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Stephen Molivadas

Admitted to:

POW. Sarajevo General Hospital, Yugoslavia. Evacuation Hospital, Germany (24/04/45). Connaught Hospital, Stockbridge (28/04/45).

Date of Injury:


D.O.B/Age when admitted:

04/04/1919 (26)

Cause of Incident:

Enemy Action. Aircraft caught alight due to enemy anti-aircraft fire over Sarajevo, Yugoslavia, bailed out.

Transferred to QVH:



Burns of face and hands.

No. of Operations at East Grinstead:



This is to certify that the patient mentioned below and whose description is stated hereon is the authorised holder of this Identity card.


Stephen R.



Service No:



Greek (Royal Hellenic Air Force)



Patient Unit:

PHU, RAF Innsworth.


Pilot/Squadron Navigator.

Patient Rank:

Plt Off



Age at Death:


Dr Rank:

Dr Unit:


Molivadas was a student at the Sorbonne in Paris when war broke out. He saw the danger France was in and returned to Greece, where he continued his studies. Greece fell to German forces in April 1941, and he managed to get to Egypt. There, he joined the Greek Air Force as a translator. He was posted to Palestine, then to receive training at the Greek Officer Training School in Rhodesia.
Molivadas became an instructor at the RAF navigation school in South Africa before being allowed to become a front-line pilot. He joined the First Bomber Squadron of the 13th Hellenic Squadron, RAF, initially based in Egypt, before moving an airbase near Termoli, Italy in the spring of 1944. He flew as a navigator until he was shot down on 25 July, on the way to targets in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia (now in Bosnia and Herzegovina). He suffered severe burns in the ensuing explosion and was taken as a POW by Yugoslav partisans. Molivadas was then handed over to the Croats, who were allied with the German occupiers, in the hope of getting him hospital treatment. In March 1945 he was transferred to the Germans, as they withdrew from Yugoslavia, and ended up in hospital in Vienna. He was among those freed by American troops at the end of April, and he was sent to England for treatment.
During his treatment, Molivadas obtained a post-graduate degree in electrial engineering from University College, London. He returned to Greece in 1949, when his treatment was complete - he was declared fit but with limits and could not be an active-duty officer. He was promoted to Squadron-Leader before leaving the military. He spent much of his post-war life in the UK and the USA before returning to Greece in 2005.


PHU - Personnel Holding Unit

Further Reading:

The Reconstruction of Warriors by Dr. E. R. Mayhew
The Elements of Greek Culture that Lead to the Birth of human Flight & Influenced its Development & Fufillment all Over the World. Thesis. 2007. Translated from the Greek.
East Grinstead Museum Collection.


East Grinstead Museum Collection:
EGRTM 2773.521 - Photograph of four Guinea Pigs in hospital, all with pedicles, including Molivadas
Military Obituaries.