Boeing KC-135 Family

FRANKLIN A. CARAS

Franklin A. Caras (Kyriakos or Kyreakos) was born on January 19, 1934, in Spanish Fork, Utah County and was the son of the Greek immigrant Angel Caras and his wife Mary Caras (Sorenson). Angel was almost 15 years old when he left Greece around 1912 and his heritage was from Leontion village in Achaia district in Peloponnese. The couple was blessed to have 6 children. In approximately 1935, Angel Caras imported three bred Suffolk ewes from Canada. His oldest son, Earnest, wanted to begin a flock of sheep as a Future Farmers of America project. At one time the business consisted of father, Angel, sons, Earnest, Andrew, Franklin, and Jim. They called it Angel Caras and Sons. Later Angel became a Mormon and both he and his wife Mary were the first Mormon missionaries in Greece and while getting back home he met his family members in his village. Franklin graduated from Spanish Fork High School and attended Utah State University in Logan where he was affiliated with ROTC and applied for pilot training in the United States Air Force on April 21, 1955, in Parks AFB, CA. An interesting detail is that when Frank was younger...

For more click the link below.

https://www.greeks-in-foreign-cockpits.com/pilots-crews/fighter-pilots/franklin-caras/

 

 

 

 

Caras 23
Cdr. George Pappas 14

GEORGE T. PAPPAS

Commander George T. Pappas, USN, was born in Birmingham, Alabama in 1940. He was the son of the Greek immigrant Theodore Pappas and Ruby Pappas. Theodore came in the United States traveling from Pireus to New York onboard a ship named Constantinople in 1923 while he was 28 years old while Ruby was born in Scotland about 1909. Like many Greeks, he started his own restaurant business. George entered the Navy in 1950 as a Naval Aviation Cadet after attending the Howard College and then the University of Alabama and he was a great football player He earned his Navy Wings of Gold in May 1952. He served his first tour of duty with VA-104 at NAS Jacksonville, Fla. flying the FG-1D Corsair and later the AD Skyraider. This was followed by two years of academic study in economics at the University of Alabama. In February of 1957, he reported to the Basic Training Command and became a flight instructor. After attending a year of school at the U. S. Naval Post-graduate School, Monterey he resumed his role as an attack pilot in VA-165 while performing as the Aircraft Maintenance Officer. His next tour...

For more click the link below.

https://www.greeks-in-foreign-cockpits.com/pilots-crews/fighter-pilots/george-pappas/

 

 

 

 

Cdr. George Pappas 4
PH007

GUS J. STATHIS

Konstantine Efstathiou Stathis was born in 1941 in Jacksonville, Florida. His father Ioannis was born in Leonidio, Peloponnese and his mother Metaxia is from Spetses and grew up in Athens. His parents emigrated to the United States from Greece in 1936 and settled in Jacksonville, Florida. His father Ioannis, opened the Stathis Restaurant near the Naval Base and was known for not charging servicemen for food. His uncle John M. Cocoris, also from Leonidio, introduced sponge diving to Tarpon Springs in 1905 and recruited Greek sponge divers from the Dodecanese Islands. Nobody could write about his career other than Lt. Col. Gus J. Stathis.

“I graduated in1963 from ‘The Citadel’ Military College, South Carolina. Because I did not like to march, they offered me the chance to be in the flying program, which was the first step to flight training. After graduation, I entered the United States Air Force Flight Training Program at Laredo AFB, Texas. The first jet plane I flew was the T-37 and then the T-33. In order to graduate from Flight School...

For more click the link below.

https://www.greeks-in-foreign-cockpits.com/pilots-crews/fighter-pilots/gus-stathis/

 

 

 

 

PH001
Chirigotis 4

STEVE CHIRIGOTIS

Steve Chirigotis was born on August 3, 1924, in New Bedford, Massachusetts where he grew up and went to school. He was the son of Anthony Chirigotis and Pota Levakos, both from Githio Greece, who emigrated in the United States in 1912. During WW2 Steve, originally named as “Stavalus Tserigotis” enlisted in the United States Army Air Force and trained as a gunner/radio operator. He was posted for overseas duty in Europe, specifically the 15th AF and flew missions from Pantanella Army Air Base, Italy, serving with the 781st BS, 465th BG. He flew his first mission on 10 May 1944....

For more click the link below.

https://www.greeks-in-foreign-cockpits.com/pilots-crews/gunners/steve-chirigotis/

 

 

 

 

Chirigotis 3
Vergados Promo

PETER (PERICLES) J. VERGADOS

My father Demetrios Pericles Vergados, in 1920 at 11 years old was taken by his father (My Grandfather) and brought to Boston, Massachusetts, where they sold fruits and vegetables from a horse-drawn carriage. They returned to Greece during the 1930s. A few years later, my father returned to Boston and opened up a restaurant-liquor establishment. Sometime during the early 1950s, my dad came home and announced we were going to visit a local Air Force Base and watch one of the first jet fighter aircraft perform. After making high speed passes the pilot landed, parked the Jet, climbed down the ladder carrying his flying helmet and walked past me. I then looked up and my mother and told her someday I would fly jets. I was Commissioned as a 2nd June 4, 1964, after graduating from Boston University where I studied Aeronautical Engineering. Graduated from USAF Pilot...

For more click the link below.

https://www.greeks-in-foreign-cockpits.com/pilots-crews/fighter-pilots/peter-vergados/

 

 

 

 

Vergados 19
promo copy

RHAF CLASS 21-B US TRAINING

From the year 1947 and onwards, the US Air Force Mission in Greece undertakes the financial support of (then) Royal Hellenic Air Force (RHAF) replacing the British Air Mission, which of course continues its direct involvement in RHAF issues. It was more than obvious that the time of re-equipment, the education and reorganization of the structure of RHAF would be based on US standards. The RHAF ΗQ’s considering the new doctrine which would transform the air force decided to send some of the aviation cadets, known in Greece as ‘Icarus’, to be trained in the United States. The high education costs, which reached $ 50,000 per student, for a full educational cycle, dictated that only a small number of aviation cadets could be trained overseas. Fifty young Greek men transferred from March 8, 1948, with successive flights of the C-54 Skymaster of the Military Air Transport Command, to the United States. These students belong to the 21-B Class and they were accepted for training in RHAF, on February 21, 1948. The 21-A-Class began its training 2 months earlier and it had already decided to be trained entirely in Greece. The RHAF students were based is Randolph Air Force Base, in San Antonio, Texas, .....

For more click the link below.

https://www.greeks-in-foreign-cockpits.com/pilots-crews/royal-hellenic-air-force-hellenic-air-force/rhaf-training-us/

 

 

 

 

othon p-80
Demades Combo 4

DEMOSTHENES DEMADES

Sergeant Demosthenes Demades was a Greek pilot of the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve who died during the Second World War. He was born in 1919, the son of Captain Anthony and Zinovia Demades, of Piraeus, Greece. He was studying in Newcastle when Greece entered the war and he tried to return to his homeland in order to join the armed forces. Unable to travel to Greece he opted for service with the Allies wanting to be a pilot. After enlisting to RAF, Demades was sent to Canada in order to attend the BCATP. His initial flight training took place in No.33 EFTS at Caron Canada flying DH82As Tiger Moths. He continued to No.41 SFTS at Weyburn, Canada flying the famous Harvard, before he returned back to England. Once back on the British Isles he was posted to No.5 (F) AFU and Miles Masters and then he proceeded for his operational training on Spitfires in No. 57 OTU at RAF Eshott. On October 11, 1943, he took off, flying his Supermarine Spitfire Mk.I R7063 for a training sortie, practicing attacks, climbs and dogfights with his instructor P/O Charron. During their engagement, Demades fighter spun in and crashed at Eshott Hall, near Morpeth at 16:14. According to...

For more click the link below.

https://www.greeks-in-foreign-cockpits.com/pilots-crews/fighter-pilots/demosthenes-demades/

 

 

 

 

Demades 1
Ladas Post

ANTHONY E. LADAS

Lt. Antony E. Ladas was born on December 16, 1922 and he was the first born son of the Greek immigrant from Tenedos Island in the Aegean, Ernest A. Ladas. Ernest came in the United States in 1907. His wife was Nellie Clough Ladas and the couple had also three girls, Helen, την Cynthia και την Crysanthy. After his training and promoted to 2nd Lt. Antony (O-810522) he was posted in England and served with the 9TH Air Force, 363rd Fighter (Bomber) Group, 382nd Fighter (Bomber) Squadron. He arrived in the squadron on February 5, 1944 and soon began flying escort and ground attack missions over Northwest Europe. He was killed in action on May 28, 1944. While flying an bomber escort mission to Frankfurt, Germany, Anthony’s fighter, a P-51B-10, #42-106486, had collided with the P-47D #42-26016 which was flown by Captain Juchheim , a well known ace of the 78th FG. More details were given in the Missing Air Crew Report 5138, specifically the statement of 1st Lt John R. Brown, Jr.,( O-795905) of the same flight, dated 30 May 1944: 

“On May 28, 1944, Lt Ladas was flying #4 position in my flight. The mission was escort of heavy bombers to Frankfurt Germany.

For more click the link below.

https://www.greeks-in-foreign-cockpits.com/pilots-crews/fighter-pilots/anthony-ladas/

 

 

 

 

Ladas 1

CHARLES PETRAKOS

Petrakos Post

Not Every Hero Flew.

Tribute to Charles Petrakos. The first Greek - American awarded the Silver Star in WW2 for heroic actions during the Pearl Harbor raid, where he shot down one Zero and probably one more! For more details follow the link below:

https://www.greeks-in-foreign-cockpits.com/pilots-crews/gunners/charles-petrakos/

23379857_1932388250108795_9168000523041875731_n

ALEXANDER & WILLIAM (BILL) PHILLIPS

POST

Like Father Like Son. Tribute to Greek American family of US Army Gunners during WW2 and Vietnam Wars, flying with B-17s (92nd BG) and UH-1s (282nd AHC). We urge you to read the stories of Alexander Phillips and his son William (Bill) Phillips who honored both the United States and Greece with their service and bravery, following the links below:

 

https://www.greeks-in-foreign-cockpits.com/pilots-crews/gunners/alexander-phillips/

 

https://www.greeks-in-foreign-cockpits.com/pilots-crews/gunners/william-phillips/

© 2017-2019 Dimitris Vassilopoulos - All Rights Reserved