Janina Lewandowska

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Janina Lewandowska

Janina Antonina Lewandowska (22 April 1908 in Kharkiv - 22 April 1940 in Katyn) was a Polish World War II pilot killed in the Katyn massacre.[1]

Early life[edit]

Lewandowska (née Dowbor-Muśnicka) was born 22 April 1909, in Kharkiv in the Russian Empire (now Ukraine). Her father, Józef Dowbor-Muśnicki, was a Polish military general.[2] As a teenager, she joined the Poznań Flying Club and earned her glider and parachutist certificates. She learned to fly light aircraft by 1937. Shortly before the war began, she married instructor-pilot Mieczyslaw Lewandowski.

Military career[edit]

In August 1939, Lewandowska was drafted for service with the 3rd Military Aviation Regiment stationed near Poznań, Poland. On 22 September, her unit was taken prisoner by Soviet forces. Lewandowska was one of only two officers in the group; both were taken to the POW Camp for Polish Officers in Kozelsk, Russia. Her fate is uncertain, although it seems likely she died in the Katyn massacre, which occurred in the month of her 32nd birthday.


  1. ^ "Janina Lewandowska– jedyna kobieta zamordowana w Katyniu". www.dzieje.pl. Retrieved 2017-06-06.
  2. ^ Pennington, Reina; Higham, Robin (2003). Amazons to fighter pilots : a biographical dictionary of military women / Vol. 1, A-Q. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. p. 257. OCLC 773504359.


  • Bauer, Piotr (30 July 1989). "Wojenne Losy Janiny Lewandowskiej" [War of the Lives of Janina Lewandowska]. Skrzydlata Polska (in Polish): 31.
  • Muszynski, Adam (1982). lista katynska. London: Gryf Publications. OCLC 246675334.