Jan Hobot

"Captain, Sir, I am reporting that "A" has to go for an inspection to the machinery" - with these words the chief mechanic welcomed me that morning.
"Oh, my Goodness" - I became a little bit scared - "How long will it be? You know by now that we have a lot of work and we are preparing flights across Poland. I must have this machine ready"
"I am sorry sir. An inspection will last two days, not a minute longer. A complete inspection should be done," the chief continues - "The machine has been running for a long time lately".
"So, two days, you said..."
"Nothing will happen if you rest for a couple of days, it is not a big deal. The war is not finished yet. Give the youngsters a chance. Let them to learn to fly."
"You're right" "But do not even try to take another machine. It will give you bad luck. You have had so many flights on your "A". It is always better to be in your own, than in a strange one". I had already made my decision.
"All right, chief. I will take two days off, but make sure you finish my machine after tomorrow."
"Yes, sir."

     A part of this true story is from the book, "The Sky Is On Fire", by Bohdan Arct. The chief of mechanics in the 316 Squadron was Jan Hobot. In the book, "Polish Aerial Fleet in the Defensive War", by Jerzy Pawlak, the name of Jan Hobot appears in biographic notes: Jan Hobot - senior master in England - Chief of Air Mechanics in the 308 Flying Squadron (1941-43) and in the 316 Flying Squadron (1945-46) - Chief of Air Mechanics.

 

     Jan Hobot was born in Letownia in the district of Myslenice. In 1918 he was called to serve the Austrian Army in the 56th Infantry Regiment. In May of 1918 he was sent to the Italian front by Piawa. At the end of 1918 he became seriously ill with malaria. He recovered in the Branal hospital in the Czech Republic. After the Austrian overthrow, he is sent to the 12th Regiment of the Polish Army in Wadowice. With this Regiment he took part in armed fighting at the Ukrainian front in 1919. During this time he suffered from typhoid fever and recovered in a hospital in Lwow. After full recovery, Jan Hobot joined the 3rd Regiment of the Railway Army in Lodz and later in Poznan. There, he was assigned to the armoured train, "Stefan Czrnecki". He performed his duties there, up to the train's liquidation. His next steps led him to the Air Mechanic School in Bydgoszcz. After completing his education there, Jan was sent to the 3rd Air Flight Regiment in Poznan where he performed duties of an air mechanic and then the chief mechanic in the 31st Air Line Squadron. On August 25, 1939, along with the 31st Squadron, he joined the "Karpaty" Army to an airfield in Werynia near Kolbuszowa. And there he heard, for the first time, about the war. The Squadron took part in air-fights with the Germans until September 17, 1939. Under the enemy's attack, together with his comrades, Jan backed up to the airfield near Przemysl and later near Tarnopol. On September 17, 1939 five remaining airplanes from the Squadro n flew to Czernowiec in Romania accordingly to the Commander-in-chief's order. Jan Hobot crossed the border to Romania through Zaleszczyki, with the rest of the equipment and the air-field serving staff. At the Bucharest airport, he turned over all the equipment to the Romanians and was sent to an internment camp. He was there until November, 1939. After getting a passport, he went to Balcik on the Black Sea, and in December 19, 1939, he arrived at Beirut by ship and later to Marseille. In France, Jan Hobot was sent to the air factory in Limoges, where he worked until June, 1940. In result of attacks from the Germans and the taking over of the aircraft factory, Jan Hobot, with the other Polish soldiers were evacuated to the ship-port Dewante, close to the Spanish border. From there he went to Oran on an English ship, next to Casablanka. After a three months stay, Jan sailed to Liverpool, England. After verification, he was assigned to the 308 Fighting Wing as a chief of air mechanics. On August 15, 1946 he returned to Poland. He lived with his family not far from Wroclaw and worked in an Aircraft College as a teacher. After his retirement, he moved with his wife to Nowy Targ (near the Tatra mountains). He passed away in 1989 in Ustianowa and was buried in Nowy Targ.  


In the 308 Flying Squadron. Jan Hobot with dog's on the your hands.

In the 316 Flying Squadron, Jan Hobot beside the air-craft's engine..

The President of Poland Edward Raczkiewicz honours Jan Hobot with the Silver Order of Merit.

Wroclaw, after war. Jan Hobot in LZN.