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
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
He ended his operational tour in
September 1944 and was at the Command and General Staff School in the
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
Confirmed victories: 18 + 3 in cooperation
Probable : 2
Damaged : 4 + 1 in cooperation
He still lives in Warsaw