D-DAY80 - Polish Air Force special pin badge

by AS Alexander Smaga architects in London, Greater London, United Kingdom

Total raised £1,788

£5,000 stretch target 4 hours left
119% 54 supporters
Keep what you raise – this project will receive all pledges made by 30th May 2024 at 12:00am

Join us to commemorate the Polish pilots who flew alongside the Royal Air Force during D-DAY with this special PAF pin badge for D-DAY80!

by AS Alexander Smaga architects in London, Greater London, United Kingdom

 New stretch target

To raise money for the design of a future replika of the memorial to the Polish Air Force at a chosen site in Britain outside London


FOR OUR FREEDOM AND YOURS 

"ZA WOLNOSĆ NASZĄ I WASZĄ"

We are bringing out a unique D-DAY80 Polish Air Force pin badge to commemorate the Polish pilots who fought alongside the Royal Air Force in the Battle of Normandy. We want everybody who supports us to receive this special silver pin badge!

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This year we mark the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the D-DAY landings for which we would like to bring out a specially designed pin badge inspired by the V-shaped Polish Air Force Memorial in Normandy to celebrate the contribution made by the Polish pilots in the Battle of Normandy and towards Allied victory.

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The V-shaped pin badge was inspired by Winston Churchill's famous Victory-sign and the Polish Air Force Memorial in Normandy!


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The silver pin badge is dedicated to the 131st Polish Wing - 302 City of Poznań, 308 City of Kraków and 317 City of Wilno, who provided air cover in the early hours of D-DAY to British and Canadian Forces landing and troughout the Battle of Normandy.

Join us in paying tribute to the Polish pilots who flew alongside the Royal Air Force at the occasion of D-DAY80 !


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Why crowdfunding

Crowdfunding gives us the possibility to reach out and engage with our British-Polish community and other like-minded people who are interested in our shared history and support our idea of commemorating the Polish squadrons at the occasion of the 80 th anniversary of D-DAY.


We are fundraising for...

... 700 GBP will allow us to start production of 200 D-DAY80 pin badges and send it by Royal Mail or the Polish Postal service in Poland.

...1000 GBP will allow us to bring out more than 300 pin badges with postage.

...1500 GBP will allow us to produce 500 pin badges and send it to our friends and supporters by Royal Mail or the Polish Postal service in Poland

...3000 GBP will make it possible to bring out more pin badges up to 1000 pins with cases and send them by Royal Mail or the Polish Postal service in Poland  !


What will happen to excess funds?

+ 5000 GBP will allow us to start working on a replika of the Polish Air Force Memorial to be exhibited permanently at the Polish Aircraft Museum in Krakow, Poland.

1712109468_air_force_memorial.pngPhoto of The Polish Air Force Memorial in Normandy (also available as a poster in A3)

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The Polish Air Force Memorial in Normandy was designed and built by our team to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of D-Day in Plumetot, Normandy, France in 2019. 

The project was initiated by the Polish Air Force Memorial Committee in London. The site of the memorial was the former Allied landing ground B-10 in Plumetot. The memorial is paying homage to the 302 "City of Poznan", 308 "City of Kraków" and 317 "City of Wilno" Polish Fighter Squadrons who flew alongside the Royal Air Force during D-Day and the Battle of Normandy. 


Designed and made for this very special occasion !

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An elegant pin badge in homage to the pilots for D-DAY80 both as a statement and a gift for a friend!

The D-DAY 80 Polish Air Force special pin badge will be available with a Presentation Case ! (see picture above)

Description: synthetic material case, size 57 x 55 x 23 mm (approx.), dark blue with blue velour inlay which opens when opened.


...let it come with a D-DAY80 poster !

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D-DAY80 limited edition, A3 colour print

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Why we are doing it

We would like to celebrate the little known contribution made by the Poles towards D-DAY Allied victory with this special symbol inspired by Sir Winston Churchills famous victory sign.

The memorial highlights the unknown and untold story of the Polish pilots who flew alongside the Royal Air Force during for D-DAY and the Battle of Normandy.

 

Our Objectives

  • to celebrate D-DAY and the achievements and sacrifices made "For our Freedom and yours" by the Polish airmen 
  • to tell the unknown story of the Polish pilots who fought alongside the RAF
  • to create a lasting piece of artwork for your collection of pin badges
  • to highlight Poland's contribution to Allied victory
  • to pay homage to to the fallen Polish Airmen during D-DAY
  • to celebrate the British-Polish friendship and brotherhood of arms
  • to promote the memorial in Normandy among a British and Polish audience
  • to create an elegant gift and a unique piece for collections


What happens after the Crowdfunding event?

The organisers will contact you after the CF-event to request you contact details for sending the pin badges to your address. 

Privacy Statement

We strictly don't share any contact information with third parties.

Delivery of the Pin Badges

Pledges higher than 10 GBP will include the delivery of your Secial D-DAY 80 pin badge to your address. The pin badge will be dispatched will arrive in a special blue case (picture below). Scheduled delivery date until 31 May 2024. 

Delivery of the Posters

Poster will be sent in a cardboard tube to your address together with the pin badges.

Conditions

Please note that due to manufacture and productions constraints the pinbadges may slightly defer from the visualisations. Defectous items will be exchanged and substituted by upon your request.





A LARGELY UNKNOWN D-DAY HISTORY

The Polish Air Force during the Battle of Normandy during the summer of 1944


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Just beyond Sword Beach, the RAF set up a base B-10 in the area of Plumetot to support the British and Canadian struggle for Caen.

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From the beginning of the war, Polish pilots showed great bravery and outstanding fighting skills when engaging Germans in the skies. They played a significant role in the aerial Battle of Britain, where 144 pilots claimed over 203 German aircraft shot down while losing 29 of their own. By the end of the was the Polish Air Force in the West counted 15 fighter squadrons with 19,000 airmen and ground personnel. It was the only occupied country to field an air force of this scale. Before and during the Battle of Normandy during the summer of 1944 Polish pilots played an important role in preparing for the assault by neutralizing German coastline defences, covering the naval vessels in the Channel and land forces pressing the assault forward.

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The order of the battle of 2TAF on the 6 of June 1944 featured 131 and 133 Polish Wing


The involvement of the Polish Air Force during D-DAY

On the eve of the invasion, 131 and 133 Polish Wings of 84 Group, part of the 2TAF, received the task of covering the landings in the British and Canadian sectors. As the troops came ashore, the two Polish wings made three sorties over the landing beaches and claimed to shoot down 30 German planes over the first two days of the invasion. 84 Group made thousands more sorties throughout the campaign, providing direct air cover for the Canadians as they advanced south of Caen to Falaise.

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During the Battle of Normandy, some Polish squadrons remained in Great Britain to maintain home defence and address a new threat. Polish 130 and 303 Squadrons patrolled the skies as part of 11 Group, Air Defence of Great Britain. Shortly into the campaign, the Polish pilots encountered the latest weapon devised by German aeronautical engineers: the first V-1 flying bombs. Despite the danger in intercepting these new weapons, Polish pilots eagerly welcomed the task. Bohdan Arct, commander of 316 Squadron which pulled back from France to assist in these V1 patrols, recalled that “the squadron fell into a sort of trance, a strange zeal, as though infected with a “flying-bomb bacillus.” Polish pilots took to the challenge, remembering the novel excitement of 1940 when German aircraft were a constant threat over the skies of Britain.


The Polish Air Force at the B-10 Advanced Landing Ground

1711033636_b-10_plumetot.jpgThe B-10 British Ten Advanced Landing ground in Plumetot, Normandy during the summer of 1944

The success of the Normandy Campaign depended on the cooperation of many Allied nations. In Normandy, Poland fought again to show the world this could not happen.

As Allied troops moved gradually inland, more Polish squadrons shifted from their coastal bases and onto the continent. Just beyond Sword Beach, the RAF set up a base in the area of Plumetot to support the British and Canadian struggle for Caen. Here, Nos. 302, 308, and 317 Fighter Squadrons would fly up to five sorties a day, flying air superiority patrols and strafing German troops and transports behind the lines.

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The Polish Pilots were based in the town of Plumetot near Sword Beach

Throughout the Normandy Campaign of 1944, the Poles mustered their early war experience in the air, at sea, and on land to break through Nazi Germany’s Normandy defences. From here, they pushed forth across the continent and supported the Allies in collapsing the Nazi regime. Countless empires had subjugated and attempted to erase the Polish identity before.

Pushed to the seas, they regrouped in Great Britain and trained for the day they would return. Poland, driven from France and their homeland at the start of the war, was looking to get even.

Using the total weight of massed air, naval, and land forces, the assault saw a handful of countries returning to soil conquered in a swift German onslaught in 1940.

What happened after D-DAY?

Poland was the only Allied country not present on VE-parade in 1946 when it came under Stalinist rule. Poland never celebrated a victory after WWII ended and thus the Poles never had a chance to return to their country until the Iron Curtain fell in 1989.

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The Victory Parade in London, 1946

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The Polish Air Force Memorial in Plumetot, Normandy (4 miles from Sword Beach)


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About the designer

Alexander Smaga is a Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Chartered architect with Polish roots and the Director of AS Architects with studios in Hampstead, London and Krakow. I am also the designer of the Polish Air Force Memorial in Normandy France which was designed and built by our practice for D-DAY75.

Services provided by my practice included the design, planning consent, conservation and heritage statement, project management, material selection and the monitoring of the construction works in coordination with the international memorial committee.

Are you thinking or dreaming of a new energy-saving home, a sustainable environmentally-friendly building of your choice or a specific design for an exciting new public space with an installation, a memorial or a sculpture to inspire? We are happy to help you with your project from inception to realisation. Contact us or let us a note.  

Please don't hesitate to contact us 

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.alexander-smaga.com

Tel: 07539 080488


Useful links

Watch the official opening ceremony with a Spitfire Flypast at D-DAY75


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The memorial plaque of the Polish Air Force Memorial in Plumetot, Normandy

The Polish Air Force Memorial Committee in London

https://www.polishairforcememorialcommittee.org/

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/PAFNormandy/

IWM

https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205207969

The Juno beach centre has created a tremendous online exhibiton featureing the Polish contribution towards Allied victory in Normandy

https://www.junobeach.org/canada-in-wwii/articles/canadas-polish-allies-in-normandy/

IPN Institute of National Remembrance

https://ipn.gov.pl/en/news/1945,Ceremony-in-honour-of-Polish-pilots-Plumetot-Normandy-France-9-June-2019.html

International Excellence

https://internationalexcellence.co.uk/luxury-magazine/travel/cars/lifestyle/air-force-memorial-normandy-polish-pilots-launches-crowdfund





Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation. Please select a reward below.

£5 or more

Air Cadet Reward

Just showing my support I expect no material reward only a thank you !

£15 or more

14 of 100 claimed

Pilot Reward

A D-DAY 80 Polish Air Force special pin badge delivery by RM (£3,20) included

£20 or more

19 of 50 claimed

Flying Officer Reward

A D-DAY 80 Polish Air Force special pin badge in an elegant blue case. Delivery by RM (£3,20) included

£100 or more

2 of 5 claimed

Wing Commander Reward

10 D-DAY 80 Polish Air Force special pin badges in elegant blue cases plus A3 poster of the PAF memorial in Normandy. Delivery by RM (£3,20) included

£230 or more

1 of 2 claimed

Air Chief Marshal Award

28 D-DAY 80 Polish Air Force special Pin badges with special cases and two signed PAF Memorial A3 posters, Delivery by RM (£3,20) included

£30 or more

10 of 10 claimed

Squadron Leader Reward

2 special D-DAY80 pin badges in elegant blue cases plus 1 A3 Poster. Delivery by RM (£3,20) included

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