WWII airman’s weapon deposit discovered

Explorers and archaeologists discovered a weapon deposit hidden in Wrząca, Central Poland, by a shot down Polish airman during the 1939 Invasion of Poland by Germans.

Contents of the deposit (by Paweł Gołąb)

On September 7th, 1939 lieutenant Paweł Łuczyński with his squadron attacked a German bomber raid piloting his Pzl. 11c fighter aircraft. He managed to damage a Dornier Do-17 bomber and started a chase at low altitude. Unfortunately his aircraft hit a tree top and the pilot went down. The fighter crashed near the Wrząca and Gruszyce villages, which inhabitants managed to rescue the injured pilot from the wreckage. He was transported to the house of the Popłonikowski family in Wrząca on a bicycle, where he was given aid and shelter. The area however was since 3 days under German occupation.

Searching for the deposit (by Paweł Gołąb)

German military police were informed that there was a shot-down pilot rescued at one of the homesteads, and after his disclosure he was arrested and taken to a hospital in Wrocław. The family avoided being arrested. The grandson of the man who was hiding the pilot collected all the information about the incident, including a story about hiding a deposit made of a map case underground within a field belonging to the family.

Opening the deposit (by Paweł Gołąb)

The objects were to be oiled, wrapped in rags and hidden in a case prior to depositing underground. The grandson met a local history enthusiast interested in places of air-battles during the 1939 campaign, and passed his knowledge. The enthusiast informed his colleagues from the Wizna 1939 Association, who formed a team aimed to find the underground deposit. After two tries, with use of non-invasive measuring equipment the explorers were able to find the location of an anomaly, corresponding with the hidden object.

Belt (by Paweł Gołąb)

After setting up a small trench remains of a wooden case were discovered. Upon securing and removing it to a safe location it was carefully opened and its content studied. It turned out that inside a gun wrapped in rags, a partially preserved map case with a map, and a military belt were hidden. The specific type of the gun is yet to be identified, but at this point the researchers reject the possibility that it might have been a 9mm 35 Vis gun, a popular side-arm of Polish officers.

The found gun (by Paweł Gołąb)

The objects from the deposit are to undergo restoration and will be put on display in the Muzeum Okręgowe in Sieradz (Local Museum in Sieradz). Lieutenant Paweł Łuczyński survived World War II and moved to United States of America. In 1991 he visited Poland and met the descendants of the family which sheltered him in 1939.

The descendants of the Popłonikowski family (by Paweł Gołąb)

(after Paweł Gołąb, Historykon & Nasze Miasto)

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