Polish World War Two air ace heroes celebrated in new artworks by Atholl Buchan

Comic creator Atholl Buchan has been a supporter of The Polish Heritage Flight for some time, and has just donated some of his original art to the non-profit volunteer organisation, helping to highlight a current fundraising operation.

Atholl Buchan is a comic creator from Scotland with a keen interest in aviation history, Spitfires, mecha manga and anime. His credits include art for the independent comic, Sentinel.

The Polish Heritage Flight is part of the Historic Aircraft Collection based at the Imperial War Museum Duxford, and aims to bring to life the stories of the people that came to the ‘Island of last hope’ to take up the fight from Britain and throughout World War Two.

The Flight has been formed by Hawker Hurricane G-HURI, star of the 2018 303 Squadron movie and proudly wears these markings today.

303 was a squadron that symbolised togetherness and international unity with the top scoring pilot from Czechoslovakia, Sgt Josef Frantisek, and Canadian John A Kent as Flight Commander, as well as obtaining the third highest number of kills in the Squadron during the Battle of Britain.

Supermarine Spitfire BM597 saw wartime service with both 315 and 317 Polish Squadrons operating from RAF Woodvale. Its role to protect the industrial North-West of England and the crucial Convoys making their way through the Western Approaches.

The BM597 is believed to be the only airworthy Spitfire to still carry its wartime Polish markings.

After the war having spent time as a Gate Guardian at various Royal Air Force stations, ‘597 was used for the master moulds for replica Spitfires for the 1969 Battle of Britain movie.

The Heritage Flight tries to tell the story of all aspects of the Polish Story. Whilst their aeroplanes undoubtedly draw attention to Fighter Command, they fly in tribute to Bomber Command, Costal Command and all those that served in all Services and Conflicts.

Just added to their website are a number of artworks by Atholl Buchan of Buchan Comics, two shared here with downthetubes with the artist’s kind permission, depicting Spitfire BM597, including a particular day from its Operational Record Book whilst based at RAF Woodvale in 1942.

Atholl previously created some illustrations for the RAF Peterhead Heritage Society, an organisation whose role is to gather stories, information, documents, photographs and memories of those that served at RAF Peterhead from July 1941 to August 1945.

You can check out all the art depicting part of Spitfire BM597’s life and pilots Sergeant J Adamiak & Flt Lt F Kornicki (latterly, Wing Commander) here on The Polish Heritage Flight – and when you’ve done that, perhaps you might also consider buying a raffle ticket in aid of their fundraising efforts to continue their work?

They cost just £2 and can be bought here.

Check out The Polish Heritage Flight at polishheritageflight.com | 2023 Raffle | Facebook

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