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Poland
 
Elements of the 1st Polish Armoured Division and 1st Polish Independent Parachute Brigade ended the war in the far north west corner of Germany. They were to remain there till 1947 when a Communist Government came to power in their homeland. The units were disbanded and the soldiers discharged, some were to remain in Germany and were recruited into the newly formed paramilitary M.S.O. (as it came to be known) to create units such as the now famous 617 Tank Transporter Company. Other roles included guards, dog handlers, labourers, and more besides. "MOJO's" played their part and played it well; they should, and deserve to, be remembered for that

 

Another contribution made by Polish Forces was through the Air Force. After the collapse of Poland in 1939, large numbers of Polish Air Force personnel were evacuated, or escaped, through Romania and Hungary, with a large number eventually reaching France. On the collapse of France in 1940, P.A.F. were again on the move, with most of them going to the UK. Initially they were only admitted into RAF units, but an agreement signed in June 1940 and final British Government recognition in August 1940, allowed acceptance that the Polish Air Force was a sovereign, allied military formation. From that time the airmen were part of the Polish Army. Although they wore British uniforms, they flew their own colours and carried their own rank insignia. More on this subject can be seen here. There are also links in Polish and English (using a Google translator, so be aware that the English is not that great) on the Links page. Unfortunately, the photograph galleries will not move to full size on the English version, I will try and find out why.

 

The Polish Air Force played a part, initially, in the B.A.F.O. in that some squadrons were based in Germany immediately prior to, and after the end of hostilities. As it was, most squadrons had been stood down and disbanded by the end of 1946 or early in 1947. Some of those personnel possibly found their way into the previously mentioned M.S.O., others were discharged and remained in the U.K. Others stayed in, or re-enlisted, to serve many more years. One such man is shown below.

 

Below are two photographs from Lucian Holc of one particular member of the Polish Air Force, his brother Peter (Piotr), and we are grateful for the permission to post them on this page.

 

 

Peter Holc was just one of many from Poland who served Great Britain and the Allies during World War 2 and for many years after. This link tells a little more about Peter including more photographs, and the justifiable pride that his family has in him.