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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
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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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