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Greek / American Operational Group Office of Strategic Services (OSS)
Memoirs of World War 2


During a period of 219 days from 23 April until 20 November 1944, troops of Co. C., 2671 Special Reconnaissance Battalion were continuously in occupied Greece. The type of warfare they engaged in was unique in the history of the American Army. The record they made is of some interest and bears close examination.

My memoirs tell the story of Co. C, 2671 Special Reconnaissance Battalion, also known as the Greek American Operational Group ~ principally the story of Group 4 of the unit from April 1943 at Camp Carson, Colorado, until we disbanded in Bari, Italy, November 1944. Group 4 was mine.

Co. C had six groups; we trained together as members of the Greek Battalion at Camp Carson, Colorado, and later with the OSS. From February 1944 to November 1944, Groups 1, 2, and 5 were separated from the other three groups. My Group 4 along with Group 3 and Group 6 were sent to the island of Vis in the Adriatic Sea for four months, before being deployed into Greece. All six of our groups operated in Greece. Each group operated autonomously, however.

Our six groups briefly reunited at Italy in November 1944 when the Greek/USOG was disbanded. In these memoirs, I shall refer to us with the acronym Greek/USOG and its abbreviation Greek/OG.

Every veteran of our six groups has personal and interesting stories. My information about the other five groups (other than my own Group 4) cannot be first hand, of course; so I have added some accounts from the National Archives about a few of their missions in Greece, including the names of members of those groups.

Especially close to my heart and vivid in these memoirs are the so-called "California Five". This was a nickname we had. We were five young men from California, all good friends before the war, who volunteered for service in the (United States) Greek Battalion, then again into the OSS. We served together in Group 4, and remained true and loyal friends until the deaths of Perry Phillips, Alex Phillips, and Tom Georgalos diminished our ranks.

The Phillips brothers (Perry and Alex) and I had been childhood friends since 1934 when we were altar boys at Oakland's Assumption Greek Orthodox Church. Nick H. Cominos, Tom Georgalos, and I became good friends in Salinas, California, during the many summer breaks from school I spent with my Aunt Helen and Uncle George Cominos and my cousins.

This narrative is a first person account, relating one participant's involvement, observations, and convictions. Understandably, many events, battles, and raids cannot be included here; nor can numerous other members of the Greek/USOG who deserve accolades.


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  • National Archives, Greek U.S. Operational Groups, Operations in Greece 1944, p. 11 (report filed at OSS Headquarters, 24 December 1944).
    My own group had a total of 253 days in warfare: Group 4 of the Greek/USOG (Co. C., 2671 Special Reconnaissance Battalion) on the front lines in Yugoslavia from 16 February to 19 June and then behind the lines in occupied Greece from 16 July to 20 November 1944. See ibid., p. 2.

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