Greeks In Foreign Cockpits
In October 2017, three years after the publication of the first volume of ‘GREEKS IN FOREIGN COCKPITS’, the second volume was released. Inside its 520 pages, we read in detail about the lives and combat careers of seven more Greek-born/Greek pilots, who fought over Europe, Mediterranean and China during the Second World War. Among them is the top ranking Greek ace with sixteen victories, John Agorastos Plagis. His story, like the others, is supported by photos and testimonies not seen before in Greek and international aviation history publications. Along with the great ace from Lemnos, there are chapters featuring Richard Demetriadis (Battle of France and Britain), Harry Zavakos, James Vurgaropulos (both in combat over China), and Theodore Lambros, William Manos and George Kouris (all in action over Normandy and NW Europe).All chapters include unpublished photos from the pilots’ personal albums. Oil paintings, pencil sketches, digital paintings and color profiles of the aircraft flown by Greek descent pilots -and some of their opponents- supplement the historical research. Once again, the extensive research by the authors has not only yielded fruit, it’s exceeded their expectations. Maintaining the same format as Volume A, and having a quality upgraded cover, the much larger Volume B (190 more pages) is impressive. The captions remain bilingual and comprehensive to allow English-speaking readers to enjoy the photos and artistic depictions, as well as understanding the content of the book to a great extent. A large portion of the second volume (150 of the total of 520 pages) is devoted to the life and actions of John Agorastos Plagis, the top ranking Greek Ace, who flew 12 different fighter types, but mostly Spitfires and Mustangs (Malta & North West European Fronts). James Vulgaropoulos & Harry Zavakos, are two of the seven pilots described who saw action in the CBI (China-Burma-India) theater of operations. Harry was the brother of Frank Zavakos, another Greek pilot, whose life was covered in the first Volume of “Greeks in Foreign Cockpits”. As with the first volume, the reader will find in Vol. B many untold stories of bravery, courage, and heroism, during the fierce dogfights of WW2 in the European & the Pacific Theater of Operations. These seven Greek descent pilots are just a fraction of hundreds more Greeks who passionately and bravely joined USAAF, RAF & RCAF, in order to fight for liberty. Their contribution to the final allied victory is as worthwhile as that of the pilots and crews of Hellenic Air Force (EVA – Helliniki Vasiliki Aeroporia) fighting over Greece and MTO (Mediterranean Theater of Operations). The fact that their actions and contribution have not been officially honored by subsequent and modern Greek State is where this book gives justice and corrects a huge historical oversight or even indifference. Reading the second volume one can feel all the drama of World War Two and the passion of these pilots for flying and serving the greater cause, fighting the enemy on all Fronts and thus liberating nations suffering under German occupation, forced labor, atrocities & tortures. We owe them much more than a posthumous reminiscence, biography or award for bravery. The authors have done a superb research, collecting and analyzing countless sources for many years; contributing aviation artists have created some inspirational paintings & color profiles of the aircraft and the whole publication is a jewel among wartime aviation press, that help us understand our great debt to those unforgettable aviators.
CONCLUSION FOR A & B VOLUMES
Don’t hesitate to give yourself a present: Add both volumes to your library! It is remarkable that Volume B manages to be even better and with more surprises and revelations than volume A. We are eagerly anticipating the already promised third Volume, with even more Greek descent pilots stories of glory and a plethora of interesting subjects for aviation enthusiasts and scale aircraft modelers too! Highly recommended! http://www.modellingnews.gr/el/νέα-μοντελισμού/greeks-foreign-cockpits-volume-one-two