Kaz Kijak
12 May 1919 - 19 Jan 2011

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kaz
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The late Kaz Kijak,who provided the picture of SX988 on the Coronation Review page is shown again above with SX988 at Shalufa in Egypt in early 1952
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His comments on the Coronation flypast ----" In the early part of July of 1953, my crew and I were selected for the honour of representing No.7 Squadron at the Queen’s Coronation RAF Fly-past at Odiham in Hampshire. There were three aircraft in the Lincoln tight vic formation, each from a different squadron. Possibly because of my extensive experience in formation flying when I was a fighter pilot, I was given the position of number three that is to the left of the leader. From the beginning of the month we did quite a bit of formation practice. Looking at my logbook, I laugh when I see the crew numbers. There was anything between three and five of us on board during practice. On the 15th, the day of the fly-past itself, there were nine of us! Joyrider’s paradise! As my position in the aircraft was on the left, I had to strain to look over Mac’s shoulder who was sitting on my right to see the lead aircraft which was flying almost on my beam. In the end I told him to get down into the nose where he could see the thronging crowd more easily and allow me to watch the leader. Mac went forward while I played the “Lost Chord Concerto” on the four throttles as the day itself was clear but pretty blustery with a lot of turbulence. We flew by in our trusty SX988 at only one thousand feet and I was glad we were in a heavy aircraft, for while we heard and felt the bumps I was able to control it. The little aircraft must have had a devil of a time. As we flew through the reviewing area I took a few glimpses of the ground and saw that there were a lot of people about. I took a quick look at the main stand and got the impression that our new Majesty was waving to me."
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Kaz was Polish and was born May 12 1919 in a little place called Kuvayevo some 130km east of Ekaterinburg in the Urals. His parents (his mother was the daughter of a southern Ukrainian Gypsy Chief) left western Siberia in 1921 or 1922, and went back to his father's hamlet, Zarudki, in central Poland (about 50km west of Lublin, almost on the Vistula).In September 1936 he joined the Polish Air force and went to Szkola Podoficerow Lotnicwa dla Maloletnich (SPLdM) (Junior NCO Cadet Training School), Bydgoszcz .On 24th March 1939 he joined briefly P23 Karas Light bomber squadron based at Torun .In April 1939 he moved to 216 Squadron, on P37 Los medium bombers as Crew Chief based at Okcie Airfield, Warsaw .The Squadron outposted to Podlowdow, southeast of Lublin late August 1939. Retreating down to Rumania and then into Rumania on 18 September.He was evacuated to France via Beirut arriving early January 1940.
On arrival in France he joined the French Air Force but swiftly moved to England where on 1st April 1940 ,he joined the RAF,initially with 316 Polish Fighter Squadron as ground crew.
Kaz trained as a pilot and served with the 315 Squadron of the Polish Air Force throughout the war .After a break of a couple of years he joined the RAF where he remained until 1964.During his flying career he amassed 4798.55 hours,scored 1 FW 190 destroyed,one damaged(later discovered to have been shot down) and destroyed 2 V1 Flying Bombs.He flew on D-Day and took part in an aerial battle over Beauvais on 18 August 1944 when 315 Squadron shot down the highest number of enemy aircraft in one action by a single squadron. They got 18 Germans for the loss of 1 of their own.He was awarded the Polish Cross of Valour and bar and was mentioned-in-despatches for blowing up a French barn containing water.
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Kaz , who emigrated to Australia in the 1960s, passed away peacefully on the 19th January 2011.

My thanks to Alan Scheckenbach who made this page possible.
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