Coronavirus: Visits to the Museum in May, June, August
and October have now been cancelled in accordance with Government advice.
Northolt Commemoration Ceremony Cancelled
The annual Commemoration of Fallen Polish Airmen, scheduled for Saturday 5 September at the Polish Air Force Memorial at South Ruislip, is just twelve weeks away. Although the state of the Coronavirus pandemic is easing, we still have no idea when it will be possible to have unrestricted public gatherings at which it will be safe for people of all ages to take part. An event such as our crowded public Ceremony would obviously be a high-risk setting. RAF Northolt, where we had planned to have lunch in the Officers' Mess is not anticipating hosting public events until later in the autumn.
We have delayed our decision as long as possible, but given the long lead-in period and planning requirements for an event on this scale, we have to make a judgement now. Having consulted the Polish Embassy and RAF Northolt, we have decided, with much regret, that the only prudent course is to cancel the public ceremony this year. It will be replaced by a filmed virtual Commemoration. This film will particularly mark the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain and we intend it to serve also as a permanent tribute to the airmen of that time. The film will be available on the PAFMC website and YouTube for viewing from the 5 September.
We recognise the deep disappointment the cancellation will cause - which the Committee of course shares - but we hope that we can rely on your understanding in these exceptional times. We look forward to welcoming everyone in person at next year's Commemoration, which will be on Saturday 4 September 2021.
307 Squadron Project Streams Live
The 307 Squadron Project will live stream a video event - The Polish D-Day Story Live! on Saturday 6 June at 16.00 British Summer time. More details are available at this link https://www.facebook.com/events/895236307648199/
The story of the Polish role during the invasion of Normandy, presented in English, includes interviews and details of how the Polish Air Force, Army and Navy played important roles during the D-Day Campaign. We will also include videos and photos, some of which have never been seen publicly before. You can watch this event, a first for our organisation, on our Facebook page facebook.com/307squadronproject. If you do not have a Facebook account it will still be available to view by scrolling down to the live video link.
Polish Air Force Memorial - temporary closure
The Polish Air Force Memorial and the adjacent Memorial Garden at South Ruislip, will be temporarily closed for all public access from the 8 May. This is for essential routine maintenance work and reconstruction of paving to be carried out by the owner of the Memorial the London Borough of Hillingdon. The site will be totally locked down with external fencing until work is complete in 6 to 8 weeks’ time. LBC apologises for any inconvenience this necessary temporary closure may cause.
307 Squadron Project Streams Live.
The 307 Squadron Project will stream for the first time a live video event 307 Squadron Live! on Sunday 3 May at 16.00 British Summer time.
The story of the Polish 307 Squadron, presented in English, includes interviews with veterans and all are welcome to view on its Facebook page facebook.com/307squadronproject. If you do not have a Facebook account it will still be available to view by scrolling down to the live video link.
307 Squadron Live! is part of Polish Heritage Day 2020 with the support of the Polish Cultural Institute. #PLHeritageDays #PolesinUK
Polish Spitfire to fly again.
The UK’s Civil Aviation Authority has issued the MKIIB Spitfire, serial number P8331 (Castle Bromwich Aircraft Factory number 709) with its new civilian registration designated G-KOSC. This is the first step, by the recently formed Spitfire P8331 Restoration Project Ltd, towards producing an airworthy MKIIB Spitfire P8331, which served with 303 Kościuszko Squadron in the code of RF-M during 1941.
The MKIIB Spitfire P8331 RF-M was flown by several 303Sqn pilots from 21 May 1941 until the 27 June 1941, when it was shot down during a raid on a Luftwaffe airfield near Coquelles, France. Its pilot, W/Cdr Piotr Laguna, was killed and is buried in the military cemetery at Pihen-les-Guines, France, Row A Grave 9. At the time W/Cdr Piotr Laguna, was commander of the 1st Polish Wing of 303Sqn, 306Sqn and 308Sqn at Northolt, and jointly led the fatal mission with W/Cdr John Kent.
The Spitfire P8331 Restoration Project Ltd is now seeking business leaders, companies and individuals interested in becoming serious partners in the estimated £3 million project, which is hoped to include any items that are deemed recoverable from the surviving wreckage. Only 170 MKIIB Spitfires were built at the Castle Bromwich factory and when complete P8331, in 303Sqn code RF-M, will be the world’s only airworthy MKIIB.
The aim is to start on the project with a build partner within the next 6 to 12 months and be complete in time to fly to Poland for the 85th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain and the 80th Anniversary of VE Day in 2025.
Further information is available at this website link
The full press release can be viewed by clicking the icon
Laguna Spitfire Project – latest news.
The Laguna Spitfire project has appointed the airframe restoration and manufacturing specialist company Airframe Assemblies Ltd, as build partners for the restoration of the MKIIB Spitfire P8331, which was flown by W/Cdr Piotr Laguna when it was shot down by flak on 27 June 1941. Airframe Assemblies, based in Sandown, Isle of Wight, is renowned worldwide for its restoration and repair of airframes for World War II aircraft, mainly Spitfires.
For further information see this link: https://lagunasspitfirelegacy.org/appointment-of-build-partners-airframe-assemblies-for-spitfire-mkiib-p8331/
This Spitfire, in 303Sqn code RF-M, was also flown by W/Cdr John Kent as part of the 1st Polish Wing at Northolt. His youngest daughter Alexandra Kent and Janek Laguna, the son of W/Cdr Piotr Laguna, have accepted to be Honorary Patron’s of the Laguna Spitfire Project. For further information see this link: https://lagunasspitfirelegacy.org/news-blog/.
Also see post below 29 April for additional information.