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Polish Spitfire Aces

From an expert on Polish fighter aviation, this is a peerless account of the fiery, talented Polish "Spit" pilots, whose country had been overrun and whose aggression and determination to shoot down Axis aircraft was unmatched.

Author : Wojtek Matusiak

Release : 2015-07-20

Publisher : Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN : 147280838X

File Size : 47.89 MB

Format : PDF

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Of all Allied airmen, Polish pilots had had the most experience of fighting the Luftwaffe by the time the war came to Britain. As the Battle of Britain raged, they quickly proved themselves as highly aggressive and skilful interceptors, especially when flying the famous Spitfire. The Polish Air Force eventually became the largest non-Commonwealth Spitfire operator, using some 1,500 Mks I, II, V, IX and XVI to devastating effect. Top scoring USAAF ace of the ETO, Francis "Gabby" Gabreski and a whole host of other Allied and Commonwealth aces flew with Polish squadrons, adding even more to their fighting quality. Conversely, several Polish pilots were attached to other Allied squadrons throughout the war, demonstrating their prowess alongside airmen from a whole host of nations. From an expert on Polish fighter aviation, this is a peerless account of the fiery, talented Polish "Spit" pilots, whose country had been overrun and whose aggression and determination to shoot down Axis aircraft was unmatched.

With Great Sacrifice and Bravery

This work is presented to the reader with several ideas in mind.

Author : Glenn Knoblock

Release : 2004-05-01

Publisher : Merriam Press

ISBN : 157638330X

File Size : 90.79 MB

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This work is presented to the reader with several ideas in mind. First, it is the author''s hope that, in some small way, it will help preserve the memory of a little known pilot who fought, not only for his own country, but also for France and England during the early, dark days of World War II. While Waclaw Lapkowski was an experienced pilot who became one of Poland''s aces during the war, his early demise, like that of so many others, has relegated his achievements to the back pages of history, making them nearly forgotten. However, in referring to pilots such as Lapkowski, the great British ace Robert Stanford-Tuck cites the many men "who were credited with six, seven, or eight victories", pilots that "formed the bulk and guts of our fighter force." The second reason for producing this work is the unique use of official combat and operations reports from the Royal Air Force (RAF). Many of those who are interested in World War II aviation and fighter aces have read the biographies, and first-hand accounts of air combat contained within, of such men as Douglas Bader, Witold Urbanowicz, Adolph Galland, and Gregory "Pappy" Boyington, to name just a few. But what of those "aces" that did not survive to tell their story? How are they to be remembered? In the case of those who served with the RAF, the answer is, in part, through the use of official combat reports and related documents. While these official RAF and Polish Air Force (PAF) records do not sound particularly exciting, a glance at the surviving records quickly proves otherwise. Indeed, the title of this book consists of a borrowed phrase from one such report, and is a small example of the many dramatic events recorded within, often in the pilot''s own words. While these reports have been an important source for many works on the RAF and PAF and its achievements during the war, never before, to the author''s knowledge, have official combat reports been presented to the reading public in their original form. Though not originally intended for public view, they nonetheless make for exciting and informative reading and will be of interest not only to those with a passing interest in World War II aviation, but to the serious student as well. While the author was unable to obtain combat reports for all of Lapkowski''s flights, those that were procured for September 1940 and June 1941 are of particular interest as they highlight all of the "kills" that he made while serving in the RAF. The final reason for choosing to write about Waclaw Lapkowski is due to the availability of wartime artifacts connected with his service in the RAF. About a year ago the author came in contact with a man who owned a portion of Lapkowski''s Hurricane fighter, which was legally excavated in 1979. The author subsequently obtained a small piece of the wreckage for his personal collection, while the collector retained the remains of its Merlin engine, the prop boss, its Browning machine guns, and other items formerly on display at an aviation museum. Once this artifact was in the author''s possession, he became interested in finding out about Lapkowski, his career, and his subsequent fate. While this work gives much information about 303 Squadron, it is not, however, a squadron history. While a book entitled Squadron 303 was published in London in 1942, written by Arkady Fiedler, it was not intended as an exacting history of the unit. Instead, it was a nice work of wartime public relations to help explain the Polish contribution in general terms during the Battle of Britain. Despite its shortcomings, Fiedler''s book deserves its own place in the annals of aviation history. Copies by the thousands were smuggled into Nazi-held Poland and served not only to show that those who had left Poland were still fighting for their country, but served as an inspiration to those left behind to continue their resistance. No definitive squadron history has yet been translated into English. What the author found out, from the official combat reports, and various published sources, uniquely combined with available archaeological artifacts, was fascinating. What emerged from the records is a story worth telling. Waclaw Lapkowski, though not famous like such other Polish aces as Stanislaw Skalski, Jan Zumbach, or Urbanowicz, had an interesting and distinguished career. He was in the thick of battle at the outset of the war, when Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, and saw subsequent service during the Battle of France and the Battle of Britain in 1940. He achieved air victories in two out of three of these campaigns, and is one of only a handful of men, less than 150 in number, who served in all three campaigns. To borrow a phrase from the British, Waclaw Lapkowski truly was one of "The Few", men whose skill and bravery helped stem the tide of German aggression and made Allied victory possible, at the cost of their own lives.

Polish Aces of World War 2

Pilots of the Polish Air Force saw action from the first day of World War 2 until the final victory in Europe.

Author : Robert Gretzyngier

Release : 2013-01-20

Publisher : Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN : 1472800583

File Size : 44.44 MB

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Pilots of the Polish Air Force saw action from the first day of World War 2 until the final victory in Europe. Flying hopelessly outmoded P.11 fighters in defence of their country in September 1939, a handful of aviators inflicted serious losses on the Luftwaffe before being overwhelmed. The survivors escaped to then neutral Hungary and Romania, before being ordered to France by the new C-in-C of exiled Polish Armed Forces, General Sikorski. With the invasion of Western Europe in May 1940, the surviving pilots were once more thrust into desperate action in newly-formed Polish units

Spitfire Aces of the Channel Front 1941-43

Full details of the US-manned RAF 'Eagle' and USAAF Spitfire squadrons serving
on the Channel Front can be found in Osprey Aircraft of the Aces 80 –American
Spitfire Aces, whilst Polish units from this theatre are covered in Osprey Aircraft ...

Author : Andrew Thomas

Release : 2016-06-16

Publisher : Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN : 1472812603

File Size : 23.20 MB

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80 years after the Spitfire was first developed it remains an icon of military aviation. Though many associate its victory during the Battle of Britain as the high point in the history of the Spitfire, the years following were of equal importance. Having weathered the initial storm, at the start of 1941 Fighter Command took the fight to the Germans with offensive missions over the Channel. This book reveals how first using the Spitfire I and II, and then following the introduction of the Bf 109 the cannon-armed Spitfire V, RAF squadrons embarked on a range of missions which included one of the most important air battles of the war, over Dieppe on 19 August 1942. Alongside British pilots were squadrons manned by exiled Europeans and pilots from the RAAF, RCAF and RNZAF. In just three years over 100 of these pilots were to rack up ace status in the Spitfire.

Late Mark Spitfire Aces 1942–45

This volume features the exploits of pilots who turned the tide against the Luftwaffe on the Western European and Mediterranean fronts, as well as the Japanese in the Far East, flying Spitfire Mk VIs, VIIs, VIIIs, IXs XIIs and XIVs.

Author : Alfred Price

Release : 1995-09-11

Publisher : Osprey Publishing

ISBN : 9781855325753

File Size : 52.96 MB

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Although the Spitfire is undoubtedly best known for its exploits against the Luftwaffe during the Battle of Britain, its later war service with Fighter Command on all fronts against the Axis alliance was equally as important. This volume features the exploits of pilots who turned the tide against the Luftwaffe on the Western European and Mediterranean fronts, as well as the Japanese in the Far East, flying Spitfire Mk VIs, VIIs, VIIIs, IXs XIIs and XIVs. Names like Johnnie Johnson, Neville Duke and Donald Kingaby, plus a myriad of lesser known British, Polish, Canadian, American, Australian, Czech, Free French, New Zealand and Norwegian pilots, and their aircraft, are all covered in this book.

Poles in Defence of Britain

Poles in Defence of Britain is a tremendous account of Polish contribution in those hectic days before the RAF began to take the offensive across the Channel, with many previously unpublished photographs from private collections.

Author : Robert Gretzyngier

Release : 2002-08-23

Publisher : Grub Street Publishers

ISBN : 1909166278

File Size : 54.87 MB

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The little-known WWII story of the Polish Air Force fliers who played a crucial role in the Battle of Britain and beyond. To the Polish volunteers who flew and fought so brilliantly and tenaciously throughout the Battle of Britain, the United Kingdom was known as “Last Hope Island.” Many lost their lives, such as Antoni Ostowicz. Many achieved glory and became aces—such as Glowacki, Skalski, and Witorzenc. The RAF came to depend on these men, with over one hundred Polish pilots supporting almost thirty fighter squadrons, most especially 302, 303, and 307 (night fighter). The result of years of research, Robert Gretzyngier’s book includes detailed combat descriptions, personal accounts from combat reports, memoirs, and diaries from the Polish, British, and German perspective, with in-depth biographical data of all Polish pilots, including full RAF and PAF careers and much tabular material in appendix form. Poles in Defence of Britain is a tremendous account of Polish contribution in those hectic days before the RAF began to take the offensive across the Channel, with many previously unpublished photographs from private collections.

Air Aces of World War II

Equipped with Spitfire IXs , the Poles the Polish Air Force on 1 January 1936 ,
and on were attached to No. 145 Squadron , RAF , and completion of his training
he was posted to No. in eight weeks of operations their exploits 142 ' Wild Ducks

Author : Robert Jackson

Release : 2003

Publisher : Crowood Press

ISBN : 9781840374124

File Size : 46.62 MB

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The conflict in the skies above the combat zones of World War II bred a new legion of heroes. Boys became men in weeks and many became commanders and leaders before the age of twenty-five. These young pilots were flying for their lives on every dangerous sortie and in every type of aircraft. From the heavy bomber struggling to its target in the German Ruhr to the shipboard fighter fired into combat by a carrier's catapult in the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean, every pilot honed his skills to take on the enemy and survive. They were all brave men - but some have become legends. Pilots like Guy Gibson - leader of the famous Dam Buster's raid; Don Gentile - an ace in the Mustang fighter defending allied heavy bombers deep over enemy Europe; John "Cat's Eyes" Cunningham - top scoring night-fighter ace; or Leon W. Johnson - leader of the low-level raid on Ploesti oil refinery complex in Romania. These are some of the hundred heroes included in this compact reference to the history and record of allied and enemy aces of World War II.

Air Aces

Stanislaw Skalski – Poland ' s Greatest 41 victories , 15 of them during August
1941 alone was shot down by Spitfires a ... a unit of experienced Polish pilots ,
the ' Fighting Team , ' which was sent to Tunisia to fly Spitfire IXs with Lance
Wade ...

Author : Christopher F. Shores

Release : 1983

Publisher :


File Size : 45.70 MB

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Describes the careers of famous fighter pilots from World War I through the air war over the Falkland Islands in 1982.

Aces High

Score Aircraft Mustang Tempest Mosquito Mosquito Tempest Mustang Tempest
Spitfire Tempest Tempest Mosquito Tempest ... British Australian British 157
British Polish 486 41 Scor 316 486 worcowe 316 501 264 56 456 306 330 ACES

Author : Christopher F. Shores

Release : 1966

Publisher :


File Size : 66.84 MB

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Beretter om jagerpiloter, der under 2. verdenskrig i RAF opnåede nedskydninger af fjendtlige fly, herunder danskeren Kaj Birksted, som blev Wing Commander (Oberstløjtnant) i de norske flyvestyrker under RAF

Aces of the Air

... s Supermarine Spitfire In June 1941 he was promoted to the rank of wing
commander and posted to Northolt once more , John Alexander Kent was one of
the truly outstanding this time to lead the newly - formed Polish Wing . This pilots
of all ...

Author : Francis K. Mason

Release : 1981

Publisher : Mayflower Assoc

ISBN : 9780831731809

File Size : 38.85 MB

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Describes the airplanes and experiences of outstanding aviation pioneers from Louis Bleriot, who flew the English Channel in 1909, to the Viet Nam War hero, Randy Cunningham


While Skalski , Urbanowicz , and most other Polish pilots had been in combat
during the Battle of Poland in 1939 , and ... 303 ( Polish ) “ City of Warsaw ”
Squadron , a Spitfire unit which had earlier been involved in the heat of the Battle
of ...

Author : William Yenne

Release : 2000

Publisher : Berkley Publishing Group

ISBN : 9780425176993

File Size : 90.12 MB

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A collection of true-life stories captures the triumphs, courage, and accomplishments of World War II aviators on both sides of the conflict, including American David McCampbell, Germany's Erich "Bubi" Hartmann, and Britain's James Edgar Johnson. Original.

The Fighter Aces of the R.A.F., 1939-1945

engine temperature rose swiftly , and the Spitfire began to slow down . ... Hardly
had he become accustomed to flying the Polish fighter planes when the Germans
invaded Poland , and Frantisek again took to the air to fight the Huns . Before ...

Author : Edgar Charles Richard Baker

Release : 1962

Publisher :


File Size : 63.10 MB

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The Polish Review

Lent by the Metropolitan Museum of Art to the Wildenstein Galleries F TOUR aces
of the Polish Air Force with long and ... in the spring of 1940 , he made his way to
England where he immediately joined the first Polish Squadron of the RAF .

Author :

Release : 1944

Publisher :


File Size : 70.53 MB

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Victory Roll

Russian recce plane that had violated Polish airspace . He scored 15 Polish RAF
ace S / L Antoni Glowacki had scored 8 1 / 3 victovictories , as the CO of the
Polish RAF 303 Squadron , during the Battle ries during the Battle of Britain with
the ...

Author : William Wolf

Release : 2002-01-08

Publisher : Schiffer Publishing


File Size : 49.53 MB

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He was selected from the cream of American youth, with admission standards much more restrictive than any other branch of the military. Well-trained pilots flying superior new fighter aircraft against an enemy, losing it's best pilots and unable to afford the luxury of extended training, brought about the inevitable defeat of teh Axis air forces. This is their story. 670 b/w photographs


This book tells the story of Australians and New Zealanders in one of the Second World War’s defining and most memorable campaigns.

Author : Adam Claasen

Release : 2012-11-01

Publisher : Exisle Publishing

ISBN : 1775590046

File Size : 90.41 MB

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This book tells the story of Australians and New Zealanders in one of the Second World War’s defining and most memorable campaigns. From July until October 1940, the German air force (the Luftwaffe) sought aerial supremacy in skies over England as a prerequisite for an invasion of Britain (Operation Sealion). The ensuing conflict of Luftwaffe and RAF aircraft in the long summer of 1940 became forever known as the Battle of Britain. Of the 574 overseas pilots in the campaign, the New Zealand contingent of 134 airmen was second in size only to the Polish contribution. The Australian involvement, though smaller, was a healthy 37. Thus a fifth of overseas pilots were Anzacs. Among these colonials were some of the Battle of Britain’s widely admired aces. Of the top ten pilots with the greatest number of victories two were New Zealanders (C. F. Gray and B. Carbury) and one an Australian (P. Hughes). Australian and New Zealand aircrew were also employed in attacking enemy Channel ports and airfields as part of Bomber and Coastal Command’s attempts to thwart invasion preparations and blunt the Luftwaffe aerial onslaught. The Anzacs also had a fellow compatriot at the highest level in the Fighter Command system: the highly regarded New Zealander Air Vice-Marshal Sir Keith Park, who was instrumental in devising and implementing the integrated air defence of Britain around Spitfire and Hurricane aircraft, radio control and radar. In the spring of 1940, he was given the command of Group 11, which would face the brunt of the German aggression in south-east England. The success of Park’s plans and operational initiatives, and the role played by Anzac pilots and aircrew, would all contribute to the conflict’s eventual successful outcome.

Aces High

RAF NO.76715 Born on12 September 1914, Jan Zurakowski was educated at the
Officers' School atDeblin, learning toflyin 1935, and joining the PolishAir Force
thefollowing year. Escaping from Poland in September 1939,he made hisway ...

Author : Christopher Shores

Release : 2008-07-15

Publisher : Grub Street Publishing

ISBN : 1909808423

File Size : 37.16 MB

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A revised collection of the biographies of the highest scoring Allied fighter pilots of World War II. All details of their combat are arranged in tabular form. Included are a selection of photographs from hitherto private collections.


One of Poland's greatest aces , Lieut . ... Hate - hardened determination pervades
even the Polish ground crews . ... In addition to the transport service , a Polish
fighter squadron has been formed for RAF action over the western desert acarea

Author :

Release : 1943

Publisher :


File Size : 31.35 MB

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Congressional Record

Author : United States. Congress

Release : 1990

Publisher :


File Size : 59.8 MB

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The Congressional Record is the official record of the proceedings and debates of the United States Congress. It is published daily when Congress is in session. The Congressional Record began publication in 1873. Debates for sessions prior to 1873 are recorded in The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States (1789-1824), the Register of Debates in Congress (1824-1837), and the Congressional Globe (1833-1873)

New Horizon

The 89 Polish pilots serving in ence . The British squadrons had “ They have “
spotted ” Germans in use of language and particularly “ There was no caste
difference various RAF squadrons ac more time in the front line than the distance
long ...

Author :

Release : 2000

Publisher :


File Size : 46.42 MB

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The Mighty Eighth

Johnson had been the Eighth Air Force ' s leading ace after Mahurin went down
and until Gentile of the 4th brought ... Grounded by the RAF who considered they
had done enough flying in one war , many Polish pilots elected to fight in a ...

Author : Roger A. Freeman

Release : 1970

Publisher :


File Size : 65.64 MB

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