13th Fighter Aviation Regiment in Łęczyca. 1951-1971

Łęczyca 2007-07-27

13th Fighter Aviation Regiment in Łęczyca.

August 1951 - December 31, 1971.

Geographic coordinates: 52.004 N 19.144 E. Elevation 115 m.

Jak-23 nb 1616. 2021 year. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman
Jak-23 nb 1616. 2021 year. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman

Picture description. Yakovlev Jak-23 fighter planes were operated in the 13th Fighter Aviation Regiment in Łęczyca.

Leznica Wielka. 2008 year. Work by Karol Placha Hetman
Leznica Wielka. 2008 year. Work by Karol Placha Hetman

Formation of the 13th PLM. 1951 year.

At the beginning of August 1951, in accordance with the plan, DWL Order No. 064/org, the formation of the next 13th PLM in the 5th DLM began. The staff of the 1st PLM became the personnel base, and the place of formation was the Warsaw - Bemowo airport. Pilot Major Stanisław Więcek was appointed as the commander of the 13th PLM, and as squadron commanders: captain pilot Kazimierz Tanana, lieutenant pilot Wiktor Iwonia, lieutenant pilot Bolesław Smolik.

On August 9, 1951, 13 Jak-23 aircraft No. 713, 715, 718, 723, 724, 725, 801, 810, 819, 820, 905, 909, 1002 and a Jak training aircraft were transferred to the new regiment from the 1st PLM. -17 W No. 3120127.

1951 was a time when three fighter regiments were stationed at one Bemowo airport at the same time; 1. PLM, 2. PLM and 13. PLM. At the same time, as the third one in Poland, the 13th PLM was trained on turbojet-powered aircraft. The 13th PLM was operationally subordinated to the 5th Fighter Aviation Division.


The history of the airport in Leźnica Wielka goes beyond the times of the 37th Transport Helicopter Regiment. The history began during World War II, when the Germans built a concrete runway measuring 1,200 m x 60 m next to the village of Krzepocinek (Krzepocin First, Krzepocin Drugi). This place is near the town of Łęczyca in the Łódź Voivodeship. Over time, the name Leźnica Wielka Airport became established.

Just after the Second World War, the command of the 3rd Brandenburg Fighter Air Division and its 10th and 11th Fighter Aviation Regiments were stationed here (the 9th PLM was disbanded). In February 1946, the division was renamed the 1st Fighter Air Division, and the regiments were changed to the 2nd and 3rd PLM, respectively, and moved to the Czyżyny airport in Kraków. In January 1946, from the disbanded 1st Bomber Aviation Division, and at the same time on the basis of the 3rd Bomber Aviation Regiment (stationed at the Sochaczew-Bielice airport), the 7th independent dive bomber aviation regiment was established at the airport in Leźnica Wielka. In April 1947, the regiment was transferred to the airport in Poznań Ławica.

In the 1940s, the infrastructure of the airport in Łęczyca (Leźnica Wielka) was poor. There was no hangar, and the unit was accommodated in old pre-war barracks at ul. Kaliska and in private accommodation. Only in March 1952, after the expansion of the airport, the 13th PLM was based here from the Bemowo airport (Warsaw - Babice). The 13th PLM unit operated Yak-23 aircraft until the mid-1950s. During this time, it was gradually rearmed with MiG-15 and their Polish Lim-1 equivalents. Due to the tense geopolitical situation and its location far from the border, the 13th PLM was disbanded on December 30, 1971. After that time, the history of the 37th PŚT began.

MiG-15 nb 346. 2008 year. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman
MiG-15 nb 346. 2008 year. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman

Interesting facts related to the airport in Leźnica Wielka include the fact that in the early 50s, the older brother of the only Polish cosmonaut Mirosław Hermaszewski, colonel pilot Władysław Hermaszewski, served in the 13th PLM.

In October 1956, a field staging area for the Command of the Northern Group of Soviet Forces was established at the Łęczyca Airport when these troops were marching to Warsaw. CCCP Marshal Ivan Konev was stationed here.

13 PLM in Łęczyca. 1952 – 1971.

In March 1952, the personnel and equipment of the 13th PLM were transferred to the airport in Łęczyca. In the initial period, the 13th Regiment used Yak-23 fighters and Yak-17 W Agata training planes. Around 1953, the 13th Regiment began rearming with MiG-15 / Lim-1 aircraft. A little later, the Lim-2, Lim-5 and Lim-5 P aircraft were introduced into service. During the reform of Polish Aviation in 1957, the 13th PLM in Łęczyca still remained in the structures of the 5th DLM OPL OK together with the 1st PLM, which was moved to Mińsk Mazowiecki. At the end of the 50 years, further changes took place in the Air Force of the National Air Defense Forces. Divisions were abolished and the management of the Regiments was entrusted to tactical associations called Corps. In 1960, the 1st OPL Corps OK. there were four hunting regiments; - 1. PLM from Mińsk Mazowiecki. - 2. PLM from Czyżyny - Kraków. - 13. PLM from Łęczyca. - 39. PLM in Mierzęcice. Additionally, 1st Air Corps OK. had in its structures; 42nd Liaison Aviation Squadron in Warsaw, 9th OPL Artillery Division in Warsaw with 64, 86, 87, 94 OPL Artillery Regiments, 13th OPL Artillery Division in Bytom with 85, 89, 96, 97 OPL Artillery Regiments, 3rd Artillery Regiment OPL in Łódź, the 90th OPL Artillery Regiment in Nowa Huta, the 115th OPL Artillery Regiment in Stalowa Wola and the Radio Technical Battalion; 3. in Sandomierz, 6. in Bemowo, 7. Łódź-Lublinek, 14. Rakowice-Czyżyny.

At the end of the 1960s, the 1st Air Defense Corps operated in three regiments; - 1. PLM from Mińsk Mazowiecki. - 10th PLM from Łask to replace the disbanded 2nd PLM from Czyżyny. - 13. PLM from Łęczyca.

In the last months of operation of the 13th PLM, the 1st Squadron operated MiG-21 PF aircraft. At that time, the 13th PLM was already being prepared to disband. The reason was the development of a new type of aviation based on helicopters. The airport in Łęczyca was selected to receive "windmills" and continue training on helicopters.

MiG-21 PF nb 2004 year. 2002. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman
MiG-21 PF nb 2004 year. 2002. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman

The 13th PLM was disbanded on December 30, 1971. MiG-21 combat aircraft were transferred to other units.

Łęczyce Airport – Leźnica Wielka.

The airport has geographical coordinates 52.004N, 19.144E. It is situated at an altitude of 115 m above sea level. RWY with dimensions of 2,500 m x 60 m with asphalt surface, orientation 10/28.

Written by Karol Placha Hetman