AKA Camberos, Camberes
Dimitrios Kamperos
    Kamperos with the first greek military machine, a Farman officially named Daedalus, again early-middle 1912, at the Athens Zoo, where the first hangars were errected.
Collection of George Kandylakis, 7-1-04

Bi-plane Henri Farman, piloted by Lieutenant Cambéros, Hellenic (Greek) Army, landed at Champagne (on the Seine river), 1st May, 1912
Photo & Translation Courtesy of John W. Lucas
Cartes Postales Anciennes de Seine & Marne, (Cpa77)
    The beautiful image above comes from the Cartes Postales Anciennes de Seine & Marne website, which is entirely in French (which I don't read) . It was referred to me by John W. Lucas, for which I am very grateful. As he explained in his email to me, he had chanced upon it while working on another project.
    I discovered that the aviator's name was probably Kamperos, commonly mispelled in the contemporary press. For confirmation, please refer to the Biographical Notes from Jean-Pierre Lauwers below.
via email from George Kandylakis, 5-31-04
     This picture of a Henry Farman in France, is exactly the same type that was purchased by Greece, just before the Balkan War in 1912. Although shown in France, I suspect this was one of the four sent to Greece. This is a new picture to me.
      If you don't read French, you can read the machine translation by BabelFish by clicking on:
English Version

    I heartily recommend that you visit the site, either by clicking on the title above for the French version, or on the link to the translated version, and enjoy a selection of the hundreds of "Ancient Post Cards."
    Subsequently, I was surprised and pleased to receive two virtual postcards from John, which had originated from the Cpa77 website. The first showed a duplicate of the photograph above on one side and a personal message from John on the other. The second one was of a street scene from the 1910 era which showed the "Hotel des Chasse" in Avon, France, where he had lived from 1952-1965.
Hotel des Chasses

Virtual Post Card Courtesy of John W. Lucas

Email from Jean-Pierre Lauwers, 11-23-02
     I was exploring a bit my 1913 magazines. There was a war going on between Greece and Turkey. At least 3 Farman planes they seems to have been involved, one (or two?) Maurice Farman planes and one Henri Farman plane.
     At Nicopolis, each one was assembled by French mechanics. They were piloted by Lt. (of artillery) Gambéros (no photo!)and Lt. (of cavalry) Notaras (no photo). It was mentioned that at Nicopolis, a warship arrived with 3 planes, but I have no idea if they were 3 extra planes or not!
     In another article there is a photo of a Greek military aviator named Lt. Montoussis. He is said to have flown above the Turkish forts of Pisani (from Nicopolis) and over the front of Janina, so it could be there were only 3 planes in total?
     It is reported that he flew a Maurice-Farman and that he came under fire over Janina and was lightly wounded in his hands and his machine was perforated by many shell fragments.
     But on these three "military aviators, I have found no information elswhere!
     I found a website with GOOGLE! Their names are mispelled in my French versions. They probably are; Dimitros KAMPAROS (not Cambèros!), Michail MOUTOUSIS (not Montoussis! and NOTARAS. When I used Google on NOTARAS+aviation I found the others! That's a problem when you don't have the correct spelling of their names!
     The planes they got were paid for by money donated by a "poet" Matsoukis" who had made a tour in America.He was present when the planes first took off from Nicopolis! Strange history

via email from George Kandylakis, 5-31-04
     During 1992, together with three friends from IPMS Greece, ('Nea Apo IPMS Ellados' Title means News from International Plastic Modeler's Society Hellasy), we put together a book on aircraft of the Greek Air Force, from the beginning until that time, mainly a pictorial catalogue of every type (known to us at the moment) that served with Greek colors. My responsibility was the period 1912-1922, since I like old aircraft and already had a lot of information.
     Other types that were flown during the Balkan Wars (1912-1913) were 2 Maurice Farmans, 1 Henry Farman 20, 1 Astra hydroplane, 1 Maurice Farman hydroplane, 1 Nieuport IV G monoplane and a captured Turkish Bleriot XI.
     The last two have a close association with another name in your list, Emmanuel Argyropoulos, who was the first private pilot in Greece, and the first to fly in Greece, with his Nieuport, named "Halcyon" on 8th February 1912. I have a good picture of it and him, I' ll scan it ( as soon as I find a scanner) and mail it to you. During the wars the Nieuport was damaged, so he was flying the captured Turkish Bleriot (found intact during the liberation of Thessaloniki, my home town). On 4/4/1913 he crashed with it and died together with a passenger.
     The first Greek aviation casualty was however Alexandros Karamanlakis, a journalist who also went to France for training, and brought with him a Bleriot XXI monoplane. During a long distance flight he fell to the sea and drowned, on 27th August 1912.


The History of the Hellenic Airforce
     On this website you will find a summary of the development of the Hellenic Airforce, beginning in 1911. The following introductory paragraph is extracted from that page.
     "To accomplish this, 13 officers from France were transferred to Hellas to establish the foundation with which the Hellenic Air Force could operate and expand on. The first officers to join this new branch were Dimitrios Kamperos (First Lieutenant Artillery), Mihail Moutousis (First Lieutenant Corp of Engineers), Mihail Adamidis (Second Lieutenant Cavalry), and a little later Loukas Papaloukas (First Lieutenant Infantry), Markos Drakos (First Lieutenant Artillery), and Panoutsos Notaras (Second Lieutenant Cavalry). These officers were trained in France, where they obtained their diplomas. "
You may go directly to the page by clicking on the title above.
of the
Hellenic Air Force
     This is an extensive website which offers information on the development of the Air Force from its beginnings in 1912, through the balkan wars, 1st world war, campaign in asia minor, inter-war period, grecoitalian war, middle east - italy, south korea, the first jets, first generation aircraft, second generation aircraft, third generation aircraft and towards the 21st century.
     Each section is comprehensive in its coverage and mentions most of the pioneer aviators as well as offering many photographs of the periods. It represents a unique resource for anyone interested in Hellenic Aviation. To access the site, click on the title above.


George Kandylakis
Product Details
List Price:
Publisher: IPMS Greece, 1992

       Dimitrios Kamperos, not only was he the first Greek military pilot, he survived the Balkan Wars and the First World War. He was chief instructor for many years in the Greek military flying school and eventually died of cold and hunger, during the German occupation of 1941-44.
Personal communication from George Kandylakis, 5-31-04
Editor's Note:
If you have any more, information on this pioneer aviator
please contact me.
E-mail to Ralph Cooper

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