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Polish and Czech Fighter Pilot Exhibition

The Tangmere Military Aviation Museum is running an exhibition on the Polish and Czech Fighter Pilots in the Second World War, particularly focusing on the pilots and squadrons that fought from the Sussex airfields. Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Dowding, Air Officer Commanding Fighter Command during the Battle of Britain, praised the gallantry of both the Czechs and the Polish, saying, “… they swung into the fight with a dash and enthusiasm which is beyond praise.”

Come and see the exhibition which is open each day from 22 July until 3 September (except 6 August – Family Day) between 1100 and 1600 hours.

The Museum’s exhibition will include stories of the heroism of Polish and Czech pilots, models of their aircraft, medals of one of the Czech fighter pilot ‘aces’, art work and a collection of contemporary cinema newsreels of their time in Britain, far away from their homes in occupied Poland and Czechoslovakia.

One of the paintings on display will be a newly commissioned oil painting of Karel Kuttelwascher (the ‘Night Reaper’) shooting down Heinkel 111 German bombers over their airfield in 1942 on a night intruder mission from RAF Tangmere. There will be reference books available, a booklet on Polish and Czech pilots in Sussex to purchase and squadron badges for the children to colour. Come and see our full size Hawker Hurricane replica in Josef František’s aircraft markings.  František, a Czech, was the highest scoring Allied fighter pilot in the Battle of Britain who flew with the most successful squadron, the Polish No 303 Squadron.

Entrance to the exhibition is included in the normal Museum entry.


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