Ryszard Książyński

Ryszard Książyński in his youth.

When the Second World War broke out in 1939, Ryszard Książyński was only 15 years old. Ryszard was a boyscout and loved sailing. He had picked up this hobby at a scout camp a year earlier. As for millions of his age, the Second World War interrupted his youthful dreams.

Ryszard Książyński joined the Home Army, Poland’s largest resistance movement, in 1943. He completed his training and became a corporal. As soon as he became an adult he was directed to the front line. In 1944 his unit was mobilized in Operation Tempest. The aim of the Home Army was to fight against German troops and to support the entering Red Army. On September 26, the Battle of Radków took place. The German forces had tanks, planes and artillery support. However, the soldiers of the Home Army including Książyński defended themselves. Książyński was injured and, as it turned out, lost his hearing in his left ear forever.

After the war he decided to return to his youthful dreams. He participated in numerous courses, and gained his sailing skills by sailing with famous captains of Polish shipping, such as Olympian rower Henryk Fronczak and Włodzimierz Jacewicz who organized polar expeditions. Ryszard co-organized the Yacht Club of the Academic Sports Association in Krakow. He was a publicist. In the press, he inspired successive generations with his love for sailing and  building model ships. As captain of ‘Leonid Teliga’, he participated in the Atlantic Operation Sail ’76 during the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the United States of America. He was the first to lead such a large yacht from New York through the Great Lakes via the Mississippi to New Orleans. He was granted honorary citizenship of New York, Buffalo, Baton Rouge, Milwaukee, Cleveland, and New Orleans.

Ryszard Książyński at sea. © From the collection of Wojciech Książyński
Ryszard Książyński at sea. © From the collection of Wojciech Książyński