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Polish Spitfire pilot dies at Shropshire home

Shrewsbury | News | Published:

A Polish fighter pilot who escaped from his defeated homeland in 1939 and made his way to Britain to fly with the RAF has died in a Shropshire nursing home, aged 92.

A Polish fighter pilot who escaped from his defeated homeland in 1939 and made his way to Britain to fly with the RAF has died in a Shropshire nursing home, aged 92.

Spitfire pilot Eddie Mazur, from Shrewsbury, had flown from a number of Shropshire airfields and during wartime service downed three V1 flying bombs. Later he provided live flying training to student air traffic controllers from RAF Shawbury.

At his retirement from flying at the age of 65 he had completed 16,000 flying hours and about 23,000 landings.

He died at Roden Hall Nursing Home on May 15 and the funeral was at St Winefride's RC Church, Shrewsbury, last Friday.

He is survived by his wife Gladys, children Christine Moss and Marek Mazur, two grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

Born Edward Mazur in December 1919 near Warsaw, in a part of Poland which is now in Ukraine, he was training to be a monk before learning to fly gliders and getting the flying bug.

In 1938 he joined the Polish Air Force. After invasion by Stalin's Russia in 1939 he flew a biplane from northern Poland – now Latvia – to Riga. He was imprisoned by the Russians, at one time sent to a Siberian camp and being sentenced to death for stealing a loaf of bread.

Salvation came in 1941 when Germany invaded Russia, and Polish prisoners were released to come to Britain.

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With the RAF Mr Mazur served with 57, 291, 577, and 317 Polish Squadron, flying aircraft ranging from Spitfires and Hurricanes to Vengeance dive bombers and Oxford trainers.

His service included spells at RAF Rednal, near Oswestry, and RAF Montford Bridge.

Post-war he was at RAF Shawbury, flying piston Provosts, Vampire jets, and Jet Provosts, to provide live flying training to student air traffic controllers.

His funeral was followed by interment at the South Shropshire Remembrance Park, Rushbury.

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