Named tunic to Sgt. Eugeniusz Szaposznikow, DFM, Battle of Britain ace with 303 squadron
serving ex-patria with the RAF
Sgt. Szaposznikow is shown here in his enlisted service tunic. It is the RAF pattern OR's SD tunic with the RAF sleeve rank in addition to the PAF collar ranks. In the background is Hurricane RF/E of 303 sqn. Szaposznikow's lucky Hurricane was RF/C.
A very weary shot of Sgt. Szaposznikow. This photo underscores just how harrowing and difficult combat flying is. He is in full flight gear with a B Helmet and MkIV goggles. Note the homemade sweater.
*Click on any picture to see full size.

The Polish Air Force sgt. collar rank. Made of gilt bullion lace sewn onto wool covered boards. This was worn with the RAF sgt. stripes on the right.
*Click on any picture to see full size. Szaposznikow's Polish pilot wing. This is a really nice wing made in Britain by Firmin jewelers. The detail is very strong and the chain is unique as most were a more common link chain as opposed to this more well made flat chain. The back shows the jeweler's hallmark.
A brief description of the pilot. He was part of the famous 303 Polish Squadron and flew during the Battle of Britain. Sgt. Szaposznikow achieved ace status with a total of 8 individual destroyed, 1 shared. Here is Szap.'s name. I have spelled out the letters below to make it more readable.
The screw nut for the wing with the jeweler's hallmark.

These ribbons were in the front pocket and don't have any stitching remnants. They are somewhat sticky and there is a sticky mark above the pocket. But who knows. They are the DFM, the Polish Valor Cross and the Silver Merit Cross.
Sgt. Szaposznikow being awarded one of his medals. To the right is one of his combat reports during the Battle of Britain showing his claims for a DO 215 and a BF109 'south of London'.
*Click on any picture to see full size.

The uniform tag. Again, it is hard to read but the tunic reads: Jacket O.A., Size 9, 5ft. 7, 39-40, 36, ...SIL...& SONS LTD. It is stamp dated 1940 with the month SEP over stamped in purple. The large black stamp is a serial number of some kind.
The inside of the tunic. Fairly rough and untailored as War Department issue tunics were for other ranks.
The War Department tag.
*Click on any picture to see full size.

At left are two pictures of Sgt. Szaposznikow (both far right) with other 303 pilots during the Battle of Britain in 1940. Note that one pilot (the dark uniform) is still wearing his French uniform after fleeing Poland (see French uniforms on this site for details). Above is a drawing of a 303 Hurricane I flown by 303 sqn.
Both images © 1998 Osprey Publishing. "Polish Aces of World War 2" by Robert Gretzyngier and Wojtek Matusiak. Illustration by Robert Gretzyngier and Robert Grudzien.

© Tod Rathbone