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English Section

US museum honours Poland's wartime airmen

12.11.2021 09:15
A new show at the New England Air Museum in the US state of Connecticut follows the fortunes of Poland's famed Kościuszko Squadron, whose pilots fought with extraordinary bravery and skill in the Polish-Soviet War of 1919-1921 and World War II, Polish state news agency PAP has reported.   
US aviator and filmmaker Merian Cooper and Cedric Fauntleroy, an American pilot who in 1919 volunteered to serve in the Polish Air Force during the Polish-Bolshevik War.
US aviator and filmmaker Merian Cooper and Cedric Fauntleroy, an American pilot who in 1919 volunteered to serve in the Polish Air Force during the Polish-Bolshevik War.Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Unveiled on November 11 to mark US Veterans Day and Polish Independence Day, the display pays tribute to all Polish soldiers who served the allied cause in World War II, curator Nick Harley told PAP.

It gives centre stage to the Kościuszko Squadron, which was established in 1919 to aid Poland's war effort against the Bolsheviks. The unit's pilots also distinguished themselves in World War II as part of the British Royal Air Force's iconic Polish No. 303 Squadron.

The Kościuszko Squadron had a US connection as several Americans volunteered to join the unit, most notably Merian Cooper, who later gained fame as co-director of the movie King Kong, the PAP news agency reported.

The New England Air Museum exhibition in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, brings together various artifacts that document the squadron's history, from photographs and films to journals kept by the airmen. Also on display are WWII uniforms, replicas of fighter planes and a renovated Merlin engine.

Visitors can engage with interactive features, including a digital kiosk detailing "the Squadron's extraordinary bravery and flying skills," organisers said.

Adrian Kubicki, Poland's consul-general in New York, said the exhibition "showcases the heroes who played their part in Poland being an independent country today."

Central Connecticut State University has helped organise the showcase, PAP reported.

(pm/gs)

Source: PAP