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Thread: Sotoris "Nick" Skanzikas

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    Default Sotoris "Nick" Skanzikas

    I wonder if anyone has any information to add to what I have about Nick. Born 6/8/21 Shot down flying Hurricane HW250 for 336 Royal Helenic Airforce, I think based in the Western Desert. Captured 23/7/43. Took part in the "Great Escape" and murdered 29/3/44. He teamed up with Jimmy James for the escape. His capture and murder are recorded in several books. He was a room mate of my father who says Nick was "a really nice bloke". He remembers patting him on the back and wishing him luck as he left 107 block for 104 block for the escape. I wonder if anyone can help with where in Greece Nick came from and how he joined the allied effort?

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    Σωτήριος Σκάντζικα (uppercase: ΣΩΤΗΡΙΟΣ ΣΚΑΝΤΖΙΚΑΣ) (Sotirios Skantzikas - note the 'T' is the transliteration of his Greek name) was born in Athens.

    As to how he and the others happened to be part of the Allied war effort, a google search of the Hellenic Air Force WW2 will bring up a number of helpful results.

    A
    Last edited by Amrit; 16th January 2010 at 09:07. Reason: typo
    RAF Armoured Car Companies 1920-45 http://www.rafacciraq.com/

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    Default Thanks

    Thanks for that information Amrit. It has been useful

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    Default Sotoris "Nick" Skanzikas

    Sounds like Nick was shot down over Crete during the ill conceived and costly Operation Thesis - a large scale strafe of Crete. Many of those who took part were critical of the planning for this op.

    Will check further when I get home.

    Ian

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    Default Nick Skanzikas

    336 squadron were part of the Sidi Barrani Wing attacking the eastern end of Crete during Operation Thesis. They sent nine Hurricanes IIs and lost two, that flown by W/O Nick Skanzikas and W/O Athanassakis. For whatever reason neither pilot is listed on the 541 form – just the 540 form.

    Interestingly six of their Hurricanes led by F/Lt Catsaros paid another visit to Crete on September 6, 1943 attacking an Italian (?) watch post near Koufonisi, whether this was officially sanctioned is unclear as afterwards it was back to convoy patrols, duff scrambles and training.

    Ian

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    Default Crash site

    Would anyone here know the exact location of the crash site of Nick's Hurricane on the island of Crete? I'll be in Crete this summer and would very much like to visit the crash site. Thanks.

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    Hello Michal,

    The Sidi Barrani Wing flew over the coast of Crete at Ierapetra where at least two Greeks shot up the RDF station. Then camps south of Nikolas were shot up, followed by cars and lorries on the road near Neapolis and near Paraskais.
    Buildings near Paraskais (near German GHQ) were shot up. Only a few tented camps were seen.

    Two pilots were seen to crash, one just south of Nikolas and the other south of Neapolis. Both aircraft burst into flames. No pilots seen to bale out.

    A total of 6 Hurricanes were lost from this Wing, one is known to have landed in the sea and at least two (as above) on land. Three pilots made PoW.

    I did not find anything in the ORBs to determine who came down where though.

    So a few locations but nothing concrete as to where Nick’s Hurricane crashed but a few ideas of the rough areas covered in this op.

    Regards,

    Ian

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    Hello Ian,

    thank you very much for all the info.

    Michal

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