Please join St Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church and Evergreen Washelli in a special ceremony to pay tribute to the Greek American members of the armed forces from Washington State who made the supreme sacrifice in the service of their country. The dedication ceremony will be held at 2:30 pm, Saturday, November 5, 2011, in the St. Demetrios section of Evergreen Washelli; 11111 Aurora Avenue North, Seattle, WA 98133. Following the ceremony, a short reception will be held, across the street, in the main building at Evergreen Washelli. Family and friends will be encouraged to speak about their loved one who so ultimately gave their life while in the service of our great Country. Below are the names and stories of the brave men being honored.
PVT John P. Chemeres, Aberdeen Washington Private Chemeres enlisted in the Army in 1940. He was with the infantry and was sent to England in June 1944, going from there to Belgium and into Germany. Private Chemeres was killed in Germany on November 29, 1944 and is buried in Margraten, Holland. He was awarded the Purple Heart.
2LT Gust J. Damascus, Seattle, Washington Army Second Lieutenant Damascus entered the service as an engineer with the Ninth Air Force. He was killed in action in France on August 22, 1944. Lieutenant Damascus turned down an invitation to become a teacher to answer the call to colors. He is buried at Evergreen Washelli’s Veterans Memorial Cemetery—El Caney Section.
LTJG George Damaskos, Yakima, Washington Lieutenant Damaskos was a Navy dive bomber pilot who participated in several island hopping engagements. Lieutenant Damaskos was killed in the South Pacific.
CAP James G. Droles, Yakima, Washington Chief Aviation Pilot Droles served in the United States Navy and was listed as Missing in Action on April 26, 1944.
PVT Leslie V. Frink, Seattle, Washington Private Frink served in the USMC and was listed as Missing in the Solomon Islands in November 1942. He was awarded the Purple Heart.
FLO Dimitrios Geranios, Seattle, Washington Geranios served as a Flight Officer in the Army Air Corps, 83rd Bomber Squadron, he flew a B25 in India. His plane was shot down on August 7, 1945 and he is buried in the Punchbowl Cemetery in Hawaii.
MAJ John W. Katsonis, Hoquiam, Washington Major Katsonis, according to The Ahepa Mentor, learned to fly at the age of 16 and was one of the world’s youngest majors at the age of 21. He served about a year with the Royal Air Force in England, where he operated a spit-fire fighter plane, flying in numerous air battles. Just before the U.S. entered the war, he joined the U.S. Army as a Captain in the Air Corps and, in 1943, was made a Major. Major Katsonis was killed in Buffalo, New York, while testing a plane for the US Air Corps.
PFC Denny F. Lagounaris, Tacoma, Washington Private First Class Lagounaris served in the Battle of the Bulge. He was captured by Germany in December of 1944 and died as a Prisoner of War. He is buried in Oakwood Hill Cemetery.
S1C Christ Makos, Seattle, WashingtonSeaman First Class Makos served in the US Navy and died of a brain tumor during wartime (1947).
PVT John Massouras, Ellensburg, Washington Private Massouras served in the Army Air Corps, he died of pneumonia in May, 1945 at Randolph Field, Texas, where he was in training. He is buried in Evergreen Cemetery.
2LT Nicholas G. Pantages, Seattle, Washington Second Lieutenant Pantages served in the 710th Bomber Squadron 447th Bomber of the US Army Air Corps. His plane was hit by enemy fire after a raid over Germany and crashed on the way back to England in the sea off Voorne, Holland. Lieutenant Pantages was listed as Missing in Action of March 11, 1944. Among other Army Awards, he received the Purple Heart Medal and the Air Medal with two Oak-Leaf Cluster.
PFC Tony T. Pappadakis Jr., Seattle, Washington Private First Class Pappadakis was a US Army engineer on an amphibious ship and was one of the first to land on the island. He was killed in action on Okinawa on April 10, 1945.
CPT John P. Prekeges, Spokane, Washington Captain Prekeges served in the Army. He entered the military in 1946 and worked in Army intelligence serving in Japan, the U.S., Germany and Greece. Captain Prekeges died of Leukemia at Valley Forge Army Hospital, Phoenixville, PA in 1965.
1LT Paul P. Rockas, Seattle, Washington First Lieutenant Rockas was a bomber pilot with the Army Air Corps. He was awarded the Air Medal for distinguished service. Lieutenant Rockas died on March 30, 1944 following a raid over a Japanese held island in the South Pacific.
SGT Perry Rogers, Seattle, Washington Sergeant Perry Rogers served in the US Army. He died while fighting in Korea.
PVT Vlases Stavropoulos, Wenatchee, Washington Private Stavropoulos served with the Washington National Guard and was a member of Troop B, Hq. Battalion, 1st Army. He fought in WW1, stationed in France. Private Stavropoulos died in France from sickness; it is believed it was pneumonia, on January 7, 1919.
LCDR George P. Varver Jr., Seattle, Washington Lieutenant Commander Verver received his appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy in 1955 and received his commission as a Naval Officer at Newport, R.I. in 1959. He joined the Naval Air Reserve at Sand Point and was assigned as executive officer on a sea going tug stationed at Pier 91. On December 13, 1973, while on a mission to pick up personnel from Whidbey Naval Station, to return them to their families for Christmas, the Navy plane crashed on Great Sitkin Island in the Aleutian chain. He is buried in Evergreen Washelli’s Veterans Memorial Cemetery—Bunker Hill Section.
CPL George Vellias, Roy, Washington Corporal Vellias was a member of Company K, 3rd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division. He was killed in Action while fighting the enemy in North Korea on November 19, 1951. He was awarded the Purple Heart, the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Korean Presidential Unit Citation and the Republic of Korea War Service Medal.
CPT Dan Victor (Fountoukakis), Tacoma, Washington Captain Dan Victor served in the National Guard. He died on November 19, 1942 when his plane crashed near Nome, Alaska.
S1C Nicholas P. Wells, Seattle, Washington Seaman First Class Wells served in the US Navy. He completed his submarine training at New London, Conn., in May, 1944. Seaman Wells was on his first trip at sea on the submarine Escolar, which was attacked in the Pacific and failed to return to its base at Pearl Harbor on November 25, 1944. He was awarded the Purple Heart Medal.