Michael Whitaker Commentary for Vol.B
WOW, I have a copy of this fantastic book, all 4.5kgs of it. Thank you to Dimitris Vassilopoulos (and your team and the sponsors) for your phenomenal efforts in producing this publication. There are almost 150 pages on John Plagis alone, and thank you Jilly for giving me the opportunity to scan and digitise the photograph albums. What a journey it has been.
Carl Molesworth Commentary for Vol.B
It has been my great pleasure to assist the authors of Greek Pilots in Foreign Cockpits Volume B as they compiled the materials for their new book. After more than 30 years of researching and writing about fighter operations in the China Burma India Theater during World War II, I was well aware that several American pilots of Greek heritage flew in combat there when Dimitris first asked for my assistance. I was happy to supply photographs and information, but I had no idea that their book would turn out to be such an outstanding volume. The wide-ranging subject pilots, the outstanding illustrations, and the extensive photographs impress me no end. I am only disappointed that my inability to read Greek precludes me from reading the text, though I do appreciate that the photo captions are repeated in English. Well done, gentlemen!
Steve Nichols Commentary for Vol.B
Over the last year and a half, I've become acquainted with Dimitris as he consulted me on various things related to Malta Spitfires and their colors. Dimitris impressed with his determination, unwavering focus, knowledge and meticulous attention to detail in regards to his new book. The finished product does not disappoint. He has produced an invaluable reference on Greek pilots of WW2 which actually is quite inspiring.
I first became aware of Johnny Plagis way back in 1967 when my parents gave me a copy of Chris Shores' ACES HIGH for Xmas. Over the years as my interest in the Malta air war grew I was intrigued by this pilot who was always listed as Rhodesian. Dimitris has provided the most complete account of this man's life so far. Surely a book on the highest scoring Greek Ace is in the offing, Dimitris.
All things considered well-done, Dimitris!
Frederick Galea Commentary for Vol.B
Dear Dimitrios Vassilopoulos,
For more than 40 years I have had an interest in the air war over Malta, and one of the first ex-Malta pilots I had come across was Greek Johnny Plagis. I also learnt that Johnny had been, unfortunately, a troubled man. With an interest in obtaining photos of Malta veteran pilots, I accumulated a fair number, including some of Johnny. I have helped many authors along these years and I was pleased to be able to provide you with a selection of Malta interest photos. I had never expected that one day photos from my collection would find their place in other author’s books, however this has gladly happened. Sadly, I do not know the Greek language, and therefore I cannot enjoy reading your wonderful work, just the captions. I am sure that many Greek speaking aviation aficionados, shall benefit from your publication.
Jonathan Berstein Commentary for Vol.B
Volumes Α' and Β' have been a joy to read. While the text is solely in Greek, the photos are captioned in both Greek and English. I'm fortunate in the fact that I've got a friend that was all too eager to translate for me. Extremely well researched, with many unpublished photos, "Greeks in Foreign Cockpits" is a spectacular look into the role pilots of Greek heritage played in the Axis defeat in World War 2. Highly recommended!
Paul Lovel Commentary for Vol.B
I am delighted to have received a complementary copy of this lovely book from Dimitris Vassilopoulos for having assisted the books 3 authors in a very small way. It is Volume 2 of Greeks in Foreign Cockpits, a large heavy book of over 500 pages, books like this are just great to sit and hold while you read through. Digital books are for novels to be read on the beach, this is a proper book to be admired for the amount of effort that has gone in to the research and production of this comprehensive work. It studies the lives of seven pilots of Greek origin and their wartime contribution to the Allied war effort. Now, the main text is in Greek so unfortunately a large part I cannot read, but the 560 photos are also captioned in English, and extensively so giving plenty of information. My main interest is the 150 pages on Wing Commander John Plagis DSO DFC & Bar, an Operation Spotter pilot who I had looked at when I did Spitfires Over Malta. The authors here benefit greatly from being allowed to access John’s own photographs via his family, along with his Log books, with several pages given over to information from the Log Books, including John’s own comments written at the time. There are many previously unpublished photographs including John’s own photographs of 3 other Operation Spotter pilots Ray Hesselyn, ‘Nip’ Heppell and his great friend Douglas Leggo. At the rear of the book are several pages of beautiful coloured art work specifically commissioned for the book, illustrating some in depth research on the markings of some of the aircraft flown by the Greek pilots. It is a book I will never be able to fully read, but it is a book I am very pleased to have.
Flavio Silvestri Commentary for Vol.B
What a marvelous work! These were my first words as soon as I opened the book and notified Dimitris that I had received it. “Greeks in Foreign Cockpits” Vol2 is the story of seven pilots with Greek parentage that served with the Allied Air Forces during the Second World War. Their story is told through a comprehensive work made up of more than 500 pages, hundreds of photos (I admit I lost the count), color profiles, artworks, detailed mission data....and passion. Yes, this is what really you feel leafing through the pages of the book. Even if the main text is entirely in Greek, at the end this aspect results secondary, offset by the extensive research conducted for the photograph captions (bilingual), that give you a huge of information. Being a passionately fond of aces of WW2, my interested has been soon focused on W/C John Plagis chapter. Here the iconographic collection is impressive and for the first time clear and documented information about his personal planes came to the light. Thanks to the help of private collections and deep researches, more than 20 color profiles complete this outstanding chapter. Regarding the other six pilots I didn’t known so much but the detailed information, artworks and data sheet, suggest that similar deep-researches were conducted. In conclusion “Greeks in Foreign Cockpits” Vol2 is really a very well done book, accurate and well-presented with good paper quality and excellent print quality. I am very happy to have given my little contribution to Dimitris and the other two authors in this success.
Johnny Wheeler Commentary for Vol.B
The books have arrived in America! Haven't read through it yet (what I can - wish I read Greek!) but first impression in going through it is what a very great and tremendous effort! The book is beautifully done and it looks like it is going to be a tremendously great source. Well bound, beautifully illustrated and just a whole lot there. And plenty to read if Greek is not your native tongue in real truth. Dimitris and everyone who worked on this should be enormously proud. Just fantastic! I'll post more thoughts after a good read through with a whole lot of good beer to accompany the effort.
Brian Bateman Commentary for Vol.A
"Fantastic new book arrived on Friday and reviews are wonderful. Great effort and results from Kirk, Dimitris, George and the entire team (Bertrand Brown & Andonis Karidis) regarding the brave Greek pilots of WWII. My painting of Steve Pisanos in his P-47, "Devastating Thunder", is included in the book along with well done profiles of the pilots aircraft. Highly recommended."