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ORP Blyskawica Destroyer

REF NR: 4181

Although having been back 5 times during the war for various refits the most celebrated action took place on the 4th May 1942 during a German Blitz of Cowes by the Luftwaffe. Her Captain Commander Wojciech Francki, suspecting an attack after spotting various low level reconnaissance aircraft earlier, went against what was standing orders and re supplied the armoury thus giving all the necessary ammunition to the heroic crew.



The first wave came in at around 11pm and for two hours they battled with red hot guns and bombs falling all around managing to push the enemy higher and thus causing inaccuracy when trying to bomb.  During a lull in the attack the crew not only took stock but courageously assisted the search and rescue that was now in force. Wave to came at around 2am, this time with armour piercing munitions in an attempt to wreck the shipyards heavy plant and machinery, but again the crew fought valiantly managing to keep the aircraft high using the ship’s high powered guns as a floating ack ack battery.   

sun hill cowes

Sun Hill Cowes shows the damage

Over two hundred tons of explosives were dropped onto Cowes that night and if it had not been for the valiant defence by the Captain and his crew Cowes’ townspeople would have suffered far worse and episode and the devastation would have been far far greater.