ONE of the last surviving crew members of the Polish warship, ORP Blyskawica, which defended Cowes and East Cowes during a Nazi bombing raid in May, 1942, has died in Canada, aged 96.
Jan Napierala married his Island sweetheart, Margaret, from Carisbrooke, after the war and they lived on the IW until 1953, when they emigrated. The couple lived in Thunder Bay, Ontario.
They visited the Island in 2002 for the 60th anniversary commemorations of the ship’s defence of the two towns. One of their sons, Peter, also visited Cowes last year for the 70th anniversary.
Mr Napierala, who was an engineer, is survived by his wife, sons, Donald, Peter and Michael, eight grandchildren and four great grandchildren.