Tomice - rural commune, Wadowice County, Małopolskie Voivodship.
In the village of Zagodowice (Tomice Commune) is a memorial obelisk
commemorating six American Air Force soldiers and a young Polish girl,
who perished in the crash of Boeing 24 (named Hell's Angel) on September
13, 1944, which just completed the bombing mission on industrial targets
near Oświęcim (Auschwitz) and Trzebinia and was flying home to its base
in Venossa, Italy, but was downed by the German anti-aircraft fire.
The villagers buried the dead Americans and erected a wooden cross
on the site which was repeatedly destroyed by the Nazis and erected again.
After the war, the bodies of the airmen were exhumed and taken to U.S.,
but the villagers wanted to build a monument in their memory. The communist
authorities prevented them from doing so and only in 1991 the obelisk was
build by the efforts of the local authorities, the church and common citizens.
Every year there is a reunion of the locals with the members of the
families of the crew of Boeing 24 and living survivors. Last year it was
only one of them, Vernon O.Christensen of Montana. (Five crew members managed
to parachute from the falling plane). The ceremonies are attended always
by the local and church notables, American diplomats and military delegations
from both, Poland and the U.S., and remembering villagers of the area.
It became one of many symbols of Polish-American friendship.
Arms and flag of the Tomice Commune were adopted on September 6, 2007
(resolution # VIII/53/2007).
"Arms: on the red shield there is a silver fortresś tower with black
window and an element of the Coat of Arms "Radwan" - a golden, fringed gonfalon,
topped with the cavalier's (Maltese) cross, also gold, and above the wavy
Flag: a rectangle in the ratio 5:8 divided vertically into three bands
in proportions of 1:3:1. Outside bands are red and the wide middle one
is yellow. On it, the
Arms are placed."
Chrystian Kretowicz, 17 Oct 2008
Tomice Coat of Arms
image by Chrystian Kretowicz, 17 Oct 2008
adopted 6 Sep 2007