Utica, New York April 30
On Friday, April 30 the City of Utica and The Royal Order Kingdom of
Poland sponsored an event to honor WWII Polish veterans of the battle
of Monte Casino. This type of recognition is exactly what the WWII
Polish LHG wants to support. We were initially contacted by a local
representative of the Polish American Congress to see if we could help
out with the ceremony and subsequent public display at City Hall
showing artifacts from the battle. The day began with a special mass held
at the Holy Trinity RC church in Utica. Polish WWII vets act as the
honor guard before mass.
Here Utica Mayor the Hon. M. Roefaro begins the ceremony with appropriate remarks
on behalf of the city.
A large crowd of Utica residents attended the outdoor portion of the ceremony. The city's population
historically was composed of a very large percentage of Polish and Italian Americans. A great cross
section of the city was represented.
As part of the ceremony each veteran was awarded a medal especially designed for the occasion by the
Royal Order Kingdom of Poland. Here 3rd Carpathian veteran Joseph Biega is decorated by HRH Diana Lenska.
Utica resident and veteran of the 3rd Carpathian Division, Henry Jaworski receives his medal. On right Rich Noga assists.
Our friend John Nieduzak from Buffalo receives his medal. You can read more about John
and Joe Biega's wartime experiences under the "veteran advisors" section of our website.
Embassy of the Republic of Poland
Reception for the Polish Minister of Defense & investiture of
Gen. Colin Powell (ret) with the Polish "Order of Merit"
On Thursday evening the WWII Polish LHG was honored to attend a special ceremony held at the Polish embassy in Washington, D.C. At the invitation of Military Attache Gen. Soczewica our organization set up a display to honor the contributions of the Polish military during World War Two. Polish LHG members represented all branches of the Polish armed forces to include Battle of Britian era PAF, I Corps, II Corps, Armia Krajowa and the Navy.
Here Chris Moore stands by our display which was in the main foyer area of the embassy. He is wearing a PAF battle dress uniform representing the 305 Bomber squadron as they would appear in 1944.
General Soczewica and the embassy staff were very gracious and hospitable throughout the evening. The food was great as well. The embassy structure itself is a meticulously restored residence built shortly after the turn of the century.
We thoroughly enjoyed interacting with the various military representatives of allied nations throughout the evening. All were aware of Poland's contribution to the security forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. Showing the history of Polish sacrifice to the allied cause in WWII was a great way to link the past with the present. In addition to the current active duty attendees we were also honored to meet several Polish veterans of WWII.
New member John Hamann portraying a Polish pilot during the Battle of Britain stands next to a U.S. Navy Captain with lots of fruit salad. Given that John is an active duty U.S. Navy helicopter pilot I'm sure these two had lots to discuss.
Here the two Chris' (Moore and Petronis) discuss the history of the Georgian army as they fought along side with Pilsudski during the 1920 Russo-Polish war. We were honored to meet a number of veterans that evening. Here Ppor. Petronis stands beside Bogdan Horoszowski, veteran of the AK. Mr. Horoszowski traveled all the way from Chicago for the event. West Point Museum, U.S. Military Academy, Oct 16
Saturday was a typical, crisp fall day in Highland Falls, NY location of the U.S. Army's West Point Academy. Several WWII living history organizations were on hand for an outdoor display at the museum. Here, Ppor. Petronis stands beside two of the USMA's Kosciuszko Squadron members. The squadron is a volunteer organization of West Point cadets with a Polish-American background. You can access their website by cutting and pasting the following address into your browser:
New England Air Musuem, Connecticut, October 30th
Central Connecticut State University's Polish American Studies chair, Prof. M.B. Biskupski sponsored a very interesting talk commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain. As part of the day the WWII Polish LHG was asked by Maj. Wozniak for our support in the program. Pictured above, left to right, Christopher Petronis, Wing Commander David Arthurton, MA RAF Assistant Air Attache from the British Embassy, Dr. Michael Peszke and Maj. Wozniak Assistant Military Attache, Polish Embassy.
Dr. Peszke was the main speaker while Wing Cmdr Arthurton spoke about what the BoB meant to England and the Allies.
(All photos courtesy of Prof. Biskupski)
For the portion of the program the Major and I were responsible for, we chose the topic of why the Polish air crew were so successful during the war. Here Petronis is a human mannequin displaying early flight gear for 1940.
Here is part of the New England Air Museum's display honoring the Kosciuszko Squadron. The two uniforms in the background are original PAF as worn in Britain as well as a prewar uniform. Both are on loan from the S.W.A.P. museum in New York City. Maj Wozniak's uniform is his current PAF flight suit. In addition to the prestige of working at the Embassy, Wozniak is also a qualified Mig 15 pilot.