Vlahos - Post

Mark Vlahos

Mark Vlahos is one of my newest friends, however, I feel I have so many commons with him. We both are in love with the might ‘Herc’ (C-130 Hercules), he as a master navigator and also ex Cmdr of a C-130 Sqn (763rd Expeditionary Airlift Squadron) and Vice Wing Cmdr of the 314th Airlift Wing at Little Rock Air Force Base, me as Hellenic Air Force C-130B/H Crew Chief (reserve). I don’t know if the Greek readers ‘catch’ it but YES, Navigators can command squadrons and wings! Our other commonality is our passion for aviation history. Mark is a great historian and already wrote two books and now is in the process of writing his third one (like myself hopefully)! Anyway, I and my team are very proud to introduce to our followers Colonel Mark Vlahos USAF (ret.). No one can tell his family story except him so in his own words: "I’m third-generation Greek American, Angelo Vlahos, my Grandfather was born in Northern Greece in 1885. At the age of 15, he left home on his own to improve his life. He made his way to England and worked as a fireman on merchant ships, shoveling coal into boilers. From there, he made... For more click the following link: https://www.greeks-in-foreign-cockpits.com/pilots-crews/bombardiers-and-navigators/mark-vlahos/
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John Katsaros

John Katsaros was born on July 6, 1923. He was the son of Spiros S. Katsaros and Eleni Christos Christopoulos. Spiros was from Patra, Greece, in the Northern Peloponnese and entered the United States of America for the first time at the age of 12 in 1894, specifically in Boston, and settled in Haverhill, Mass. (30 miles north of Boston). Three years later he returned to his hometown of Patras in Greece where he opened a grocery store. Seeking a better future he later worked for the famous wine company of Achaia Claus where he managed to succeed, however, he was stricken by malaria and severe nose bleeding. One of his uncles who was a doctor advised him to seek treatment in the United States so he was forced to return back to Haverhill, Mass. At the age of 23, he worked in restaurants before he opened his own shoe factory until the Depression in the ’20s forced him to close it. However, his knowledge and skills gave him the opportunity to work in large shoe companies until his retirement. Eleni emigrated to the United States in 1908 at age 17 and settled in Peabody Mass. She married Spiros in 1915 and...

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Jimmy Metchicas

Jimmy G. Metchicas was the son of Greek immigrants couple and was born on April 10, 1921, in Newberry, South Carolina. His father Gus Metchicas was born in Constantinople, Turkey and his mother Evriklia Kehayas (Kehagia) was born in Alexandroupolis, Thrace, Greece. Gus emigrated to the United States of America around 1910. The Greek couple was married on June 21, 1920, in the Greek church of New York City, with the presence of fifty witnesses of its nationality. Most of the guests, including the 19 years old bride, departed from the port of Patras and arrived in the United States, on June 7, 1920, two weeks before the wedding ceremony, traveling for about 15 days, with the transatlantic passenger steamship, RMS Pannonia. After their wedding, Gus and Evriklia moved in Newberry, were Gus co-operated a candy shop, with his brother-in-law, Mr. John Kehayes, that named “Washington Kandy Kitchen”. (Washington was the name of the road in which the candy shop opened). A few years later, in 1926, Gus and Evriklia moved to Greenville, South Carolina, where they opened a restaurant. Besides Jimmie, they had also two daughters, Carrie and Anastasia. Unfortunately....

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Constantine Von Economo

Once more while researching for Greeks in foreign cockpits i found a remarkable man for whom i never learned. Nobody ever taught me about a great Greek parentage flying doctor, a man who gave so much to the early days of aviation and contribute to the medical science leaving his mark in neurology. The following research is not from our team. I collected every available source on the net and im very happy to present here a true pioneer, both in aviation and medicine. Constantin Economo von San Serff was born in Brăila, Romania, to Johannes and Helene Economo, a wealthy family with large holdings in Thessaly and Macedonia. The Economo (Οικονόμου, Oikonomou) family originated from Edessa, in the Ottoman Sanjak of Salonica (modern Edessa, Central Macedonia, Greece) where some of Constantine's ancestors were notables, and his family included many bishops. In 1877, the family moved to Trieste, Austria-Hungary, and Constantin spent his childhood and youth in Trieste. Constantine and his brother Leonidas were....

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Charles Vasiliadis

Charles Vasiliades is probably one of the most combat-proven Greek Americans in the USAF. However, this tribute to Charles's service in USAF and his Greek heritage is only partially researched from our team, especially finding details of his roots with his family members. The honor belongs to the late Robert Dorr, an exceptional researcher, and author who was one of the most respected aviation historians worldwide. Without him, we would probably not know Charles in Greece. Robert interviewed the Greek-American pilot many times and wrote about him in his books and in various articles in some of the most known and respected aviation magazines. In fact, he became a close friend of Charles and his family. So, along Vasiliades we would also like to tribute and honor a great man whose work inspired a new generation of researchers including myself. Although called Charlie by his beloved wife Joan, every other person in the universe called Vasiliadis as Vas, after all, it was easier for the non-Greeks to pronounce his surname. In the inner sanctum of the fighter pilot fraternity, they knew Vas as a stick-and-rudder guy and a combat leader...

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Lambrides - Post

Paul Lambrides

Paul David Lambrides was born in 1933 in Maryland. He was the son of John Lambrides from Asia Minor and Elizabeth Lambrides. He Commissioned as "Distinguished Graduate" from ROTC (University of Maryland) on June 9, 1956, and called to active duty on September 8, 1956. During 1958-59 he served with 50th Tactical Fighter Wing, based in Toul-Rosieres, France as an F-100 pilot. From 1659-61 the Wing moved to Hahn AB, Germany and Lambrides became an Instrument school instructor. During his stay in Germany, he flew the F-100 in (statistically), the worst flying weather in the world. His next assignment was in 401th Tactical Fighter Wing in England AFB, LA for the next 4 years between 1961-65. The role of the wing was primary CASAF Alert and Nuclear Alert Rotational Squadrons. The Greek American pilot was alerted for the Berlin crisis in 1961, the Cuban crisis in 1962, and Vietnam in 1963. The 401st TFW was the first USAF unit to...

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Charles Badavas

Charles Badavas was born on February 6, 1921, in Newburyport, MA from Greek parents. His father Athanasios Badavas was from Megalopolis, in Arcadia district and along with his wife Maria, also from Peloponnesus, immigrated to the United States few months after their marriage, seeking for a better life. According to Ellis island archives they entered in the United States on November 18, 1912 along with their first born daughter, Bessie, who was only nine months old. Athanasios changed his name to Arthur or Athas and began working as a grocery man, before he opened his own grocery store in pursuit of his American Dream. The couple created a big happy family with three more children following Bessie (1912), all of them boys. First was Percy (1917), followed by Peter (1919) and Charles (1921). Charles enlist your the USAAF on February 1943 and completed his training 9 months later on November 1943. He was named 2nd lieutenant (O-817871) gaining his silver wings. Until May 1944...

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Patterakis - Post

Chris Patterakis

Maj. Patterakis was born on July 23, 1935, in Van Houten, New Mexico. He was the son of Gregory Patterakis from Crete and Eleni (Helen) Katsufrakis, also of Greek heritage, who had also two more children Grace Patterakis and Emmanuel Patterakis. At the age of six, his family moved to Modesto California where Patterakis finished the School in 1953. He enlisted to the USAF and served for 4 years in the Military Police before he applied for pilot and accepted. He went to the pilot training school in 1961 in Texas and later he became an instructor himself. His flying skills and his will to fly with the Air Force Demonstration Team, the famous Thunderbirds bear fruits when he had been selected to fly the No. 2 position as left-wing on the 1966-1967 team flying the F-100 Super Sabres, becoming the first Greek American who joined this elite aviation group. During 1967-68 he was trained in the mighty F-4 Phantom, in F-4 Replacement Training Unit, Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz. He later flew 315 combat missions (60 over the North) during the Vietnam War, flying F-4C Phantom II based...
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Papaioanu - Post

Christopher Papaioanu

CDR Christopher ‘POPS’ Papaioanu was born in Fontana, California, son of George and Lynda Papaioanu. The family immigrated from Greece to the United States in the early 1900s. Christopher’s grandmother, Athanasia Gianniosis, was born in 1907 in modern-day Artemisio. In 1914, Athanasia immigrated to the United States with her mother and brother, eventually making their way to Pasadena, California. Christopher’s grandfather, Andreas Papaioannou, was born in 1894 in modern-day Kefalovryso. Andreas immigrated to the United States in 1918 through Ellis Island. Upon entering Ellis Island, local officials said his name was too long and made him take out two letters. On the spot, Andreas changed his last name from Papaioannou to Papaioanu, and it has retained the new spelling ever since. Andreas worked for a time with a family.... 

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Antoniou - Post

Benoit Antoniou

Benoit Antoniou heritage is from Greece. His grandparents left from Greece and search for a better luck in France the past century. He entered the Armée de l'air in 1993 and graduate as a fighter pilot in 1997. . He joined the Escadron 1/5 "Vendée" in 1998 and served for 8 years from the cockpit of Mirage 2000s. As a pilot of French Air Defense Quick Reaction Forces, he participated in the Alysse Operation (Better known with the American name as Operation Southern Watch) in Saudi Arabia twice. He also took part in lots of exercises in various countries (especially in Greece in 2005). From 2005-2008 he was attached to a unit near Paris in which he was responsible for flight crew equipment programs (replacement of MK4 seats with MK10L on the Alphajet fleet and commissioning of new flight helmets) while he was in direct communications with the military industry during various programs development ensuring that these were aligned with the financial resources and the strategy of the armed forces. For the next four years he was posted to Mont de Marsan and acted as a Director of the Combat Training Center (distributed simulation) and he was engaged in training of Armée de l’air and foreign air forces personnel. As part of this command, with a team of 5 instructors he trained ....

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