WWI Aircraft in Polish Service in the Post-WWI Period

by Bob Pearson

Although the Armistice of 11 November 1918 saw an end to the fighting on the Western Front, it signaled the start of fighting for many Eastern nations, one of which was the newly mandated country of Poland. Poland found herself in a fight with Soviet Russia, during which a wide variety of aircraft types were to be used by both sides.

There is a great book called Samoloty Wojskowe W Polsce 1918-1924 by Andrezej Morgala, which although in Polish, has photos and GA drawings of the various types used by the early Polish Air Service.

The various unit types are translated as

Eskadra Squadron
Eskadra Lotnicza Air Squadron
Eskadra Mysliwska Fighter Squadron
Eskadra WywiadowczaReconaissance Squadron
Wyzsza Szkola Pilotow (WSP) Advanced Pilot's School

Albatros C.XII Nr.1 ( 1903/17)
6 Eskadra Lotnicza
April/September 1919
Source: Samoloty Wojskowe W Polsce 1918-1924

Poland had 24 Albatros C.XIIs. 1903/17 was rebuilt and went to 7 Eskadra until 19 April, on 20 April 1919 it arrived at 6 , where it stayed until 14 September 1919.

Sopwith 5F1 Dolphin 21.09
Lt Antoni Mroczkowski
19 Eskadra Mysliwska
August 1920
Source: British WW1 Aircraftin Polish Service

Poland received ten Sopwith Dolphins in mid-1920. These were assigned to No.19 Eskadra, which used them until early September. They were then offered to the 7 Eskadra, however they prefered to keep their Albatros D.III(OEF) and SPAD aircraft.

Hannover CL.II
Source: Hannover CL.II Datafile

Poland used at least 14 Hannover CL.II/IIIs, plus an additional three that were built in Poland. The colours shown are conjectural.

LVG C.V 15917/17
1 Eskadra Wywiadowcza
Source: Samoloty Wojskowe W Polsce 1918-1924

This aircraft later went to the 12 Eskadra. Colours may have been brown/green rather than mauve/green.

Salmson 2A2 12.16 (4592)
6 Eskadra Wywiadowcza
September/October 1920
Source: Samoloty Wojskowe W Polsce 1918-1924

Ansaldo SVA 10
Wyzsza Szkola Pilotow (WSP)
Source: Samoloty Wojskowe W Polsce 1918-1924

The Wyzsza Szkola Pilotow (WSP) - Advanced Pilot's School - was created at the former German airbase in Poznan-Lawica in 1919. In December 1920, it moved to Grudziadz.

The badge of the WSP was a white outlined red 'W', with a superimposed white 'S'.

Further examples of WWI aircraft in Poland can be found on my Colours and Markings of the World's Air Forces 1912-20 CD-ROM


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