X9687 - Luftkriegsarchiv Köln

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Crashes > of the R.A.F.
On 12 April 1942, nine Wellington bombers from the 304th Polish Squadron took off to attack the KRUPP factories in Essen.
Among them was the Wellington Ic, X9687 under the command of Fl/Lt. Walery Marian Misniakiewicz. Off Cologne, she was hit by anti-aircraft guns and came under fire from the 1.u.3./ Res.Flak Abt. 465, among others. It was hit by a direct hit and caught fire, whereupon the entire crew abandoned the aircraft by parachute. Burning, the Wellington crashes into an open field near Gleuel on the outskirts of Bachem and is completely shredded.

Warrant Officer Marian Bratkowski lands on the grounds of the abattoir in Cologne-Ehrenfeld and is arrested there. However, he sustained an injury to his right leg and, after initial treatment by a German troop doctor, was taken to the reserve military hospital in Cologne-Nippes. After two weeks he was transferred to a German prisoner of war camp.
Sgt Graczyk and Sgt Niewolski landed in Cologne-Nippes and were arrested by an officer from Air Raid Precinct 16 and later picked up by a sergeant from the airbase commandant's office in Cologne-Butzweilerhof.

The pilot, Flt/Lt Misniakewicz, also landed in the Cologne city area. However, he managed to make his way unrecognised towards the Dutch border. His escape came to an end near Aachen, where he was arrested by German police on 20 April and taken to an interim camp in Arnoldweiler near Düren. He was held there without any food or supplies until 3 May, when he was taken to the Gestopa prison in Aachen. Here he was tortured, including being bitten on the face and in the ears. On 13 May, he was taken to Oberursel prison, where he spent 15 days in a dark cell. It was not until 1 June 1942 that he was transferred to the Stalag Luft 3 prisoner of war camp.

Warrant Officer Jan Ludwik Broda became a German prisoner of war unharmed at a railway station near the crash site and was taken to the crash site of the Wellington, where he was interrogated by officers from the airbase commandant's office.
The navigator, Major Edward Mlynarski, was not found until the morning of 13 April, hanging badly injured with his parachute from a chimney. He was taken to a hospital in Cologne, but died immediately afterwards from his serious injuries. He was buried in Cologne's West Cemetery.

Source: Basic information on this crash courtesy of Werner Müller, Luftfahrtarchiv-Köln and Jürgen Constien, Hürth

The crash site of the Wellington Ic, X9687 on the outskirts of Bachem.

The four photos show the completely destroyed Wellington in the fields on the outskirts of Bachem.

Source: for all photos: Stadtarchiv Hürth, with the kind support of Jürgen Constien, Hürth

Officers of the Cologne-Butzweilerhof Air Base Command inspect the crash site of the Wellingten.

left, both photos
The rear gunner who landed nearby, Warrant Officer Jan Ludwik Broda, is led over the crash site by the officers of the Cologne-Butzweilerhof Air Base Command.
The death certificate of Major Edward Mlynarski, issued retrospectively on 1 December 1949 by the registry office in Cologne

Source: Arolsen Archive
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