The Ahepan Summer 2020 - 15

The U.S.
Greek
Battalion
During
WWII
Photos from official U.S. Army and Lt. Giannaris collections.

COMMANDER DEMETRIES ANDREW GRIMES,
USN RET.

I

t is said that Cadmus' Spartoi (sown men), rose from the
slayed dragon's teeth he planted in the ground in Thebes.
In WWII Nazi-occupied Greece, the dragon's teeth were
sown once again, and this time, it was to disrupt the Nazi
war effort with the help of Greek Americans.
In January 1943, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, a
member of AHEPA Delphi Chapter 25, Manhattan, N.Y. signed
an Executive Order establishing the U.S. Army 122nd Infantry
Battalion. The battalion was established at the request of the
Greek government in exile to deploy forces to Nazi-occupied
Greece in support resistance efforts. The unit was named
the 122nd Infantry Battalion to mark 122 years of Greek
Independence from the Ottoman Empire.

www.ahepa.org	

President Roosevelt appointed Major Peter Clainos of
Manchester, New Hampshire as Commanding Officer of the
122nd Infantry Battalion. Clainos was the first Greek-born
American to graduate from West Point. Born in Sparta, Greece,
in 1907, he arrived in America with his father and one of his four
sisters in 1912. Prior to attending West Point, Clainos was one of
the two founders of the Greek American fraternity, the Sons of
Pericles, the Junior Order of AHEPA. Office of Strategic Services
(OSS) Agent Harry Lagoudakis and AHEPA Supreme President
George Vournas, recruited members of the Operational Groups.
It has been said the group used the AHEPA Constitution as a
cypher to transmit coded messages while operating behind
enemy lines.

Summer 2020 ยท THE AHEPAN

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The Ahepan Summer 2020

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The Ahepan Summer 2020 - Intro
The Ahepan Summer 2020 - 1
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