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"The Three Thousand and One Hours of Sergeant Kostek."
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Word Count
Publication Year
Document Types
First-Person Narratives
Uncollected Stories
War, Poles

A story in the mold of Bates's "Flying Officer X" tales, but neither included in those collections nor appearing with that pseudonym. It portrays the courage and good humor of a Polish pilot, and of his escape from a firing squad in Poland to an England that he appreciates particularly "because not so many people get shot" there. Kostek is also mentioned in Bates's 1944 account of foreign pilots, There's Freedom in the Air. An article titled "Kostek -- A Polish Bomber Pilot," and published in the Royal Air Force Journal on August 8, 1942 is about a different man, named Kostek Nowak; the author has been identified as Leslie Kark and the piece was later included in his book The Fire was Bright.. In English Story (Fourth Series, London: Collins, 1943, ed. Woodrow Wyatt, pp. 86-89), Forty Short Short Stories (London: Edward Arnold, 1965, selected by J.C. Reid, pp. 24-28).