Polish-RAF-girls-Eastleigh. "Polish girls in Nairobi 1942-45"
Tygodnik Polski, Polish newspaper Australia, 29 October 2008. Describes Jadwiga Kaminska Heppe’s life in the RAF at Eastleigh, Nairobi, Kenya.
The girls in the photo, survived Siberia, via Tehran, came to refugee camps in eastern Africa. The girls were offered an opportunity to learn a trade in the RAF. After a three-month course they were painting planes, packing parachutes, learning to fix engines, etc. My mother trained as a propeller mechanic. RAF Eastleigh was a supply and repair airfield for the allied air forces - British and American - whose bombers were engaged in the bombing of the German and Italian forces in North Africa. They also repaired and serviced Spitfires. They lived in barracks on the base, their Commandant and second in command were Polish, and they had a Polish nurse on the base. At its peak, there were around two hundred Polish girls working at RAF Eastleigh between 1942 and 1945. They wore khaki RAF uniforms with POLAND on their shoulders. Jadwiga and mum were in adjoining barracks. Jadwiga Kaminska married an Englishman who was farming in Kenya; she now lives in Queensland, Australia.
Submitted by Roger Watkins.
There doesn’t seem to be any record of these girls in any archives so if anyone has any information about this group or its members please contact Elzunia Olsson at Kresy-Siberiafirstname.lastname@example.org
Elzunia Gradosielska Olsson
Memorial Gallery Administrator
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