Insurgent Troops

The Air Forces of the Greater Poland Armies in the year 1919

Marek Rezler

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The 2nd Greater Poland Air Squadron was established on 14 February 1919 in Poznań, its commander: Rittmeister Pilot Tadeusz Grochowalski. The aeroplanes included: Halbestadt CL II, Halberstadt CL V and Albatross D III. At the beginning of April, the squadron was sent to the area of Nowe Miasto nad Wartą, with its base in Klęka; during this period, the squadron was commanded by Second Lieutenant Edmund Norwid-Kudło. Both T. Grochowalski and E. Norwid-Kudło came from the 1st Polish Corps, the remaining staff came from the Greater Poland region. Sergeant Pilot Łukasz Durka and Sergeant Observer Kruszona, both of whom died an aviator's death in May 1919 near Nowe Miasto served in the 2nd Greater Poland Squadron - these were the first aviators of the Greater Poland Armies to die in service. In May 1919, the squadron organised propaganda flights over the territory of Upper Silesia. In the following month, the pilots of the Squadron carried out air reconnaissance on the Northern Front from the area of Kruszwica over Bydgoszcz and Toruń. From August 1919, the pilots and observers from the squadron were involved in battles on the Eastern Front, under the command of General Stanisław Szeptycki, as part of the I Air Force Group.

The Greater Poland Field Air Squadron was appointed on 6 March 1919. It was involved in battles in the area of Greater Poland, during the armistice period: till June and from September till October 1919. The Greater Poland air force unit had its base on the Góra airstrip near Jarocin. Pilots undertook propaganda flights over the Upper Silesia region. Two crews: Sergeant-Pilot Władysław Wrembel and Sergeant-Observer Marian Skorzyński as well as Second Lieutenant Pilot Wiktor Lang and Sergeant Observer Jan Kasprzak were shot down and the second one was taken into German captivity. From June till August 1919, the squadron operated in the Ukraine and then returned to Greater Poland and occupied the airstrip near Buk. Its pilots carried out reconnaissance flights in the area of Nakło and Piła. On 25 May 1919, the 4th Greater Poland Combat Squadron – commanded by Lieutenant Pilot Jerzy Dziembowski was formed. It was stationed in Ławica and remained at the disposal of Central Command, and then the Supreme Command. It was above all, a training unit, flying aircraft such as the Fokker D VII, Fokker E. V and the Albatross D III (Oeffag); in July 1919, Spad aeroplanes were delivered from France. On 20 July1921, the third Air Regiment, which was stationed in barracks and at the airport of the former 4th reserve unit, was formed in Poznan.



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