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Steve N. Pisanos

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Colonel Steve N. Pisanos, USAF (ret.) “retired from the U.S. Air Force in 1973, after thirty years and service in three wars. He is the recipient of numerous U.S., British, French, and Republic of Vietnam awards and decorations, including three Legions of Merit and five U.S. Distinguished Flying Crosses and the Purple Heart. He lives in San Diego, California.” Colonel Steve N. Pisanos is the author of The Flying Greek: An Immigrant Fighter Ace’s WWII Odyssey with the RAF, USAAF, And French Resistance.

According to the book description of The Flying Greek: An Immigrant Fighter Ace’s WWII Odyssey with the RAF, USAAF, And French Resistance, “Steve N. Pisanos’s The Flying Greek is both the classic tale of an immigrant’s bond with America and an aerial adventure. When young Pisanos arrived in the U.S. in 1938, he worked, studied English, and learned to fly. He earned a private pilot’s license in 1941, and soon after Germany invaded Greece, he volunteered for the embattled British Royal Air Force. He served with the 268 and 71 Eagle Squadrons. The 71 Eagle Squadron was one of three Eagle squadrons comprised of U.S. volunteers. In 1942, he became a naturalized U.S. citizen while in London, England. He was the first individual in American history to become a citizen while outside the U.S. border, and his becoming a citizen allowed him to be commissioned a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Air Forces.

In riveting detail, Pisanos recounts his combat record, from fighter sweeps and bomber escort missions to dogfighting, flying the Spitfire, the P-47, and the P-51. While flying a P-47 named Miss Plainfield, he scored his first aerial victory on May 21, 1943. By January 1, 1944, he had become an ace. After his tenth confirmed kill, he crash-landed his P-51 in France and spent six months with the French Resistance, successfully evading capture. Because of his exposure to the French operations, the Air Force could not risk his capture again, so he returned to the U.S. and became a test pilot at Wright Field where he also attended the Air Force’s test pilot school.

Despite grave danger, Pisanos set aside his pride, fears, and misgivings to help achieve a greater good. The Flying Greek is an entertaining and remarkable journey that will interest historians and aviation enthusiasts.”

One reader of  the Flying Greek: An Immigrant Fighter Ace’s WWII Odyssey with the RAF, USAAF, And French Resistance said, “The Flying Greek" by Steve Pisanos is a welcome addition to WWII aerial memoirs, written by a member of the celebrated Fourth Figther Group of the Eighth Air Force, and Pisanos, with 10 aerial victories, was no small contributor to their fame. Reading the cover copy gives one a broad idea of what the book contains as subject matter. Having said that, probably Pisanos' gutsiest, bravest exploit was heading off to New York by way of Baltimore as a lone, 18-year-old in pursuit of fulfilling his dream of being a pilot. His most nail-biting exploits were performed in occupied France where he tagged along with cells of the Maquis, the French resistance, sabotaging the infrastructure of the occupying Nazi forces.

The rest of the book is absorbing if not engrossing, I wish he had written to greater length about the fabulous Fourth Fighter Group and the personalities/characters which populated this fine group of pilots. Perhaps there is a sequel waiting in the wings? One hopes so! One also hopes that after such tireless service pimping the F-4 Phantom II to the Hellenic Air Force that McDonnell-Douglas gave him a fitting commission for services rendered. In short, get acquainted with Steve Pisanos, "The Flying Greek", you'll be glad you did!”

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