Henry J. "Pepsi" Miklajcyk

USAAF   Captain

Silver Star,   DFC (x4),   AM (x6)

Henry J. "Hank" Mikolajczyk was born 24 February 1921 in Syracuse, New York.
He (and his brother Stephen) used the spelling Miklajcyk (pronounce Miklaysik).
Worked as a commercial flying instructor before enlisting.
Joined the Army Reserves & winged 10 November 1942 at Craigg Field, Alabama.
Posted to the 21FS, 352FG on 28 December 1942.
Promoted to 1Lt on 7 June 1943.
Promoted to Captain on 2 may 1944.
By the time he started shooting down planes, his 21FS had been renamed the 486FS.
His planes (P-47C, P-51B, P-51D) were all called The Syracusan.
KIA 2 November 1944.
Originally listed as Missing In Action, his body was found in 1949 in a civilian cemetery in Marks, Germany. It was moved to the Ardennes American Military Cemetery in Neuville-en' Condroz in Belgium and then returned to his hometown, Syracuse, for burial in April 1950.
He is seen here with what looks like a Douglas O-46A target tug (Thanks David for the ID)
Hank Miklajcyk


"My Uncle and Pepsi were flying buddies before the War - my Uncle had been a barnstormer. Pepsi and another of my uncles (Lt. Jack Garlock, a bombardier in B-24s with the 5th AAF in the Pacific) joined the Army Air Force on the same day. The family story goes that Pepsi had completed his tour of duty with the 7.5 kills and  planned to go back. My Grandfather told him that he had already done his part but Lt.  Miklajcyk  was determined to return to combat. Pepsi was jumped by several Focke Wulfs and shot down on a mission shortly after returning to duty. That was what my uncle told me he learned when he asked people about what happened."


Victories Include :

15 April 1944
24 April 1944
6 Aug 1944
12 Sept 1944
2 Nov 1944
one FW190
one Ju52
two Me109s
1.5 FW190s
two FW190s
destroyed *

7.5 / 0 / 0

Plus 6 destroyed on the ground. No details.

* One shared with 2Lt. Joseph D. Carter.

All claims made while flying with the 486th Fighter Squadron.


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Thanks go out to

Robert Hambrecht, who's uncle (Lt. Col. Robert Garlock (a B-24 pilot with the 15th AAF)
was good friends with Pepsi, & Rich Sloma of the PLAV for the photos & infos !

On these pages I use Hugh Halliday's extensive research which includes info from numerous sources; newspaper articles via the Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation (CMCC); the Google News Archives; the London Gazette Archives and other sources both published and private.

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