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Battle of Crete commemorated at the Royal Australian Air Force Base

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The 80th anniversary of the Battle of Crete was commemorated with plenty of fanfare at the Royal Australian Air Force Base in Richmond on June 5.

Members of the Cretan Association of Sydney and New South Wales performed a series of traditional Cretan dances on the day in front of a No. 37 Squadron C-130J Hercules transport aircraft at the base.

The aircraft is similar to what was used by the German Forces in the Battle of Crete in 1941.

Members of the Cretan Association of Sydney and New South Wales. Photo: Facebook.

Leading Aircraftman Yianni Skoulakis, an avionics technician with No. 37 Squadron, organised the visit and played the Cretan laouto during the performance. He was accompanied by the Iho Nyx Band.

“The group thought it was a great honour to come to Richmond and perform their dances in front of the Hercules,” Leading Aircraftman Skoulakis said in a press release.

“A lot of the dancers said it was surreal – they were still on a high after the performance.” 

Leading Aircraftman Yianni Skoulakis plays the laouto. Photo: Corporal David Said.

The performance celebrated the ties forged in 1941 between Australian Diggers and Cretan villagers, who fought alongside one another during the World War II battle.

The visit also commemorated the 200th anniversary of the Greek Independence and the 100th anniversary of the Air Force.

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