2015

 

 

15 November

 

For Your Freedom and Ours: Exeter's Polish 307 Squadron

 

On Sunday 15th November, the Polish flag was raised for the fourth time above Exeter Guildhall in remembrance of the Polish airmen from 307 Squadron, known as the Lwów Eagle Owls (Lwowskich Puchaczy). 

 

During the Second World War 307 Sqn was the only Polish night fighter squadron and defended the South West of England. The Lwów Eagle Owls airmen fought the Luftwaffe over the skies of Britain and prevented Exeter from being totally destroyed during the blitz on the city in 1942.

 

The event, which was attended by the Ambassador of the Republic of Poland Witold Sobków, started with a one-minute’s silence in solidarity with the people of Paris. This was followed by the Lord Mayor of Exeter Chaplain, Rev. Paul Morrell blessing the Polish Flag. The Brass and Symphony Orchestras at Exeter University played the Polish national anthem and the flag was raised over the Guildhall. The Deputy Lord Mayor of Exeter Councillor Lesley Robson in her speech remembered the war contributions of 307 Sqn. The Polish Ambassador thanked Exeter City Council for remembering the Lwów Eagle Owls and noted the contribution of Polish airmen during the Second World War in Great Britain.

 

Outside the Guildhall, alongside representatives of the Devonshire and Dorset Regiment, 13 Squadron Air Training Corps, 469 Squadron Air Training Corps and their Standards, were members of Polish associations wearing Polish Air Force historical uniforms. These included Marek Wierzbicki and Beata Sobota (Polski Klub Miłośników Historii Orzeł Biały), Robert Gretzyngier, Mark Stefanicki and others. In addition to the Polish Ambassador, other dignitaries, relatives of 307 Sqn and guests included The Lord Lieutenant of Devon David Fursdon, Lady Devon, the Polish Defence Attaché Piotr Pacek, Chairman of the Polish Air Force Memorial Committee Richard Kornicki, Chairman of the Polish Airmen’s Association Artur Bildziuk, and Mark Łazarowicz, former MP from Edinburgh and son of 307 Sqn wireless operator Jerzy Łazarowicz.

 

The event was organised by the 307 Sqn Project in cooperation with Exeter City Council. The 307 Sqn Project is a British-Polish organisation established to promote and research the role of 307 Sqn. Project founder Michael Parrott and Marcin Piórkowski live in Exeter and Andrzej Michalski, grandson of 307 Sqn navigator Leon Michalski, lives in Portsmouth. Since last year they have organised six exhibitions, given several lectures and represented 307 Sqn at many events, such as the Polish Air Force Memorial Ceremony at Northolt to mark the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.

 

The 307 Sqn Project day in Exeter was supported by additional events, including Artur Bildziuk's lecture ‘307 – The Guardians of Exeter' and a magnificent Choral Evensong in the memory of 307 Sqn at Exeter Cathedral, led by the Dean of the Cathedral Jonathan Draper.

 

Over 1100 guests visited the exhibition from Friday to Sunday. In addition to display boards there were photos and squadron memorabilia on show, video interviews with veterans and other video clips. There was also a kids' corner with colouring books, pilots’ hats, and the opportunity to take photos.

 

Photos in the slide show can be viewed by clicking the image and then the arrows. All photos are courtesy of the 307 Squadron Project. For a short video click the link.             For more information click the link.

 

25 October

All Souls' Commemoration Newark Cemetery 

 

A large congregation gathered on the last Sunday in October at Newark Cemetery for the annual All Souls' Commemoration service in remembrance of the Polish Airmen who gave their lives during the Second World War - several hundred of whom are buried in the cemetery -  and of the three Presidents of the Polish Government in Exile who are also buried there. The service was organised for the Polish Air Force Memorial Committee by Simon Elmer. Among those attending were the Deputy Lieutenant for Nottinghamshire, Mr Geoffrey Bond, and the Consul of the Republic of Poland, Mr Łukasz Lutostanski. 

 

Photos in the slide show can be viewed by clicking the image and then the arrows. All photos are Crown copyright RAF Cranwell.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

26 September

 

300 Squadron and 1667 HCU Service of Remembrance and dedication of  two stone plaques.

 

Faldingworth village All Saints Church was full for the Memorial service of Remembrance for 300 Polish Squadron and 1667 Heavy Conversion Unit. Dignitaries, including the Polish Consul General from Manchester Lukasz Lutostanski, veterans and relatives of those who served at Faldingworth attended the service. This was preceded by an extensive display of memorabilia in the village Memorial Hall and a flypast of a Hurricane and Spitfire from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. The BBMF’s Dakota greeted the congregation on leaving the Church with another flypast.

 

The congregation reconvened at the nearby airfield for the Service and Act of Remembrance and Dedication at the Memorial of two stone plaques. These commemorated the 37 aircraft lost from Faldingworth and the 248 lives lost in those aircraft. A roll call of the aircraft and lives lost was accompanied by a cross for each aircraft placed at the Memorial. This was followed by the Last Post and two minute’s silence ended by Reveille. Dignitaries, veterans and descendants of those that flew from Faldingworth laid wreaths on the Memorial and the ceremony ended with the British and Polish national anthems.

 

Many then retired to Faldingworth school hall for a reception and refreshments, while being entertained with songs by school children, who also had decorated the hall with photos and stories relevant to the occasion.  John Blanks performed the folk song For Those Who Will Not Know Me, dedicated to the memory of 300 Squadron. The song can be heard on YouTube via the Faldingworth Memorial link.

 

Faldingworth resident Colin Mitchell-Smith, with the support of his wife Susan and Kevin Troop and a dedicated team of helpers, has been keeping the memory of the Poles who served at Faldingworth alive. For the past 20 years Colin has created and organised the Stained Glass window, Gates and Path of Friendship at the Church and the building of the Memorial on the airfield, as well as arranging the Memorial Services. During the reception Colin reluctantly announced that he would now be standing down in the hope that others could take a lead and carry the Memorial services forward. Several other speakers congratulated Colin and Susan for their longstanding dedication and support and vowed to investigate alternatives for the future.

 

Photos in the slide show can be viewed by clicking the image then the arrows.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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20 September

 

Polish Air Force display at Battle of Britain reception.

 

The replica Polish Air Force Wilno Standard, together with a small selection of PAF artefacts, formed part of a display at the reception after the Thanksgiving Service for the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain in Westminster Abbey.

 

The reception and display, for invited guests, was held in Church House, Dean’s Yard adjacent to the Abbey. A member of the PAFMC was on hand to explain to guests the significance of the Wilno Standard and artefacts, the role of the PAF during the Battle of Britain and to answer any questions. The display generated a lot of interest from the steady flow of guests, which included the UK Defence Secretary The Rt Hon Michael Fallon MP, who had been previously briefed by the Polish Ambassador about the exploits of 303 Polish Kościuszko Squadron during the Battle.  

 

The replica Wilno Standard and artefacts form part of the PAF museum and exhibition at RAF Northolt.  The items selected for the Westminster display included a Technical Dictionary, Pilot’s Wings, Officer’s Cap, 316 Squadron Scarf, Boot Wings and part of an engine from the Messerschmitt Bf110 shot down by 303 Sqn pilot F/O Ludwik Paszkiewicz on 30th August 1940. This was 303 Sqn's first victory since starting operational flying in the middle of August. In the following six weeks 303 Sqn became the most successful fighter unit in the Battle of Britain and was credited with 126 victories for the loss of eight of its pilots; six in actual combat.

 

The PAF display was accompanied by an exhibit of interesting artefacts of Air Vice Marshal Stanley Flamank Vincent CB, DFC, AFC, DL, who was RAF Northolt Station Commander during the Battle of Britain.

 

Photos in the slide show can be viewed by clicking the image then the arrows.

 

 

 

                                                                         

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                   

 

 

19 September

 

Act of Remembrance, Sykes Green, Langden Brook.

 

This commemoration was held in the beautiful Trough of Bowland in Lancashire in perfect sunshine, and was attended by The Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire, Conservative MP Nigel Evans and the Polish Vice Consul from Manchester. Other civic and military dignitaries were in attendance, as were members of the Polish community from Preston who paraded the banner of the now disbanded branch of the SPK (Polish Ex-Combatants Association).

 

This day was the culmination of the “We Shall Remember Them” project, undertaken by the Clitheroe Youth Forum, a group of children under the leadership of Mel Diack MBE. The aim of this work has been to research the aircraft accidents, which took place in the area during WW2 and the Berlin Airlift in 1949.

 

Aircrew from Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the USA and Poland were among the 25 casualties whose names are listed on a memorial stone, which was unveiled during the ceremony.

 

Relatives of some of the airmen had travelled from Australia, New Zealand and America in order to pay their respects. In a simple but moving ceremony, these family members were able to lay flowers and share their recollections of their loved ones with those present. The relatives were then presented with the appropriate national flag by members of the armed forces with whom their family members had been serving; this was a very poignant and emotional moment for all concerned.

 

A wreath was laid on behalf of the Polish Air Force Memorial Committee by Jim Seymour who made a short speech (see below). He paid tribute to the contribution of the Polish Air Force during the war and made reference to his personal connection with the Polish Forces. His late father escaped from Poland in 1940 and fought at Monte Cassino under the command of General Anders.

 

The ceremony concluded with the blessing of the Memorial Books, which contain details of the 25 aircrew. This was followed by the Act of Remembrance and a minute’s silence.

 

The four Polish aircrew listed are:

Sgt T Nawrocki

F/O W Pucek

Sgt P Struniewski

Sgt R Zywicki

 

The day was extremely well organised, the children and volunteers had done so much to ensure that the sacrifice of the airmen will not be forgotten, and more importantly they will remember their involvement in the project and carry remembrance on to the next generation, thus making sure that  “We Shall Remember Them”.

 

Transcript of speech

 

On behalf of the Polish Air Force Memorial Committee, I am honoured to have been invited to participate in this important commemoration here today.

 

My involvement in the Committee stems from a lifelong interest in the exploits of the Polish airmen fighting alongside the RAF in World War 2, and in particular in the Battle of Britain. On a personal connection, my late father was one of the many Poles who escaped from their homeland in the early days of the Second World War in order to continue to fight alongside the allies.

 

My father made his way through Palestine and North Africa to eventually join the Polish Army under General Anders, taking part in the Battle of Monte Cassino in Italy. In common with many of his countrymen, at the end of hostilities he made England his adopted home and I know he would have loved to have been here with us today.

 

I wish to pay tribute to the Youth Forum volunteers and to Mel Diack for the work they have undertaken in the “We Shall Remember Them” project, and whose efforts we celebrate.

 

I was able to attend a similar commemoration at the Polish Air Force Memorial at Northolt recently and had the privilege of meeting some Polish veterans, none of whom wanted thanks or praise, but as one gentleman said “We simply want to be remembered……”

 

The spirit shown by the young people and volunteers who have made this project a reality will ensure that the airmen of Poland and other allied nations we remember here today will surely never be forgotten.

 

I can think of no finer sentiment than to echo the words which are on the Polish Air Force Memorial, and which provide a fitting epitaph for all of the airmen we commemorate on this occasion.

 

I have fought a good fight

I have finished my course

I have kept the faith

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                     POLISH EMBASSY

 

PRESS RELEASE                                                                                                                                                            11 SEPT

 

Polish 303 Squadron Hurricane unearthed 75 years after Battle of Britain crash

 

The historic dig near Saddlescombe Farm in West Sussex was carried out by a team of archaeologists and historians supported by Polish and British veterans of foreign missions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

 

The remains of No. 303 Polish Squadron’s Hurricane were uncovered exactly 75 years after the airplane’s crash on 9th September 1940. Piloted by Sgt Kazimierz Wünsche, Hurricane RF-E 3700 was shot down during the Battle of Britain following air combat with the Luftwaffe over Beachy Head. Sgt Wünsche,  bailed out of his burning aircraft and was admitted to hospital after suffering serious injuries.

 

The operation, led by MoD archaeologist Richard Osgood, ended with the successful extraction of the aircraft's remains, including its reduction gear and propeller hub. Thanks to the efforts of the Polish Embassy and the Polish MoD, foreign missions veterans from Poland were able to join their British brothers-in-arms in this unique undertaking. The aircraft’s remains will go on show at the Polish Museum in RAF Northolt, were the 303 Squadron was stationed during the Battle of Britain..

 

The dig took place in the presence of Sgt Wünsche's daughter Grazyna and granddaughter Joanna.

 

Grazyna Gasiorowska commented:

 

To be able to see and touch parts of a plane that has been hidden in the ground for the last 75 years is something special. But also to know that the pilot, my father Sgt Kazimierz Wünsche, was the last person to see it intact before he was shot down, is incredibly personal for my whole family. We are so grateful to the whole dig team.

 

Thanks to Historic Aircraft Collection Ltd., an historic Hurricane in Sgt Wünsche,’s markings RF-E P3700 made a flypast over the dig site. The Polish Embassy co-financed the repainting of the Historic Aircraft Collection’s Hurricane in the legendary 303 Squadron’s paint scheme as part of the #BoBPoles project marking the Polish contribution to the Battle of Britain.

 

Joanna Gasiorowska commented:

 

The flypast by a similar Hurricane bearing my grandfather's designation was an incredibly emotional experience for us. Happening 75 years to the day that he had to bail out of his own aircraft, it was a wonderful tribute to him, the 303 squadron and all the pilots and crew that served in the Battle of Britain. We hope that the work that was done on the dig and the items that were recovered will help future generations to remember the sacrifices that brave young men and women made to defend Britain.

 

Together with an historic Spitfire flying originally in 315 and 317 Polish Squadrons, Hurricane RF-E P3700 is on permanent display in Hangar 3 at the Imperial War Museum Duxford, and takes part in various air shows happening throughout the summer of 2015, including The Battle of Britain Anniversary Air Show scheduled for 19-20 September at IWM Duxford.

 

145 Polish fighter ‪‎pilots served in the Battle of Britain in the 302 and 303 Polish squadrons as well as in British units. 303 Polish Fighter Squadron was the highest-scoring Allied unit of the Battle. Out of the overall number of fighter pilots from Allied countries, Poles constituted the second largest contingent after the ‪‎British. By the end of the war, almost 20,000 Polish airmen and airwomen were serving in 16 squadrons of the Polish Air Force in ‪‎Britain.

 

                                                                                          ***

 

A video from the dig has been made available by Digging Diaries team under this link.             Digging Diaries is edited by 360 Production, makers of the 'Digging for Britain' television programme.

 

Photos from the dig with captions and attributions are attached by clicking the slideshow below.

 

More on the #BoBPoles project in the video featuring the Historic Aircraft Collection’s Hurricane and Spitfire,               as well as on the Polish Embassy’s website.

 

Follow #BoBPoles on our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube profiles until the end of October.

 

Konrad Jagodziński

Senior Public Relations Specialist
Media and Public Diplomacy
Embassy of the Republic of Poland
47 Portland Place
London W1B 1JH
Tel: +44 20 7291 3539, Mob: +44 750 830 4782
www.london.mfa.gov.pl
@PolishEmbassyUK: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 September

 

Northolt Commemoration Ceremony                                                                                                          

 

The London Borough of Hillingdon, in partnership with the Polish Embassy, has generously created the new Memorial Garden adjacent to the Polish Air Force Memorial at Northolt. The new Garden was officially opened on Saturday 5th September. The event immediately preceded the annual and 55th Ceremony of Homage to Fallen Polish Airmen at the Memorial and commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, in which Polish pilots contributed such a critical role.

 

Polish Air Force Memorial Committee Chairman Richard Kornicki, in his introductory speech to the estimated 500 people attending the Ceremony of Homage, outlined the crucial part that Polish pilots, ground crew and other branches played during the Battle of Britain in the summer of 1940. This was followed by the Polish Roll-Call of the fallen represented by the Dęblin Officer Cadets, Prayers, the Last Post and a minute’s silence ended by Reveille. Invited dignitaries, representing various organisations and associations laid wreaths on the Memorial followed by veterans or descendants of the Polish Squadrons and Units commemorated on the Memorial. The hour long ceremony ended with the Polish and UK national anthems and a final flypast of a Spitfire from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

 

Just over 300 people then moved to RAF Northolt for a reception and buffet in the Officers’ Mess, while being entertained by Polish dancers. The Station Commander, Group Captain David Manning and the Acting Polish Defence Attacheé, Lt Col Piotr Pacek awarded PAFMC Commendations to people who, with no personal connections with Poland, have made an exceptional contribution to preserving the memory of Polish Airmen.

 

The Memorial programme, speeches and commendations can be viewed by clicking the relevant icons below. Photos in the slide show can be viewed by clicking the image then the arrows.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next year's ceremony will take place on Saturday 3rd September, 2016 at 12.00.

 

1 September

 

303 Squadron Feast Day

 

Some descendents of 303 Squadron decided to mark the 75th anniversary of the 1st September, the Squadron’s Feast Day (Święto) “in perpetuity”. A resolution had been made by the officers, warrant officers and other ranks on Christmas Eve 1940 that honour would be paid to those of the Squadron, who in the fight for Poland's freedom had fallen on English soil, by laying flowers on their graves and throwing flowers into the Channel on 1st September. 

 

The two sons of Władysław Burdziejow, one of 303 Sqn's ground crew, laid red and white carnations on the 303 Sqn graves at Northwood cemetery on 1st September. One of the daughters of 303 Sqn’s British Commander Ronald Kellett, also threw red and white flowers into the Channel and read out the 303 Sqn song and verses from ‘At the going down of the sun’. Photographs can be viewed by clicking the icon.

 

 

 

 

16 July

 

Commemoration Mass

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Commemoration Mass for the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain was recently held at the Church of the Immaculate Conception Farm Street, London, W1K 3AH. Although it was not a specific Polish Air Force event the replica Wilno Standard of the Polish Air Force was paraded.               

 

 

POLISH EMBASSY

 

PRESS RELEASE                                                                                                                                                             19 JUNE

 

Launch of #BoBPoles social media campaign

 

This Saturday, the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in London is launching the online component of the #BoBPoles campaign, commemorating the contribution of Polish airmen to the Battle of Britain.

 

20th June is the 75th anniversary of the evacuation of Polish airmen from France to Britain. On this day, the Embassy will publish the first of a series of facts about Poles in the Battle of Britain. New facts accompanied by unique archive photographs will appear on Twitter every morning, and on Facebook every Saturday evening, until the anniversary of the Battle’s conclusion on 31st October.

 

Based on a broad chronology of the battle, the campaign will be a creative account of the history of Poles in the RAF – their significance, successes, and the challenges they faced – though the campaign will begin with the history of Polish pilots in the early days of the war, and describe their journey from Poland to Britain. A new topic will be introduced each week, ranging from the stories of individual pilots, to more general  facts about their role in the Battle of Britain, altogether forming a comprehensive picture of the Polish contingent in this crucial event of World War II.

 

Follow #BoBPoles in the social media to learn more about Poles in the Battle of Britain. More information on the campaign can be viewed on the Embassy’s website at this link.

 

 

  

                                                        POLISH AIR FORCE MEMORIAL COMMITTEE

 

PRESS RELEASE                                                                                                                                                             12 JUNE

 

                                               Polish 303 Squadron Hurricane returns to Northolt after 75 years

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

              

 

 

 

                                                                                                                       Photo courtesy of Jacek Mainka

 

To commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain, the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in London has co-financed, with the Historic Aircraft Collection, the repainting of the HAC’s Hawker Hurricane XIIa in the colours 303 Polish Kościuszko Squadron carried during the conflict. The aircraft, which is based at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford, will carry the Royal Air Force assigned 303 Sqn code RF and individual aircraft letter E.

 

Hurricane RF-E will make its début at the RAF Northolt Open Day on 13th June. This will be the first time in 75 years that a Hurricane with the insignia of 303 Kościuszko Polish Fighter Squadron – the most successful Squadron in the Battle of Britain - has flown into RAF Northolt where the Squadron was based in 1940.

 

At Northolt Hurricane RF-E will be parked alongside the HAC’s Mk.Vb Spitfire, JH-C serial number BM597 in the colour of 317 Polish City of Wilno Squadron. This is the actual aircraft that retired Sqn/Ldr Franciszek Kornicki, who later commanded 317 Sqn, last flew in 1942. Sqn/Ldr Kornicki, who also flew an RF-E registered 303 Sqn Hurricane in November 1940, will be present at the display with other PAF veterans.

 

The HAC will continue to display its Hurricane as RF-E at least until the end of this year at air shows around the UK.

 

The Ambassador for the Republic of Poland, Witold Sobków said: “The contribution made by 145 Polish fighter pilots to the Battle of Britain, who fought in 302 and 303 Polish Sqns, as well as in British units is a source of immense pride for Poland and the Polish community in the UK. Out of the overall number of fighter pilots from Allied countries they constituted the largest contingent after the British. We are honoured that our project can help commemorate their sacrifice ‘for your freedom and ours’.

 

On the 15th September 1940, now recognized as Battle of Britain Day, 20% of the pilots in combat were Polish. The Commander-in-Chief of RAF Fighter Command during the Battle of Britain, Air Chief Marshall Sir Hugh Dowding, later said, ‘Had it not been for the magnificent material contributed by the Polish squadrons and their unsurpassed gallantry, I hesitate to say that the outcome of the battle would have been the same.’”
 

303 Sqn, serving in 11 Group of Fighter Command and flying Hurricanes from RAF Northolt, became the most successful fighter unit during the Battle of Britain. Operational for only six out of the sixteen weeks of the official Battle period, 303 Sqn nonetheless was credited with 126 confirmed enemy aircraft destroyed for the loss of eight of its pilots; six of these in actual combat. The Czechoslovak pilot Sgt Josef František, flying with 303 Sqn, was the most successful pilot in the Battle, credited with 17 aircraft destroyed and one probably destroyed. The most successful Polish fighter pilot during the Battle was F/O Witold Urbanowicz with 15 aircraft destroyed, 14 of these were with 303 Sqn and nine in Hurricane RF-E serial number P3901.

 

                                                                                                     Ends

For further information please contact:

 

PAFMC Chairman Richard Kornicki   

richardkornicki@gmail.com 

0208 991 0321

 

Notes to editors:

 

1: There were three separate Hurricanes that carried the 303 Sqn insignia RF-E during the Battle of Britain.

 

The first RF-E was serial number P3700 and on 6th September P/O Miroslaw Ferić claimed a Messerschmitt Bf 109 destroyed over Sevenoaks, Kent. On the 9th September P3700 was shot down by a Bf 109 over Beachy Head and crashed at Saddlescombe Farm, Poynings, West Sussex. F/Sgt Kazimierz Wunsche bailed out, wounded.

 

Hurricane P3700 was replaced on 12th September by a second RF-E, serial number P3577.  On 15th September P/O Jan Zumbach claimed a Bf 109 destroyed between London and Hastings. Later the same day RF-E was shot down by a Bf 109 over the Thames Estuary and its pilot Sgt Michał Brzezowski was killed.

 

The third RF-E, serial number P3901, arrived on 18th September. It was the usual aircraft of F/O and acting Sqn/Ldr Witold Urbanowicz. On 26th September F/O Witold Urbanowicz claimed a Heinkel He111 destroyed over Portsmouth. On the 27th September Sqn/Ldr Witold Urbanowicz claimed a Messerschmitt Bf 110 and a Bf 109 destroyed over Horsham and two Junkers Ju 88s between London and Hastings. On 30th September Sqn/Ldr Witold Urbanowicz claimed two Bf 109s and a Dornier Do 17 destroyed over the English Channel and a Bf 109 destroyed over Brooklands, Surrey. On 5th October Sgt Stanislaw Karubin claimed a Bf 109 destroyed over Rochester, Kent.

 

On 11th October 303 Sqn was rested and moved from RAF Northolt to RAF Leconfield. Hurricane RF-E, serial number P3901, was subsequently flown by P/O Franciszek Kornicki on four occasions.

 

2. The Historic Aircraft Collection was formed by Guy Black and Angus Spencer-Nairn to restore and operate a collection of piston engined military aircraft. The HAC currently operate a Spitfire Mk.Vb (G-MKVB), Hawker Hurricane XIIa (G-HURI), Hawker Nimrod II (G-BURZ) and Hawker Fury (G-CBZP). The HAC estimates that over 1 million members of the public watch their aircraft at displays each year.

www.historicaircraftcollection.ltd.uk/

 

3: Following the closure of the Polish Air Force Association the Polish Air Force Memorial Committee was formed in 2010 with the aim of maintaining the memory of the Polish Air Force in the West, some 2,000 of whom gave their lives 'For Your Freedom and Ours' during the Second World War. 

 

The Committee was set up with the support of the Commander in Chief of the Polish Air Force and of the Chief of the Air Staff for the Royal Air Force. They are represented as ex-officio Co-Presidents by the Defence Attaché of the Polish Embassy and by the Station Commander, RAF Northolt.

 

Every year in September a Commemoration ceremony takes place at the Polish Air Force Memorial in Ruislip, West London; this year the ceremony will be at 12.00 on Saturday 5th September.

www.polishairforcememorialcommittee.org

 

4: The 75th anniversary of the Polish contribution to the Battle of Britain will be marked online with the #BoBPoles and #BoB75 hashtags by the Polish Embassy from 10th June.

 

5:  A video summary of the event, featuring interviews with veterans and Polish Ambassador Witold Sobków will be published on the Polish Embassy UK YouTube Channel on Wednesday 17th June.

 

 

17 February

 

Polish Air Force Memorial Committee - Vacancies

 

The PAFMC was set up in 2010 with the approval of the then Chief of the Air Staff and his counterpart in Warsaw, to provide a continuing focus for the representation and commemoration of the Polish Air Force during the war. At present there are several vacancies on the Committee and we would like to hear from people who might be interested in taking up a role. The Committee meets four times a year at RAF Northolt during working hours, with work in the meantime being conducted by e-mail. Business is conducted in English.

 

Expressions of interest would be particularly welcome from descendants of members of the PAF, or those with a personal connection of some nature, but we would like to hear from anyone whose heart is in the subject.

 

For further details, or to discuss the possibility of taking part, please use the Contact tab above.

 

1 February

 

A Thanksgiving Service for the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain will be held in Westminster Abbey on Sunday 20th September. Anyone wishing to attend is invited to apply for tickets. Full details are available on the Events section of the website.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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