In a separate effort the HAVM Foundation will honor the only Greek
American fighting group ever assembled in the history of our Country and
the only American unit that fought in Greece during WWII
the Greek/US Operational Group of
the Office of Strategic Services (G/USOG, OSS).
The heroic accomplishments of this Group are so impressive that the Group
will serve as a source of pride for Hellenes everywhere. Following is a
brief history of the Group beginning with its origin as part of the Greek
"GREEK AMERICAN OPERATIONAL GROUP"
OFFICE OF STRATEGIC SERVICES
aka Company C, 2671 Special Reconnaissance Battalion
The GREEK AMERICAN OPERATIONAL GROUP, formed with volunteers from the
Greek Battalion, was a small, elite commando group that consisted of Greek
born and American born Hellenes who volunteered to specifically fight in
Greece during WWII. The men of this group willingly agreed to conduct
dangerous, behind enemy lines activities, knowing that 90% of the Group
was expected to perish (their Italian counterpart suffered 100% fatalities in the
first day of operations). Yet, the danger did not deter these men; for them, there was no greater
honor than to serve America and fight on Greek soil to liberate the land
of their forebears.
The men of the Operational Group were specially trained in guerrilla
warfare, demolitions, weapons, communications, intelligence and pilot
rescue. Infiltrating clandestinely into Greece by parachute or amphibious
landing, they joined with the Greek Resistance fighters and British
Commandos to disrupt and impede the occupational forces. These
one-hundred-seventy brave young men demolished bridges, transportation and
communication lines, ammunition depots, and vital supplies and materials
critical to the German Wermacht, inflicting an inordinate amount of
destruction on the onehundred-fifty-thousand Axis military, which
included artillery, tank, air and naval support.
Because of the successes of the Operational Group, the German High Command
forced to commit more troops to Greece than planned. When the German Army
ordered to withdraw, the Operational Group delayed the withdrawal and
denied Hitler the
use of four divisions for deployment in Italy, Russia and Europe. Without
a doubt, the Operational Group contributed heavily to the destruction of
the German military.
The members of the Operational Group were heroes in every sense of the
word; their actions went above and beyond the normal. Never before or
since in the history of
America, in any branch of the military, has a Greek American group ever
fought as such. This group fought courageously and served America and
Greece with honor and distinction. Because of the extensive training the
members received and the activities in which they were involved, these men
were the forerunners of the US. Army Special Forces (Green Berets).
Through a combination of circumstances, the history of the Operational
Group has been shrouded in secrecy and its accomplishments not
recognized. By the vary nature of the operation, the Group's existence
was classified Top Secret and remained so even after the war when the
records of its members were sealed until 1988. The Group's
accomplishments are not only a vital part of the annals of WWII, but
also of modern Greek history and the_ contribution of Greek Americans to the cause
freedom. It is
important that the Group's story be made known and preserved for future generations
in both America and Greece. If this story is not told, an impressive part of our history
Members of the Operational Group deserve the recognition they have
earned and thus far have not received. The members valiantly continued a
tradition of courage that has long been part of our Hellenic history. It
is up to us to continue another Hellenic tradition, and that is to
immortalize our heroes by erecting a lasting tribute in their honor.
Plans to commemorate the Group are underway. The HAVM Foundation is in the
obtaining approval and financial support from the Greek Government and
Ministry of Defense.
The major source of funding for a memorial will come from the families of
the Group members, most of whom are deceased, and donations from
individuals and organizations.
Those wishing to donate may use the donation portion of the Registration
Donation form and specify G/USOG on the form.