Aleksander b: 26 Jul 1921 r: 14 Jan 1977 d: 21 Dec 2008
CB – 31 Dec 1976, CBE – 14 Jun 1969, AFC – 2 Jan 1956.
Plt Off: 1 Sep 1948, Flt Lt: [1 Jul 1948?], Sqn Ldr: 1 Jul 1955, Wg Cdr: 1 Jan 1961, Act Gp Capt: 15 Apr 1966, Gp Capt: 1 Jan 1967, Act A/Cdre: 18 May 1971, A/Cdre: 1 Jan 1972, Act AVM: 20 Dec 1975, AVM: Retained:
xx xxx 1943: U/T pilot, Polish Air Force.
xx Nov 1944: Staff pilot, various navigation schools.
xx xxx 1946:
xx xxx 1948: QFI?
xx xxx 1950: Pilot, No 70 Sqn. (Valetta)
xx xxx 1953: Pilot, No 50 Sqn. (Lincoln)
xx xxx 1955: Vulcan Conversion Course, No 230 OCU.
xx xxx xxxx: QFI, No 230 OCU.
xx Jan 1960: Attended RAF Staff College.
9 Jan 1961: Seconded to RNZAF, OC Flying, RNZAF Ohakea.
30 Dec 1962: Directing Staff, RAF Staff College, Andover.
23 Aug 1965: Staff Officer, MoD
15 Apr 1966: Deputy Director, Air Staff Plans and Programmes.
28 Mar 1969: Officer Commanding, RAF Seletar.
22 May 1971: Assistant Commandant (Training), RAF College.
18 Aug 1973: Director of Personnel (Policy and Plans).
20 Dec 1975: Assistant Air Secretary.
28 Feb 1976: Director-General of RAF Personnel Management.
Polish by birth, he was born in Hamburg educated in Czestochowa and was about to begin his studies at the Polytechnic in Warsaw when the war broke out. He fought with the Citizens’ Guard until the end of Sptember 1939 and then tried to make his way to France but was captured by the Russians whilst trying to cross the border into Romania and was sent to a labour camp in the north. Following the German invasion of the USSR, he was released along with many other Polish prisoners and joined the Polish Army under General Anders. He trained as an Artiliery officer in Iraq but almost immediately volunteered for the Polish Air Force and as a result he came to Britain in May 1943. Graduating as a pilot in November, he spent the rest of the war as a staff pilot in a number of navigation schools.
Choosing not to return to his native country, he applied to remain in the RAF and was accepted being awarded a permanent commission. In 1969, he became the last station Commander of RAF Seletar.
Following retirement from the RAF he joined Reed International as a Personnel Executive. From 1982, he was President of the Polish Air Force Association and in the same year became Director of the Industry and Parliament Trust. With the fall of communism he was awarded a number of decorations by the new democratic government of Poland including the Commander’s Cross with Star of the Order of Polonia Restituta (1990), the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Merit (Poland) (1992) and the Order of Merit with Star (Poland) (1998).
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E M Maitland
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