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Stock No. 5651

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Battle of Britain Pilot's Armband Bracelet - Click for the bigger picture

Battle of Britain Pilot's Armband Bracelet

This unique piece carries the initials M R to the central link and between them is an image of the Polish Pilots wings or 'Polski Lotniczy Orzel Wojskowy'. On each of the adjoining links is an embossed Polish National Eagle. This item was purchased from a deceased ladies estate here in England and came with photographs and letters named to Mieczyslaw Rozwadowski although we were not successful in purchasing the relating items. Sadly the association has been lost but we speculate this was given by Rozwadowski as a present to the unnamed lady friend and she kept it as a keepsake until her death. Rozwadowski was born in Poland on 30th May 1915 and was serving in the Polish Air Force before WWII. In September 1939 he was in action with PAF 111 Squadron and on the 8th he shared in the destruction of a Hs126. When Poland fell, Rozwadowski escaped to join the Polish airmen congregating in Romania. He did not follow the route taken by many of his comrades to France and service in the Armee de l'Air, but made his way directly to England. He was commissioned into the RAF as a Pilot Officer on 24 January 1940 service number 76720. When his training was completed he was posted to 151 Squadron based at Martlesham Heath on Hurricanes. Sadly Rozwadowski failed to return from an Op over the Channel off Dover on 15th August flying Hurricane I V 7410. The Squadrons operational record book for that day reports: 'Today the Squadron had a busy day. At 14.45 hours the squadron took off from Rochford and ran into a formation of Me 109's a few miles West of Dover. P/O Debenham followed one Me 109 and it crashed in France, P/O Ellacombe and P/O Rozwadowski (Polish) both shot one down, P/O Ellacombe's in flames and the other into the sea'. Rozwadowski, then aged 25, was reported missing in action and is commemorated on the Polish Air Force Memorial at Northolt. He was awarded the The Cross of Valour gazetted 10th September 1941 and Bar (gazetted 31st October 1947).This was awarded in wartime to an individual who "has demonstrated deeds of valour and courage on the field of battle." This poignant reminder of one of the Polish 'Few' carries no makers marks but is finished in a silver metal with the initials and the plots wing picked out in gold. It is in good used condition with a little wear showing to the links with the clasp in good working order. It measures 8.25" long (21 cm). It is possible Pilot Officer Rozwadowski wore this himself as an ID bracelet but we believe it is more likely it was given as a gift to his unnamed lady friend back in the summer of 1940. Like we have said so many times before if only it could talk it would certainly have a story to tell. All Battle of Britain related memorabilia is now scarce and items relating to the Polish members of 'the Few' are even scarcer.

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