My Grandfather was a volunteer in the 3rd Legion Infantry
Regiment (3 Pulku Piechota Legionow, or 3 P.P. Leg. for short.)
during the war against the Bolsheviks, 1918-21. He held the rank
of Corporal and as a Machine gunner he led a Hotchkiss machine-gun
team. His older Brother also was a Legionnaire and later, in WW II,
a member of the ARMIA KRAJOWA.
The efforts of patriotic Poles, like my Grandfather and my Great Uncle,
greatly contributed to the DEFEAT of the BOLSHEVIKS in 1920.
The Polish Victory enabled eastern Europe to remain free for 20
years, thwarting Lenin's plans to carry his revolution across the Continent.
Poles were fighting Communism long before it became fashionable in the
My Grandfather, Warsaw, 1920.
He participated in the Defense of Lwow, the Battle of Warsaw and
the Liberation of Wilno.
He fought in Galicia, Carpathia, Wolyn, Besarabia, Bukovina and The
Ukraine early in the War. He also fought in Byelorussia and Lithuania
later in the War. He also worked in the ARMOURY at RADOM as
a Gunsmith and Machinist until August 1921.
His Official Decorations:
1.) Cross of Merit of the Central Lithuanian Army for participation
in the Liberation of Wilno by General Zeligowski in 1920. 2.)
1918-21 War Medal. 3.) Commemorative Decoration
for the Defenders of Lwow, November 1918.
It is likely that he was eligible for other official medals, but unfortunately
additional records to support my theory have yet to be found. Because
he became a Legionnaire so early in the War (fighting in Lwow during November
1918), it tends to suggest that he was already a Legionnaire during World
War One. If he had served under Pilsudski during W.W. I, it would
also be possible for him to have been eligible for the Cross or Medal of
Independence. He would have also been eligible for the Cross for
War Volunteers, but it was never awarded. I also have no idea if
he earned any Austrian medals for service in Pilsudski's Legion during
W.W. I. Many Poles discarded their Austrian medals after Pilsudski
was imprisoned by the Germans in 1917.
He became a member of SWAP (Stowarzyszenie Weteranow Armii Polskiej
- The Polish Army Veterans Association), and was a founding member
of the local chapter. The following Decorations were awarded to him
Two Medals awarded awarded to my Grandfather by SWAP. 1.) The
Haller Swords, awarded to him by the Administrator of SWAP and
2.) The Commemorative Medal for 25 years of SWAP.
The Logo of SWAP.
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