On 11th November 2019 The Polish Heritage Flight was formed.
As part of the Historic Aircraft Collection based at the Imperial War Museum Duxford, (Although not part of the IWM) the project aims to bring to life the stories of the people that came to the 'Island of last hope' to take up the fight from Britain in the Second World War.
The Flight has been formed by Hawker Hurricane G-HURI, star of the 2018 '303 Squadron' movie.
Having worn 2 different 303 Squadron schemes since 2015 it was decided to pay tribute to 302 ‘City of Poznan’ Squadron & both Flt Lt Tadeusz Chlopik & Wing Commander Julian Kowalski, with a ‘dual scheme’ for the 2023 Season.
302 were based at Duxford for a short period during the Battle of Britain, it was on September 15th 1940 that 302 Squadron & both Chlopik & Kowalski were scrambled to intercept German Bombers over RAF North Weald.
Flying Hurricane P2954 WX-E, Flt Lt Chlopik shared the destruction of a Dornier 17 before being shot down over North Weald. Despite bailing out he was killed. He was just 32 years old.
Flt Lt Tadeusz Chlopik is buried in Sutton Road Cemetery in Southend on Sea.
Julian Kowalski flying Hurricane P3935 WX-D destroyed a Dornier 17 and damaged another. He went on to Command 302 Squadron and in April 1944 Commanded No.1 Polish Wing from RAF Northolt. He was released in 1947 at the rank of Wing Commander.
At the end of the Second World War, with Poland now under Soviet Communist occupation, like many it was felt unsafe to return home so Julian Kowalski remained in England. He lived in Ipswich until his death in December 1986.
Part of the PHF between 2019 & 2023 was Supermarine Spitfire BM597 which saw wartime service with both 315 & 317 Polish Squadrons, operating from RAF Woodvale. In 2023 the Ownership of BM597 passed between Historic Aircraft Collection & Aerial Speed Icons.
Remember. Inspire. Unity
We are a non-profit volunteer organisation and appreciate any contact and contributions from people who can help to tell our story.
Whilst we hope very much the Flight can continue for as long as possible our commercial objectives. are:
Short Term- Obtaining bookings, both Flying & Static Events.
Medium Term - Obtain Sponsorship for items such as servicing, insurance and events.
Long Term - Securing the long term future for the Polish Heritage Flight as a permanent living memorial to those who fought - For Our Freedom & Yours...
On the 2nd December 2022 the Polish Heritage Flight received the Silver Medal of the Polish Army at a ceremony held at the Polish Embassy in London.
Remember. Inspire. Unity
Official Partners: Wisdom Art Prints
Wisdom Art Prints are a Tiptree based, family run creative studio, illustrating and producing the highest quality Art Prints. Their art is in a timeless art deco style, reminiscent of posters from a bygone age. To celebrate this special partnership they have released 2 exclusive Art Prints exclusively for the Polish Heritage Flight.
The first Art Print commemorates the incredible Avro Lancaster and 300 (Land of Masovia) Squadron who were the first Polish Squadron to be formed in the Royal Air Force. Based from RAF Faldingworth in Lincolnshire, this Lancaster wears the distinctive nose art of the Polish Air Force Chequer and the ‘Lady In The Champagne Glass’.
Its operations are detailed by the usual bombs on the first tour but unusually, Champagne glasses on the second tour and finally Skull & Cross Bones on the third tour. This Lancaster carried the serial LL408 and carried out over 50 Operations.
The second Art Print represents a 302 “City of Poznan” Squadron Hawker Hurricane in the markings of Flt Lt Julian Kowalski. These markings are worn by our own airworthy Hawker Hurricane G-HURI today. 302 Squadron were the first Polish Squadron to be formed in Fighter Command and took part in the Battle of Britain from RAF Leconfield & RAF Duxford. Julian Kowalski left the Air Force in 1947 at the rank of Wing Commander. Julian Kowalski remained in England and lived in Ipswich until his death in December 1986.
Both these stunning Art Prints are available from:
with proceeds donated to the Polish Heritage Flight.
Our most sincere thanks to the brilliant and talented team at Wisdom Art Prints for their support and helping us to achieve our aims of Remember. Inspire. Unity.