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The Three Musketeers - Miroslaw Feric

Miroslaw "Ox" Feric was born on June 17th, 1915, and was a RAF ace in World War II. With 8 2/3 kills, and 1 probables, he was one of The Three Musketeers in the Kosciuszko Squadron, based in Great Britain during its famous battle for air superiority with the German Luftwaffe over the English Channel. Unfortunately, Feric was the only one of the three that did not survive the war.

As a child, Feric was a daredevil. He loved to play with gravity, walking on the narrow iron railing around the fourth-floor balcony of his family apartment, and sometimes swinging on the same railing with only one arm to keep him from dropping into an almost fatal fall. He also loved to leap from the roofs of the garden sheds in the back. Another thing he wanted, but cannot do yet is to fly, he loved to go to the local aeroklub to watch planes take-off and land. Soon, he will be able to get in one of them.

By the time the invasion of Poland had begun, and thus World War II, he had already graduated from flight school and was part of the small Polish Air Force (PAF) that was defending its country from both the Nazi's, and the Soviets. Soon enough, Poland was overwhelmed but did not surrender. Like many other, Feric escaped to France via Romania, and then when France fell, took another long journey to Britain. There, he was assigned to the No. 303 "Kosciuszko" Squadron, just in time for the Battle of Britain.

Feric was the only one in the squadron who was intent on recording everything that happened. He asked, and pestered squadron mates after the they have landed from a mission to fill in a spot in his diary, sometimes his questions were more of an order. Many of them were very irritated but agreed grudgingly. After his death, they continued his diary as a tribute to his memory.

How Feric died was much of a mystery. On February 14th, 1942, a cold midmorning, he took a Spitfire for a routine practice flight in the overcast sky. When the aircraft reached 900 m (3000 feet), part of a wing suddenly broke off, and struck the tail, achieving the destruction of both. The Spitfire started corkscrewing to the ground, getting faster as it plummeted. Feric tried to escape but his safety harness just would not let him go. His friends back on the ground watched desperately, as he and his plane slammed into a runway with a terrible roar. The plane was so fast that its nose was buried up to the cockpit in concrete. Pilots and ground crews sprinted to the wreckage as fast as they can, hoping that after all that, Feric was still alive. They found Feric's dead body hanging halfway out of the cockpit. It was clear that he had tried to get out of the plane before the fatal crash but was not able to overcome the G's and work himself free.

Miroslaw Feric was only 26 when he died but his memory would always be with many. There is an elementary school, which Feric attended, in a town called Ostrow Wielkolpolski, that is named after him. The 600 students in the school are taught of Feric's achievements during the war, his diary, and his patriotism. The school newspaper, which is published every 2 months, is named Ox. On Febuary 14th, 2002, the sixtieth anniversary of Miroslaw Feric's death, the children sent flowers for his grave in faraway England.

Honour his Memory!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This famous pilot operated from RAF Northolt. He was greatly admired by many men and loved even more by the girls! He drank at my local pub 'The Orchard'... now a restaurant. His death came as such a shock to the local people that he is still remembered by the old inhabitants.
Help keep his story alive and the brave acts he and his 303 Sqn. friends survived to keep us free!!