Formal Whites
Grimes 27

Writing Alex ‘Yogi’ Hnarakis tribute was a kind of weird to me. I knew him well through the English language articles regarding Top Gun and FLIR Integration to the mighty Tomcat but didn’t have the chance to get in touch with him, through letters and emails. His career epitomized the profession (although I prefer the word passion) of a naval aviator. I was determined to contact him and ask him to write me the prologue for our third volume of GREEKS IN FOREIGN COCKPITS, which will be published in 2020 and will feature mostly USN pilots operating from aircraft carriers during WW2. My request was addressed through a common friend and fellow naval aviator David Baranek, and I was waiting for his answer. Unfortunately, he got ill and passes away, so I missed a chance to know a great man. The least I could do was to gather all the information I found from published articles as well as various websites and newspapers in order to present to the Greek people and Greeks worldwide a remarkable aviator. Alexander Hnarakis was of Greek parentage (third generation Greek American) and born in Alexandria Virginia on August 14, 1958. He was the son of Gus Hnarakis, who’s the father (Alex grandfather), Emanuel Hnarakis, immigrated from the island of Crete to the US, in 1910. His heritage was from Thrapsano, a small village outside Heraklion city. In the United States, he was married to Bessie Vasilakis, who was also from Thrapsano. In fact, the two families were known each other very well. Emanuel and Bessie had 7 children, Gus, Alex father, was one of them. Hnarakis family .....

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