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 Americans and Canadians Volunteers in the Polish Army ?

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jay1939



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PostWysłany: Wto 7:43, 11 Sie 2009    Temat postu: Americans and Canadians Volunteers in the Polish Army ?

Any one have information on Americans and Canadians Volunteers in the Polish Army ?

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PostWysłany: Nie 23:53, 23 Sie 2009    Temat postu:

If you're thinking about 1939 - i have no idea. But a lots of Americans and Canadians with polish origins volunteered to service in 1919-20 to fight against Russians or Ukrainians. Most famous guys served as figher pilots in "Kosciuszko Squadron"

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Cytat:
Polish 7th Air Escadrille (Polish: 7. Eskadra Lotnicza), better known as the Kościuszko Squadron, was one of the units of the Polish Air Force during the Polish-Soviet War of 1919-1921. Formed in late 1918, it was re-formed in late 1919 from American volunteers. It was one of most active Polish squadrons in the war.

he unit was formed when Poland regained independence, on 7 November 1918 in Kraków, as the 3rd Air Escadrille, utilizing mostly bomber and reconnaissance aircraft left by Austro-Hungarian forces. On 25 November 1918 it was moved to Lwów (current Lviv), where it took active part in fighting of the Polish-Ukrainian War until June 1919. On 21 December 1918, after unification of Polish air units' names, its name was changed to the 7th Air Escadrille. It was commanded by Jerzy Boreysza, from April 1919 by Stefan Stec. Among pilots was World War I Ace Mieczysław Garsztka. Number of aircraft was variable, in May 1919 it possessed 3 fighters Fokker D.VIII (E.V), 3 reconnaissance Hansa-Brandenburg C.I and 1 LVG C.V. In June 1919 the escadrille was converted into fighter unit, then in September it was withdrawn into reserve. In October 1919 the commander became Ludomił Rayski.

In late 1919 several American volunteers, including Major Cedric Fauntleroy and Captain Merian C. Cooper, arrived in Poland and joined the 7th Squadron. More pilots arrived during the following weeks - in all, there served 21 American pilots, along with several Polish pilots, including Ludwik Idzikowski, the ground crew was all Polish. In November 1919 Major Fauntleroy took the command and on 31 December 1919 the escadrille took then name of Polish-American hero General Tadeusz Kościuszko. Meanwhile the Polish Air Force underwent reorganization. Even though most volunteers asked to be sent to the frontlines as soon as possible, the Polish high command delayed their deployment in view of the coming Polish offensive.

The Kościuszko Squadron was first used in the Kiev Offensive in April 1920, rebasing from Lwów to Połonne. Its aircraft were Albatros D.III (Oef) fighters, supplemented by Ansaldo A.1 Balilla. Since there were no air encounters, primary missions became reconnaissance and ground attack. Most of the Squadron's flights were directed against Semyon Budionny's First Cavalry Army. The Squadron developed a tactic of low-altitude machine-gun strafing runs. Polish land commanders highly valued the contribution of the Kościuszko Squadron. General Puchucki of the 13th Infantry Division wrote in a report: "The American pilots, though exhausted, fight tenaciously. During the last offensive, their commander attacked enemy formations from the rear, raining machine-gun bullets down on their heads. Without the American pilots' help, we would long ago have been done for."

Merian Cooper was shot down but survived. Budionny had put half a million rubles on Captain Cooper's head, but when he was caught by the Cossacks he managed to convince them that he was a corporal. A few months later he escaped from a POW camp near Moscow to Latvia.

In August 1920 the Kościuszko Squadron took part in the defense of Lwów, and after the Battle of Warsaw it participated in the Battle of Komarów which crippled Budionny's cavalry. Most active days were August 16 and 17, when Escadrille, reduced to 5 uninjured pilots, fulfilled 18 ground attack missions each day.

After the Polish-Soviet War, in 1925 the 7th Kościuszko Squadron was reorganized as the 121st Fighter Squadron, eventually renamed as the Polish 111th Fighter Escadrille, each bearing the "Kościuszko" eponym. The 111th Squadron fought in the Invasion of Poland. Perhaps the most famous successor to the original Kościuszko Squadron would be the World War II No. 303 "Kościuszko" Polish Fighter Squadron (Warszawski im. Tadeusza Kościuszki), the most successful fighter squadrons in the Battle of Britain.


One of the best among them was Merian Cooper. Later he was famous because of the "King Kong" movie, he was a co-producer.
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PostWysłany: Pią 10:54, 18 Wrz 2009    Temat postu:

Hi Jay

Im Mikolaj, and im more myself intrested in the Polish montain units ie. Strzelcy Podhalanscy because of family ties to the "3 Pulk Strzelcow Podhalanskich" from Bielsko-Biala.

When it comes to Americans in the Polish armed forces it all started in WW1 when thousands of "poles" voluntered to serve in the Hallers Blue army that fought under French command. When the war finished this unit was transferred to Poland and fought in the Polish-Russian war of 1920. Most of these guys were of polish background but born in the USA, there were even a few african-americans who served in the Polish Army in 1920 because their father or mother were polish. To this there a few photographs of african-americans in the Polish uniform with the Polish rogatywka cap!!!
In the interwar period of 1920-1939 there were several american born poles who served in the Polish army. Currently im reading a book about a company commander who is writing about his oficer training(szkola podchorazych) in the 1920's and in his platoon there is one American born pole.
During the second world war there were many more American Poles that served in the Polish Army, especially in the Polish Air Force flying with the RAF.
However the most famous American, and this chap was 100% American with no Polish background was podporucznik(2/Lt) Richard Tice, a volunteer in the Polish Parachute Brigade who learned to speak Polish and recieved a officers commision. ppor Tice was killed during the Arnhem battle and recieved a posthomous Virtuti Militari cross.

Hope that helps a bit Smile


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Ostatnio zmieniony przez miki dnia Pią 10:58, 18 Wrz 2009, w całości zmieniany 1 raz
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PostWysłany: Pią 17:20, 18 Wrz 2009    Temat postu:

Mikolaj, Thank You - for the information as I, like most people did not know. regards jay

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