November 27, 1922 - November 15, 1944
Michael Pawlowski, born in Vilna, Alberta, was the son of Albert Pawlowski (1885-1978), blacksmith, and Juliana (nee Ewankiwich) Pawlowski (1891-1983) of Spedden, Alberta. He had three brothers and four sisters: Peter, Joseph, John, Nancy, Anne, Mary, and Katie. Peter was with the Canadian Army and Joseph was with the RCAF. The family was Roman Catholic, of Polish and Ukrainian heritage.
He worked as a postmaster’s assistant, then a store clerk prior to enlistment in the RCAF. He spoke both English and Ukrainian. He enjoyed baseball, softball, hockey, and mechanical drawing, plus photography. He had an appendectomy in 1935. His education: completed Grade X and half of Grade XI.
Michael stood 5’11” tall, had brown eyes and brown hair when he enlisted in Calgary on July 18, 1941. He smoked 15 cigarettes a day and moderately drank alcohol. He had taken an 18-week course as a fitter (aircraft engine) under the War Emergency Service at the Provincial Institute of Technology and Art, Calgary, finishing April 10, 1941. He was rated as very good, keen, able, and energetic. “He has a rather foreign appearance, but has no language difficulty. He is quiet and went right ahead with his work.” He was graded 78% in shopwork and 73% in theory.
He started his journey through the BCATP at No. 1 Manning Depot, Toronto, July 18, 1941, until August 1, 1941. He was then sent to TTS St. Thomas, Ontario until December 17, 1941. He was taken on strength as an Aero Engine Mechanic (AEM) at No. 10 Repair Depot, Calgary December 18, 1941 until June 6, 1943.
He remustered for pilot training and was sent to No. 3 Manning Depot, Edmonton, June 7, 1943, then to No. 4 ITS, Edmonton June 27, 1943. July 5, 1943: “Fit. Age 21, AEM, average motivation. Poorly educated, but fairly keen.” On September 3, 1943: “Grade 10, normal sports, enlisted from school. A diligent worker, neat, alert, and intelligent. Is serious minded and dependable. Speaks Ukrainian.” Michael earned 76%.
Michael was sent to No. 5 EFTS, High River, Alberta, September 5 until October 30, 1943. “Clear hood flying good average. Turning sequence rough – inclined to be coarse on controls. Instrument flying shows same faults. Chases air speed. Compass work good. Conduct and attitude satisfactory. Had no trouble with ground school.” He earned 79.3% in Ground School and 68.6% in Flying Tests. He was then taken on strength at No. 7 SFTS, Macleod, Alberta until April 7, 1944. He took a St. Johns Ambulance Course February 10, 1944. He earned 71.1% in Ground School and 68.3% in Flying Tests. “Keen and conscientious, slow, but very willing, good material.” He was sent to No. 3 AGTS, Three Rivers, Manitoba April 8, 1944. Michael was then at Y Depot, Lachine, Quebec, May 7, 1944 and then taken on strength at No. 2 ANS, Charlottetown, PEI, May 30, 1944.
Michael was in the station hospital November 6-11, 1941, and again November 2, 1942, November 4 – 9, 1942, then December 1 – 9, 1942.
Aboard Anson 11659, he was lost during a routine night navigation exercise. Michael was the pilot. Others lost were Corporal William Leslie, Wireless Operator, LAC Albert William Hawkes, RAF, Navigator under training, and LAC Jack Ambler, RAF, Navigator under training. From the crash card: “A/C 11659 was airborne 2313GMT. A/C was not heard from after 0002 hours. _/T/B which was sent out to all a/c was not acknowledged by a/c 11659. Ceiling of 5000′ with visibility 15 miles between 2330 and 0330 GMT. Weather unfit. Cause: Error of judgement on part of pilot concerned in failing to return to base as soon as he encountered weather which was unfit for flying. Recommendations: Nil. Conclusions of A.I.B.: Cause obscure but undoubtedly the chief factor was the weather.”
Michael had $95 in War Savings Certificates. He left his estate to his mother.
Michael had no known grave and his name appears on the Ottawa Memorial.