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|Signatures on this item|
|*The value given for each signature has been calculated by us based on the historical significance and rarity of the signature. Values of many pilot signatures have risen in recent years and will likely continue to rise as they become more and more rare.|
Colonel Steve Pisanos (deceased)
*Signature Value : £45
|Born Nov. 10, 1919, in the Athens suburb of Kolonos, Spiros Nicholas 'Steve' Pisanos, the son of a subway motorman, arrived in America in April 1938 as a crew member on a Greek merchant tramp steamer. Arriving in Baltimore speaking no English, he worked in a bakery and hotels to earn money for flying lessons at Floyd Bennett Field. In August 1940, he settled in Plainfield, New Jersey, and continued flying lessons at Westfield Airport. He earned a private pilot's license and, though still a Greek national, in October 1941 he joined the British Royal Air Force sponsored by the Clayton Knight Committee in New York City. Pisanos began his military flight training at Polaris Flight Academy in Glendale. Upon graduation, Pilot Officer Pisanos was transferred to England where he completed RAF Officers Training School at Cosford, England, and OTU (Operational Training Unit) at Old Sarum Aerodrome in Salisbury. Pisanos was posted to the 268 Fighter Squadron at Snailwell Aerodrome in Newmarket flying P-51A's. He later transferred to the 71 Eagle Squadron, one of three Eagle squadrons in the RAF, comprised of just 244 American volunteers flying Spitfires at Debden RAF Aerodrome. When the USAAF 4th Fighter Group absorbed the American members of the Eagle Squadrons in September and October 1942, Pisanos was commissioned a lieutenant in the U.S. Army Air Forces. Flying his first mission in his P-47 'Miss Plainfield' out of Debden Aerodrome with the 334th Fighter Squadron, 4th Fighter Group, Lt. Pisanos, 'The Flying Greek,' scored his first shootdown on May 21, 1943, when he targeted a German FW-190 over Ghent, Belgium. By Jan. 1, 1944, he had become an ace with five confirmed downings. On March 5, 1944, he obtained his 10th shootdown and while returning from that B-17 escort mission to Limoges and Bordeaux, France, Pisanos experienced engine failure in his P-51B and crash-landed south of Le Havre. For six months he evaded the Germans and fought with the French Resistance and the American OSS, sabotaging the German war machine in occupied France. Lt. Pisanos returned to England on Sept. 2, 1944, following the liberation of Paris. Because of his exposure and knowledge of the French Resistance operations, Pisanos was prohibited from flying additional combat missions because the Air Force could not risk him being captured. Upon returning to the United States, Capt. Pisanos was assigned to the Flight Test Division at Wright Field, Ohio. He attended the USAF Test Pilot School and served as a test pilot at Wright Field and Muroc Lake, California, testing the YP-80 jet aircraft, America's first operational jet. During his Air Force career, Pisanos graduated from the University of Maryland, attended the Air Command and Staff College and the Air War College. Pisanos also served tours of duty in Vietnam (1967-68) and with NORAD before retiring from the USAF with the rank of colonel in in December 1973. Colonel Steve Pisanos died on 6th June 2016.|
|The Aircraft :|
|Spitfire||Royal Air Force fighter aircraft, maximum speed for mark I Supermarine Spitfire, 362mph up to The Seafire 47 with a top speed of 452mph. maximum ceiling for Mk I 34,000feet up to 44,500 for the mark XIV. Maximum range for MK I 575 miles . up to 1475 miles for the Seafire 47. Armament for the various Marks of Spitfire. for MK I, and II . eight fixed .303 browning Machine guns, for MKs V-IX and XVI two 20mm Hispano cannons and four .303 browning machine guns. and on later Marks, six to eight Rockets under the wings or a maximum bomb load of 1,000 lbs. Designed by R J Mitchell, The proto type Spitfire first flew on the 5th March 1936. and entered service with the Royal Air Force in August 1938, with 19 squadron based and RAF Duxford. by the outbreak of World war two, there were twelve squadrons with a total of 187 spitfires, with another 83 in store. Between 1939 and 1945, a large variety of modifications and developments produced a variety of MK,s from I to XVI. The mark II came into service in late 1940, and in March 1941, the Mk,V came into service. To counter the Improvements in fighters of the Luftwaffe especially the FW190, the MK,XII was introduced with its Griffin engine. The Fleet Air Arm used the Mk,I and II and were named Seafires. By the end of production in 1948 a total of 20,351 spitfires had been made and 2408 Seafires. The most produced variant was the Spitfire Mark V, with a total of 6479 spitfires produced. The Royal Air Force kept Spitfires in front line use until April 1954.|
See our aviation history timeline for all today's historical aviation events - air victories, aircraft losses and pilot details.
|RECENT UPDATES TO OUR AVIATION HISTORY DATABASES|
|Updates made to Airframes database for : Flying Fortress 42-5907 : Squadrons updated (added 388th Bomb Group)|
|Updates made to Airframes database for : Whitley T4217 : Airframe notes updated (added 11-02-1941 : Whitley's crew were unable to pinpoint their position and abandoned the aircraft at Bircham Newton. )|
|Updates made to Airframes database for : Flying Fortress 42-5914 : Squadrons updated (added 385th Bomb Group)|
|Pilot Officer Geoffrey Charles Smith added to aircrew database :|
Killed on 4th July 1943 when his Stirling BK718 WP-M of No.90 Sqn was shot down and crashed near Cologne. He is buried in Overloon War Cemetery.
|Updates made to Airframes database for : Hampden P4299 :|
|Updates made to Aircrew database for : Tilson : Squadrons updated (added No.115 Sqn RAF), Squadron service dates updated|
|Updates made to Aircrew database for : Piper : Squadrons updated (added No.149 Sqn RAF), Squadron service dates updated|
|412th Fighter Squadron added to the squadrons database.|
|Updates made to Aircrew database for : Aircraftsman 1 Edwin Vick : First name updated (now Edwin), Service number updated (now 540323), Squadron service dates updated|
|350th Bomb Squadron added to the squadrons database.|
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