Pilot Officer ANDREW CHARLES MYNARSKI
Royal Canadian Air Force
Died 13 June 1944
Age 27 years old
Brit. Plot. Grave 40.
- Country of Service Canadian
- Awards Victoria Cross
- Additional Info Son of Anna Mynarski, of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
- Personal Inscription IN MEMORY HE WILL ALWAYS LIVE. EVER REMEMBERED BY MOTHER AND FAMILY
- Additional Citation note
The following details are given in the London Gazette of October 11th, 1946:- P/O Mynarski was the mid-upper gunner of the crew of a Lancaster attacking Cambrai, France on June 12th, 1944. The aircraft was hit by an enemy fighter; both port engines failed, extensive fire broke out, and the captain ordered the crew to abandon the plane. As P/O Mynarski moved towards the escape hatch he saw that the rear gunner could not leave his turret, which was rendered immovable when the hydraulic gear was put out of action by the failure of the port engine. The Pilot Officer unhesitatingly moved back through the flames and tried to release the gunner, although his own clothing and parachute were on fire. All his efforts to move the turret and free his comrade were in vain, and eventually the gunner told him to try to save his own life. Reluctantly P/O Mynarski moved to the escape hatch and there, as a last gesture, turned towards the trapped gunner, stood to attention in his flaming clothing, and saluted before jumping. French people watched his descent and he was eventually found, but was so badly burned that he died. The rear gunner escaped miraculously when the plane crashed and testified that, but for his gallant rescue attempt, P/O Mynarski could have left the aircraft in safety and would doubtless have escaped death. Although he must have been aware that he faced almost certain death, P/O Mynarski courageously and willingly accepted the danger. He lost his life by a most conspicuous act of heroism which called for valour of the highest order.
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