A biography about Polish Air Force physical training instructor Sgt Gerard Wodarz is now available through Wydawnictwo Gretza. This is a story of a pre-war Polish national team football player who participated in the Olympics in 1936 and World Cup in 1938 and was one of the top Polish players in pre-war Poland. He was a physical training instructor at RAF Newton in 1945. Details are available by clicking the link.
Z boiska na wojnę (From the pitch to the war). Author Wojtek Zymslony.
ISBN 978-83-64424-46-5. Publisher Wydawnictwo Gretza, Poland.
A new illustrated book about the Polish airmen who flew during the Battle of Britain is now available to pre-order from the bookshop Pen & Sword. Details are available by clicking this link.
The Polish ‘Few’. Author Peter Sikora. ISBN: 9781526714855. Publisher Frontline Books.
They came to fight for freedom and their country, they came to fight Germans. Men of the Polish Air Force, who had escaped first to France and then to Britain, to fly alongside the Royal Air Force just as Fighter Command faced its greatest challenge – the Battle of Britain.
Many of the Polish airmen joined existing RAF squadrons. The Poles also formed their own squadrons, but only four became operational during the Battle of Britain: Nos. 300 and 301, were bomber squadrons, with another two, Nos. 302 and 303, being fighter squadrons. Flying Hawker Hurricanes, both 302 and 303 squadrons were active by the middle of August 1940, just when they were most needed, at the height of the Battle of Britain, with Fighter Command stretched to its limit.
The Polish squadrons, battle-hardened from their encounters with the Luftwaffe during the invasion of Poland and Battle of France, soon made their mark. In particular, 303 Squadron become the highest-scoring unit of Fighter Command.
In total, 145 Polish pilots, the largest non-British contingent in Fighter Command at the time, fought in the Battle of Britain. While Winston Churchill praised the contribution of the ‘Few’, the pilots of many nationalities who had defended Britain, Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Dowding was more specific: ‘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.’
An illustrated biography of Polish pilot Wladyslaw Gnys, who was credited with shooting down the first two German aircraft of World War II on 1 September 1939, is now available from the online book shop Wordery. Details are available by clicking the link.
First Kills: The Illustrated Biography of Fighter Pilot Wladyslaw Gnys. Author Stefan Gnys ISBN-13: 9781612005560. Publisher Casemate Books.
A new book about 303 Squadron equipped with the Mustang IV is now available through MMP Books. Details are available by clicking the link.
ISBN-978-83-65281-80-7. Publisher MMP Books, Poland.
A new book about 300 Polish Bomber Squadron is now available through Amazon. Details are available by clicking the link.
300 Squadron: Volume 4 (RAF Bomber Command Squadron Profiles) Paperback. Authors Chris Ward and Grzegorz Korcz. ISBN-10: 1911255142, ISBN-13: 978-1911255147. Publisher Mention the War Ltd, UK.
A new book about 303 Polish Kościuszko Squadron at RAF Northolt is now available through Amazon. Details are available by clicking the link below.
Blood on their Wing Tips: A Second World War Timeline of the No. 303 Kościuszko Polish Squadron at RAF Northolt. Author Nina Britton Boyle ISBN 978-0-9934924-0-2 (paperback); ISBN 978-0-9934924-1-9 (eBook) Publisher BookTower Publishing, Redditch, UK.
This unique book is the culmination of Nina’s extensive and meticulous research over the past 30 years. It is a true life timeline of 303 Sqn and combines the personal memories and photographs from surviving pilots, the families of those who gave their lives, and official combat records and war diaries.
‘I wanted to write the book in a way that the non-expert in aviation could read and understand. I wanted to write it so that those who knew little of the Polish Air Force would realise the huge contribution and sacrifice made by the Polish airmen and their ground crew serving alongside our RAF. I knew the only way to write an authentic book was to interview some of those who had flown in combat, those who had served as ground crew and trace the families of some of the airmen who lost their lives during the war.
‘It was very humbling to interview pilots and ground crew as they spoke about their war experiences sharing often painful memories of their lost friends. It was a great honour to be in their company.’
Nina’s research, which is ongoing, has helped many Polish families to discover the fate of loved ones and bring closure. She continues to visit the graves of the Polish airmen in Great Britain and lay flowers on behalf of the families. Nina also gives talks about the Polish pilots and ground crew in honour of their memory.
A full account of the background to the book and details about the author can be found on the publisher’s website by clicking this link.
Nina will be generously donating half of her royalties to the Polish Air Force Memorial Committee.
A new book relating to the Polish Air Force is now available in Polish book shops and online. Details are available by clicking the link.
Battles of the Polish Air Force 1939-1945 (Bitwy polskiego lotnictwa 1939-1945). Author Piotr Sikora. ISBN: 978-83-7020-626-0. Publisher Alma-Press, Warsaw, Poland.
A new edition of Group Captain Johnny Kent's autobiography ‘One of the Few’ is scheduled for publication in August, augmented with an introduction and epilogue by his youngest daughter Alexandra Kent. These additions present new material that sheds light on Johnny Kent's story in the broader context of his life as a son, husband and father. This edition will also include previously unpublished photographs from the family archive.
Johnny Kent is perhaps best known as a Flight Commander of one of the most successful fighter squadrons of the Second World War - the famous 303 Polish Kościuszko Squadron. In this role he helped form 303 Squadron, which then played a decisive part in the Battle of Britain. This earned him the highest Polish military award, the Virtuti Militari, as well as the affectionate nickname ‘Kentowski’. He later went on to command the Polish Wing of four Polish squadrons at RAF Northolt.
Group Captain Kent originally published his memoirs in 1971. The new edition will be launched at the RAF Museum, Hendon, London on Saturday 17th September in the presence of Alexandra Kent and Tomasz Magierski, who will present and screen his documentary film on 303 Sqn. There will also be a repeat performance at the RAF Club, London, for members on Monday 19th September.
Alexandra Kent will be donating 50% of the royalties to the RAF Benevolent Fund.
Additional information is available on Facebook at the following page.
Tomasz Magierski’s 303 film is available by clicking on this link.
The dust jacket to 'One of the Few' can be viewed by clicking on the icon.
A booklet 303 Kościuszko Squadron is now available from the Polish Air Force Memorial Committee. It was compiled and researched by Louise Pemberton, a daughter of Wing Commander Ronald G Kellett DSO DFC VM AE, the British Commanding Officer of 303 Polish Kościuszko Squadron, when it was formed in July 1940 during the Battle of Britain.
The booklet was originally produced to accompany the Memorial Service and the unveiling of a plaque to Wing Commander Ronald G Kellett at St George’s Church, Benenden, Kent on 30 August 2014.
The booklet price is £5 plus £2.00 postage. There is also a limited number of copies signed by former 303Sqn pilot Franciszek Kornicki, the last surviving Polish Squadron commander, who appears in several photographs in the booklet, priced at £8 plus £2.00 postage. As this website does not have the facility to receive electronic payments, please contact Chris Norman via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
All proceeds will go to the Polish Air Force Memorial Committee.
Several books have been published recently relating to the Polish Air Force. Details are available by clicking the following individual links.
1. Grzegorz Sologub, six days of Polish ace (Grzegorz Sologub. Szesc dni polskiego asa). Author Piotr Sikora. ISBN 978-83-89450-56-2. Publisher: Stratus, Sandomierz, Poland.
2. One of the Few. Pawel Niemiec, fighter pilot from Cieszyn (Jeden z niewielu. Pawel Niemiec mysliwiec z Cieszyna). Author Piotr Sikora. ISBN 978-83-62913-81-7. Publisher: Finna, Gdansk, Poland.
3. Aces of the Polish Air Force (Asy polskiego lotnictwa). Author Piotr Sikora. ISBN 978-83-7020-560-7. Pubisher: Alma-Press, Warsaw, Poland.
4. Polish wings over Ireland (Polskie skrzydla nad Irlandia). Authors Piotr Sikora and Lukasz Gredys. ISBN 978-83-7020-607-9. Publisher: Alma-Press, Warsaw, Poland.
5. 303 Squadron. The Complete Illustrated History. Author Wojtek Matusiak.
vol. 1 ISBN 978-1-906592-22-6
vol. 2 ISBN 978-1-906592-23-3
vol. 3 ISBN 978-1-906592-24-0
Publisher: Red Kite, Walton-on-Thames, UK.
6. Polish Spitfire Aces. Authors Wojtek Matusiak with Robert Grudzień.
ISBN 978-1-4728-0837-0. Publisher: Osprey Publishing, Oxford, UK.
7. The Battle of Britain. (Kampania Brytyjska). Authors Wojtek Matusiak, Robert Gretzyngier, Tadeusz Kondracki, Wojciech Krajewski and Jens Wehner. ISBN 978-83-939984-3-2. Publisher: Polish Army Museum (Muzeum Wojska Polskiego), Warsaw, Poland.
8. Polish Airmen in the Battle of Britain (Lotnicy polscy w Bitwie o Anglię). Authors Wojtek Matusiak, Robert Gretzyngier and Józef Zieliński. ISBN 978-83-11139-84-8. Publisher: Bellona, Warsaw, Poland.
9. Polish Air Force historian and author Robert Gretzyngier also publishes a range of books and calendars which are available by clicking on the following link.
There is a new film available which tells the story of 303 Polish squadron, the most successful fighter unit during the Battle of Britain, through the eyes of two former 303Sqn pilots Franciszek Kornicki and Stanislaw Socha, as well as children of three 303Sqn pilots Witold Urbanowicz, John Kent and Miroslaw Feric.
The film, by Tomasz Magierski, is available to purchase by clicking on this link.
There is also feedback on the film at this Facebook link.