Cyprus Mail

Noratlas plane arrives from Greece to form invasion memorial

One of the seven lorries transporting the Noratlas aircraft that will be reassembled as a memorial in Nicosia

A Noratlas transport plane arrived in Cyprus from Greece on Monday and was taken to a military cemetery in Nicosia to be used as a monument for Greek soldiers killed during the 1974 Turkish invasion.

The aircraft arrived by ship, disassembled, and was loaded on seven lorries that transported it to the cemetery in the Makedonitissa area.

It will be reassembled by Greek air force officers to be used as a monument.

The Noratlas is the same type of aircraft used in July 1974 to fly Greek commandos to Cyprus to help the National Guard fight the invading Turkish army.

Thirteen – out of 15 – aircraft reached Cyprus, setting off from Crete in what many described as a suicide mission.

But several of the planes, mistaken for a Turkish airborne assault, took fire from National Guard anti-aircraft batteries positioned around the Nicosia airport.

One of those planes was later buried, along with the remains of commandos still inside, under a mound at Makedonitissa cemetery with a monument erected to those fallen in 1974 on top.

Only recently it was exhumed to identify the remains of around 19 soldiers who were missing and hand them over to their families.


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