In 1919, Poland was locked in a struggle with Communist Russia, and the Kosciuszko Squadron, named in honor of the great Polish military strategist Tadeusz Kosciuszko, was formed with the help of American volunteers.
A generation later, the world was at war again, and the stakes were high. Poland had already succumbed to German and Soviet aggression, and the Kosciuszko Squadron, now all Polish, was sidelined.
Eager to help the Allies gain an aerial advantage, the group agreed to fly and fight under British command. They valiantly defended Great Britain against German aerial assault in the decisive 1940 Battle of Britain, with feats that were truly the stuff of legend.
RAF Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Dowding credited the Polish squadrons and their “unsurpassed gallantry,” with changing the fate of the battle.
M.B.B. Biskupski, Ph.D., CCSU Polish Studies Endowed Chair
Waldemar Kostrzewa, CCSU Polish Studies Advisory Board Chair
Renata Vickrey, CCSU Archivist and Polish Studies Advisory Board Member
Debbie Reed, NEAM Executive Director
Warren Boley, NEAM Board of Directors
Nicholas Hurley, NEAM Curator
Ron Katz, NEAM Development & External Affairs
Stephen Perez, NEAM Board of Directors
Thomas Sargis, NEAM Board of Directors
Dr. Piotr Wilczek, Ambassador, Embassy of the Republic of Poland
The Honorable Susan Bysiewicz, Lieutenant Governor, State of Connecticut
Dr. Antony Bajdek, President American Association of the Friends of Kosciuszko at West Point
Dr. Robert Blobaum, President Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences in America, New York
Dr. Iwona Korga, President Jozef Pilsudski Institute of America
Dr. Robert Kostro, Director Polish Museum of History, Warsaw
Dr. Neal Pease, President Polish American Historical Association
Polish Aviation Museum, Krakow, Poland
Dr. James S. Pula, Professor (Emeritus), Purdue University
Marek Skulimowski, President The Kosciuszko Foundation, NY
Michael P. Speciale, Executive Director (Ret.) New England Air Museum
Dr. Zbigniew Wawer, Director Royal Lazienki Museum, Warsaw
We need you to help us tell share the story of these forgotten heroes of Poland!
The New England Air Museum and the Polish Studies Program at CCSU have jointly launched a campaign to raise $125,000 to design and install an exhibit in the Museum which will present this story in a modern, multi-media format that will be exciting and educational.
All donors will be permanently recognized as “Friends of the Kosciuszko Squadron” and donations of $1,000 or more will receive additional recognition.
For information about supporting this exhibit please Contact Development at the New England Air Museum or contact Renata Vickrey at Central Connecticut State University, VickreyR@ccsu.edu or (860) 832-2085. To make a donation online, go to https://ccsu.networkforgood.com/causes/17039-the-kosciuszko-squadron. Donations may also be made by check payable to CCSU Foundation, PO Box 612, New Britain, CT 06050 and marked: “For the Kosciuszko Squadron.”
Contact Development for more information about making a donation.
We owe it to these heroes.