Eugeniusz "Dziubek" Horbaczewski was born in 1917 in Kiev, but spent his childhood in Poland. His family moved to Brzesc over the Bug river. Since his early years Horbaczewski was fascinated by aviation. First, he built flying models, but as he matured, he started glider courses, quickly earning his class A and B ratings. On 14 August, 1935 he received his Bezmiechowa glider C rating. Next, he went to Officer Flying School in Deblin, where under the instructor Witold Urbanowicz he was awarded the rank of Pilot, Second Leutnant. In September of 1939 Horbaczewski did not take part in any aerial battles against the Luftwaffe. On September 17th, with a large group of Polish aviators, he crossed the Romanian border and via Yugoslavia, Greece and France, arrived in Britain. After completing fighter training in British aircraft he was assigned to fly "Spitfires" with the Polish 303rd Squadron. To his squadron mates, Horbaczewski was also known as "Dziubek". Horbaczewski just before start. Horbaczewski first met with enemy planes on 6 October 1941, when the 303 Squadron escorted bombers over France. He came up empty on his first attack on three Bf 109s. Noticing a formation of eight Bf 109s, "Dziubek" decided not to attack, but soon saw a lone Messerschmitt which he jumped and put several bursts into. The German began burning, but the victim's wingmen forced Horbaczewski to disengage into the clouds. He landed on fuel fumes at West Malling, the first British airfield he spotted. The German aircraft was claimed as a probable. During a ground strike on 13 December 1941 "Dziubek's" "Spitfire" was lightly damaged by flak. On 13 March 1942 the tail of his plane was riddled by much more threatening bullet holes. This day, during "Operation Circus" 303 Squadron's "Spitfires" covered "Bostons" attacking targets near Hazebrouck. From the sun suddenly appeared a gaggle of Bf 109s. In the ensuing combat, 303th Squadrons pilots claimed 2 enemy fighters destroyed by Cpt. Kolaczkowski, Cpt. Drobinski, and 1 probable by Lt. Lipinski. But the victories came at the loss of "Dziubek's" Flight "A" leader - the veteran pilot Lokuciewski parachuted down but broke his leg and was captured. Horbaczewski's first confirmed victory was 4 April 1942, over France in the area of St. Omer. Squadron 303 was escorting a formation of twelve British "Boston's", when "Dziubek" noticed a Focke Wulf 190 opening fire at another "Spitfire", probably piloted by Lt. Daszewski. He attacked at full speed, and from 25 meters distance opened fire. The Fw 190 followed the smoke column of its victim "Spitfire", but too late to prevent the death of Lt. Daszewski, a veteran of "Battle of Britan". On 16 April 1942, 303 Squadron again covered "Bostons" as they attacked Le Havre in "Operation Ramrod No. 20". Horbaczewski spotted a lone German fighter preparing to jump Polish Wing Commander Mjr. Tadeusz Rolski. From 100 meters Horbaczewski fired a burst, unfortunately missing. His second burst was devastating - the Bf 109 was nearly cut in two by the shells - and the German pilot bailed out. On 19 August 1942 saw the invasion of Dieppe. When the Polish Squadron encountered a group of fifteen Fw-190s loaded with bombs, Horbaczewski and his wingman Sgt. Stasik attacked the last pair of Germans. Dziubek's first burst started one Focke Wulf smoking, the second burst totally destroyed the fighter. It was a good day for pilots of Squadron 303 - - they downed eight German planes and claimed another five as probables. That brought Horbaczewski victories to 3-1-0. Horbaczewski in North Afrika. At the end of 1942 Horbaczewski joined a group of selected Polish pilots in North Africa under the command Stanislaw Skalski . After spectacular successes, they received the nickname of "Skalski's Circus". On 28 March 1943 Horbaczewski downed a Ju 88 near Sfax 1. On April 2nd his victim was a Bf 109. 6 April 1943 proved to be a very dramatic day. Spotting a formation of five Bf 109s, Dziubek left his flight and attacked alone. In first run he scored one "Messer" when its pilot bailed out. But 'Kameraden' soon hit the lone "Spitfire" ("ZX-1" EN 459). Horbaczewski dived with his flaming plane but as he was getting ready to jump, the fire suddenly stopped. He was able to coax the damaged plane to glider land at the nearest Allied airfield - Gabes. The next day he got a Jeep ride back to his home base, but his aircraft was written off. On 22 April 1943, in a major air battle over the Bay of Tunis, Horbaczewski shot down two Bf 109s. He had become the most successful pilot in the Polish Fighting Team, with five confirmed kills. After the North African campaign, Horbaczewski took command of the RAF 43rd Squadron, 324th Fighter Wing. They flew the "Spitfire" Mk Vc, with squadron codes of "FT". In combat over Sicily and southern Italy, Horbaczewski added three victories to his scoreboard, two of which were Bf 109s he downed within 40 seconds! On 16 February 1944 Horbaczewski took command of Polish 315 Fighter Squadron "City of Deblin," with squadron codes "PK". In March of1944, the Squadron was re-equipped, from "Spitfire" Mk Vs to "Mustang" Mk IIIs. On June 22, 1944 "Dziubek" had a performance of remarkable courage. During a ground attack on German units near Cherbourg, the aircraft piloted by Lt. Tadeusz Tamowicz was damaged and forced to land. Horbaczewski skillfully landed nearby on an airstrip just built by Americans. He found Tamowicz, who had injuries to both legs, and brought him back to "Dziubek's" P-51. Horbaczewski flew the two of them across the Channel to the home base of Coolham. In the summer of 1944 the 315 Fighter Squadron took part in special missions to hunt V-1 flying bombs, Horbaczewski knocking down four of the squadron's total of 53 V-1s. On 30 June 1944 the 315th squadron escorted "Beaufighters" on a long mission to Norway. In combat, about 50 km off Norway's coast, "Dziubek" scored a single Bf 109 kill. He shared another one when his guns jammed. Squadron victories for that battle were: six Bf 109s, one Fw 190, and one Bf 110, without any losses. On 18 August 1944, at 7:20 a.m., a dozen "Mustangs" under Horbaczewski's lead took off from Branzett airbase, on fighter sweep "Rodeo 385". The mission target was in the area of Cormeilles-Romilly. When the Squadron was 13 km on north-east of Beauvais, Polish pilots noticed a group of sixty Fw 190 fighters of II./JG 26 taking off and landing. The Polish pilots had the advantage of altitude and surprise. In 10 minutes of heated battle, the 315th claimed 16 kills, 1 probable, and 3 damaged, while the II./JG 26 pilots claimed 6 (of which 3 were officially confirmed). Amazingly, none of the Polish "Mustangs" were hit by a single German bullet, except for the P-51 flown by the Squadron Leader. "Dziubek" destroyed three German fighters, but in the process, was shot down himself. His wingman, Lt. Bozydar Nowosielski, witnessed "Dziubek's" victories, but none of 315's pilots saw the moment "Dziubek" was shot down. When Lt. Eugeniusz Horbaczewski's "Mustang" crashed near the village of Vellennes, the pilot's final kill board read: 16 1/2 - 1 - 1. He was just 26 years old. Shown, in the photo above, is Capt. Eugeniusz Horbaczewski in front of his P-51 Mustang "PK-G", FB-387, from 315th Squadron. Of special note are the markings on the fuselage: national Polish insignia, bomb runs, Squadron board, aerial victories and markings of V-1 flying bomb kills. In the photo below, Horbaczewski is on the wing of his Mustang just before leaving on a mission. Also included is his portrait during the North Africa "Skalski Circus" campaign. There is also a color photo of his grave in Creil, France. ;?