Collection Item Summary:
On the morning of March 5, 1953, Lietenant Franciszek Jarecki lead a flight of four Polish Air Force MiG-15s from his base at Stolop (Code Name Listopad) on a routine patrol along the Baltic coast. As the patrol passed over the town of Kolberg, Jerecki dropped his extra fuel tanks to lighten his aircraft and broke away from the formation. He dove his aircraft from 18,000 feet to below 1,500 feet to prevent the Soviet Air defense radar from tracking his escape route. The Soviets had anticipated the possiblity of pilots defecting with their aircraft and established ready alert interceptors code named "Operation Krest." A flight of four "Krest" MiG-15 flown by Soviet pilots attempted to intercept the escaping Jarecki. Jarecki flew his aircraft north to Bornholm where he believed a large American airbase was located. To his dismay he found only a short temporary airstrip located on the Danish island. Jarecki considered continuing his flight to Copenhagen but his fuel supply was running low. This was the flight suit worn by Jarecki on the day that he made his escape.