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Jim Harbilas

Jim Harbilas was born in Holyoke, Massachusetts to Nicholas and Angelika Harbilas. He and his siblings, William, Julie, John, and Sophie were the first generation to be born in the United States after their parents immigrated from Kouteli, Kalavryta, Greece. After graduating from Holyoke High School, Jim joined the US Navy as an Apprentice Seaman on May 28, 1940, and was selected to receive pilot training at Pensacola in 1942, joining the ranks of enlisted aviators known as Mustangs in a program entitled Silver Eagles which was an experimental pilot training program to train enlisted sailors as pilots, due to extreme war needs.  He was designated as Naval Aviation Pilot on May 18, 1942, and although most of the enlisted pilots either left the Navy or were rated as Warrant Officers, Jim became a Commissioned Officer and was named a Naval Aviator on December 23, 1943. He was assigned to VPB-34 Squadron while operating under Fleet Air Wing Eleven, based at Guantanamo Bay from October 1942 to June 1943. The core of the squadron's operations was training in a low-altitude bombing at night...


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Greek Version



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USN, PBY-5 BuNo 08496, Lt Ellis Fisher, VP-34, Samarai, Papua New Guineau, February 1944
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Alexander Armatas

Alexander Armatas is the son of the late Telemahos "Telly" Armatas, of Syracuse, NY, (passed away on December 10, 2013). Telemahos was born in Fterno, Lefkada, Greece to Spiro and Evangelia Armatas (Sklavenitis) on March 17, 1954. He moved to Syracuse from Athens, Greece at the age of 16 and, faced with the difficulties of young adulthood, he learned English and graduated from Nottingham High School. He went on to a number of jobs but ultimately landed at FedEx, where he worked as a courier for 27 years. He married Kathy Burke and the couple was blessed with four children, Alexander, Gabriel, Christopher, and Evangelia. Alexander’s passion for aviation was inherited from his father.

"He took me to the Syracuse airport when I was really young, probably six or seven years old. I remember seeing the airplanes and being fascinated. As I learned about aviation and developed my passion for aviation, I started to lean toward the military just because of the opportunities. I wanted to do the hardest thing there was to do in aviation and really challenge myself. At the time, and probably even now, you could argue the hardest thing to do in aviation is to land a high-performance aircraft on an aircraft carrier. There’s only one place you can do that."

Alexander Armatas went to school in Jordan-Elbridge and finished his last two years of high school in Skaneateles. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 2002 with a Bachelor of Science in aerospace engineering. Alexander was designated a Naval Aviator at Naval Air Station (NAS) Meridian, Mississippi, in June 2005, and received order to...


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Greek Version



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USN FA-18E BlueAngels I

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