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One of Greece’s Last WWII Fighter Pilots, Vyron Sacharidis Dies Aged 99

ATHENS – A veteran of World War II, retired air commodore Vyron Notis Sacharidis, died aged 99.

One of the last remaining fighter pilots, Sacharidis had seen a lot of action in Greece, Africa and Italy during the war. In his second year of cadet school, after the Greek-Italian war broke out, he went to the island of Crete where he was captured by the Germans in May 1941. He was helped by the locals to escape, evantually finding his way to the Middle East through Turkey and Syria. He ended up at the Hellenic Air Force's 336th Bomber Squadron under Britain's RAF, after receving training by RAF in Gaza, South Africa and Rhodesia.

In September 1944 he followed the squadron to Italy and returned to Greece to participate in Hellenic Air Force operations until 1949.

After the war, he held executive positions before being retired by the junta in 1967, with the air commodore rank he already held. He was recognized for his services by the Air Force and current Hellenic National Defense Minister Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos in November 2019.

– Vassilis Pias

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