"Lest we forget"
None of this would be possible without our sponsors and volunteers
(Image credit: © Peter Sikora Archive)
Your countrymen and women need you
We want to give our sponsors and volunteers a massive shout-out and huge thank you, to recognise the valuable contribution they make and without whom we couldn’t do the work we do to ensure that the sacrifices made by the ‘Few’ are not forgotten by the many.
But we’re always eager to hear from new people, organisations and businesses who can help. So if you think you can help, then please contact us on the form below:
This is a unique and rare opportunity for you to get involved with our history, telling the story of the Vickers Supermarine Spitfire, which is just oozing with passion, perfect aesthetics, quality engineering and of course the men who flew it, ultimately symbolising the hope of a nation.
So for you the marketing and PR opportunities involved in this significant project are then, endless. Partner DNA packages are available to ensure that there is a mutually beneficial synergy between both parties whereby your company become part of the aircraft’s history journey for posterity. These options include access to a captive audience of over 500,000 people at air shows across Europe and over 100,000 on social media platforms globally. We also have access to flying Spitfire and Hurricane fighters for corporate events, a static full scale exact replica of Spitfire P8331 again for events, media coverage through radio, television and newspapers, guest speakers and much more.
So if you feel you can support us in any way, as well as financial, then please get in touch on the form above.
Embassy of the Republic of Poland in London
The Polish Embassy UK is based in London and provides services to help members of the Public, Business and also Officials. For more information please click on the website link.
DesignSoSimple - our website designer
Peter Sikora - Historian / Advisor
Peter Sikora is an aviation researcher, historian and writer who specialises in the history of the Polish Air Force between 1918 and 1946. Peter kindly wrote and supplied all historical information contained within this website including the Polish Air Force, Pilot and biography sections including Piotr Łaguna on our Home and About pages.
Peter and Scott have become firm friends and have focused from the beginning of the project, that accuracy must remain the key to historical knowledge. It was in fact Peter who has mentored Scott in all aspects of the Polish Air Force as well as helping him to contact the Laguna family.
Peter has written a number of books, the one relevant to this project’s protagonist is below, entitled ‘The Polish Few’, available from Amazon or Pen & Sword websites.
Allied Rapid Reaction Corps
Headquarters Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (HQ ARRC) provides NATO with a rapidly deployable, flexible HQ that can act as a Joint, Land or Corps HQ for operations and crisis response. Its multi-national ethos, the combination of cultures and innovation, strong professional reputation in NATO and proven track record in interoperability are unique among its High Readiness Force (Land) (HRF(L)) peers.
Polish Airmens Association
The Polish Air Force Association (PAFA) was founded in London in June 1945 to represent all members of the Polish Air Force who served under British command during the Second World War.
Some fifty years later a decision was taken to disband the organisation; this took place at an Extraordinary General Meeting held on 29th June 1999. Nevertheless, PAFA branches continued to function independently for many years as PAFA clubs in the following cities: London, Birmingham, Blackpool, Derby, Leeds, Leicester, Lincoln, Manchester and Nottingham. Similar clubs and wings also remained active in various places abroad as did the London-based PAFA Charitable Trust which was dissolved in 2011. Soon after PAFA was disbanded in 1999 the now independent PAFA Club in London (formerly PAFA’s London branch) changed its name to the “Polish Airmen’s Association”. Its chairman at that time was Colonel Adam Ostrowski, a WW2 Spitfire pilot.
In the fullness of time our Association broadened its membership to include not only those who had served with the Polish Air Force during WW2 but also their family members, other supporters and friends with a genuine interest in flying and the history and traditions of the Polish Air Force.
Our Association assumed all the established responsibilities of the former Polish Air Force Association’s London branch such as providing care for veterans in need by liaising with the Welfare Committee of the PAFA Charitable Trust for as long as it existed.
Our executive committee has organised social events in the Greater London area including frequent gatherings and popular monthly lunches. Members have also participated in all commemorative events and celebrations associated with the Polish Air Force in Great Britain. These include the annual service held in Westminster Abbey on Battle of Britain Day in September and wreath-laying there on Remembrance Sunday in November. Association members have also assisted the PAF Charitable Trust to organise international reunions of Polish airmen and women in Great Britain and Poland.
Historic Aircraft Collection
Historic Aircraft Collection was formed in 1985 by Guy Black and Angus Spencer-Nairn to restore and operate Spitfire Mk. IX TE566. Alongside this major project, two other Spitfires were recovered from gate guardian roles in Belgium. Spitfire IX MK912 in exchange for a Bristol Fighter and Spitfire XIV RN201 in exchange for a Fairy Battle. Both of these Spitfires were subsequently sold and have now been restored by Historic Flying.
HAC now operates a fleet of four flying aircraft that includes a Spitfire Vb, a Hurricane XII, a Hawker Nimrod II and a Hawker Fury I. With several rare and interesting aircraft still undergoing restoration, HAC is fulfilling its ambition of restoring and operating some very special vintage piston engined military aircraft.
Polish Heritage Day
PHD sees a number of events, organised in May throughout the United Kingdom, which promotes Polish culture, heritage of the past generations and the positive contribution made by the million members of the Polish diaspora to the cultural, economic and social life of the United Kingdom.
The official symbol of the initiative is the red-and-white chequer board, which was the symbol of the Polish pilots who fought in the Battle of Britain and which, thanks to the Embassy’s efforts, has unofficially become the symbol of Poles in the UK. The social media campaign will include the hashtags: #PLHeritageDay and #PolesinUK.
Airframe Assemblies have been involved in Historic aircraft restoration for 35 years, predominantly rebuilding Spitfire airframes and sub-assemblies, but also working on other types including Typhoon, Hurricane, Tempest, Lancaster, Messerschmitt and Focke-Wulf to name but a few.
Through focusing on Spitfires, AA has tooling, jigs and fixtures to cater for any airframe part and for all marks of this iconic aeroplane, from minor details to complete fuselage and wings.
The current staff compromise of 25 highly skilled fitters and sheet metal workers, with a fabrication capability to produce all required parts. AA is one of very few companies in this sector to hold a full CAA approval for the manufacture and supply of historic airframe components, attaining and holding that level of approval for 27 years.
British Poles is a portal focusing on the subject of Poles in the UK and British-Polish relations. We have the largest social media influence for Poles abroad in the world (100,000 fans on Facebook) and we reach millions of people weekly.
Our social media accounts were created in 2014 and after an enormous success over the years we have decided to create a portal in 2019. We focus on cultural, political, historical and social issues. Additionally, the portal promotes good relations between Poland and the UK as well as the positive image of Polish diaspora in the UK. We aim to educate and strengthen the understanding of British politics and life amongst the Poles, as well as the Polish culture and rich history amidst the British audiences. We patron, organise and support a number of projects, such as: #Polishblood, in which thousands of Poles donate blood to the NHS, the British Remembrance Day, the annual Polish Independence Day and many other social and cultural events.
We are looking for journalists and interns to work for us as well as media partners and businesses that would like to cooperate.
We are not merely reporting on the debate – we are the debate.
The Polish Air Force Memorial Committee
The Polish Air Force Memorial Committee is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (No. 1185691) set up by the Polish Air Force Association Charitable Trust to maintain key functions after the Trust was wound up in 2010. The Committee was formed with the explicit agreement of the Commander in Chief of the Polish Air Force and of the Chief of the Air Staff for the Royal Air Force with both of whom we continue to work very closely. The Committee is the continuing and direct formal successor of the Polish Air Force in the west and the organisations that represented it after the war.
The Committee arranges the annual Commemoration of the Polish Air Force at the Northolt Memorial and provides representation at other key events in Britain and Poland. We also run the only Museum in the country wholly dedicated to the Polish Air Force and provide a focal point for enquiries from descendants, scholars, schools and others as well as giving lectures and preserving the memory of the Polish Air Force in the West. In 2019 we created a major new Memorial in Normandy on the 75th anniversary of D-Day to mark the role played by the Polish Air Force in the liberation of France.
TRIBUS is a Swiss watch brand launched in 2020 with a focus on Swiss engineering, collaboration and storytelling. Founded by three brothers from Liverpool who inherited a love of watchmaking through their father, they chose Laguna’s Spitfire Legacy as one of their first partnerships after discovering the story of Piotr Laguna, ‘the Few’ and the exclusion of the Polish from the British Victory March of 1946. They wanted to help raise awareness of this injustice through the TRI-05 303 Squadron P8331 Limited Edition, with proceeds from the watch helping Laguna’s Spitfire Legacy achieve their strategic aims.
A 303-piece limited edition featuring a century’s worth of Polish aeronautical cues incorporated into its design, the TRI-05 also contains a piece of metal recovered from 303 Squadron’s Spitfire P8331 RF-M ‘Sumatra’ embedded into its backplate. After being shot down over Coquelles, France on 27 June 1941, P8331 would be excavated in June 1986. Its arming panel was sourced by TRIBUS and cut into 303 discs, each 16.5mm wide. Surrounding this precious metal, the Polish motto “Za naszą i waszą wolność – for our freedom and yours” has been engraved into glass, allowing a view of the Sellita SW200 self-winding movement inside. This watch doesn’t just carry over a century’s worth of Polish aeronautical cues within its design; it remembers the sacrifice of all those whom Churchill would call ‘the Few’ during those darkest of days.
For more information please visit their website at www.tribus-watches.com
Aviation Heritage Spirits
Av-Alc. Aviator Fuel Concept
To celebrate our extremely rich aviation heritage in a befitting manner, we have put together a unique new concept allowing us to bring to market, various collections of truly bespoke and very special, aviation-inspired liquor products. Our concept is most probably best described as a combination of ideas, sort of Contract Batch Distillery meets Craft Liquor Club, rolled into one through a journey of discovery, but with a twist.
So, we have embarked on this journey of discovery to find a variety of quality distilled spirits with the aim of bringing together a whole range of different liquors from various independent craft distilleries. The sourced liquor Batches will be numbered and catalogued with all relevant information documented. This exclusive range of spirits will then be bottled and made available in our unique Mk II liquor bottles fitted with a custom Av-Alc Label to represent and be released as part of a Collection. It is our aim to continuously grow and add to this inventory of quality batch distilled liquors.
Our MkII Bottles were especially designed and are custom moulded to be fitted with our Av-Alc Labels which is an aircraft-skin type metal, wood, and or composite label, complete with rivets, hinges and some other bits of hardware. Each bottle is individually hand labelled with the labels effectively being built onto the bottles. These custom designed labels allow us to create bespoke bottle labels that feature specific information, details and or artwork. In this way, we can then create labels to celebrate, commemorate and pay tribute to significant historical events, famous aviators, and iconic aircraft.
For more information please visit their website at www.av-alc.com