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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


167 comments for “Iraklion AS, Crete, Greece”

  1. I was stationed on Crete 1980-1982, LGS Supply. Remember the great times there. Still would love to go back even though base is closed just to see.

    Posted by Greg Brock | October 19, 2016, 11:29 am
  2. They had 2 reunions this year and are signing up for 2017

    Posted by Harold SIVERD | October 19, 2016, 5:17 pm
  3. I was stationed there 59-60. So sad to see what has happened to it.

    Posted by Clell Lewis | January 17, 2017, 9:12 am
  4. I was stationed there almost from when the Air Force Station opened – 1955. Base was very small. Worked as an intercept Radio Operator out of small quonset hut.
    Lived in Dakota Huts. (6938th Radio Squadron Mobile)
    Good Duty – Liked Greece. If anyone reading this served at that time, would appreciate hearing from you….

    Posted by Frank P. Sano | February 19, 2017, 6:28 pm
  5. Hello Frank

    It seems like a lifetime ago, was
    stationed on Crete with the 6931
    Security Group, was an intercept
    operator as well. Was there from
    about Feb of 65 thru April of 66.
    I took an overseas discharge from there and took a freighter from Iraklion to a port in Italy in the heal of the boot, then hitchhiked through Europe and then got a hop home later that year.

    Sounds like we had better conditions by early 65, nothing fancy but decent. I came there from a tour in the Philippines and went what they called 2T to Crete and got my 5th strip as part of the deal.

    Pretty decent duty, I became a supervisor and worked 3 on 3 off and spent lots of time on the beach and in town and did lots of hiking in the back country on Crete into some of the villages that were really authentic.

    I now live in Redding, California originally from Niagara Falls N.Y.
    have been here almost 45 years and owned and operated a mortgage company for over 30 years before I retired in 2012.

    Tell me a little about yourself and more about what it was like on Crete in the earlier days. The pictures and U Tube video shows it to be much much different than you and I remember.

    Drop a note when you can.

    Roger Camann

    Posted by Roger Camann | February 19, 2017, 7:09 pm
  6. My father Burton W Gilmore Jr (Big Red) was 6931 and we were based on Crete twice 1962-64 and 65-67 when we were evacuated when the junta started. He made SSGT on Crete and later passed away in 75 two days after medical discharged from active duty as a Captain. He was one of the four original mavericks from USAFSS in OCS.

    Good memories

    Posted by Burton W Gilmore | March 22, 2017, 12:42 pm
  7. Hello Roger:
    I just saw your comment posted 2/19 – today is 3/22.
    Thank you for writing. As mentioned, the “base” was only about one year old when I was posted there from
    Tripoli, Libya. There were a few officers, which I never really even remember seeing, a few NCO’s, and the rest of us enlisted men. Everyone shared a small dining hall, and we lived in Dakota Huts. I have some pictures I can post later if I figure it out. We had one main hut to do our intercept duties – half for the morse section, half for
    the voice intercepts. It was good duty, and I enjoyed going down to Iraklion when we could, and borrowing a jeep from the small motor pool and driving around the island, including a visit to Knossos. Was A/2C at the time, but made S/Sgt prior to my discharge at March AFB, where I was changed to Crypto-Operations. The conditions in 1955 were quite primitive compared to what you were doing in 1966. I was sent to Tripoli via a Navy Cargo ship, then flown to Iraklion in 1955 via a MATS DC-3. I live in San Clemente, California and am a retired Police Captain. If you care to send me your e/mail, I will send you some pictures of my time on the Island, including when I was a DJ for the Armed Forces Network – we had a small station that served all of Crete called CKLI. Cheers –

    Posted by Frank P. Sano | March 22, 2017, 1:28 pm
  8. Burton:
    Thanks for your comments as well. If you care to send me your e/mail, I will send you a few pics of the Base as it was in 1955…..

    Posted by Frank P. Sano | March 22, 2017, 1:31 pm
  9. Frank
    Thanks for the update, I moved to Redding from Orange County in 1973, was with the OCSO for a period.
    Would enjoy whatever pictures you might have in and around Iraklion.

    Roger Camann

    Posted by Roger Camann | March 22, 2017, 2:48 pm
  10. Roger:
    Thanks – I worked for the Westminster PD from 1962 to
    1986, and often worked with OCS Deputies around
    Midway City at that time……Frank

    Posted by Frank P. Sano | March 22, 2017, 4:42 pm
  11. WPD kind of turned into VPD if I remember correctly, isn’t little Saigon in Westminster? I moved to OC
    in 1962 to Orange, lived just N of the
    circle, seemed idilic, came from Western N.Y. state where the winters, economy and opportunities were very limited. I was 18, had no job, no car
    little money even rode my bicycle to
    Newport Beach once for a job interview
    in a suit and tie. (Didn’t get the job)
    Shortly thereafter enlisted in the AF to avoid the draft and wound up the Philippines and then Iraklion, which worked out pretty well. Hope all is well with you and yours. Thank you for answering my post.

    Roger Camann

    Posted by Roger Camann | March 22, 2017, 7:12 pm
  12. Roger: Little Saigon was indeed there. Still is, very big now. I joined WPD when you first came to Orange.
    I came to California in 1956 when I came back from Crete and was assigned to March Air Force Base. Orange, by the way, is very nice and they have a lot of restored
    homes from the twenties to the fifties. I look at some of the pictures of the base as it is now abandoned. It
    certainly grew a whole lot since I was there in 1955 in our little quonset hut. I joined the Air Force in Albany (NY) in September 1953 and did my Basic at Sampson.

    Posted by Frank P. Sano | March 23, 2017, 10:21 am
  13. Good Morning Frank
    Interesting, I moved to Orange Co from
    New York as well, I grew up around Niagara Falls in a very small farming village.
    Couldn’t believe what a paradise “Orange” was in 1962 compared to the New York weather and economics.
    Do you by any chance remember the “old” Orange Co Jail on Broadway, can’t seem to find any history or anybody who remembers it, I experienced my first jail riot there in 1968. I believe the Watts riots were in 1965. I was hired as part of a 400 group hire to man the new jail downtown, Jim Musick was Sheriff back then.
    Always good hearing from you, enjoy our chats.


    Posted by Roger Camann | March 23, 2017, 10:47 am
  14. Frank
    Just re read your previous comments
    again where you suggested we do email.
    Good idea, my email address is.



    Posted by Roger Camann | March 23, 2017, 10:56 am
  15. Roger:
    Indeed I remember the “Old” Orange County Jailhouse.
    Multi-story, kind of dank and dusty. Lab was on one of the top floors – crowded. This is where we brought our prisoners from Westminster before Westminster had it’s own new police station and jail. I was on the force from
    1962 to 1986, so we do have some common roots in
    Law Enforcement s well as USAFSS……Will try to find some old photos of Crete in 1955 and send them to you…

    Posted by Frank P. Sano | March 23, 2017, 12:12 pm
  16. It was an interesting time back then working at the OC jail, Viet Nam was happening and lots and lots of Marines from Camp Pendleton (sp) were all war hero”s in their minds and all wanted to get drunk and always wanted to fight. On weekends CHP had a regular assembly line bringing them in and we had to fight them, we usually won.

    Posted by Roger Camann | March 23, 2017, 12:54 pm
  17. guts check out Gary McPhersons site on shutterfly. Albums photos,history recipes,lost and found,etc. Guaranteed you’ll get flashbacks or at least a tear or two Harold siverd 71-74 papoumac.shutterfly.com

    Posted by Harold SIVERD | March 24, 2017, 6:15 pm

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