Tue, Mar 09, 2010
France's Highest Award Will Honor Service To French
Col. Steven Pisanos (ret.) received the medal French Legion Of
Honor Medal during a ceremony at the San Diego Air & Space
Museum on Saturday. Pisanos, 90, flew a P51B during WWII
wrote the book "The Flying Greek."
The French Legion of Honor was developed by Napoleon Bonaparte
in 1802. It is a recognition of merit and the highest honor
bestowed by France.
Steve Pisanos' 2006 Gathering of Eagles Lithograph
Pisanos is a Greek immigrant to the US that volunteered in 71st
RAF Eagle Squadron during the early days of WWII. The
squadron was integrated into the USAF once the US entered the
During a bomber escort mission on on May 5, 1944, bad spark
plugs forced Paisanos to crash-land his Mustang in France. He
joined the French Resistance and conducted a number of sabotage
missions leading up to the liberation of Paris in August.
File Photo of P-51
Later, Paisanos graduated from test pilot school and flew the
F-102 Delta jet to Mach 1.5 at 50,000 ft. He was friends with
renowned USAF aviators Gabby Gabreski and Charles Yeager.
In addition to the French Legion of Honor, Paisanos has also
been awarded the Legion of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross,
the Purple Heart, the Air Medal, the French Croix de Guerre been
inducted into the Hall of Fame San Diego Air & Space
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