Jozef Nogal's Autobiography



Jozef Nogal's Autobiography


Jozef's autobiography. He flew with the Polish Air Force and escaped to Romania after the German's invaded. He further escaped to France and flew there against the Germans until he was instructed to head for the UK. He was shot down and taken prisoner. After the war he returned to the UK and continued flying with the RAF. He details the various jobs he took in civilian life.




Three typewritten sheets


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J. Nogal [censored]

I was born in Posieke District Bialyste[sic], Poland 17th March 1911 of Polish Nationality.
My father Franciszek Nogal deceased January 1931
My mother Franciszka Nogal (Zalewska) deceased May 1935
both parents of Polish Nationality.

I attended schools at Wyszkow on River Bug District Warsaw. My father was employed by Polish Railways. I have two brothers and two sisters. My elder brother, Tadeuz Nogal, married with three children lives in Warsaw holding an executive post at Head Office of Polish Railways. His address is 87 Oliwska Steet, Warsaw 9.

My younger brother, Franciszek Nogal, married with one son is in charge of Railways Signalling System at Breslaw, Silesia, and lives at 44 Staszyon Baune, Breslaw.

Sister Kaziniere Maria married to railwayman Jan Malon, lives at Siedlec 6 Roza Street, has four children.

Younger sister Vanda married to Stationmaster Wladyslaw Pudlo, with two children, lives at 30 Podhalanska Street, Nowy Sacz District Krakow.

I left school at 18 to volunteer to Polish Air Force. 1930 I became a Pilot with rank of Non-Commissioned Officer and was posted to one of the squadrons at Warsaw. After five years flying I applied to the Air Ministry for permission to join Officers’ Training College. Permission was granted and after exams I joined the College. My training lasted three years. At the end of that period I was promoted to Second Lieutenant (Pilot Officer) and


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was posted to Lwow (Lemberg) South East of Poland where I was till the beginning of war 1939. I took part in short battle of Poland flying in reconnaissance squadrons. 18th September 1939 when all was over I flew to Rumania and landed near Czerniowice where I was disarmed and sent to Detention Camp at Tulcea. On the 22nd of October I escaped to Balcio which is a small fishing port on Black Sea where on the 5th November that year I boarded Greek ship Papagos and was on my way through Constantinople, Malta and Marseilles to join Polish Air Force in France.

13th November I arrived at Lyon. Through Winter 1939 and early Spring 1940 I was put in uniform again in the rank of Sous-Lieutant and was at Lyon Bron training to fly various types of French aircraft in preparation to join Polish Squadrons but in May 1940 I was sent on loan to French Air Force and was posted to No. 301 base at Chateaudun. There our main job was to protect the base against German sorties and evacuate aircraft and equipment to the South of France.

At the end of May I left France, flying from Marseilles to Algiers where I received an order from the Polish Authority in England to report as soon as possible to that Country, where Polish Squadrons had already been organised. As a result of that order I left Algiers by train to Oran and Casablanca, from Casablanca by boat to Gibraltar and again by boat to Liverpool. After a short rest at Blackpool I have [inserted] BEEN [/inserted] posted to R.A.F. Station, Benson, Oxfordshire for refresher course.

In December 1940 I joined Polish Squadron 305 at Syerston, Nottingham. On 3rd May 1941 I was shot down over Germany and taken prisoner of war.


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1945 – after the war – I returned to England where I was stationed at various R.A.F. units in Great Britain, until I was demobilised in 1949. Meantime, in 1948, I married Miss Jean Margaret Glindon at the Registry Office, Epsom.

After my demobilisation I was employed by Messrs. E.L. Wallis & Son Solicitors, as Clerk/Interpreter at Hereford. My wife at that time lived with her widowed mother at Cheam, Surrey, working as a Hairdresser.

In 1949 our daughter Wanda Elizabeth was born.

By the end of September that year they moved to Kingston, taking a flat at 37 Lancaster Close. Two months after, I left Hereford and joined my family in Kingston, finding myself a new job with Moss Bros. London. March 1951 I changed my job again and joined Phillips Furnishing Stores, where I am up to the present time. I am responsible here for Central Merchandise Office, which consists of Buying Office, Wages Department, Petty Cash and General Office Manager, etc. etc.




Jozef Nogal, “Jozef Nogal's Autobiography,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed April 19, 2024,

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