Aces Four

Greece
Aces Four logo

In the spring of 1952, the USAFE "Skyblazers", flying F-84G Thunderjets, performed an impressive air display at Elefsis airport in Greece. This event inspired Lieutenant Colonel Kokas, the commander of the 337nd Pursuit-Bombing Squadron of the Hellenic Air Force, to establish a Greek aerobatic team.

But after speaking with the "Skyblazers" pilots, he realized that creating an official display team might be too expensive for Hellenic Air Force budget. He therefore established a four-ship F-84G Thunderjet-based aerobatic team in secrecy. Kokas selected three other pilots from his squadron and started to practice a demonstration program drawn from the "Skyblazers" routine.

Very quickly, the Commander of the Air Force learned about this unofficial team and gave Kokas a reprimand. However, the Defense Minister, Mr. Kanellopoulos, decided to personally assess this new team and watched their display. After this "private" display, the Defense Minister formally approved the establishment of an official Hellenic Aerobatic Team under the name "Aces Four". The team became a unit of the 110th Air Wing, based in Larisa, and their aircraft received an overall dark blue paint scheme.

In 1956, the team moved to Elefsis airport, and in this same year performed its first display outside of Greece, in Milan, Italy at a gathering of international aerobatic teams.

In 1957, some modifications were made to the display so that the take-off and landing were now done in formation. The airborne maneuvers were tightened so that there was a minimum separation distance of only one meter between aircraft. The team also performed passes at extremely low altitude over their spectators.

In August of that year, the Air Force began to replace their F-84G Thunderjets with the Canadair CL-13A Sabre Mk.2 fighter and with this conversion the "Aces Four" were disbanded.

Aces Four F-84G Thunderjet Aces Four F-84G Thunderjet Aces Four pilots Aces Four dark blue paint scheme Aces Four F-84G Thunderjet Aces Four F-84G Thunderjet Aces Four F-84G Thunderjet Aces Four F-84G Thunderjet Aces Four F-84G Thunderjet Aces Four F-84G Thunderjet Aces Four F-84G Thunderjet


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