Born in Richmond, Calif., in 1922, John and his sister Martha were the children of Greek immigrants Anthony and Iphigenia Papadakis. He attended the San Francisco City College and completed the CPT program and he was there when Pearl Harbor was attacked in 1941. John immediately volunteered and was accepted into the U.S. Navy pilot training program. So began his lifelong love of aviation. From his file, we know that except for English he also spoke Greek, Spanish, and French. He enlisted as an Aviation Cadet V-5 in NACSB - Naval Aviation Cadet Selection Board on October 9, 1942. He was transferred to U.S. Navy Pre-Flight School at St. Mary’s College, California on May 6, 1943. He continued his Primary Flight Training in NAS Pasco, Washington on July 29, 1943, and completed it successfully on October 14, 1943. Two days later he received orders to move to NAS Corpus Christi, Texas for Basic Training and arrived there on October 21. Commissioned as an ensign Naval Aviator, at Corpus Christi, Texas on April 5, 1944. Served with...
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