Laguna’s Spitfire Legacy to Commemorate 80th Anniversary of Acting Wing Commander Piotr Laguna’s loss.
Statement 1st June 2021
June 27th 2021 marks the 80th Anniversary of the loss of Polish Acting Wing Commander Piotr Laguna and his final aircraft MKIIb Supermarine Spitfire P8331 “Sumatra”
Piotr Laguna was an experienced Polish Air Force Pilot and an old hand at the ripe old age of 34 when Germany Invaded Poland. Having led the a bomber Squadron in Poland during the invasion, then evacuating to France and assuming command of the Polish 1/145 Squadron in France before evacuation for a second time to England after the capitulation of France.
Piotr like many Polish airmen made his way to Blackpool on arrival in the UK, by then the spiritual home of the Polish Air Force. Before long and with the formation of 302 Squadron the first Polish fighter squadron, Piotr assumed the role of flight commander of A flight. Piotr was then appointed Officer Commanding the Squadron on the 7th December 1940 taking over complete authority from his RAF Counterparts who had been with the Squadron since its inception in the July.
On June 1st 1941 Piotr was promoted to Acting Wing Commander and assumed the role Commanding Officer of 1 Polish Fighter Wing (303,306,308 Squadrons) based at RAF Northolt. Flying aircraft still in a fighter role with these Squadrons, Piotr would at his discretion use an aircraft from any of these Squadrons but we can see mainly he flew with 303 Squadron.
On the 27th June 1941 whilst flying with his RAF Counterpart Wing Commander Johnny Kent and 303 Squadron, Piotr was lost to anti-aircraft fire in a dangerous Rhubarb sortie whilst attacking an airfield in Coquelles, just outside of Calais.
To celebrate Piotr’s life Laguna’s Spitfire Legacy has commissioned the Polish Heritage Flight’s Spitfire BM597 adorned in the Squadron markings of P8331 “Sumatra” to return to Blackpool and Lytham St Annes to pay our respects not only to him but the entire Polish Air Force and their spiritual UK Home.
Working in conjunction with Hanger 42 in Lytham St Anne, LSL are holding a Polish Air Force day on Sunday 27th June 2021 where it will be possible to view the recovered artefacts from P8331 as well as see Spitfire BM597 fly in a display in tribute to Wing Commander Laguna. There will also be living history exhibitions at the hanger, opportunities to speak to the Pilot and subject matter experts.
A great day for all the family is assured be sure to join us and celebrate together.