John Politis

What is most exciting about writing and researching about Greek and Greek parentage pilots in service with other Air Forces is when I meet one of these remarkable men who are willing to tell their story by themselves. The following is written by one extraordinary man and pilot who had a great career as an aviator which only recently came to its end. But as they say, "once an aviator, always an aviator". I'm very enthusiastic to present to the Greeks worldwide and also to any aviation enthusiast all over the world, John Politis, a member of the famous Canadian Aerobatic Team, the Snowbirds. In his own words:

"I was born in Athens in 1956. I immigrated to Canada as a two-year-old in 1958. My father was from Thouria, Kalamata and my Mother was from Athens. I can remember wanting to grow up and be a pilot since I was five years old. Flying lessons were expensive. My hard-working parents, who had only immigrated to Canada 14 years earlier, did not have the means to finance my training. So every night after school I worked full time, delivering food for a restaurant owned by my uncle, to earn the money required. I was 16 years old, the legal age to fly solo. Over the next 12 months, I flew as often as possible; at 17 years of age, I received my Private Pilots License. The following year, just after turning 18, I was accepted into the Canadian Air Force. I boarded a train (it was 1974) and waved a tearful goodbye to my parents and my Papou. I received my pilot’s wings


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Greek Version



John Politis 24
RCAF Tutor SB8

George Pappas

Second Lieutenant George J. Pappas was born in Caldwell, Texas in 1916, to Greek immigrant parents who arrived in the United States via Ellis Island, New York, seeking a better life and refuge from the oppression of the remnants of the Ottoman Empire both in Greece and in Asia Minor. His father John G. Pappas and his mother Georgia Pappas were from Moutsounitsa in the Fokida district in Greece. Georgia's family was from Halkidiki, then under Turkey's occupation, and end up in Thessaloniki. Pappas family eventually settled in Houston with his father John, who engaged in the restaurant business, where usually Greeks excelled. He was the oldest of 4 boys (Nick, Victor, and Thames), and the family was fiercely proud of its new homeland and citizenship. George loved to fly, and his patriotism and desire to serve the country that welcomed his parents and brothers never waned throughout his life. His beloved wife, Ella (“Pug”), had a similar Greek immigrant story and her father ran a confectionery candy store both in Houston. He attended Texas A&M and the University of Houston, before deciding to join the Army a year before Pearl Harbor. On November 25, 1940, he entered active duty and initially served briefly in the cavalry at Brownsville, Texas, before receiving his commission at Fort Knox, Kentucky. He later …

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Greek Version



Pappas G1
USAAF, B-17G-65-BO, 43-37533, 511 BS, 351 BG, August 1944

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