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Tsolakis Akrivos served as a pilot in the Royal Hellenic Air Force (RHAF) during the Korean War. The Royal Hellenic Air Force was a Greek squadron. The RHAF provided essential transport of wounded soldiers and prisoners along with supplies and airdrops. When US pilots could not land at certain airfields, the RHAF was tasked with the mission. Importantly, the RHAF never canceled a mission in the Korean War. Tsolakis Akrivos earned the Medal of Hwarang for Valor on the battlefield with the designation of a gold star. Transporting wounded and dying soldiers from the battlefield have followed him throughout his life. Tsolakis Akrivos has since become a distinguished flight safety investigator. He has also revisited Korea with the Greek President Papoulias.
Aristofaris Androulakis was a Greek Forces Sergeant in the Korean War. He shares how he was a bus driver before joining the war. During the war, he explains that he helped with the transportation of weapons. He shares his pride in what he did during the war near what is known as the Iron Triangle. He discusses the hardships he saw during his service. He shares his views on how Korea has changed all these years later. He shares photos from the war including himself as a soldier.
Demetrios Arvanitis served in the Greek Expeditionary Force (GEF) during the Korean War. Before serving in Korea, he fought in the guerrilla war, bandit war, or Greek Civil War for the government of Greece. This war and experience are comparable to the Korean War. He volunteered to help stop a communist aggressor. His service in Korea came near the end of the war that saw lots of action. Both sides wanted to negotiate from a position of power. He fought in significant involvements in the Iron Triangle, including the Battle of Kumsong. For his courageous service, he earned the Silver Star.
Loannis Farazakis discussing knowing nothing about Korea before arriving there. He shares with the help of a translator how he was on the front lines against North Korea. He explains scenes of activity he experiences during his time in Korea. He explains how he was wounded on the front lines. He shares his pride in the growth of Korea and how the youth of Greece know of this growth.
Georgios "George" Hahlioutis was born in 1931 during the war. He discusses his schooling as a child. He explains how he felt he wanted to save the country of Korea and was willing to risk his life. He shares how he will remember the Korean people for the rest of his life.
Georgios Margaritis served in the Greek Expeditionary Force during the Korean War. He volunteered to go to Korea because he saw what an occupying army does to the people. As a kid, the Germans occupied Greece during WWII. He arrived in Korea during the stalemate portion of the war that featured intense and close combat. One particular battle that Georgios Margaritis fought in was the Battle for Outpost Harry. This battle saw over 88,000 rounds of artillery fall in nine days. The Battle for Outpost Harry was a significant victory for the allies.
Dimitrios Matsoukas shares stories of his brother, 1st Lt George Matsoukas, an army officer in the Greek Expeditionary Force. George Matsoukas arrived in Pusan in August of 1951 and commanded men in two major engagements on the Korean Peninsula. Dimitrios Matsoukas describes the battles and shares details of George Matsoukas' sacrifice. Additionally, Dimitrios Matsoukas shares photos, correspondence and other memories that exemplify the rich legacy of his brother George Matsoukas and of all of the Greek heroes who bravely served in the Korean War.
Filis Nikoldos volunteered to serve in the Korean War. He remembers graphic memories, as shared by his wife, of his time in Korea as he saw disaster and found ruins of houses, people massacred, babies crying on the bodies of their dead parents, and poverty. He did not think solely of protecting his own life while serving. He even took measures to ensure that he was not captured alive by the Chinese by keeping a bullet aside if the circumstance arose. He is proud of his service and the opportunity given to assist in helping stop the devastating war.
Sotirios Patrakis details his pathway to involvement with Korean War veterans. He comments on his visit to South Korea for a convention commemorating the start of the Korean War and warmly describes his experience with the South Korean people while there. He states that this encounter prompted him to become involved with the veterans upon is return to Greece. He shares his thoughts on preserving the memory of Korean War veterans' service and on educating youth about the war. He is proud of all efforts and offers a congratulatory message to the Korean War veterans from Greece for their willingness to serve as well as to the South Korean people for their economic progress since the war.
Emmanuel Pitsoulaki draws parallels between his life during the German occupation and what he witnessed while he served in the Korean War. Emmanuel Pitsoulaki had little knowledge of the Korean Peninsula prior to his service. He served from September of 1954 until 1955. He describes the destruction and famine he witnessed while serving. The destruction and famine serve as reminders of his own life.
Stelios Stroubakis joined the Army in 1954 and served in Korea until 1955. He shares his experience assisting with the construction of a school large enough to serve 200 students when complete. He recounts putting tiles to the roof and adds that the school was still under construction when he left. He provides a glimpse of the past through several personal photos which include images related to a baptism, his unit's translator, and the soldiers and staff who aided in the construction of the school. He speaks highly of his revisit to Korea in 2016--expressing that he could not believe his eyes regarding the process Korea had made since the war--and wishes Korea well.
Haralambos Theodorakis was born March 26, 1928 in Crete, Greece to a farming family. In 1948, he volunteered for the Greek Army and was trained for 23 months. After the Korean War broke out, he wasn't afraid to go and fight for South Korea. Sadly, he experienced the total destruction of Korea and poverty all around him. He vividly remembers the children that were starving. Death was also all around him, but he was not injured while fighting in the Korean War and he returned home in 1951. Haralambos Theodorakis revisited Korea in 2015 and the hospitality of the people was overwhelming. To see the change from the destruction in 1950 to the strong nation that it was in 2015 was remarkable.