2020

8 Sept

A new book about the Polish Air Force in the defence of Britain is now available from Sabrestorm Publishing. 

 

Truly of the Few -The Polish Air Force in the Defence of Britain. Author Dr Penny Starns. ISBN-978-1-78122-019-1. Publisher Sabrestorm Publishing.

Details are available by clicking this

1 June

A new 224 page photographic album of Polish airmen who flew during the Battle of Britain is now available to pre-order. Details are available by clicking this

 

Poles in the Battle of Britain: A Photographic Album of the Polish 'Few' (Hardback). Author Peter Sikora. ISBN: 9781526782410. Publisher Pen & Sword Books Ltd,  Barnsley, South Yorkshire.

 

Synopsis

The Polish Air Force, which was created in Britain in the summer of 1940 from flying and ground personnel evacuated from Poland and then from France, proved to be one of the most successful formations to fight the Luftwaffe during the Battle of Britain.

 

Overcoming the obstacles of language and operating in a foreign country, the Polish Air Force gained independent status, flying alongside the RAF rather than being a part of the RAF - and for the first time the Polish Air Force became a separate air arm of the Polish Armed Forces. It is stated that 145 Polish pilots fought in the Battle of Britain, many of them experienced and battle-hardened. These men fought not only for freedom of their own homeland but also for British people, of whom they often knew very little.

The Poles were able to form four squadrons, two bomber and two fighter, that went into operations during the Battle of Britain. Many other Polish fliers were dispersed across the Fighter Command, joining various RAF squadrons. They all made a decisive impact, when they were needed the most, gaining the respect of their British colleagues and the British public.

 

In this superb collection of photographs, the story of the Polish Few is told from their hazardous journey from Poland to the UK and in the great struggle for control of the skies above Britain during that memorable summer of 1940.

20 April

 

A new paperback edition of One of the Few  - a story of personal challenge through the Battle of Britain and Beyond, by Group Captain Johnny Kent, with additional material by his daughter Alexandra, is now available in book shops and online. ISBN-10: 0750993405. Publisher The History Press.

 

The hardback version ISBN-13: 978-0750993401 was launched at the RAF Museum, Hendon in September 2016.

Johnny Kent was a Flight Commander of one of the most successful fighter squadrons of the Second World War - 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. 

28 January

A Polish language edition of Blood on their Wing Tips: A Second World War Timeline of the No. 303 Kościuszko Polish Squadron at RAF Northolt, by Nina Britton Boyle and translated by Łukasz Golowanow, is now available by clicking the link below.

 

SKRZY­DŁA WE KRWI: Dy­wi­zjon 303 w ba­zie RAF Nor­tholt. ISBN. 978-83-66217-51-5. Publisher Replika, Poland.

2018

30 June

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.

18 June

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.’

2017

31 December

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.

1 November

A new book about 303 Squadron equipped with the Mustang IV is now available through MMP Books. Details are available by clicking the link.

 

Polish Wings No. 23. 303 Squadron North American Mustang. Authors Wojtek MatusiakPiotr SikoraSteve Brooking.

 ISBN-978-83-65281-80-7. Publisher MMP Books, Poland.

2016

 

20 October

 

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.

17 June

 

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.

13 June

 

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.

 

5 June 

 

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.

2 June

 

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: cnorman306@gmail.com.  

 

All proceeds will go to the Polish Air Force Memorial Committee.

 

 

17 January

 

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.

2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

14 January

 

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.

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