Alexatos 2

MICHAEL S. ALEXATOS

Michael S. Alexatos was born in Titusville, Pennsylvania on August 29, 1919, the son of Peter Alexatos and Kalomoira Potamianos from Kefalonia. He entered the Navy as an Ensign in July 1942. Upon arriving at Corpus Christi he requested the Fleet instead of duty as a flight instructor. After completing flight training, he was assigned to VF-1 which was later based on Tarawa (with strikes against the Marshall Islands), and on the USS Yorktown (CV-10) where he participated in strikes against the Marianas, Bonin Islands, Caroline Islands, and the First Battle of the Philippine Sea, flying the famous F6F Hellcat. He was credited with two Zeros and one more as probable. During the operations in the Pacific, he earned the “MAD GREEK” call sign. He joined VF-7 in 1945 and was with that squadron until the end of World War II. He was then assigned to the Photographic Division under the Bureau of Aeronautics (BUAER) in Washington D.C., where he spent two years after which he was transferred to Villanova College for one year under the Holloway Program. He was next assigned to VF-72 in 1948, and after...

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Greek Version:

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Alexatos 3
USN, F6F-3 BuNo xxxxx, Michael S. Alexatos, VF-1, Tarawa, late 1943 v2
070410-F-1234P-002

PETER J. DASCOULIAS

S/Sgt Peter J. Dascoulias was the son of Greek immigrants and was born in New Kensington, Pennsylvania, on January 10, 1921. His father's name was John Dascoulias and he came from Mavria, a small village in the Prefecture of Arcadia, in southern Greece, which administratively belongs to the municipality of Gortynia, in Karytaina. Born on May 27, 1882, in a large, however poor, family, he was forced from a young age to work hard to survive. In 1914, four of his brothers immigrated to relatives in the United States, and two years later, he made the big decision to emigrate. On August 21, 1915, the 33-year-old John Dascoulias married in Karytaina, his beloved Christina Anastasiou (or Liatsimis). The following year they set sail for the United States aboard the passenger ship "PATRIS", arriving in New York on August 18, 1916. The couple first settled in New Kensington, Pennsylvania, where John found a job as a worker in a steel factory. In a matter of 6 years, they were blessed with five children, specifically Zaphiria (1917), George (1918), Gust (1919), Peter (1921), and Christina (1922). Unfortunately in 1926, John lost his job and along with his wife and children, was forced to move to Middleboro, Massachusetts. In 1933 they changed their place of residence once again, as they settled permanently in Warren, Ohio, where John found a permanent...

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Greek Version:

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Dascoulias 2
USAAF, B-17F-40-BO, 42-5180, 'DFC', 423 BS, 306 BG, early 1943
Valachos 9

PETER J. VALACHOS

Peter Valachos was born in 1915 in Brantford, Ontario, Canada. He was the son of James Valachos, a pioneer of the local Greeks in Brantford, Ontario, having come to Canada in 1904. The couple also had three daughters,  Evelyn (Coulos),  Lillian (Roda), and Kathleen (Hawken), and two more sons,  William and George.  He established the Olympia Candy, a landmark of this city which up to 1953 was run by his sons and daughters. Two of his sons served with the Canadian Army, Peter with the Air Force and William with the Army. Peter prior to joining the RAF in 1938 he served in the Dufferin Rifles in Canada. Ηe was also a licensed pilot in Canada and the fact that he was Greek gave him relative publicity as can be seen below, in  A Publisher Extra Newspaper dating September 14, 1938:

"From information received from the secretary of the Brant-Norfolk Aero Club, Brantford, Ontario, Canada, we learn that Peter J. Valachos, age 23, is perhaps the only Greek aviator in Canada. He is now ...

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Greek Version:

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Valachos 8
RAF, Wellington Mk Ic T2875, 148 Squadron, Luqa, Malta, winter 1940-1941-2
Angela 1

ANGELA KARAMANOS

Angela Karamanos was born on 25 January 1996, a second-generation Greek American, child of John and Stella Karamanos. Her grandfather and grandmother from her father's side, Christopher and Penny Karamanos heritage is from Gytheio and Stoupa in Laconia and Messinia district. Similarly from her mother's side, Peter and Tia Paterrakis's heritage is from Crete (actually Angela is related to a previous USAF Thunderbird Commander and Vietnam War veteran, Chris G. Paterrakis - https://www.greeks-in-foreign-cockpits.com/pilots-crews/fighter-pilots/chris-patterakis/). Both families immigrated to the United States after WW2. Angela is fully aware of her great heritage and according to her words:


"I love my heritage and it has played a huge role in how I’ve grown up. Making people...


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English Version: https://www.greeks-in-foreign-cockpits.com/pilots-crews/nfos-wsos-mission-co/angela-karamanos/


Greek Version: https://www.greeks-in-foreign-cockpits.com/pilots-crews/nfos-wsos-mission-co/angela-karamanos-gr/

Angela 17
USAF, F-15E-45-MC, 88-1667, 389th Fighter Squadron, 366th Fighter Wing, Mountain Home AFB, summer 2021
Kantjas 28

JOHN N. KANTJAS

John Kantjas was born in Deary, Idaho, on August 29, 1919, and was the son of Nicolas J. Kantjas, a Greek emigrant, and his wife Winnifred Grace Taylor. Nicolas's origin was probably from Mainalo, a small Greek village in Tripoli, in the Peloponesse area, and his original name was Nikolaos Kantzavelos. When he arrived in Ellis Island in 1905 at the age of 22 years old he shortened it to be easier to pronounce in English. Nicolas wasn't the only one from his family to immigrate. His brother Napoleon came also and lived in Chicago, Illinois according to John’s recollections. Unfortunately, Nicolas died when John was only 13 years old. Because he had a younger brother and a sister and because his sister was mentally ill, his mother sent him to live on a friend's ranch in Idaho. He loved that place - always talked about it. He was an avid outdoorsman - loved to hunt, fish, and camp. After high school he worked his way through college by working as a lumberjack and afterward he attended the University of Idaho, studying logistics, to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). According to his daughter Linda:

"I heard that while he was on the Lexington Carrier he used to study hard for the CPA exam instead of goofing around with the others."

Probably while at ...

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Greek Version:

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Kantjas 2
USN, SB2C-3 BuNo xxxxx, VB-19, USS Lexington, July-November 1944
153253972_10223452986248195_4169345907959243223_n

SAMUEL S. SOULIS

Samuel Soulis was born in Lowell, Massachusetts in 1922, the son of Steve Soulis from Kalambaka, Trikala, and Katherine Arseniou Soulis. Later his family moved to Albany, New York. He graduated from Albany High School in 1940 and attended the College of St. Rose and Russell Sage. On July 28, 1942, he enlisted the US Army and entered the Gulf Coast Training Command with classification and preflight training in San Antonio Texas while his primary flight training took place in Coleman, Texas flying PT-19s with the 304th AAFFT. He continued his basic flight training in Waco Texas and advanced flying training in Eagle Pass, Texas. He graduated with Class 43-J as a Flight Officer and before his transfer overseas he completed his Operational Flight Training in Harris Neck, Georgia. While there he was attached to the 500th Fighter Bomber Squadron flying with AT-6 Harvards, P-40N Warhawks, and A-36 Apaches. According to the AAIR website, Samuel S. Soulis had an accident (LACSSP 5) in P-40N 43-24109 at Harris Neck AAF in Newport, Georgia, on March 27, 1944. LACSSP means Landing Accident, Stall/Spin, and 5 is the most serious category, which means the aircraft was destroyed. In the summer of 1944, he was posted overseas for combat duty. In August 1944 he was attached to CBI A.F.T.C for operational training. He flew ...

 

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Greek Version:

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Samuel - S- 7
USAAF, P-40N-15-CU, 42-106405, 25th Fighter Squadron, 51st Fighter Group, China
Giftos VC 3a

VASSILIOS C. "BILL" GIFTOS

Lieutenant Junior Grade Vassileios C. Giftos was born on December 20, 1922, the son of Constantine "Costi" Sarantos Giftos from Agios Petros, Αrcadia, and Helen Zee from Sparta. Constantine had lost his first wife, Helen Panesis from Agios Petros in Kilkis from flu during 1919, and remarried Helen Zee later. He was one of the five sons the couple had. According to his brother Peter, his father was appreciative to become a U.S. citizen and used to say, 'Don't you ever let me hear you say anything bad about this country,' He was proud of America." This however didn't stop him to teach his sons about Greece, the Greek language, and Orthodox beliefs something that is very clear in the application papers of Vassileios Officer Military File

Vassileios graduated from Pittsfield Highschool in 1940 and probably like many other Greek Americans motivated by the infamous Pearl Harbor raid and the gallant fight of Greece against the Axis and enlisted in the US Navy. He joined the Aviation Cadet V-5 training program on December 8, 1942, in NACSB (Naval Aviation Cadet Selection Board) New York, while attending Amherst College in Amherst MA,  hoping to be a Naval Aviator. He was called to attend the NPFS (Navy Pre-Flight School) in Chapel Hill, NC on June 3, 1943, which included...

 

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Greek Version:

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Giftos VC 1
USN, FM-2 Wildcat BuNo xxxxx, VC-86, USS Bismarck Sea, winter 1944-1945
Kavouklis 13

NICK 'GREEK' KAVOUKLIS

THE GREEK

Nick Kavouklis was born on March 7, 1953, in Tarpon Springs, Fl, he was the son of the late Nicketas N. Kavouklis and Elaine Walton Kavouklis. His family was one of the first Greek immigrant families in Tarpon Springs. His grandfather Lazaros Kavouklis was from Kalymnos island, married to Olga Moustastos who came from the island of Aegina in 1916 and settled in Tarpon Springs. Lazaros and Olga Kavouklis had four children, Nicketas, Katherine, Mary, and Evelyn. Lazaros immigrated to the United States along with his brother Nicholas, married to Athanasia Katsigre who came from the island of Hydra. As was the custom in those days Lazaros Kavouklis being the oldest brother, was the leader. When they came to Tarpon Springs they were poor people. But they worked together and did well. Quite naturally they worked in the sponge fishing industry. They bought a coffee shop on Athens Street near the sponge docks. Lazaros Kavouklis bought the home previously owned by Captain Sam Hope, one of the first settlers of Tarpon Springs. Nicholas Kavouklis bought a...

 

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Greek Version:

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Kavouklis 7
VF-32 TOMCAT 1
EPSON MFP image

GUS N. SERMOS

Gus Nick Sermos Father, Nick Gus Sermos heritage was from Gardiki, Lamia Greece and he was born on Feb 4, 1888. He immigrated to the United States at age 17 along with his brother or uncle George. His actual name was Nicholas Konstantinos Scarmoutsos and changed while at Ellis Island. He traveled to Price, Utah where he met a Greek friend, or he was his Uncle, named George Pappas who owned a store or restaurant. Nick later ran the General Store which was the candy store for the Mining Company. He married Louise/ Louisa Poole Hatch Sermos and was blessed with two children, Gus Nick Sermos and Helen Sermos who was four years older than Gus. They both went to Carbon High School. Gus was in the Band playing Tuba, in Debate Club and Tennis Club and he was also Boy Scout. According to his daughter Melinda:

"He made straight A's, I was told. He was very much an idealist and perfectionist and very patriotic and brilliant".

He entered service on July 17, 1941, in Salt Lake City, joining the NavCad. The volunteer naval reserve class V-5 Naval Aviation Cadet (NavCad) program purpose was to use civilian and enlisted candidates to train as aviation cadets. Candidates had to be....

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Greek Version:
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EPSON MFP image
USN, F6F-3 BuNo xxxxx, Gus Sermos, VF-50, USS Bataan
Diamanti 13

WALKER 'ALKIE' DIAMANTI

Walker (Alkiviades) Diamanti was born in Helper Utah in October 1921, the seventh son of Ioannis "John" Gregorios Diamanti(s) and Efthemia "Mae" Aguridis. John Diamanti(s), as well as Efthemia, came from a little village in central Greece called Mavrolithari, in Fokida, one of the highest villages in Greece at 1140m altitude. He was the oldest of five boys and dropped out of school at age eleven to herd sheep. He did that until he emigrated to the United States. As is the story with many immigrants, he begged and borrowed a few dollars. In those days, it took seventy dollars for a boat to Naples and from Naples to New York, with still enough head money to get you in when you arrived. John indebted himself to get to America. He arrived with the flood of immigrants coming at the time. He was picked up by a Greek labor organizer in New York and immediately put on a railroad labor gang, where he punched tunnels for $1.35 a ten-hour shift. This must have been foreign to him and very hard. But he saved money and ended up in Chicago as a butcher, which is closer to his line of work because during those days all Greeks knew how to butcher and skin animals. From there he received letters from his friends in Carbon County, Utah, who were working the coal mines. They bade him come where they said work was plentiful and wages were good. He came to Carbon County during 1904-1905. It was an active coal mining area. He went to Helper and went into the sheep business with an older Greek, who soon after departed. He was one of those Greek men who came to make it ....

For more details please click on the following link:
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Greek Version:
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Diamanti 6
USAAF, P-47D-27-RE, 42-26860, Angie, 512 FS, 406 FG - Stage 3 - late 1944 or early 1945
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