The WW2 “flying coffin” that never returned: The search for the lost Beaufort

By Pierre Kosmidis Photos and info by Pamela Harrison In a solemn ceremony, the relatives of  Flying Officer Arthur Aitken and Flight Sergeant Peter Hastie threw flowers on to the ocean gently lapping the shore. It was on the 72nd anniversary since the ill-fated RAAF Beaufort A9-317 took off from RAAF Busselton Air Base on September 9, 1943, never to be […]

Wartime graffiti: Soldier artists turn their barracks into an art gallery

By Pierre Kosmidis Photos: Markos Spanos Leros Island in the Dodecanese, Greece,  was a theatre of fierce fighting in 1943, marking the last German victory of strategic importance in the Aegean, with the Operation code named “Taifun”. READ MORE: Battlefield Archaeology: The rare relics of Leros, 1943   The Battles for Kos and Leros, 1943 – […]

Battlefield Archaeology: An insider’s view on WW2 battle relics excavation

By Pierre Kosmidis Military archaeology, the research for battlefield relics dating to World War 1 and World War 2 is a widespread practice in many areas across the world. In Europe, the fierce battles fought on the Eastern Front during WW2, produced millions of dead soldiers, many of whom lay where they fell. Groups of […]

The WW2 Pacific Treasures of Kwajalein Lagoon by Dan Farnham Part 14: Exploring the graveyard of the 11 PBJ-1H Mitchell aircraft wrecks of US Marine Bombing Squadron 613 (VMB-613)

By Pierre Kosmidis Photos, text and research submitted by Dan Farnham, used by permission Designed in 1938, the B-25 ‘Mitchell’ started out as a private, in-house design by the North American Aviation company, and was designated the NA-40B, for North American Model 40B. The NA-40B was originally intended to be an attack bomber for export to […]

The rare warbirds of the Hellenic Air Force Museum

By Pierre Kosmidis   The Hellenic Air Force Museum, located at Dekelia Air Base (ICAO: LGTT), at the north of Athens, features some unique aircraft, ranging from WW2 to today. The Air Base started operating in 1918 and features a single runway with a length of 1764 metres. The airport is currently used by the […]

Mystery solved! The life and death of Xenophon Castrisos

By Pierre Kosmidis It all began with a black and white photograph of a soldier reading a Greek newspaper, “somewhere in the Pacific” during WW2. The newspaper is the “ΠΑΝΕΛΛΗΝΙΟΣ ΚΗΡΥΞ” or “Hellenic Herald” and according to the caption “Xenophon Castrisos (Castles), an aerial photographer with the Royal Australian Air Force, reads the Hellenic Herald, […]

Behind the scenes: Preserving and restoring rare warbirds from WW2 to present

By Pierre Kosmidis Photos: Yannis Mylonas & Pierre Kosmidis/www.ww2wrecks.com  Additional resources: 1/ Hellenic Air Force Museum – The wings of history (click to read the story) 2/ The rare warbirds of the Hellenic Air Force Museum (click to read the story) Aviation enthusiasts all over the world are thrilled every time they see an aircraft from a bygone era […]

Reflections of Our Gentle Warriors: Personal stories of WW2 Veterans

By Pierre Kosmidis Brad Hoopes from Colorado, USA, started saving and preserving veteran stories 10 years ago. “I believe we have all the facts and figures related to WW2, but not nearly enough of the personal stories, which add a powerful dimension to the numbers and the big picture”, Brad says.   US Government reports show […]