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Iraklion AS, Crete, Greece

I have quite a bit of memories from this island in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. If my dates are correct (probably not), we lived there sometime around 1967 to 1969.  We lived off-base near a woodshop and a bakery. I would walk every evening to the bakery and get a fresh loaf of Greek bread for dinner. I remember a dancing bear that would come by. His Greek handler would have him dance while he played the tambourine. When finished, my dad would “tip” him with a couple packs of American cigarettes (Marlboros!). There was a Greek family that loved to come over and watch Gunsmoke on our American TV. I especially remember that my dad, who loved sports growing up, started the first youth baseball league on Crete. Instead of the Commander (Col. Louie Miller, Jr.) throwing out the first pitch to a catcher, he threw it into the middle of all us boys gathered together. I came up with the ball and it sits on desk to this day. You can see it here:

Baseball photos


150 comments for “Iraklion AS, Crete, Greece”

  1. my dad was stationed here fron jan 1967 to jan 1969, his name was Joe Murray, the greatest place we were stationed as a kid growing up. Still talk about all the fun i had living on the island of Crete

    Posted by Gary Murray | February 10, 2015, 1:29 pm
  2. Kathy yes Ms Krolick was our fifth grade teacher, she taught 4th and 5th grades together. You can contact me on FB Donna Owen

    Posted by Donna Lovell Owen | February 16, 2015, 4:00 am
  3. Donna, there are multiple women on Facebook with your name. It might easier to find me, as I am the only “Cathy Speegle San Antonio TX.”

    Posted by Cathy Speegle | February 16, 2015, 6:32 pm
  4. Hey John Schenck, this is Jim Hubert, IAS ’65-’66. Remember the trips to town in the RED Bomb and you, Tip and me and our trip over to Athens during a shift break. I still have a picture of the three of us after we climbed up to the Acropolis. It would be great to hear from you. Send me an e mail at jimhubert45@gmail.com.

    Posted by Jim Hubert | February 21, 2015, 6:14 pm
  5. I am a man in 63+ originating Iraklion crete, having great memories of Ai Base Men.
    I looking for many guys, but specially to :
    Bill Franklin Wilkins and family,,,gaety, belinda , jane and Billy. They were stationed Iraklion around 1963 and were coming from arkansas…
    any news are welcom.
    Thanks to all of you

    Posted by Nicholas Mavricakis | February 24, 2015, 2:25 pm
  6. Stationed at Iraklion mid 58 to mid 59 after leaving Ashiya AFB in Japan. Extended my enlistment to get there rather than spend my last year in the states. Intercept and net opr. Remember great bike rides into the hills and exploring the island. Experienced my first earthquake there. Many other great memories.

    Posted by David Waters | March 1, 2015, 7:12 am
  7. Wow! My father was stationed there in the mid 60’s. What an enchanting place! My best childhood memories are rooted there. I remember the dancing bear, the fruit man with his horse and wagon, the taxi guy, the bicycle ice cream peddler(pardon the pun, being pinched on the cheeks by the locals on their way to the beach. I remember when the lights went out, the soldiers appearing with guns at dusk during the coup, the open air market, the ride to school along the cliffs, getting sunburned on the beach. My most vivid memory is of almost drowning and a gentleman pulling me up after I had given up and went under. I remember seeing the lifeguard climbing down from a white towered chair as my unknown savior carried me back to the beach. My parents were playing cards and didn’t see me. If any one knows who this is please drop me a line. I would very much like to thank him. I remember Knossos while the maze was still open, the dancing, the plate breaking, the spaghetti with no sauce, the bread, the caves, the man who sold us a cobalt blue flokati rug. The sheep having the right of way, the silence of the afternoons when everything came to an absolute halt. The donkeys with the wooden saddles and the skeletons inside the big, narrow and tall clay pots at the museum….and so on…all I remember about my father’s work was that it was at the “mouse-ears”??? The gloriously wonderful souvlakis, the snails and all the slurping noises that went with eating them. Feta cheese and salad with no lettuce! I do not miss the bleach in the water, but everything else I miss sorely!

    Posted by Belinda Wilkins-Smith | March 11, 2015, 6:54 pm
  8. Belinda Wilkins-Smith, enjoyed your recollections, many of which matched mine when we lived at IAS in 1959-60. I was in 5th grade. There is a very good Facebook group called: Iraklion Air Station, Crete. It is a closed group, but dependents are made welcome. Address your request to join to the admin Gary McPherson and include your father’s name and approx. time he was at IAS. You will enjoy everyone’s reminisces and many, many photos, including those “mouse ears.”

    Posted by Cathy Speegle | March 13, 2015, 7:51 pm
  9. Wow, what memories. Stationed at IAS 6931st between April 79 to March 81. Shout outs to anyone stationed there during this time. My wife and I were on Able Flight with Wayne Babb as S&WC NCO. It was definately a time of youth and naivete.
    Thanks for the sat shot. Buildings seem to be all there, some new, some old.

    Posted by Matt Gambill | April 1, 2015, 2:25 pm
  10. CLELL LEWIS:Like to make contact with you if you get this post.I’m working on a story about the Cross on the MT across from IAS.,In case you did not know we have a great site on face Book with over 2000 members. called Iraklion Air Station Crete.Love to have you.

    Posted by GARY MCPHERSON | May 19, 2015, 10:38 pm
  11. If your looking for lost friends go to the Face Book site Iraklion Air Station Crete.Over 2000.members there from the mid 50s to 1994.If your on FB please put something on your page showing your connected to Crete so we can add you.

    Posted by GARY MCPHERSON | May 19, 2015, 10:46 pm
  12. Ken Jenkins – would that be “Bearcat” ? I was there ’67-68, Medical Service Specialist – 90250 Sgt. I think two rooms down from you in the barracks. I roomed with Sonny Newsome, then Denny Cicchino. Crete is a part of my DNA now. Adio

    Posted by Phillip Morton | August 16, 2015, 9:43 pm
  13. As a humble and simple ole 81150 security policeman, what’s the difference between a 202 vs. 292? Us ordinary folks were not allowed into the bowels of the “compound” during 1972-74 years!!! Have a great day fellow 6931st and Cretans!

    Posted by Robb Carpenter | September 8, 2015, 4:45 pm
  14. To Leslie C. Westbrook Hey guy along time since Malia and the Minotauros. E-mail me or hit me up on FB have some great photos of the guys then and now.including Capt. Edler

    Posted by Harold Siverd | September 17, 2015, 1:25 pm
  15. Anyone remember willie “lump” Gadson. He is in Walter Reed medical center Bethesda, MD.If so give him shout.

    Posted by Willie Sutton | October 1, 2015, 11:14 am
  16. Reading about Dee Herbert searching for Cathy Kelly and hearing the names I havent heard in years.74-75-76.I have photos of John “dill pickel” Dillard, Steve Fontinote-his wife-beautiful blonde. Jim Goza catcher for dog flt. I have heard many other names and wonder how they are. Cosby, Turnbull andy Sablan.many others.

    Posted by Doug Bryan | October 3, 2015, 7:41 pm
  17. Great memories galore!!
    Does anyone remember when we had great times at the NCO club?? (occasionally the officers club too!!)
    God bless you all
    CD King
    Your 79-80 DJ

    Posted by C.D.King | October 10, 2015, 12:00 am
  18. Just a simple thank you to all who served our great country over the years, especially those who served in the Air Force’ security command.

    Posted by Robb Carpenter | November 11, 2015, 7:00 am
  19. Your thanks are well received. A special thanks to you too.
    God bless you.

    Posted by Jose Morales | November 11, 2015, 6:45 pm
  20. I was in Iraklion 63 to 64 on Baker Flt.,292×2 non-morse. Played basketball and softball. Had many great times and truly loved it there. Friends were Ben and Nancy Schiffer, Chuck and Jennifer Singleton. Great place with Great memories.

    Posted by John Connoy | December 4, 2015, 1:57 pm
  21. To Gene Swain: I replaced you in Jan/Feb 1965 at the end of your tour there. You were there best teacher I had and it was a daily challenge living up to your standards. But I did it and have you to thank. Loved my time on the island and made many good friends. Glad to see you had such a great career.

    Posted by David Lloyd | December 10, 2015, 6:15 pm
  22. Merry Christmas to all who served, especially those between 1972-1974 on Crete. It is a better world buy your sacrifices for this great country! Thank you all and thanks to the families also!

    Posted by Robb Carpenter | December 12, 2015, 8:55 am
  23. I was stationed there 1986 -1991 best assignment in my 22 years.

    Posted by ROY LAWHORN | January 8, 2016, 9:29 am
  24. Are you the gary murray with a brother name mike. I think we know each other. My name is mary and last name as a 12 year old girl was carman. We lived near knosses ruins.

    Posted by I was only 12. my family name was mary Carman at the time. I think we might of known each other. I knew a gary murray. my brother's name is Peter. you and him were friends. my dad ran the print shop. | January 13, 2016, 3:19 pm
  25. My name now mary davis.IThink I know gary murray. We were kids. On crete. My last name was carman. 1967 1969

    Posted by I was only 12. my family name was mary Carman at the time. I think we might of known each other. I knew a gary murray. my brother's name is Peter. you and him were friends. my dad ran the print shop. | January 13, 2016, 8:07 pm
  26. Mary, I do have a brother named Mike, its good to hear from someone I knew from back them.

    Posted by Gary Murray | January 14, 2016, 5:10 am
  27. Mary you can contact me at gmurray51@yahoo.com

    Posted by Gary Murray | January 14, 2016, 5:14 am
  28. Mary I’m sorry its gary.murray51@yahoo.com

    Posted by Gary Murray | January 14, 2016, 5:16 am
  29. My dad (at that time) was Capt Pratt, 1960-63. I attended
    school on base with my brother Robert(Bob) Pratt, while
    our older brother Mike Pratt went to Dreux, France for his
    senior year. Col Leet was the base commander and his daughter, Bebe, was one of my best friends. Also, Chaplain Powell’s son, Daniel, became a Chaplain as well. Last I knew, both were stationed at Charleston AFB back in 1975.
    Crete was the best memory a child could ever experience.
    I am 63 now, and still to this day, remember the way it was. I also went into the Air Force and retired out of Travis AFB.

    Posted by Cyndi (Pratt) Reynolds | April 7, 2016, 9:43 pm
  30. We were on Crete at the same time as you. I remember your brothers Mike and Robert. I was one of the 7 high school students who did NOT go to Dreux to boarding school. Col. Leet’s son Spike was also one of the 7 students who stayed on the island. I always thought that Col. Leet’s daughter’s name was Marcy or Marcia.(?) Did he have more than one daughter?
    I have two younger siblings who attended school on base, Martha and Ralph. My other brother, Gary, was one of the 7 high school students. I believe that Robert was about the same age as Pete Benson, who was one of my brother Ralph’s classmates. You wouldn’t happen to know the whereabouts of Bill or Mary Sherman would you? They were also among the 7 high school students who remained on the island.

    Posted by Patty Martin Beech | April 8, 2016, 2:14 pm
  31. I was a Marine from 2nd Radio Battalion, Camp Lejuene who was sent for a two month temporary assignment of duty to Iraklion Air Base in 1975. This was certainly one of the best duty stations that I served at. The island of Crete was simply beautiful, and working in the communications compound was an interesting experience. Does anyone remember the Marines that were sent to Iraklion in 1975?

    Posted by Dave | May 19, 2016, 9:44 am
  32. Hey Dave, stationed at the 6931st from 72-73 and do remember the Navy personnel from Suda Bay on the island being allowed to utilize the Air Force base during this period. And with this decision, it opened a whole new can or worms between the Navy and Security Police! I can remember between 6-12 huge fights at the NCO club and at least on 2-3 occasions the Air Force came out on the losing end! I remember one friday night I was the only SP on duty to respond to a fight at the NCO Club and meet a young Navy seaman who disagreed with my request to leave, I eventually had to use my night stick which only made matters worst for me. I didn’t receive any broken limbs but sure was sore for several days and at that time I was 5’8″ and weighed 170 and could bench press 325 lbs! Oh the memories of being young! I could only imagine confronting young marines during this time. Thank you Lord!!!

    Posted by Robb Carpenter | May 19, 2016, 7:41 pm
  33. I was there 71-74.Yes those were interesting times..remember the marines had a couple of choppers landed just below the NCO club. the Marines i met,no problems.The navy,that’s another story

    Posted by Harold SIVERD | May 20, 2016, 6:16 am
  34. I was stationed there in 1964-65, however I don’t know what you guys did, as I was a medic at the dispensary; more specifically a dental laboratory technician. Crete was interesting with some wonderful people and I do have some great memories of what we lovingly called the “rock” Who knows I may have cleaned some of you guys teeth :-)..I do remember we had to walk through the antenna field to get to the beach. I do remember the sign I saw when I checked into the base..” what you see here, what you do here, leave here.” I think that’s what it said. We did go to Athens and as did what someone else said here, climbed to rock of the Acropolis to see the Parthenon. God Bless you all who served our country in our beloved Air Force.

    Posted by Steve Bailey | June 4, 2016, 8:04 am
  35. I was stationed at Crete from 75-78. Really enjoyed it. Played basketball and softball. Worked at Supply. The NCO Club was where everyone hung out at after work.

    Posted by larry chester | June 8, 2016, 8:44 am
  36. I was with the Radio Maint group stationed on Crete in 1961 and 1962. Does anyone know the whereabouts of Alan Nugent? He was my roomate and transferred from Iraklion AS to Goodfellow AFB as I did. He was from New York. Havent seen or heard from him since 1965 or 1966.

    Posted by WILLIAM OBRIEN | June 8, 2016, 6:21 pm
  37. Larry, this is Bobby Black. Played for security police and the base team. Did you play with the support basketball team. Also I hung out at the NO club. Indeed great times, great memories.

    Posted by robert black | June 15, 2016, 11:17 pm
  38. I was station at Iraklion AS with the 7222 USAF Dispensary from June 1965 to August 1967.

    Posted by David B. Ostranderr | June 22, 2016, 7:20 pm
  39. Dave,

    I was also a Marine from 2nd Radion Battalion, Camp Geiger that was sent TAD to the air base at Iraklion in the spring of 1975. The duty was great, and the sights throughout the island were spectacular. I almost hated going back to Camp Lejuene in North Carolina.

    Posted by Randy | June 30, 2016, 8:30 am
  40. Enjoy the info on Crete and the 6931
    from the early 60’s, was there from about June of 64 thru April 66. Took
    an overseas discharge and thumbed my way across Europe. Would enjoy chatting with anyone from IAS around that time. I was transferred to IAS 2T from the Philippines.

    Posted by Roger Camann | July 24, 2016, 2:28 pm
  41. I served at Iraklion from ca. April, 1954 to April, 1955. The base had nothing else but duties old wooden billets and just around 100-150 of us guys doing shifts and killing time. Sometimes, a few of us would amble over to Miss Popi Hachidaches of Gournes who did our laundary. And that was mostly that. I might be the grandpa on this site, having reached age 81 so far. I must add that all in all, I loved what we had there and where we were.

    Posted by Erwin H. Lerner | September 8, 2016, 10:25 am
  42. Forgot to check a box!

    Posted by Erwin H. Lerner | September 8, 2016, 10:27 am
  43. Thank you for your service Grandpa. I was there 71- April 74.From what yous describe we had a country club..Numerous folks are over there right now for a reunion,and some just came back.Friend me on FB and I can put you in touch with some various sites and former marines who served on our beautiful island

    Posted by Harold Siverd | September 8, 2016, 1:11 pm
  44. I served with the 6930th RGM from 1961-1962 on Charlie Trick at IAS. I have many fond memories of those times and days. I was a member of the fast pitch softball team which travel to Turkey and won the Security Service tournament there and then went on to participate in the European Championships in Madrid Spain. I enjoyed my time as a radio intercept operator and all those I served with. If anyone spent time at Iraklion during this time I would enjoy hearing from you. I am living in San Jose, CA., and continue to teach, coach, advise and mentor middle school students as I have for the past 42 years.

    Posted by Roger Adams | September 12, 2016, 5:15 pm
  45. Harold Siverd;

    Did you live in the village of Malia? Bike…dog….3rd floor of Yannis.

    Posted by Randy Jardee aka Jug | September 20, 2016, 7:48 pm
  46. Yes Jug i did

    Posted by Harold SIVERD | September 21, 2016, 6:12 am
  47. Are you still on the east coast? Retired from something?

    Posted by Randy Jardee aka Jug | September 21, 2016, 8:35 am
  48. Up in Red Lion,Pa. quit work about 3 years ago.

    Posted by Harold SIVERD | September 21, 2016, 12:04 pm
  49. If you want to trade war stories:

    Posted by Randy Jardee aka Jug | September 21, 2016, 5:06 pm
  50. Check out the members and photos on ias40yrsago.ning.com site will only be active till 9/30 the go to Mcphersons shutterfly acct. Great stuff there. reddogice@gmail.com

    Posted by Harold SIVERD | September 21, 2016, 6:24 pm

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