1. ITV Report

Pilot, 95, who fought for RAF remembers WW2 'betrayal' as movie Hurricane honours Polish heroes

  • Video report by ITV News correspondent Sejal Karia

The contribution made by Polish fighter pilots volunteering with the RAF during the Second World War is being honoured with a movie.

Hurricane will tell the story of the Poles who made a crucial impact in the defence of Britain from Nazi invasion, especially during the Battle of Britain.

The Polish contribution to the RAF war effort is being remembered with the movie Hurricane Credit: Prospect3/Hurricane

Poles made up a total of 15 squadrons, and many Polish air crew and gunners also joined other British squadrons.

One team of Polish fighter pilots downed more German aircraft than any other RAF squadron - while accruing fewer losses.

But the heroics of the Polish volunteers were somewhat sidelined following the defeat of Nazi Germany, with Cold War politics meaning the Poles were excluded from victory parades.

Marian Jankiewicz was one of the Polish heroes who fought in the RAF Credit: ITV News

Marian Jankiewicz, 95, fought during the final year of the war, and he told ITV News being left out of the victory parade made him feel "betrayed".

How many friends of mine died in the Air Force? I felt betrayed. You can imagine, a victory parade and you are not allowed to attend. Can you imagine how you are feeling? Terrible.

– Marian Jankiewicz, Polish WW2 fighter pilot

At the end of the war, they had days to decide whether to risk repatriation to Poland, or to remain in the UK on a non-operational basis.

Those who returned to Poland endured imprisonment by the Communist regime which was distrustful of ex-servicemen who had fought with the Allies.

The new movie Hurricane aims to ensure the heroic Poles are remembered for the important part they played - portraying them as the heroes they were.