Zdzisław Henneberg

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Zdzisław Henneberg
Born (1911-05-11)11 May 1911
Warsaw
Died 12 May 1941(1941-05-12) (aged 30)
Missing in Action
Allegiance  Poland
Service/branch  Polish Air Force
 Royal Air Force
Years of service 1931-1941
Rank Flight Lieutenant
Service number P1393
Unit No. 303 Squadron RAF
Commands held No. 303 Squadron RAF
Battles/wars

World War II

Awards Virtuti Militari, Distinguished Flying Cross, Krzyz Zaslugi (Triple Bar), Croix de Guerre

Zdzisław Henneberg VM, DFC, KZ***, CdeG (11 May 1911 – 12 April 1941) was a Polish airman who flew with the Royal Air Force during the Battle of Britain and a flying ace of the Second World War.

Early Life & Career[edit]

Henneberg was born on 11 May 1914 in Warsaw. He graduated from the VIIIth Polish Air Force and pre war was an instructor at the advanced flight training school.[1] He was stationed as an instructor in Deblin when the German invasion of Poland commenced, and volunteered for combat flying. After the USSR's invasion of Poland he evacuated to Romania and from there to France, where he was trained on the Morane-Saulnier M.S.406.

Battle of France[edit]

During the German invasion of France Henneberg was put in command of a MB.152 fighter group. He was stationed at Chateauroux, which was abandoned by its French personnel on 17 June 1940, upon which Henneberg evacuated to England, reaching it via Bourdeaux with three other pilots - this was the only Polish evacuation from France to England by plane.

Battle of Britain[edit]

On 2 August 1940 Henneberg joined No. 303 Squadron RAF, under the command of Squadron Leader Kellett. He was shot down on 31 August during his first operational mission. On 2 September 1940 Henneberg was credited with one damaged enemy aircraft. Five days later in a battle over Essex Henneberg claimed two victories, one certain and one 'probable' Bf 109. On 15 September 1940 (later known as Battle of Britain Day), Henneberg was attacked by a number of Bf 109s. He defended himself and destroyed one Do 17.

Henneberg temporarily took command of No. 303 Squadron RAF from Witold Urbanowicz on 21 September 1940. On 27 September he was credited with a Bf 109 and on 5 October he shot down a Bf 110 from the Erprobungsgruppe 210.[2]

In a ceremony on 15 December he was awarded a DFC for bravery and claiming 8 victories in the Battle of Britain by the Air Officer Commanding Fighter Command Air Chief Marshal Sholto Douglas.[3]

Later War & Death[edit]

Henneberg temporarily relinquished command of No. 303 Squadron RAF on 7 November 1940 to Adam Kowalczyk, before taking over permanently on 20 February 1941.[4]

On 12 April 1941 Henneberg led six Supermarine Spitfires in an attack on airfields near Le Touquet and Crecy.[5] During the attack Henneberg's plane was damaged by anti-aircraft fire. He managed to fly his plane out of occupied France, but had to ditch it in the English Channel 20 miles from Dungeness.[6] Zbigniew Kustrzyński reported seeing Henneberg in the water and reported his position, but a two-day search could not find him and his body was never found.

He is remembered on the Battle of Britain Monument in London, the Polish Memorial to Aircrew in Warsaw and the Polish War Memorial near RAF Northolt.

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://web.archive.org/web/20010306024158/http://www.elknet.pl/acestory/henne/henne.htm
  2. ^ Battle of Britain Pilot List, Extract Retrieved February 2015
  3. ^ 303 Squadron Pictures Retrieved February 2015
  4. ^ 303 Squadron Commander List Retrieved February 2015
  5. ^ http://web.archive.org/web/20111009063131/http://www.aircrewremembrancesociety.com/raf1941/3/hennebergzdzislaw.html
  6. ^ Polish Airforce Henneberg Biography (Polish) Retrieved February 2015

External links[edit]