Stanislaw Skalski

S/Ldr Skalski was a exceptional leader and fighter pilot. He was a careful pilot. He never did anything without thought but was yet very aggressive during engagements with the enemy.

"He taught me to evaluate what was going on around me in the sky. I was as if he knew exactly and at all times what was happening around us. He must have had a exceptional eyesight too" : That's how W.M. Matheson one of the pilots of 601 Sqn "County Of London" remembers Stanislaw Skalski......

He was born in 1915 at Kodyma and went to military school at Deblin in 1936 and became an officer in august 1938. He then got transferred to "142 Eskadra" at Torun. During the 1939 campaign he became the only person to obtain a high enough score ( 5 of which 1 in cooperation) to become an ace. Escaping through Romania and the Mediterranean he arrived in France at the beginning of 1940. He volunteered to go to England.

He flew with the 501 Sqn during the "Battle of Britain" then got transferred to the 306 Sqn before becoming the Commanding Officer of the 317 Sqn.

Joining the "Polish Fighting Team"(*) he would later become the C/O of the 601 Sqn of the RAF before returning to England where he was put in charge of the 133 Wing for D-Day.

The Polish Fighting Team was formed on February 5, 1943 in the Polish fighter base at Northolt, and after crossing the Mediterranean by ship and some further travel, arrived at Bu Gara airfield, 150 miles west of Tripoli, on March 13. The pilots were attached to No. 145 RAF Squadron as the 'C' flight, and equipped with six Spitfires Mk. V. The Team achieved operational readiness on March 17, but it wasn't till March 28 that Polish pilots for the first time engaged enemy planes over African soil. By then the Team had been re-equipped with the latest British fighters of the time, Spitfires Mk. IX.

Four of the 15 pilots of the PFT: S/Ldr Waclaw Krol, W/O Wladyslaw Majchrzyk, W/O Mieczyslaw Popek and P/O Wladyslaw Drecki

He ended his operational tour in September 1944 and was at the Command and General Staff School in the United States.

After the allied victory he was offered a important post in the RAF but preferred to return to Poland despite spite of the fact that it was now under control of the Soviet Union.

At the beginning he served in the Soviet controlled Polish Air-Force. However since the "Cold War" was growing he got arrested and accused of espionage in on behalf of the "Anglo-American Imperialists"...... This was something that happened to many of the Polish Pilots that fought in the RAF or USAF during WW II.

Skalski was submitted to a horrific inquiry equal to those of the Gestapo or N.K.V.D.(**). Surviving this horrible treatment he got sentenced to death on the same absurd accusations. Finally in an act of "leniency" the communists changed his sentence into life imprisonment. After Stalin's death, in 1953 the situation started to change in Poland and he was released in 1956 after 8 years spent in prison.

A post in the Polish Air-Force was quite rapidly offered to him which he accepted after some hesitation.
He afterwards saw his chance to fly with jet-engine Mig fighters.

He maintained a high-rank post in the Polish Air-Force ( he reached the rank of General-Brigadier) until 1970 when he became president of a Polish Aero-Club.


Confirmed victories: 18 + 3 in cooperation

Probable : 2

Damaged : 4 + 1 in cooperation

He still lives in Warsaw