LADY IN THE CHAMBAGNE GLASS
by Piotr Górka
Avro Lancaster ...........
L/E 250 Limited Edition signed & numbered prints
Each of these editions are individuall numbered
Overall print size: 26"wide 19 3/4"high 65.5 x 50 cm
Image size: 21 1/2"wide 15 1/2"high 55 x 39 cm
Printed on HQ Acid Free Permanent Paper 250 Gr
S/N 400 Signed & Numbered by artist and SIX airmen 303 317 Sqns PRICE 195 € plus postage
signed by artist and
Flight Lieutenant TADEUSZ WIERZBOWSKI KW*
A section of three Spitfire VBs of No.317 Squadron in flight in the early months of 1942
ABOUT OF PICTURE
A section of four Spitfires, two each from two different Polish units. Those coded 'RF' are from No. 303 Squadron, at the time commanded by S/Ldr Jan Zumbach. His personal Spitfire Vs were usually adorned with the Donald Duck motif in various shapes. The 'JH' coded Spitfires are from No. 317 Squadron, at the time commanded by S/Ldr Stanislaw Skalski, the ranking Polish ace of WWII. Both these squadrons displayed outstanding effectiveness during the Operation 'JUBILEE', the ill-fated landing at Dieppe on 19 August 1942 by Canadian troops. Their score constituted over 15 % of the overall number of victories credited tom Allied air unit in the operations. No. 303 Sqn proved the top-scoring unit on the Allied side. This was not a surprise for the HQ Fighter Command. Several months earlier No.11 Group organised a competition in air-to-air shooting with 22 squadrons participating. The results of the competition astonished the HQ Fighter Command, as three Polish squadrons came first, and by large margin. No. 303 Sqn scored 808 points, No. 316 - 432 points, and No. 315 - 183 points. The best RAF squadron was fourth, with 150 points. That result was another confirmation of the Poles' excellent combat abilities and their effectiveness in air engagements over England in 1940 during the Batlle of Britain.
Going to battle: No.303's Spitfires, led by S/Ldr Jan Zumbach, in a tight formation above cloud in the weeks immediately before the Dieppe raid. Note 'Donald Duck' with the raised bat on the C.O.'s engine cowling.
THE POLISH FIGHTER WINGS
The term "wing" was used in the British air arm to refer to a number of squadrons operating together alraedy during WWI. When the RAF started offensive operations over France in late 1940/early 1941, organisation of fighter wing commenced. First two Polish wings were established in the spring-summer 1941. The 1st Wing was formed at RAF Northolt, in No. 11 Group RAF. It entered offensive operations in June 1941. Similar to the earlier practice at squadron level, the wing was led by a British officer, with a Polish double in this capacity. Soon the Polish and British wing leader functions were combined and W/Cdr Tadeusz Rolski took command of the 1st Wing as the first non-British officer to lead a wing in RAF structure. The 1st Wing was the principal Polish fighter formation in Britain for most part of the war. Squadrons of the 1st Wing took part in the most intensive daylight operations of the RAF. escorting bombers and flying fighter sweeps over occupied France and Belgium. The 2nd Wing was formed on 18 August 1941, with headquarters at RAF Exeter. It belonged to No.10 Group RAF.Squadrons of the 2nd Wing flew patrols, escorting ships off south-western coasts of Britain. They also participated in offensive operations, most often escorting bombers during raids to Kriegsmarine bases in portrs of occupied France. Due to uneven combat workload of the wings, a rotation was introduced: having served a combat tour in the 1st Wing, squadrons moved to bases outside No. 11 Group for rest from intensive operations.