Colonel James A. Gianatsis was born on 9 October 1916. Son of a hard-working Greek hat cleaner and shoemaker, my grandfather, named Athanasios Demetrios Gianatsis immigrated with his wife Garifalia, to New York City on 1 November 1907. Athanasios heritage was from Rizospilia village, in Arcadia, Peloponnese, near the famous Dimitsana however my grandmother's place of birth isn't known. The couple married in Greece and came to the United States with the Reine D’ Italia ship, boarding on Piraeus. The couple raised 3 notable children who also went on to become great Americans. My Dad worked his way through college at the University of New York and George Washington University with a degree in Engineering as part of the Greatest Generation he joined the US Army Air Corps in 1941 and trained as a pilot to fight in World War Two. Upon graduation from flight school in Texas, he was commissioned as a First Lieutenant on June 23, 1942, trained with his bomber group at MacDill AFB, Florida, and Lake Charles, Louisiana, and was sent to Great Britain as part of the 386th Bomb Group - The Crusaders. He was promoted to 1st Lt on November 20, 1942. He served as the pilot of a Martin B-26 Marauder bomber with a crew of 5-7 and sent on dangerous precision low-level daylight bombing runs across Europe. However, he began facing the dangers of combat flying even before reaching England when he...


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Greek Version

Gianatsis 6
Gianatsis 12
USAAF, B-26B-15-MA 41-31585 'Blazing Heat', 553BS, 386BG, 23 June 1944