• Plage Bonaparte à Plouha (Côtes d'Armor) - Haut-lieu de la Résistance

  • Sacy-le-Grand (Oise) - Mémorial en souvenir du F/O H. H. MacKenzie (RCAF)

  • Supermarine LF Mk.Vb Spitfire EP120 - G-LFVB - (The Fighter Collection)

  • Le Cardonnois (Somme) - Stèle à la mémoire de l'équipage du Boeing B-17 #42-31325, 452nd Bomb Group

  • B-17G-85-VE 44-8846 - F-AZDX - (FTV)

 

23 June 2018

 

Velennes and Creil (Oise)

 

Ceremony in honour of Squadron Leader Eugeniusz HORBACZEWSKI

 315 Polish Fighter Squadron

                                                                                                         

                                                                                                           Copyright © 2018 - Association des Sauveteurs d'Aviateurs AlliésAll rights reserved -
                                                                                                           En français france (and in Polish)

 

 

VELENNES

On 23 June 2018, 74 years after being gloriously shot down in aerial combat, a stele was unveiled in Velennes (Oise) in memory of Squadron Leader Eugeniusz Horbaczewski, an exceptional fighter pilot and great ace of the Polish Air Force during the Second World War.

In Poland, a street of the capital Warsaw, as well as the 41st Deblin Air School Base have borne his name, among others, for a long time but in France nothing has recalled the memory of his sacrifice on the place where he lost his life aboard his "Mustang III" on 18 August, 1944, at the age of only 26.

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Warsaw - Eugeniusz Horbaczewski Street

On the initiative of the Association of Rescuers of Allied Airmen-Oise which had revived the project initiated for many years by veterans of Polish aviation, a stele was finally inaugurated in Velennes, in the presence of Polish and French high authorities, in memory of this great hero.

During this tribute, we had the immense honour of welcoming among us the pilot's grandnephew, Leszek Horbaczewski, accompanied by his wife Irena and Radoslawa Szadkowska, his distant cousin.

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Under a summer sun, many people came to pay tribute to Squadron Leader Eugeniusz Horbaczewski.

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The flag bearers get into position...

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... just like the military contingent from the Air Base 110 from Creil...

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... and the members of the Association "N'Oublie Pas 44".

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Presentation of the authorities by the master of the ceremony,
Mr. Philippe Soudé, assisted by Mrs Beata Jeśko,

Vice Consul of the Polish Embassy in Paris.

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 The high Polish and French civil and military authorities honoured us by their presence.

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Mr. Jean Paul Ternisien, Mayor of Velennes, pronounced a few words of welcome
before giving the floor to Mr. Marcel Mavré, Vice-president of the Association of Rescuers of Allied Airmen - Oise, for an evocation of the prestigious and exceptional course of Squadron Leader Eugeniusz Horbaczewski throughout the Second World War.

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Colonel Slawomir Pawlikowski, Defence Attaché, Military, Naval and Air of
the Polish Embassy, particularly stressed the commitment of the Polish Forces against Nazism

and in particular that of S/Ldr Horbaczewski.

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... in the presence of Mr. Michel Lasne and Mr. Daniel Loncke, inhabitants of Velennes,
who witnessed the plane crash of the Polish pilot on 18 August 1944.

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The stele was then unveiled by young children...

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... a way of transmitting to the younger generation the memory of the sacrifice of this Polish hero

who was shot down in their village.

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 The stele was then blessed by Father Wieslaw Gronowicz, chaplain of the Polish Catholic Mission in Paris.

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Dressed in his uniform of Captain, being himself an airline pilot, Leszek Horbaczewski, very moved,

thanked warmly all the people who have contributed to this exceptional tribute in honour of his great-uncle.

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Symbolically, two aircraft, including the Piper L4J which came especially from the Aero-club of Picardy Amiens-Metropole,

flew several times over the ceremony under the eyes of a delighted public. 

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The numerous laying of wreaths at the foot of the memorial followed. From left to right : Mr Jean-François Odent, ONAC-VG Departmental Director, representing Mrs Geneviève Darrieussecq, Secretary of State to the Minister of the Armed Forces - Leszek Horbaczewski - Mr Tomasz Majchrowski, Minister Counsellor, Deputy Chief of Mission, representing His Excellence Mr Tomasz Mlynarsky, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Poland in France and in the Principality of Monaco – Mr Olivier Paccaud, Senator of Oise - Colonel Slawomir Pawlikowski, Military, Naval and Air Defence Attaché, at the Embassy of Poland.

The ceremony continued with the minute of silence followed by the national anthems of Poland and France.  

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Thanks to the flag bearers by Colonel Pawlikowski
followed by Mrs Karolina Smaga, Consul of the Republic of Poland.

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Irena, Leszek Horbaczewski and Radoslawa Szadkowska, from the pilot's family, gathered in front of the memorial.

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Photo souvenir

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A moving moment of reflection...

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Leszek Horbaczewski and Michel Lasne, witness of the crash, at the crash site.

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Speech of Mr Odent and testimony of Michel Lasne

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An exhibition, realized by the Association of Rescuers of Allied Airmen with the participation of the National Remembrance Association of the 1st Polish Armoured Division, was presented in the Village Hall.

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CREIL

This day of tribute to the memory of Squadron Leader Eugeniusz Horbaczewski continued with great emotion in the Creil cemetery where the Polish hero lies.

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Prayer by Father Wieslaw Gronowicz

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Laying of wreaths by the Polish Airmen's Association, the National Remembrance Association of the 1st Polish Armoured Division,

the France-Poland Association of the agglomeration of Creil and the Association of Rescuers of Allied Airmen-Oise...

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... followed by those of the Polish Embassy, the municipality of Creil and Leszek Horbaczewski.

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A tribute was also paid to the grave of Polish Officer Stanislaw Calinski, 315 Squadron of the Polish Air Force, who was shot down in aerial combat on 20 May, 1944, in the skies over the Oise.

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This day of remembrance ended in the Guards room of the town hall in Creil by a reception organized by Mr Jean-Marie Villemain,

mayor of the town, and his municipality.

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Marcel Mavré, inexhaustible when it comes to evoking the glorious course of Eugeniusz Horbaczewski,

also recalled that more than 700 Allied airmen lost their lives in our department during the Second World War for our Freedom.

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Colonel Slawomir Pawlikowski and Minister Tomasz Majchrowski

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A still vivid emotion for Leszek Horbaczewski who went for the first time to Creil where his great-uncle rests.

 

This moving tribute in memory of Squadron Leader Eugeniusz Horbaczewski could not have happened without the support of the various municipalities, the numerous organizations, the numerous Associations and our many friends who worked so hard to make this day so exceptional and magnificent.

 

 

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