Polish Triple Whisky

A recent visit from relatives of a Polish ATA pilot had a funny side to it.

Magda Drzewiecki and her sister, together with other relatives, live in Canada and the USA. Their father’s name is recorded in our ATA database as JERZY DRZEWIECKI. He served with ATA from 25 February 1942 to 30 November 1945, the day on which ATA was formally wound up.  He was known as George or ”DRY WHISKY’ and was Class 4 qualified.  At the end of the war he was made MBE and emigrated from Britain to Canada in 1947.  

Flt Capt Klemens Dlugaszewski. He was known as ‘the Dlug’ or ‘Double Whisky’ and was Class 5 qualified.  He had been a pre-war airline pilot with LOT Polish Airlines and was one of the oldest and most experienced pilots to join ATA. He served from 21 June 1940 until 30 November 1945.  He was also made MBE.  

The third of our Polish Whiskies was Second Officer Antoni Gosiewski who was known simply as ‘Whisky’. He was killed in ATA service on 19 December 1941 and is buried in All Saints Cemetery in Maidenhead. 

Remembering the fallen of ATA

On Remembrance Sunday let us remember the 173 men and women who died in ATA service. These casualties represent 14% of the total aircrew workforce of 1250 pilots and flight engineers. The first casualty was  Douglas King, killed in April 1940 and the last was South African Rosamund Everard Steenkamp, killed in January 1946 while ferrying for 41 Group RAF. However the number of women casualties was proportionally fewer than the men. As Peter George said: ‘The women were more reliable than the men. They didn’t take the same damn fool risks.

Male or female, they will be remembered with gratitude.