Portraits from the Pinkowski Collection

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1. Edward Pinkowski (60)
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2. Edward Pinkowski (100)
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3. Thaddeus (Tadeusz) Kosciuszko

The year 2017 marks the 200th anniversary of the death of Tadeusz Kosciuszko (1746-1817) a fighter for the freedom of Poland and an active participant of the American Revolution. The Polish Parliament and UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) have dedicated this year to Tadeusz Kosciuszko.

Tadeusz was a scion of impoverished land-owning gentry. He received an education at the newly-founded Cadets Academy and then went to France to continue his military studies. He was not only a good draftsman but also a fair artist who sketched portraits of his friends. Musically inclined, he wrote two Polonaises and a Waltz.

When the War for American Independence began, he volunteered his services as a Military Engineer to the American cause. Since this much needed expertise was in demand, Kosciuszko was given the task of placing fortification on the Delaware River near Philadelphia and building up defenses at West Point, NY. This site was so well constructed the British never attempted to storm it. Justly it acquired the title of "American Gibraltar." His work in planning the redoubts at Saratoga, NY, was praised by General Horatio Gates as crucial to the American victory. This battle was a turning point of the war, as it showed the world that American could fight and win, and it swayed the French to assist the colonies in their struggle for independence.

After American Independence was secured, Kosciuszko returned to Poland during times when the country's borders and sovereignty were threatened by foreign encroachment. In 1794 he led an armed insurrection to preserve Poland's freedom. Accepting his appointment as commander in the Krakow marketplace, he said: "I, Tadeusz Kosciuszko, swear before God to the entire Polish Nation that I will not use the power invested in me for private gain or oppression, but solely for the defense of the integrity of the borders, the restoration of self-determination of the Nation and the establishment of liberty for all. So help me God and the innocent suffering of his Son."

Though the insurrection was eventually suppressed, Kosciuszko gained the love and respect of his countrymen because of his principled stand to give equal rights to all classes, including peasants, Jews and city dwellers. After he was released from Russian prison in 1796, Kosciuszko came to the United States and stayed at a house in Philadelphia, on the corner of 3rd and Pine Streets.

There, a historical marker explains: "After serving as a military engineer during the American Revolution, he later led an uprising in his native Poland. Exiled, the General resided in this house from November, 1797, to May, 1798."

Here he was visited by Thomas Jefferson and made new friends among Philadelphia society. In this house he wrote a wrote a famous last will and testament which specified that his money be used to free American slaves and educate them.

This house is now a museum, the Thaddeus Kosciuszko National Memorial, maintained by the National Park Service. It opened in 1976 for the American Bicentennial. A few years later in 1979, a statue of Kosciuszko, gift of the Polish people, was dedicated on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

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4. Pvt. Arthur Grabowski

Pvt. Arthur Grabowski - served for the Confederates; was at the attack on Fort Sumter in April of 1861; became a colonel in the Confederate forces. After the war became the first professor of military science at Pennsylvania State University

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5. Pvt. Peter Kiolbasa

Pvt. Peter Kiolbasa - captured in 1863; after his capture, the Union Army recruited him as a sergeant; then promoted to sergeant major and ultimately captain. After the Civil War, he moved to Chicago where he served on the police force.

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6. Capt. Alexander Bielaski

- born in Poland 1811; a civil engineer and Captain in the Union Army; was aide-de-camp to Major General John Alexander McClernand; killed on November 7, 1861 in the Battle of Belmont, Missouri. His son, Oscar Bielaski, was the first Polish-American baseball player in the Major Leagues.

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7. Capt. Gustave Magnitzky

Capt. Gustave Magnitzky - Captain in the Union Army; led the 20th Massachusetts Infantry and fought in over 30 battles including Gettysburg.

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8. Capt. Louis Jastrzenski

. Capt. Louis Jastrzenski - Leon Jastremski (Jastrzebski), Captain in the Confederate Army; born in France in 1844; son of an exile of 1831 who was a doctor in the Polish Army. In 1861 enlisted as a private in the 10th Infantry of Louisiana under General Magruder; fought at Warwick, Williamsburg, Richmond and at Malvern Hill where he became a prisoner and was exchanged. In 1862, received the rank of lieutenant and later made a captain. Was wounded at Chancellorsville, recovered and fought at Gettysburg. In 1871 elected mayor of Baton Rouge. President Cleveland sent him as consul general to Callao, Peru. Appointed State Secretary of Agriculture.

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9. Henryk Dmochowski Saunders

Henryk Dmochowski Saunders - assumed the surname “Saunders” after moving to the United States from Lithuania; educated in Vilna (then Russian Poland), he fled to France after the unsuccessful Revolution of 1830. In 1857 he came to Washington to create busts of Thaddeus Kosciusko and Casimir Pulaski for the U.S. Capitol.

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10. Joseph Karge

Joseph Karge - born in Poznan in 1823; Lieutenant Colonel in the 1st New Jersey Volunteer Cavalry; wounded at the Second Battle of Bull Run.

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11. Louis Zychylinski

Louis Zychylinski - born in Poland; active in Polish insurrection in 1848 against Prussia; served as captain in the Cavalry of Colonel Van Alen, Hooker's Division. Wrote: "Pamietniki z wojny Amerykanskiej," 1862 and "Przygody Wielkopolanina w Azji i Ameryce," 1882. Left U.S. for Poland to participate in the uprising against Russia; deported by Russian Government to Siberia; died in 1891.

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12. Maj. Edmund Zabinski
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13. Oscar Sokalski

Lt. Col. George Oscar Sokalski - born 1839 In New York; died in 1867 at Fort Laramie, Dakota Territory. First American Polish Graduate US Military Academy West Point; fought in 56 Civil War engagements.

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14. Col. Valerian Sulakowski

Col. Valerian Sulakowski - (1827-1873); served as an engineer and Colonel of the (Polish Brigade) 14th Louisiana Infantry and later as Chief Engineer to Major-General John Bankhead Magruder.

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15. Capt. Joseph Gloskowski

Capt. Joseph Gloskowski born in Poland, served in the 19th Pennsylvania Infantry; then appointed 1st Lieutenant, Company K, 29th New York Infantry in March 1862; saw action at Antietam Chancellorsville, Fredericksburg and Gettysburg in 1863 as Captain in the Cavalry Corps. Organized the Society for Polish Refugees in New York City in 1852.

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16. Gen. Albin Francis Schoepf

Gen. Albin Francis Schoepf - born at Podgorze, near Krakow in 1822; in 1861 won appointment as brigadier-general in the Union Army and was assigned to Kentucky. Was given command of the Third Army Corps at Perryville and in 1863 took command of Fort Delaware.

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18. Edmund Zalinski

Edmund Zalinski - an artillery officer in the Civil War and inventor of the Dynamite Gun, which presaged submarine mounted surface guns and later submarines armed with Cruise Missiles. Later became a professor of military science at M.I.T.

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19. Lt. Col. Arthur Francis Wrotnowski, Engineering Corps

Lt. Col. Arthur Francis Wrotnowski, Engineering Corps - Distinguished himself highly and was appointed a Lieutenant-Colonel in the First Colored Regiment in Southern states; later commandant of 95th Infantry of U.S. of colored people in April 1863 in Louisiana.

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20. Lt. Frederick Szwatka, 3rd US Cavalry

Lt. Frederick Szwatka, 3rd US Cavalry - (Frederick Gustavus Schwatka, 1849 –1892), born of Polish immigrant parents; served as a second lieutenant in the 3rd Cavalry in the Dakota Territory. In 1878–80, led an expedition to the Canadian Arctic for the American Geographical Society searching for evidence of the tragic demise of Sir John Franklin's lost expedition that perished while searching for the Northwest Passage; traveling to Hudson Bay on the schooner Eothen.

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21. Henryk Kalussowski

Henryk Kalussowski - born in Samogitia in 1806; political leader, lawyer and art dealer; official translator in the U.S. Land Office in Washington, D.C. for the Alaskan purchase in 1867. Founder of the Polish National Alliance of America.

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22. Thomas Jefferson, Ursyn Niemcewicz, Thaddeus Kosciuszko, servant
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23. Capt. Edmund Hulanicki

Capt. Edmund Hulanicki - captain in the Union Army. Promoted from a private to the rank of captain in the 12th US Heavy Artillery.

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24. Robert Adolph Chodasiewicz

Lt. Col. Robert Adolph Chodasiewicz - born in Vilna, Poland 1832; as Lt. Col. in the Union Army directed the construction of defensive installations at Pittsburg, Virginia. After the army, he served as an engineer in the Pennsylvania coal mines

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25. Oscar Bielaski

Oscar Bielaski - (1847 - 1911); was an American right fielder and the first Polish-American to play Major League Baseball when in 1872 he joined the Washington Nationals of the National Association. He later was a member of the Chicago White Stockings, who won the first-ever National League pennant. His father, Alexander Bielaski, was a captain in the Union army. Oscar learned to play baseball while enlisted in the Union Army as a drummer.

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26. Roman J. Jaworowski

Roman J. Jaworowski - In 1863 edited the first Polish paper in New York, "Echo Polskie," published by a group of Polish refugees after the Polish insurrection of 1831.

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27. Stephen Gregg

Stephen Gregg - (1914 - 2005) was a technical sergeant in 143rd Infantry Regiment, 36th Infantry Division; awarded the Medal of Honor - U. S. military's highest decoration for his actions near Montelimar, France, where he provided cover fire for a combat medic evacuating wounded soldiers. He was captured but escaped and managed to retake the mortar positions that were being used by the enemy against the U.S. soldiers.

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28. Sgt. Joseph J. Sadowski

Sgt. Joseph J. Sadowski - born 1917; received the Medal of Honor for his actions in France; as a Sergeant in Company A, 37th Tank Battalion, 4th Armored Division in Valhey, France, when his tank was disabled by enemy fire, he returned to the burning tank in an attempt to rescue a trapped crewman but was mortally wounded.

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29. 2nd Lt. Joseph Raymond Sarnoski

Medal of Honor (verbatim text of citation)
Rank and organization: Second Lieutenant, U.S. Anny Air Corps, 43rd Bomber Group
Place and date: Over Buka Area, Solomon Islands, 16 June 1943.
Entered service at: Simpson, Pa. Born: 30 January 1915, Simpson, Pa. G.O. No.: 85, 17 December 1943.
Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action above andbeyond the call of duty.

On 16 June 1943, 2d Lt. Sarnoski volunteered as bombardier of a crew on an important photographic mapping mission covering the heavily defended Buka area, Solomon Islands. When the mission was nearly completed, about 20 enemy fighters intercepted. At the nose guns, 2d Lt. Sarnoski fought off the first attackers, making it possible for the pilot to finish the plotted course. When a coordinated frontal attack by the enemy extensively damaged his bomber, and seriously injured 5 of the crew, 2d Lt. Sarnoski, though wounded, continued firing and shot down 2 enemy planes. A 20-millimeter shell which burst in the nose of the bomber knocked him into the catwalk under the cockpit. With indomitable fighting spirit, he crawled back to his post and kept on firing until he collapsed on his guns. Second Lt. Sarnoski by resolute defense of his aircraft at the price of his life, made possible the completion of a vitally important mission.

Later aviation writer Martin Caidin wrote the story for:
Argosy Magazine, "Mission over Buka" Feb. 1956
This became the first chapter in the book: "B-17: The Flying Forts"