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GreekReporter.comGreek NewsHistoric Greek Warship 'Velos' Damaged by Gale Force Winds

Historic Greek Warship ‘Velos’ Damaged by Gale Force Winds

Velos Greek warship
Velos sustained damage to its stern. Credit: AMNA

The historic Greek warship, Velos, which now operates as a floating museum, was damaged by the gale force winds while docked at the port of Thessaloniki over the weekend.

Velos sustained damage to its stern and was taken to the commercial section of the port, where cruise ships and passenger ferries dock so that there can be a further inspection of the damage. Experts will then determine how to best repair any damage.

The ship was damaged when strong wind gusts and high waves slammed the boat’s stern onto the base of the promenade. The ship had been similarly damaged during bad weather in March, though not significantly enough to affect its stability and durability.

Built in Boston in the USA and launched on June 3, 1942 as the USS “Charrette” DD 581, it served in the Hellenic Navy for thirty-two years and was also used in World War II and US Pacific naval operations.

It was refurbished and given to the Greek Royal Navy in 1958 but withdrawn from active duty in 1991. In 1994, it was designated to the Museum of Antidictatorial Struggle. It is one of four remaining ships of its type still in existence and had received more than 250,000 visitors while docked in Thessaloniki.

Greek warship Velos in the struggle against the junta

Velos caused a stir in Europe in May 1973 when its captain and crew mutinied during NATO exercises and sailed to Italy to raise awareness about the struggle against the Greek army junta.

In 1972, Lieutenant Captain Nikolaos Pappas assumed command of the destroyer Velos, with which he participated in the abortive Navy revolt, planned for May 25, 1973, against the then-ruling military junta.

Although the revolt was pre-empted by the junta, Pappas led his own vessel, the destroyer Velos, to Italy, where he and thirty-one of the ship’s officers and NCOs requested political asylum and gave a press conference in front of the international media denouncing the regime. In retaliation, the regime dismissed him from the Navy and stripped him of his citizenship.

Six months later, Greek university students staged an anti-junta uprising at the Athens Polytechnic that was crushed by the army and police, killing at least twenty-four people.

After the fall of the junta in 1974, Pappas was reinstated in his rank and was promoted to captain. On March 23, 1982, he was promoted to vice admiral and named as Chief of the Navy General Staff, a post which he retained until his retirement as a full admiral and honorary chief of the HNGS on December 22, 1986.

Pappas died at his residence in Athens following a battle with cancer on April 5, 2013. He was married and had two sons.

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