Fallen Heroes Memorials in Georgitsi
In the northern district of the village, one can see the Memorial dedicated to the three Georgitsian pilots who heroically died while defending our freedom. In the southern district of the village there is the memorial of victims of Balkan Wars, Greco-Turish War and Second World War.
On 8th November an annual ceremony is held in memory of the Georgitsian pilots, where representatives from the Hellenic Air Force pay tribute.
First Liutenant Evangelos Giannaris
Evangelos Giannaris was born in Athens in 1916 and his parents came from Georgitsi. He joined the Hellenic Air Force Academy in 1936 and he graduated in 1937 with the rank of a Pilot Officer. He was the first pilot and the first officer of the Hellenic Armed Forces who died on 30th October 1940 during the second world war. His bravery was beyond borders; he insisted in taking more missions than the ones he was assigned with. In one of them he took over Lt. Tzamourakis’ mission, which was meant to be his final mission. Giannaris’ plane was hit by five Italian FIAT bombers. During the dogfight, he landed the plane just a few kilometres north of the town of Kastoria, in the district of Prophitis Elias in Vasisiada village. Giannaris was transported to the hospital, but was already dead.
On 20th April 1941, Giannaris was posthumously awarded by the HAF Flying Cross for his bravery, self-abnegation and self-sacrifice during the war time.
Characteristics of Henschel Hs 126K-6
The 2-seater, light bombing/reconnaissance Henschel Hs 126K-6 was the most modern airplane in its category in the inventory of the Hellenic Air Force in 1940. In total, 16 Henschel were delivered to Dekelia Air Base in December 1939. The Henschel was one of the few airplanes of that period that was delivered fully equipped, including luxurious editions of translations in the Greek language of the German Maintenance Manuals. It was equipped with 2 fixed machine guns, firing through the propeller’s cycle and a rotary machine gun for the observer as well as various configurations of domestically constructed bombs.
Role: Bomber / Reconnaissance
Engine: 1 x Bramo 323A-2 fafnir (900HP)
Dimensions: Wingspan 14.50 m, length 10.85 m, height 3.75 m
Armament: 3 × 7.92mm FN-Browning machine guns, 330 lb of payload
Country of production: Germany
Years in service: 1939–1941
Sqn Ldr Nikolaos Skroumbelos
He was born in 1907 in Georgitsi and joined the Hellenic Air Force in April 1928. On 23 February 1941 and whilst on an arranged mission in the area of Kleisoura in Kastoria region, he was engaged in one of the most devastating dogfights against the Italian MACCHI. The chief of his Mirae, Grigorios Theodoropoulos quoted: “Nikolaos’ squadron performed manoeuvres that confused the enemy and resulted in three enemy planes to crush and burn. Unfortunately, Nikolaos got shot from ahead and the side. This was one of the deadliest dogfights in the Albanian sky and the Kleisoura region had hosted.”
In 7th of March 1941 he was awarded the Flying Cross and in 1946 he was awarded the Cross of Valour (posthumous) for his undeniable bravery.
Characteristics of PZL .P24
The PZL.P24 was a Polish fighter aircraft and the main fighter type in history of Hellenic Air Force. The contract for the P.24 supply was signed in September 1936, with final delivery date in May 1937. They had the standard equipment specifications consisting of German radio and American oxygen supply system.
Apart from the 11 that were destroyed on the ground, the rest were shot down in furious dogfights, manned by courageous but inexperienced young graduates of the Air Force Academy, as well as several NCO pilots.
Engine: 1 x Gnome Rhone 14NO7 (950 hp)
Dimensions: Wingspan 10.68 m, length 7.60 m, height 2.69 m
Armament: 2 x 7,92 mm LK32 machine guns, 2 x 20 mm Oerlikon FF machine guns
Country of production: Poland
Years in service: 1936-1941
Plt.Off Grigorios Petrakis
He was born in 1895 in Georgitsi and In December 1919 Commanding General of the Army bestowed with medal and honourably mentioned Plt. Off. Griogorios Petrakis because he managed to restore/maintain four planes (three NIEUPORT and one SPAD) without the best available technology. The zeal and self-denial that characterized Gregorios Petrakis has inspired both the Hellenic Army General Staff as well as the Administration of SEDES airport. On 13th March 1920 he was ordered by the Army Corps in Chi Division (located in Kioplou are) and 3rd Division to execute recognition and bombing the enemies. In April 1921 the Third Corps awarded him the Hellenic War Cross 3rd Class with honourable mention because although it was possible he could had returned to Thessaloniki after the completion of his mission, he decided to stay in battle. His skills and dexterity were greatly appreciated during reconnaissance and bombing.
He crashed with his plane No. AR 806 during take-off on 10th May 1921 when he was ordered to redeploy in Kazamir, Izmir.
Characteristics of SPAN V11