For quite awhile I have been kicking around the concept of attempting to reproduce the 10th Dragoon's Regimental Flag. Given the attachment that the original veterans of the unit had to this symbol of their service I wanted to make sure of several things.
1. That we had the approval of the living unit veterans to undertake such a project.
2. That the reproduced flag would be close to but not an exact copy of the original to ensure the sanctity of the WWII flag.
3. The flag had to be of a high enough quality to honor those who died under its folds.
4. Since we are a volunteer organization, cost would be a major factor.
As the highest ranking survivor of the original regiment, Lt Col. Karcz gave us the go-ahead to reconstruct the flag in the name of the veterans. Step number one had been fulfilled. In an effort to realize step #2, we had to alter minor construction characteristics on the flag and one symbol. This was relatively easy, as the only original photos we had to work with lacked some detail.
This was the original artist's sketch during the war
As you can see, this was difficult to work with. The only picture we have of the flag once it was fully constructed and presented to the unit is below. Again, the details were not sufficient to create a truly accurate copy. At this point, I contracted the help of our resident artist, Craig Gravina, who had previously designed our WWII Polish LHG logo. He digitally scanned in and enhanced the original pictures and was able to gain enough clarity to accurately render the flag. We were very happy with the results.
After my announcment Father Tad proceeded with the actual blessing. The flag is being carried by our member Zach Mateja.
I'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone at the Shrine for their help getting this blessing accomplished. Our next step will be to have a formal dedication ceremony with representatives of the Army of the Republic of Poland. Stay tuned, more to come.
Update - September 29
On September 19th during the annual WWII weekend at Eisenhower Farm NPS our unit was truly honored by the presence of the staff from the Polish embassy in Washington D.C. to participate in an official flag dedication ceremony. BrigGen. L. Soczewica the Polish Military Attache and his assistant LtCol. R. Nowak drove up to officiate. The ceremony followed along the lines of the original that took place over 68 years ago in Scotland. The General officially dedicated our flag on behalf of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Poland. LtCol. Jan Karcz, original veteran of the unit was going to fly in from his home in North Carolina as well however he was taken gravely ill a mere week before the ceremony. Into the breach stepped Col. J. Karcz USAR (ret). Col Karcz is Jan Karcz's nephew. He was kind enough to speak on his uncle's behalf concerning his family history and the attachment Jan has with our recreated unit. We were very honored by his attendance.
The ceremony was well attended by many visitors to the park site. In addition to the official dedication we also hosted a brief reception for the embassy staff and WWII Polish LHG members. The food was coordinated and displayed by Linda Neri to whom we are very grateful. We would also like to thank Ranger Richard Lemmers from the NPS who helped set up the ceremony details between our organization and the NPS.
Johnny Wheeler of the recreated 601 RAF squadron recorded the ceremony via video to keep for posterity. The film can be downloaded via our "Video Downloads" section on this website in partitions to allow for faster viewing.
The following individuals are pictured above.
Top row left to right; Gen. Soczewica, Richard Holliday, LtCol. Nowak, Darrell Henning, Brian Neri, Zach Mateja.
Bottom row left to right; Col. Karcz, Chris Petronis, Chris Moore