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  • Faithful to my Homeland, the Republic of Poland

     

  • NEWS

  • 31 January 2019

    A new Memorial is to be erected in the French village of Plumetot, commemorating the return of the Polish Air Force to the mainland of Europe and its role in the Invasion and the Battle for Normandy. The Memorial will be unveiled on Sunday 9th June, 2019, as part of events surrounding the 75th Anniversary of D-Day.

     

    Just after the Invasion on 6th June 1944, a number of Advanced Landing Grounds were established in Normandy to support ground forces.  Among these was “B 10” at Plumetot, operational from 10th June 1944.  Between August and September 1944, this was the base of operations for three squadrons of Polish combat aircraft (302, 308 & 317) and marked the return of the Polish Air Force to the mainland of Europe. Of the 20 such Landing Grounds, this is the only one presently to lack any form of memorial. In order to make good the deficiency, and to commemorate what is a key event in the history of the Polish Air Force, the Polish Air Force Memorial Committee proposed to the Commune of Plumetot the idea of erecting a memorial in memory of the Polish airmen who flew from there ‘for your freedom and ours’.

     

    The proposal was warmly welcomed by the Mayor and Commune of Plumetot, and has the full support of all relevant French authorities as well as the close involvement of the Polish Embassy in Paris.

     

    Following an international competition, and consultation with the inhabitants of Plumetot, the Anglo/French/Polish jury selected a winning design by Alexander Smaga Architects, Kraków – the architectural firm responsible for the Ribbon of Memory memorial to the Home Army in Kraków. Once erected in Normandy, the sculpture will be linked in a trail of memorials and sites marking the Polish contribution to the Invasion.

     

    The Memorial will stand in the middle of the village, between the Mairie and the Norman church. It combines a reference to winged armour of Polish Hussars, the V for Victory, and three aircraft – one for each squadron.

     

    - It is my great honour to attend the Polish Air Force Memorial Launch in Plumetot in France. I am delighted be here with you, my Polish and British friends, honouring all the Polish airmen and airwomen who fought alongside their British and Allied friends. The memory of those who fought in The Battle of Britain is permanently biding our countries together. After British, Polish Air Force was the second largest contingent in the Royal Air Forces and most importantly they were the highest scoring squadron of the Battle of Britain. Their bravery is a source of immense pride for Poland and the Polish community in the United Kingdom – said the Polish Ambassador, Arkady Rzegocki, during his speech of support for the project at the Plumetot Memorial Campaign launch event taking place at the Battle of Britain Bunker in Uxbridge, North London, on Thursday, 31 January 2019.   

     

    Among the guests invited to the launch event were the family of Tadek Kwissa, a member of the Polish Air Force ground crew whose diary describes how he reached Plumetot and servicing aircraft while still within range of enemy fire. An extract of the diary was read by his son, Phil Kwissa.

     

    A crowdfunding campaign has been started to raise the £40,000 required for the project, of which £15,000 has already been donated or pledged.  If contributions exceed the Project costs, any excess will be used to support the work of the Polish Air Force Memorial Committee in maintaining the memory of the Polish Air Force in the West. Those wishing to add their support the Plumetot Memorial Project can make a contribution and to find out more here: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/a-polish-air-force-memorial-in-france.

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