Sarris 7

Frank Sarris

Frank J. Sarris was born on December 8, 1917, in Newport, Rhode Island, in the USA. His parents were Greek immigrants, John Sarris and Maria Lafiotis, both originally from the beautiful island of Skiathos. Frank's father first arrived in the USA between 1900 and 1905 to obtain American citizenship. To achieve this, John Sarris volunteered for the U.S. Army during World War I, serving in France with the 6th Engineer Regiment before returning injured to the USA. In November 1915, he married Maria in Providence, Rhode Island, and later, after moving to Newport, they had four children: Rose (1916), Frank (1917), Koula (1919), and George (1922). Frank enlisted in the Rhode Island National Guard and served three years before being discharged. He then reenlisted in the National Guard for another four months before joining the U.S. Navy on November 1, 1939, as a "Seaman Apprentice" with a prospect of six years of service. In January 1940, he was assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Ranger (CV-4), where the impressive sight of aircraft taking off and landing on the flight deck profoundly influenced young Frank. Due to the needs of the war, the Navy's requirements were reduced from the required two years of college or university studies, allowing Frank to apply for pilot training. On January 5, 1943, he reported to Pre-Flight Training School at the Naval Air Station in Athens, Georgia. On October 12, 1943, after completing all tests, Frank was designated an "Aviation Pilot 1st Class" and a few days later...

For more details please click the following link:

https://www.greeks-in-foreign-cockpits.com/pilots-crews/fighter-pilots/frank-sarris/

Greek Version

https://www.greeks-in-foreign-cockpits.com/pilots-crews/fighter-pilots/frank-sarris-gr/

Sarris 1
USN, F6F-5 BuNo xxxxx, VF-37, USS Sangamon
Stargu 9

John Stargu

Born in Clayton, N.J. on Feb. 29, 1924, John Stargu was the son of the late George and Despina (Moshovos) Stargu. According to his son, Nick, the original name was Stergiou but the authorities in Ellis Island wrote it as Stargu. George's heritage was from Mykonos Island while Despina was from Samos Island, both in the Aegean Archipelago. John graduated from Bloomfield High School and was employed by Danaher Ford and M&E Ford.  During WWII he enlisted in the United States Army Air Force (USAAF) and trained as a Flight Engineer and Top turret gunner in the B-24 Liberators. He met his crew during their joint training in Pueblo Air Force Base in Colorado, in January 1943, his captain was Robert Blair. One interesting note is that the crew's tail gunner was named Vlachos, almost certainly another Greek American. When their training was over, they were assigned for service in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations (MTO) specifically the 451st Bomb Group, based in Italy. The whole crew went to Herrington in Kansas in order to deliver a new bomber equipped with radar. According to Blair before their journey to Europe, the bombardier and three gunners were sent by boat while the rest of the crew along with two radar engineers and spare parts, however when they arrived in Italy, they never...

 

For more details please click the following link:

https://www.greeks-in-foreign-cockpits.com/pilots-crews/gunners/john-stargu/

Greek Version

https://www.greeks-in-foreign-cockpits.com/pilots-crews/gunners/john-stargu-gr/

 

 

Stargu 1
USAAF, B-24H-1-FO, 42-7697, The Stork, 720 BS, 450 BG, Manduria Airfield, Italy, 1944
The Terrible Greeks

The "Terrible Greeks"

While researching we usually find many interesting stories regarding the Greek parentage pilots and crews service from WW1 till our days. In Volume B of our book, we honored two Greek American pilots who flew with the famous 23rd Fighter Group, James Vurgaropulos (75th FS) and Harry Zavakos (76th FS). The two pilots flew in the same Group but in separate Squadrons and naturally they flew some common missions. However, there is one mission in which the two Greek Americans flew a reconnaissance mission as a pair, deep behind the enemy lines with one covering the other. Both Harry and Vurgie, as James was known to his squadron mates, were very popular in their Group and usually known as "The Greeks". On June 1, 1944, the 23rd FG war diary wrote:

"The last mission of the day was a recon of Ichang and Kingmen, far northern airfields. This was made by the "Terrible Greeks", Vurgaropulos of the 75th FS and Zavakos of the 76th FS."

Below is an excerpt from James Vurgaropoulos chapter in which we refer to that mission with further details:  

"Approximately 40 minutes later, Lieutenant (I) Vurgaropulos took to the air again, this time as a pair leader, accompanying another pilot on a reconnaissance mission over two enemy airfields, Tangyang and Kingmen. What makes this particular case remarkable is that Vurgaropulos' wingman for this mission was also Greek—Lieutenant (I) Harry Zavakos, serving with the 76th Fighter Squadron. The 75th and 76th Squadrons often conducted joint operations, and now they operated from the same airfield. Given their Greek ancestry and shared service in the same group, it is safe to assume that Vurgaropulos and Zavakos were well-acquainted, possibly even friends. Their joint participation in the mission eliminates any doubt about their familiarity with each other. This occurrence is likely the only instance in World War II's history where two Greek American fighter pilots flew together as a pair on a combat mission, excluding cases where Greek members served as crews in the USAAF's Bomb Groups. These Bomb Groups occasionally had at least two, and sometimes even three, Greek members in the same aircrew. The endeavors of Greek American aviators who served on USAAF bombers are extensive and noteworthy, deserving a separate publication in the future. The 75th Squadron pilots, including Vurgaropulos, primarily flew missions with the P-40N aircraft. In contrast, Zavakos and his fellow pilots in the 76th Squadron utilized the P-51B, having received this aircraft type (P-51A) in November 1943. However, the reconnaissance mission required deep penetration of enemy airspace and an extended stay over the target area. Consequently, the probability of encountering a formidable enemy fighter opposition was high, rendering two lone aircraft of different types and capabilities vulnerable. Considering the hazardous nature of the mission, it was decided, likely with the agreement of both pilots, that Vurgaropulos would not employ the P-40N Warhawk. Instead, the P-51B was chosen for both pilots, ensuring uniformity, shared technical characteristics, and, most importantly, superior performance compared to the P-40N. The P-51B offered greater autonomy, higher speed, and superior maneuverability, enhancing their chances of survival. Moreover, James was among the first pilots in the 75th Squadron certified to operate the Mustang. At 16:50, the two Greek Americans took off from Hengyang airfield in their respective P-51B Mustangs, heading towards the Tangyang and Kingmen airfields. Upon reaching the target area, the pilots encountered specific weather conditions. A thin layer of clouds at 12,000 feet limited visibility to 2 miles, while dense ground fog prevailed. These adverse weather conditions made reconnaissance difficult. However, flying at low altitudes, the two Greek pilots discovered no enemy aircraft at Tangyang. They also detected no enemy formations in the airspace surrounding the airfield. Poor visibility proved to be both a hindrance and an advantage for the pilots. At Kingmen Airport, the fog was so thick that observation became nearly impossible. However, this also prevented the anti-aircraft guns from detecting the two Mustangs in a timely manner. Despite the challenges faced by Vurgaropulos and Zavakos, they found small openings in the weather and conducted low-altitude passes, confirming the absence of enemy aircraft at Kingmen as well. It was likely that the enemy aircraft had relocated to other areas of the front to support Japanese operations. At precisely 19:00 hours, the two pilots safely returned to Hengyang airfield, having successfully completed their mission."

For short biographies for both pilots please follow the links below. Because the book "GREEKS IN FOREIGN COCKPITS" volume B is out of stock, there is a plan in the future to add both chapters in the Greek language in PDF as displayed in the volume.

 

James Vurgropulos

https://www.greeks-in-foreign-cockpits.com/pilots-crews/fighter-pilots/james-vurgaropulos/

Greek Version: 

https://www.greeks-in-foreign-cockpits.com/pilots-crews/fighter-pilots/james-vurgaropulos-gr/

 

Harry Zavakos

https://www.greeks-in-foreign-cockpits.com/pilots-crews/fighter-pilots/harry-zavakos/

Greek Version

https://www.greeks-in-foreign-cockpits.com/pilots-crews/fighter-pilots/harry-zavakos-gr/

James-Vurgaropulos cropped
zavakos harry

Κατά τη διάρκεια της έρευνας μας συνήθως βρίσκουμε πολλές ενδιαφέρουσες ιστορίες σχετικά με τους ελληνικής καταγωγής αεροπόρους που υπηρέτησαν από τον Α' Παγκόσμιο Πόλεμο μέχρι τις ημέρες μας. Στον Β' τόμο του βιβλίου μας τιμήσαμε δύο Ελληνοαμερικανούς πιλότους που πέταξαν με την περίφημη 23η Πτέρυγα Μαχητικών, τον James Vurgaropulos (75η Μοίρα) και τον Harry Zavakos (76η Μοίρα). Οι δύο πιλότοι πέταξαν στην ίδια Πτέρυγα αλλά σε ξεχωριστές Μοίρες και όπως ήταν φυσικό πέταξαν κάποιες κοινές αποστολές. Ωστόσο, υπάρχει μια αποστολή, στην οποία οι δύο Ελληνοαμερικανοί πέταξαν μια αποστολή αναγνώρισης ως ζευγάρι, βαθιά πίσω από τις εχθρικές γραμμές, με τον έναν να καλύπτει τον άλλον. Τόσο ο Harry όσο και ο Vurgie, όπως ήταν γνωστός ο James στους συναδέλφους του, ήταν πολύ δημοφιλείς στην Πτέρυγά τους και συνήθως ήταν γνωστοί ως "Οι Έλληνες". Την 1η Ιουνίου 1944 το πολεμικό ημερολόγιο της 23ης FG έγραφε:

«Η τελευταία αποστολή της ημέρας αφορούσε την αναγνώριση στα βορειότερα αεροδρόμια του Ichang και του Kingmen. Αυτή εκτελέστηκε από τους «Τρομερούς Έλληνες», τον Vurgaropulos της 75ης Μοίρας και τον Zavakos της 76ης»

Ακολουθεί ένα απόσπασμα από το κεφάλαιο του James Vurgaropoulos στο οποίο αναφερόμαστε σε αυτή την αποστολή με περισσότερες λεπτομέρειες:

«Περίπου 40 ́ λεπτά αργότερα ο Υπολοχαγός (Ι)  Vurgaropulos  πετώντας  ως  αρχηγός ζεύγους, βρέθηκε και πάλι στον αέρα, καθώς μαζί με έναν ακόμη χειριστή, διατάχτηκαν να εκτελέσουν αποστολή αναγνωρίσεως άνωθεν δύο εχθρικών αεροδρομίων, στο Tangyang και στο Kingmen. Το εκπληκτικό στην συγκεκριμένη περίπτωση είναι ότι ο χειριστής που πετούσε ως Νο.2 του James, σε αυτή την αποστολή, ήταν επίσης Έλληνας! Επρόκειτο για τον Υπολοχαγό (I) Harry Zavakos, ο οποίος υπηρετούσε στην 76η Μοίρα Μαχητικών, της οποίας οι χειριστές, πετούσαν συχνά σε κοινές επιχειρήσεις με τους Ιπταμένους της 75ης Μοίρας, ενώ πλέον επιχειρούσαν μαζί και από το ίδιο αεροδρόμιο. Αναμφίβολα οι δύο άνδρες, συνυπηρετώντας στην ίδια Πτέρυγα και με αφορμή την Ελληνική τους καταγωγή, σίγουρα γνώριζαν πολύ καλά ο ένας τον άλλο και πιθανότατα να ήταν και φίλοι. Άλλωστε η κοινή τους συμμετοχή στην εν λόγω αποστολή, δεν αφήνει περιθώρια αμφισβήτησης για την γνωριμία μεταξύ τους. Επίσης πιθανόν να πρόκειται για την μοναδική φορά, στα χρονικά του Β ́ Παγκοσμίου Πολέμου, που δύο Ελληνοαμερικανοί χειριστές διώξεως, πέταξαν μαζί ως ζεύγος, στην ίδια πολεμική αποστολή. Εξαιρούνται οι περιπτώσεις των Ιπταμένων που υπηρέτησαν ως πληρώματα στις πολυπληθέστερες Πτέρυγες Βομβαρδισμού (Bomb Groups) της USAAF, καθώς ορισμένες φορές υπήρξαν τουλάχιστον δύο ή και τρεις (σπανιότερα) Έλληνες, που ήταν μέλη του ίδιου αεροπορικού πληρώματος. Η δράσις των Ελληνοαμερικανών αεροπόρων που υπηρέτησαν στα βομβαρδιστικά της USAAF, είναι ένα άλλο τεράστιο, όσο και αξιόλογο κεφάλαιο, που ερευνήθηκε επισταμένως κατά το παρελθόν και θα αποτελέσει στο απώτερο μέλλον, αντικείμενο ξεχωριστής έκδοσης.  Τα  αεροσκάφη  με  τα  οποία  συνήθως  πετούσαν  σε  αποστολές  ο Vurgaropulos και οι συνάδελφοί του στην 75η Μοίρα ήταν τα Ρ-40Ν, ενώ αντίθετα ο Zavakos και οι υπόλοιποι χειριστές της 76ης Μοίρας χρησιμοποιούσαν τα Ρ-51Β, έχοντας ήδη παραλάβει τον συγκεκριμένο τύπο (Ρ-51Α) από τον Νοέμβριο του 1943. Η αποστολή αναγνωρίσεως όμως, των εχθρικών αεροδρομίων, απαιτούσε διείσδυση σε μεγάλο βάθος στον εχθρικό εναέριο χώρο και πολύωρη παραμονή πάνω από την περιοχή του στόχου. Πρακτικά αυτό σήμαινε ότι υπήρχε μεγάλη πιθανότητα εμφάνισης ισχυρής εχθρικής διώξεως, γεγονός το οποίο θα καθιστούσε ευάλωτα δύο μοναχικά αεροσκάφη, διαφορετικού τύπου και επιδόσεων, που δεν θα είχαν τις ίδιες δυνατότητες αλληλοκάλυψης. Έτσι λοιπόν εξαιτίας των επικίνδυνων παραμέτρων της αποστολής που θα εκτελούσαν, αποφασίστηκε, πιθανόν με τη σύμφωνη γνώμη και των δύο χειριστών, να μη χρησιμοποιήσει ο Vurgaropulos το P-40N Warhawk. Προτιμήθηκαν και για τους δύο τα Ρ-51Β, για λόγους ομοιοτυπίας, κοινών τεχνικών χαρακτηριστικών, αλλά κυρίως, λόγω των καλύτερων επιδόσεων που διέθεταν, σε σύγκριση με τα Ρ-40Ν, όπως πχ. μεγαλύτερη αυτονομία, υψηλότερη ταχύτητα και ανώτερη ευελιξία. Ιδιότητες δηλαδή που θα αύξαναν την επιβιωσιμότητά τους. Επιπλέον ο James ήταν από τους πρώτους πιλότους της 75ης Μοίρας που πιστοποιήθηκαν στο Mustang. Στις 16:50 οι δύο Ελληνοαμερικανοί απογειώθηκαν από το αεροδρόμιο του Hengyang με δύο P-51B Mustang και κατευθύνθηκαν προς την περιοχή των αεροδρομίων στο Tangyang και στο Kingmen. Η καιρική κατάσταση που συνάντησαν οι χειριστές πάνω από τον στόχο, συνίσταντο σε ένα λεπτό στρώμα νεφών στα 12.000 πόδια, με την ορατότητα να φθάνει στα 2 μίλια, ενώ στο έδαφος υπήρχαν πυκνές ομίχλες. Αν και η αναγνώριση, λόγω των κακών καιρικών συνθηκών, κατέστη δυσχερής, οι δύο Έλληνες πετώντας σε χαμηλό ύψος διαπίστωσαν ότι στο Tangyang δεν υπήρχαν εχθρικά αεροσκάφη, ενώ στον εναέριο χώρο πάνω από την ευρύτερη περιοχή του αεροδρομίου, δεν εντοπίστηκε κάποιος εχθρικός σχηματισμός. Η κακή ορατότητα αποδείχτηκε, ταυτόχρονα, εχθρός αλλά και σύμμαχος των χειριστών. Στο αεροδρόμιο του Kingmen η ομίχλη ήταν τόσο πυκνή που η παρατήρηση ήταν σχεδόν αδύνατη. Παράλληλα όμως απέτρεψε τον έγκαιρο εντοπισμό των δύο Mustang, από τις ομοχειρίες των αντιαεροπορικών. Παρά τις δυσκολίες που αντιμετώπισαν ο Vurgaropulos και ο Zavakos, κατάφεραν να βρουν κάποια μικρά ανοίγματα του καιρού και με χαμηλές διελεύσεις να διαπιστώσουν ότι και σε αυτό το αεροδρόμιο, δεν υπήρχαν σταθμευμένα εχθρικά αεροσκάφη. Πιθανόν να είχαν μετακινηθεί σε άλλους τομείς του μετώπου προς υποστήριξη των Ιαπωνικών επιχειρήσεων. Στις 19:00 ακριβώς οι δύο χειριστές, έχοντας ολοκληρώσει με επιτυχία την αποστολή τους, επέστρεψαν στο αεροδρόμιο του Hengyang, όπου και προσγειώθηκαν με ασφάλεια».

Σύντομες βιογραφίες ακολουθούν στους παρακάτω συνδέσμους. Δεδομένου ότι ο Β' Τόμος της σειράς ΕΛΛΗΝΕΣ ΣΕ ΞΕΝΑ COCKPIT είναι εξαντλημένος, στο μέλλον θα αναρτηθεί το κεφάλαιο σε μορφή pdf όπως ακριβώς είναι στις σελίδες του βιβλίου.

 

James Vurgropulos

https://www.greeks-in-foreign-cockpits.com/pilots-crews/fighter-pilots/james-vurgaropulos/

Greek Version: 

https://www.greeks-in-foreign-cockpits.com/pilots-crews/fighter-pilots/james-vurgaropulos-gr/

 

Harry Zavakos

https://www.greeks-in-foreign-cockpits.com/pilots-crews/fighter-pilots/harry-zavakos/

Greek Version

https://www.greeks-in-foreign-cockpits.com/pilots-crews/fighter-pilots/harry-zavakos-gr/

 

George Santamouris’ painting (with his distinctive style which is close to comic or tribal art) was created to honour the mission when the two Greek pilots of the 23rd FG flew as a pair. Although they both actually flew P-51B in that mission we decided to feature the fighters they usually flew, a P-40N for Vurgaropulos and a P-51A for Zavakos.

Ο πίνακας του Γιώργου Σανταμούρη (με το ιδιαίτερο στυλ του, το οποίο είναι κοντά σε comic ή tribal art) δημιουργήθηκε προς τιμήν της συγκεκριμένης αποστολής κατά την οποία οι δύο Έλληνες πιλότοι της 23ης FG πέταξαν ως ζευγάρι. Αν και στην πραγματικότητα και οι δύο πέταξαν P-51B σε εκείνη την ημέρα, αποφασίσαμε να παρουσιάσουμε τα μαχητικά που πετούσαν συνήθως, ένα P-40N για τον Vurgaropulos και ένα P-51A για τον Zavakos.

Vlassie 21

Nicholas A. Vlassie

Nicholas  Andrew Vlassie, born on May 23, 1918, was the son of Andrew Constantine Vlassie from Corinth, Greece, and Photoula Vlassie (Nicholaides). Nick was the oldest followed by Emanuel (aka Manoli) who also served in the Royal Canadian Air Force, stationed at No. 3 Wireless School, Tuxedo during the Second World War, then Constantine and 14 years later his sister Katina was born.  Andrew came over in the early 1900s, landed in Rochester, New York and later went to LA. While he was in California he was contacted by a cousin in Winnipeg, who worked at the Royal Alexandra Hotel on Higgins, and told him to come to Winnipeg because it was a booming town and there was lots of work. It was called the "Chicago of the North". Andrew packed up and went to Canada, where he also started working at the hotel. Photoula came over in 1914 when she was 16 years old (born in 1898). Andrew wrote to her father to ask him for her hand in marriage and accepted only after he gave her daughter the choice. It is most probable that they knew each other as their families were both from Corinth. After the war, Andrew and his two sons Manoli and Constantine (Gus) purchased The Chocolate Shop, one of the oldest restaurants on Portage Avenue. This family business, a Winnipeg institution, was renowned for gorgeous pastries baked on the second floor and was a regular hangout for many. Manoli and Gus worked The Chocolate Shop for several decades and probably Nicholas would have joined them had he survived the war. Nicholas attended Gladstone and Kelvin Schools and was manager of the College Inn, Portage Avenue before enlistment. He was eager to join the war effort and it is certain that the Greek resistance against the Italian and German invaders motivated him. Actually, he did participate in actions of the Greek Canadian Winnipeg community to aid the war-harassed people of Greece, specifically two dances in which he was dressed in evzone, dancing with Greek folklore music. Nicholas honored Greek customs and according to his file he also spoke Greek fluently. He joined RCAF on September 14, 1942. Later he was posted to...

 

For more details please click the following link:

https://www.greeks-in-foreign-cockpits.com/pilots-crews/bombardiers-and-navigators/nicholas-vlassie/

Greek Version

https://www.greeks-in-foreign-cockpits.com/pilots-crews/bombardiers-and-navigators/nicholas-vlassie-gr/

 

 

Vlassie 5
Vlassie 8
Nicholas Vlassie LL919
Manos - Post

William Manos

William Stanley Manos was born in Portland, Oregon on January 21, 1923. His father Basilios Manolis was from a village named Roeino, in Arcadia District and came to the United States in 1918, where he shortened his changed his name to William Bill Manos. He married his sweetheart and had two children, Doris and William. Bill always think of Greece and he used to tell stories to his children about his days in his village. William finished his school studies and worked at the family restaurant as well as a Clark driver in Iron Fireman MFG. When WW2 broke out he applied for the USAAF and he was accepted, reporting to Santa Anna, California in February 1943. Completing his training the young 2nd Lt was posted to the 497th Fighter Squadron in order to proceed to his operational training on P-47 Thunderbolts. Having logged 300 flying hours (90 in fighters) he was transferred to the 9th Air Force and posted to the 406th FG and specifically in the 513th Fighter Squadron. William flew his first missions some days before the operation Overlord and took part in 4 missions during the D-Day and the days following the invasion. Except for the ground support missions for the invading allied armies he also...

 

For more details please click the following link:

https://www.greeks-in-foreign-cockpits.com/pilots-crews/fighter-pilots/william-s-manos/

Greek Version

https://www.greeks-in-foreign-cockpits.com/pilots-crews/fighter-pilots/william-s-manos-gr/

 

 

Manos
US, P-47D-30-RA, 44-33547, William Manos, 513 FS, 406 FG
Shreveport B-17

Shreveport AHEPA B-17

On this page we tribute the men and women of Greek heritage, who served, fought, and died for freedom around the globe, from WW1 till our days, flying and supporting fighters and bombers for every major allied air force. However, in this post we do honor the men and women of the American Hellenic Educational and Progressive Association (AHEPA) who raised a tremendous amount of money during WW2, to support the war effort and their children who were fighting in all the war fronts as well as to liberate their fatherland, Greece. A rare story not heard in Greece at least is that the Shreveport AHEPA Chapter 8, managed to exceed its sales goal and they not only purchased a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress for the USAAF but also managed to name it after their Chapter. The Shreveport Journal back in 1943 covered the big event.
 
 
AHEPA BOND SALE IS BIG SUCCESS
 
Bomber Will Be Named For Shreveport as Result of Record Campaign
 
By more than quadrupling their original quota of $120.000 and pushing on a revised goal of $500.000 in war bond sales, members of American Hellenic Educational and Progressive Association (AHEPA) have made it possible to name a huge Army bomber for Shreveport and the Ahepa. Announcement that the half-million mark on bond sales had been passed was made Thursday by J.K. Theo, executive secretary of the association, Mr. Theo reported around $525.000 in sales. Although assured that if a goal of $300.000 was reached by Feb. 22, originally set as the end of the drive, that a bomber would be named for Shreveport and the Ahepa, Mr. Theo and his committee, headed by Harry Patterson, chairman, decided to continue their efforts for a half-million total sales. "The members were showing such enthusiasm that we did not want to quit,” Mr. Theo said. "There was no use of stopping a good thing that is so important in this time of national emergency." Since the opening of the campaign Dec. 15, the Ahepa has maintained an office at 316 Milam Street where a staff of workers was on hand each day to sell bonds. In the meantime, members of the Ahepa spent much of their time contacting the public encouraging bond sales. Sales as high as $50,000 were reported in single instances. They also contacted buyers in nearby cities and towns. The Ahepa is composed of citizens of Greek birth or descent. A requirement of the organization is that a member must be a citizen of the United States, either by nativity or by naturalization. Hearty co-operation in the drive has been accorded by the Caddo parish war bond committee, of which Ed Burris is chairman, and the Caddo women's war bond committee headed by Mrs. Philip J. Slimer. Special commendation to the Ahepa committee was extended by Ed C. Burris, chairman of the Caddo war savings committee, and Leon G. Tajague. state administrator in charge of war bond sales for the treasury department. "It is with pleasure that I congratulate you on the splendid work done by the Ahepa societies," Mr. Burris said. "This is a manifestation of excellent citizenship on the part of the former citizens of Greece who are giving their time and their funds for the preservation of democracy. This is indeed a remarkable showing which you and your members are doing and you are to be commended for this unselfish, patriotic service you are rendering in the war savings program," Mr. d Tajague wrote. "Therefore in the name of Hon. Henry Morgenthau. Jr., secretary of the treasury, please accept his gratitude and appreciation in making ing this war bond program a success.”
 
AHEPA raised more than $253,000,000 for United States war bonds during World War II, and, as a result of the effort, AHEPA was named an official issuing agent for United States war bonds by the Department of the Treasury, an honor that no other civic organization had yet achieved.
 
Sources:
 
The Shreveport Journal, Shreveport, Louisiana, Thursday, March 11, 1943, Pg. 1 & 5

The Shreveport Journal, Shreveport, Louisiana, Thursday, August 17, 1943, Pg. 2  

https://www.rubio.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2022/6/rubio-van-hollen-introduce-resolution-commemorating-100th-anniversary-of-the-founding-of-ahepa

Σε αυτή τη σελίδα τιμούμε τους άνδρες και τις γυναίκες ελληνικής καταγωγής, που υπηρέτησαν, πολέμησαν και πέθαναν για την ελευθερία σε όλο τον κόσμο, από τον Α' Παγκόσμιο Πόλεμο μέχρι τις μέρες μας, πετώντας και υποστηρίζοντας μαχητικά και βομβαρδιστικά για κάθε μεγάλη συμμαχική αεροπορία. Ωστόσο, σε αυτή την ανάρτηση τιμούμε τους άνδρες και τις γυναίκες της AmericanHellenic Educational and Progressive Association (AHEPA) που συγκέντρωσαν ένα τεράστιο ποσό χρημάτων κατά τη διάρκεια του Β' Παγκοσμίου Πολέμου, για να στηρίξουν την πολεμική προσπάθεια και τα παιδιά τους που πολεμούσαν σε όλα τα πολεμικά μέτωπα καθώς και για την απελευθέρωση της πατρίδας τους, της Ελλάδας. Μια σπάνια ιστορία που δεν ακούγεται τουλάχιστον στην Ελλάδα είναι ότι το παράρτημα 8 της AHEPA του Shreveport, κατάφερε να ξεπεράσει το στόχο των πωλήσεων και όχι μόνο αγόρασε ένα Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress για την USAAF, αλλά κατάφερε να του δώσει και το όνομα του παραρτήματός του. Η εφημερίδα Shreveport Journal το 1943 κάλυψε το μεγάλο γεγονός.
 
 
Η ΠΏΛΗΣΗ ΟΜΟΛΌΓΩΝ ΤΗΣ AHEPA ΕΊΝΑΙ ΜΕΓΆΛΗ ΕΠΙΤΥΧΊΑ
 
Το βομβαρδιστικό θα ονομαστεί για το Shreveport ως αποτέλεσμα της εκστρατείας ρεκόρ
 
Υπερτετραπλασιάζοντας την αρχική τους ποσόστωση των 120.000 δολαρίων και προωθώντας έναν αναθεωρημένο στόχο των 500.000 δολαρίων σε πωλήσεις πολεμικών ομολόγων, τα μέλη της AmericanHellenic Educational and Progressive Association (AHEPA) κατέστησαν δυνατή την ονομασία ενός τεράστιου βομβαρδιστικού του στρατού για το Shreveport και την Ahepa. Η ανακοίνωση ότι το όριο του μισού εκατομμυρίου στις πωλήσεις ομολόγων ξεπεράστηκε έγινε την Πέμπτη από τον J.K. Theo, εκτελεστικό γραμματέα της ένωσης, ο κ. Theo ανέφερε περίπου 525.000 δολάρια σε πωλήσεις. Αν και διαβεβαίωσαν ότι αν ο στόχος των 300.000 δολαρίων επιτευχθεί μέχρι τις 22 Φεβρουαρίου, που είχε αρχικά οριστεί ως το τέλος της εκστρατείας, ένα βομβαρδιστικό θα ονομαζόταν για το Shreveport και την Ahepa, ο κ. Theo και η επιτροπή του, με επικεφαλής τον Harry Patterson, πρόεδρο, αποφάσισαν να συνεχίσουν τις προσπάθειές τους για μισό εκατομμύριο συνολικές πωλήσεις. «Τα μέλη έδειχναν τέτοιο ενθουσιασμό που δεν θέλαμε να τα παρατήσουμε», δήλωσε ο κ. Theo. «Δεν υπήρχε λόγος να σταματήσουμε ένα καλό πράγμα που είναι τόσο σημαντικό σε αυτή την περίοδο εθνικής έκτακτης ανάγκης». Από την έναρξη της εκστρατείας στις 15 Δεκεμβρίου, η Ahepa διατηρούσε ένα γραφείο στην οδό Milam 316, όπου ένα επιτελείο εργαζομένων βρισκόταν κάθε μέρα για την πώληση ομολόγων. Εν τω μεταξύ, τα μέλη της Ahepa περνούσαν μεγάλο μέρος του χρόνου τους επικοινωνώντας με το κοινό ενθαρρύνοντας την πώληση ομολόγων. Σε μεμονωμένες περιπτώσεις αναφέρθηκαν πωλήσεις που έφθασαν τα 50.000 δολάρια. Ήρθαν επίσης σε επαφή με αγοραστές σε κοντινές πόλεις και κωμοπόλεις. Η Ahepa αποτελείται από πολίτες ελληνικής καταγωγής ή προέλευσης. Μια προϋπόθεση της οργάνωσης είναι ότι ένα μέλος πρέπει να είναι πολίτης των Ηνωμένων Πολιτειών, είτε με καταγωγή είτε με πολιτογράφηση. Θερμή συνεργασία στην εκστρατεία έχει παρασχεθεί από την επιτροπή πολεμικών ομολόγων της ενορίας Caddo, πρόεδρος της οποίας είναι ο Ed Burris, και την επιτροπή πολεμικών ομολόγων των γυναικών του Caddo με επικεφαλής την κ. Philip J. Slimer. Ιδιαίτερα συγχαρητήρια στην επιτροπή Ahepa απηύθυναν ο Ed C. Burris, πρόεδρος της επιτροπής πολεμικών αποταμιεύσεων Caddo, και ο Leon G. Tajague, πολιτειακός διαχειριστής αρμόδιος για τις πωλήσεις πολεμικών ομολόγων του υπουργείου Οικονομικών. «Με ευχαρίστηση σας συγχαίρω για το θαυμάσιο έργο που επιτελέστηκε από τις εταιρείες Ahepa», δήλωσε ο κ. Burris. «Πρόκειται για μια εκδήλωση άριστης πολιτικής συμπεριφοράς εκ μέρους των πρώην πολιτών της Ελλάδας που δίνουν το χρόνο και τα χρήματά τους για τη διατήρηση της δημοκρατίας. Πρόκειται πράγματι για μια αξιοσημείωτη επίδειξη που κάνετε εσείς και τα μέλη σας και πρέπει να σας επαινέσουμε γι' αυτή την ανιδιοτελή, πατριωτική υπηρεσία που προσφέρετε στο πρόγραμμα αποταμίευσης για τον πόλεμο», έγραψε ο κ. d Tajague. «Επομένως, στο όνομα του Hon. Henry Morgenthau. Τζούνιορ, υπουργού Οικονομικών, παρακαλούμε να δεχτείτε την ευγνωμοσύνη και την εκτίμησή του για την επιτυχία αυτού του προγράμματος πολεμικών ομολόγων».

 

Πηγές:
 
The Shreveport Journal, Shreveport, Louisiana, Thursday, March 11, 1943, Pg. 1 & 5

The Shreveport Journal, Shreveport, Louisiana, Thursday, August 17, 1943, Pg. 2  

https://www.rubio.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2022/6/rubio-van-hollen-introduce-resolution-commemorating-100th-anniversary-of-the-founding-of-ahepa

Shreveport B-17
Shreveport War Bonds

AHEPA READY FOR NEXT BOND DRIVE—Members of the Shreveport Ahepa, chapter 1 No. 8, Greek organization, with sales of war bonds totaling $2,240,000 already to their credit in past drives, are already making plans for the next bond sales campaign, J. K. Theo, executive secretary, has announced. In the third loan drive, held in March 1943, the chapter underwrote the purchase of an army bomber, its quota being $125,000. Total sales in that drive exceeded $500,000, Theo said. The bomber, named for the Shreveport chapter, is pictured above. Their quotas in subsequent wax bond sales were also exceeded.

Η AHEPA ΕΙΝΑΙ ΕΤΟΙΜΗ ΓΙΑ ΤΗΝ ΕΠΟΜΕΝΗ ΕΚΔΗΛΩΣΗ ΟΜΟΛΟΓΩΝ - Τα μέλη της ελληνικής οργάνωσης Ahepa, παράρτημα 1 Νο 8, του Shreveport, με πωλήσεις πολεμικών ομολόγων συνολικού ύψους 2.240.000 δολαρίων ήδη στο ενεργητικό τους σε προηγούμενες εκδόσεις, κάνουν ήδη σχέδια για την επόμενη εκστρατεία πώλησης ομολόγων, ανακοίνωσε ο J. K. Theo, εκτελεστικός γραμματέας. Στην τρίτη εκστρατεία δανείων, που πραγματοποιήθηκε τον Μάρτιο του 1943, το παράρτημα κάλυψε την αγορά ενός βομβαρδιστικού του στρατού, με την ποσόστωσή του να ανέρχεται σε 125.000 δολάρια. Οι συνολικές πωλήσεις σε αυτή την εκστρατεία ξεπέρασαν τα 500.000 δολάρια, δήλωσε ο Theo. Το βομβαρδιστικό, που πήρε το όνομά του από το παράρτημα του Shreveport, απεικονίζεται παραπάνω. Οι ποσοστώσεις τους στις επόμενες πωλήσεις πολεμικών ομολόγων υπερκαλύφθηκαν επίσης.

Sakov 1 post

Николай Саков

Nikolai was born on 29 July 1889 in Lipetsk of the once-Russian Empire. His father, Stavrion Elevterievich Sakov (1846-1921), born to a Greek family in the town of Unya of the Ottoman Empire, arrived in Russia probably during the Crimean War of 1853-1856, where he finished school and received Russian citizenship. In addition to his studies in Oriental languages, his father also graduated from medical school and took part in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877 as a military doctor. After the war, he continued to practice medicine and occasionally taught at the Oriental Languages Institute where he had originally attended. At the same time, he served as Honorary Consul of Greece in Moscow (until 1914). In 1888, in Moscow, he married Anna Nikolaevna Fedtsova from Lipetsk and they had Nikolai and later Alexander (also the future owner of an aviator's diploma). In 1908 the family moved permanently to Lipetsk. Nikolai, in 1911, went to France (Betheni) to learn to fly at the school of Armand Deperdussin, a SPAD designer, and on September 25 of the same year, he obtained his diploma, which listed him as Nicolas de Sacoff. After obtaining his diploma, he returned to Russia with a SPAD monoplane (probably Type A or Deperdussin Racer), which he also demonstrated in flights at Khodynka Park in Moscow. In the Kozlovskaya Gazeta newspaper dated 6 May 1912, it is reported that...

 

For more details please click the following link:

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Greek Version

https://www.greeks-in-foreign-cockpits.com/pilots-crews/bomber-pilots-copilots/sakov-nikolai-stavrovich-gr/

 

 

Sakov 3
Sakov 5
Efstathiou 9

Thomas Efstathiou

Technical Sergeant Thomas Efstathiou USMC was born on May 22, 1918, in Bronx New York. He was the son of the Greek immigrant couple, John and Mary Efstathiou who also had one more son, George. Thomas was raised within the Greek community and according to his military file, he spoke Greek very well. After school, he worked in Steel Construction as a Power Shearer. He enlisted as a private in the USMC recruiting station in New York on June 20, 1938, to serve for a 4-year period. Until 1941 when he extends his enlistment for three more years he served as a metalsmith in various USMC Squadrons including VMF-1 and VMS-1 and was promoted first a Corporal (10/06/1940) and then as a Sergeant (03/06/1941). He applied for naval aviator training and after successfully passing a written examination to determine his education status on June 9, 1941, he joined NAS Pensacola on November 22, 1941, entering the 11B-41P Class. He was designated as a Naval Aviation Pilot of the USMC, on May 7, 1942, specializing in ...

 

For further information click the following link:

https://www.greeks-in-foreign-cockpits.com/pilots-crews/fighter-pilots/thomas-efstathiou/

Greek Version

https://www.greeks-in-foreign-cockpits.com/pilots-crews/fighter-pilots/thomas-efstathiou-gr/

 

Efstathiou 5
USMC, F4U-1, BuNo xxxxx, ex-VMF-122, Munda Airstrip, New Georgia, Solomon Islands, Sept 1943
Harbilas 6a

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...

 

For further information click the following link:

https://www.greeks-in-foreign-cockpits.com/pilots-crews/bomber-pilots-copilots/james-harbilas/


Greek Version

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Harbilas 3
USN, PBY-5 BuNo 08496, Lt Ellis Fisher, VP-34, Samarai, Papua New Guineau, February 1944
Armatas 11

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...

 

For further information click the following link:

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Greek Version

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Armatas 1
Armatas 5
USN FA-18E BlueAngels I
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