The Ahepan Summer 2020 - 22

VETERANS

An American Hero Mourned
"Brother Megellas will be mourned not just in America, but in
Ahepans were deeply saddened by the passing of retired U.S.
the nations and by the people he helped to liberate and inspire. 
Army Lieutenant Colonel James "Maggie" Megellas, the most dec"We are proud and honored to call him our Brother. Our deeporated officer in the history of the U.S. 82nd Airborne Division,
est sympathies and prayers are with his wife, Carole, and the
recipient of the 2010 AHEPA Medal of Freedom, and AHEPA Life
Megellas family. May his memory be eternal."
Member, announced Supreme President George Horiates.
Lt. Col. Megellas, of Colleyville, Texas and a Life Member
In a statement mourning Megellas, Supreme President
of AHEPA Chapter 369, Madison, Wisc., passed away April 2,
Horiates said:
2020. He was 103 years old.
"Brother Lieutenant Colonel Megellas was a true American
Since 2011, AHEPA has backed the effort, including legHero, a liberator of nations and people, and a proud Hellene. We
islation, to authorize the president to award the Medal of
mourn his loss tremendously.
Honor to Lt. Col. Megellas for acts of valor during the Battle
"His acts of valor demonstrated at the Battle of the Bulge,
of the Bulge.
which warrant review because of errors in Army records, are
In 2016, at the request of AHEPA, 20 members of Congress,
deserving of the Medal of Honor. AHEPA pledges to continue to
led by then-Speaker of the House Paul Ryan,
work with the U.S. government and military
Hellenic Caucus Co-Chairs Reps. Gus Bilirakis
officials to secure this honor for 'Maggie.'
and Carolyn Maloney, and several committee
Simply stated, the U.S. government's failure
chairs, wrote to the Acting Secretary of the
to act based upon several formal requests,
U.S. Army Patrick Murphy at the time, to urge
including from members of Congress and
a prompt and personal review of Megellas'
Lieutenant Colonel Megellas' fellow serviceMedal of Honor case. AHEPA hosted a conmen, including his superior officer, is unacgressional reception in cooperation with the
ceptable and a disservice.
Hellenic Caucus in Megellas' honor at that
"For his heroism serving in several theaters
time.
during World War Two as a first lieutenant,
Megellas was the recipient of the military's
second-highest decoration, the Distinguished
About Megellas' Acts of Valor at the
Service Cross. He also was decorated with two
Battle of the Bulge
Silver Stars, two Purple Hearts, the Belgian
James Megellas' acts of valor demonFourragere, and the Dutch Orange Lanyard, U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis looks on as Lt. Col.
strated at the Battle of the Bulge, which
the first American to be honored with the Megellas addresses the audience at a 2016 warrant review because of errors in Army
congressional reception in his honor.
award from the government of Holland.
records, are deserving of the Medal of Honor.
"In 2008, the German government honored him for his role
There, he led a surprise and devastating attack on a much larger
in liberating the Wobbelin Concentration Camp in northern
advancing enemy force, killing and capturing a large number
Germany, May 2, 1945.
and causing others to flee, single-handedly destroying an attack"After World War Two, Lieutenant Colonel Megellas contining German Mark V tank with two hand-held grenades, and then
ued to serve his nation with the U.S. Agency for International
leading his men in clearing and seizing Herresbach.
Development (USAID) for 32 years, including two years in
In addition to the Battle of the Bulge, Megellas fought
Vietnam holding the equivalent rank of two-star general, leadin: Africa, Anzio, Operation Market Garden, the Waal River
ing 4,000 soldiers and civilians from Vietnam and other nations
Crossing, and Occupied Berlin.
in civil military relations.
In May 2010, AHEPA awarded Lt. Col. Megellas with the
"Brother Megellas served as an inspiration to those who
AHEPA Medal of Freedom as presented by then-Supreme
served after him. He would travel thousands of miles to speak
President Nicholas A. Karacostas and Past Supreme President
with military personnel serving in Afghanistan on three occaA. Steve Betzelos, at the 2010 Midwest Regional Banquet held
sions, the last time at the age of 89.
in Chicago.

22

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THE AHEPAN · Summer 2020	

www.ahepa.org


https://files.constantcontact.com/cd989cac001/7cc7b1d0-ec12-4896-b53a-e821df37c06e.pdf https://files.constantcontact.com/cd989cac001/7cc7b1d0-ec12-4896-b53a-e821df37c06e.pdf http://www.ahepa.org

The Ahepan Summer 2020

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