My grandfather Basil (Wacław) Wiszenko shortly before the outbreak of war in 1939, he was drafted Artillery
Regiment Heavy Artillery Regiment. During the September campaign took an active part in the defense of Warsaw.
After the fall of the capital was captured by the Germans. As the areas where he lived under the system coincided
Ribentropp - Molotov of the USSR was transferred as a prisoner of the Soviets. He was in a POW camp in the depths
of Russia.   After the outbreak of the German - Soviet in 1941, Anders began to develop the army, which had reported
the Poles, who were in camps in the boundless regions of the USSR. So also planned to make Basil Wiszenko.

Unfortunately, it was made difficult because of his religion and name of the name. The camp administration wanted to
make him a Belarusian - Soviet citizen, and such would be subject to duty in the    Red Army. Basil became the
religion of the Roman - Catholic and adopted the name of Wacław Catholic doubt. This has enabled him to find a
Polish Army in USSR under the leadership of the legendary General W. Anders. In summer 1942 the Polish army
after a series of disagreements with the Soviet authorities have been evacuated from the south of the Soviet Union
to Iran. Since England was missing part of the Poles, the Polish soldier was to be sent there. Albert Wiszenko by Iraq,
Palestine, Egypt and South Africa came, so to England. There he underwent training and was assigned to the Navy
on the destroyer ORP "Silesian". From that time until the end of the war he served in the degree of non
commissioned officer in the Polish navy.

April 17, 1942 gave the British navy destroyer escort Polish ORP "Silesian". Its commander was Captain cf. Romuald
Tyminski (1905-2003). Already in August 1942 the ship participated in Operation Allied landing at Dieppe, where he
shot down four German planes during fighting losing two crew members. He served on the ship since 1943. May 24,
1943 while escorting a convoy flowing from Britain to Gibraltar "Silesian" 6 - fold attacked U-boats with depth
charges. Since that time he served on the ship in the Mediterranean. June 24 the ship was attacked by German
submarines. Attacks repulsed without their own losses.

July 10 was a further 3 times starting from the U-boats. Wiszenko Albert attended the first great operation. It was the
Allied invasion of Sicily. The task was a Polish destroyer shielding invasion force during landing. July 29 "Silesian as
commander of  the escort successfully conducted a large convoy from Gibraltar and reached Alexandria. From 8 to 10
September 1943, my grandfather and crew of the ship took part in the second major invasion this time in Italia at
Salerno. Then the crew took part with the ORP "Silesian" in hostilities in the area of Sporades and the Dodecanese.
On 12-16 September escorting British battleships "Silesian" fight with German planes. 21 September, the route
Bizerte - Gibraltar has been re-turn to the clash with German submarines. The October 22 the ship's crew managed to
catch from the sea and taking prisoners of four German airmen. A great honor for Albert Wiszenko was escorting 21
December 1943, a convoy of troops of the II Corps Anders went from Alexandria to Brinidisi. They were, after all
colleagues, whom he knew from time spent in the infantry divisions in the USSR and Iran. Recognition of the merits of
the ship on which he served was the visit of Chief of Staff of the British fleet in the Mediterranean, Admiral Dundas,
who expressed praise for the crew of the ship. It was also a symbolic termination of service of the ship in the

In April, along with the ship left the waters of the Mediterranean to go to England. June 6, 1944,  took part along with
the ship in the largest amphibious operation in history - the invasion of Normandy. During the landing in Normandy
was with the ORP "Krakowiak" in the composition of forces, "S" and shrouded the sea landing at Sword beach, very
effective in fighting the enemy coastal batteries. A month later, July 6, 1944 the ship took the first prisoner in World
War II German torpedo alive, taking the pilot prisoner. October 16, 1944, "Silesian" escorted the British ship "Garth"
in which King George VI's return to England with an inspection on the western front. The end of the war was for his
grandfather and the crew of the ship Input 10 May 1945 the German Navy submarine base at  Wilhelmshaven.

After the war as a sergeant long wondered about the monster to his homeland. The Communists took over the country
authorities, the family did not have the best memories from the period of stay in Russia during the October Revolution.
But nostalgic for their homeland and family, which has not seen since 1939, decided the return. He returned last
transport to the Polish in 1947. Like most soldiers returning from the West was arrested by secret police and
accused of "spying". The last British transport had allegedly sent to the Polish spies.

Michał Kozłowski
May 9, 2012
Contributor:  Michał Kozłowski
Subject:  Basil (Waclaw) Wiszenko
Polish Navy:   ORP Slazak 1

ORP Ślązak
Pennant number L26

Commissioned: April 17, 1942
Decommissioned: September 28, 1946

1050 tons standard
1490 tons full load

Length:  85.3 m
Beam:      9.6 m
Draught: 2.4/3.9 m

SPEED    27 knots (50 km/h)

2,500 nautical miles (4,600 km) at 20
knots (40 km/h)
3,700 nautical miles (6,900 km) at 14
knots (26 km/h)

6 x 102 mm QF 4 inch Mk XVI naval guns
(3 twin turrets)
4 x 40 mm pom-pom cannons
2 to 4 20 mm Anti Aircraft cannons
2 depth charge launchers
4 depth charge throwers

powered by 2 shaft steam turbines
19,000 hp (14,200 kW)

Editors Note:

ORP Ślązak (translation: Silesian) was a World War II Hunt-class destroyer. She was  laid down in 1940
for the Royal Navy as HMS Bedale and commissioned by the Polish Navy in 1942.

During the Second World War ORP Ślązak took part in 32 patrols and escorted in about 100 convoys.
She was one of eight Hunt class ships that took part in the Dieppe Raid. She also served as convoy
escort her crew shot down five enemy aircraft and three probables.

At the end of WW2, she was leased to the Indian Navy in 1953, where she served as a training ship until
1976. She was scrapped in 1979.
POLISH GREATNESS.COM wishes to thank Michal Kozlowski for submitting the story and
donating the  photographs of his grandfather Basil (Wacław) Wiszenko who served during World
War Two on the famous Polish Destroyer,  the ORP Slazak.  It is my pleasure and pride to
present them here.    Dziękuję.