PHOTOS BY DAVID SCHILL

Used by permission.

I was on active duty in 1996 with the US Navy Seabees at the US Naval Support Activity, Souda Bay, Crete, Greece, which is actually on one side of the Crete International Airport. The other side of the field is owned by the Greek Air Force.

Needless to say, the field was very busy with NATO aircraft coming and going, US Navy carrier aircraft visiting, and Greek Air Force aircraft doing training flights. Their current planes were A-7 Corsair IIs, both single seat and twin seat versions as well as T-33 Shooting Stars (I counted 18 on their ramp!). Too Cool!

The Greeks used to operate the F-84 years ago and I found two examples still on the base. One was a gate guard at their main entrance (in Silver finish). The other was still in South East Asian cammo and was alone on the American side of the field. This plane was used on occasion as a crash-rescue training aid. There may have been more, but I was not permitted to just roam around the Greek side, much as I wanted to.

As a side note, when my tour was finished, I was enroute to the overseas side of the Athens International Airport in a local bus when we rounded the end of the airport and I saw a Douglas B-26 Invader sitting in prestine condition on the General Aviation parking ramp. It was done-up in silver paint and WWII markings. It was an unbelievable sight halfway around the world.

David Schill


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F-84F Gate Guard at airbase in Greece.
F-84F used for crash-rescue training.
Same photo as at left; cropped.

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