Sgt. Kazimierz Stankiewicz was the pilot of Spitfire BS534 who experienced serious engine trouble on a reconnaisance flight over the northern part of The Netherlands in the afternoon of October 13, 1944. He made an emergency landing in high grass near Schokland, east of Urk, and apart from a sore shoulder, he was unhurt. Failing to set fire to his aircraft, he threw his parachute and Mae West in the high grass near his crashed Spit. He walked away from the aircraft and then sat down to smoke a cigarette.
Soon two young men from Kampen, L. Wit and H. van Putten, who had witnessed his belly landing approached him. They brought Stankiewicz to Opperwachtmeester J.T. den Besten of the Marechaussee (Military Police) at the police station at Ramspol. Here, T.H. Nieuwenhuis from IJsselmuiden supplied a civilian suit for the airman. Changed into ‘civvies’, Stankiewicz was taken on the back of a bike to ‘Kamp Zwartemeer’, between Ramspol and Kadoelen, by Wit and Van Putten. He stayed here for about five days and then transferred to the ‘Centrale Werkplaats of the Directie Wieringermeer’ near Kamp Vollenhove. On October 18, Stankiewicz was collected by a man on a motorbike who took him to a hut near Emmeloord. This hut was also the hide-out of mr. Lankwaarden, who himself is in hiding there, and the airman stayed there for the night. The next evening, a policeman brought the pilot on a motorbike to Vollenhove where he stayed in the house of the reverend Tjadens for the night. The next day, he was taken to the house of notary van Kluyve where he stayed for about two weeks.
Wiebe Soetendael, the local leader of the Binnenlandse Strijdkrachten (e: Dutch Forces of the interior), collected Stankiewicz on November 3 in Vollenhove and brought him on the back of his motorbike to farmer Bruinsma in Marknesse. The airman stayed there for one night in a hut and Soetendael returned the next day and brought him to the ferry at Ramspol. On the other side of the ferry crossing, Wim Elzenga was waiting for Stankiewicz and when he had arrived, they cycled together to Kampen. He initially stayed with Elzenga for about a week and then moved to dentist Troost where he stayed till November 12. He then moved to the house of Mr. van Vondel where he stayed till after Christmas. His next hiding address is with mr. Bachus and he then moved to mr. Wierenga. His last hiding address was with dentist Westerop and family who lived at the Vloeddijk in Kampen.
Finally, on February 13, 1945, Stankiewicz left Kampen. Mr. Lankwaarden, with whom he had stayed earlier, escorted the airman to the farm of the van Wijk family at the Lekdijk 35 in Wijk bij Duurstede, a cycle trip of nearly 11 hours. The airman stayed here until March 3 when Mr. Lankwaarden returned and escorted him to the reverend van der Ros, A13 in Tull en ‘t Waal. He hid here until March 10 and was then escorted by Mrs. Lankwaarden and Tini de Groot to Groot Ammers. Near the so-called ‘Plofsluis’, a weir in the Rijn-Lek canal they met three other airman and their escorts. This were F/O. Paul W. d’Albenas (E1006), 2/Lt. Jack A. Murrell (E0722) and 2/Lt. A. Ray Kubly (E0851) with whom Stankiewicz travelled further. After spending some hours on a farm in Schoonhoven, the now four airmen cycled on to the Lek river. Early in the evening they arrive at the rendez-vour for their first crossing and with the help of the Lek Groep, they crossed the river in an inflatable dinghy. Kubly and Murrell were taken to farm to spend the night while Stankiewicz and D’Albenas went to stay with the Hakkesteegt family in Groot-Ammers.
The next morning, the two airmen and two escorts cycled to the house of Dr. Ingelse in Bleskensgraaf where later in the afternoon, they were re-joined by Kubly and Murrell. Stankiewicz and D’Albenas were then taken for the night to the farm of the De Haan family in Molenaarsgraaf. The two Americans spend the night with the reverend Dekker in Molenaarsgraaf-Brandwijk. Late in the afternoon of March 12, Stankiewicz and D’Albenas cycled to Sliedrecht where they re-joined both Americans at the house of the van Woerkom family at the Rivierdijk 486 in Sliedrecht. This was the departure point for their Biesbosch escape route. At 5 o’clock in the afternoon, the four airmen boarded a rowing boat with a Dutchman who introduced himself as ‘Skipper’. They departed straight away and crossing the Merwede, they entered a canal passing the Helsluis lock. On reaching, the Nieuwe Merwede, the ‘Skipper’ waited till half past seven and then rowed downstream onto this river towards the Hollands Diep. Reaching this river, the boat turned left and crossed to the other bank, arriving in Lage Zwaluwe at about a quarter to eleven in the evening. Here they were challenged by Canadian soldiers and after identifying themselves, were allowed onshore as free men.
Stankiewicz survived the war and emigrated to Australia where he passed away on 7 July 1989 at the age of 69.