Michael Purcell <email@example.com>
Plane crash near Ballickmoyler - July 1943.
Unusual document in the Pat Purcell Papers reporting the
crash of a Wellington Bomber at Curragh, Ballickmoyler,
Co. Laois on 17th July 1943.
Pat Purcell Papers.
Draft of Communication for attention of Taoiseach, Mr.
Eamon de Valera, T.D.
Secret / Confidential.
To: Mr de Valera,Taoiseach.
From: Chief of Staff, Dept. of Defence, Dublin.
Report on crash of British Wellington bomber
plane in Eire.
Polish Pilot and Crew having bailed out over
At 00.45 hours on 17/07/1943, 2 miles east of
Ballickmoyler Garda Station in the county Leix.
3 miles west of
Carlow town a Wellington Bomber, Service No. 304,
(the crew of 6 Poles having bailed out over
county Wexford - all Sergeants of the Polish Air Force)
crashed in a field, 200 yards off the road, on land
owned by George Ovington, Farmer.
Earlier reports by observers on the ground reported the
plane was spotted by the military and alert civilians
over Waterford, Wexford, Wicklow before heading over
Carlow and crashing in Leix.
Engines - 2 Perseus or 2 Hercules. Sleeve valve.
The crew baled out over Glen in the county Wexford, and
were rounded up and brought to Bawn James, New Ross. 2
of them were slightly injured.
(Google Street View) gives us an approximation of where the plane
From Wexford the pilotless plane travelled about 20
miles and passed over populated areas until crashing
about 3 miles from Carlow town.
The local Guards made futile attempts to keep away
civilians from the crash site.
The fire brigade from Carlow town attended the crash
The plane was completely burnt out. The wings were
broken off. The impact created a crater approx. 15' x
20' with several pieces of the machine strewn over an
area of 75 yards.
The crater was full of water that had been pumped by the
fire brigade to quell the flames.
There was no sign of bombs or guns but a considerable
amount of .303
ammo was strewn around.
Subsequently two Browning M.G. .303 were found buried in
Fuel in tanks- nil.
The fire brigade pumped the crater dry.
A loader and truck was requisitioned from Baldonnel Air
Corps Transport Unit.
Men from Baldonnel Air Base Construction /
Maintenance Corps loaded the remains and filled in the
A member of the Guards supplied a truck to assist with
The field was searched for ammo.
established that the plane left Cornwall at 16.00 hours
on the 16th July on Atlantic training flight. It ran
into fog and ran short of petrol.
Machine had been in the air for nearly 8 hours.
The crew were on a night training exercise.
No damage was caused to property on the ground.
Salvaged - Scrap of plane, - two helmets, - Log Book, -
Codes,- Map,-Signal Flares,
All the Polish officers spoke English and made a
statement to the effect that they had lost their
They received directions but suspecting the message was
from a German station ignored the directions as previous
to this pilots were lured into enemy air space and shot
They became aware they were over Eire.
All were glad they had landed in Eire and were grateful
hospitality accorded to them.
They stated they had read a lot about Ireland's struggle
for freedom and compared it to Poland's fight for
They spoke of the perfection of the underground
organizations in the occupied countries. The pilot said
he had escaped from Germany. His brother is a Captain in
the Polish Air Force and is at present on a special
mission in Poland landing people by air in occupied
countries when they like and where they like and take
them off again.
The 6 officers were conveyed to Baldonnell, handed over
Quinn, along with 5 parachutes ( the 6th is missing).
The Crew gave the following identification with which we
are satisfied as being true --
Pilot - Sgt Stanislaw Kieltyka,
Wireless Operator / Air Gunner- Sgt Remigiusz Duszak,
Co-Pilot - Sgt Karol Stefan Pasieka,
Navigator- Sgt Stanislaw Salewicz,
Wireless Operator / Air Gunner -Sgt Mikola Pawlucayk
Air Gunner- Sgt Wladyslaw Kaczan.
A special word of thanks and praise to Carlow Fire
Brigade, who were quickly on the crash scene and despite
explosions of ammunition continued at work until the
fire was under control also thanks and praise to the
L.D.F. at Carlow and Wexford.
They co-operated with the Garda and Military and
remained on duty all night.
All personal connected with the above incident displayed
a high standard of efficiency and duty under difficult
An acknowledgement from your office might be extended to
by Michael Purcell in June 2012 . The following data was
published on another site, < 304 Polish Squadron - RAF >
in 2012 with details of crew etc. The following
list omits mention of Sgt. M. Pawlucayk recorded in the
draft letter to Dev as Wireless Operator /Air Gunner.
Saturday, 16 June 2012
Polish (Air Force) Diaspora
I am trying to contact the following people (or their
were in the crew of Wellington Bomber
HE304 and survived the crash in
Ireland in July 1943.
KIELTYKA Sgt Stanislaw P-784039
He was a pilot, born on 1st January 1920 and known to
have been in
service on 8th July 1943 and on 17th July 1943 he baled
Wellington Mk X HE304 which crashed near Ballickmoyler,
Co Laois in
the Irish Republic. He attacked a U-Boat on 12th
February 1944. He
survived the war and died in ARGENTINA on 26th July
DUSZCZAK Sgt Remigiusz P-794723
He was born on 9th September 1913 and was a radio
and known to be in service on 8th July 1943 and on 17th
July 1943 he
safely baled out of a Wellington Mk X HE304 which
Ballickmoyler, Co Laois in the Irish Republic. He was
commissioned as an officer and his service number
changed to P-2897.
He is thought to have emigrated to BRAZIL in 1946.
PASIEKA Sgt Karol Stefan P-783096
He was born on 29th December 1919 and was a pilot, known
to be in
service 8th July 1943. He is known to have survived the
crash of HE304
near Ballickmoyler, Co Laois, Irish Republic. It is
thought that he
was living in SOUTH AFRICA in 1956.
SALEWICZ P/O Stanislaw P-794661
He was born on 2nd April 1909 and was known to be in
service on 8th
July 1943 as a navigator and on 17th July 1943 he
survived the crash
of HE304 in Ballickmoyler, Co Laois, Irish Republic.
Using the new
Leigh Light, he attacked and damaged a U-Boat on January
2nd 1944. In
every case his service number is the same but more than
gives his forenames as Mieczyslaw Franciszek. He
survived the war and
died in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, ENGLAND on 11th May
KACZAN Sgt Wladyslaw P-704211
He was an air gunner, born on 3rd July 1923 and known to
be in service
on 8th July 1943 and on 17th July 1943 he safely baled
out of HE304
which crashed near Ballickmoyler, County Laois, Irish
survived the war and was known to be living in
upon Tyne, ENGLAND in 1981.
Recent research suggests he was still
living there in 2010
Previous story of this
- The above is a true and
accurate transcript of the original document
- This document
was transcribed by Michael Purcell
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