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Non - British RAF in the Battle of Britain

Discussion in 'Air War in Western Europe 1939 - 1945' started by Kiwi Ace, Feb 11, 2003.

  1. urqh

    urqh Tea drinking surrender monkey

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    Its not all bad news Martin, I was in Hendon last week, and was surprised by the amount of school parties running around.

    Hundreds of em.

    Even got asked to help by some of them with the quiz books they had been given by museum staff.

    Blimey I thought, do I look that old....
     
  2. No.9

    No.9 Ace

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    Simple test Urqh, would you have to ask the school children who's in the top 20? :D

    No.9

    Wait till you walk into a club and they offer you a seat?
     
  3. urqh

    urqh Tea drinking surrender monkey

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    Surely pink floyd, supertramp and genesis are still there???

    Seriously though, seem to have school trip kids getting in my way when ever I walk around the war museums over here. But then again its forced visits for them. Not going through choice, but they seem interested enough once they get there.

    Got to admit my own dont go with me and whenever I have a documentary on about military matters, its moan and groan....
     
  4. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    "The gratitude of every home in our Island, in our Empire, and indeed throughout the world, except in the abodes of the guilty, goes out to the British airmen who, undaunted by odds, unwearied in their constant challenge and mortal danger, are turning the tide of the World War by their prowess and b~ their devotion. Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few. "

    http://www.winstonchurchill.org/speech.htm

    We all know this part. There´s alot of stuff on this in the net but I was looking for a speech or something like that by Churchill where he said something about the foreign pilots? Or did he try to bring unity by referring to "the few" with all of them?

    :confused:
     
  5. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    I have the full set of Churchill speeches ( there were a lot ) but they're packed away & I can't refer to them just now. :(

    Throughout that Summer, Churchill continually stressed the International nature of the struggle against Nazism; partly to reassure the British people that they were not 'alone' and partly to sway the still-uncommitted USA.

    For instance, from Churchill's speech to the Commons of 18th June 1940 ; -

    '...if final victory rewards our toils...freedom shall be restored to all. Czechs, Poles, Norwegians, Dutch, Belgians have joined their causes to our own. All shall be restored.'

    Tragically, things had changed for the Poles by 1945....
     
  6. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Thanx Martin!

    Well, little pieces of the puzzle start to fit as I start to understand why Churchill was so strong on his arguments of free elections in Poland in 1945...
    He had "Battle of Britain"-reasons!

    :eek:
     
  7. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    I know that this is an 'emotional' response, but when I read of the bravery of the Poles in the RAF, at Falaise, Cassino, Arnhem etc and then the way in which Poland was treated at the end of the war - I do feel uncomfortable. :(
     
  8. Jet

    Jet Member

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    I agree with you there Martin Bull. The Poles fought with such bravery, honour and dedication, and gained virtually nothing. I too feel uncomfortable with the way Poland was treated after the war and wonder why Britain and the US didn't intervene. I think the two governmenments knew what was happening but did nothing.

    Jet
     
  9. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Interesting stats:

    http://members.shaw.ca/rskulski/1945.html

    JULY 6 1945 BRITISH, AMERICAN AND FRENCH GOVERNMENTS RECOGNISE RUSSIAN CREATED "POLISH PROVISIONAL GOVERNMENT OF NATIONAL UNITY" AND CEASE TO RECOGNISE THE LEGAL POLISH GOVERNMENT IN LONDON.

    AS A RESULT OF YALTA AND POTSDAM AGREEMENTS POLAND LOST TO RUSSIA 69,860 SQ. MILES AND GAINED 38,986 SQ. MILES FROM GERMANY.

    BY 1946, 2,100,000 GERMANS WERE MOVED FROM THE NEW POLISH TERRITORY TO D.D.R., AND 1,500,000 POLES WERE MOVED FROM THE POLISH TERRITORY LOST TO RUSSIA TO THE TERRITORY VACATED BY THE GERMANS.

    http://www.angelfire.com/ok2/polisharmy/intro.html

    http://www.wajszczuk.v.pl/english/drzewo/czytelnia/michael_hope.htm

    In February 1942, Gen. Maczek was ordered by Gen. Sikorski to form the First Polish Armored Division.

    The Division's "moment of glory" came when its forces captured the German port of Wilhelmshaven and accepted the surrender of the entire garrison, which included some 200 vessels of Hitler's navy.

    http://www.polamjournal.com/Library/Biographies/maczek/body_maczek.html

    Falaise pocket:

    Even Winston Churchill acknowledged the steadfastness of the Polish 1st Armored Division when he likened their participation in that battle to a "cork in a bottle".
    (the Germans being trapped in "a bottle" with the Poles as a "cork" which would not budge)

    :eek:
     
  10. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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  11. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    Interesting links as ever, Kai.. I like the way they've slipped in some pictures of Corgi 1/72 scale models among the real Spitfires - shows how good the models are ! ;)
     
  12. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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  13. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    It may be of interest to the forum members that Pierre Clostermann will be noted in our book. We interviewed Pierre through his official biographer about a particular event on 4 May 1945 where Pierre mentions that his wingman was blown out of the sky and his own Grand Charles Tempest was so holed that he crashlanded and the a/c was basically written off. Pierre claimed it to be the result of flak.......well ah it went basically like this and I am going to very much foreshorten this as I want you guys to read it for yourselves in our book.

    10./NJG 11's Me 262A-1a's were ordered to quit flying anti mossie missions ad start defending the northern section of Germany on day op's. This was to stop as much of the strafing traffic by Spitfires as possible. Pilos Becker and Czypionka as wingman were flying a sortie and found two Tempests flying underneath whcih looked to them as a strafing pattern, both jets banked and swooped in behind the unsuspecting Tempest. With four rounds Pierre's wingmans a/c distintegrated and both jets in hot pursuite of Pierre gave him a quick 1 sec burst to send Pierre off smoking. As this last attack formed up over 10 Spitfires dived upon the two jets and Becker gave the word to bank off to the right. Czypionka banked hard off with both jets coming at each other directly and the Spits following close behind, the Czypionka jet receiving many hits as the two jets almost collided throwing the fire of the spits off as they disengaged from colliding with each othere in the knights charge.
    Becker tookk off to base and Czypionka crashed the Me 262, thus receiving a heavy tongue lashing by squadron kommanduer Kurt Welter......

    theres more !

    E
     
  14. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    Quote : '....(Clostermann's book) stands well as a good historical source of certain details for which no other evidence exists....'

    Delicately put !

    From Shores & Williams, ' Aces High ' 1994 edition :

    'There has been considerable confusion regarding the total number of victories which Pierre Clostermann has claimed for himself in France. This is apparently based on a list prepared in November 1945 and signed by AVM Harry Broadhurst. He claims 33 confirmed victories, made up of 19 individual and 14 shares, together with five probables and seven damaged. ... However, several of the victories recorded as occurring in the air are shown in squadron records as to have been destroyed on the ground. In the case of the shared victories, he appears... to have been present on several occasions, and not to have actually fired at the aircraft concerned.'

    I shall say straight away that I in no way wish to denigrate a skilled and courageous airman, and indeed, ' The Big Show ' is one of the best-ever books about WWII combat flying - but should be treated with caution as a historical source.
     
  15. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Found some non-british RAF aces

    Rene Mouchotte

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Unfortunately the site is in French so hoping someone could translate it

    http://frenchaces.free.fr/portrait/mouchotte.html

    Francois de Labouchere

    [​IMG]

    as well...

    http://frenchaces.free.fr/portrait/labouch.html

    -----------

    http://www.battleofbritain.net/section-7/section-7french/france.html

    ------------

    Henry Lafont

    [​IMG]

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    Jean Offenberg

    [​IMG]

    http://www.dalnet.se/~surfcity/belgium_offenberg.htm

    The first Belgian to revceive DFCS I think?

    http://www.dfcsociety.org/honor_roll.htm

    ---------

    Unfortunately I don´t have the source with me now but the pilot losses seem to have gone like this ( BoB )

    British 401
    Astralian 11
    New Zeeland 13
    South Africa 20
    Polish 29
    Belgium 5
    Canada 20

    :eek:
     
  16. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Group Captain John A.Kent, D.F.C. and bar, Virtuti Militari (Polish). He was born in Canada, Johnnie Kent spent most of his life in the United Kingdom. He became a pilot aged 17 and held a commercial licence when he was 19. In 1935, aged 21, he joined the RAF and flew Gauntlets with No 19 Squadron. In September 1939 he joined No 212 Squadron in France. His first victory was when a Bf 109 attacked him but could not pull out of its dive and went into the River Seine. There were no witnesses so he could not claim it. He flew Hurricanes with No 303 Squadron before Commanding No 92 Squadron on Spitfire I's. In October 1940 he notched up his Squadron's 100th wartime victory. He left the R.A.F. in 1956.

    http://www.encode.com/skyart/kent.jpg

    P/O Veron Charles 'Shorty' Keogh was an American and had signed originally to fight for Finland against Russia, but arrived in Europe too late for that war. After a spell in France, they came to England on the last ship from the port of St Jean-de-Luz and joined the R.A.F. He was accepted by the RAF and on July 5 then went to 7 O.T.U. Hawarden. He was sent to No 609 Squadron on the 8th of August 1940 and they became operational on the 16th of August on his first patrol encountered the enemy. He saw combat during August and he shared in the destruction of a Do 215 on the 15th of September 1940 before transferring on the 18th of September 1940 to the to help form the No 71 'Eagle' Squadron at Kirton-in-Lindsey, Lincolnshire. Vernon C. 'Shorty' Keogh had a civil pilots licence in America. He had been a professional parachute jumper with over 500 jumps. He was the smallest pilot in the R.A.F. and had to use two cushions in his Spitfire to see out of the cockpit.
    "Shorty" was last seen spinning into the sea off Flanborough Head during the chase of a Heinkel. He was 29 and is remembered on the Runnymede Memorial.


    Marian Pisarek - one of most effective Polish aces.

    [​IMG]


    After receiving evacuation orders in Poland, he moved through Romania to France. Here, Pisarek came into the newly organised kpt. Tadeusz Rolski Squadron, but this unit was not combat ready till the end of the war in France. After France's capitulation, the Polish aviators, who had been at Gaillac Airfield, took French Caudron Goeland aircraft and flew to Oran. They next, by way of Casablanca, arrived in Great Britain.

    On July 2nd, 1941, the squadron escorted 12 "Blenheim's" on a mission to attack the electric facility at Lille. During the return, they were attacked by a big group, about 60, of German fighters from JG 26. The Polish fighters claimed 5 Bf 109's (one of them again personally by Pisarek) destroyed, 2 probables, and one damaged. But, in the battle 2 "Spitfires" crashed. Lt. Erwin Kawnik was killed, and Sgt. Pawel Kowala became a prisoner of war. Sec. Lt. Budrewicz luckily returned to the airfield with a heavily damaged aircraft. JG 26 lost, at least, 2 Bf 109's. One of them was piloted by Oberleutnant Martin Rysavy (who had 8 kills) from 2/JG 26. Also, in that battle, a Messerschmitt belonging to Adolf Galland (more details on German Ace page) was heavily damaged.

    After April 19th, 1942, Major Marian Pisarek received command of the 1st Polish Fighter Wing (303rd, 316th, and 317th Squadrons). Ten days later, the wing had a fighter sweep in the Hardelot-Desrves-Marck area. Over Le Treport (other sources say Le Touquet or Bologne) the wing was surprised by an attack by 15 FW 190's. This strike hit the 317th Squadron. They lost, unfortunately, the Squadron Leader; Capt. Piotr Ozyra, and Wing Commander Major Marian Pisarek. The Germans, after rapidly attacking, disengaged from the battle. 303rd Squdron simply did not manage to enter into this combat. Pisarek was probably shot down by the famous German ace, Commander of the II/JG 26, Htpm. Joachim Muncheberg , or Obfw. H. Hoffman from the 4./JG 26.


    After August 2nd, Lt. Marian Pisarek was a member of the 303rd "Kosciuszko" Squadron. He took part in the Battle of Britain. On September 7th, 1940, at 16:35, he started a sortie, with all 11 aircraft in his squadron, to catch a German bomber group. A Quarter of an hour later, the air combat began. The Polish fighters scored 14 confirmed victories (12 Do 215's and 2 Bf 109's) and 4 others, that were probably 2 additional Do 215's and 2 more Bf 109's. But unfortunately Pisarek, after shooting down one Bf 109, had to bail out in his parachute, and Second Lieutenant Kaszewski was gravely injured.

    http://www.elknet.pl/acestory/pisarek/pisarek.htm
     
  17. macrusk

    macrusk Proud Daughter of a Canadian WWII Veteran

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    One of the books I inherited from my parents was Squadron 303: The Polish Fighter Squadron with the RAF by Arkady Fiedler Copyright 1943. [182 pages] It is written specifically from the viewpoint of the pilots themselves, including descriptive narratives of their dogfights. It also contains photographs which I will risk copyright infringement to scan as I don't know how possible it is to either get the book or even to see the photos. The photos do not have names or even descriptions of who, they generally have a small quote underneath.

    "The Squadron's bag in the Battle of Britain 1940 was 126 German machines, 93 of them being accounted for by the Poles, 16 by the three British members, and 17 by the Czech member of the squadron. Squadron 303 took part in a score of major encounters, and in some cases clearly decided their issue.

    In the critical month of September, Squadron 303 brought down 109 German aircraft, that is 11% of the total of 964 brought down by the whole R.A.F. It had the largest number of successes of any fighter squadron in the R.A.F., while the next best squadron had 48 victoires, less than half the number scored by Squadron 3030.

    The Squadron paid for this achievement with the lives of five of its members - a remarkably low figure, 70% below the average rate of casualties in the R.A.F. during the same month.

    The day of September 15th will for ever be the day of the British fighter pilots. But is will also be memorable in the annals of the Polish pilotes, and that joint anniversary is likely to remain a permanent link between the British and Polish airment, who found a brotherhood of arms in their common victory of September 1940." p 28 & 29

    I was honoured when I briefly worked at Veterans Affairs Canada in Saskatoon to meet one of the Polish Veterans when he was over 80 during his visits to the office, and became quite fond of him. I learned, when his brother came in to tell me of his death, how much working there tore my heart out ever time one of the Veterans I'd come to know passed away.

    Michelle
     
  18. macrusk

    macrusk Proud Daughter of a Canadian WWII Veteran

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    According to C.P. Stacey, the Canadian Force's official historian during the war, in his book with Barbara Wilson "The Half-Million: The Canadians in Britain, 1939-1946" stated that

    "The Royal Canadian Air Force overseas was very closely - indeed, inextricably - involved with Britain's Royal Air Force. This was largely the result of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, which was set up immediately after the outbreak of war. This great scheme centring in Canada ultimately produced 131,000 aircrew, of whom 73,000 were Canadian and 42,000 British; the rest came from Australia and New Zealand...The original agreement specified that except for men required for the home defence squadrons of the RCAF, all Canadian aircrew produced by the scheme should be 'placed at the disposal of the Government of the United Kingdom,' subject to arrangements being made to identify them as Canadian, either by organizing them in distinctive units or otherwise. As the war proceeded, RCAF units were organized overseas in increasing numbers; at the end, forty-eight RCAF squadrons were serving in overeseas theatres. Yet even now more Canadian were in the RAF than in the RCAF units: in August 1944, about 17,000 as against 10,000.

    Three RCAF squadrons went overseas from Canada in 1940. One, No 1 (later 401) Fighter Squadron, then Canada's only effective unit, was ordered to England in May in answer to an urgent British call for help. It arrived, we have seen, in time to play a part in the Battle of Britian, being credited with thirty-one aircraft destroyed and forty-three probably destroyed or damaged." He notes at one point, "The peculiarly intimate relationship of the RCAF with the RAF presents special problems for the Canadian historian. The people writing the official history of the RCAF have found many of their sources in London, but some information required is simply not to be found anywhere."

    In the c1969 Readers Digest 2 volume set The Canadians at War 1939/45 the section "They flew with The Few: Canadian airmen in the epic Battle of Britain" Richard Collier states "By far the largest number of defenders were Britons, but fighter pilots of many other nations flew with them, including some 80 Canadians. Of these, 26 were in RCAF's No. 1 Squadron, which arrived soon after Dunkirk; 16 flew as a team in the RAF's 242 "Canadian" Squadron; the rest were scattered among a dozen other RAF squadrons. These last included such men as PO JOhnnie Bryson, an ex-Mountie; Flt. Lt. Johnnie Kent of Winnipeg, who flew with the Poles in 303 Squadron; and FO. W.H. Nelson, who served in 74 Squadron with the South African ace Adolph "Sailor" Malan. Another 200 Canadian airmen fought in RAF Bomber and Coastal commands, which throughout the battle pounded at German invation ports and other targets; 27 of them gave their lives." Other squadrons listed include 141 squadron. Douglas Bader took over command of the 242 "Canadian Squadron" as part of 12 Group just prior to the Battle of Britain. "From July 10 to Octoer 31,...20 Canadian fighter pilots died in action. Of these, three served with No. 1 Squadron RCAF, three with 242 Squadron, the remainder with other RAF squadrons."

    Michelle
     
  19. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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    Im not sure if these were mentioned. 1940, No.320 (Dutch)Squadron and No.321(Dutch)Squadron.
     
  20. TA152

    TA152 Ace

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    It is interesting that this thread has come up again as it made me think of why the French pilots did not fly their aircraft to the UK when they knew the cause was lost for them. Do you think it was because they felt betrayed by the British when they left France ?

    Skipper do you know anything of this era ?

    I know the French were angry when the Royal Navy attacked the French ships so they would not fall into the German's hands.
     

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