First Fighter Ace

In the Cockpit with a World War II Fighter Pilot

Book Description

Stanisław Skalski was the top Polish fighter ace and the first Allied fighter ace of World War II. His combat career began on the war’s very first day, September 1, 1939, and within two weeks, Skalski had achieved ace status, with six German kills to his credit. After Poland’s surrender, Skalski and other Polish pilots ended up in England to join the Royal Air Force during the Battle of Britain. He later took command of the Polish Fighting Team, known as Skalski’s Circus, which claimed twenty-six enemy aircraft shot down in a mere two months in North Africa. Skalski then became the first Pole to command an RAF squadron, which he led in Sicily and Italy until he took over a Polish fighter wing and saw action in France after D-Day. According to official tallies, he had scored some twenty aerial victories.

About Bednarz, John

Stanisław Skalski served in the Polish air force during World War II. In 1947 he was imprisoned on trumped-up charges of espionage and jailed until 1956, when he was released and rejoined the air force, retiring in 1968 to lead the Polish Aero Club. He died in 2004.