Aviation training in Poland. 1950-1960.

Kraków 2017-05-22

Aviation training in Poland. 1950-1960.


In 1950, the international situation deteriorated significantly due to the outbreak of the Korean War. The Polish economy was focused on the production of large amounts of weapons. Polish leaders were blindly following orders from Moscow. The air and land forces grew quantitatively. The development of the armed forces required the training of new cadres. Therefore, also military education had to develop.

The development of the Aviation School in Dęblin after 1950 can be described as a quantitative expansion and intensification of the didactic and educational process. The rapid expansion of Polish Aviation created a huge demand for pilot officers, navigators, staff officers and other specialties. In order to meet the new tasks, it was necessary to carry out the necessary changes, including: organizational changes aimed at significant expansion of the school; modernization of the didactic and training base, especially aviation equipment; intensification of the process of education and training of cadets and a significant increase in the possibility of enrollment in school; modernization and expansion of the School's facilities. Significant changes were also made to the teaching and training processes, which was mainly related to the introduction of turbojet powered aircraft.

SB Lim-2 nb 304. 2021. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman
SB Lim-2 nb 304. 2021. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman

The purpose of the changes was to ensure the implementation of the basic task of OSL, that is to train relatively numerous and sufficiently prepared aviation staff in the shortest possible time. The number of admitted candidates was increased again. Unfortunately, the cadet training period was reduced to one and two years, from the previous two and three years. The theoretical education program was also reduced to the necessary minimum. The guidelines from the Ministry of National Defense write to teach cadets what is necessary in war and what is required in war. This confirms the thesis concealed by communists and post-communists, even until now, that the CCCP was always getting ready for war, and an offensive war. In 2008, one of the Kremlin generals confirmed that Moscow would never give up its first strike, even a nuclear strike.

The recruitment of candidates for the School at the Military Recruitment Headquarters lasted almost a whole year. From 1950, attempts were made to start training the new year on September 25. The school grew from 4 Squadrons (Kompani) gathered in one battalion of cadets, to 9 Squadrons (Kompani) in two battalions. A characteristic feature of this period was the increase in the pace of practical training in the air, while reducing theoretical training to the necessary minimum. Such a statement has never been made, but we will write it - It was a typical war training. Importantly, the Kremlin has imposed such a mode of training on us.


On February 4, 1950, the first Act on General Military Duty was issued after the war. The act regulates, inter alia, the service time of soldiers in the regular service; 2 years in the Air Defense Forces, 3 years in the Air Force.

In 1950, there were probably three promotions in Dęblin. One of them took place in September 1950, and the act was done by Alexander Romeyko.


In May 1951, the School was split into two independent schools. Officer Aviation School No. 4 in Dęblin and Officer Aviation School No. 5 in Radom. The School in Radom trained fighter pilots, future Yak-23 and MiG-15 fighter pilots. The airport in Radom was the place where the Jak-23 planes brought to Poland by rail in crates with CCCP were assembled. On the other hand, the School in Dęblin educated pilots for bomber, assault and liaison-transport planes.

Officially, from May 1, 1951, the Aviation School No. 5 in Radom was operating, which a little later received the name of "Franciszek Żwirka and Stanisław Wigura".

In both schools, the teaching base was expanded and hard (concrete) runways were built. In Dęblin, a new RWY with a concrete surface was put into use in 1953. It was 1,850 m x 40 m. Only in the following years the RWY was enlarged. Taxiways and individual parking stands (stands) were also built, also with a concrete surface. During this period, the palace underwent a thorough renovation, regaining its former glory.

According to the available oral records, there was a large group of Russian soldiers in the "School of the Eaglets". However, according to one adversary; “There was not a single Russian lecturer at OSL in Dęblin during the period under review. There were only three Russians in the entire School. They were: 1 / Director of the Training Department, Lt. Col. obs. Niggof. He was a man of high personal culture. He wore a Polish flight uniform and an observer's golden stowaway. He taught newcomers to wrap their feet with onucers. 2 / The commander of the 2nd School Squadron, Major Aleksiejenko. He couldn't see the world except in aircraft engines. Together with his mechanics, he was constantly rummaging in the disrupted Peszek engines. He walked in a kufajka stained with grease. He appointed instructors to take care of cadets from his squadron. 3 / Deputy Commandant of the School for pilotage, Colonel pil. Nicholas Lebedev. It was generally not very visible on the premises of the School. Sometimes he pulled out his Jak 9 from the hangar (apparently he got it as a gift from Stalin) and shot crazy acrobatics on it. At that time, all flights were discontinued. "

In 1951, there were three promotions at the Officers' Aviation School: the first on May 13, 1951, the second (the most numerous) in mid-July 1951 and the third in mid-December 1951 (a dozen or so cadets were promoted).


The end of the Korean War did not improve the international situation at all. The CCCP not only already had nuclear weapons, but also had planes to carry them. In 1955, Germany was admitted to the NATO defense system. In response, the Warsaw Pact was created. The beginning of the Cold War has been almost officially announced. There has been a rapid increase in the technical capabilities of the air force. New electronic devices and modern command and control systems were introduced. This made it necessary to expand the training programs. The quantity and quality of knowledge transferred to cadets was significantly increased. First of all, the requirements for candidates have been increased. It has become a standard for the candidate to have secondary education with a high school diploma. That is why some of the officers later passed their high school exams after a one-year general education course. Education at the School was extended to 2.5 years. Health and fitness requirements were particularly tightened, which was associated with the hardships of flights on jet airplanes. As a result, approximately 50% of applicants had adequate health conditions. The remaining candidates had to look for other military specialties.

On April 16, 1955, the "School of Eaglets" was renamed "Janek Krasicki". Jan Krasicki, communist activist and youth Stalinist agitator, Komsomol officer in Lviv, then a member of subversive groups, a member of the Polish Workers' Party and the People's Guard, formally proclaimed chairman of the Union of Youth Struggle. On September 2, 1943, in Warsaw, he was arrested by the Germans and died while trying to escape.


From 1956, only candidates with a secondary school-leaving examination and initial training at LPW 1st and 2nd degree camps were admitted to the School. (Aviation Military Training). As a result, a young boy who already had the basics of aviation theory and practice went to the school. Without a doubt, 1956 can be considered the beginning of a return to good training. Both in the organizational and substantive sphere.

In the second half of the 1950s, the aviation training system finally developed, allowing the graduate to obtain the 3rd class of military pilot.

In 1956, the 23rd Navigators and Rifle Training Squadron (JW. 3413) was established in Dęblin. With time, the squadron also trained radio operators. In the 60's, the 23rd Squadron changed its name to the 23rd Air Training Squadron. Transport aircraft pilots were trained in the squadron. The basic aircraft for many years were the An-2. In 1991, 8 An-2 machines were in stock. The squadron functioned until 1999, when it was disbanded and its planes were taken over by the 1st Aviation Training Center.

The Poznań Uprising. 1956.

The Poznań Uprising of 1956, the march of Russian troops to Warsaw, and the arrival of Tsar Khrushchev in Warsaw caused changes at the commanding ranks of the Polish Army. General Ivan Turkiel was dismissed as commander of the air force. Brig Gen. Jan Frey-Bielecki was appointed the commander of the WL and OPL OK. The first Pole in this position since the Second World War. Jan Frey-Bielecki was a communist from his teenage years. Before the war, he belonged to the communist organization of "life". A supporter of Poland's partial sovereignty. At the request of the new commander, General Jan Frey-Bielecki, some distinguished officers of the Polish Air Force in the West were appointed to the army. This group included, among others: Stanisław Skalski, Wacław Król, Tadeusz Góra, Witold Łokuciewski, Stefan Witorzeńć, Ignacy Olszewski, Marian Duriasz and many others. These officers were excellent pilots, with extensive combat and military experience, they also had a different view of the functioning of aviation. Shortly after joining the ranks of the WL and OPL OK, they were trained in an accelerated mode for turbojet-powered airplanes. Jan Frey-Bielecki introduced many positive changes in the Polish Military Aviation, also in education. It was then that the last Russian soldiers left the walls of the School in Dęblin. It does not mean that Russian soldiers left Poland. They were assigned to the Russian garrisons in Poland.


In 1957, further changes took place in Dęblin. Overall, it can be summed up that the training of pilots for bomber and attack aviation has ended, and the emphasis was placed on training fighter pilots. The main reason was the mass production of Lim-1/2/5 aircraft in Poland and the lack of a typical attack aircraft with a turbojet drive. This caused a change in the concept of using Polish Aviation. Lim-2 planes began to be used as assault machines.

For the School to function well, in 1957, the 4th Air and Technical Regiment (JW. 4926) was formed. The task of the regiment, as an economic unit, was to provide specialist security for the School. Securing the proper functioning of the Dęblin Airport and the School, its security and service. The car park, airport fire brigade, infirmary, guardhouse, boiler room and many other entities were the responsibility of this unit. Most of the soldiers serving in this unit were regular service soldiers.

In the second half of the 1950s, a very interesting reorganization of education took place. Several aviation training regiments were established. Their goal was to organize the education within the regiment, and in the "W" situation they would be secondary combat units. Most of these regiments were disbanded after a few years. The 58th Air Training and Combat Regiment was established in Dęblin. It became a phenomenon among this type of units and lasted until December 31, 2000. In fact, the story of the 58th LPSzk-B is the story of the School of Eaglets.

From 1957, the 58th LPSzk-B operated Lim-1/2 (MiG-15) aircraft. The regiment has taken part in various shows and parades many times, especially in the 1960s. The most important shows of air craftsmanship included: the air parade organized on August 16, 1964 over the village of Studzianki Pancerne, on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the battle fought by the 1st Armored Brigade. Heroes of Westerplatte; the 20th anniversary parade in 1964, in which 36 planes in the "herringbone" pattern participated; Air parade in 1966, during the celebration of the Millennium of the Polish State, in which 43 Lim-2 planes in the "1000" formation participated.


In each country, aviation training always follows the requirements of aviation units. The closer the training is to the requirements of combat units, the safer and more confident the young aviator performs the tasks assigned to him. Following this lead, in 1958 the number of flying hours in the School began to increase. Elements of team-based combat tasks have begun.

Until 1958, the basic aircraft on which the cadets were trained was the Junak-3 (TS-9). At that time, the aircraft was replaced by a much more modern TS-8 Bies.

Junak-3. 2017 year. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman
Junak-3. 2017 year. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman

PZL TS-8 Bies. 2017. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman
PZL TS-8 Bies. 2017. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman

Technical Aviation School in Zamość.

1950. Zamość.

On February 25, 1950, an order of the Minister of National Defense was issued ordering the transfer of the Aviation Technical School to the barracks in Zamość. The deadline was set for July 31, 1950. The school returned to its former location. The last echelon arrived in Zamość on June 27, 1950. However, renovation was necessary, as the barracks were practically abandoned and neglected for four years. The renovation was completed in November 1950. Since now the school did not share the facilities with another school as before, the premises were very good. Better than in Warsaw.

In the fall of 1950, 1,200 candidates were admitted to the school and assigned to three more battalions. The first battalion consisted of a vintage incarnated in 1949, still in Warsaw. Under orders from the headquarters, the training period was reduced from 22 months to 16 months. In October 1950, an officers' course was set up for future lecturers who were missing from the school. In November 1950, another such course was conducted. The candidates were initially grouped into a platoon, and then into the Training Company of Technicians of the Aviation Reserve.

As turbojet-powered planes required up to 9 different specialist soldiers, it was necessary to train younger specialists with a narrow specialization. They were trained in the schools of junior aviation specialists. One of such schools was established at TSWL in Zamość. There were about 200 students in the group. The studies lasted several weeks. The first 219 graduates obtained the title of specialists on May 25, 1950. Another group of 199 people completed the training in June 1950.


According to the order of the Ministry of National Defense No. 03 / Org of January 28, 1951, the school was transferred to full-time employment No. 20/199. Both permanent and variable positions were increased. Now 1,430 people attended the school. There was also another change of the name of the school to; Air Force Technical School. This name lasts the longest and symbolizes a school in Zamość.

On February 7, 1951, the school commander was changed. Lt. Col. Michał Jakubik left and his place was taken by Col. Eng. Paweł Worobiow.

However, in the spring of 1951, the school was transferred to another full-time job. The number of trainees was increased from 1,430 to 3,160 people. The soldiers were organized in successive school battalions. There were a total of 7 training battalions, and in September 1951, there were already 8 battalions. With so many people, the barracks turned out to be too small. The cramped conditions were great and the good conditions made them difficult.

In April 1951, the first group of specialists in servicing fighter jets of the Jak-23 type left the school. About 40 people in total. At the same time, a group of technical officers was trained, who began their education in May 1951 in the number of 170. During this period, there were further trends in shortening the learning period. The effect was that in the same period, soldiers were learning mechanics on courses; 18 months, 9 months, 8 months. And with a different number of hours, because some of them had to complete primary education.


In 1952, new training programs for turbojet mechanics were adopted. One training course, with a shortened program, 12 months and 330 hours. Second training is normal, with a duration of 24 months and 415 hours. Training in new operating specialties was also started; battery stations, electric starters, oxygen dispensers. On August 1, 1952, the School of Junior Specialists from Zamość was moved to Warsaw in Bielany, to Żeromskiego Street, and was subordinated to the 5th Fighter Aviation Division.

At that time, the School in Zamość also trained a group of specialists who became representatives of the army in the Polish Aviation Industry, which began mass-production of Lim-1 aircraft in Świdnik and Mielec.


At the beginning of 1953, the school's staff was recruited to military universities. There was also a change in the commandant's position. Col. Eng. Paweł Worobiow handed over the duties to Lt. Col. Sergey Aleksandrov on March 24, 1953. In December 1953, the training of the first group of mechanics of Ił-28 bomber planes with turbojet propulsion began.


The first accidents in the Polish Military Aviation operating turbojet-powered planes showed conclusively that quick, careless training was at the root of these events. But the communists had no intention of admitting the mistakes they had made. They were so busy consolidating power and finally settling accounts with the patriotic underground that they preferred to blame all the blame on those who died in the accidents. It was easier and more convenient. These accidents, however, were secretly analyzed by the command. Conclusions were drawn and the training was ordered to be improved in a neglected element. This was called analyzing the work of staff and instructors and eliminating shortcomings. Both in Dęblin and Radom, as well as in Zamość.

Only a year later, in May 1954, the commandant, Lt. Col. Eng. Sergey Alexandrov. His place was taken by Lt. Col. Navigator Kazimierz Burczak.

In 1954, the People's Republic of Poland celebrated its 10th anniversary. Central celebrations were organized in Lublin. The Air Force Technical School was ordered to participate in the parade. But, that it was conspiratorial (secret, funny - if you prefer), the school took part in the parachute regiment, consisting of 54 officers and 684 soldiers. The commander of this grouping was Lt. Col. Kazimierz Czwakiel.

In October 1954, another group of 299 cadets graduated from the School in Zamość.


On April 13, 1955, the School celebrated its 10th anniversary. This jubilee became an occasion to remember and summarize the achievements. In one of the rooms, the school's tradition room was arranged. The ceremonial celebrations took place on April 15-16, 1955. The celebrations were attended by, among others: Deputy Minister of National Defense, Brigadier General Kazimierz Witaszewski, Brigadier General Michał Jakubiak (former Commandant of the School). The School's banner was decorated with the 2nd Class Order of the Banner of Labor, and the School was named after General Walery Wróblewski.

Brigadier gene Kazimierz Witaszewski - political officer. He had no experience or military training. In 1952, promoted to brigadier general, and in 1956, to division general. From October 1952 to October 1956, he was the Head of the Main Political Board of the Polish Army and Deputy Minister of National Defense, deputy of Marshal Konstanty Rokossowski. He was jointly responsible for the mass repressions against pre-war officers, soldiers of the Home Army, soldiers of the Peasants' Battalions.

In August 1955, 287 students graduated from the school. On September 5, 1955, there was an officer's promotion. It was the last officer promotion at the school. In the years 1951 - 1955, 2,411 technical officers graduated from the school in Zamość.

In 1955, the school was bursting at the seams. The country, ruined by the war and the communist rule, could not afford to expand its barracks. Other existing facilities in Poland had to be used. In accordance with the Order of the Air Force Commander No. 012 / Org of May 26, 1955, a group of people was separated from the school staff who went to Oleśnica Śląska to take over the barracks of the Junior Aviation Specialist School No. 11 and 12. A further consequence was the issuance of the Order of the Minister of Defense Narodowa No. 037 / org of August 3, 1955, on the division of the School into two separate training institutions. The first was the General Walery Wróblewski Air Force Officer School in Oleśnica. It was created on the basis of a part of the cadre and battalions, with a job number 20/347, with a permanent status of 408 military and 140 civilian employees, and a variable status of about 900 students. The basis for the transfer of the officer school was the Order of DWL No. 021 / org of August 25, 1955. The porting was performed with five echelons from September 12, 1955 to September 20, 1955. The number of people is about 400, including 165 officers. Colonel navigator Kazimierz Burczak became the commandant in Oleśnica.

The remaining part of Zamość was still called the Air Force Technical School (without a patron), with over 3,000 people. The basis for the further functioning of the school was the Order of the Air Force Command of August 1955. Major Franciszek Ilnicki became the commander. New job for unit No. 20/348.

In December 1955, the Zamość School began training in a new reality and with a new curriculum. It began with the training of aircraft mechanics; MiG-15, Lim-1, Lim-2, Il-28, Il-10, Li-2, CSS-13, Yak-12. Also, specialists in the photo and electro-gas services were still trained. As the basic military service was shortened from 3 years to 2 years, the training time for mechanics had to be shortened to 5 months. At the same time, the Polish Military Aviation had more and more Lim-1/2 fighters in stock, therefore the training of Ił-28 bomber mechanics was transferred to Oleśnica. As a result, only lower-level technical staff, that is mechanics and junior specialists of the following specialties, were trained in Zamość; airframe, electrical device, on-board instruments, radio-electronic devices, cameras, aviation equipment, batteries, starter units, oxygen dispensers.


On October 5, 1956, the School received a banner from the Chief of Staff of the Air Force and Air Defense of the Country Area, Brigadier General Vasyl Kadazanov.

In 1956, 2,100 graduates left the walls of the School.


In 1957, there was a certain systemization of the conscription of new age groups to the army. It was decided to incorporate them twice a year. In April and October, spring and autumn consumption. This system continued until 1990 (except during the martial law period). Therefore, the elevation training had to be conducted for no longer than 5 months. So even greater specialization took place. Every soldier, from the beginning of his regular service, knew what equipment he would be handling. Candidates were selected in terms of their education from a "civilian". Electricians, car mechanics, railway mechanics, and graduates of other vocational and company schools were preferred.

The favorable phenomenon also intensified, consisting in the fact that the more and more complicated equipment was operated by professional soldiers, who were assigned to teams with trained soldiers of the military service. The first battalion of elevations (800 people) was organized in the school, in which regular mechanics were trained. Ił-28 bomber mechanics training was resumed.

By the end of 1957, all Russian officers had left the school. This does not mean, however, that all contacts with the Russians have been severed.


The training of MiG-19 P / PM fighter mechanics, specializing in the use of weapons, has begun. These were the first planes in Poland armed with missiles. It was also a period when field aviation workshops and technical departments of aircraft servicing were established at selected combat regiments. The school started training their staff. Mainly on training courses for professional soldiers.

The following years slowly but systematically changed the surroundings of the School. The community of the inhabitants of Zamość and the soldiers from the School slowly assimilated with each other. Numerous works performed by the army for the city improved mutual relations. Residents began to see the benefits of the garrison. After all, several thousand people had to eat, use water and electricity. Professional soldiers did not earn a lot of money, but they received their salaries systematically. So they could buy goods on credit. On the other hand, the students of the School were paid. Tiny but shops and bars did visit. The school had an orchestra without which no celebration in the city could take place. Above all, all important military ceremonies were held in the Market Square in front of the Town Hall. This is still the case (2011).

School in Oleśnica Śląska.

At the end of 1950 in Oleśnica, in the so-called White Barracks, the formation of the School of Younger Aviation Specialists began. Two at once, Nos. 11 and 12. It was related to the job that this type of school was given. As the conditions in the barracks were good, it was possible to train more students at once. In fact, both schools had one headquarters. The courses started in 1951. The participants of the training were soldiers (elewi) of basic military service. They went through a unitary period here, and then underwent specialist training in a narrow field of aircraft maintenance. After obtaining the specialty, they received; promotion to the rank of corporal, assignment to the line unit (where they served the rest of the service) and a short vacation.

At the beginning of summer 1955, the training of the facades of the Junior Aviation Specialist School was completed. At that time, adaptation work was already underway to start learning at a higher level.

On October 3, 1955, education began at the General W. Wróblewski Air Force Officer's Technical School. The school trained middle-level officers with technical specializations. The non-commissioned officers were still trained in Zamość. Two battalions of cadets and the necessary staff came to Oleśnica from Zamość. The former barracks of the Dragons' Regiment, i.e. the White Barracks, were designated as the seat of the school. Lecture halls were arranged in former stables.

The school had a full-time job no. 20/347, with a permanent status of 408 soldiers and 140 civilian employees, and a variable status of about 900 students. The studies lasted about 24 months. After graduation, students received promotions to the rank of second lieutenant, technical specialization and assignment to an aviation regiment.


In July 1957, the school staff organized the Military Sports Club "Oleśniczanka". The club ran four basic sections: football, athletics, boxing and sports games. The club has for many years raised hundreds of athletes, including Olympians. civilians with military in Oleśnica.

In September 1959, Lt. Col. Nav. Kazimierz Burczak left the position of the school's commandant.

Written by Karol Placha Hetman