World War Two hero's memorabilia to be auctioned
Jozef Jeka, a Polish airman who fled to Britain after Germany invaded his homeland, was a World War Two pilot who won the Distinguished Flying Medal and many other awards for his exploits.
He was twice shot down by the enemy and was credited with eight kills, four probables and one flying bomb.
He married a British woman after the war and they had a daughter who he never met as he died in a 'deniable' Cold War CIA operation in 1958.
After his death his logbook, photographs, uniform, medals and other papers were packed into a suitcase and kept by his family. The case has only recently been opened for the first time by his daughter.
Inside were pictures of the French resistance family who Jeka stayed with after one of his crashes and two silk US cold war escape maps.
His daughter has decided to auction the collection, which is expected to fetch over more than £15,000.
At the outbreak of World War Two Jeka was flying with the Polish air force and after the German occupation of Poland escaped through Europe and eventually to Britain.
Immediately he volunteered and was soon in action in a Hawker Hurricane shooting down a variety of enemy craft.
On Bonfire night 1940 he was shot down over Dorset and was seriously injured, but by February the following year was back in the sky.
He moved to flying Spitfires and later began taking part in low level sweeps over the continent in preparation for the invasion and during one operation was shot down.
He was picked up by the resistance and hidden until he could return to his squadron which saw him through to the end of the war.
He was then promoted to squadron leader and given command of 306 Squadron.
Later he was posted to the 58 Polish resettlement unit and it was when he was stationed in Germany at a US base that he was recruited to the CIA.
It is thought he was part of the secretive U2 spy plane programme and was trained to parachute into Russia to steal a MIG 15 jet.
This plan was never put into action because a MIG was delivered into allied hands by a Korean pilot.
However, in 1958 Jeka was flying in a Black Deniable Operation to bomb an airfield in Indonesia because of the country's communist training camps when he crashed.
He and the other two crew were killed; their families were told the crash happened in the United States.
Auctioneer Steven Bosley said: "This is an incredible archive that hasn't been looked at since it was neatly packed away in a suitcase after Jeka's death.
"He must have been a superb pilot as the Americans recognised by recruiting him after the war.
"The US did not want their own pilots on some deniable missions, so European ones were used instead.
"Jeka was in the Polish air force when war broke out and like many of his countrymen escaped to Britain to fight the Nazis.
"He became an Ace and recorded eight kills and various probables and he even shot down a flying bomb.
"He was shot down twice and incredibly survived both, although in the first over Dorset he was seriously wounded.
"He was hidden by a French family after being shot down their, but after two months was able to rejoin his squadron as the allies advanced.
"After the war he was recruited by the Americans and took part in deniable CIA missions - he was even trained to steal a Russian Mig.
"He never had to do this, but was later sent on a mission to Indonesia to bomb an airfield, and after take-off his plane crashed.
"He is quite a hero in Poland, but died before he could ever meet his daughter who has now decided to sell this incredible archive."
The sale takes place on December 2 at Bosley's auction house in Marlow, Bucks.
comments powered by Disqus
- Stephanie Coontz’s work on the history of marriage cited by the Supreme Court.
- How Does It Feel To Have One’s Work as a Historian Cited by the Supreme Court? Cool. Very Cool. Thank You Very Much.
- NYT History Book Reviews: Who Got Noticed this Week?
- David Hackett Fischer wins $100,000 prize for lifetime achievement in military writing
- Russian historian slams Putin