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This is a specially produced glossy bookplate bearing the original signature of Polish Battle of Britain fighter pilot Bronislaw Malinowski.

Malinowski was posted to 307 Squadron at Kirton-in-Lindsey on 10th September. The squadron was intended to be the first Polish night-fighter squadron but training ceased when the pilots were posted away to fill gaps at day-fighter squadrons.

Malinowski went to No. 1 School of Army Co-operation Old Sarum for the 8th Polish Pilots Course from 9th to 16th October 1940 for testing and grading. He then went to 5 OTU Aston Down, converted to Hurricanes and joined 43 Squadron at Usworth on 25th October 1940.

On the 31st he was flying with Green section of 43 Squadron which was vectored to investigate an X-raid over the sea. His engine started misfiring but he was able to reach land and make a forced landing near Havelow Farm at Chirnside, west of Berwick.

In early December he was posted to 501 Squadron at Kenley. On 11th April 1941 he joined 302 Squadron at Westhampnett. Malinowski probably destroyed a Me109 on 30th December 1941.

He was awarded the KW (gazetted 20th February 1942) and with his tour completed he went to 58 OTU Grangemouth on 6th May as an instructor. He married Jackie Leckie, from London.

Malinowski returned to 302 Squadron, then at Heston, on 10th November 1942. He went to West Kirby on 13th February 1943 to prepare for overseas service and on 13th March he arrived in the Middle East in a C-47 with other Polish pilots to form the Polish Fighting Team, otherwise known as Skalski’s Circus.

They were attached to 145 Squadron and operated in the Western Desert from 17th March to 12th May and destroyed 30 enemy aircraft. Malinowski destroyed a Me109 on 7th April.

Back in the UK, he rejoined 302 Squadron on 22nd July 1943. Over France on 8th September he destroyed two Me109's but his Spitfire V AA928 was shot down with Malinowski receiving leg injuries.

He evaded capture and with assistance from the local resistance he was hidden in the morgue of the hospital at Ypres where he underwent surgery for his wounds. The resistance passed him to Spain and on 13th December 1943 he returned to Britain and 302 Squadron.

Polish Battle of Britain Ace Bronislaw Malinowski DFC Signed Bookplate

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