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  #1  
Old 17th April 2008, 04:45
GregFK GregFK is offline
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Polish Uniforms in WWII.

Hi all,

I have a question about Exile Polish Air Force tunics during WWII and thought that this would be a perfect place to ask.

Was RAF insignia used in conjunction with Polish insignia on uniforms I had read somewhere that there were a smaller (miniature) set of wings that were issued. I`m sure I have seen them worn on the left and right breasts. I also believe that I have seen Poles using standard half wings on the left breast.

Can anyone on here confirm or deny that RAF insignia was used. If so can anyone provide photographs of said insignia being worn. I have tried searching the IWM archives but the photos are small and make it difficult to see.

Many thanks to everyone in advance. If this was posted in the wrong place then please remove with my sincerest apologies.

Thanks,
Greg
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Old 17th April 2008, 10:54
Ex Shack Ex Shack is offline
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Re: Polish Uniforms in WWII.

Hi Greg
The Polish Air Force awarded wings to it's pilots in the shape of a metal bird(probably an Eagle),I think in silver and worn on the L Breast slightly higher than the RAF cloth wings. When Poland fell and many of her Air Force came to UK the Polish Wings continued to be used by many, but if you can find a copy of "Poles in Defence of Britain" by Robert Gretzingier you will see that many wore the RAF wings,there is an example of a pilot wearing both. It is difficult to be sure but the difference could be that some retained Polish uniform which had a close resemblance to the RAF equivalent and some wore RAF uniform. The Polish Air Force in 1939 did not have the equivalent to some of the non-Pilot Aircrew functions but acquired the need once incorporated into the RAF organisation .They tended to wear RAF brevets( and possibly Raf uniform but with the shoulder flash "Poland").Look at http://www.geocities.com/skrzydla/index.html which is a photo gallery of 304 Sqn and there are illustrations of Polish Aircrew which seem to indicate the continued use of Polish Uniform by many. There is a picture of an Airman wearing what appear to be Polish Pilot's wings but he is identified as a Navigator. If you roam about this particular site there are other photo galleries of Polish Sqns
Hope This Helps
Regards
Dick
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Old 17th April 2008, 18:55
Franek Grabowski Franek Grabowski is offline
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Re: Polish Uniforms in WWII.

Usually RAF wings were worn over right pocket, while Polish wings (or Eagle) over left one. Ranks were Raf on sleeves and Polish on collars. Polish pilot's wings are similar to navigator's ones, the one must have a closer look on it.
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Old 17th April 2008, 21:06
GregFK GregFK is offline
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Re: Polish Uniforms in WWII.

Thank you Gentlemen. I have had such a tunic in my personal collection for quite some time and was recently challenged on it's authenticity. The fellow making the challenge stated that Poles NEVER wore RAF insignia on their tunics. I said otherwise as I have seen period photos. I just thought I would pose the question here so that I could direct him to the thread and he could see for himself.

Thanks again,
Greg
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Old 17th April 2008, 21:12
Ex Shack Ex Shack is offline
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Re: Polish Uniforms in WWII.

I respect Franek's expertise but the sources I listed do show RAF wings worn on the left. There are at least 2 photos in Gretzyngier's book where pilots are wearing both, with the Polish Eagle above the RAF wings
Regards
Dick
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Old 17th April 2008, 23:34
Franek Grabowski Franek Grabowski is offline
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Franek Grabowski
Re: Polish Uniforms in WWII.

Most photos in the book either show airmen still under RAFVR regulations or in early transition period. You can also find that in the early period they had Polish eagle patches on left pocket.
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