Kazik’s Polish Navy by Kazimierz J. Kasperek, Lieutenant Commander (ret.), with Pat McDonough. Kazik was on active duty from February 1936 to May 8, 1945. He served with the Allied Forces on ships of the Polish Navy–in–Exile. As Chief Petty Officer, Kazik was at the helm in major sea battles and special operations including the suicide convoy to Malta, the evacuation of Dunkirk, the invasions of France, Greece and Italy, hunts for U-boats, and convoys across the North Atlantic. He escaped a German POW camp in brutal cold, crossing frozen rivers and canals.
An exciting, insightful narrative history of valor, optimism, and love.
“For our freedom and yours!”
“ Za naszą i waszą wolność”
(the unofficial motto of Poland)
“Kazika Polska Marynarka” przez Kazimierz J. Kasperek z Pat McDonough wydane przez Terra Sancta Press ISBN 978-0-9653467-2-6, $21.95 USD plus wysyłka, można zamówić przez http://terrasanctapress.com gdzie Paypal i karty kredytowy są akceptowane za zapłatę.
Kazik’s Polish Navy is only available in the English language at this time.
The print edition of the book features more than 80 photographs taken by Kazik in WWII using his Brownie box camera. Appendixes include excerpts of international agreements affecting post-war Poland. Epilogue brings the story into this century.
Kazimierz J. Kasperek (A/K/A Kazik or Casey) (1916 – June 28, 2008) was born in Częstochowa, Poland. As a young man, he worked as a delivery boy. He attended teachers’ college for two years, then enlisted as a volunteer in the Polish Navy on February 1, 1936. After two years’s training which included two windjammer cruises on the three-masted schooner O.R.P. Iskra, World War II broke out with the Invasion of Poland. He was on the minesweeper O.R.P. Rybitwa defending the Port of Gydnia and the Peninsula of Hel. He was among the last fighters there to be taken by the German forces. Moved from POW internment camp to camp, and living in unheated conditions in winter, he escaped to Holland, and made his way to France. He soon united with the Polish Navy-in-Exile.
Kazik was a Supply Officer and Paymaster and rose to the rank of Chief Petty Officer. As a Chief Petty Officer, he served directly under the ship’s commander, and was often at the helm for as long as 16 hours at a time. With Allied Forces, Kazik was involved in constant sea battles from 1940-1945, including the suicide convoy to Malta, the evacuation of Dunkirk, the hunt for U-boats and Pocket Battleships, and at least 26 trans-Atlantic convoys in the North Atlantic. He served through V-E Day 1945. He is the most decorated WWII officer in the Polish Navy. He retired as Lieutenant Commander.
In 1941, he met Irene Lance. They were married in 1942 and had two daughters.
In an underhanded way, the Polish Navy and free Poland were obliterated at the end of WWII by the Potsdam and Yalta agreements. This left Kazik needing to find a new career. Kazik was retrained in England as a fine furniture maker. With his wife and daughters, they immigrated to Chicago where he worked for Marshall Field’s and others as a marquetry and furniture repair field representative. Eventually he and his family became U.S. Citizens. He retired to Floridana Beach, Florida, and was active in civic life in Brevard County. After Poland became free, he felt he could finally write the memoir of his adventures, complete with his never-before-published photographs.
Kazimierz J. Kasperek was awarded a total of 18 medals from Poland, England, France, Malta and Norway for his service from 1939 to 1945.
- Henry Sokołowski, Polish Combatants Association Canada said: Kazik’s Polish Navy is a rare and precious account of Poland’s World War II Navy in action, told by one of the men who lived it. Kazik’s memoir provides an important window into this forgotten chapter of history, while the recollections of Kazik and Irene take one on an engaging trip through the ups and downs of surviving war and the bittersweet post-war period.
- John B. Davenport, Ph.D. said: A fine first-hand account of the Polish Navy in World War II—a branch of the Allied armed forces not well-chronicled in English.
- Author Joyce Henderson said: This story, Kazik’s Polish Navy, had to be published. Not only did the exploits of the Polish Navy need to be told, but moreover because of the heroism and enduring optimism of Kazik Kasperek. In spite of war, imprisonment, and injustice, he never loses his personal grace.
- Dennis Hamilton said: Kazik’s Polish Navy is an important addition to World War II history. A patriotic, heroic Love Story—love of country, of family, and of survival against all odds. Truly inspiring!
- R. Bradley Witenhafer said: I was inspired by Kazik’s attitude and valor. I didn’t want to stop reading. It was a great honor to read about such inspiring man.
- Mirinda Hartselle said: Reading Kazik’s Polish Navy made WWII history come alive.
- Jim Cox, Midwest Book Review, The Military Shelf said: A fascinating read from beginning to end, Kazik’s Polish Navy is the personal memoir of Kazimierz Kasperek and a vivid account of the Polish navy during World War II. Written with the assistance of Pat McDonough, Kazik’s Polish Navy is a candid account of Kasperek’s service in the Polish Navy from February 1936 to May 8, 1945. This is also the story of Kasperek’s desperate escape from a German POW camp during a brutal winter, his eye-witness account of major sea battles and Allied special operations, as well as his post-war experiences. Kazik’s Polish Navy is a valued and unique addition to the growing library of World War II military studies.
- Paul Wańkowicz, Author of The Ulysses Flight said: The Kasperek book, Kazik’s Polish Navy, is a dandy. I’m enjoying it, especially as I was there for a while, not in the Polish Navy, but in the Air Force. Even as war-enlistees, we were all fiercely proud to be part of the Polish services.
- Lt. Col. (ret.) Charles E. Pearce said: Kazik’s Polish Navy is one of the best military histories.
General audiences, history buffs, military personnel and their families, mature high school students, and those with special interest in Poland and it’s involvement in WWII.
- BISAC CODE
- 940.54 920. MILITARY HISTORY NARRATAIVE / WWII/ Polish Navy & Polish Navy-in-Exile / Battles & Convoys