Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Greek-American battalion of WW2.

The 122nd marching with an American and a Greek flag


This photo, taken in Camp Carson, Colorado in early 1943, pictures the first and only time a foreign flag was allowed to fly next to the American flag leading a United States Armed Forces group on American soil.!!! Passing in review for President Franklin D. Roosevelt and General George C. Marshall, the soldiers were Greek-American and Greek Immigrants, many of whom were not yet American citizens.

The Battalion Commander was Major Peter D.  Clainos, the first Greek born American to graduate from the West Point Academy and a co-founder of the Sons of Pericles.  A demanding task master, Major Clainos vowed that he would not allow his men to embarrass themselves or the Greek People and made certain they were well trained and in outstanding physical condition.

When the "Greek Battalion" was disbanded, most of its members were transferred to infantry units that fought in both the European and Pacific Theaters.  One hundred-sixty members of the Battalion volunteered for a small elite commando group that fought with the Greek Resistance in Greece as members of the Greek/US Operational Group, Office of Strategic Services.

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