ONE of the survivors of the Polish warship which defended Cowes from a Nazi air raid during the Second World War has died, aged 91.
Lieutenant Commander Tadeusz Lesisz, was one of the world’s last surviving Second World War veterans to have served as an officer from the first day of the conflict to the last.
As a gunnery officer, he sailed on Polish vessels under the command of the Royal Navy, participating in the Battle of the Atlantic, the Arctic Convoys, Oper-ation Torch and at D-Day.
He joined the Blyskawica (Lightning) which, when she was launched, was the world’s fastest warship. She was built in Cowes in 1935.
In the spring of 1942, she was having her main guns upgraded in dry dock in Cowes when an air raid took place involving around 160 planes.
He was in command of the anti-aircraft guns on the warship. Sailors not needed to man the guns fought fires in Cowes and brought first aid to the wounded.
Remaining in Britain after the war, he studied architecture, eventually establishing himself as a partner in a Bolton architectural practice.
He also received many awards and medals from Poland and Britain.
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