Mynarski, Andrew Charles

Andrew Charles Mynarski, airman, Victoria Cross recipient (b at Winnipeg 14 Oct 1916; d at Cambrai, France 13 June 1944). Mynarski was the mid-upper gunner of a Lancaster bomber that was shot down by a German aircraft. He enlisted in the RCAF in November 1941 and trained at No. 3 Bombing and Gunnery School at MacDonald, Man. He was deployed to England in December 1942 for further training and then posted to 419 "Moose" Sqn, a heavy bomber squadron that belonged to 6 Group, the Canadian arm of RAF Bomber Command. 419 Sqn flew out of the RAF station at Middleton St George, near Darlington in northern England. He was part of a 7-man crew on a Lancaster bomber.

The crew took off on its 13th sortie on 12 June 1944 to bomb a German supply line at Cambrai, France. Just after midnight, they were fired on by a German JU-88 fighter, sustaining heavy damage. The pilot ordered the crew to bail out. As Mynarski was about to leave the aircraft he saw Pat Brophy, the tail gunner, trapped in his turret. Though free to jump, Mynarski persisted in trying to save his trapped comrade. His parachute and clothing caught fire and he died from his burns, though Brophy miraculously survived the plane crash. Mynarski was awarded the Victoria Cross posthumously for his effort to save another's life.