An exhibition on the Polish and Czech Pilots in the Second World War, curated by David Coxon, the Museum’s Deputy Director, has recently opened at the Museum. Alexandra Kent, daughter of Group Captain Johnny Kent, a flight commander in the newly formed Polish No 303 Squadron during the Battle of Britain and later, commander of the Northolt Polish Wing, was to open the exhibition but unfortunately was unable to travel from her home in Sweden.
In her place Jerry Mudford, her friend and former RAF fighter pilot, read out Alexandra’s opening address. Jerry was a pilot at RAF Tangmere in 1954 when Johnny Kent was the commanding officer of the station.
A new oil painting by Museum artist, Jack Froelich, was also unveiled by Mari and Vera, the daughters of Flight Lieutenant Karel Kuttelwascher, the Czech night intruder pilot who shot down 15 enemy aircraft whilst flying with the RAF’s No 1 Squadron, based at Tangmere in 1942. The painting depicts the night engagement when he destroyed three Heinkel bombers in the St André circuit in May of that year.
The exhibition is open to Museum visitors from 11 until 4 each day (except Sunday 6 August, the Museum’s Family Day) until 3 September.
Photo: Jerry Mudford reading out Alexandra’ Kent’s opening address.