AIRCO De Haviland DH4
at Kazamir airfield
Decorations awarded to officers.
(Cross of Valour,
Medal of Military Merit)
In May 1919 the Hellenic armed forces with the consent of the Allies, landed at Smyrna. Despite the inadequacy of assets and the ageing equipment the Hellenic Air Force actively participated in the operations with four squadrons of the Army Air Service and one of the Naval equivalent.
From 1919 until the end of 1922, it developed a multifarious activity with reconnaissance, photography, strafing and bombing missions as well as air fights, effectively covering a front which reached 700 km in 1921. Among the squadrons’ activities, exceptional were the bombing missions of Kioutachia and Eski Sechir.
Unabated was the Hellenic Air Service’s support during both the Hellenic Army’s advance and its retreat that followed, reaching the limits of the performance of the assets in its inventory.
Noteworthy is the air fight of July 12, 1922 during which aviator Christophoros Stavropoulos shot down a Turkish Breguet north east of Afion Karachisar.
Twenty three aviators offered their lives for the cause of the «Great Idea».