Kościuszko Squadron Events > New England Air Museum

Kościuszko Squadron Exhibit dedicated at the New England Air Museum
Dr. Carl R. Lovitt, (left) CCSU’s Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, noted: “The University is very pleased to be a part of this landmark project, which honors our state’s and our nation’s history, as well as the longtime link to Polish heritage and culture embodied in this exhibit.” With him is Waldemar Kostrzewa,.Chairman of the S. A. Blejwas Endowed Chair Advisory Board.
Dr. Michael A. Peszke, internationally known aviation historian and longtime supporter of Polish studies in the U.S., provided historical background on the Kościuszko Squadron. Dr. Peszke has had a pivotal role in establishing Polish Studies at CCSU, and, most recently, lent his expert knowledge and leadership to establishing the permanent NEAM exhibit honoring the Kósciuszko Squadron.
Among the veterans honored for World War II service in the Polish Air Force was Josef Szkoda, seen here returning to his seat.  He was one of five wartime Polish airmen honored at the ceremony.  The others were:  Theodore Karnkowski, Bronislaw Lezon, Roman Przychodzen, and Steve Rasiej.
K.Steve Rasiej, P.E., President of the Polish Air Force Veterans Association, recounted the extraordinary achievements of all of the units of the Polish Air Force in World War II.
Amid an impressive collection of 20th century military aircraft, Dr. M.B. Biskupski, holder of the S. A. Blejwas Endowed Chair at CCSU, related the Kościuszko Squadron’s achievements of 1919-1922 to the long and arduous struggle made by Poland’s military over the centuries.
 At the exhibit’s opening, visitors included Maria Ksiezopolska, daughter of the late Lieutenant Colonel Franciszek X. Pininski, a veteran pilot in the 1919-1922 struggle to maintain Poland’s newly won freedom, and Andrzej Beck, a member of CCSU’s Polish Studies Advisory Board. The exhibit, a permanent part of the museum's collection, depicts the squadron’s history in photos, models and artifacts.
Among the historical artifacts on display is a uniform worn by Lieutenant Colonel Franciszek X. Pininski (right). The uniform was donated by his daughter, Maria Ksiezopolska. The second uniform was donated by the Polish Air Force Veterans Association.
Prominent in the display is the emblem of the Kościuszko Squadron: a white disc with red stripes and blue stars, symbolizing the Squadron’s and Kosciuszko’s American ties. The red and black rogatywka cap and blue scythe symbolize Kosciuszko’s leadership in Poland’s 1794 insurrection against Russia.
Maps, photographs and texts relate the illustrious history of the Kościuszko Squadron in the 20th century.
Among notables fêted at the dedication of the Kościuszko Squadron Exhibit were (from left): Mrs. Elizabeth Sikorsky, Mrs. Ann Hubbell, Harvey Hubbell, Community Advisory Committee Chair Mary Mazurek Heslin, Dr. M.B. Biskupski, and Igor I. Sikorsky, Jr., Esq.



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