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Józef Jeka
Jozef Jeka.jpg
Born (1917-04-06)6 April 1917
Died April 13, 1958(1958-04-13)
Place of birth Tupadły, German Empire
(present-day Poland)
Place of death Manado
Allegiance

Flag of Poland.svg Poland

Flag of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom
Service/branch

PL air force flag IIIRP.svg Polish Air Force

Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svg Royal Air Force
Years of service 1937-1958
Rank squadron leader
Unit Polish 141st Fighter Escadrille
No. 238 Squadron RAF
No. 306 Polish Fighter Squadron
No. 308 Polish Fighter Squadron
No. 316 Polish Fighter Squadron
Commands held No. 306 Polish Fighter Squadron
Battles/wars Polish Defensive War, World War II
Awards Virtuti Militari; Cross of Valour; Cross of Merit with Swords (Poland); Distinguished Flying Medal; 1939–1945 Star; France and Germany Star; Defence Medal (United Kingdom); War Medal 1939–1945; Air Force Medal for War 1939-45 (Poland)

Józef Jeka was a Polish fighter ace of the Polish Air Force in World War II with 8 confirmed kills.

BiographyEdit

Early yearsEdit

Józef Jeka was born in Tupadły (present-day it is part of the town Władysławowo). He was the son of Antoni and Agata Mudlaff.[1][better source needed] Józef's father was a Polish independence activist.[2][better source needed] Two Józef's brothers, Alfons and Stanisław belonged to the Pomeranian Griffin.

On 1 August 1937 Józef Jeka entered the Non-Commissioned Officer's School for minors. Then he participated in a course in aircraft maintenance. After completing his flying training[3][better source needed] and then a fighter pilot course, he was assigned to Polish 141st Fighter Escadrille.

World War IIEdit

During the September Campaign Jeka flew a PZL P.11. After the Soviet invasion of Poland he crossed the border with Romania, where he was interned. He escaped to France via Yugoslavia and Greece, on 23 October he arrived in Marseilles.

On 23 February 1940 he came to England. After training in Blackpool and Carlisle[4][5] Jeka was sent to No. 238 Squadron RAF. He shot down his first plane on 15 September 1940. He became an ace on 7 October when he downed a Ju 88 (it was his 5th victory). On 5 October Jeka himself was shot down and wounded. He was hospitalized till 15 November in Shaftesbury. From 15 November 1940 to 15 December 1941 he flew in No. 306 Polish Fighter Squadron and destroyed two Bf 109. From December 1941 to March 1942 Jeka was an instructor in No. 58 Operational Training Unit based at RAF Grangemouth. He came back to his squadron on 25 May 1942.

On 9 December 1942 he enterred officers school. Named porucznik he was ordered to No. 308 (Polish) Squadron, he also served in No. 316 Polish Fighter Squadron. On 21 May 1944 Jeka was hit by flak over France and had to jump with a parachute. Fortunately he managed to hide thanks to the French Resistance. Two months after the front reached his place of residence and Jeka returned to his unit. On 25 May 1945[6] he became commander of the 306 squadron.

On 31 December 1949 Jeka ended his service in the Polish Air Force.

Cold WarEdit

After the war ended Jeka stayed in the RAF and served in Germany as a soldier of the occupation forces. He married a British woman and had a daughter who he never met.[7] In Germany he received an offer to work for the CIA, Jeka willingly accepted as an avowed anti-communist. Since 1950 he collaborated with British and American intelligence, he flight-tested the aircraft U-2 and completed missions over Central and Eastern Europe.[8][better source needed] He was considered as a candidate to steal a soviet Mig 15. The mission was cancelled, when on 5 March 1953, an other polish pilot Franciszek Jarecki landed his mig on Bornholm.

In the 1950s Jeka took part in the indonesian conflict where he died in an aircraft crash, flying a B-26B, on 13 April 1958.

Awards[9][better source needed]Edit

Virtuti Militari Ribbon Virtuti Militari, Silver Cross
POL Krzyż Walecznych (1940) 4r BAR Cross of Valour (Poland), four times
POL Srebrny Krzyż Zasługi z Mieczami BAR Cross of Merit with Swords (Poland)
Distinguished Flying Medal ribbon Distinguished Flying Medal
Ribbon - 1939-45 Star 1939–1945 Star
Ribbon - France and Germany Star France and Germany Star
Ribbon - Defence Medal Defence Medal (United Kingdom)
Ribbon - War Medal War Medal 1939–1945
POL Medal Lotniczy 4r BAR Air Force Medal for War 1939-45 (Poland)

Military promotions[10][better source needed][11][better source needed]Edit

Polish Air ForceEdit

  • szeregowy - 1 August 1937
  • starszy szeregowy - 1 April 1938
  • kapral - 30 June 1939
  • plutonowy - 15 October 1941
  • podporucznik - 1 November 1941
  • porucznik - 1 March 1943
  • kapitan - 1 January 1946
  • major - 15 August 1947

Royal Air ForceEdit

ReferencesEdit

Further readingEdit

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