Family Kowalski - 2010 letters from Eugeniusz Kowalaski and Robert Akerstrom

April 7, 2011


This E-Mail is self evident and is forwarded to at the request of David Ashworth.

(see  "Eugeniusz Kowalski was in the polish navy and may have been captain of Modlin")  


7 Apr 2011

In researching my late father's war photographs, I came across pictures of a submarine (probably Italian) under attack, which led me to your site, where I found the above correspondence. 

My recommendation to Messr's Kowalaski and Akerstrom is that if they have not already done so they try writing to Mr Michael Olizar at The Polish Institute and Sikorski Museum, 20 Princes Gate, LONDON. SW7 1PT.

I was seeking to find out what happened to a crew member of the SS Warszawa when the ship sank at Christmas 1941 following the two attacks by the German Uboat 559. I only knew that my father, who was the Electrical Lieutenant on HMS Peony at the sinking, pulled a very attractive medical crew member of Warszawa from the sea
covered in oil, having had her clothes blown off, and that all she was concerned about was helping the wounded and injured!!

Michael has very kindly supplied me with fascinating information relating to this lady's life after the sinking, as well as the first page of the Warszawa's crew list dated 17th November 1941, clearly showing "III Engineer - KOWALSKI Eugeniusz - 1903 Lodz - Polish".

Finally, I found a brown envelope amongst father's photographs headed "Sinking of the Warszawa". 5 photos were inside, two of the ship with no stern, one of her in tow by Peony, and two more of the rescue operation.

Interestingly, following the sinking, the lady was issued with a new passport in Cairo, so it may be reasonable to assume that, if he was on board Warszawa at the sinking, Mr Kowalaski was probably rescued from the ship while she was still afloat after the first torpedo struck and before the second hit sank her, and, judging from the photo's,
very probably off-duty at the time (at least not in the engine room)!  My family have just presented the originals of the photos to The Sikorski Museum, but I do have them scanned to my computer, and you may pass this email address to the Kowalski family if they would be interested.

I cannot help with Mr Kowalski's subsequent wartime experiences, but it is quite possible that the Sikorski may be able to.

Yours sincerely, David R. Ashworth.


I have done as you requested, hopefully the E-Mail address for Eugeniusz is still valid.

Could I please have copies of the photos you have, so we may add them to Ahoy?

Best wishes,

Pictures attached.

Sinking of the Warszawa

Sinking of the Warszawa

Sinking of the Warszawa

Sinking of the Warszawa

Sinking of the Warszawa

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