Check out this awesome tribute to the pilots who fought in the Battle of Britain with RAF’s No. 303 Polish Fighter Squadron

An interesting composite photo pays homage to the Polish pilots who fought in the Battle of Britain.

Konrad “kifcio” Kifert, member of the Air-Action Association of the Aviation Photographers from Poland paid a great tribute to the Polish WW2 veterans who fought in the Battle of Britain. The shot above, taken at the 23rd Tactical Air Base in Minsk Mazowiecki, symbolizes the heritage which is carried by the 1st Tactical Aviation Squadron, stationed at that base.

Kifert, known for his work related to the MiG-29 Fulcrum, decided to create a photo showing the pilots of the current squadron based at Minsk Mazowiecki, and establish a connection between them and the RAF Squadron 303, by photoshopping the actual photo of the famous squadron between the group of the pilots which is flying in the unit now, and the MiG-29 fighter visible in the background.

The result is awesome and the idea to pay such tribute to the Polish heroes who contributed greatly to the Battle of Britain, is very original and unique.

The unit is the descendant of the traditions of the famous Kosciuszko Squadron. Its name came from a Polish Lithuanian hero, Tadeusz Kościuszko, and it has been ascribed to a number of Polish Air Force units. The interesting fact is that the insignia used by each of the Squadrons, was a tribute paid by Eliott Chess, an American pilot who flew for the Polish Army during the Polish Soviet War. Kosciuszko greatly contributed to the American Revolutionary War, acting as a colonel in the Continental Army. He was also a military architect who took care of the fortifications at the West Point in the US. has been borne by several units of the Polish Air Force throughout its history.

During the World War II, the Kosciuszko Squadron was established within the RAF, and contributed to the win in the Battle of Britain. During the World War II the Squadron flew the Hurricane fighters.

Churchill, after the Battle of Britain, referred to the RAF effort using the following, famous words: “Never was so much owed by so many to so few.”

The idea of creating the above photo dates back to the end of May 2016, according to Kifert. Nonetheless, it took some time to bring the idea to life, as not always were the pilots present at the base, or some more important issues were being resolved at the moment, as the base was preparing itself to host an open day show.

The photo was eventually taken on Sep. 9, and in this way the project has been born.

The main idea on which the photograph was founded was to create a connection between the Minsk based “Reapers” [Kosynierzy in Polish] and their historical heritage, dating back to the Battle of Britain. The process was long and painful, and took almost a month, however, the results are stunning – the successors of the RAF Squadron 303 have met their ancestry, even though that meeting is virtual.

In the photo, you may see the following pilots of the RAF Squadron (from the left): P/O Ferić, F/Lt Kent, F/O Grzeszczak, P/O Radomski, P/O Zumbach, P/O Łukuciewski, F/O Henneberg, Sgt. Rogowski, Sgt. Szaposznikow. In the front, you may see all of the Fulcrum Drivers, currently stationed at the Minsk Mazowiecki base and flying the MiG-29.

Image Credit: Konrad “kifcio” Kifert (kifcio.pl / spfl.pl)

 

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About Jacek Siminski 283 Articles
Standing contributor for TheAviationist. Aviation photojournalist. Co-Founder of DefensePhoto.com. Expert in linguistics, Cold War discourse, Cold War history and policy and media communications.

4 Comments

  1. Very nice photo. I hope the Polish AF can divest itself of that old crap Russian equipment they are flying as quickly as possible so as to fully get them up to modern Western standards. Their F-16, M-346, and Black Hawk future looks bright, and will certainly insure they dominate the Russians should Moscow foolishly attack, but what I’d really like to see them buy are a couple of dozen F-35s.

    With the JSF the Siły Powietrzne could easily destroy targets in Kaliningrad, and even attack targets in Moscow should circumstances necessitate. Poland needs to shake off all prior military associations with Russia, and the sooner they do so, the sooner NATO will have a powerful ally to face down Russian aggression in Eastern Europe. I hope the Poles remember, forever, how it was the Nazis and Russia who together started WW-II, and then subjugated them for decades after 1945. Indeed I hope they never forget. They do so at their own peril!

    • Black Hawk is not so bright, as S-70i the Pol SOps component is hhoping to get is not the UH-60M, it is a different airframe.

    • You do not believe this nonsense about “Russian Aggression” yourself, do you? Russia would overrun the Baltic states in a mere 60 hours. The Rand corporation, an American think tank that is pro NATO estimated that. But why should they do so? There is nothing to gain. Russia has all resources and plenty of them. America, or better western capitalism, on the other hand needs “new markets”, cheap labor and cheap resources to survive. There has been crisis for some time now with various heights and lows. That’s why they paint Russia as new target. I merely see you as the local troll here for some time now. The world isn’t black and white. There is no good and evil. Just evil and less evil. For over 200 years, the US has been at war, terrorizing everyone who is not following their idea of “democracy” or their “lead”. And if they can’t control a country or region, they destabilize it. Ruling by creating chaos. Millions of dead people are the result. Really great work, don’t you agree?

      • I agree that you’ve swallowed every bit of Russian propaganda hook, line and sinker. America is a beacon for the world. Russia? Well … where’s your Warsaw Pact? They all joined NATO! Eastern Europe wants nothing to do with Russia. They do, however, run into the welcoming arms of American and Western European democracy and capitalism. With us there’s a chance for a life. With Russia all they get is an economic and societal dead end!

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