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Mushroom Model Magazine Special

Kościuszko Squadron 1919-1920


Wojtek Matusiak, Robert Gretzynier
& Piotr Wisniewski


S u m m a r y

Publisher and Catalogue Details: Mushroom Model Magazine Special Blue Series 7104
Kościuszko Squadron 1919-1920
by Wojtek Matusiak, Robert Gretzynier & Piotr Wisniewski
ISBN: 8391717860
Media and Contents: Soft cover; B5 format; 80 pages plus covers
Price: GBP£9.99 available online from MMP
Review Type: FirstRead
Advantages: Excellent photo reproduction, profusely illustrated, much needed subject matter
Recommendation: Recommended


Reviewed by Rob Baumgartner

Mushroom's Kościuszko Squadron 1919-1920 Book is available online from Squadron.com 



After Poland gained her independence after World War I, she still had to endure bitter fighting to protect her borders. Both the Bolsheviks and the Ukraine were involved in these disputes, which lasted until a Peace Treaty was signed in 1921.

Poland was not alone in the struggle and there were many volunteers, which for a range of reasons, rushed to her aid. A small gathering of airman that had tasted battle on the Western Front was part of this group.

Mushroom Model Publications have chosen this much-neglected subject as their latest addition to the “Blue Series”. It is the story of the American volunteers that fought against the Bolsheviks in the newly established Polish air force.

This small sized soft cover book contains a total of 80 pages. Contained therein are over 120 black and white photographs. The choice of images and the glossy paper on which they are printed, helps maintain a high quality of reproduction with the selected pictures.


The chapters start off with a brief description of the part played by American airmen in the First World War. It continues with the subsequent joining of the volunteers with a Polish squadron which was later renamed as the 7th Combat Squadron “Tadeusz Kościuszko”.

Other chapters relate to the fighting that occurred on the “Bolshevik Front”, including a remarkable incident that happened to Capt. Crawford.

His plane was hit in the fuel tank when strafing ground troops and the engine soon stopped. Switching to the upper tank he tried to restart his engine, but was unable to do so. Having made a forced landing, he got out and tried again but still the motor was silent.

By this time the enemy was getting too close for comfort so Crawford starting running for the nearby woods, helped by Ltn Corsi who was strafing the approaching cavalry from above.
While running, Crawford heard his aircraft start up and although pilotless, started to taxi along the ground. He turned around, ran to his plane and jumped in with just enough time to take off in front of the arriving Cossacks!

A chapter is then devoted to Capt. Cooper and his story provides an even more amazing escape from execution.

Finally the reader is told the sad tale of the monument erected to these airmen and this is followed by a biography of the pilots that were awarded the Virtuti Militari and the Cross of Valour.

A definite highlight of the book is the included artwork. This takes the form of 27 colour profiles, many with additional views where necessity demands. The aircraft featured are the Albatros (Oef) D.III 253 series, Ansaldo Balilla, and Sopwith Camel. Naturally some very exotic and unusual schemes are presented and most wear the Ltn. Elliot Chess designed squadron badge. This was a peasant hat with crossed scythes superimposed on some stars and stripes. The latter two items being a reference to the pilots’ origins of course.





Although the book can be a bit “dry” in the reading at times, the authors have done an admirable job of relating the story of this little-known group of airmen.


All Mushroom Model Publications books are available direct from the publishers, who now accept credit cards (Visa, MC, Amex, Switch)  

North American distributors are Squadron/MMD, Australian distributors are Platypus Publications. In Europe, the books are available from any good bookshop (via our UK distributors, Orca). Contact MMP direct in case of difficulties. 

Thanks to Roger at Mushroom Model Magazine  for the sample.

Review Copyright © 2005 by Rob Baumgartner
Page Created 09 April, 2005
Last updated 08 April, 2005

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