The Mynarski Lancaster
This design features the Avro Lancaster featuring the story of Canadian airman Charles Mynarski (VC). For his bravery trying to save a trapped tail gunner as his plane was going down in flames.
Posthumously, Pilot Officer Andrew Mynarski was the first member of the R.C.A.F. to be decorated with the Victoria Cross in the Second World War. (The Victoria Cross is Canada and Britain’s equivalent of the American Congressional Medal of Honor.)
The back of the shirt features the Mynarski story, after you read it, you will know what a true friend is and understand the bonds that fighting men developed.
Andrew Charles Mynarski V.C.
(October 14, 1916 – June 13, 1944)
Mynarski and his AVRO Lancaster Bomber crew took off for their 13th mission together on the night of June 12, 1944. It would be their 13th sortie - they would be over their target on Friday the 13th. Mynarski found a four leaf clover in the grass by their plane and insisted his closest buddy, tail gunner Pat Brophy, take it.
As they began their descent to attack, a Junkers Ju88 came from behind, with cannons blazing; tearing up the Lancaster. The crew were ordered to bail out of the burning plane; but, Brophy was trapped in his tail gunner turret. Mynarski crawled through the inferno in an attempt to rescue his friend, not noticing that his own flight suit and parachute had started to smolder and burn.
Brophy eventually waved him away. Mynarski crawled back through the fire, returning to the rear door where he paused, stood there in his flaming clothes, saluted and said "Good night, sir," (his familiar nightly sign-off to his friend) and jumped. French witnesses saw him plunge earthbound in flames. When they found him, he was severely battered and burned. He died of his injuries within hours.
Ironically, Brophy survived unhurt. When the Lancaster crashed at a shallow angle, two of its twenty bombs exploded, throwing tail gunner Brophy clear of the wreckage. Brophy’s watch stopped at 2:13 a.m. Friday, June 13, 1944.
Posthumously, Pilot Officer Andrew Mynarski was the first member of the R.C.A.F. to be decorated with the Victoria Cross in the Second World War.