The day before the 81st anniversary of the first victory of Squadron 303, in Świebodzice Airfield, was presented a commemorative graphic with the Hawker Hurricane Mk I fighter. There is a 1:1 scale colour profile of the aeroplane F/O Witold Urbanowicz, the squadron commander, at the airport hangar gate. See photos and read about project creation.
On August 30, 1940, F/O Ludwik Paszkiewicz separated from the formation during a training flight and shot down a Messerschmitt Me-110 plane. This act of insubordination convinced the RAF command that the Poles should be allowed to fight to win the Battle of Britain. On August 31, the squadron was put into combat operations, with six aerial victories on the first day.
Piotr Strzelecki says:
The plan was to “unveil” the artwork to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain. Unfortunately, our plans were thwarted by the pandemic. After many adversities, however, We successfully completed the project.
It started with the idea of Grzegorz Glegoła, a professional pilot and member of the Aviation Society in Świebodzice. And as it happens with ideas, you know, the road to implementation is long. The plan was to put on the door of the tent hall that serves as a hangar, the 1:1 profile of the Hawker Hurricane Mk I from 1940 Squadron 303.
It was supposed to be the plane the Polish squadron commander, Lieutenant Witold Urbanowicz, flew. We have discussed for a long time which letter codes to choose for the Hurricane. Should it be with the markings RF-E, on which he won the most victories or RF-F? The choice was the RF-F marking with a commemorative inscription made with chalk, which indicated the number of kills of the entire 303 squadron during the Battle of Britain.
Thanks to the courtesy of Mr Dariusz Karnas from the Stratus publishing house, we received scale plans for the Hawker Hurricane Mk I plane, which helped us make graphics in a 1:1 scale with the appropriate proportions and version of the fighter.
Many experts on the subject believe that the laurel of victory for winning the Battle of Britain goes to the Hurricane, and not to the legendary Supermarine Sptfire.
The ceremonial presentation of the graphics took place during the Aviation Picnic on August 29, 2021, with the participation of representatives of state and local authorities. At our invitation, there were members of the Świdnica Historical Reconstruction Association “SRH Świdnica” in the uniforms of Polish fighter pilots in the RAF.
Flying Hurricane Mk I RF-F / V6684 fighter F/O Witold Urbanowicz won two victories on September 15, 1940 (Do-215 bombers). On September 26, P/O Jan Zumbach shot down two planes (Me-109 and He-111), on September 27, Zumbach shot down another Bf-109 and F/Lt John Kent Ju-88. F/O Zdzisław Henneberg achieved the last victory on October 5 (Me-109).
Photo from collection: Wojtek Matusiak.
Photos: Piotr Strzelecki
- Models of Hurricane Mk I from 303 Squadron in Arma Hobby link
- Techmod decals with markings of the Hurricane RF-F link
- Aviation Society in Świebodzice FB – see video
This post is also available in: polski