Pilot Officer Andrew Mynarski, Victoria Cross Recipient - Backgrounder

Pilot Officer Andrew Charles Mynarski was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, on October 14, 1916, and enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1941.

Pilot Officer Mynarski was flying as a mid-upper gunner in an Avro Lancaster bomber on the night of June 12-13, 1944, during a bombing mission against railway yards in Cambrai, France. A German fighter attacked his plane, knocking out two engines and setting the aircraft on fire. The flames soon spread and the Lancaster’s pilot gave the order to bail out. As Mynarski made his way to the escape hatch he noticed the tail gunner, Flying Officer G.P. Brophy, was trapped in his turret at the rear of the plane. Making his way through the flames, Mynarski bravely attempted to free his crewmate until Brophy eventually signaled his friend to abandon the plane as there was no more that could be done. Mynarski, his parachute and clothing on fire, bailed out but would soon die of his severe burns.

Pilot Officer Andrew Mynarski would be posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for his courageous and selfless attempts to save his crewmate that night.

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