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Armies Jan 
belonged to
Jan's Medals
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Page Last Updated, Febrary 4th, 2018

Jan Pirog, October 21, 1919 - August 30, 2009. R.I.P.

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Jan's Medals

His Medals
  1. 1939-45 STAR

  2. France & Germany star

  3. Africa star

  4. War medal

  5. Krzyz Walecznych with bar (which means twice). This could also be awarded to towns or villages.

  6. Virtuti militari 5th class, or silver, which could also be awarded to whole towns or villages

    (The Polish order of the VIRTUTI MILITARI was established 200 years ago by King Stanislaw August Poniatowski as the highest military decoration for gallantry the Polish nation bestows upon it's soldiers for acts of heroism above and beyond the call of duty. The VIRTUTI MILITARI is equivalent to the American MEDAL OF HONOR or the British VICTORIA CROSS.)

The Virtuti Militari that Jan received was given to soldiers up to the rank of Major, the rank of the person determined which cross he got. Only soldiers from the rank of Major upwards could get the gold "virtuti." It was not based on merit but on rank.

Jan says that the Poles were even snobby as to the highest cross that they could give. He is of the opinion that there should have been only one type of cross available as this would have been a lot less complicated and would not have allowed for "back slapping" officers who had done the same type of action but got a "nicer" looking medal or cross.

  1. Bronzowy Krzyz Zasługi and Krzyz Kombantantow (which are given in a civilian capacity for services AFTER the war).

  2. Złota Odznaka S.P.K. and Złota Odznake Pierwszej Dywizji which are also given as awards for services rendered after the war to people who are outStanding in a helpful capacity.

  3. On November 21st, 2004, Jan was awarded the Krzyz Kawalerski Orderu Odrodzenia Polski (below):

The town of Breda in Holland specially minted a medal in honour of the Polish forces on the 50th anniverary of the war, with ALL the battles they were in put on it, with the slogan "Dzienkujemy Wam Polacy" or "We thank you Poles," which shows just how much they appreciated how the Poles out-manoeuvered the German war machine with minimal damage to the surrounding towns and villages.

He also has a French medal for the 50th anniversary of the war, on which is written "Utah" and "Omaha."

Virtuti Militari

"Virtuti Militari" is a Latin phrase and translates as "For Courage in War". The Order of Virtuti Militari is the highest Polish military decoration, instituted in 1792 by King Stanislaw II Poniatowski of the Belarussian-Lithuanian-Polish Commonwealth, and is conferred for exceptional deeds in combat. Awarded in five classes - Crosses: Wielki, Komandorski, Kawalerski, Zloty, Srebrny. It may be conferred on both Poles and foreigners as a reward for outStanding heroic achievement and services in battle.

Krzyz Walecznych

The "Krzyz Walecznych" (Cross of Valour) is a Polish military decoration instituted in 1920; it was conferred up to four times to troops in the active service and, in exceptional cases, to civilians who co-operated with the military. It was awarded for acts of valour and courage in battle.

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