DFC SOCIETY WINE CLUB is welcoming new membership - JOIN TODAY, become a VIP, and Receive a 20% Discount!

DFC Society Events


The Mettle Behind the Merit - the Steve Pisanos Story will premiere at the National Hellenic Society on October 3

(Tucson, AZ) — A short film featuring the life of WWII ace fighter pilot Steve Pisanos will premiere at the National Hellenic Museum, Thursday, October 3rd at 6pm.

Steve Pisanos used a merchant ship to work his way to the United States where he promptly fled his ship and made his way to New York City in an effort to achieve his ambition of becoming a pilot.  With no money, prospects or even command of the English language, what happened next personifies the typical “Coming to America” legend.

The film, titled The Mettle Behind the Merit is an episode of the internationally acclaimed video series, Old Guys and Their Airplanes.   Producer John Mollison explains the story’s appeal, “Right now, there’s great controversy about the immigration issue within the United States.  Steve Pisanos’ story is one that brings the best of everyone’s vision to a common ground—Steve’s life illustrates what it takes to live the American dream.”

Steve Pisanos went on to become a fighter ace, Royal Air Force Eagle Squadron member, French Resistance fighter and the first American to be made citizen on foreign soil.

The film is sponsored by Calamos Investments  and The Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) Society.  Steve was awarded four DFCs for heroism or extraordinary achievement in aerial combat during WWII and a fifth DFC for heroism in the Vietnam War.   

John P. Calamos, Sr., Founder of Calamos Investments and a United States Air Force veteran, is proud to sponsor this film.  Calamos explained, “The Story of Steve Pisanos is an outstanding example of the Greek American story. Hard work, wanting more for yourself and your family and unwavering commitment to our country is what the National Hellenic Museum celebrates. Our third floor exhibit, The Greek Story in America, has fascinating examples illustrating the important contributions of Greek Americans to the military. We are proud to document and display the history of Greek American Veterans.  Premiering the movie at the Museum, where Steve Pisanos himself donated items from his personal collection, is a wonderful opportunity and I am proud to be a part of bringing Mr. Pisanos’ story to life for more people to know.”

“Our mission is to bring these great stories to greater audiences,’ stated Bruce Huffman, Chairman of the Board for the Distinguished Flying Cross Society.  “You can’t watch this film and not be inspired to reach higher, no matter your circumstances.”

The Mettle Behind the Merit Premiere Event begins at 6pm at the National Hellenic Museum, 333 S. Halsted Street, Chicago, IL  60661.  The Premiere is open to the public.  Members of the Distinguished Flying Cross Society, John Calamos, Steve Pisanos’ son, Jefferey Pisanos, film Producer John Mollison and Editor Dalton Coffey will also be present.

For more information on the event, please contact: 
Helene Genetos, National Hellenic Museum, (312) 655-1234 Ext. 28 
Bruce Huffman, Distinguished Flying Cross Society, (518) 578-7089

For ticketing, go to: Steve Pisanos Story

Celebrating 100 Years of American Airpower - September 15-19, 2019, Dayton/Fairborn, OH

We Celebrate 100 Years of American Airpower, dating from establishment of the United States Army Air Service in 1918 during World War I. The 38 pilots of the Lafayette Escadrille, who flew for France beginning in 1916, before the United States entered the war, helped shape the U.S. Army Air Service when it was formed. By the end of the war, the Air Service used 45 squadrons to cover 85 miles of front. 71 pursuit pilots were credited with shooting down five or more German aircraft while in American service. They created a culture that influences combat pilots today.