WA Ghostwriter

A Common Hero

John Vassiliou, Staff Writer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






On December 7, 1941, at precisely 7:48 in the morning, Hawaii-Aleutian standard time, Japanese planes attacked the U.S. Naval and Army installations at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, effectively pulling the United States into the Second World War, a conflict almost all of our grandparents, great-grandparents, or even great-great-grandparents took part in.

Seventy four years ago to this day, my great grandfather was training down at Walker Army Airfield. He had already enlisted in 1940 and his tour was completed. He could have gone home and not been sent overseas, but there was still a job to be done.

In two months he would be shipped out to reach what would be known later as the China-Burma-India Campaign. On February 12th, my great grandfather would begin his journey overseas, one that many brave servicemen like him would never complete, to find foreign shores and fight tyranny wherever it may lie. Like many in his time, my “Big Pop”, whose real name was James John Hagianis, kept a journal of his travels. He documented things like the weather, all the way to the conditions below decks, and the jubilance that he felt when allowed above the musty bunks below.

After discovering his journal for the first time, I felt a connection with my Big Pop, a man who I never met, as he died the same year of my birth. Realizing the significance of what was in his journal, I wanted to share the same feeling with you, so that you may also understand the daily events that other serviceman in the second World War would have gone through, and how their memories and experiences can be forever solidified in writing.

These articles, which will begin to be released in late January, will be presented in chronological order in accordance with what is logged in his journal, along with information on the war in general, its impact on my Big Pop and his campaign movements, and the impact on the overall war.

This journal includes his stops in Egypt, India, and places throughout the Pacific, along with his bomber command, unit, citations, and bases of operation along with a hint to the end of the war and his reflection looking back.

My Big Pop first used this journal while attending the University of Alabama, and he used it mainly to record football game schedules. For whatever reason though, these entries only fill up a few pages in the front, the upside to this however being that the abundance of page space was the reason that my Big Pop used this journal to record his voyage overseas, in turn, giving a great passage of time which would have otherwise been forgotten. The journal itself is a small leather-bound one, barely holding itself together with its tired strings. But in it is a trove of information which will forever be solidified here.

This series of events that I’m going to share with you is dedicated to all of the brave servicemen and women, including my great-grandparents and very likely yours, who participated in the greatest armed conflict in human history.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

About the Writer
John Vassiliou, Staff Writer
My name is John Vassiliou, I live in Westford Massachusetts  and I am a sophomore at Westford Academy. I write for the school newspaper. I like studying history, reading, writing and spending time with my family. I like keeping things about myself short, so i’ll have that be it about me.
1 Comment

One Response to “A Common Hero”

  1. Denis Keenan on December 22nd, 2017 5:56 pm

    Looking forward to your next article.

    [Reply]

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • A Common Hero

    Opinions

    Students comment on Distance Learning experience

  • A Common Hero

    Opinions

    Being a freshman: expectation v.s. reality

  • A Common Hero

    Food Reviews

    Country Butcher and Deli, The Best Subs in MA

  • A Common Hero

    Opinions

    What I learned at WA

  • A Common Hero

    Opinions

    The concept of growing up

  • A Common Hero

    Opinions

    Cherish your time

  • A Common Hero

    Opinions

    Don’t take things too seriously

  • A Common Hero

    Opinions

    In defense of the NRA

  • A Common Hero

    Opinions

    Distance Learning is the best option for Westford Public Schools

  • A Common Hero

    Opinions

    Arming teachers is not the answer

The student news site of Westford Academy
A Common Hero