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Polish Battle of Britain Fighter Ace Dies
Scotsman ^ | Fri 12 Nov 2004

Posted on 11/12/2004 1:53:46 PM PST by Lukasz

General Stanislaw Skalski, Poland’s top fighter ace from the Second World War and a participant in the Battle of Britain, died today in a Warsaw military hospital, a military spokesman said. He was 89.

Serving in the Polish air force, Skalski shot down a German reconnaissance plane on September 1, 1939, the day Nazi Germany started the war by invading Poland. Some historians credit him with the first aerial victory against the Germans, although another pilot also scored one at around the same time.

Poland was soon overwhelmed, and Skalski fled for Britain and joined the Royal Air Force’s No 501 Squadron. He shot down six German planes in 1940 during the Battle of Britain, Germany’s unsuccessful attempt to destroy the RAF.

Skalski suffered serious burns and had to parachute to safety when his Hurricane fighter was shot down on September 5, 1940, but he returned to the air six weeks later.

He subsequently commanded the Polish Fighting Team, which earned the nickname the “Skalski Circus” flying over Britain, Malta and Tunisia. In Tunisia, Skalski and his fellow Poles shot down 25 Nazi planes while losing only three of their own. Skalski ended the war with 24 downed enemy planes to his credit.

“He was the ace of Poland’s Air Force, a hero of the Battle of Britain,” military spokesman Major Maciej Wozniak said.

Skalski was born on October 27, 1915, in the village of Kodyma, Poland, and graduated from Polish pilot training school in 1938.

After the war, Skalski returned to Poland, where he was jailed and sentenced to death by the communist authorities on allegations he was a Western spy. He spent eight years on death row, before being cleared and released in 1956.

He earned Poland’s highest military honour for bravery, the Virtuti Militari.

Beginning in the 1980s he tried with little success to enter politics, joining several left-wing parties.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Germany; News/Current Events; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: battleofbritain; germany; hero; obituary; poland; skalski; uk; wwii
Beginning in the 1980s he tried with little success to enter politics, joining several left-wing parties.

„Samoobrona” in fact isn’t left wing party but populist party. This don’t change fact that Skalski has poor political views, probably he hates left and right side both for their incompetence in some cases.

My tribute for this brave veteran!
1 posted on 11/12/2004 1:53:46 PM PST by Lukasz
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To: Lukasz

2 posted on 11/12/2004 1:59:12 PM PST by PRSOrlando
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To: Lukasz

I had an uncle who was a Polish fighter pilot in the RAF; he liked vodka a lot and died quite a while ago.


3 posted on 11/12/2004 1:59:47 PM PST by expatpat
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To: Lukasz

Godspeed to one of the few.


4 posted on 11/12/2004 2:01:00 PM PST by CWOJackson
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To: PRSOrlando

thanks great photo, these crosses tell us everything what is necessary...


5 posted on 11/12/2004 2:01:35 PM PST by Lukasz (Terra Polonia Semper Fidelis!)
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To: Lukasz

Poland is a tremendous ally.


6 posted on 11/12/2004 2:01:51 PM PST by ConservativeStatement
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To: Lukasz

bump


7 posted on 11/12/2004 2:04:24 PM PST by VOA
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To: Lukasz
Not perfectly on point, but Battle of Britain is a great movie. It has some fantastic flying scenes and the DVD can be purchased in the discount stores (Wal-Mart; Target; Fred Myers; etc.) for under $10.
8 posted on 11/12/2004 2:04:53 PM PST by bushisdamanin04
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To: Lukasz

Lukasz:
Thank you for posting this. It was a really nice addition to our homeschool history lesson today!

I send my heartfelt condolences to this brave man's family - and our family's thanks to him...

- Michelle Konieczny


9 posted on 11/12/2004 2:10:26 PM PST by LibertyRocks
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To: Lukasz
Odwazny Polska!

Did I get it right...???

And Skalski himself would be "Odwazny Polski"?

10 posted on 11/12/2004 2:13:49 PM PST by okie01 (The Mainstream Media: IGNORANCE ON PARADE)
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To: Matthew Paul; SAMWolf

ping


11 posted on 11/12/2004 2:16:36 PM PST by colorado tanker (The People Have Spoken)
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To: okie01
odwazna Polska = brave Poland
odwazny Polak = brave Pole
dziekuje za mile slowa = thanks for kind words
12 posted on 11/12/2004 2:17:47 PM PST by Lukasz (Terra Polonia Semper Fidelis!)
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To: Lukasz
BTTT for a WW2 hero's story.

After the war, Skalski returned to Poland, where he was jailed and sentenced to death by the communist authorities on allegations he was a Western spy. He spent eight years on death row

Hell of a reward for him and many other Polish soldiers. He earned several Distinguished Flying Crosses for his service with the RAF. Rest In Peace.

13 posted on 11/12/2004 2:22:03 PM PST by Horatio Gates
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To: bushisdamanin04; Lukasz
Here's a great Battle of Britan book to read - "Fly For Your Life", by Larry Forrester.

It's about Robert Stanford Tuck, Britain's leading ace. He gets shot down and escapes from a prison camp to the Russians with a Polish pilot. Then they both have to escape from the Russians.

14 posted on 11/12/2004 2:22:52 PM PST by Slump Tester (John Kerry - When even your best still isn't good enough)
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To: Lukasz
Prayers for another hero in the alliance between the Poles and the Anglo-Saxons that spans centuries.

Kochamy Polske

15 posted on 11/12/2004 2:25:02 PM PST by NonValueAdded ("We are in the process of allowing them to self-actualise" LtC. Rainey, Fallujah, 11/04)
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To: Lukasz
About 25 years ago I had the privilege of spending a day with a large group of Polish WW2 fliers. They were each and every one open, proud, glad to talk and share photographs; just a great group and a wonderful experience.
It shaped my opinion of Poland to this day.

Condolences to the family, I hope he was proud to see our two countries coming together again.
16 posted on 11/12/2004 2:28:17 PM PST by norton
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To: Slump Tester
Thanks for info! I also know one great book about polish squadron in the Battle of Britain, great story

“A question of honor” by Stanley Cloud and Lynne Olson
17 posted on 11/12/2004 2:28:36 PM PST by Lukasz (Terra Polonia Semper Fidelis!)
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To: Slump Tester

A really excellent BoB film is "Dark Blue World".

It's about two Czech pilots who fled Czechoslovakia to fight with the RAF (and one gets imprisoned on his return, story very similar to Skalski.)


18 posted on 11/12/2004 2:31:50 PM PST by Strategerist
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Comment #19 Removed by Moderator

To: bushisdamanin04

Different but good is a British miniseries "Piece of Cake" also about the Battle of Britain, told as an ensemble character study of "Hornet Squadron." Very well done and also occasionally brutally funny.


20 posted on 11/12/2004 2:34:52 PM PST by Petronski (Great job team! Head back to base for debriefing and cocktails.)
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To: Lukasz
Thanks! I'll look for that. I'll bet there will be a few names in common between the 2 books.

I like how they got their nicknames. There was one guy in Fly for your life they called "Green to black", which is how he described ditching in the channel and immediately turning submarine.

21 posted on 11/12/2004 2:36:06 PM PST by Slump Tester (John Kerry - When even your best still isn't good enough)
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To: Lukasz

At first, the British would not let the experienced Poles, Czecks and others fly. It was only when they were running out of pilots that they let the other nationalities into the air.


22 posted on 11/12/2004 2:43:28 PM PST by PAR35
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To: PAR35

Yes everything is perfectly written in the book mentioned above.


23 posted on 11/12/2004 2:46:37 PM PST by Lukasz (Terra Polonia Semper Fidelis!)
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To: Lukasz

God bless our friends, the Poles.

Unlike our other European 'allies', they get It.


24 posted on 11/12/2004 2:50:09 PM PST by Kommodor (Is it just me or has the Fourth Estate become the Fifth Column?)
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To: Kommodor

Now he flies with the angels and his hand "touches the face of God".


25 posted on 11/12/2004 3:02:43 PM PST by investigateworld (( .... Father Watch over our servicemen, for their task is righteous and the danger is great....))
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To: Lukasz

I'll take one Pole over ten Frenchmen at my side any day.

One of my most treasured pieces of memorablilia is a Sosabowski Brigade emblem, given to me by a Polish veteran who couldn't believe an American had even heard of his beloved General.


26 posted on 11/12/2004 3:14:09 PM PST by Snake65 (Osama Bin Decomposing -- NOT! Boy was I wrong)
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To: Lukasz

AS a reward for their fighting against the Nazis and flying for the allies the Polish fighters had to witness their country being abandonned to the Ruskies

Ironically WWII started when Britain/France went to war against Germany because she invaded POland ( course the Ruskies invaded from the other side )


27 posted on 11/12/2004 3:14:57 PM PST by uncbob
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To: Petronski
Different but good is a British miniseries "Piece of Cake" also about the Battle of Britain

My understanding is that Battle of Britain vets weren't that enthralled with this book
28 posted on 11/12/2004 3:17:51 PM PST by uncbob
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To: Nightshift

ping


29 posted on 11/12/2004 3:59:56 PM PST by tutstar ( <{{--->< http://ripe4change.4-all.org Violations of Florida Statutes ongoing!)
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To: Lukasz
odwazna Polska = brave Poland
odwazny Polak = brave Pole
dziekuje za mile slowa = thanks for kind words




Now how do you actually pronounce that?
30 posted on 11/12/2004 4:05:45 PM PST by Boiler Plate
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To: tutstar

Ain't many of these guys around, now one less. Be a nice gesture for our embassy to send a few Marines, and others, to the funeral, if they would.


31 posted on 11/12/2004 4:15:07 PM PST by ChEng
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To: Lukasz; LibertyRocks

Of the Battle of Brittan, Winston Churchill said,

"Never have so few done so much for so many".

Skalski was one of the few.

(Hope I got that quote right)


32 posted on 11/12/2004 4:24:56 PM PST by tjg
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To: snopercod
"jailed and sentenced to death by the communist authorities on allegations he was a Western spy"

Could happen anywhere, si?

33 posted on 11/12/2004 4:33:09 PM PST by First_Salute (May God save our democratic-republican government, from a government by judiciary.)
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To: First_Salute

These days, he would be prevented from learning to fly by the TSA.


34 posted on 11/12/2004 4:46:26 PM PST by snopercod (Bigger government means clinton won. Less freedom means Osama won. Get it?)
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To: ChEng

Yes we're slowly losing them.
My uncle was in 487th bomb group. He was a gunner/togglier. They flew 33 missions including Battle of the Bulge and Dunkirk. The entire crew is still living and they now meet yearly. There is a book written about them titled 2 Ladies and 9 Gentlemen From Hell.


35 posted on 11/12/2004 5:00:16 PM PST by tutstar ( <{{--->< http://ripe4change.4-all.org Violations of Florida Statutes ongoing!)
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To: Lukasz
Skalski was born on October 27, 1915, in the village of Kodyma, Poland, and graduated from Polish pilot training school in 1938.

Interesting, Paul Tibbets, commander of the ENOLA GAY, the aircraft (and the unit) that dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, also was born in 1915 and won his wings in the U.S. Army Air Force in 1938. Tibbets was the squadron commander of the 8th Army Air Force unit, the first U.S. unit, to bomb a target over Nazi occupied Europe in August 1942 ... a bombing raid on Rouen, France. Paul W. Tibbets, went on to become a general in the U.S. Air Force, retired, is still alive and resides in Columbus, OH.

36 posted on 11/12/2004 5:20:21 PM PST by BluH2o
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To: Lukasz

3 cheers for the Greatest Generation!


37 posted on 11/12/2004 5:45:09 PM PST by SteveMcKing
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Comment #38 Removed by Moderator

To: Lukasz
I live in Columbus, Ohio - Our library rocks!

I reserved it online, and can pick it up tomorrow. Thanks!

39 posted on 11/12/2004 6:51:42 PM PST by Slump Tester (John Kerry - When even your best still isn't good enough)
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To: Lukasz
Thanks for posting this.

General Skalski is one of my few true heroes. I have a limited edition print signed by him on the wall of my office.

To fight hard, and lose your country twice, is a bitter thing - yet he survived to see freedom!

May you rest in peace, General...
40 posted on 11/12/2004 10:01:28 PM PST by Strzelec
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To: Boiler Plate
odwazna Polska = brave Poland [odvashna polska]

odwazny Polak = brave Pole [odvsahny polak]

dziekuje za mile slowa = thanks for kind words [lol...dsenqye za meele slova...;]

41 posted on 11/13/2004 6:41:34 AM PST by macel
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To: macel

OK the first two I can manage. The last one I'm pretty sure that if I tried, I would be telling someone.

"I think that the goat you married will bear horrible children"

Or worse.

"I lust for you"


42 posted on 11/13/2004 7:37:13 PM PST by Boiler Plate
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To: Lukasz

Yes that's an amazing picture.


43 posted on 11/13/2004 7:40:25 PM PST by nomorelurker (wetraginhell)
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To: Slump Tester
Thanks. Another great movie is A Bridge Too Far. You can pick it up on DVD for under $10. My son and I have watched it literally 15 times or more.
44 posted on 11/14/2004 11:04:28 AM PST by bushisdamanin04
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To: uncbob
Winston Churchill said the same thing somewhere in one of the volumns of his history of WWII.

He basically said we had effectively not gained anything after all the fighting because we had simply replaced Hitler with Stalin.

45 posted on 11/14/2004 11:25:01 AM PST by yarddog
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