Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 05/2006

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Ithaka on the Horizon by Stavro Nashi

Ithaka on the Horizon

by Stavro Nashi

Giveaway ends May 01, 2014.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win

ITHAKA ON THE HORIZON: A Greek-American Journey

  • NOW AVAILABLE!
My Photo

Greek Heritage Festival Photos

  • P7110628
    Saint Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, Saco, Maine, USA 10-12 July 2009

Halki Seminary

  • DSC00655
    The Patriarchal Theological Seminary of Halki is located on the Turkish island known as Heyelbiada in the Bosporus straits. It was closed in 1971 by the Turkish government and is the subject of much controversy since it is the only seminary in Turkey and the position of Ecumenical Patriarch can only be filled by a Turkish citizen. Sign the petition to reopen it at www.greece.org

Index of Posts

« Greeks and Christianity | Main | The Best and Brightest »

01 June 2006

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341bf6c453ef00d834d6093569e2

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Greek American Operational Group of the OSS:

Comments

George

Not bad but there are two important clarifications:
Only a very small number of the 122nd actually joined the OSS and only a tiny portion of the OSS serving in Greece came from the 122nd.

Indeed the majority of 122 members who were transfered to C 2671 never went to Greece and stayed in Egypt.

Most Greek American OSS operatives who ended up serving in Greece did not come through 122 or even the Army at all but were Ivy League Greek Americans recruited directly through an operation coordinated by OWI (which was just as much a precursor to CIA as OSS was) Greek desk head, Harry Lagoudakis together with the WWII AHEPA Supreme President George Vournas.

The Mousalimas history linked and your entry primarily reflect the radio operator group which was a fraction of the actual effort.

A lot of this is tangled up with the fact that the British blocked deployment of the 122 anmd 2671. This had less to do with the concept of Greece being in "the British Sphere" than the SOE's main concern -- blocking EAM/ELAS. In memo after memo the SOE accused the OSS, and American and Greek American OSS operatives, of being "leftists."

Greek American OSS involvement, or more precisily the hampering of their invovlemnt in fighting the Germans, Italians and Bulgarians in Greece, is tied up with the history of British involvment in polarizing the resistance and creating a lot of the aftermath.

Andrew S. Mousalimas

Recently I googled “Mousalimas” and discovered your Odyssey web site, and was pleasantly surprised you posted an article of the Greek/American Operational Group (Greek/USOG).
My heartfelt thanks to you and your staff for acknowledging the elite Greek-American commando unit.

Unfortunately there was a letter in the Odyssey site from “George” who is mistaken when he irresponsibly wrote only a very small number of the original 122nd infantry Battalion aka Greek Battalion entered Greece. His letter to the ODYSSEY is inaccurate and an insult to the one hundred fifty six Greek/USOG volunteers who entered Greece behind enemy lines in 1944.

Per your article you mention my memoirs are in PAHH.COM. People have asked me where I collected the information for my memoirs. As the self appointed historian of the Greek/USOG, I have kept in contact with Greek/USOG veterans, widows and families since our first reunion in Denver, CO in 1991. More importantly my wife, Mary, has not only supported me in my endeavors, but she has been incredible gathering pertinent information of the history of the Greek/USOG.

Mary and I video taped Colonel Peter Clainos (ret), the C.O. of the Greek Battalion; Major Robert Houlihan, the C.O of the Greek/USOG; Colonel George Verghis (ret), Group I leader; Theodore Russell Greek/USOG, Communication officer, and First Sergeant Theophanes Strimenos; we also interviewed many Greek/USOG veterans.

Mary in 1993 researched the National Archives in Washington D.C where she found declassified pages of the Greek/USOG Yugoslavian and Greek missions.

A mini history of the Greek/USOG:
September 1943 at Camp Carson, CO the OSS recruited two hundred volunteers from the Greek Battalion. Unfortunately the Greek Battalion was disbanded when the volunteers left Camp Carson.

Our unit had numerous titles but the one constant was the Greek/American Operational Group; the vast majority of veterans did not discover the official name of the Greek/USOG, which is Co C. 2671 Special Reconnaissance Battalion, until after WWII.

There is a significant and important reason the number that entered Greece was less than the two hundred original volunteers. Three of the six Greek/USOG groups went directly into Greece and the remaining three groups were sent to the Island of Vis in the Adriatic. The three Greek/USOG groups in the Adriatic joined British Commandos and Tito’s Partisans and participated in Commando raids and Reconnaissance Missions on various Adriatic Islands and the coast of Yugoslavia. There were casualties, injuries and illnesses in the Adriatic conflicts which reduced the number of veterans from the three groups on Vis, who ultimately entered Greece.

The OSS had Five Ethnic Operational Groups (French, Greek, Italian, Norwegian and Yugoslavian). All our battle records were sealed by the CIA until 1986.

Subsequent the Greek/USOG has been honored by the following groups:
A statue of our elite unit was unveiled in Athens’ Military Park, May 26, 2005 by the Greek Defense Minister, Spilios Spiliotopoulos.

Greek Army Lieutenant General Konstantinos Korkas (ret) has been the Greek/USOG’s champion of our cause in Greece for many years. While people in Greece including members of the Greek Government and Military, not unlike “George”, called us pseftes (liars) and refused to believe American Commandos were in Greece in WWII, General Korkas was relentless until we received our due recognition; the General was responsible in finding the location for the statue; the General translated into Greek the battle record of the Greek/USOG from the National Archives; he also produced a video of the Greek/USOG, and in addition with artifacts and photographs, these items can be found in the Greek Military Museum.

During the unveiling of the statue the three veterans who attended the festivities, Angelo Lygizos, Nick H. Cominos and Andrew Mousalimas, and the sculptor of the statue Andrew Saffas, anointed General Korkas as the Godfather of the Greek/USOG.

November 2007 at Washington D.C. the Greek Ambassador and the Greek Military Attaché honored the Greek/USOG. Seven Greek/USOG veterans, including me, General Korkas and Mr. Saffas attended the festivities.

April 2009 at Fort Bragg, NC the U.S. Special Forces invited as their guests, veterans and their spouses, when they honored all the OSS Ethnic Operational Groups as the precursors of their elite unit. Greek/USOG veterans Angelo Lygizos, Gust Vellios and Andrew Mousalimas attended the reunion.

A plaque is placed on the Fort Bragg parade grounds honoring the five ethnic Operational Groups, including the Greek/USOG.

“George” is also mistaken when he wrote the main concern of the British was blocking the EAM/ELAS.
When Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin met at the Teheran Conference 11/28--12/1, 1943, the British were awarded the Balkans in their sphere of influence.

My wife, Mary and I video taped Colonel Peter Clainos (ret) for over twelve hours, during the period of 1989-1992, at his home in San Francisco.

Colonel Clainos was called back to the Pentagon, March 1943, two months after the Greek Battalion was founded, and he repeatedly stated during his interviews, that he was told by the Pentagon, not only the Greek Battalion but no American uniform would be allowed, by the British, to enter Greece. The Colonel was devastated to discover the Pentagon’s order; when he returned to Camp Carson he did not mention the Pentagon’s order to anyone including his executive officers. (For further information see my memoirs @ Pahh.com).

Yes, including the Greek/USOG there were American OSS agents who entered Greece, including Lt. Costa G. Couvaras. Couvaras was under the command of Captain George Vournas; Vournas broke his leg during training in Egypt and was unable to enter Greece.
Couvaras parachuted into Greece April 30, 1944 and joined the EAM/ELAS Antartes. After the war Couvaras wrote an interesting book: “O.S.S. With The Central Committee of E.A.M”. George Vournas wrote the introduction of Couvaras’ book.

If anyone is interested in the true story and the rich history of the Greek/American Operational Group, either visit the National Archives in Washington D.C. or read my memoirs. Please do not spread trumped-up stories such as “George’s” about our unit.

If “George” was confident he was correct, why didn’t he post his full name?

George

I am confident I am correct, and know so from being a friend of George Vournas and of Harry Lagoudakis as well as a correspondent with Nick Hammond (ex SOE).

The majority of Greek Americans who served in Greece were not your operation group but OSS operatives.

The declassified documents support entirely what Vournas and Lagoudakis knew from direct involvement, that the the British successfully blocked deployment of most of the forces, and of those deployed constantly and successfully blocked effectiveness.

.........
"not unlike “George”, called us pseftes (liars) and refused to believe American Commandos were in Greece in WWII,"
.........

What is with the the personal insults in the face of facts? I did not call you a liar, but merely clarified with facts. American commandos were in Greece, the majority were NOT in your group, although a number did come in from your group. Your group consisted of mostly radio operators and reconnaissance operatives as opposed to the OSS group which had operation and C&C functions.

It is simply a fact also that the British blocked deployment, and blocked effectiveness of those who were deployed. (The British even completely upended and replaced their own SOE group leadership in Greece!) The record is full of them considering both OSS and your group as leftists, and or liable to assist the leftist.

Without prejudice to whether the British were right or wrong about their views on countering EAM during the war, or their use of EDES agaisnt them, the fact is they very effectiveness prosecuted those views.

Andrew you may wish to read what both Myers and Woodhouse had to write bout this time, and how your group was victim to the same politics as Myers was.

Let's stick to the facts and not your untrue name calling. What I opened with was:
"Indeed the majority of 122 members who were transfered to C 2671 never went to Greece and stayed in Egypt."

That is an outright fact.

Wm S Marsh

Looking for any who fought with my dad OSS OG S/Sgt W S Mierzejewski at
i.Mjlet Island. 22-24 May 1944
ii.Brac Island, 1-4 June 1944
iii.Peljesac Peninsula (first), 22-25 June 1944

Contact Wm S Marsh
Youngest Son of S/Sgt W S Mierzejewski
homestayrva@verizon.net

Katherine Kipp

My father(Steve Marthiakes) in the OSS Greek battalion(Operational group 11). Contrary to your article , my dad ( a very proud greek) was a "greek immigrant" as where the 22 men he fought along side with in the mountains of greece against the Germans.
In 1986 the CIA released the sealed documents and the efforts of these brave men are recorded in the National Archives. As a US soldier he was there to protect his birthplace. On May 18,2008 he was awarded a bronze star for valor by the US government. So please, lets give these men the recognition they are deserving of. Two books have recently been written, Behind the lines in Greece and Yiannis. They are factual and easy reading.
Katherine S. Kipp

Nicholas Andros

To whom it may concern,
My name is Nicholas Andros, and I am trying to research the military career of my grandfather. His name is James H. Andros, ARC Identifier 2162693 Serial number 36649612. I am a disabled veteran my self and have only learned of his accomplishments recently. He never spoke of his time serving in WWII and I am trying to gather as much information as I can. I have very little information other than that he was possibly part of the US-OG-OSS. Gathering as much information about his service is very important to me. I am asking if anyone has any information on his service to please ocntact me. I can be reached via email at NickAndros60@gmail.com.


Thank you for your time,
Nick Andros

Stavros

Best wishes to you Nick, hope your quest brings you closer to your papou.

morpheus

No offence to anyone but I have read about the OSS operational group they seemed to be more of an intel collections group for post-war planning in the area-i.e to make sure the area returned to its pre-war state or remained pro-British. Did they do much fighting?

morpheus

I notice also that socalled "leftists" were weeded out of these units.

Stavros

I recommend reading this article to get a better idea of what they were able to accomplish:

http://www.militaryhistoryonline.com/wwii/articles/ossgreece.aspx

Too bad British intelligence was never able to get rid of all the leftists like Kim Philby who caused so much grief.

morpheus

They sound more like the Kings retinue.

morpheus

Admittedly, I dont have much sympathy or love loss for the Greek government or elite of the period nor do most Greeks inside Greece so its not surprising they wouldnt care much for stuff like this.

morpheus

Stavros it really amazes me that you can brush aside the real problems that lead to the civil war. I dont think apple pie and ice cream always make things beautiful.

morpheus

I have family members who were murdered by the pro-US right wing Greek government so I am always sceptical. Things are not as they are always presented in the United States.

morpheus

It may even have been better for Greece to go through communism first to provide the necessary blastwork for the development of real capitalism. Look at Eastern Europe for example. So am I dismissing most of internal modern Greek history as nonsense? Probably.

Stavros

The Civil War was a terrible episode in Greek history. Many people, some innocent, some guilty, were murdered by both sides. I would hope that we can put it behind us and look to the future.

Communism is a scourge on the face of the earth, trying to justify its ideology and revise its history is a favorite ploy of the Left. The Left has more or less ruled Greece since 1980. During this time it has made a shambles of Greek education, transforming it into a propaganda mill for the training of young leftist radicals. They in turn do their best to destroy Greek history and patriotism as well as replace religious faith with an empty secularism. Perhaps even more than the terrible havoc they have wrought on the economy, that is their lasting legacy.

We can only pray that Greeks will wake up and act like Greeks again, and send all the foreign ideologies packing.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Become a Fan

Searching for Ithaka

  • Keep Ithaka always in your mind. Arriving there is what you're destined for. But don't hurry the journey at all. Better if it lasts for years, so you're old by the time you reach the island, wealthy with all you've gained on the way, not expecting Ithaka to make you rich. Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey. Without her you wouldn't have set out. She has nothing left to give you now. And if you find her poor, Ithaka won't have fooled you. Wise as you will have become, so full of experience, you'll have understood by then what these Ithakas mean. C. P. Cavafy

FAIR USE

  • This site may include excerpts of copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. I am making such material available consistent with the established practice of academic citation and in an effort to advance understanding of the issues addressed by My Greek Odyssey blog. This constitutes a "fair use" of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without fee or payment of any kind to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond “fair use,” you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. All original material produced by the author and published on this site is copyrighted.

Posting

  • POSTING STANDARDS
    User comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will not be accepted and will be removed from the site. Users who continue to violate any of my posting standards will be blocked.

Bookmarks