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Seeking information on my Granddad - A Polish Paratrooper

Article about: Hello All, Please could you help. I am trying to find out as much information on my Granddad as I can. I have already contacted the MOD and am awaiting information from them. Tony from this

  1. #1
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    Default Seeking information on my Granddad - A Polish Paratrooper

    Hello All,

    Please could you help. I am trying to find out as much information on my Granddad as I can. I have already contacted the MOD and am awaiting information from them. Tony from this forum has also provided me with some information and suggested that I post on here to see if anyone can help me further.

    My Granddads name was Jozef Bambynek although in the War this was changed to Jozef Gawor (he changed this back by deed poll after the war). I know he won the American Silver Star and can find this on record. Unfortunately, that is about all we know, there used to be some paperwork but this has been misplaced over the years and no medals apart from the Silver Star were collected.

    Does anyone know what medals the ribbons represent (I have been told one may be the VIRTUTI MILITARI on a couple of occasions) however, we cannot find this on any list. Is there any other way of finding out? Also can Polish medals still be collected, if not can we still have them made if we can prove entitlement? Also the 2 pink/white ones look slightly different but could they be the same medal?

    The only thing I remember my Granddad telling me was that he was a spy but I think he meant he gathered intelligence (guess it's the same) he never told us much but then again we never really asked when we had the chance (sigh). I am asking around the family also and may be able to add further information as I get it.

    My Dad framed all the bits for me that we had and I have attached pictures, I can't answer any questions about any marking on the back as this is sealed and unless I really have to I don't want to open this up.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Thank you for anyone that can shed any light and point me in the right direction.
    Vanda

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Seeking information on my Granddad - A Polish Paratrooper

    Vanda ..
    I have sent you a PM (private message) ..

    Regards

    Gary J.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Seeking information on my Granddad - A Polish Paratrooper

    Hi Vanda

    I wrote you a PM in regards to your grandfathers entitlement.

    Also you might want to have a look at this video because your grandfather should be in it!!!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n8wS31042z0

    Samodzielna Kompania Grenadierow...... In my years of collecting I have never seen a SKG Paratrooper jump wing with combat wreath. From memory I think only 16 grenadiers got the combat wreath?

  4. #4

    Default Re: Seeking information on my Granddad - A Polish Paratrooper

    A superb Grouping and even better, still with the family. I would like to see a better image of the SF Wing, front and back, a variation I have not encountered. Makes me wonder if he served with the Bardsea Group, though Gary J is the man to advise. Regards, Clive.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Seeking information on my Granddad - A Polish Paratrooper

    Sergeant Jozef Gawor (Recon specialist) along with Sergeant Gerard Nowicki (RTO) as a Team " Sidecar " parachuted in to Germany 19 March 1945 in the vicinity of Stuttgart.
    They had actually stayed there for 37 days before being picked up by US Army on 25th April 1945.
    Sergeant Gawor was awarded a Bronze Cross of Merit with Swords, his citation said: " ..Brave and determined, even risking his life did finish his task. Over all a great NCO. " Part of the citation written by Major Szymanowski.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Seeking information on my Granddad - A Polish Paratrooper

    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	423310In the book : Materialy #16 published by Sikorski Institute and written by Waldemar Grabowski there is Team "Sidecar" mission description.
    I will post the Polish version and will if I have time translate it tonight.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Seeking information on my Granddad - A Polish Paratrooper

    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	423311Here is the mission description.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Seeking information on my Granddad - A Polish Paratrooper

    Thank you to everyone that has posted on here and pm'd me, this means so much. Myself and my Dad have tried to search for information for months but had no idea where to start. My Granddad spoke fluent German which his family didn't, so this now makes sense. Thank you also for posting the mission description, I do speak Polish and read a little (Thanks to my Grandma and Granddad) however, I am finding this pretty difficult and would appreciate a translation. I have been asked for better pictures (front and back) however, this was framed and given to me from my Dad and I am unwilling to take it apart. I will try to take some better pictures although they will still be taken through the glass. I would still appreciate any further information that anyone has and if anyone knows if I can check for any Polish medals he may have been awarded and could I get these still?

  9. #9

    Default Re: Seeking information on my Granddad - A Polish Paratrooper

    The MOD should let you know his complete entitlement. From what I can see by his ribbons and service, his medal entitlement should be:

    Polish - Cross of Valour
    Polish - Army war medal
    British - 39 45 star
    British - France and Germany star
    British - War medal
    US - Silver Star

    I don't think he would have any other Polish medals, perphaps a British - Defence medal. Any other medal people out there who can shed some light to this?

    A friend was in a similar situation, he had his fathers paratrooper badge and ID's but no medals, I know he wrote to MOD and got a replacement set, this was in the 80's tho.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Seeking information on my Granddad - A Polish Paratrooper

    A Virtuti Militaria ribbon from your grandfather's frame:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I am not sure but I believe the MoD will only issue medals if they were not originally claimed or issued to the recipient. But most of the British war medals listed are readily available on ebay etc and not too expensively. Original Polish medals will not so easily or cheaply obtained but are available. If you want to start collecting them don't jump straight in before asking for forum members advice on authenticity especially Polish awards as they are widely reproduced.
    I collect, therefore I am.

    Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter.

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