Gallery 3. Unvanquished
You are in: Room 3c.
Polish Air Force (1940-45)
- Pre WW2, the Military Flying School in Dęblin was considered to be one of the best in the world and Polish pilots a professional elite.
- Despite German numerical and technological superiority in September 1939, Polish pilots fought heroically.
- With the fall of Poland, about 80% of the Polish Air Force escaped to Romania. Thousands were then evacuated to France.
- After the fall of France, 7,000 personnel from the Polish Airforce escaped to G.B. Recognized as sovereign, it was subject to RAF for organization and operations.
- Polish squadrons became operational in August 1940 when the RAF could not replace the number of British pilots who were killed in action during the Battle of Britain.
- 302 Poznań Squadron and 303 Kościuszko Squadron became famous during the Battle of Britain for their bravery, flying skills and number of enemy “kills”. 303 Squadron outperformed all other RAF squadrons.
- Altogether, the 11 Polish fighter squadrons scored 769 certain kills between July 1940 – May 1945. This came at the cost of 421 dead and 52 missing in action pilots.
- Polish Bomber Squadrons were also part of the Polish Air Force. Their first mission was bombing the German preparations for invasion at Boulogne.
- In time, Polish bomber squadrons were re-equipped with much better Vickers Wellington bombers and towards the end of the war with Halifax and Lancaster bombers.
- Altogether Polish bomber squadrons flew 11,706 missions, dropping 13,206 tons of bombs and 1502 tons of sea mines on the enemy. This was at the cost of 1005 crew members dead and 34 missing in action.
- The performance of the Polish Air Force was evaluated by many non-Polish commanding officers as exceptional.
22641:Bentkowski, Polish Airforce in the West, 1941. Group of Polish airmen, UK. Group of Polish airmen, UK. Polish airforce fly-over. Photographs TestimoniesPolish Air Force (1940-45) - the script for the audio narration
Polish airforce fly-over.Map of Polish Airforce in the France, 1940. Source: Boje Polskie Fundacja Historia i Kultura, Warsaw.
Polish Navy Officer and then Polish Liaison Officer, Polish Armed Forces in the West