Pilot Who Lost All His Documents During WW2 Turns 100 Two Years Earlier Than Expected
John Franklin moved to England from Poland after its invasion by Germans and Russians, leaving behind his documentation in his hometown of Sopockinie, which was later destroyed by bombs.
Since his birth, he had been told that he was born on the 7th November 1921, meaning that he believed he was 97.
John served in the 304 Polish Bomber Squadron in the RAF in the 1940s, and after being discharged, they even gave him a document with this incorrect birth date on.
After John and his daughter contacted the RAF headquarters and the Polish Embassy in London, they were able to find his correct birth date, the 3rd November 1919.
John was not entirely surprised, remarking that ‘I always knew the date was wrong but I didn’t know when my actual birthday was.’.
After realising that he is about to turn 100, John is now hoping to receive a letter from the Queen, saying ‘I don’t think I will get one, but if I do it will be the biggest and most enjoyable recognition.’.
After the war, John settled in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, and has lived there ever since, even starting a business which restores antiques.
Despite being about to turn 100, John is still in good health, even stating that he still has a driver’s license!
Added: 31st October 2019