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Thread: My Great Greek Moments Part 1. Escadrille Lafayette.

  1. #1

    Default My Great Greek Moments Part 1. Escadrille Lafayette.

    Last days of April and the 1st of May my family and me were on guided tour in Athens/Greece and nearby islands of Hydra, Poros and Egina to see some very famous ancient places and exciting landscapes.
    Since those days were full of memorable and unexpected, emotional moments I would like to share some of them with you.
    It goes without saying that they were even more exciting to me for they were connected with history, wars...planes and people. For people we meet, their memory, feelings and emotions shared with others is what really counts in one's life.

    Here is the story part 1.
    We spend one day on a sea cruise from Athens to 3 beautiful islands. Wonderful weather, saxophone playing in the background and drinks available makes you feel absolutely good.
    Wandering at the stern of the boat I found a free seat and sat right by a lone lady and we started to chat. It turned out she was an American, born in Germany, living in California for 48 years.
    We had a great time talking about the fates of our ancestors and I told her about my grandpa who left Poland in 1939 after the lost September campaign to become so called "Sikorski's Tourist", going trough Romania, Greece (stay tuned for another insight story in Part 2!), France to Britain to fight in 1st Polish Arnoured Division in the West. This time her father was a German soldier fighting in 1941 in Greece, Creta and North Africa where finally became a POW of the USA Army. She married an American and moved to USA.
    Her husband died two years ago.
    I told her about my interest in historic military aviation, our Forum, the games we play and mentined about MvR house in Świdnica I had visited with Mike and Donna recently.
    When I was telling her about MvR collection of shot down planes artifacts she told me...
    "You know, my husband was a collector of old things. One day he was given a piece of old plane canvas with an Indian head. I know it was the emblem of Escadrille Lafayette. I watched the film Flyboys and saw this Indian head.
    I still keep it, not knowing what to do with it. Called Christie's, but they refused to get it on auction for I do not have a certificate of legal origin.
    "

    So Ursula, for this is her name, still has it. We exchanged emails and she promised to send me a picture of the canvas. Could you believe?!
    Below is a photo of us chatting, taken by my wife.

    <img src=http://www.wingsofwar.org/forums/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=2554&dateline=1409073309 border=0 alt= />
    "We do not stop playing when we get old, but we get old when we stop playing."

  2. #2

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    Well, that's a marvellous coincidence Andy - hope she come through with a picture (or even passes on the legacy)

    "He is wise who watches"

  3. #3

    Scrivner's Avatar
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    Wow - what a find! Maybe she'll eventually donate it to a museum. It would be interesting to try to have it authenticated.
    I hope to see the picture she sends.

  4. #4

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    Stunning a Lafayette canvas wonder if its tracable to a particular aircraf and pilot?


    I'm learning to fly, but I ain't got wings
    Coming down is the hardest thing

  5. #5

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    Did you offer to paint her nails in exchange for the souvenir ?


    I'm learning to fly, but I ain't got wings
    Coming down is the hardest thing

  6. #6

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    Interesting tale, Andy.
    Looking forward to the next installment.
    Looks like you have lovely weather for your excursion.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by tikkifriend View Post
    Did you offer to paint her nails in exchange for the souvenir ?
    I love your sense of humour!
    <img src=http://www.wingsofwar.org/forums/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=2554&dateline=1409073309 border=0 alt= />
    "We do not stop playing when we get old, but we get old when we stop playing."

  8. #8

    Thumbs up

    Great story Andy!
    I always said "Its the people you meet along the way that make travelling extra special"

    "Its a fine line indeed between going out in a Blaze of Glory or having Crashed & Burnt!"
    Member Australian Society of WW1 Aero Historians

  9. #9

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    Very interesting! Eager to see the photo, maybe it could help to identify the plane and pilot.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nightbomber View Post
    This time her father was a German soldier fighting in 1941 in Greece, Creta and North Africa where finally became a POW of the USA Army.
    I was in Maleme - Crete on Monday, visiting the German War Cemetery. So many graves of paratroopers that were barely 18/20 years old.

  10. #10

    Guntruck's Avatar Central England Command Squadron Leader & Librarian
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    Very nice story Andy. Small world, eh?
    Run for your life - there are stupid people everywhere!

  11. #11

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    Now that would be a find - lovely story... lets hope we get to see the aforementioned item

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  12. #12

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    following with interest!!!

  13. #13

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    Very interesting story. Good of you to sit down and chat with that woman. You made her day. Never knew you grandfather was in the 1st Polish AD. in his honor.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by BobP View Post
    Very interesting story. Good of you to sit down and chat with that woman. You made her day. Never knew you grandfather was in the 1st Polish AD. in his honor.
    Thank you Bob and chaps.

    The story continues here:
    https://www.wingsofwar.org/forums/sh...021#post502021
    <img src=http://www.wingsofwar.org/forums/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=2554&dateline=1409073309 border=0 alt= />
    "We do not stop playing when we get old, but we get old when we stop playing."

  15. #15

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    In today's emails I found pictures of the framed piece of canvas sent by Ursula. Simply breathtaking. Take a look.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	267572
    <img src=http://www.wingsofwar.org/forums/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=2554&dateline=1409073309 border=0 alt= />
    "We do not stop playing when we get old, but we get old when we stop playing."

  16. #16

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    Marvelous piece of visual history .


    I'm learning to fly, but I ain't got wings
    Coming down is the hardest thing

  17. #17

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    Wow that is cool

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  18. #18

  19. #19

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    Awesome!

    Thanks for posting the picture here.

  20. #20

    Thumbs up

    That's magic Andy!

    "Its a fine line indeed between going out in a Blaze of Glory or having Crashed & Burnt!"
    Member Australian Society of WW1 Aero Historians



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