Plumetot Memorial Unveiled
Plumetot Memorial Unveiled - 1st August 2019
The Plumetot Memorial was unveiled in the small Normandy village of Plumetot on Sunday 9 June 2019, as part of the events commemorating the 75th Anniversary of D-Day. The Memorial commemorates the Polish 131 Fighter Wing, comprising 302, City of Dęblin, 308 City of Kraków, and 317, City of Wilno Squadrons, which flew from Plumetot in August and September 1944 as the first units of the Polish Air Force to be based in France since 1940; more widely it marks the role played by fighter and bomber squadrons in helping secure the liberation of Normandy and of France.
The proceedings opened with the raising of the national flags of Poland, France and the United Kingdom accompanied by the respective national anthems. This was followed by a welcome address by M. Jean-Pierre Tarlet, Maire of Plumetot, a fly past by a 317 Squadron Spitfire and a Casa transport aircraft of the French Air Force and a speech by Polish Air Force Memorial Committee Chairman Richard Kornicki on the origin and purpose of the Memorial.
Several speeches followed prior to the unveiling of the Memorial. This was followed by a roll call of the fallen, laying of wreaths, the Last Post, a minute’s silence, national anthems, a trumpet solo, an inspection of Colour Parties and a reception.
The Memorial and its creation has been generously supported by the Polish Institute of National Memory, which funded the steel work in Kraków, together with other organisations and individuals in Britain, France and Poland. The Polish Embassy in Paris have also been involved at every stage of the Memorial, which was designed by architect Alexander Smaga following an international competition.