October 6, 2003 - A little-known segment of World War II history, featuring expatriate Polish pilots flying in the Battle of Britain after the fall of their country in 1939, will be explored on Saturday, October 11, during a special presentation at the EAA AirVenture Museum. Lynne Olson and Stanley Cloud, authors of the just-published, A Question of Honor - The Kosciuszko Squadron: Forgotten Heroes of World War II, will discuss this long-ignored segment of World War II at 2 p.m. in the museum’s Eagle Hangar.
The authors of the acclaimed 1996 book, The Murrow Boys, Olson and Cloud researched Polish Air Force pilots who escaped to France, then the United Kingdom, and helped save England during the Battle of Britain. Treated with disdain at first by their Allied partners, the pilots quickly became legendary for their fearless aerial exploits throughout the war. The Kosciuszko Squadron is credited with shooting down 126 German planes in six weeks of combat, more “kills” than were credited to any other squadron attached to the RAF during that same period. Nine of the KoKciuszko Squadron pilots become aces, and five were awarded the RAF’s Distinguished Flying Cross.
The authors will also discuss the crushed hopes of Poland to become free in the war’s aftermath.
“Those involved in this piece of history are astonishing both for their valor and for the fact that their accomplishments have been all but ignored,” said EAA AirVenture Museum Director Adam Smith. “This presentation is indeed something that should not be missed by anyone who enjoys the history of that era, or anyone who is inspired by courage and bravery against formidable odds.”
The authors will be available for a book signing in the museum following the presentation. The EAA AirVenture Museum is located just off Highway 41 at the Highway 44 exit in Oshkosh. The Museum is open Monday through Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call the EAA AirVenture Museum at (920) 426-4818 or visit www.airventuremuseum.org.