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

Camp Carson, Colorado: The Greek Battalion

Social Activities and Visitors

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There were many highs and a few lows during our stay at Camp Carson.

A few days before I arrived at Camp Carson, the 122nd was invited by the Greek community of Denver to celebrate Greek Independence Day (March 25,1943), and the Greek Battalion paraded in downtown Denver.

Relatives and friends frequently visited the soldiers of the battalion: My mother, dad, and cousin Sophie Cominos Britton spent a week in Colorado Springs. They were invited to visit our unit and were treated royally by the Northern California contingent. My dad gave me two bottles of rare liquor to give to Major Clainos and Medical Officer Captain Markoutsas, of Chicago, Illinois. Being young and headstrong, I refused to give the officers the gift. I placed them in my B duffle bag (duffle bag A was carried by soldiers and B was transported by boat or vehicle). I forgot about the two precious bottles for over a year and half and rediscovered them when I was in China. Fifty years later when I met with Colonel Clainos and told him the story, I gave him a rare bottle of Old Crow (1941 vintage) from my dad's liquor inventory.

Another visitor was Toula Christopoulos of Oakland, the wife of Dr. Basil Christopoulos and an old family friend. She had relatives in Denver and was considerate to take time from her vacation to visit us at Camp Carson. A beautiful lady, the officers swarmed all over her. I'm sure she enjoyed the attention but was more interested in spending time with the three of us from Oakland, whom she had watched grow up. Visitors and mail from home were always highlights.

One of the highlights of my army/OSS career was the visit to Colorado of my cousin Nick G. Cominos. As a young boy Nick almost lost his eyesight and because of this liability he was not drafted into the armed services. He was anxious to meet up with me, along with Perry and Alex Phillips and Tom Georgalos whom Nick had known for many years; in addition he visited his cousin, Nick H. Cominos, stationed in Greeley, Colorado. Nick H. Cominos enjoyed our comradeship so much he left a cush job in Greeley and joined our OSS unit a few days before we left Camp Carson for Washington DC.

One evening on maneuvers, as I was ready to lay down my tired body in my pup tent for the night, I was ordered to report to headquarters. The officer in charge told me to pick up my gear and head into camp. Only for an emergency would an enlisted man be excused from the bivouac area. My dad had a serious heart condition and I suspected this was the reason for the emergency. A jeep drove me 25 miles to Camp Carson. When I reported at 122nd headquarters, I was told to put on my class A uniform and head to the Antlers Hotel in Colorado Springs. The officer in charge said that a Mr. Cominos was waiting for me. I was driven by jeep to the hotel. Eureka! Cousin Nick was waiting to welcome me in his beautiful hotel room. Needless to say I was absolutely elated meeting up with Nick and I could not wait to jump in bed and check out the mattress and sheets. I went from hell to heaven in a few short hours. Nick and I have talked about his coup many times and he cannot recall how he was able to get me out of camp. He was only 22 years old at the time. Nick enjoyed Colorado Springs so much he stayed a month; he found a job as a bartender for a Greek restaurant owner. His hotel room became our headquarters away from camp, a terrific place to lay our tired bodies.

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