A new exhibit in Czyżyny at the Polish Aviation Museum.
Lockheed CF-104 Starfighter.
The Lockheed F-104 fighter is one of the most famous combat aircraft in the West, 60-70 years of the 20th century. The first flight took place in 1954. A total of 2,615 were built. The plane was also produced outside the US. Among others in Italy - F-104 S ASA-M. One of such copies of MLP in Czyżyny in Krakow already has.
Canada was the second country to build the F-104 under a license. The producer was a very famous company Canadair. Canadians bought a license for the single-seat version of the F-104 G and the two-seat version of the TF-104 G. The single-seat version was licensed for 200 units. Factory designation CL-90, military designation initially CF-111, changed to CF-104. The first flight of the Canadian plane took place on March 28, 1961. 38 units were built in the two-seater version. Military designation CF-104 D. The first flight took place on June 14, 1961. Canadian aircraft were equipped with J 79-OEL-7 engines produced in Canada by the Orenda company.
Canadian planes were bought by the Danish Air Force. Denmark bought 40 CF-104 machines and 11 CF-104 D machines. The Danes bought these machines so that they could use nuclear weapons to attack the Warsaw Pact countries. It was a response to the arming of the Polish Military Aviation with the shock Su-7 B (also with nuclear weapons). Airplanes manufactured in Canada as strike planes, initially lacked small arms and a proper sight. It was only after a few years that the planes were armed with the M 61 Vulcan cannon, as well as anti-aircraft guided missiles and appropriate equipment.
At the beginning of June 2011, another exhibit appeared at the Polish Aviation Museum in Czyżyny. One of the Danish CF-104 nb R-855 aircraft No. 63-12855 / 1155. According to this number, the machine was manufactured in 1963.
According to the available information, the CF-104 nb R-855 was acquired in exchange for the Lim plane. The Danes intend to make a facelift of the plane on the MiG-15 bis No. pilot Franciszek Jarecki in 1953, fled to the West. The plane is to be erected as a monument on the island of Bornholm.
In January 1953, 2nd Lt. Franciszek Jarecki was assigned to a unit near Słupsk (28th PLM). It was a young man's dream come true. He became a military pilot. Military counterintelligence, as well as other young officers, tried to persuade Jarecki to cooperate. They use threats and pleas as usual. The boy panics because he concealed in the documents that his mother is the owner of the store and has a family in the USA. In order to postpone the situation, he joined the Polish United Workers' Party. He planned the escape himself. Its destination was the island of Bornholm, where, according to propaganda, the NATO base was located.
In January 1953, the first copies of the most modern MiG-15 bis fighters were delivered to Poland. They are located mainly at airports in the northern part of the country. Among others, next to Słupsk. Airplanes were included in the system of constant combat duty. Very often, the pilot was in the cabin of a fighter ready for take-off at any time during his duty. The radio was listening continuously. The secret of the MiG-15 bis aircraft is evidenced by the fact that their stools were isolated, surrounded by barbed wire and guarded by a watch.
The fact that 2nd Lt. Franciszek Jarecki found his way to this unit testified to the high level of his training and the trust of his superiors in his skills. For example, it could go to the 7th DLM deployed in the south of the country and using Yak-23 fighters at that time.
On March 5, 1953, Franciszek Jarecki was assigned the first independent flight on the MiG-15 bis No. 3046 / 346. The flight was to be led by a second MiG-15 bis fighter, which was piloted by Lieutenant Józef Caputa's instructor. The planes took off as planned. They headed towards the Baltic Sea with an increase in altitude of up to 1,500 m. During the flight, Franciszek Jarecki, as being led, separated from the leader and descended sharply to the altitude of 200 m. The instructor noticed the sudden disappearance of the plane and reported a possible accident to his colleague. It was very likely. There were cases of loss of consciousness by young pilots, and even those ended in a catastrophe.
Eight Russian fighters set off in search of the plane, or rather in pursuit of it. Presumably also the MiG-15 bis. However, before take-off, Franciszek Jarecki saw the current alarm frequency in one of the fighters on duty at the airport. Being constantly listening, he was perfectly aware of the movements of planes over the Baltic Sea. Using a few clouds and a low ceiling, he "played hide and seek".
After 7 minutes of flight, Franciszek Jarecki reached Bornholm. Here he found out that there was no military base, only an ordinary field airfield. He was lucky anyway. A few months earlier, there were Russians here who gave the island to the Swedes-Danes. Franciszek Jarecki perfectly planted the plane.
Franciszek Jarecki was taken over by the British and transferred to the USA. In London, General Władysław Anders decorated him with the Cross of Merit with Swords. It was received by US President Dwight Eisenhower. He received $ 50,000 and US citizenship. He was granted this citizenship without a 7-year grace period, as he was "adopted" by one of the Polish congressmen. Today (2000) it owns a precision valve factory with subsidiaries in Asia and Australia. He was married twice and has six children. None of them speak Polish anymore.
What about the plane? Franciszek Jarecki did not know that an award had been established for bringing the MiG-15 bis to the West. It was the $ 50,000. The Danes returned the machine after a few weeks with traces of plaster casts.
In Poland, Franciszek Jarecki was sentenced to death. His superiors initially did not reach the punishments, as only two months later Lieutenant Zdzisław Jaźwiński showed a similar "feat".
Written by Karol Placha Hetman