On Blu-ray from director David Blair and Cinedigm comes the story of the most unlikely pilots in war against Germany with “Mission of Honor.”
Jan Zumbach (Iwan Rheon) along with John Kentowski (Milo Gibson), Witold Urbanowicz (Marcin Dorocinski) and more are brought together to form the Hurricane Squadron 303. These Polish pilots are far from home as Germany has invaded their homeland of Poland.
Becoming pilots for Great Britain, they train and fight but their counterparts aren’t thrilled to have them as part of the team. What surprises their commander the most is that the Polish pilots are dedicated and good. There isn’t much time for training as the war in the sky becomes more intense.
The men stick together and find their place in the squadron by proving they are dedicated and loyal to the cause of stopping Germany from killing any more of their countrymen. Jan is also falling for the beautiful Phyllis (Stefanie Martini) and they try to find togetherness during a time of great sorrow.
This is also a time when friendships are tested, planes are becoming scarce and keeping them together is nothing short of a wing and a prayer.
Yet, their story is so much more than flying!
Rheon as Zumbach has very good reason for wanting to help fight in the battle of Great Britain. Having seen what has happened to his family in Poland and the brutal and murderous actions of the Nazi’s, he takes the moral stand to do his part. Trying to find his place in another group of men who don’t seem to want him their, it is Zumbach’s calmness and skill at the stick that wins over his counterparts.
Gibson as Kentowski has a problem with the group. Instead of embracing the help, he seems to find a problem with them all. With most characters that don’t understand the plight they are facing, Kentowski learns that the only way to save his country is by understanding what the men of the 303 have gone through in their own country to stop it from happening in his.
Martini as Lambert is a young woman who is part of the military that keeps the flow of information to the pilots. In a chance meeting during off duty hours at the local watering hole, she meets Rheon but their relationship doesn’t start out well. Martini gives her character strength, intelligence and shows the important role women served in the military.
Other cast include: Krystoff Hadek as Josef Frantisek, Manuel Klein as Trost, Raphael Desprez as Favier, Rosie Gray as Georgina, Emily Watt as Kate, Robert Portal as Keith Park, Graham Padden as Rawlings, Teresa Mahoney as McCormac and Marc Hughes as Ellis.
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“Mission of Honor” is just that, a unique look at those who had experienced the horrors of war but were defiant. They wanted to fight back and taking to the skies was the only way they could contribute. Watching them go through the difficulties of language and training will make anyone appreciate these brave Polish pilots.
It is crucial to understand what brought so man different countries together to fight against a common foe. Learning from one another was difficult at first but once they took the time to understand each other, the flow for victory was inevitable.
When the war finally came to an end, the 303 was the highest scoring fighter squadron of the Battle of Britain. Those 145 Polish pilots show down 203 planes and was 20% of the RAF’s war power. How were they rewarded? By returning home only to face the horrors that they tried to stop from the air.
In the end — in foreign skies they fought for their country!