Air escapes from the PRL. Defection to freedom. 2015.

Kraków 2015-01-08

Air escapes from the People's Republic of Poland.

Defection to freedom.

In 2009, in the history of the Lim-2 fighter, we included a small subchapter titled "Unfortunate events", in which we presented the history of the air escapes of four Polish officers who managed to break out of the communist paradise. We were not supposed to come back to this issue. However, the assessment of these acts has changed in recent years. In a word, these airmen are more and more commonly vilified. Their unwiseness is emphasized and they do not care about their families and friends remaining in Poland, who were affected by the consequences of these events. These types of judgments are issued publicly and commonly at picnics and aviation competitions of various degrees.

That is why this article was written in which we defend all these people and honor them with my personal respect. And with special memory I surround those who failed and were murdered in the secret police offices.

Yes, harassment in Poland affected families and colleagues, but it was the result of the powerlessness of the authorities at that time. Identical to those during the German occupation, after the successful sabotage actions of Polish patriots and partisans. At that time, the Germans organized round-ups and sent random Polish citizens caught in the street to concentration camps.

It must be remembered that until 1948, the Polish Underground Army numbered about 300,000 men under arms. It was not easy for the communists, both from the East and the native ones, to introduce a new occupation.

Escapes in Civil Aviation.

In September 1948, the communists began political purges in the resurgent Polish civil aviation. All pilots and parachutists were forced to submit a license. The verification was individual. All pre-war airmen and young people from "system hostile" families were removed from civil aviation. And it was enough to have an uncle who fought in the West during the Second World War. The purge, without much publicity, lasted until 1951, and in changed forms until the end of the Polish People's Republic. The purge affected many eminent figures of the Polish Aviation. It did not just restrict itself to a flight ban. People negatively verified by the communists were banned from being at the airport, in workshops and participating in aviation organizations. How typical of Polish reality and lasting even in the present day Masonic-liberal times (2015). The aviation world has unequivocally described it as the "Undercutting of Polish Wings". The purges affected such outstanding figures as; Piotr Mynarski and Wanda Modlibowska, MA.

Piotr Mynarski, the glider pilot, on July 19, 1933, made a flight of 84.2 km.

Wanda Modlibowska glider pilot. She was the third woman in Poland to obtain an official C category. In 1934, Wanda Modlibowska set two Polish women's flight longevity records.

Also after 1951, sons and daughters from patriotic homes were not accepted into civil aviation as a rule. You had to have a communist attitude. It was even more difficult for a young man to start a career in aviation in the military. The son of a shopkeeper or a small craftsman had practically a closed aviation career.

Some negatively verified pilots were later allowed to fly. Among them were; A. Niżnik in 1949, M. Herzyk in 1951, MSc. T. Kostia in 1951. Mr. W. Gawlik started flying again after eight years, in 1956. Similarly, the pilots M. Gawęda and Cz. Berdychowski started flying after many years of break, taking an active part in aviation events. Among the members of the Bielsko-Bialski Aero Club who returned to flying was, among others Jan Kalfas, coming from Grodziec Śląski, a pilot of the 300th Bomber Squadron of the Polish Air Force in the West, after returning to Poland, he was an airplane instructor until 1951, at the Aviation Training Center in Wrocław, after the negative verification was canceled, a flight instructor at ABB and a sanitary aviation pilot.

Henryk Kwiatkowski and Roman Romanowicz.

Returning to the negatively verified pilots, there were many difficult and dramatic situations. Usually they couldn't get any good job. If anything, they were in the worst working positions. They received the lowest salary. For example, Henryk Kwiatkowski, a former bomber pilot in England, retired from flying, worked with a shovel in a construction company for several years. It so happened that the company he worked for was doing the work at the airport. Roman Romanowicz, who was a navigator of the RAF bomber during the war, worked as the airport manager at this airport.

Roman Romanowicz went to the West with General Anders' army. He participated in carpet raids on Germany, including Szczecin, where his extended family later settled. Mr. Roman sometimes made friendly, semi-legal flights to compensate for the compass.

One day, Henryk Kwiatkowski and Roman Romanowicz boarded a fully fueled Po-2 plane. At 6:10 p.m. the plane took a position against the wind and at 10.05 p.m. it landed in Passau, Bavaria, which was then in the American zone of occupation. Another source mentions Austria. The fugitives performed, among others, in Radio Free Europe. Roman Romanowicz settled in Toronto and married a Polish woman. He did not maintain contact with his family in the country so as not to expose them to harassment. From time to time he helped them materially. Roman Romanowicz's brother could only be an ordinary worker until the end of his life in the People's Republic of Poland, although he was well educated.

In 1960, Henryk Kwiatkowski returned to Bielsko Biała, but he never piloted the plane again.

Eugeniusz Pieniążek. 1971.

Eugeniusz Pieniążek was born in 1934. After the persecution of the UB, he decided in 1969 for contacts with the Swedes. - 1971, build an airplane. Initially, construction was carried out in an apartment block, later it was moved to the hangar of the flying club. Its construction was made of the rear part of the fuselage and the tail of the Foka 4 glider and modified wings from the Jaskółka glider. It was the first amateur plane registered in the Polish People's Republic on August 10, 1971, with the marks SP-PHN.

For logistical reasons, Eugeniusz Pieniążek chose Yugoslavia as his escape route. He made the illegal flight on September 13, 1971. The flight was reported as a flight from Krosno to Aleksandrowice. He flew from Krosno during stormy and misty weather at the height of the treetops. Via Slovakia and Hungary to Subotica in Yugoslavia. During a dangerous journey, he used a car map as he flew along roads and rivers. The flight lasted 5 hours. As a result of the long journey, his right leg was partially paralyzed. After landing, he was imprisoned in Yugoslavia and after 7 months it was decided to give him a one-day pass, provided that he would not come back. Eventually his journey ended in Sweden. After a few years, he also brought his family there. After escaping to the West, the plane was removed from the Polish register on July 29, 1972. In 1992, the plane was registered in Sweden as SE-XKK. Since 1997, the plane was returned to Poland under the number SP-FKU. On September 13, 2005, the constructor handed over the plane to the Polish Aviation Museum in Krakow. In 2005, Mr. E. Pieniążek was devoted to the 7th episode of the TV series Wielkie Escapes on the Masonic TVN television.

Kukułka SP-PHN plane. MLP Czyżyny 2014. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman
Kukułka SP-PHN plane. MLP Czyżyny 2014. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman

Written by Karol Placha Hetman