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starshadow



Joined: 09 May 2013
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Post Posted: Fri Jul 10, 2020 1:38 am      Post subject: some old military photos
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Here are four old photos recently given to me by a cousin. These are my 2nd cousin (twice removed) Stanislaw Spizarny. He lived 1917 to 1975, and served in the Polish Army before and during WW2.

Can anyone tell me what time period these photos are? And what rank his uniform is?

Stanley's family says he fought under the "three flags of the war". Which they believe to mean the Polish, French, and British flags (host nations of the Polish govt in exile?). Can anyone clarify if there was really such a phrase as "three flags of the war", and what those flags were?



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sirdan
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Joined: 07 Mar 2012
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Location: ** Southeast Pole**

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Post Posted: Fri Jul 10, 2020 5:43 pm      Post subject:
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Hello!
I really like the first picture. The man on old motorbike and the PL mark on front fender. I was keen on old motorcycles one day. I immediately recognized BSA. With the help of internet, it looks like it is M20 military model of BSA. Stanisław Spiżarny has MP band on his arm. This stands for Military Police unit. It looks like they had dedicated motorcycles to polish units, wow.
On the other picture he has a stripe (bagde?) on the left shoulder. I attached a picture of it to this post.

I think Stanisław wears british uniform. Without MP band on shoulder, he might served as regular soldier. So, he probably changed the unit during the military service. Uniforms are here https://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mundur_Polskich_Si%C5%82_Zbrojnych#Mundur_w_Armii_Polskiej_na_Wschodzie_i_w_2_Korpusie unfortunately we dont know the colour of the beret, which would help in recognizing military unit and time of a picture.

I am not military ranks expert and cant say Stanisław's rank. Roughly saying, photos are from period 1941-1946

I dont recall people specifically saying "fighting under three flags" but people might say "..under two flags" or so. Apart form polish army, polish soldiers were also fighting under british, french, american and russian command.



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sirdan
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Location: ** Southeast Pole**

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Post Posted: Sat Jul 11, 2020 6:58 am      Post subject:
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I would like to comment one more thing about motorcycle picture. The number on the gas tank is a serial number of vehicle. C stands for motorcycle. Usually under the bottom of the number was military unit marking. I cannot decode what white rectangle with two dots would mean, but looking closely we have another number next to that rectagle. This number is 76 or 73, cannot read it well. But according to this chart https://strategie.net.pl/viewtopic.php?f=59&t=11619 it might stand for either "2. pułk artylerii motorowej" or "1. pułk artylerii przeciwlotniczej" accordingly. Generally both units (pułk) belong to "1. Dywizjon Pancerny" (1st Armored Division) - polish forces under british command.

Do you have maybe another picture Of Stanisław from his side (or his arm)? We would see his unit badge i think.
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starshadow



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Post Posted: Sat Jul 11, 2020 12:42 pm      Post subject:
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sirdan wrote:
I would like to comment one more thing about motorcycle picture. The number on the gas tank is a serial number of vehicle. C stands for motorcycle. Usually under the bottom of the number was military unit marking. I cannot decode what white rectangle with two dots would mean, but looking closely we have another number next to that rectagle. This number is 76 or 73, cannot read it well. But according to this chart https://strategie.net.pl/viewtopic.php?f=59&t=11619 it might stand for either "2. pułk artylerii motorowej" or "1. pułk artylerii przeciwlotniczej" accordingly. Generally both units (pułk) belong to "1. Dywizjon Pancerny" (1st Armored Division) - polish forces under british command.

Do you have maybe another picture Of Stanisław from his side (or his arm)? We would see his unit badge i think.


Thank you very much sirdan! This is all very interesting. It really helps explain a lot.

I will try to find more photos of Stanisław. I will also ask his children for more info to get a better idea. They say he was enrolled in a Polish military high school, and deployed just before WW2. He was 22 at the outbreak of the war in 1939. According to stories he told them, he and his fellow platoon "scattered". Eventually he made it to the U.K. His mother and sister stayed behind in Poland. After WW2 he returned to Poland, and lived in the Kielce area. He emigrated to the U.S. in 1948.
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starshadow



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Post Posted: Mon Jul 27, 2020 4:28 am      Post subject:
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I was able to get a little more info about Stanley from my relatives. It seems after his platoon scattered at the start of the war, he was captured, and spent some time in a POW or concentration camp. But after they found out he was born in America (his mother took him back to Poland when he was 5), they released him into American custody. His sister Lola wasn't as fortunate, and spent 5 years in a concentration camp.

Here's a photo of Stanley's sister Lola (Leokadia). She too appears to be in military uniform. But I haven't been able to find out if this was taken before or after the war. The scan is sadly poor resolution and hard to make out. But one thing she appears to have that Stanley doesn't is a stripe on her shoulder below her Poland/ Polska patch. What might that stripe be?



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AmyBaird88



Joined: 29 Jan 2020
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Post Posted: Mon Jul 27, 2020 1:10 pm      Post subject: Uniform
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I was wondering if anyone could tell me anything about the uniform my Grandad is wearing. What rank, regiment etc? Any help would be much appreciated.
Amy.



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sirdan
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Post Posted: Tue Jul 28, 2020 1:13 am      Post subject:
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starshadow wrote:
I was able to get a little more info about Stanley from my relatives. It seems after his platoon scattered at the start of the war, he was captured, and spent some time in a POW or concentration camp. But after they found out he was born in America (his mother took him back to Poland when he was 5), they released him into American custody. His sister Lola wasn't as fortunate, and spent 5 years in a concentration camp.

Here's a photo of Stanley's sister Lola (Leokadia). She too appears to be in military uniform. But I haven't been able to find out if this was taken before or after the war. The scan is sadly poor resolution and hard to make out. But one thing she appears to have that Stanley doesn't is a stripe on her shoulder below her Poland/ Polska patch. What might that stripe be?
Hi again,
while looking on that nice photo, I noticed Leokadia's "Poland" patch has different colour than Stanisław's patch. And its more rectangular on edges. Its like white letters on some dark material. I looked over internet for clues. I found that patch and attached to the post.

This patch is british Royal Air Force Insignia, and was worn by polish soldiers. What could it be under the patch, then? Most probably its part of the eagle feather from RAF Shoulder Flash. This is official name of the patch, more here http://www.ww2wings.com/wings/britainraf/britainrafinsignia.shtml Do You notice that black rectangular shape on Leokadia shoulder under Poland patch? Its hard to see cause of monochromatic picture.
As found on pictures (link below), military rank was attached in the middle of the shoulder.

RAF Shoulder Flash was used by polish Women's Auxiliary Service in Britiain https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women%27s_Auxiliary_Service_(Poland) More info in polish language as well some nice pictures is here https://www.polishairforce.pl/waaf.html Polish name for this unit is Pomocnicza Lotnicza Służba Kobiet. We can guess then, the photo is from 1941–1946(1949) period.



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