A veteran of World War II, retired air commodore Vyron Notis Sacharidis, passed away on Tuesday 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, eventually 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 receiving 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 recognised for his services by the Air Force and current Hellenic National Defence Minister Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos in November 2019.
*Source: The National Herald