Off to Bari via Malta
for the conference next morning, to be chaired by C in C Mediterranean
Forces. Germany had withdrawn considerable forces from Greece to
help resist the Russian advance. Consequently it had been decided
an invasion by us into Greece in a fortnight's time, might well
succeed. Then the plans were elaborated on. We later split into
small groups for details of how each unit was to ready itself.
Flew back to Heliopolis
to start work, holding authorisations to acquire all my unit would
need. No.5 Forward Fighter Control Unit was different from an SOR
in that it was to go in with the action instead of afterwards. First
I got a jeep, to be mobile, and able to go around different equipment
units in the Cairo area making my 'purchases', lorries,signals equipment,
tentage, rations, mobile radar unit etc. etc. I had good personnel
to hold the fort whilst I chased around collecting, and with a scramble,
had it all done within the fortnight, although it was another fortnight
before we actually left. Though a Technical Unit, we were to go
in armed and ready to defend ourselves, so I got them all along
to the Firing Ranges for weapons practice.
Five FFCU was allocated
2 planes to fly in, as soon as an airport was secured, and the main
equipment, lorries and radar, to be part of a seaborne convoy. Arrival
of the latter at Pireaus (Athens area) was delayed 2 days as the
approach was heavily mined. My 2 Dakotas, followed by the Fighter
Squadron, flew into Kalamaki airfield the day before the convoy
arrived - luckily unopposed. Rapturous welcome by local Greeks,
as Germans had pulled out the previous day. German retreat continued
with no hostile air activity. Hard living conditions at Kalamaki,
but managed to visit the Parthenon and other antiquities briefly.
Tales of local's hardships under the occupation, currency devaluation
etc. A fortnight after our arrival, a second invasion landed at
Salonika to speed the German withdrawal.
F/Lt Paddy Flannagan
Partisans, Maria, Rita & Nicholas
Gezira Club, Cairo
Conference at Bari
Invasion of Greece
success! Sept. 1944
Acropolis, Athens Oct.1944
Acropolis, athens Oct.1944
Self & Greek Partisans, Athens Oct.1944
Taking a bath, Kalamaki Airfield Oct.1944
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