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"Embros"

Constantine John Manussis: “Embros”

Greek Liaison Officer and interpreter attached to 211 Squadron, known by the nickname “Imbros” or “Embros”...a good humoured dig at the Greek phone system (“Hello!”, “Speaking!”—or more properly: “Embross!”, “Come in!”)), Constantine John Manussis was born in Athens in 1917. Late husband of Daphne (née Blackler), he died in the UK in 1964.

Prompted by my link to John Dillon’s Battle of Crete site with its Sections on Greece and his grandfather (and subsequently contacted by Adrian Fryatt), Manussis’ grandson Dan has kindly explained the presence of another Greek officer in various 211 Squadron photos but named as “Imbros” (for example, the Wings Over Olympus “At lunch” group shot apparently showing "Imbros" seated on the far left of shot). The same officer also appears on the left of the original Sphere group shot, repeated in “Blenheim Over the Balkans” page 110.

Dan’s Grandmother Daphne Manussis, widow of John, recalls that following their evacuation from Greece, she & her husband were in Cairo. There they were visited by TH Wisdom, author of Wings over Olympus, who had been with 211 Squadron in the desert and in Greece. Wisdom explained that he had wanted to include a photo of John as “Embros” in his book but had not had one: instead Wisdom used the group photograph in which another Greek liaison officer was present.

The Manussis family are quite certain that it was John who was the original “Embros”, and it is certainly not him in either of the extant photos: that officer remains unidentified at present. Daphne Manussis and Dan very kindly sent these pictures of Constantine John Manussis, the real “Embros”. Daphne passed away in December 2004.

    “Embros”: Constantine John Manussis (Manussis family collection)

    “Embros”: Constantine John Manussis (Manussis family collection)
    O
    n the apron tarmac, possibly at Elevsis in early 1941. The aircraft is Gloster Gladiator Mark II N5916 of 80 Squadron. Arriving in Greece in November 1940, 80 Squadron were converting to the Hawker Hurricane from February 1941.

    This aircraft later served with 112 Squadron, who went to Greece with their Gladiators in January 1941. In mid-February, the Squadron moved forward to Yannina and Paramythia as 80 Squadron were withdrawing to Elevsis to re-equip. Piloted by 112’s CO S/Ldr HL Brown, N5916 was shot down on 14 March in a general melee while escorting a 211 Squadron raid on Tepelene-Kelcyre. S/Ldr Brown baled out with great difficulty after the tail of his aircraft was shot away by a Macchi

    Halley’s Royal Air Force Aircraft L1000 to N9999 [Air Britain 1993] only records this aircraft as of the Station Flight, Khormaksar and then of 112 Squadron, lost as above. As noted previously and by these wonderful Air Britain references themselves, records of aircraft allocations in overseas commands derive from a variety of sources and are known to be incomplete.

Sources
Manussis family correspondence with author
Manussis family
narrative

Brown Shark Squadron—The History of 112 Squadron 1917-1975
Halley Royal Air Force Aircraft L1000 to N9999
Wisdom Wings Over Olympus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

www.211squadron.org © D Clark & others 2017
Site created 15 Apr 2001, last updated 2 Mar 2017. Page created 2 Mar 2002, last updated 13 Apr 2011
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