Horbaczewski, Eugeniusz, also known as “Dziubek”, born 28-09-1917 in Kiev, then his family moved to Brest. The son of Witold Horbaczewski and Anna born, Kozłowska. At school, Eugeniusz completed a gliding course. In 1938 he entered cadet flying school in Dęblin, from which he graduated in 1939. During the Invasion of Poland in 1939 he was made a Podporucznik, 2nd Lieutenant, but he saw no combat. He was evacuated through Romania, Yugoslavia and Greece to France. Still without a combat assignment he was then evacuated in June 1940 to Britain. After training on RAF aircraft, on 21-08-1941 he was posted to the Polish No. 303 Squadron , under command of Captain Jerzy Jankiewicz, flying the Spitfire Mk.V. Captain Jerzy Jankiewicz on 22-05-1942 joined 222 Squadron at North Weald as a Flight Commander. Three days later he failed to return from an Rodeo over France, it is believed that he was shot down into the sea west of Dunkirk in Spitfire AD233.
Horbaczewski probably shot down his first aircraft, a Messerschmitt Bf 109 fighter on 6 November over France. His first confirmed kill was a Focke-Wulf Fw 190 on 04-04-1942. He shot down a Bf 109 on 16 April and a Fw 190 on 19 August. In February 1943 he volunteered for the Polish Fighting Team, also known as the “Skalski’s Circus”, (see Stanislaw Skalski) attached to the Desert Air Force. Fighting from March 1943 in the Tunisia Campaign, the flight were attached to No. 145 Squadron RAF. On 28 March he shot down a Junkers Ju 88, then four Bf 109’s (on 2 April, 6 April, and two on 22 April). On 6 April his Spitfire Mk. IX was hit and started burning, but as he prepared to jump the wind extinguished the fire and he managed to land on an airfield. Remaining in Africa after the Flight was disbanded he was transferred to No. 601 Squadron, prior to becoming a flight commander in No. 43 Squadron RAF . He commanded the flight from May 1943 then in August he became a Squadron Leader, being one of three Poles commanding British squadrons. He fought with No. 43 Squadron over Malta, Sicily and Italy. On 4 September Eugeniusz shot down a Fw 190 and on 16 September two more. In October he handed over command and returned to Britain. On 16-02-1944 Horbaczewski took command of the Polish No. 315 Squadron, flying the new P-51 Mustang Mk. III. On 12-06-1944 he shot down a Fw 190, and on 30 July one Bf 109 individually and one with his wing man (counted as 0.5 ‘share’). At this time, he also shot down four V-1 flying bombs. The No 315 squadron later carried out operations over Germany, Norway and the Netherlands, where the squadron carried out sorties until the end of the war. The squadron claimed 86.33 confirmed victories, 18 probable and 26 damaged. After the war, 315 Squadron remained part of RAF Fighter Command until it was disbanded on 14-01-1947.
Death and burial ground of Horbaczewski, Eugeniusz.
On 18-08-1944 Horbaczewski, 26 years old, led his squadron of 12 aircraft over France on a ‘Rodeo’ mission, despite being ill with flu. The Poles, using an element of surprise, attacked a group of 60 Fw 190s of Jagdgeschwaders 2 “Richthofen” under command of Oberstleutnant Kurt Bühligen and Jagdgeschwader 26, “Schlageter“ , under command of Oberst Josef “Pips” Priller
over an airfield near Beauvais. Horbaczewski quickly shot down three Focke-Wulfs, but went missing during the dogfight.
In 1950, Bühligen was released from captivity and returned to West Germany. He settled in Nidda, Hesse where he ran two car dealerships. Bühligen died on 11-08-1985, age 87 and was buried at the city cemetery at Nidda in section D, grave 42.
In 1947 the wreck of his Mustang with his body was found crashed near Valennes Exact circumstances are unclear; he was probably shot down in combat by an aircraft of II./JG 26. The Poles were credited with shooting down 16 aircraft in this encounter, with the only loss their Squadron leader (according to German documents, eight Fw 190 of JG 26 and four of JG 2 were destroyed). Horbaczewski is buried on the cemetery Creil Commual, Department de L’Oise, Picardie, France. Oberst Josef “Pips” Priller, one of the few planes above Omaha beach on D-Day.
On 6 June 1944 (D-Day), Priller, accompanied by his wingman made a single strafing pass attack on Sword Beach in their Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-8s. This act was first brought to the world’s attention by the book, then the film, The Longest Day. Contrary to popular belief, Priller and his wingman (Feldwebel Heinz Ulrich Wodarczyk) were not the only Luftwaffe forces to attack the beachhead that day. Both Luftwaffe Hauptmann (Captain) Helmut Eberspächer, leading a ground-attack four-plane element of Fw 190s of Schnellkampfgeschwader 10, under command of Major Heinz Schumann which downed a quartet of RAF Avro Lancasters at 05:00 over the invasion area, and the Luftwaffe bomber wing Kampfgeschwader 54 under command of Oberstleutnant Otto Paul Wilhelm Höhne,
made several attacks on the British beachheads on D-Day.
Hauptmann (Captain) Helmut Eberspächer survived the war and died on 19-06-2011, age 95, in Esslingen am Neckar. The Eberspächer family are heirs of his business and are ranked 264th of the 500 richest Germans in 2013, with net assets of 450 Million Euros, an increase of 100 Million Euros over the year 2012
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