The decision by Historic England, which is tasked with protecting historic buildings, coincides with the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain and recognizes a major contribution of Polish airmen to the Allied victory.
The memorial is located on West End Road, next to RAF Northolt, in the London borough of Hillingdon. It was there that many of the Polish air force squadrons were based during World War II.
The Polish ambassador to Britain, Arkady Rzegocki, said in a statement: “I am delighted that the status of the Polish Air Force Memorial in London has been upgraded to Grade II*, showing how well recognised the site is not just by the Polish community, but also by Britain.”
He added: “The memorial is one of the leading monuments in the UK dedicated to Polish history, and every year it plays host to one of the most important commemorations of Poles fighting in the Second World War. It is a testament to the crucial role played by the Polish Air Force in the war and to the sacrifice made by Polish airmen and airwomen, 18,000 of whom had served in the Polish squadrons in the UK by the end of the war.”
Only 5.8 percent of the sites on the National Heritage List for England have Grade II* status.