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The Wellington Crew No.304 Squadron (NZ-B) W5627
Downed in Chatel - Censoir, France
Spring 1942

André Buet (retired aeronautic engineer) contacted me in 2002 trying to reconstruct the following events. The full story (in French) can be found at http://montillot89.ifrance.com and is well worth visiting.

During the night of 27-28 April 1942 a Polish crewed Wellington crashed near Chatel - Censoir. The pilot called Flight Officer Julian Morawski walked into the village of Montillot after being shot down on the return leg from a bombing mission on Cologne. Two crew were killed and two others injured were assisted in local hospitals (5 escaped by various routes through the assistance of the Resistance). Local villagers hid F.O Morawski while the Germans with the help of local gendarmes searched the local area for him. Villagers were questioned and names taken when the villagers remained silent. The troops (a motorcade of 20 motorbikes) left empty-handed. Julian Morawski was taken to the isolated hamlet of CharbonniÈre and hidden while the mayor contacted the Resistance. It was rumoured Julian made his escape from the airfield at Bron / Lyon, however, in reality his escape route was into the Free French Zone. He crossed into Spain and was imprisoned at a camp in Miranda from which he later escaped. The BBC sent a 'personal message' to confirm a successful 'home run'.

On his return to England, Julian Morawski returned to combat duty. From October 1942 until May 1943 served with 307 (Night fighter) Squadron. In May 1943 transferred to 138 (Special Duties) Squadron. He was killed in action on 12-13 July 1943 piloting a Halifax (No. JD155) making supply drops to the Resistance over Normandy. He lies buried in the cemetery at Grainville-Langannerie.


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