The Polish Air Force Association (PAFA) was founded in London in June 1945 to represent all members of the Polish Air Force who served under British command during the Second World War.
Some fifty years later a decision was taken to disband the organisation; this took place at an Extraordinary General Meeting held on 29th June 1999. Nevertheless, PAFA branches continued to function independently for many years as PAFA clubs in the following cities: London, Birmingham, Blackpool, Derby, Leeds, Leicester, Lincoln, Manchester and Nottingham. Similar clubs and wings also remained active in various places abroad as did the London-based PAFA Charitable Trust which was dissolved in 2011.Soon after PAFA was disbanded in 1999 the now independent PAFA Club in London (formerly PAFA’s London branch) changed its name to the “Polish Airmen’s Association”. Its chairman at that time was Colonel Adam Ostrowski, a WW2 Spitfire pilot.
In the fullness of time our Association broadened its membership to include not only those who had served with the Polish Air Force during WW2 but also their family members, other supporters and friends with a genuine interest in flying and the history and traditions of the Polish Air Force.
Our Association assumed all the established responsibilities of the former Polish Air Force Association’s London branch such as providing care for veterans in need by liaising with the Welfare Committee of the PAFA Charitable Trust for as long as it existed.
Our executive committee has organised social events in the Greater London area including frequent gatherings and popular monthly lunches. Members have also participated in all commemorative events and celebrations associated with the Polish Air Force in Great Britain. These include the annual service held in Westminster Abbey on Battle of Britain Day in September and wreath laying there on Remembrance Sunday in November. Association members have also assisted the PAF Charitable Trust to organise international reunions of Polish airmen and women in Great Britain and Poland.
At the Association’s Annual General Meeting in March 2013, vice-chairman Artur Bildziuk, whose parents had served in the Polish Air Force, was chosen to replace the retiring chairman, Colonel Adam Ostrowski. The new chairman thanked those present for their support and promised to continue the Association’s various activities. Artur Bildziuk also emphasised the Association’s role by stating, “ Although we organise social events for members, we must always remember and honour the service and sacrifice of Polish airmen and women during the Second World War and their contribution to the defence of this country, particularly during the Battle of Britain. ”
Hence the Association’s annual calendar of events includes the following activities: regular talks and lunches for members (e.g. to celebrate Christmas and Easter) as well as wreath laying at various memorials such as the Polish Air Force Plaque in St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, the Bomber Command Memorial in London’s Green Park and the Battle of Britain Memorial at Capel-le-Ferne in Kent.