Message from Jan Smuts

Message from Field-Marshal The Right Hon. Jan C. Smuts at the meeting of members of the SAAF Association and the Polish Ex-Servicemen’s Association in Johannesburg on Saturday 17 August, 1946.
Smuts
It gives me much pleasure to send a message of greeting to you who are gathered today to commemorate a feat of which the people of our two nations – Polish and South African – are justly proud. On August the 14th 1944, and repeatedly on the succeeding days, our boys of the South African Air Force flew more than two thousand miles across enemy territory to carry supplies for those gallant men and women of the Polish nation who were fighting the Germans in beleaguered Warsaw. It was an example of co-operation almost without parallel in the recent war, and – more than that * it was a feat of the utmost gallantry carried out in the face of heavy odds. It is fitting, therefore, that on August the 17th we should remember them, as you have done today; and especially fitting that on this occasion our friends of the Polish Disabled Ex-Servicemen’s Association in South Africa should join with us in paying that tribute. The example set by those brave men, who readily and willingly gave their lives to help comrades in distress, remains as a shining beacon for those of us who have to tread the dark of this chaotic post-war world.

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