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Thread: Marinos Mitralexis, the Greek ''kamikaze''

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    Default Marinos Mitralexis, the Greek ''kamikaze''

    Marinos Mitralexis (1920–1948) was a Greek Air Force pilot during World War II. He became legendary when he managed to bring down an enemy bomber by ramming its tail, on November 2, 1940.


    On November 2, a squadron of 15 Italian Cant 1007Z bombers, with Fiat CR.42 fighter escorts, headed towards Thessaloniki. Soon they were spotted and intercepted by Greek PZL P.24 fighters of the 22nd Squadron. During the dogfights, three of the bombers were shot down, while the rest reached their targets, and then started to return to their base in Albania. Mitralexis, who had already shot down one bomber, was now out of ammunition, so he aimed the nose of his PZL P. 24 right into an enemy bomber's tail, smashing the rudder and sending the bomber out of control. He then had to make an emergency landing near the crashed bomber. Having landed, Mitralexis arrested the four surviving crew members of the enemy aircraft using his pistol.


    For this extraordinary feat, Mitralexis was promoted and awarded a number of medals, including Greece's highest award for bravery, the Gold Cross of Valour. He was the only Air Force officer to be awarded it during the war. When Greece capitulated to Germany (April 1941) he and the rest of the surviving Greek Air Force personnel and aircraft escaped to North Africa to join the Allied forces there.
    In September 1948, during a routine training flight in an Airspeed Oxford, he died crashing in the south Aegean Sea.
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    Potty trained to the excess kerfuffled's Avatar
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    This guy was a badass. Thanks for sharing this story.

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    I was sure that ramming like that wasn't a suicide attack.

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    He aimed the nose of his PZL P. 24 right into an enemy bomber's tail, smashing the rudder and sending the bomber out of control. He then had to make an emergency landing near the crashed bomber. Having landed, Mitralexis arrested the four surviving crew members of the enemy aircraft using his pistol.
    This guy was a badass. Thanks for sharing this story.
    2x

    I was sure that ramming like that wasn't a suicide attack.
    Sure it was his everyday routine to crash an airplane to another.

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    That took balls of titanium.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EdisonTrent View Post
    I was sure that ramming like that wasn't a suicide attack.
    Odd's were he'd be killed...fate smiled on him and he lived.


    As was said, badass.

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    In WW2, this sort of attack (chopping off the enemy's tail with your propeller) happened more often than you might think.
    The russians called it "Taran", and there was one pilot who did it four times...
    The germans used it against B-17s occasionally and the japanese against B-29s.
    It was not suicidal, but it still took balls to do it, not to mention nerves of steel.
    One false move by either plane the fighter would have crashed into the fuselage or wing with no chance of survival.
    If you weren't hit by debris or collided with the enemy fuselage, you had a good chance of a intact landing if you could glide anywhere safe.
    Mitralexis' PZL was most likely recovered and fought on.
    The 1940 Greek Royal Air Force had a very interesting mix of polish, german, french and british planes

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    A great pilot who put his life before his nation.. What a badass.

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    While freakin' ballsy, I'm not sure of the sense in risking plane and pilot to take down a bomber that had already dropped its bombs on its target and was returning to base.

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    Just read about a similar incident involving a Yugoslavian Hawker Furys and German Bf109s and 110s:

    Although phased out from RAF squadrons, the Fury was still used by some foreign air forces in the early 1940s; Yugoslav Furies saw action against Axis forces in the German invasion of 1941.[SIZE=2][12][/SIZE] On 6 April 1941 a squadron of Furies took off to defend their country against the invading German Messerschmitt Bf 109Es and Messerschmitt Bf 110s. In the resulting conflict 10 Furies were destroyed, almost the entire squadron. The Commanding Officer of the 36 LG was Major Franjo Đzal watched from the ground as his men were slaughtered in their obsolete biplanes. In an unequal battle against superior adversaries, five aircraft were destroyed while taking off and eight pilots killed. Two more Furies and Bücker Bü 131 were destroyed on the ground. But of the attacking German aircraft 5 Bf-109s and 2 Bf-110s failed to return, though most were non-combat losses however at least one was lost when rammed by a Fury.

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