Wladyslaw Chciuk was born on the 6th of June 1915 in Drohobycz, Poland. During his childhood he became a scout, a service commitment that continued throughout his life. Even as he finished his lessons at King Wladyslaw Jagiellion College Preparatory High School, war clouds were already forming in Europe. During school he took part in a glider program funded by the government. Coupled with his patriotism, Eagle Scout background and sense of adventure, there was little surprise when he was accepted by the Air Force Academy at Deblin.
He finished his training at Deblin in 1939 commissioned as an officer with the “lucky thirteenth promotion. As a Second Lieutenant Pilot he was assigned to a fighter squadron in the 2nd Air Regiment, Krakow Squadron. It was in the unit that he began the war. As one of the newer pilots, and with a shortage of aircraft and later fuel he had few opportunities to strike back at his country’s attacker at that point. With the front line collapsing and little remaining fuel or munitions, he was ordered with the other flyers to make for the border to fight again from allied fields. He was among a large contingent of Polish flyers that made it to Rumania only to be interned by a fearful Rumanian government. Through the workings of the Polish embassy and friends within the Rumanian government most flyers “escaped” internment making their way as did Wladyslaw (Wladek) through Greece and Yugoslavia until arriving by boat in France.