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Theodore Harduvel

Ted Harduvel was born on 28 October 1947. He was the son of Theodosius Theodore Harduvel who emigrated in the early 1900s from Leonidion and Poulithra in Arcadia district, Peloponnese. He enlisted in the Army to get his citizenship and fought in France during WW1. His mother was Luxembourg and English named Margaret M Cooper. Except for Ted the couple also had another son, John Harduvel, an MIT graduate is an aerospace engineer who worked for McDonnell Douglas, and a sister, Maria, an ultrasound tech living in Chicago. Ted joined the Air Force after his father died in 1971. He was working on his Master's Degree in Physics at the University of Illinois at Chicago Circle. The Vietnam War was on, Ted had a low draft number, so rather than join the Army, he volunteered for the Air Force. Since he was a college graduate, he went to Officers Training School in 1971 graduating as a distinguished graduate, and got selected for pilot training in 1972. He completed his Undergraduate Pilot Training in Webb AFB Texas and got assigned to fighters at MacDill, FLA, in December 1972 where he took his training on F-4 Phantom. Ted met his wife Janet Sciales (who was also half Greek and half Italian) in March of 1973. He was so proud of his heritage and when he first met his wife he told her that he was a Spartan and that he would come home with his shield or on it, a phrase the Spartan mothers told their sons before going to battle. He was stationed in....

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Greek Version

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John Kokkinakos

John Snyder was born to Nickolas Constantine Kokinakos and Dorothy Hood, Feb. 17, 1923, in Vancouver, B.C. Nick immigrated to Canada from Sparta, Greece, and Dorothy was of English heritage. Nicholas ran a few small cafes (like all good Greeks!)and Dorothy raised the kids.  According to John, his mother canceled Greek traditions for their new family and he raised him as a Canadian English. To honor his mother's choice, he changed his surname to Snyder. Many years later his daughter, Tiffany, asked him why he chooses Snyder and he just said that it sounded good. John was politely asked to leave high school after the ninth grade as he was...a high spirited young man. They thought he’d be better off just getting a job. He went to work at a bakery and hated it. It was the most boring repetitive work. He told to his children that a door would open in the ceiling and a ball of dough would fall through onto a table and then he had to break it into prices put it in pans and by the time he was done another ball of dough would fall and over and over and over. He hated it. He also worked in a sugar refinery. His mother Dorothy died about that time, from nasal surgery. He lived in a two-story house and grew up during the Great Depression supervised mostly by his older brother Conn Kokinakos, who passed in 2008. Growing up in the Great Depression his shoes never fit and he only had one pair that his mom was always mending. He remembered that he’d collect bottles for money and when he’d get 10 cents he’d spend the day at the beach and buy a soda and a hot dog. Finally, when they asked for soldiers he jumped at the chance and somehow he managed to become an aviation cadet in Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF). Those days....

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Greek Version


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George Phitidis

George Platon Phitidis, born in Johannesburg, South Africa, on June 8, 1916, the last child of Constantine Haralambous Phitidis and Alexandra Gabriel Michaelides. Constantine was a Greek Cypriot born in Phyti in 1867, during the Ottoman occupation of Cyprus, and migrated to South Africa after taking his chances in Cairo, Egypt, and California, United States. He became a highly respected businessperson and philanthropist. Alexandra Gabriel Michaelides was born in Cyprus in 1887 and traveled to South Africa with her family in the early 1900s. A few years after.... 

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Andrew Scopelitis

Andrew Scopelitis was born in Norwich Connecticut on June 1, 1919. He was the son of the Greek immigrant couple Paul and Evdoxia (Hurdes) Scopelitis, and had one more brother George and two sisters, Sophia and Mabel. After school, he attended The Norwich Free Academy and later worked in various jobs as a laborer. In 1938 he decided to join the US Navy to pursue a career and probably better-living conditions. He was first enlisted in the US Navy on July 19, 1938. He was discharged on July 16, 1942, at NAS Pensacola, Florida, and re-enlisted the following day to serve for a period of 4 years. On October 23, 1942, he was transferred to USN Pre-Flight School in Athens, GA for aviation pilot training. He completed the Pre-Flight School and ordered to present himself at NAS Dallas, Texas to continue his training on January 27, 1943. On May 23, 1943, he was transferred for further training back to NAS Pensacola in Florida. 


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John Panagiote

John was born on 23 March 1923 on the Greek Island of Samos in the Aegean. He was the son of Emanuel Panagiotou a Greek Orthodox rev. and Cleopatra Karagiane. Prior to 1934, the family immigrated to the United States and by 1935 they were living in Florida. John was actually the third USAAF member who was born in Greece and left as a youngster in the US like Steve Pisanos from Kolonos Athens and Arthur Sugas from Trikala. In the US he completed his education and entered the University of Louisville and after he graduated he was employed as a tabulating machine operator with the L. & N. Railroad. With the beginning of WW2, he enlisted in the United States Army Air Force in December 1942. After his training, he was sent overseas and joined the famous 56th Fighter Group well known as Zemke's Wolfpack during February 1945. He was attached to the 61st Fighter Squadron and he was ....


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Jordan Eliades

Jordan Eliades was born in East Ely, NV. He was the eldest son of Greek immigrants, Georgιos and Mary Eliades from Asia Minor. He grew up with five siblings, with six additional, that never made it to adulthood. His family moved to the Kennecott Copper Company town, of McGill, Nevada at the age of five to start school at McGill Elementary. His first language was Greek and he learned English at school to share with his family at home. Every day after school he attended Greek School, at St Barbara Greek Orthodox Church, McGill, NV. In his high school years, he would ride the company train 13 miles each way to attend White Pine High School, in Ely, NV, where he was a standout athletically as well as academically, graduating in 1940. He was honored in the first White Pine Hall of Fame induction group in 1993. After his graduation...

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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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