Maria TROJANOWSKA

Commander of the 316 Transport Company of the Polish 2nd Corps

Maria Trojanowska was born on February 24, 1905 in Kiev. During the revolution of 1918, her family moved to Warsaw, where Maria worked until 1939 at the Social Insurance Company. In addition to her professional work, she was active in youth organizations like Sokol.

 

From the outbreak of the war in 1939 to August 3, 1940, she was in the ranks of the Home Army, in the 5th Branch of the Main Command of the Home Army. As a courier, under the pseudonym "Rysia", she organized border crossings and directed emissaries. While General Tokarzewski was being led across the Soviet-German border in the Lviv region, she was arrested by the NKVD and deported to Russia.

 

When ‘amnesty’ was declared, she was released from the labour camp and made her way to the southern USSR where, on September 16, 1941, she volunteered for the Polish Army.  She joined the 5th Infantry Division in Tatiszczew, where she was appointed commander of the 5th Company of the Women’s’ Auxiliary.

 

From November 29, 1941 to May 31, 1942, she attended and graduated from the Infantry Officer Cadet School. On June 24, 1942, at her own request, she left the 5th Division and was appointed deputy inspector of the Women’s’ Auxiliary, in Pahlevi for the evacuation of the Polish Army from the USSR to the Middle East.

 

On March 13, 1943, she completed a course for Military Vehicles in Gedera (Palestine), and on January 13, 1944 - a course for Supply and Transport Officers at OWA in Gedera. She was appointed inspector of 316, 317 and 320 Transport Companies.

 

From August 1944 to May 1946, she was the commander of the 316 Transport Company which, during the hostilities, provided supplies for the fighting units of the 2nd Polish Corps. The volunteers of 316 Transport Company fulfilled their - sometimes very heavy duties, respecting and appreciating their superior.  In return, she was for them not only a commander, but also a sincere protector.

 

Trojanowska has said: "I have never had any problems with them, only one, great satisfaction and honor to be the commander of a company like 316'',   She praised the enormous effort and dedication of 316 PWSK volunteers who, during the Italian campaign, despite the danger, carried in whole columns, weapons, ammunition, propellants, lubricants and food.

 

On March 7, 1947, she completed service in the Women’s’ Auxiliary with the rank of a major. Two years later, on March 7, 1949, she ended her service in the Polish Resettlement Corps.

 

She received the following decorations:

  • Cross of Valor (twice),

  • Silver Cross of Merit with Swords,

  • Cross of Monte Cassino,

  • Star of Ireland,

  • Yugoslavian Rownogorn Badge,

  • Home Army Cross,

  • Honorary Badge of the SPK,

  • Badge of the 2nd Corps,

  • Gold Medal of the National Treasury.

 

She received the Jugoslawianska badge for saving Lieutenant-Colonel of the General Staff of the Yugoslav Army, Zivorad D. Andrica, before he was shot by communist Italian partisans. Lieutenant-Colonel Zivorad D. Andric collaborated with General Draza Michajlowicz.

 

 Maria Trojanowska's uniform is in the Museum of the Polish 2nd Corps in Orchard Lake in the U.S.. After the end of the war, Lt. Maria Trojanowska moved permanently to the USA. She continued working for the Polish cause. She was active in spreading and preserving for future generations the contribution and sacrifice of Polish woman-soldiers during World War II. Proof of her patriotism is the founding of the Monument to the Cross of the Stolen Childhood of Polish Children - victims of World War II, in American Czestochowa, in Doylestown, PA.

 

On her initiative and with her material support, the "Szarotka" Retirement Home was established in Los Angeles, where she lived for some time. Maria Trojanowska was buried in Aleja Zasluzonych in American Czestochowa, Doylestown, PA.