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Personnel. Group under Lt. George Chamas entered Greece July 19 at Parga, moved across Greece with Lt. Manusos' Group III, split at Dheskhati to go NE to Mt. Olympus area.

Operation 1 Train ambush on Athens-Salonica RR south of Katerini

Group traveled on trails through 3 nights from Ano Melia to track south of Katerini. Train came at 0100 slowly, was not stopped by explosives planted by British, but OGs poured hundreds of rounds into the cars. Enemy casualties were repotes as 120 killed and 300 wounded. Withdrawal along the trails through enemy fire to rendevouz point was difficult. Next day 12 hostages were murdered by the Germans in retaliation. Lt. Chamas and others went through the attack with malaria.

Operation 2. RR ambush close to Op 1.

September 8. At 2325 as demolitions were being unloaded from mules a train from the north set off explosives laid at another point and German outposts opened with heavy fire. Some of the explosives being unloaded had been placed and when an armored car approaching from the north opened fire they were set off, damaging rail and a small culvert. After several minutes of exchanging fire, withdrawal was ordered. Six cars with fuel were ignited. Group met at rendevoux next morning and returned to Ano Melia. Civilians reported 13 Germans dead, two wounded and 7 cars destroyed.

Operation 3. Latohoru garrison

Lt. Chumas, Sgt. Strimenos and two Andarte officers put on civilian clothes to reconnoiter a barb-wired and mined area south of Katerini where a garrison and 3 pillboxes were located near a concrete bridge. The four civilians wandering close to the bridge were spotted and patrols were sent out. The patrols opened fire, reinforcements went to the pillboxes and four tanks appeared on the bridge. The recon party and the rest of the OGs returned to their base.

Operation 4. Movroneri River ambush.

Sept. 13 OGs with Col. West and Capt. Blanas as observers arrived at tracks south of the River. British Maj. MacAdams' crew placed demolitions. A train arrived and the explosion blew it off the tracks. T/5 fired the bazooka causing the engine tubes to explode. 2500 rounds of ammunition were fired into the coaches and supply cars causing fires much damage. Lt. Chamas ordered withdrawal. A tank appeared and opened fire. Cpl. Vakakas received a non-serious neck wound and was given 1st aid by T/4 Laubs. Men slept and returned to base next day.

Operation 5. Hilopotamon bridge

Sept. _ In late afternoon Group with Capt. Blanas as observer moved to rendevoux point for the attack on pillboxes and 12 to 20 man garrison defending the bridge south of Mavoniere. As objective was approached German flares showed Andartes placing demolitions on the tracks. Now discovered, the Andartes set off the charges and the Germans rersponded with extensive fire. Assaulting troops advanced to positions under heavy fire. A guide leading Sgt. Daigle ran off to the hills panic-stricken, leaving this group lost. At Sgt. Laris' suggestion the group lay low. Meanwhile Andartes left for the hills leaving Bazooka squad by themselves. Without flank attacks, Lt. Chamas ordered open fire on a frontal attack.
A German guard, taken prisoner, reported Germans huddled in the pillbox waiting to give themselves up.
But 3 German cars appeared and the OGs and Andartes took cover in a ditch, pinned down by fire. With German artillery and mortars firing, all hope of destroying the bridge was gone and retreat was impossible. Lt. Chamas ordered fire and for four and a half hours the OGs battled the armored cars. At 0345 Lt. Chamas ordered withdrawal and under fire the men reached base.

Operation 6. Last train north from Katerini.

Lt. Chamas, too weak from malaria to get out of bed, put Sgt. Strimenos in charge. With 5 available men the Sgt. raced to cut off the German escape but were delayed by a storm and on reaching the point on the track where the attack was planned found the Germans had fled.

This summary of the Balkan Operational Groups was extracted from records of the National Archives provided through the courtesy of Lt. Col. Ian D. W. Sutherland. Attorney Sutherland is the compiler of the encyclopedic "Special Forces of the United States Army, 1952-1982"


1st Lt. George Chumas
T/Sgt. Richard J. Daigle, Jr.
T/Sgt. Apostolos G. Mihopoulos
T/Sgt. Alvin G. Painas
T/Sgt. Christopher Saris
T/Sgt. Theophanes G. Strimanos
S/Sgt. Thomas K. Andrews
S/Sgt. Harry Fergadiotis
S/Sgt. Peter M. Laris
Sgt. Harry J. Pulos
T/4 James A . Laubs
Cpl. Photios G. Doukas
Cpl. Anton Loukas
Cpl. Nick E. Ramoundos
T/5 Alexander Haritakis
T/5 Christ G. Lulas
T/5 Lambros G. Makris
T/5 Harris R. Mill
T/5 Nicholas D. Papapanu
T/5 Eleftherios J. Pipinias
T/5 Bill Portolos
T/5 Georgiios P. Portolos
T/5 Sotirios G. Vakakas



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