnaissance unit, worked in the Aviation Department of Division III until the Uprising. He operated radio stations around the city until injured and subsequently died from them.

    Four days later, 8th – 9th April 1944 ten aircraft were launched. These operations were becoming more entangled with British – Soviet relations and the breakdown of the Poles relationship with the Soviet Union after the Katyń lie had been exposed. The British became less co-operative over flights to Poland (Cynk, 1998, Rogalski, 2022). One PAF aircraft never received ground signals and returned fully laden and four others from No.148 Squadron returned with supplies still on board.

    Operation WELLER 4 set off in Halifax LW284 T of 1586 Squadron who would become the main transporter for the Cichociemni. On board were Lt. Bolesław Jackiewicz (Łabędź), Lt. Stanisław Raczkowski (Bułany), 2nd Lt. Edward Kiwer (Biegaj) and Cadet-Officer Ludwik Wiechuła (Jeleń) over Cisów in south central Poland close to Kielce. It took two attempts to drop nine cannisters of money and weapons to the waiting reception committee of the "Wybraniecki" unit of the AK led by Marian Sołtysiak (Barabbas).

    Bolesław Jackiewicz, a veteran of Narvik, was assigned to the Radom-Kielce District and after the AK were disbanded, joined WiN until his arrest in November 1945 and released in February 1947. A decade later was elected to the Sejm. Stanisław Raczkowski served in the “Wybraniecki” cell until 16th January 1944. He took command of the 2nd battalion of the 3rd Infantry Regiment in the Radom-Kielce area and was killed in a skirmish with the Germans close to the Suchedniów forest between Warsaw and Kraków. Edward Kiwer was also sent into the Radom-Kielce area and was attached to the "Wybraniecki” unit as a sabotage and diversionary specialist. From July 1944 he commanded 4th platoon and then promoted to adjutant of the 4th Battalion of the 4th Infantry Regiment and participated in all their actions. Caught by the NKVD when the Soviets entered Kielce, he spent six months in prison. Ludwik Wiechuła joined his brother Bernard (NEON 3) in the Kielce area. Ludwik was part of the team that stormed the Kielce prison, freeing 350 prisoners on 5th August led by Capt. Antoni Heda (Szary).

    On the same night, WELLER 6 took off in Halifax JP207 E for Rozprzy south of Piotrków Trybunalski. The team consisted of Cadet-Officer Jerzy Sztrom (Pilnik), Lance-Corporal Henryk Zachmost (Zorza), Cadet-Officer Kazimierz Niepla (Kawka) and Corporal Władysław Hauptman (Gapa) with nine cannisters of money and arms for the AK. This was their second attempt to infiltrate Poland. The LZ was located at Zagraniczne Wola, 4 km east of Rozprza.

    Jerzy Sztrom was posted to Nowogródek District and killed in action in June 1944 when storming a German military post near Lida. Henryk Zachmost spent almost nine months in Italy completing his training. He was a radio operator assigned to the Białystok District and acted as deputy head of V communications. During TEMPEST his unit attacked the police station at Kulesze and fought rear-guard actions against SS anti-partisan actions. Kazimierz Niepla was posted to the Vilnius District and served as a radio operator for V Communications Department. On disbandment of the AK joined NIE to be betrayed by his former commander Lt. Col. Krzeszowski, a Soviet agent. Sentenced to 10 years hard labour in the Gulag at Norlisk (Norillag) a correctional penal colony for political prisoners and released in January 1954. Władysław Hauptman also completed his training in Italy and attached as a radio operator for the aviation department within the 3rd Operational Department. He took part in the reception committee for WILDHORN III on 26th July 1944. During the Uprising, he operated radios in various parts of the city before escaping to Opoczno, S.E of Łódź. Arrested by the UB he was imprisoned in Łódź, transferred to the Lubianka before returning to Poland. In 1946 returned to England.

    Accompanying them was WELLER 7 with the newly acquired Liberator BZ965 S for the Special Duties 1586 Squadron. The team consisted of Capt. Jan Kamieński (Cozas), 2nd Lt. Tadeusz Starzyński (Ślepowron) and Lance-Sergeant Tadeusz Kobyliński (Hiena). Accompanying them was courier Wiktor Karamać (Kabel, Zasobniki). The team and cannisters were dropped with four runs over Dobieszyn with small arms, money. and gold for the AK

    Jan Kamieński was assigned to the 3rd Operational Department and operated across many parts of the city during the uprising. He escaped with the civil population and joined NIE and commanded the Kraków District and was also a member of the clandestine National Armed Forces. As the underground movements collapsed, he managed to escape via Italy to London, but was returned in early in1946 before fleeing again for Britain. Tadeusz Starzyński was a counter-intelligence officer and posted to the AK’s HQ in Warsaw in Unit “997” of the 2nd Information and Intelligence Department. After the collapse of the Uprising, he remained in Warsaw securing sensitive documents and evacuated to Częstochowa where he joined WiN. From March 1945 had secured a post in the Ministry of Post and Telegraphs until his arrest by UB on 26th November 1945. He was brutally tortured and attempted suicide twice. Sentenced to 15 years in prison, his sentence was changed to death and commuted back to 15 years in prison, much of it in solitary confinement. In the late 50s his case was reviewed by the Supreme Court and on 18th December 1959 the case against him was dropped due to the excessive torture he had received. Tadeusz Kobyliński was also an intelligence officer who was tasked to free Zofia Leśniowska, Sikorski’s daughter held in a villa near Moscow. Little is known of what happened to this part of the mission that is still surrounded by mystery.

    WELLER 2 and WELLER 1 took off on 8th – 9th April 1944. Accompanying them were 10 aircraft from No. 148 Squadron and a further 5 aircraft from Special Duties 1586 Squadron. The mission was to resupply the hard-pressed 27th Volhynian Infantry Division in S.E Poland. The Cichociemni were onboard Liberator BZ965 S and Halifax JP-180 V. Team Weller 2 consisted of Capt. Tadeusz Runge (Osa), Lt. Benon Łastowski (Łobuz) and 2nd Lt. Stefan Bałuk (Starba). The courier accompanying them was Corporal Henryk Waniek (Pływak Zasobniki). The LZ was Dąbrówka N.E of Warsaw in open countryside and was the second attempt by this team to infiltrate Poland. Weller 1 team consisted of Maj. Felicjan Majorkiewicz (Iron), 2nd Lt. Zygmunt Gromnicki (Gula), Lance-Sergeant Albin Łakomy (Twornik) and Lance-Corporal Edward Kowalik (Ciupuś). Nine cannisters of money and gold were dropped with them over Nieporęt, 9 Km N.N.W from Radzymin, north just outside Warsaw.

    Tadeusz Runge (Osa, Jan Kurcz, Witold Mirecki), served as a quartermaster. During the Rising, he commanded the “Czata 49” battalion and wounded in action. He left Warsaw with the expelled civilians and was interned in camps at Pruszków and Piastów before escaping on 15th November 1944 seeking refuge in Milanówek and later Podkowa Leśna. He joined NIE and participated in anti-communist actions before escaping through Czechoslovakia, probably disguised as a DP before reaching the occupation forces of 1st Independent Parachute Brigade stationed at Bersenbrück. Benon Łastowski was caught by the Gestapo on 21st May 1944 and initially sent to Groß-Rosen concentration camp. As the Soviets advanced, he was then taken to the sub-camp at Brzeg and then the newly built Fünfteichen labor camp. He was liberated on 23rd January 1945 and returned to Poland, becoming a member of WiN before escaping to Britain. Working for Britain’s secret services, he was parachuted back into Poland at the end of May 1952 whose purpose is not published. With the mission being unsuccessful, he was evacuated again.

    Stefan Bałuk was assigned to the Legalization and Technology Department as a forger and producer of fake documents. He had a distinguished service in the Uprising fighting in the “Agoton” company of the “Pięść” Battalion in the Old Town and captured the fighting on film as a documentary of the Rising. He also broke through the German lines on 13th – 14th August to deliver radio spares. On 27th August, he used the sewers to take messages to Gen. Tadeusz Bór-Komorowski in a high-risk operation. After the collapse of the Rising, joined WiN. Caught on 1st November 1945, he was later sentenced to 2.5 years in prison and released under the amnesty in 1957.

    Both Felicjan Majorkiewicz and Zygmunt Gromnicki were posted to the AK’s HQ. After the collapse of the Rising, Zygmunt was taken prisoner by the Germans. He left for Britain in May 1945 and then decided to return to Poland where the UB arrested him and spent almost a year in prison.

    Albin Łakomy was posted to the Lublin District to the "Pjąk" radio communications unit as a trainer in radio and sabotage. He was involved in numerous missions and distinguished himself in the field of battle. In October 1944, he was probably forced to join the Polish People’s Army and deserted in August 1945. Arrested by the UB on 12th November 1951, he was taken to Mokotów prison in Warsaw and released under amnesty on 12th March 1952.

    Edward Kowalik was a radio operator and sent to the aviation department in 3rd Operational Department. He operated radio stations during the Uprising and after its collapse, escaped with the civil population only to return and set up a station in Milanówek. He worked in several college faculties in disguise until his arrest in May 1945 by the UB. He was imprisoned in Łódź and Lubyanka in Moscow and released under amnesty in October 1945.

    On 10th – 11th April 1944 a further 14 aircraft from No. 148 Squadron (8) and a further 6 aircraft from Special Duties 1586 Squadron made supplies drops for the 27th Volhynian Infantry Division. The mission was aborted as the advancing Soviet Army may have over-run the chosen drop zones. This was repeated on 14th April with some supplies falling into the hands of Soviet partisans.

    WELLER 3 and WELLER 14 took off on 12 - 13th April 1944 and were accompanies by 8 aircraft from No. 148 Squadron and a further 3 from 1586 Squadron. The WELLER 3’s team consisted of Capt. Leon Bazała (Striwiąż), Maj. Edward Piotrowski (Mema), Lt. Adolf Gałacki (Maszop) and Lt. Aleksander Piekarski (Turkuć) with nine cannisters of arms and $456,000 to fund the local AK. The drop zone was at Siodło, close to Mińsk Mazowiecki, to the east of Warsaw and was their third attempt to infiltrate Poland.

    Leon Bazała was posted to Lvov as a saboteur. On 31st July 1944 after the capture of Lvov by the Soviets, he was a member of the delegation to meet General Michał Rola-Żymierski in Żytomierz. The delegation was tricked and arrested by the NKVD and sent to Camp No. 179 in Diaghilev and then No. 150 in Gryazovets in the Ukraine. Both were specifically built to imprison Polish AK soldiers. He was released in July 1947. Edward Piotrowski was commander of the Piotrków Trybunalski AK District from July to 23rd November 1944 and was responsible for the disbandment of the unit. He was arrested by the UB on 16th January 1946 in Łódź

    Adolf Gałacki was attached to 2nd Department in Warsaw and fought during the Rising and was captured by the Germans and sent to a POW camp. Aleksander Piekarski was assigned to the Białystok District as a trainer in sabotage. He took part in several actions including the destruction of a radio station. In mid-August 1944 he was arrested by the NKVD and held in camps near Ryazan and in Czerepowiec in Russia before his release in November 1947.

    WELLER 14 headed to the area east of Lublin in Halifax JW272 D. The drop zone was Bełżyce and the team consisted of Capt. Adam Benrad (Drukarz), 2nd Lt. Tadeusz Żelechowski (Ring) and Cadet-Officer Zbigniew Mrazek (Aminius) and accompanying them was a courier Jan Ciaś (Kula) together with nine canisters of arms, money and gold for the AK. They were met by a reception committee led by 2nd Lt. Alexander Sarkisov.

    Adam Benrad was posted to the Łódź District and commanded 3rd platoon in the 1st company of the 1st battalion (25th Infantry Regiment). From mid-August, he commanded the “Mazur” unit until its disbandment on 9th November 1944. He decided to fight on until 17th January with the “Wicher” partisans under the command of Witold Kucharski and escaped to Britain in May 1948. Tadeusz Żelechowski was posted to Lvov as commander of 1st Platoon, then 4th Company of the 19th Infantry Regiment that fought the Germans, Soviets and UPA partisans within the region. In September 1944 he began to organize units into the “Przemyśl” Home Army. Although he was arrested by the NKVD, he escaped and fought more actions in the Lubaczów District, east of Rzeszów. Zbigniew Mrazek initially worked as a communications officer between the prisoners in the Pawiak and the AK. During the Rising, he was fighting in Mokotów District as the commander of the Baszta Regiment. Captured by the Germans, he was sent initially to Pruszków and then Skierniewice. With Soviet Army advancing, he was transported Stalag X B Sandbostel and Oflag VII A in Murnau. Released by US troops, he returned to Britain before making the decision to return to Poland in 1947 to take up law. From 1950 onwards he spent much effort trying to be ‘rehabilitated’ and practice law.

    WELLER 11 took off on 14 - 15 April 1944 aboard Halifax JP180 V with 2nd Lt. Bronisław Kamiński (Golf), Józef Wątróbski (Jelito), Jerzy Niemczycki (Janczar) and Włodzimierz Lech (Powiślak). They were dropped near Koniusza in the countryside about 17Km N.E of Kraków with twelve cannisters of arms and a quantity of money and gold for the AK.

    Bronisław Kamiński was initially stationed at Rzeszów with Włodzimierz Lech and and Jerzy Niemczycki. Then were all sent to meet Józef Wątróbski whose AK cell were hiding in an arms dump in a warehouse near Łęg when they were surrounded by the Germans. Nearly all of WELLER 11 team were killed on 8th May 1944 apart from Jerzy Niemczycki who survived and under a pseudonym survived the war.

    Also on 14th April, 8 aircraft from No. 148 Squadron and a further 5 aircraft from Special Duties 1586 Squadron made supplies drops for the 27th Volhynian Infantry Division who were desperate for arms resupply.

    The next operation that included Cichociemni was the historic WILDHORN 1 or Operation MOSTY (Bridges) on 15 – 16th April 1944. Operation ‘WILDHORN’ was a series of planned ‘air-bridges’ for the movement of specialist war material and infiltration/ ex-filtration of agents and couriers or military personnel from the AK. The flight left Campo Casale on a Dakota (FD919 I) of 267 Squadron. The flight was a high-risk flight with a pickup Link: Operation Wildhorn. Fitted with eight additional fuel tanks the Dakota was piloted by F/Lt. E.J. Harrod (RAF 267 Squadron) and navigated by F/Lt. Boleslaw Korpowski (PAF No.1568 Flight) and took off for Belzyce (code name Bak) 22 miles from south-west of Lublin (Cynk, 1998; Garlinski, 1969). They were to pick up Gen. Stanisław Tatar (Turski), Marian Dorotycz-Malewicz (Roch), Lt. Andrzej Pomian (Dowmuntt) and Zygmunt Berezowski an envoy of the Government Delegate for Stanisław Ołtarzewski of the People’s Party. They landed in the designated stubble field without incident.

    The following night, 16th – 17th April 1944 three WELLER missions were planned and to be accompanied by 8 Halifax’s from No. 148 Squadron and 1 additional plane from Special Duties 1586 Squadron for resupply missions. WELLER 10 in Halifax JP222 E took off for Sochaczew, to the west of Warsaw on the edge of the Kampinos forest. The team consisted of Lt. Col. Adam Szydłowski (Poleszuk), Maj. Andrzej Czaykowski (Garda), Lt. Leopold Skwierczyński (Aktor) and Cadet-Officer Tadeusz Nowobilski (Dzwon). The team made five passes over the LZ due to the reception committee failing to acknowledge their arrival to drop the team and nine cannisters and six parcels containing money for the AK that took only 20 minutes to complete.

    Adam Szydłowski was sent to Nowogródek as District Commander on 26th June 1944. On 17th July 1944, he was arrested by the NKVD and sent to Vilnius before sentenced to imprisonment in labour camps at Ostaszków, Kalinin and Morszańsk. He returned to Poland on 14th November 1947. Andrzej Czaykowski was posted to Warsaw to oversee the reception committees for resupply drops. He commanded a security battalion “Baszta” and then “Ryś” Battalion during the Uprising in Śródmieście district in Warsaw. After the collapse of the Uprising, he continued clandestine work in Częstochowa before his arrest by the Gestapo in December 1944. He survived being imprisoned in Groß-Rosen concentration camp and Mittelbau-Dora that ironically made V1 and V2 rockets. He returned to Poland in 1949 and was arrested in Kraków on 13th August 1951 by the UB for espionage and sentenced to death. Despite appeals, he was shot on 10th October 1953.

    Leopold Skwierczyński initially worked for the aviation department of 3rd Operational Department working on forged documents and intelligence. Within days of fighting in Ochota, he was caught by Soviets and escaped to Kraków and continued to serve the AK. He was temporarily re-arrested and managed to escape to Britain in August 1946 via the 1st Armoured Division based in occupied Germany. He became a noted actor. Tadeusz Nowobilski was assigned to the 7th Battalion (77th Infantry Regiment) in Nowogródek District later to be commanded by Lt. Jerzy Buyno (Gżegżółka) (WELLER 15). Taken prisoner by the Soviet Army at the end of July 1944, he returned from the Gulag on 15th November 1947.

    The same night, WELLER 12 set off for Góra Kalwaria S.S.E of Warsaw. The team consisted of 2nd Lt. Aleksander Tarnawski (Upłaz), Cadet-Officers: Stefan Górski (Brzeg), Gustaw Heczko-Kalinowski (Skorpion) and Marian Kuczyński (Zwrotnica) and dropped nine cannisters near Baniocha with no reception committee.

    Aleksander Tarnawski was posted to the Nowogródek and had a distinguished service with the Cichociemni. Stefan Górski was posted to a cell in the Łódź District specialising in diversion actions, later to command AK units in Piotrków. He was arrested on 22nd November 1947 and charged with treason that carried the death penalty. The sentence was carried out in the Mokotów prison on 4th August 1948 with the sentence over-ruled in an appeal in March 1991.

    Gustaw Heczko-Kalinowski completed his training in Italy in September 1943. Sent to Nowogródek District, he commanded 1st Platoon of the 1st Company of the 7th Battalion (77th Infantry Regiment) and survived the war and UB round-ups due to his co-operation with the security services. Marian Kuczyński also completed his training in Italy. He was posted to diversion activities in Drohobych, part of the Lvov District. He was caught by Ukrainian police on 25th June 1944 in Drohobych and handed over to the Gestapo and murdered.

    Included in the flight schedule was WELLER 15. The team consisted of Capt. (Cavalry) Jerzy Szymański (Boga), Lt. Jerzy Buyno (Gżegżółka), Officer-Cadet Stanisław Harasymowicz (Lalka) and Sgt. Mieczysław Psykała (Kalwadosik) aboard Halifax JP236 A heading for Tłuszcz N.E of Warsaw. The LZ was at Krawcowizna to the east with a reception committee made up of AK to assist with the nine canisters of arms.

    Jerzy Szymański broke his leg on landing. His duties were mainly based on the activities of the Delegatura and intelligence gathering. He also worked on the planning for NIE. During the Uprising he commanded Śródmieście Południowe sub-district and "Sławbor". He escaped with the civilian population and interned in various Oflag’s until he escaped from Lichterfelde during a bombing raid on Berlin and reached the Polish Legation in Stockholm. Jerzy Buyno was attached to the Nowogródek District as an officer in the 7th Battalion (77th Infantry Regiment) and arrested after OSTRA BRAMA mission by the Soviets and escaped to survive both the war and UB purges. Stanisław Harasymowicz was posted to the Polesie Distrct in supply as part of the 30th Infantry Division. During the Uprising he fought with “Radosław” group as commander, then “Zgoda" Company of the “Czata 49” Battalion. He was seriously wounded on 10th August and died shortly afterwards. Mieczysław Psykała completed his training in Italy on 5th November 1943. He was assigned to the Białystok District commanding air-drop operations and served as a courier to Nowogródek, Vilnius, Białystok and Warsaw. Arrested on 6th October 1944 by the NKVD and sent to a camp at Kamionka then Sverdlovsk in the Urals as a punishment for organising a hunger-strike, he returned to Poland on 14th November 1947 and remained under surveillance for many years.

    23rd – 24th April 1944, a record number of aircraft (19) from No. 148 Squadron and from Special Duties 1586 Squadron were ordered to carry out a mass drop over Zamość to supply the 9th Infantry Regiment (Cynk, 1998).

    On 27th – 28th April 1944 WELLER 21 took off on board a Liberator EV978 R of 1586 Squadron for Bychawa almost due south of Lublin. The team consisted of Lt. Col. Jan Biały (Kadłub), Capt. Jerzy Iszkowski (Orczyk), Capt. Bronisław Lewkowicz (Kurs) and Lt. Edmund Marynowski (Sejm). In two runs over the LZ at Bystrzyca Stara a total of 21 cannisters were dropped with the team being met by 2nd Lt. Aleksandra Sarkisowa (Szaruga) and members an AK battalion stationed nearby. The flight was accompanied by 9 from No. 148 Squadron and 7 from Special Duties 1586 Squadron with 3 of the PAF abandoning the drop and returned to base and a further 6 from the RAF. On the return leg, one plane was shot down over Albania (Cynk, 1998)

    Jan Biał, a PAF careers officer, had served in the 1426 Enemy Aircraft Flight at Duxford (nick-named the Rafwaffe) that not only analysed aircraft, but also trained pilots to fly captured German aircraft in the hope of covert operations to Poland in support of the uprising. Assigned to the Aviation Department of the 3rd Division he worked in Warsaw as commander of the “Okęcie” air base. This unit was assigned to capture the airfield in Warsaw during the Uprising which failed. He escaped south to Kraków where AK units were regrouping. On 1st February he was arrested by the NKVD attached to the advancing Soviet forces. Interrogated in the prison on ul. Montelupich in Kraków he was then transferred to other prisons in Częstochowa, Bytom, Łódź, Poznań and Rawicz. On 5th October 1945 he was released and then escaped to Britain in May 1946, but then decided to return to Poland in June 1948 to help with reconstruction of the country.

    Jerzy Iszkowski, also a PAF career officer had already served in 304 Squadron (Ziemi Śląskiej) flying Wellington bombers and completed several tours of duty. Injured on landing, he convalesced in Warsaw, and then posted to Dęblin area to form partisan units for air support. Although the plan was approved, a train he was travelling on from Wołomin was blocked due to a shift in the advancing Soviet forces and could not reach Lublin. He joined the AK forces in Tłuszcz as commander of the 32nd Infantry Regiment (8th Infantry Division) and led attacks on German trains. A counterattack forced the unit to be disbanded, but still tried to protect the local population from reprisals. Liberated by the Soviets on 18th August 1944, he returned to Lublin to restore the AK command structure and communications. Arrested and tortured by the NKVD on 1st January 1945, he was sentenced to death on 13th March 1945 for subversion and belonging to the AK. His wife, Eugenia appealed against the sentence which was commuted to 10 years in prison that was finally reduced to two and freed on 1st January 1947.

    Bronisław Lewkowicz, a PAF career officer had served in the 304 and 301 Bomber Squadrons before transfer to RAF No. 138 Special Squadron flying on SOE missions into Poland, France, Belgium, and Holland. He was trained in aviation and diversion tactics and arrived in Italy aboard the SS Leopoldville at Naples. Posted to the aviation department in the 3rd Operational Department as an operational and tactical officer, he was sent to the AK base in the Kampinos Forest where he was attached to the “Palmiry-Młociny" Regiment. Their base was a location for airdrops during the Uprising. On the collapse of the Uprising, he joined to 25th Infantry Regiment and escaped towards Piotrków and killed on 4th November 1944 in a skirmish with Soviet and Hungarian troops.

    Edmund Marynowski was a PAF aircraft engineer who specialised in testing reconditioned engines. He was assigned to the “Łużyce” Air Base in Warsaw. During the Rising, he fought with the “Zaremba-Piorun” battalion as the commander of the “Jura” Company. After the collapse of the Uprising, he was imprisoned in Stalag 344 Lamsdorf, and then to Oflag VII-A Murnau in Bavaria with liberation on 29th April 1945. He returned to Britain before emigrating to Canada.

    On 30th April - 1st May 1944 WELLER 16 took off for Grójec aboard Liberator BZ965 S of 1586 Squadron with Capt. Kazimierz Szternal (Zryw), Lt. Jan Kanty Skrochowski (Ostroga), Lt. Franciszek Cieplik (Hatrak) and 2nd Lt. Kazimierz Osuchowski (Rosomak) with 12 cannisters of arms and parcels of cash for the AK and dropped 17Km south near Przybyszew.

    On 4th May, the RIPOSTA operations kept up their intensity with a flight of 15 aircraft setting off for resupply drops to the hard-pressed 9th Infantry Regiment in the Kielce area with two aborted drops and one shot down over Poland (Cynk, 1998).

    With Spring conditions and less night-time cover, pressure to field more Cichociemni and resources for the ‘Rising placed greater pressures upon No. 148 Squadron and 1586 Special Duties Squadron. WELLER 17 took off for Skalbmierz to the N.E of Kraków on 4-5th May 1944 accompanied by a total of 15 aircraft from No. 148 Squadron (6) and a further 8 aircraft from Special Duties 1586 Squadron made up of Liberators and Halifax’s. On board Halifax JP177 P the team consisted of Lt. Cezary Nowodworski (Głóg), 2nd Lt. Antoni Nosek (Kajtuś), Lt. Mieczysław Szczepański (Dębina`), 2nd Lt. Tadeusz Stanisław Jaworski (Bławat), Lt. Czesław Trojanowski (Litwos) and 2nd Lt. Zdzisław Luszowicz (Szakal) with a total of 24 cannisters containing a mixture of arms and currencies for the AK. It took two runs over the LZ at Dalechowice N.E of Kraków to complete their task.

    Cezary Nowodworski commanded the “Czata 49” Battalion during the Uprising and attempted to cross the Vistula to escape at Czerniaków when the insurrection collapsed. There is no record what happened to him. Antoni Nosek was initially assigned to the Białystok District, but never reached his post. During the Uprising, he was part of a detail defending a post on ul. Pługa. He helped residents escape through Śródmieście and managed to escape from a train heading for Grodzisk Mazowiecki. He re-joined the AK in the Kampios Forest and assigned to “Palmiry-Młociny” Regiment, who continued to fight until 15th September. Re-posted to the Kraków District, he joined the 106th Regiment as commander.

    Mieczysław Szczepański was posted to Nowogródek District in the 7th Battalion (77th Infantry Regiment) and although arrested by the NKVD, he had falsified his identity as Łepkowski and managed to obtain a position within the PKWN (Polski Komitet Wyzwolenia Narodowego). This was the Soviet backed ‘official’ communist government. He used his position to nullify activity by the NKVD and plotted to assassinate Bolesław Bierut and Edward Osóbka-Morawski. He was arrested by the NKVD on 9th January 1945, tortured and sentenced to death. He was shot on 12th April 1945. He was rehabilitated by the Supreme Court on 11th May 1990.

    Tadeusz Stanisław Jaworski was trained in diversion and participated in the Uprising in Śródmieście Południowe in the 2nd Company of the “Iwo” Battalion. From 2nd September he was command of an assault platoon in Bogumił and wounded. He then commanded the 3rd Company “Odwet II” battalion and caught by the Germans and imprisoned.

    Czesław Trojanowski got caught up in the Uprising before he could take up his designated post. In the early fighting he was with the Sokół Battalion where he had a workshop repurposing munitions into grenades and other ordnance. On 8th September he was seriously wounded and treated in a field hospital on ul. Mokotowska No.55. He was taken into captivity and sent to Stalag IV B in Zeithain and freed by the Soviets. He escaped to the American Sector of occupation and then transported back to Britain.

    Zdzisław Luszowicz completed training in Italy before the mission. He was posed to Lublin, but never took up his post. He was arrested by the UB in December 1944 and sent to the Gulag in Stalinogorsk near Nowomoskowsk in the Arctic Circle under a false name. Released in September 1945, he escaped through Czechoslovakia and reported to the Polish Army at Murnau am Staffelsee and posted to 2nd Corps before being transferred back to Britain

    On the same night, WELLER 26 took off for Bychawa south of Lublin in the same vicinity as WELLER 21 in Liberator BZ965 S. The team consisted of Lt. Jan Walter (Cyrkiel), 2nd Lt. Andrzej Prus-Bogusławski (Pancerz), Cadet-Officer Adam Krasiński (Szczur), Lance-Sargent Józef Zając (Kolanko) and Cadet-Officer Adam Dąbrowski (Puti) and jumped near Wola Gałęzowska due south of Bychawa with 21 cannisters of arms and currency for the AK which took two runs each to complete the drops. They were met by 2nd Lt. Aleksandra Sarkisowa (Szaruga) commander of the local AK unit.

    Jan Walter, a veteran of Narvik was assigned to the 3rd Operational Department in the Lublin District. After the war, he remained underground and managed to work for the PKWN before he was accidently arrested by the UB and sent to the Gulags in Nowogrodek district and in the vicinity of Sverdlovsk. On 13th November 1947 he returned under amnesty. Andrzej Prus-Bogusławski was an armoured weapons instructor to the 3rd Operational Department in the Lublin District and survived the war, becoming an author and living in France. Adam Krasiński was an instructor in diversion and armoured weapons was assigned to the Polesie District and commanded a company with 82nd Infantry Regiment (30th Infantry Division) who was murdered by the Soviets.

    Józef Zając also a specialist in diversion and armoured weapons operated with AK units in the forests until transferred to Warsaw. He participated in the storming of the PAST building and then assigned to the “Kiliński” Battalion as the deputy commander of the 9th company. From 9th September he fought defensive operations around the city centre and proved to be an able soldier under extreme stress when defending the post at ul. Królewska 16 from tank attacks. On 30th-31st August he was wounded in both legs and captured by the Germans. He was transported to various Oflag’s before being freed by the British on 2nd May 1945 whereupon he returned to Britain.

    Adam Dąbrowski, a veteran of Narvik was injured on landing and was still recovering when the Uprising commenced and fought with the 3rd Platoon “Chmura”. He died defending the AK HQ when the PKO building collapsed.

    WELLER 27 took off on 10th – 11th May 1944 onboard the Liberator EV978 for Ślepietnica, an alternative LZ after anti-partisan action compromised the drop. A total of 20 aircraft took off. Two planes were used to drop supplies and the Cichociemni who consisted of Lt. Bohdan Kwiatkowski (Lewar), Cadet-Officers: Zygmunt Ulm (Szybki), Zdzisław Straszyński (Meteor), Kazimierz Bernaczyk (Rango), Jan Bienias (Osterba) with courier Lt. Stanisław Niedbał-Mostwin (Bask). The parachutists jumped from the Liberator with 12 cannisters and the Halifax 9 cannisters and parcels to the Burza reception committee.

    Bohdan Kwiatkowski was assigned to the Armoured Centre “Wiatrak” in Warsaw during the Rising and commanded an anti-tank patrol. He stormed the PAST and YMCA buildings for which he was awarded for his bravery. Although a German POW, he escaped and re-joined the AK. He was arrested on 28th December 1944 in Częstochowa and imprisoned first in Groß-Rosen then transferred to Mittelbau-Dora and Bergen-Belsen and released on 16th April 1945. Zygmunt Ulm participated in TEMPEST before being sent to Warsaw. During the Rising, he defended the eastern section of the Old Town as an Adjutant to Major Stanisław Błaszczak of the “Róg” unit. After his capture, he was sent various camps: Stalag XI B Fallingbostel, Stalag XI C Bergen-Belsen, Oflag II B Groß-Rosen, Stamlager X B Sandbostel and Oflag X C Lübeck, to avoid the Soviet and Allied advances. He was freed on 11th May 1945 and worked for a short period in counterintelligence with the 1st Polish Armoured Brigade in occupied Germany.

    Zdzisław Straszyński was trained in sabotage and armoured weapons. Initially posted to Łódź District, then later to the Krakow, where he became the commander of the 1st sabotage platoon of the Brzesko District in Tarnów. He was promoted to deputy commander of the 1st Company in the 3rd Regiment (16th Infantry Regiment) and participated in a skirmish with the Germans in Wola Stróska on 4th October 1944 and survived the war.

    Kazimierz Bernaczyk a career soldier, participated in TEMPEST and was assigned to a cell in Lvov District. Escaping from the Soviet advance, he was involved in a car crash and hospitalised, receiving various treatments until May 1945. He remained in Poland and avoided arrest. Jan Bienias was assigned to Piotrków District, where he fought until 10th June 1944 in Operation TEMPEST. In July 1944 was transferred to Warsaw and joined the “Czata 49” Battalion. Although wounded, he returned to fight and used the sewers to navigate under the streets of Warsaw to Czerniaków. On 6th September he was defending the area around St. Lazarus on ul. Książęca. The following day, German tanks broke through and was killed when going to the aid of a unit in ul. Książęca.

    On 11th – 12th May 1944 WELLER 18 headed for Puławy in Liberator BZ965 S and onboard the team consisted of Lt. Ludwik Fortuna (Siła), Lt. Jan Serafin (Czerchawa), 2nd Lt. Rudolf Dziadosz (Zasaniec), Cadet-Officer Zdzisław Winiarski (Przemytnik), Lance Corporal Aleksander Lewandowski (Wiechlina) with a courier Franciszek Klima (Oszczep). The LZ was at Opatkowice on the opposite side of the river Vistula and about half-way to Gniewoszów. Four passes were made to drop the team and twelve cannisters and unfortunately Lt. Jan Serafin was killed due to a parachute malfunction.

    Ludwik Fortuna was assigned to the Nowogródek District on 26th June after acclimatisation in Warsaw to withstand occupation conditions. He was arrested by the advancing Soviet army and sent to KNVD run Gulags until 1947 when he returned to Poland. Rudolf Dziadosz was posted to the Kraków District as an instructor in munitions. He was transferred to the “Skrzetuski” unit and then 106th Infantry Division. He was killed in Sancygniów forest defusing a mine. Zdzisław Winiarski was sent to Białystok on 22nd July and failed to meet his contact, so returned to Warsaw. During the Uprising, he fought with the NSZ and Chrobry II group. From 5th August he was a leading officer in the “Kiliński” Battalion and then from 1st September “Rum” Assault Battalion. Imprisoned in Oflag VII A Murnau, he was freed by US Troops and transported back to Britain. Aleksander Lewandowski decided not to be interned in Switzerland with the 2DSP at the outbreak of war. He joined the Polish forces in the Middle East via Gibraltar. Posted to the Polesie District, he commanded 82nd Infantry Regiment (30th Infantry Division) and set up communications with the Białystok AK units as a liaison officer for Lt. Col. Krajewski (Leśny) (Operation SHIRT). Arrested by the NKVD he was sent to labour camps No. 178 in Diaghilev in Russia.

    The following night WELLER 29 took off in Halifax JP222 E for Kraków. The team onboard were significant in the pre-planning for the ‘Rising. The team consisted of Col. Leopold Okulicki (Kobra, Niedźwiadek), Capt. Tomasz Wierzejski (Zgoda) 2nd Lt. Krzysztof Grodzicki (Jabłoń), 2nd Lt. Władysław Marecki (Żabik), 2nd Lt. Marian Golarz (Góral 2), and 2nd Lt. Zbigniew Waruszyński (Zgoda 2). The LZ was near Wierzbno. Accompanying them was Halifax JP236 that dropped more canisters to the waiting reception committee under the command of Jana Latały (Topór). Col. Leopold Okulicki would succeed Bór-Komorowski on 4th October 1944 and later NIE. He was caught by the NKVD and tortured to death in the Lubyanka prison in Moscow on 24th December 1946.

    Tomasz Wierzejski had been posted to Vilnius and unable to pass through the frontlines. He returned to Warsaw to command a platoon in the “Czata 49” Battalion. On 19th August, he was injured when an explosion caused serios damage to their post and injured again a few days later. He took over the command of the “Czata 49” Battalion and later fought in the Czerniaków area as Warsaw was reduced to rubble. After capitulation, he was imprisoned in Oflag VII A Murnau and freed by US troops on 29th April 1945.

    Krzysztof Grodzicki was assigned to Kraków as a trainer. Władysław Marecki took up commander of the 3rd Company “Tobruk” of 106th Infantry Division in Kraków District and worked training units in mining, diversion, and assault tactics. From 15th November when there was partial demobilisation, he continued his activities with 120th Infantry Regiment until 5th January 1945. Marian Golarz was posted to the Poleska 30th Division as head of medical services in the Brest area. During the uprising was ordered with his unit to Warsaw to aid relief to the beleaguered combatants. Arrested by the Soviets, a bribe enabled his release in March 1946. He reverted to the family name Teleszyński to confuse the UB and completed a successful medical career.

    Zbigniew Waruszyński had already experienced the harsh conditions of the NKVD when deported to Russia after the partition of Poland. He was a platoon commander in the “Skała” Battalion and was involved in the unsuccessful assassination of Wilhelm Koppe, the SS-Obergruppenfüher Waffen-SS on 11th July. He also took part in Battle of Zaryszyn and Battle of Złoty Potok. He remained in the underground assisting escapes from purges by UB until it was safe to escape to Austria and then Britain.

    WELLER 23 took off on 24th – 25th May 1944. Aboard Halifax JP180 V were Lt. Michał Nowakowski (Harpun), Lt. Alfred Pokultinis (Fon), Lt. Zbigniew Matula (Radomyśl), 2nd Lt. Bronisław Konik (Sikora), Cadet-Officer Zbigniew Wilczkiewicz (Kij) and courier 2nd Lt. Jan Nodzyński (Łuk Zasobniki) and headed to the area around the Niepołomice Forest, east of Kraków. The LZ was located at Zabierzów Bocheński, N.W.W of Bochnia. It took three attempts to drop the team and 12 cannisters and this was their second attempt to infiltrate Poland. During the operation, crews reported Soviet aircraft ‘spotting’ drop zones to the beleaguered 9th Infantry Regiment. Route 3 was abandoned due to increased AA batteries leaving Routes 4 and 5 open (Cynk, 1998)

    Michał Nowakowski originally was assigned to the Nowogródek District but retained in Warsaw for communications duties. During the Rising he fought with the 3rd Armoured Battalion in the Śródmieście Południowe district. Arrested in January 1946 on corruption charges, he escaped prison in Wrocław and changed his name to Michał Szarzyński. The UB arrested him in 1952 and 1959 on corruption charges and died in prison in 1961. Alfred Pokultinis served in Warsaw as a communications officer with Poles in POW camps. During the Uprising, he was attached to protection squads and the 9th unit of the “Kiliński” Battalion based in the Śródmieście District. From 15th August he became head of communications until wounded on 3rd September and then captured by the Germans. He was sent to Fallingbostel, Bergen-Belsen, Oflag II D Gross-Born, Stalag X B Sandbostel, Oflag X-C Lubeka. Freed on 2nd May 1945 by US troops, he was transferred back to Britain where he stayed.

    On 29th – 30th May 1944 WILDHORN II (Motyl or Butterfly) (TNA HS4-145) Slovakian was scheduled to land at Zaborów near Tarnów. Link: Operation Wildhorn. The flight took off on a moonlight night 29th May in a Dakota (KG477 V) piloted by No.267 Squadron with P/O Jacek Blocki acting as co-pilot. Also on board were two passengers: Lt. Gen. Tadeusz Kossakowski (specialist in armoured warfare) and Lt. Col. Romauld Bielski (sabotage expert) plus stores (Garlinski, 1969). The flight was escorted by two Polish Liberators part of the way of its journey (Cynk, 1998). The Dakota landed on a disused field without incident and within six minutes had taken off with three passengers on the manifest: Group Captain Roman Rudkowski (chief of air-intelligence of the AK), Major Zbigniew Leliwa (code name Kedyw) and Jan Domanski of the Peasants Party.

    On 30th – 31st May 1944 WELLER 30 took off for Rakszawa to the N.E of Rzeszów. Aboard the Halifax (JP222 E) was Capt. Adolf Łojkiewicz (Ryś), Capt. Stanisław Trondowski (Grzmot 2), 2nd Lt Karol Pentz (Skała 2), 2nd Lt. Tadeusz Tomaszewski (Wąwóz), 2nd Lt. Maksymilian Klinicki (Wierzba 2) and Officer-Cadet Feliks Perekładowski (Przyjaciel). The team carried cash for the AK and were dropped in the countryside between Rakszawa and Łańcut at Paszkot 1 LZ.

    Adolf Łojkiewicz was an armaments expert assigned to the ‘Forestry’ Department of the 4th Quartermaster Department. During the Rising he was deputy commander of the “Leśnik” unit until late August when he became commander fighting in many central city districts and wounded during the German bloodied attack on AK redoubts in the PWPW (Polish Securities Printing House). Although captured by the Germans, he remained in Poland. Stanisław Trondowski was posted to the Polesie District as commander of 82nd Infantry Regiment (30th Infantry Division). The regiment harassed the rear of the Eastern Front and ambushed a column of Wehrmacht troops on the Litewskie-Warsaw Road. Overtaken by the Soviet army, officers were arrested by the NKVD and sent to labour camps with OR’s being forced into the Polish People’s Army. Stanisław returned to Poland on 24th October 1956.

    Karol Pentz never took up his posting in Lublin District. During the Uprising he commanded the 6th Company “Wawer” and fought with Adolf Łojkiewicz defending the PWPW building. He was seriously wounded on 29th August and died on 9th September. Tadeusz Tomaszewski fought with the “Czata 49” and “Pięść” battalions. He was wounded on 5th August and classified as MIA. Maksymilian Klinicki was posted to the Kraków District and fought with “Grom” to defend the Republic of Pińczów against German and Ukrainian police detachments. On 1st August he was in a skirmish with the Germans at Goszcza and then commanded the 3rd Company of the “Skała” Battalion when on 1st January he took over the command of the battalion. He was initially arrested by UB but released after a short investigation.

    Feliks Perekładowski was an exemplary AK soldier whose bravery in action and successes were legendary amongst the surviving Cichociemni. His actions were mainly in southern Poland from Leśnica to the Slovak border near Zakopane. He survived the war and returned to Britain before settling in Argentina under the Polish Resettlement Scheme.

    On 25th July 1944 a Dakota (KG477 V) of no. 267 Squadron left Brindisi piloted by F/Lt. S.G Culliford. The operation was named WILDHORN III (Most 3) Link: Operation Wildhorn and strategically one of the most significant operations within this sector and programme of flights. The navigator was F/O K. Szrajer from No. 1586 Flight who was the operations commander, and they were escorted part of the way by a Liberator (Cynk, 1998). On board were 19 suitcases of specialist equipment accompanied by Capt. Kazimimierz Bilski (Rum), 2nd Lt. Leszek Starzynski (Malewa), Maj. Boguslaw Wolniak (Mięta) and the courier Lt. Jan Nowak (Garlinski, 1968, 1978; Nowak, 1982). The pick-up point was at Wał Ruda, N.W of Tarnów. The crew picked up V2 parts, drawings, diagrams and over 80 photographs in the company of Lt. Jerzy Chmielewski (code name Raphael); Józef Hieronim Retinger (code name Brzoza, Salamander); Tomasz Arcieszewski of the Socialist Party who had orchestrated the Council of National Unity and presidential candidate; 2nd Lieutenant Tadeusz Chciuk, an envoy and the last member of the party was Czeslaw Micinski (Cynk, 1998; Garlinski, 1968, 1978).

    JACEK 1 on 30th – 31st July 1944 was the last operation of this part of the programme of flights prior to the ‘Uprising. The team consisted of Maj. Jacek Bętkowski (Topór 2), Lt. Władysław Śmietanko (Cypr), Lt. Stanisław Ossowski (Jastrzębiec 2), 2nd Lt. Julian Piotrowski (Rewera 2), Lt. Zbigniew Specylak (Tur 2) and Lt. Franciszek Malik (Piorun 2). The mission was to resupply the AK with cash for the forthcoming insurrection and were dropped south of Grodzisk Mazowiecki, close to the village of Osowiec. This team completed their training in Italy just prior to the mission.

    Jacek Bętkowski reached Warsaw on 1st August 1944 just as the Rising broke out. He initially commanded District 3 which covered Śródmieście. From 28th August took over the command of the “Topór” section in the Śródmieście-Południowe area and then commanded the “Golski” and “Zaremba” of the “Piorun” Battalion. From 2nd October he commanded 72nd Infantry Regiment with Gen Leopold Okulicki recognising his bravery for outstanding courage with the Silver Cross of Order Virtuti Militari. Although made a POW, he was later transferred to Italy to command 14th Vilnius Rifle Battalion.

    Władysław Śmietanko served in the V communications department as a radio operator and was taken prisoner. Released on 19th July 1945, he returned to Britain. Stanisław Ossowski arrived in Warsaw at the outbreak and attached to “Topór” section in the Śródmieście with Jacek Bętkowski as an assault team. On 15th September was wounded on the assault on the Chinese Embassy building and then made commander of the “Iwo” and “Ostoja” Battalions before being captured under a false identity and sent to Germany. He was released on 29th April from XB Sandbostel POW camp by US Troops and joined the Polish Resettlement programme in Britain.

    Julian Piotrowski fought as tactical adjutant to “Topór” section in the Śródmieście with Jacek Bętkowski Stanisław Ossowski as an assault team and operated around Wspólna, Emilii Plater and ul. Noakowskiego. Captured, he was imprisoned in Ożarów, Kostrzyn, Sandbostel and Murnau from where he was freed on 20th April 1945 by US troops. He returned to Poland and was harassed by UB. Zbigniew Specylak, like the rest of the team arrived in Warsaw as the Uprising broke out across the city. He was attached to the “Sławbora” unit before taking over the command of 1st Battalion (Kryska) and wounded on 13th September while defending his position in ul. Solec 1. He managed to escape over the Vistula to Praga on a pontoon bridge that was being shelled and trapped mid-river. In 1949 he was arrested by UB for facilitating illegal border crossings. Franciszek Malik, a career officer arrived in Warsaw with Julian Piotrowski and was appointed deputy commander of “Litwin” assault unit, located in the Śródmieście-Południowe district. He successfully stormed the Mała Pasta building at ul. Piękna defended by SS-Obersturmführer Jung unit. On 28th August Julian was appointed commander of the “Zaremba-Piorun” Battalion until the collapse of the Rising. He was imprisoned in POW camps in Lamsdorf, Sandbostel and Lübeck where he was freed by Allied troops on 2nd May 1945.

    Operation PRZEMEK 1 marked the start of ‘Retaliation’ (Odwet) operations in the in September 1944 where 400 planes set off for Poland of which 57% achieved their goals. The team took off on 21st-22nd September aboard Liberator KG834 U for Secemin, east of Częstochowa. The team consisted of Lt. Col. Przemysław Nakoniecznikoff (Kruk 2), Cpt (Cavalry) Aleksander Stpiczyński (Klara), 2nd Lt. Tadeusz Sokół (Bug 2), Cadet-Officer Zenon Sikorski (Pożar), Lance-Corporal Marian Leśkiewicz (Wygoda) and Corporal Kazimierz Śliwa (Strażak 2). They jumped near Czaryż, S.S.E of Secemin with 12 canisters and a large quantity of cash and gold for the AK who were met by Capt. Jerzy Niemcewicza (Kłos). Some of the team completed training in Italy prior to the mission and some appear to be direct transfers from the Parachute Brigade that may indicate man-power shortages due to other commitments such as Arnhem (MARKET GARDEN 17th – 24th September 1944) and the intense battle to liberate Warsaw (1st August – 2nd October 1944).

    Przemysław Nakoniecznikoff, was a decorated career officer of distinction. From September to October 1944, he was deputy commander of the Kielce AK Corps followed by Commander of the Kraków District from January 1945 juggling with the Soviet advance and Sovietization of Poland. Arrested by the NKVD and deported to the Gulags, he returned to Kraków sometime in 1955. Aleksander Stpiczyński was also a careers officer and prior to the war worked in radio interception as an intelligence officer who also set up courier routes during the Partition of Poland. He had been appointed as an emissary of Sikorski and had escaped from France posing as a false general Baron Arnold von Lückner. With assistance from the French underground, he hoped to cross into Spain. Caught in Amelie de Bains, he was imprisoned in Compiegne concentration camp and escaped. His final attempt was via an SOE pick-up operation near Tours. Posted to 1st Battalion of the 3rd Infantry Regiment, he saw action in the Kielce area. Captured by the Germans in Kraków, he was tortured by the Gestapo and Abwehr and then sent to a string of camps: Groß-Rosen concentration camp, later to the Mittelbau-Dora, Sachsenhausen and freed by US troops from Mauthausen-Gusen on 5th May 1945.

    Tadeusz Sokół was assigned to the Radom-Kielce District and commanded 5th Company of the 2nd Battalion (2nd Infantry Regiment). He was unable to take up a new posting to Kraków District and gave himself up to the authorities on the disbandment of the AK. In the summer of 1945 was arrested by the UB and sentenced to 4 years in prison and released in 1947 during an amnesty.

    Zenon Sikorski was initially assigned to the Radom-Kielce District and fought alongside the 2nd Infantry Division. From October 1944 to January 1945, he operated underground in the Ostrowiec Świętokrzyski area until his arrest by UB. Sentenced to 8 years imprisonment he was released under amnesty on 20th August 1949. Marian Leśkiewicz acted as a radio operator and served with the 2nd Infantry Division initially in Radom-Kielce and finally Piotrkowice where he was possibly forced to serve with the Polish People’s Army and denounced. Marian Leśkiewicz acted as a radio operator for the 7th Infantry Division running Station No.46. Transferred to the 3rd Infantry Regiment, he continued to operate underground on the disbandment of the AK. Caught by the UB in March 1945 he was sentenced to death for his membership of the AK which was later commuted to 10 years and was released from prison on 1st June 1948.

    WACEK 1 was scheduled for 16th – 17th October 1944. The mission was sent to the area around Tomawa or Piotrków Trybunalski, near the village of Rozprzy in Liberator KG994 R. The Capitulation Treaty of the Uprising was completed on 2nd October 1944 with the evacuation of Warsaw starting 3rd October 1944 (Davies, 2003). The team consisted of Lt. Col. Wacław Kobyliński (Dziad), a General Staff Officer, Capt. Mieczysław Pękala (Bosak), Capt. Teodor Hoffman (Bugaj), Lt. Jan Różycki (Busik), Lance-Sargent Władysław Flont (Grandziarz) and Cadet-Officer Władysław Godzik (Skrzat). They were despatched near Żerechowa Kolonia, N.N.E of Częstochowa. There were five runs over the LZ with 12 cannisters containing currency and gold to support the AK.

    Wacław Kobyliński was a careers officer and a Narvik veteran. Little is known of his role in Poland. Mieczysław Pękala was sent to Łódź as an intelligence officer to rebuild the local AK networks. He went to Warsaw in July 1945. He was arrested on 5th October 1948 and charged with spying and for working with an unspecified foreign intelligence service. On 12th May 1950 was sentenced to 10 years in prison and left prison in 1954 under an amnesty.

    Teodor Hoffman was a radio operator and assigned to the Łódź District. A German patrol intercepted him in Piotrków Trybunalski on 25th November 1944 and was shot trying to escape. Tortured by the Gestapo, he was ‘sprung’ out of hospital by the “Mokre” cell and went underground. Jan Różycki was a professional soldier and had escaped through Spain after a short prison spell before being shipped to Britain. He was posted to the Piotrków Trybunalski District. In February 1945 revealed himself to the authorities and managed to work in the communications ministry until the UB arrested him and accused of bribery which was not proven. Władysław Flont was also a radio operator and assigned to the Łódź District and posted to the 5th Division. The arrest of a fellow officer meant he changed location to Piotrków Trybunalski where he was arrested by the NKVD and released under amnesty on 8th October 1945. He managed to leave for Britain and then decided to return to Poland under the Polish Resettlement Corps scheme. Władysław Godzik was a radio communications expert and became the commander of communications V Division in the Piotrków. He manged to escape from Poland and report for duty in Italy.

    POLDEK 1 team took off on 16th – 17th October 1944 in Liberator KH151 S for the area around Żerechowa – Kolonia again. The team consisted of Maj. Leopold Krizar (Czeremosz), Lt. Col. Roman Rudkowski (Rudy), Capt. Jerzy Emir-Hassan (Turek 2), 2nd Lt. Bruno Nadolczak (Piast) and Lance-Corporals: Aleksander Makagonow (schód) and Stefan Przybylik (Gruch) with 12 cannisters containing cash and gold for the local AK. They were dropped near Tomawa with Maj. Leopold Krizar killed due to parachute malfunction. His body was found five days later at the edge of a wood near Sokołów.

    Roman Rudkowski was a career soldier and had already parachuted into Poland in operation BRACE and had returned on WILDHORN II. On 22nd October 1944, he commanded the aviation department covering intelligence work and planning further airbridges in the now decimated AK. He was caught by the NKVD on 13th March 1945 and charged with belonging to the outlawed AK and plotting to overthrow the communist backed government. His appeal to Marshall Michał Rola-Żymierski resulted in his release and in 1949 escaped from Poland for Britain.

    Jerzy Emir-Hassan was a career soldier and had joined Ander’s Army in the Middle East. He was assigned to the Łódź District as Chief of Staff. He was arrested by the NKVD in March 1945 and sentenced to 10 years in prison. Released early in October 1945, he moved to Warsaw where he was harassed by the UB and found finding work difficult. Bruno Nadolczak, an intelligence officer was assigned to Piotrków and then Łódź 2nd District. He joined WiN and reported on the arrests, genocide, and deportations to the Soviet Union until his own arrest. He was caught by the UB and tortured in the prison in Miedzeszyn, Warsaw. He managed to escape sometime between 1945 and 1947 to Britain.

    Aleksander Makagonow was a radio operator and assigned to Piotrków Trybunalski and then V Communications Department of the district HQ. He survived the war. Stefan Przybylik went on to command the 25th Infantry Regiment communications and participated in skirmishes with retreating German units around Częstochowa. Arrested by the Gestapo in Piotrków Trybunalski on 7th January 1945, he was interrogated and sent to prison in Radogoszcz. The transport was hit by Soviet army bombardment and escaped hiding in the village of Gałkówek. He was arrested on 4th October 1945 working on a radio transmission in Łódź and remained under surveillance by UB until 1988.

    KAZIK 2 was scheduled for 18th – 19th November 1944 and had a different objective to earlier missions. Poor weather had begun to disrupt Special Duties flights to Poland and the Balkans. The team boarded Liberator KG994 R for Grodzisk Mazowiecki, SW of Warsaw and with sufficient distance from the collapsed uprising that had left the greater part of Warsaw in rubble. Numerous AK units were still hiding in the Kampinos forest. The Soviet Front lay north to south from the outskirts of Warsaw (fell to the Soviets 17th January 1945) to the area just east of Kraków (Soviets entered the city 18th January 1945). The team consisted of 2nd Lt. Kazimierz Czerwiński (Bryzga) escorting couriers for the Delegature Private Józef Gójski (Borowik) and lance-Sargent Jan Błaszczyk (Kret). The LZ was near Osowiec near to where JACEK 1 had landed in July. Dropped with them were 10 canisters containing cash for the stricken units of the AK and support the Government Delegatury.

    Kazimierz Czerwiński was assigned to the Air Transfer Department based in the HQ now located in Kraków. He maintained a role in the disbanding of the AK. He was on the NKVD’s and UB’s ‘wanted list’ and manged to escape across the demarcation line between Soviet and US forces in Czechoslovakia and onwards to Britain. The role and fete of the couriers is not really known.

    KAZIK 1 took off on 22nd - 23rd November 1944 in Liberator KG994 R for the area of Nowy Targ, close to the foothills of the Tatra Mountains. The team consisted of Capt. Kazimierz Raszplewicz (Tatar 2), Capt. (Cavalry) Adam Mackus (Prosty), 2nd Lt. Marian Skowron (Olcha 2) and Cadet-Officers: Bernard Bzdawka (Siekiera), Przemysław Bystrzycki (Grzbiet) and Stanisław Mazur (Limba). They were dropped near Szczawa close to the forest at Gorczański with 15 cannisters of cash for the struggling AK units hidden the forests around Nowy Targ.

    Kazimierz Raszplewicz, a careers soldier completed his training in Italy in February 1944. Although attached to the 1st Highland Rifles Regiment, at this stage of the war with the advancing Soviet army, there was little for him to do. He went underground and was involved in WiN and escaped through the Tatras to Austria, then Italy to 2nd Polish Corps probably in Bologna. Adam Mackus, a careers officer had led the diversion courses in Audley End. His part of the mission was to meet with General Leopold Okulicki to plan the resistance to Soviet and communist occupation through NIE. He was probably betrayed and arrested by the UB. After his trial on 10th January, he was released and returned to Britain under pressure from the British government.

    Marian Skowron a survivor of the Gulags after Poland was partitioned by the Germans and Soviets, had joined Ander’s Army in the Middle East. Assigned to the Kraków District as an instructor in diversion for the 1st Highland Rifles Regiment, he was in skirmishes with the retreating Germans on 13th-14th January 1945 in the Zbludza-Szczawa Kamienica area S.S. E of Kraków near the Gorczański forest. Caught by the UB, he was imprisoned until 10th May 1945 and returned to Britain. Bernard Bzdawka was a communications specialist and assigned to a training role with 1st Highland Rifles Regiment while awaiting orders. In January he was in action with a grenade launching platoon in the Szczawa area. As the war drew to an end, he moved to Poznań and was caught under a false name. Tried for being a member of WiN, he was sentenced to 2 years in prison and released on 31st July 1946. The security services tried to coerce him into cooperating with them unsuccessfully.

    Przemysław Bystrzycki was a commander of a secret radio station attached to the 1st Podhale Rifle Regiment and continued clandestine operations after hostilities ceased. Arrested by the UB on 23rd August 1945 after a betrayal, he was sentenced to 6 years in prison and under amnesty released on 23rd August 1946. After completing his studies, he returned to Poland working in publishing newspapers and periodicals. Stanisław Mazur was assigned to 1st Battalion of the 1st Highland Rifles Regiment and was awaiting orders when the local AK disbanded and remained in Poland.

    On 26th – 27th December 1944 operation FRESTON was launched. The British Government dithered over Poland in 1944 with the Foreign Office under Anthony Eden regularly blocking fact-finding operations on the state of Poland. British Liaison Officers (B.L.O’s) under Operation FRESTON had been planned to carry out such a mission that by the time they were active in the field too much had changed for the operation to be effective and were compromised by the Soviets. The team consisted of Col. Duane T. Hudson, Maj. Peter R. C. Solly-Flood, Maj. Peter Kemp, and Sgt. Donald Galbraith. Only Lt. Antoni Pospieszalski (Capt. Tony Currie) was a trained Cichociemni (Lorys, 1993) with the others being experienced SOE operators with field experience acting as B.L.O’s. Link: Warsaw Rising. The team were arrested and eventually transported to Moscow.

    STASZEK 2 was scheduled for 26th and 27th December 1944 and the final operation for Cichociemni. The team was tasked to set up communications under the occupation of the Soviet Army. Liberator BZ965 V of 301 Squadron flew the team to Szczawa close to the forest at Gorczański and still secure from the advancing Soviet forces. The team consisted of Capt. Zdzisław Sroczyński (Kompresor), Capt. Witold Uklański (Herold), Lt. Stanisław Dmowski (Podlasiak), Lance- Sergeant Jan Parczewski (Kraska) and Officer-Cadets: Jan Matysko (Oskard) and Bronisław Czepczak (Zwijak)

    Zdzisław Sroczyński, a careers officer had escaped to France, then posted to Palestine in Ander’s Army. He was attached to the 1st Podhale Rifle Regiment as an instructor in sabotage and mining. He joined NIE and in the autumn escaped from Poland in the autumn of 1945 and returned to Britain. A few months later was parachuted on a clandestine mission whose purpose is not known and retuned again to Britain and demobilized.

    Witold Uklański, a careers officer and survivor of the Gulags continued underground activities on the disbandment of the AK. In August 1945 he left Poland and arrived in Britain on 29th September 1946. He returned to Poland as Witold Sawicki and caught by the UB for working as an emissary for WiN. He was sentenced to death and then commuted to life; however, he was murdered in the prison in Wronki on 3rd May 1954. Stanisław Dmowski, an experienced soldier was awaiting his order while posted to the 1st Battalion of the 1st Podhale Rifle Regiment. On the disbandment of the AK, he became head of military intelligence in the Silesia District. On contacting the authorities, joined the Republic’s army and graduated from officers’ college to become Chief of Staff to 4th Armored Brigade based in Tarnów, then demobilized. On 27th May 1946 was arrested by the UB and charged with espionage and collaboration with SIS and subsequently released. Fearing arrest, he escaped over the Czechoslovakian – German border on 15th July 1946 and re-arrested in the US Zone before making his way to Britain for demobilization.

    Jan Parczewski joined NIE on the disbandment of the AK in communications. Although he operated in clandestine work and frequently changed jobs including taking out patents, he became an activist in the Polish Socialist Party and harassed by the UB before rehabilitation. He committed suicide on 25th March 1967. Jan Matysko was tasked to act as a communications officer while serving with the 1st Podhale Rifle Regiment. From February 1945 was deputy commander of communications for western distracts in Poland. He joined WiN and was arrested by UB in December 1945. He was sentenced to 6 years until his release in December 1948. Bronisław Czepczak was a radio operator assigned to the 1st Podhale Rifle Regiment and saw action against the retreating Germans. After the war, he continued in clandestine operations with WiN under the pseudonym Bronisław Górecki and caught by UB on 7th December 1945. He was released under amnesty in 1947 but re-arrested on 2nd October 1950 and sentenced to 15 years in prison at Wronki. He was paroled in 1956 and remained in Poland.

    The AK Couriers

    The AK couriers followed a similar training programme as the Cichociemni for their survival in enemy occupied territory with extended lines of communication whereas the civilian emissaries completed basic parachuting courses. The courses run in the various STS houses adapted to the changing conditions in Poland to improve survival (Rogalski, 2022; Turner, 2022)

    The following table gives some indication in their roles, but not necessarily their actions. To understand more about their roles, the debriefing report by Jan Ciaś (TNA/ HS4-211).

    Source: Lorys, (1993); Bines, (2008).

    The End Game:

    The role of the AK and supported by the specialist forces of the Cichociemni were monumental in intelligence gathering and smuggling the secrets of the V weapons from which the war could be won (Koskodan, 2009; The ‘harrying’ of the German Army through propaganda, mining supply lines and diversionary actions (including infecting troops with Typhus) against local garrisons tied down divisions that could be moved easily to other fronts. By 1944 the AK had over 300,00 soldiers ready, yet still needed further training and kit before the Rising could take place. Counter-partisan action needed to cover vast tracts of forests and farmland that made operations difficult and favoured the Home Army. The mere presence of the AK and Cichociemni gave Poles hope during a tyrannical occupation and yet their activities was also to reduce the likelihood of reprisals on the local population. Cichociemni were well trained in guerrilla warfare and skilled in sabotage, diversionary tactics, and ability to live and move over their homeland. Many went into support roles to strengthen the training and operational planning that made them an efficient unit (Walker, 2008) that differed from other resistance movements across Europe and the Balkans.

    Resistance in Poland was different to other occupied countries since a large proportion of the AK were professional soldiers who had remained behind (Koskodan, 2009). While supplying the underground army eased, the logistics (particularly aircraft) and risk were high despite a 25% loss being factored into the missions (Cynk, 1998; Walker, 2008). The stepping up of supplies two years prior to the Warsaw Uprising, gave the AK the ability to disrupt communications, supply and military movements to a scale not initially envisaged by the Germans. U.S Planners estimated Poland would need 2,000 ‘sorties’ that would have a dire effect on other planned events such as D-Day and therefore scaled back which the British semed to happily accept. In the eastern provinces, around Kielce (Koskodan, 2009) a degree of liberation was disrupted by Soviet backed partisans and the civil war being fought with the Ukrainians over disputed territory that would be a key feature in the Curzon Line.

    The parachute brigade had initially been held in reserve for the Warsaw Rising (Kochanski, 2012) rather than the ill-feted Arnhem operations. While the brigade helped train the Cichociemni, their training methods and course content was designed and revised to meet the needs within Poland of an elite special force (Kochanski, 2012; Turner, 2022, Rogalski, 2022).

    Apart from the quality of accumulated intelligence, the mass damage and destruction of the railway system was of an industrial scale by the AK and with the support of the Cichociemni (Maresch, 2005). The building of intelligence networks and the quality of information, gave the Poles and Allies an advantage, particularly in the Wilno area focusing on German troop and railway transports to the Eastern Front (Pepłoński, 2005). The Yalta agreement and the scaling back of support for Poland’s Second Republic to avoid antagonising the Soviets (Rogalski, 2022) was a bitter blow both politically and operationally. Many other counties fared better than Poland with France and Yugoslavia taking the ‘Lions Share’. The betrayal in favouring the Soviets (Rogalski, 2022) was largely driven by the Foreign Office and did not reflect other’s commitments to Poland, especially SOE despite widespread reports the Soviets were annihilating the AK and Cichociemni as they fought across Poland. The Soviet stance on the Warsaw and Slovakian Uprising removed an inconvenient resistance to Stalin’s plans for a divided Europe and the need to dismantle the Second Republics hard fought dream.

    Source TNA HS4-278

    Source TNA HS4-278

    Further readings

    Bieniecki, K. (2013) “Pierwszy zrzut”, in Ujazdowska, T and Bożejewicz, K. (eds) Biuletyn
    Informacyjnj: SPP w Londynie 7/2012”, The Polish Underground Study Trust, UK,

    Bines, J. (2008) “The Polish Country Section of the Special Operations Executive 1940-1946:
    A British Perspective.”, PhD thesis, University of Stirling, Scotland.

    Celt, M (2013) “Parachuting into Poland, 1944: A memoir of a Secret Mission with Józef Retinger”.
    McFarland & Co., US

    Cynk, J.B. (1998) “The Polish Air Force at War: The Official History 1943-1945”, Schiffer
    Military History, USA.

    Davies, N. (2003) “Rising ’44: The Battle for Warsaw”, Macmillan, UK.

    Garlinski, J. (1969) Poland, SOE and the Allies”, George Allen and Unwin Ltd, UK.

    Garlinski, J. (1978) Hitler’s Last Weapons: The underground war against the V1 and V2”,
    Julian Friedmann Publisher, UK.

    Gagbowski, W. (2013) “Pierwszy kurs spadochronowy” in Ujazdowska, T and Bożejewicz,

    K. (eds) Biuletyn Informacyjnj: SPP w Londynie 7/2012”, The Polish Underground Study Trust,
    UK, pp. 16-17.

    Grehen, J. (2016) “RAF and the SOE: Special Duty Operations in Europe During WW2”,
    Frontline Books, UK.

    Hoffman, B. (2015) “Anonymous Soldiers: The Struggles for Israel, 1917 – 1947”, Vintage Books, USA.

    Kochanski, H. (2012)> The Eagle Unbowed: Poland and the Poles in the Second World War”, Allen Lane, UK.

    Koskodan, K.K. (2009) No Greater Ally: The Untold Story of Poland’s Forces in World War II,” Osprey
    Publishing, UK.

    Lorys, J.J (1993) “Historia Polskiego Znaku Spadochronowego”, Instytut Polski I Muzeum

    Im Gen. Sikorskiego, London. Marat, E and Wójcik, M (2014) “Made in Poland”, Wielka Litera, Poland.

    Marat, E and Wójcik, M (2016) “Ostatni. Historia cichociemnego Aleksandra Tarnawskiego, pseudonim Upłaz”, Wielka Litera, Poland.

    Maresch, E. (2005) “SOE and the Polish , in in Sterling, T; Nałecz, D and Dubicki, T (Eds)
    “The Report of the Anglo-Polish Historical Committee Vol.1”, Valentine Mitchel, UK, Ch18.

    Nowak, J. (1982) “Courier from Warsaw”, Wayne State University Press, USA.

    Pepłoński, A. (2005) “Intelligence Behind the Eastern Front”, in Sterling, T; Nałecz, D and Dubicki, T (Eds) “The Report of the Anglo-Polish Historical Committee Vol.1”, Valentine Mitchel, UK, Ch44.

    Pruszynski, K. (2010) “Polish Invasion”, Berlinn, Scotland (reprint of 1941 edition).

    Rogalski, W. (2022) “Special Operations Executive: Polish Section – The Death of the Second Republic”, Helion & Co, UK.

    Śledziński, K. (2012) “Cichociemni (Elita Polskiej Dywersji), Społeczny Instytut Wydawniczy, Poland.

    Tochman, K.A. (2007) “Słownik biograficzny cichociemnych” TOM II, Obywatelskie Stowarzyszenie “Ostoja”, Zwierzyniec, Poland.

    Turner, D. (2022) “The Secrets of Station 14”, The History Press, UK.

    Ujazdowska, T and Bożejewicz, K. (2013) Biuletyn Informacyjnj: SPP w Londynie 7/2012”, The Polish Underground Study Trust, UK.

    Valentine, I. (2004) “Station 43: Audley End House and SOE’s Polish Section”, Sutton Publishing, UK.

    Ward, C and Hodyra, P. (2017) 138 Squadron”, Mention the War, Ltd, UK.

    Wójcik J. (2016) “Oddział. Między AK i UB - historia żołnierzy "Łazika”,Wielka Litera, Poland.

    Additional Useful Resources:

    Gulinska-Jurgiel, P; Kleinmann, Y, Řeznık, M and Warneck, D (2019) “Ends of War: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Past and New Polish Regions After 1944”, Wallstein Verlag, Germany.

    Zbiorowa, P. (2019) “Chronicles of Terror, Vol.3: German Occupation of the Radom District”, Institute Pileckiego, Poland.













    Notable Filmography:

    “Cichociemni” Documentary Produced by Marek Widarski.

    “Chcieliśmy być wolni. Powstanie Warszawskie 1944” (2022) Documentary by Brudek, P; Brodacki, R; Ukielski, P; Utracka, K; Wójciuk, M.T and Zawistowski, A. W.A.B

    “My cichociemni. Glosy zyjacych”, (2008) Directed by Pawel Kedzierski with Grazyna Kopec, Dariusz Wnuk, Mateusz Lawrynowicz, Krzysztof Chudzicki, Maciej Skuratowicz, Maciej Mikolajczyk, Wojan Trocki, Joanna Gryga and Jakub Ulewicz.

    “Tobie Ojczyzno. Cichociemni” (2021) Documentary IPN

    Selected Youtube.com resources:




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