62nd Fighter Squadron / 56th Fighter Group

Lt. Harry Coronios entering the cockpit of his Thunderbolt before another mission over occupied Europe with the 62nd FS, 56th FG. (Greeksinforeigncockpits via www.56thfightegroup.com)

Harry Coronios was born in 1921 in Lowell, Massachusetts. His father, George Coronios immigrated in the United States from a small village in the outskirts of Sparta, named Kladas, in Laconia District. His mother was also Greek and her name was Theodora. Theodora was George second wife. His first wife named Eugenia immigrated with him from Greece and had three children with him. Harry entered the USAAF and promoted to 2nd Lt when he earned his silver wings. He was lucky enough to be posted to the famous 56th Fighter Group and specifically to the 62nd Fighter Squadron, while stationed in Bradley, US. He transferred with the Group in England and began to fly combat sorties with the mighty Thunderbolt, from Halesworth airfield. These sorties were mostly bomber escort missions, over France and North West Europe. He claimed one Fw-190 destroyed and one more as damaged, during a withdrawal escort mission for bombers returning from Bremen, on October 8, 1943, while being at the controls of the P-47D-6-RE, 42-74626, LM-Z. For his actions, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross - DFC as well as the Air Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters. Harry was very proud of his Hellenic heritage and because of this, he named his personal P-47D-5-RE, 42-7866, LM-G, as 'GREEK'. He logged 52 combat missions with the 62nd Fighter Squadron of 'Zemke's Wolfpack' (34 of them at the controls of the 'GREEK') before he was killed during a training sortie over the North Sea on November 17, 1943, while flying Cpt. Ray Dauphin’s P-47D-5-RE, 42-8614, 'SAUCY SHIRLEY II'. A thorough search was made by three Thunderbolts led by Captain Leroy A. Schreiber from 14:00 to 18:00, but no signs of the missing plane or the pilot was seen.


Further details can be found on Volume A' of 'GREEKS IN FOREIGN COCKPITS'

Thunderbolt P-47D-1-RE "GREEK",42-7866, LM-G, was the personal aircraft of Harry Coronios. The nose art consists of a blue flying star with white border and the word 'GREEK' which referred to his Hellenic heritage. It carries white Q.I.M.(Quick Identification Markings) and the type 2 national markings are enclosed in a yellow disk, which was applied while in England. This aircraft was lost on 5/9/1943 due to a propellor handling error, while flown by Capt. Warren Chapman in Halesworth, England. (Copyright Gaetan Marie)