W. P.  Wasik                                                                                             Updated: 03 SEP 2019

Airman: v999001.htm Surname: Wasik Init: W P Rank: P/O Service: PAF Sqdn: 300

P_link: p361.htm Plane: LAN PA163 Operation: Bomb G Crash_site: Lovns Bredning.

Crash_d: d300844 Buried_d: s999 C_link: v999.htm At_Next: EVD

P/O W.P. Wasik blev hjulpet til flugt, så han ikke blev fanget. Folk fra egnen er stadig optaget af, hvad der skete dengang. Rester af flyet blev bragt tilbage til basen
i England af Niels Erik Stampe og David Ashton, flyvehistorisk interesserede, til en mindehøjtidelighed i 2007. Desværre var Wasik da lige død.

Fra De fandt en vej af Anders Bjørnvad:
W.P. Wasik, født 13. marts 1916 i Polen, blev i juli 1939 officer i det polske luftvåben. I september 1939, da det stod klart at Polen var slået, klarede han sig efter en lang rejse til Frankrig, hvor han meldte sig til de fransk/engelske styrker. Efter Frankrigs kapitulation i sommeren 1940 kom han via Gibraltar til England til RAF´s polske enhed Polish Air Force, PAF. Efter almindelig træning blev han i februar 1942 pilot i 300 Squadron. Under angreb på Köln 27. april 1942 blev hans Wellington ramt, og besætningen sprang ud med faldskærm over Belgien. En mand blev fanget, men de 5 andre gik mod Schweiz gennem Frankrig. De nåede også Schweiz, men da det gik op for dem, at man rigtig for alvor ville internere dem, "flygtede" de tilbage til Frankrig. Wasik passerede gennem Frankrig til Spanien, hvor han straks blev arresteret af Francos politi.
Efter at have siddet i fængsel i 6 måneder lykkedes det Wasik at slippe ud. Han havde udgivet sig for at være canadisk flyver, og sådanne kunne efter Geneve Konventionens bestemmelser udleveres til England.
Wasik nåede velbeholdent England for anden gang og blev nu en overgang flyveinstruktør i PAF. Han kunne dog ikke sidde stille og se på, hvorfor han i 1944 atter blev tilsluttet sin gamle squadron, nr 300.
Natten til den 30. august 1944 drønede Wasik med sin store 4-motorede Lancaster, sammen med godt 600 andre RAF-fly, ind over Jylland. Målet for Wasiks vedkommende var Stettin. Han havde netop set en brændende Lancaster gå i spin forude, da han selv blev angrebet af en tysk jager. Han dykkede voldsomt for at undgår sin forfølger, men flyet blev ramt og eksploderede. Wasiks besætning, 6 polakker, blev alle dræbt, men han selv var så heldig at blive slynget ud, da maskinen brækkede i flere stykker. Han udløste reflektorisk sin faldskærm og dalede et par km gennem den månelyse nat, indtil han med et plask ramte Lovns Bredning.
Brændende flydele flød på vandet, da Wasik pustede sin redningsvest op og begyndte at svømme mod nord. Her havde han under nedfarten set en hvid landsbykirke. Den ville han prøve at nå frem til. (Alstrup Kirke med det hvide tårn er her - zoom.)
Hen på morgenstunden vadede en noget skrammet Wasik i land ved landsbyen Alstrup. Han gik derpå hen mod kirken, hvor han gemte sig i ligkapellet. Det pjaskvåde tøj blev taget af og vredet, alt mens Wasik sonderede terrænet lidt. En flugtekspert var kommet til Danmark! Hvad ville han nu gøre?
Jo, efter at have taget sit tøj på igen, uden at det dog var tørt, tog Wasik en runde omkring kirken, kom i forbindelse med familien Gravesen Nielsen, bror og søster, der bød ham mad. Omelet lavet af 6 æg, bemærkede Wasik.
Familien kunne imidlertid ikke tale engelsk, hvorfor der gik bud efter vikar Erik Larsen henne på skolen. Han talte med Wasik, lovede at skaffe civilt tøj samt prøve at få kontakt med modstandsbevægelsen. Erik Larsen ringede derpå til seminarielærer Bjerre Kristensen i Ranum og fortalte om flygtningen. Ville Bjerre Kristensen hjælpe?
Det ville han bestemt gerne, men han havde på daværende tidspunkt ikke direkte kontakt med modstandsbevægelsen. Han lovede dog at gøre noget ved sagen. Han gik ind til naboen, hotelejer Bjerrehus, som han mente havde de rette forbindelser i Aalborg.
Bjerrehus tog omgående rutebilen til Aalborg. Han fik arrangeret transport i ambulance fra Drastrup Brugsforening, ca. 15 km syd for Aalborg. Derpå cyklede Wasik ledsaget af først Erik Larsen og derpå af seminarielærer, cand. theol. P. Dueholm, mod Drastrup. Om mødet her fortæller Bjerrehus videre: "Da ambulancen kom til Drastrup Brugsforening, var Dueholm og Wasik ikke ankommet endnu, og det var lidt svært at forklare de omkringstående, at en ambulance med udrykning skulle hente en blindtarmspatient, der ikke var til stede. Kort tid efter dukkede de imidlertid op af grøften, hvor de havde skjult sig for nogle tyskere, og Wasik kom i ambulancen og blev kørt til Suensonsgade i Aalborg."
Fra denne adresse fik den nordjyske agent i Aalborg, Adam A. Nicolaysen, et par dage efter Wasik. Man var glad for at se en allieret flyver. Der blev arrangeret en lille frokost, som flere ledende modstandsfolk fra Aalborg deltog i. Da Wasik havde nogle ret grimme skrammer i hovedet og på det ene ben, blev der sendt bud efter læge J. Scherwin, som behandlede sårene.
Et døgn efter var Wasik ude af Aalborg. Han blev ført til provst A. Hindsholm i Ålbæk sydvest for Sæby. Den 8. september kom kriminalassistent Kaj Mortensen fra Frederikshavn og hentede Wasik. Udskibningsdagen nærmede sig.  Kaj Mortensen fortæller: "Princippet for transport af ikke dansktalende personer var, at de blev instrueret om at de, hvis vi blev standset af tyske patruljer, skulle gi´ rollen som døvstum, og man brugte derfor at forsyne dem med det kendte "vanføre-armbind" (gult armbind med tre sorte prikker) ... Det er klart, at manden blev forsynet med falsk legitimationskort. Der var også tale om, at han kunne udgives for åndssvag, idet vi da kunne påberåbe os åndssvageanstalten Vodskov, som ligger mellem Aalborg og Sæby."
Havnepolitibetjent Anders Poulsen fik nu ansvaret for Wasik, som nogle dage senere, da vejret gjorde det muligt, blev sejlet til Sverige.
Resten af krigen var Wasik pilot i Transport Command. (Let forkortet)

Efter krigen havde Wasik flere gange kontakt med danskere, der havde hjulpet ham. 30 år senere mødtes Erik Larsen og Wasik igen ved et arrangement i København. Wasik døde i 2007, så han gik glip af et arrangement, der højtideligholdt 60-årsdagen for nedlæggelsen af basen Faldingworth, som han var startet fra den 29. august 1944. (Kilde: Filmen Bombefly trækker spor, 2007.)
Hjemmeværnets Historiske Samling i Himmerland har mere om dette fly og dets besætning.
Se 21 polske flyvere begravet i Danmark ud af 36 polske flyvere skudt ned over Danmark.

P/O W.P. Wasik was helped to evade. Residents of the area are still preoccupied with what happened then. Parts from the plane were brought back to the base in England by Niels Erik Stampe and David Ashton for a commemorative event in 2007. Both of them are very interested in the air war over Denmark. Unfortunately, Wasik
had then just passed away.

DFEV - De fandt en vej by Anders Bjørnvad (They found a way - about airmen who made it to Sweden). This excerpt was translated by Aage Hill-Madsen:

Born in Poland on 13th March 1916, W. P. Wasik became an officer in the Polish air force in July 1939. In 1939, when it was clear that Poland had been defeated, he made his way to France, where he joined the French/English forces. After the French surrender in the summer of 1940, he came to England via Gibraltar and joined the Polish Air Force, PAF, the Polish unit of the Royal Air Force. Having completed the ordinary training programme, he became a pilot in the 300th squadron in 1942. During an attack on Cologne on 27th April 1942, his Wellington was hit, and the crew bailed out over Belgium. One man was captured whereas the other five went towards Switzerland through France. They did reach Switzerland, but when they realized that the Swiss were serious about wanting to intern them, they “escaped” back into France. Wasik passed through France to Spain, where he was immediately arrested by Franco’s police.

After six months in prison, Wasik succeeded in getting out. He had passed himself off as a Canadian airman, which made it possible for him to be extradited to Britain under the provisions of the Geneva Convention.

Wasik arrived safely in England for the second time, where he became a flying instructor in the PAF. However, he was unable to just sit still and watch, and so he once more joined his former squadron, no. 300. On the night of 30th August 1944, Wasik steered his  big 4-engine Lancaster across Jutland together with 600 other RAF planes. Wasik’s target was Stettin. He had just seen a burning Lancaster ahead of him go down in a spin when he himself was attacked by a German fighter. He made an abrupt dive to avoid his pursuer, but the plane was hit and exploded. Wasik’s crew, six Poles, were all killed, but he himself was lucky enough to be hurled out when the plane broke into several pieces. By reflex, he released his parachute and descended a couple of kilometres down through the moonlit night, falling into Lovns Bredning with a splash. Burning pieces of wreckage were floating on the water around him when Wasik inflated his life jacket and began swimming north. Descending on the parachute, he had seen a white village church in that direction, and that was what he aimed to reach. (Alstrup Church with the white tower is here - zoom.)Later in the morning, a somewhat bruised Wasik plodded ashore near the village of Alstrup. He then went up to the church, hiding in the mortuary chapel. He took off and wrung his soaked clothes while reconnoitring a little. A master of escape had arrived in Denmark! What was he to do now? Well, after putting on his clothes again – which were by no means dry – Wasik took a round of the church, made contact with the Gravesen Nielsen family, brother and sister, who offered him food. An omelette made on six eggs, Wasik noticed.

However, the family spoke no English, which was why Erik Larsen, a substitute teacher at the local school, was sent for. He spoke to Wasik, promising to get him civilian clothes and to try to contact the Resistance. Erik Larsen then phoned Bjerre Kristensen, a teacher’s college professor in Ranum, and told him about the fugitive. Would Bjerre Kristensen be willing to help?

He certainly would, but at that time he had no direct contact with the Resistance. However, he promised to do something about it. He called on his neighbour, hotel keeper Bjerrehus, who, he believed, had the right connections in Aalborg.

Bjerrehus immediately went by bus to Aalborg. He arranged transport in an ambulance from the grocery store in Drastrup, about 15 kilometres south of Aalborg. Then Wasik cycled towards Drastrup, accompanied by Erik Larsen to begin with, and later by P. Duehold, a theologian and a teacher’s training college professor. Bjerrehus relates: “When the ambulance arrived at the grocery store in Drastrup, Dueholm and Wasik hadn’t got there yet, and it was rather difficult to explain to the bystanders that an ambulance with the sirens on was going to pick up an appendicitis patient who wasn’t present. However, shortly after they came out of a ditch where they had been hiding from some Germans, and Wasik got into the ambulance and was driven off to Suensonsgade in Aalborg.”

From this address, the North-Jutland agent in Aalborg, Adam A. Nikolaysen, received Wasik a few days later. People were happy to see an allied airman. A lunch was arranged which several leading Resistance men took part in. Doctor J. Scherwin was sent for to treat the rather severe bruises on Wasik’s head and one leg.

Next day Wasik left Aalborg and was taken to Dean A. Hindsholm in Ålbæk south-west of Sæby.  On 8th September, Detective Sergeant Kaj Mortensen from Frederikshavn came to pick up Wasik.

The day of shipping approached. Kaj Mortensen relates: The principle of transport of non-Danish speakers was that they were instructed to pretend to be deaf-and-dumb if we were stopped by German patrols, and that’s why they were usually equipped with the well-known disabled armlet (a yellow armlet with three black dots). Obviously, the man was also provided with false identification papers. He could also be passed off as retarded, since there was a home for the mentally deficient in Vodskov between Aalborg and Sæby.”

Harbour policeman Anders Poulsen was then given responsibility of Wasik, who was shipped to Sweden a few days later when weather permitted.

For the remainder of the war, Wasik was a pilot in Transport Command. (Slightly abbreviated). 

After the war, Wasik several times got in touch with Danes who had helped him escape. 30 years later, Wasik and Erik Larsen met again at an event in Copenhagen. Wasik died in 2007, so he missed an event commemorating the closure of Faldingworth Air Base, which was where he set out from on 29th August in 1944.

See No. 300 Polish Bomber Squadron - Wikipedia * No 300 Polish Squadron Photo Gallery * RAF-Lincolnshire.info * Operation 30 AUGUST 1944 - routes and losses.
See 21 Polish Airmen buried in Denmark * 36 Polish airmen shot down over Denmark * 35 Airmen shot down over Denmark on SOE Missions to Poland

Lancaster I PA163 BH-M took off from RAF Faldingworth at 21.08 hrs on 29 AUG 1944. (Source: Aircrew Remembered has this.)  p361MACR      7 airmen.