Become our sponsor and display your banner here
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12

Jan Kowalski, VM, DFC - Decoration Grouping

Article about: I have this group of medals for Jan Kowalski (P1909), who served during The Battle of Britain, and with the "Cyrk Skalskiego" in the desert. The problem I have is that the KW needs

  1. #1

    Default Jan Kowalski, VM, DFC - Decoration Grouping

    I have this group of medals for Jan Kowalski (P1909), who served during The Battle of Britain, and with the "Cyrk Skalskiego" in the desert. The problem I have is that the KW needs two clasps, but they're like rocking-horse sh1t to obtain - any ideas? The ACSM clasp is the nearest I can find to something like the original.


  2. #2

    Default Re: Cross of Valour - LWP Communist Era

    Hello T, and welcome aboard!

    There are reasonably good reproduction bars that come up for sale on ebay every so often. I did a quick check just now and couldn’t come up any. There’s an ebay seller of repro militaria that goes by “subwhiskey” that has listed them. You may want to try contacting him via ebay.

    Alternately, every once in a while a genuine cross with bars becomes available, although these typically sell at quite a premium over the single award crosses. Keep an eye out and you’ll eventually find them.

    Nice decoration group by the way. Although they'd be better situated in the Polish Armed Forces in the West section. Do you have any of the award documents or any other items from Jan Kowalski?

    Regards,
    Tony
    All thoughts and opinions expressed are those of my own and should not be mistaken for medical and/or legal advice.

    "Tomorrow hopes we have learned something from yesterday." - John Wayne

  3. #3

    Default Re: Cross of Valour - LWP Communist Era

    Hi Throbwalloper,

    I knew Jan Kowalski very well, I used to work with him and after he retired I used to correspond with him and visited him on numerous occasions, speaking with Jan once before he died he said he would never sell his awards. He even had them stolen once back in the 1980's after the culprits were found trying to sell them, he had them engraved on the reverse. He turned down numerous offers to buy them from people, he wanted to pass them onto his children (2 Son's and a Daughter).

    It seems a real shame that the family did not hang onto them, because when they have gone they really have gone.

    Jan once showed me all his Legitymacja's and his citation for the DFC along with his extreme rare "Skalski's Circus" (Polish Fighting Team) Badge in gold designed by fellow pilot and Artist Bohdan Arct, 303 Sqdn Badge, 317 Sqdn Badge, he had lost his 315 Sqdn Badge just after the war and never replaced it.

    I did manage though to obtain for him a photocopy of his Service Record in the PAF from the Sikorski Museum in London, which he thought was impossible to obtain.

    Please post a photograph of the reverse if you could.

    Best wishes

    Andrzejku

  4. #4

    Default Re: Cross of Valour - LWP Communist Era

    Hi Again Throbwalloper,

    I have just looked at my photograph of Jan Kowalski's awards that I took at his home in Nottingham, and there seems to be some difference the France and Germany Bar is missing from his Air Crew Europe Star and Jan's group did not contain the Defence Medal just the War Medal.

    Andrzejku

  5. #5

    Default Re: Cross of Valour - LWP Communist Era

    Hi Again Throbwalloper,

    I have also had the chance to look close at Jan Kowalski's Virtuti Militari, which was made by Spink and Son for the Polish Government in Exile, from the photograph I have it had a gold centre, where yours as a silver centre.

    I would be interested to learn where you purchased the group, because alarm bells are begining to ring for me.

    Andrzejku

  6. #6

    Default Re: Cross of Valour - LWP Communist Era

    Andrzejku,

    I bought the medals at an auction by Warwick & Warwick on 15 February this year. The medals came swing-mounted (not very well), plus a set of miniatures in a Spinks box. The full size medals looked as if they were cobbled together from different sources, although the DFC is real and has the correct date on the reverse of the lower arm - 1946. The minis (apart from the Virtuti Militari and KW) look like copies - the DFC even has the EIIR cypher on the back!

    There was also some paperwork and a bit of history, all of which I already had by doing some research whilst I waited for the medals to arrive.

    The reason that the F&G clasp to the ACES is missing is that it is hidden under the piece of black card that I used to "level-off" the tops of the medal ribbons for the photo - I have yet to mount the medals properly. I was surprised when I first saw the medals that there was NO War Medal - he MUST have qualified for it, so I have included it in the full size group.

    I'm a bit worried now that YOU are worried about the medals - Warwicks are a reputable firm, and I have had dealings with them in the past and found them to be very professional - I even spoke to someone at the auction house before the auction as I had some concerns over the authenticity of the ACES (it was a different colour to the other two stars), so I've replaced it with one of a similar colour & patina.

    I'm convinced that these medals have been put together to represent Jan's, and are NOT the original group, despite most if not all of them (including a correctly dated DFC) being genuine. If they ARE his medals, and have been offered for sale without the lawful owner's permission I shall, of course, get in touch with Warwicks and return them to their rightful owners.

    I have added the reverse pix for your perusal, plus the minis and the full-sized group as it arrived.



    I wanted to preserve the memory of a brave man amongst many brave men who fought on foreign soil, not just for themselves, but in a cause that we can all appreciate, but fortunately here in Britain did not have to suffer.

    Being the third generation of my family to have served in conflicts from The Boer War to The Gulf War, I know the level of commitment that that takes, so to present that in a way that future generations might appreciate is the least I can do...



    Please feel free to contact me through e-mail (na51her@yahoo.co.uk).


    Richard

    P.S. It wasn't you that bought the signed photo of Jan on ebay recently, was it?

    Last edited by Throbwalloper; 03-17-2012 at 02:11 AM.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Cross of Valour - LWP Communist Era

    Hi Richard,

    No it wasn't me that purchased the signed photo of Jan, he used to have a tin full of them signed unsigned that he used to send to people that wrote to him asking for a signature.

    I do have a signed photo from Jan whilst a Sergeant pilot with 303 Sqdn wearing a Scottish Bonnet.

    Richard would it be possible to post a picture of the full size awards reverse side of all the medals, because after Jan had them stolen and the POlice returned them he had his Name: Jan Kowalski engraved on the back of them, just to be safe so that if they where stolen at any time in the future they could be returned to their rightful owner.

    I would contact Warwick & Warwick just to find out where they purchased the group from, because even cobbled together the £1700 Catalogue price (I searched Google and found it) seems very high.

    Andrzejku

  8. #8

    Default Re: Cross of Valour - LWP Communist Era

    Andrzejku

    If the original medals were engraved, then these aren't them, as none of them has his name on the reverse. If you still want a pic to prove it, I'll post one, but believe me they aren't there. So, I have a set of medals that represent his entitlement. I will mount them anyway, including the War Medal and clasps for the KW, with the proviso that should anyone in the future buy or inherit them, then they are aware that that is exactly what they are.

    BTW, a good DFC alone is worth £1,600 - £1,800, a genuine ACES + clasp usually goes for £250, A 39-45 Star with "Battle Of Britain" clasp could fetch £30-40. I don't know what the Polish pair would fetch, as that's not my area of expertise...

    Richard

  9. #9

    Default Re: Cross of Valour - LWP Communist Era

    Hi Richard, your posts have generated an interesting discussion warranting transfer to the appropriate section of the forum.

    Quote by andrzejku98 View Post
    I have also had the chance to look close at Jan Kowalski's Virtuti Militari, which was made by Spink and Son for the Polish Government in Exile, from the photograph I have it had a gold centre, where yours as a silver centre…
    The VM in this grouping is a post war copy. Spink & Son crosses of the two wartime era types are posted below. The silver 5th class shown here was produced in this pattern and also the same pattern as the 4th (gold) class cross shown.

    The KW here is a Spink & Son product. Posted below is a close up of the correct pattern ribbon bar for this cross.

    Quote by Throbwalloper View Post
    BTW, a good DFC alone is worth £1,600 - £1,800, a genuine ACES + clasp usually goes for £250, A 39-45 Star with "Battle Of Britain" clasp could fetch £30-40. I don't know what the Polish pair would fetch, as that's not my area of expertise...
    A genuine 5th Class Spink VM will now run about $500+US (~£300), although they are seldom seen on the market. The Spink KW’s on the other hand remain relatively plentiful and typically sell for ~ $100-$150 (~£100), on the upper end with original ‘Spink fold’ issue ribbon and fastening pin.

    Quote by Throbwalloper View Post
    . . . If they ARE his medals, and have been offered for sale without the lawful owner's permission I shall, of course, get in touch with Warwicks and return them to their rightful owners.

    . . .I wanted to preserve the memory of a brave man amongst many brave men who fought on foreign soil, not just for themselves, but in a cause that we can all appreciate, but fortunately here in Britain did not have to suffer.

    Being the third generation of my family to have served in conflicts from The Boer War to The Gulf War, I know the level of commitment that that takes, so to present that in a way that future generations might appreciate is the least I can do...

    . . . So, I have a set of medals that represent his entitlement. I will mount them anyway, including the War Medal and clasps for the KW, with the proviso that should anyone in the future buy or inherit them, then they are aware that that is exactly what they are.
    These speak very highly of your character Richard. You are a credit to our hobby.

    And by the way, very tasteful display of three generations of your families decorations!

    Cheers,
    Tony
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

Name:	KW Spink & Son bar.jpg 
Views:	149 
Size:	129.6 KB 
ID:	321018   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Spink VM's 003.jpg 
Views:	319 
Size:	239.1 KB 
ID:	321016  

    All thoughts and opinions expressed are those of my own and should not be mistaken for medical and/or legal advice.

    "Tomorrow hopes we have learned something from yesterday." - John Wayne

  10. #10

    Default

    Hi, I recently purchased Jan Kowalski's medals , log book and uniform. Whilst researching I came across your thread and understand you knew him well. I am concerned as I don't see any engraving on the back of the medals. Can you help please?

    John

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. What is this decoration?

    In Orders & Decorations of the Third Reich
    12-12-2011, 12:05 PM
  2. Unknown decoration for i.d./authentication

    In Non-Combat Uniforms and related insignia of the Third Reich
    05-21-2011, 09:36 AM
  3. Muslim decoration/medal and unknown pin

    In Orders, medals and decorations
    07-19-2010, 06:23 PM
  4. Polish Prison Camp decoration?

    In People's Army of Poland (Ludowe Wojsko Polskie) 1943-1989
    07-17-2010, 10:21 PM
  5. Series of decoration, Please help me identify 'em !

    In Orders & Decorations of the Third Reich
    03-08-2009, 02:49 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •