1 Sep, 1939
The Polish destroyers Burza (Lt.Cdr. S. Nahorski, ORP), Grom (Lt.Cdr. A.
Hulewicz, ORP) and Blyskawica (Cdr. W. Kodrebski, ORP) were met in the
North Sea by British aircraft and the British destroyers HMS Wallace (Lt.Cdr.
W.M.L. Astwood, RN) and HMS Wanderer (Cdr R.F. Morice, RN). They were
escorted to Leith.
7 Sep, 1939
On 7 Sepember 1939, ORP Blyskawica becomes the first among the Polish
Navy warships in World War 2 to attack a submerged U-boot 10 miles south
east of South Uist island in the English Channel.
6 Nov, 1939
Blyskawica (Lt. T. Gorazdowski, ORP) and Grom (Cdr. A. Hulewicz, ORP)
recieved orders to find and rescue downed British pilots in the Dogger
Bank area. The Polish ships were attacked by two German He-115
hydroplanes. One of them dropped a torpedo aiming for Blyskawica. The
destroyer turned rapidly and avoided the threat.
10 Nov, 1939
Blyskawica (Lt. T. Gorazdowski, ORP) was docked at Chatham for a screws
change and a boilers cleaning.
26 Nov, 1939
Blyskawica recieved a new commanding officer, Lt.Cdr. Jerzy Umecki.
30 Nov, 1939
While Blyskawica was escorting a coastal convoy the commodore's ship
Sheaf Crest, hit the mine and sank. Blyskawica picked up 25 survivors.
12 Dec, 1939
The 1st Destroyer Flotilla (including Blyskawica) conducted a raid in
the Texel - Terschelling area in order to intercept German destroyers
detected by reconissance. Due to the dense fog, this proved impossible.
Two days later the entire flotilla returned to Harwich.
18 Dec, 1939
The British destroyers HMS Grenville (Capt. G.E. Creasy, MVO, RN), HMS
Greyhound (Cdr. W.R. Marshall-A'Deane, RN), HMS Griffin (Lt.Cdr. J.
Lee-Barber, RN) and the Polish destroyer Blyskawica (Lt.Cdr. J. Umecki,
ORP) formed the escort of two British minelayers which conducted a night
operation off the German coast. Mines were laid between Sylt Island and
the harbor of Emden.
22 Mar, 1940
The Polish destroyers Burza and Blyskawica escorted three French
submarines and their tender Jules Verne on their route from Brest to
4 Apr, 1940
The Polish destroyers Burza, Grom and Blyskawica reached their new
homebase Rosyth. In the afternoon they left the harbour with the British
light cruisers HMS Arethusa, HMS Galatea and three British destroyers.
These ships were ordered to conduct a patrol at North Sea and were later
ordered to intercept German invasion groups heading for Norway.
9 Apr, 1940
The Polish destroyers Burza, Grom and Blyskawica were ordered to join
the British destroyer HMS Tartar and provide escort for convoy HN-24 (31
merchants escaping from Norway to England, some of them were loaded with
Norwegian gold). The convoy reached Britain without any loses.
12 Apr, 1940
The Polish destroyers Burza, Grom and Blyskawica entered Rosyth for
refueling. Then they were sent to Scapa Flow.
17 Apr, 1940
Blyskawica was part of the escort of the damaged British heavy cruiser
HMS Suffolk while this ship returned to Scapa Flow.
19 Apr, 1940
The Polish destroyers Burza, Grom and Blyskawica left Scapa Flow and
head to Narvik. During a storm Burza was damaged by high waves and
forced to return.
21 Apr, 1940
The Polish destroyers Blyskawica and Grom entered the Vest Fjord, off
2 May, 1940
Blyskawica entered the Rombaken Fjord in the Narvik area. She was
ambushed by a German gun battery and machine guns firing at point-blank
range. Despite this, ship didn't retreat. Polish gunners returned fire,
destroyed three guns and silenced rest of them. Blyskawica was hit four
times by gun shells and damaged. Three members of her crew were killed.
After this fight, she was sent to Skjel Fjord for repairs which lasted
for two days.
5 May, 1940
Blyskawica was on patrol in Rombaken Fjord. German aircraft conducted a
heavy but unsuccessful attacks which lasted for 12 hours. In the
evening, Blyskawica traded fire with a german 88mm gun battery. She was
hit eleven times, but suffered only minor damage. The enemy guns were
6 May, 1940
Another day and again heavy fighting with German aircraft. Lot of bombs
exploded in the water, causing no damage. The Polish ship fired it's
entire supply of Anti-Aircraft ammunition and shot down one enemy
bomber. After that, she entered Skjel Fjord where an Allied supply base
10 May, 1940
The Polish destroyers Burza and Blyskawica left Norwegian waters in
order to return to Scapa Flow.
10 May, 1940
Another heavy air attack. Blyskawica was operating in Skjel Fjord. She
avoided all bombs and shot down one enemy bomber. Some fragments of wing
of this airplane were found by Norwegian fishermen and were given to the
Polish crew as a present.
26 May, 1940
Blyskawica acompanied the British light crusier HMS Galatea on a patrol
in the English Channel.
27 May, 1940
In the evening, the Polish destroyer Blyskawica recieved orders to meet
with the British destroyers HMS Gallant and HMS Vivacious to enter the
small port of La Panne (in the Dunkirk area) and evacuate part of RAF
personnel. Unfortunely, she failed to find her partners and didn't
complete the task. Instead of this, she was ordered to enter Dunkirk
harbor together with the British destroyer HMS Vega and conduct a night
reconnisance mission. The Admirality wanted to find out, if this harbor
(partially blocked by wrecks) may be useful in Allied evacuation. Both
destroyers were attacked by two German aircraft, but inspected the
positions of wrecks. After that, Admiral Ramsey learned that navy
vessels are able to conduct evacuation from Dunkirk and sent part of
28 May, 1940
Blyskawica was ordered to patrol on Dunkirk evecuation route "Y" and
provide Anti-Aircraft cover for Allied vessels.
29 May, 1940
Aroud 1700hours, two German bombers attacked the Polish destroyer
Blyskawica, but missed. At night, she recieved a signal from the badly
damaged British destroyer HMS Greyhound (loaded with some 1000
soldiers). The Polish destroyer managed to tow Greyhound to Dover.
30 May, 1940
The French destroyer Cyclone was hit by a torpedo fired by the German
motor torpedo boat S-24. She was badly damaged but was able to sail at a
speed of 5 knots. The French Commanding Officer asked the Polish
destroyer Blyskawica for escort. The Polish destroyer answered and
provided the cover requisted. Both ships then met the French destroyer
Sirocco that was loaded with soldiers. She passed nearby and dissapeared
in the darkness. After one hour Sirocco was torpedoed and sunk by the
German motor torpedo boats S-23 and S-26. Blyscawica left Cyclone. She
picked up 15 survivors from the Sirocco. Then she returned to Cyclone
and acompanied her to Dover.
31 May, 1940
Blyskawica continued her patrol on Dunkirk evacuation route "Y".
1 Jun, 1940
Blyscawica was ordered to return to Harwich where she arrived the next
9 Jun, 1940
Blyskawica left Harwich and steamed to Cowes for repairs and refitting.
12 Aug, 1940
Blyskawica took part in the Anti-Aircraft defense of Portsmouth. She
shot down one enemy bomber (He-111).
30 Aug, 1940
The Polish destroyers Blyskawica and Burza joined the escort of a convoy
heading to the USA. Later Burza suffered a malfunction and was forced to
return to base.
1 Sep, 1940
Lookouts on Blyskawica spotted a lifeboat from the British Merchant Har
Zion with one survivor (Seaman Osman Adem). He was picked up. The Har
Zion was torpedoed and sunk the previous day by the German submarine
U-38 northwest of Bloody Foreland in position 56.20N, 10W. 34 members of
her crew went down with the ship.
2 Sep, 1940
Blyskawica and some British destroyers left the convoy they were
escorting and formed an escort of another convoy which was heading to
3 Sep, 1940
While escorting a convoy, ORP Blyscawica observed a periscope and
atacked a U-boat with depth charges. Two hours later, in fog, she
encountered a U-boat (probably this same) on the surface at a distance
of 700 meter and attacked it with artillery and depth charges.
29 Sep, 1940
The 5th Destroyer Flotilla (including Blyskawica) was on patrol in
English Channel. At night, HMS Broke and the Polish destroyer were sent
against group of German motor torpedo boats. However, the Germans found
their target first. They approached and fired several torpedoes. The
Allied crews managed to spot the torpedoes and avoided them. The
destroyers fired star shells, but spotted only one of the attackers
retreating at high speed. After few salvos, contact was lost.
20 Oct, 1940
The British destroyers HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), HMS Jaguar (Lt.Cdr.
J.F.W. Hine RN), HMS Broke (Cdr. B.G. Scurfield, RN) and the Polish
destroyer Blyskawica (Cdr. W. Franki, ORP) conducted a patrol in the
English Channel. They detected four German destroyers. The enemy ships
turned back to their base. The allied pursuit was unsuccessfull.
26 Oct, 1940
Blyskawica collided with a freighter. There were no casualities, but the
destroyer had to be repaired.
4 Dec, 1940
Shortly after the end of the repairs, Blyskawica was ordered to join the
escort of convoy heading to the USA. During a very strong storm the
destroyer suffered serious damage. The rudder jammed 20 degrees to
portside. A group of sailors managed to unblock it and steer the ship
using the manual steering system. Also Depth charges were smashed into
the water by the pounding waves. A torpedo mount was damaged and rotated
without control. Later, the rudder jammed again, however only 2 degrees
to portside, so they were able to steer with the ships propellers.
Blyskawica returned to Greenock on 6 December 1940.
11 Feb, 1941
Blyskawica escorted a convoy to Iceland. But on the 14th she was again
damaged in a storm and she had to return to Greenock
13 Mar, 1941
While in dock Blyskawica took part in the Anti-Aircraft defense of
2 Dec, 1941
After a long repair and rearming period, ORP Blyskawica (Lt.Cdr. Francki)
came to Scapa Flow for training.
20 Dec, 1941
With her refresher training completed Blyskawica arrived in Greenock
fully combat ready.
30 Dec, 1941
Blyskawica arrives at Reykjavik, Iceland.
4 Apr, 1942
Blyskawica suffered damage due to a storm.
6 Apr, 1942
The damaged Polish destroyer arrived in Greenock.
9 Apr, 1942
Blyskawica was sent to Cowes for repairs.
11 Apr, 1942
Blyskawica arrived at Cowes where she was welcomed by the sirens and a
German air raid.
12 Apr, 1942
Blyscawica moves to J.S. White's yard to service her engines,
refurbishment and repair the storm damage.
23 Apr, 1942
While Blyskawica was under repair at Cowes, German bombers conducted an
air raid (at night) against the dockyard. One bomb exploded near the
destroyer causing some damage.
28 Apr, 1942
Around 0600 hours the ship yard was attacked by 6 Me 109's. Blyskawica
received some damage.
4 May, 1942
During another heavy air raid on Cowes, ORP Blyskawica (Lt.Cdr.
Gorazdowski) took part in the AA defense. After the attack, part of
Polish crew helped in fighting the fires in the town.
10 Aug, 1942
ORP Blyskawica, together with the British destroyer HMS Broke receives
orders to reinforce the escort of convoy SC-94.