February 13, 1919 (Norwalk, CT) – May 6, 1944; 25 years old
Last local address: 138 Washington Street, Norwalk
Enlisted August 5, 1942
Service number: 31167208
Born to Pol (1888-?) and Mary (1888-?). One brother, Caliope (1920-2000). Born in the U.S. and raised in Alexandria, Egypt. He arrived in the U.S. in 1941 from Port Said, Egypt.
Honorable discharge November 20, 1943. Died 5 ½ months later at Wappingers Falls, New York. Hospital records indicate TB was the cause of death.
From The Norwalk Hour March 1, 1941
Left Here When 2 Years Old, Returns To Serve In Draft
George Segakis, Norwalk Born, Now 22, Comes All The Way From Egypt To Aid U.S.; Tells Of Bombing Of Alexandria; 56 Days At Sea; Warned Of Raiders; Has Cousins In Hat Plant Here
George Polycarpe Segakis, 22, Norwalk-born son of Greek-American parents and a resident of Egypt for the past 20 years, has returned here from the seething Near East to take his place, if need be, with the armed forces of the United States. Segakis appeared at Draft Board 26-A on Friday to register for selective service and declared to officials there his hope of passing the physical examination. A stranger in the land of his birth, Segakis, whose mother and father, Mr. and Mrs. Polycarpe Segakis, reside now in Alexandria, Egypt, knows he was born in South Norwalk but does not know the exact location. He was born in February 1919, and his father then being employed by the Norwalk Tire and Rubber Company. When he was two years of age, Segakis with his parents and one older sister, moved to Alexandria, Egypt. Since that time, Segakis, the elder, has built up a profitable coffee business there. The clean-cut, athletic Segakis was schooled for nine years in the St. Andrews’ Secondary School and for three years at the American Commercial College at Alexandria, learning several languages in addition to acquiring business training. Segakis is not entirely alone here. He has two cousins, residents of this city for many years, John Cassimatis, chef at the Hodshon-Berg plant, and Mike Cassimatis, a hatter in the same plant. He has a brother in New York. Until he decided several months ago to return to America, Segakis had been employed as a secretary in the Alexandria offices of General Motors in the Near East. In fact, it was the loss of that job that contributed to his decision. Dwindling markets for luxuries and a prevailing swing to Egypt-produced articles have taken a toll on American goods, Segakis said. Curtailment of the General Motors facilities caused a reduction in the staff. Among those let out, was Segakis. Some foreign countries work out the unemployment problem with more abrupt decisions and effectiveness than appears to be the case here, according to Segakis. When an alien (to Egypt) loses a job or the number of jobs available to aliens is reduced, natives of Egypt are given priority over all other persons. You cannot get work while an Egyptian, available for that job, is unemployed, Segakis said. There are less than 300 Americans in Alexandria at present as against a resident population of 40,000 French, 60,000 Italians, and 75,000 Greeks, plus native Egyptians and about 20,000 Germans, the latter now held in concentration camps along the desert. Segakis waited two months for passage out of Alexandria, finally succeeding in booking aboard the S.S. Zam Zam, an Egyptian steamer that arrived at Jersey City, New Jersey on February 24 and the second Egyptian steamer in all history to put into an American port. The trip in normal times scheduled in 17 days, took the S.S. Zam Zam 56 days around the Cape of Good Hope during which the crew and passengers numbering 135 of whom 132 were refugees from Palestine, experienced many spine-tingling incidents.
From The Norwalk Hour May 22, 1943
Sergeant George P. Segakis of Norwalk, who is stationed somewhere in Brazil, South America, writes an interesting letter about this camp. He was recently promoted to sergeant. The letter in part follows:
“I just got through reading The Norwalk Hour, which I receive very regularly, and you can’t imagine what pleasure it gives me to read my hometown paper. You cannot realize the joy I get in the morning, after I get to the office, our mail clerk comes and hands me my mail which includes your paper. I am stationed in South America, somewhere in Brazil, on one of our Army air bases. I am with the Air Transport Command, the branch of the Army Air Forces which sees that our planes get to the battlefronts serviced in perfect conditions. I am a stenographer in the Adjutant General’s office of the South Atlantic wing. I am also the court martial reporter. Everyone down here, whether he be in the offices or ‘on the line’, is doing his best to help win this war. The War Department and all our officers are doing their best to make us feel at home and keep our morale up, which needless to say, is well high up. We live in nice barracks, work in nice offices and eat in good mess halls. In general, our living and working conditions are very satisfactory. We eat the best food, both in quality and quantity, that any person would have. Our recreational facilities are numerous. We have a large, nice day room with a library, ping pong tables, billiards, card games, checkerboards, and writing tablets. We have three softball diamonds with all the necessary equipment; volleyball courts, tennis courts, a number of footballs, and an outdoor movie show where every night they show a different picture. We have a large PX where we can get American cigarettes, candy bars, cigars, writing materials, toilet articles, beer, and soft drinks. We also have a large chapel building where everybody goes on Sunday morning to worship and hear our chaplain preach his sermon. We have the liberty of going to town any day we like, providing it does not interfere with our duties. The civilians in town respect us and are very courteous. During the time that I have been stationed here, I met several fellows from Connecticut who were passing through this base for some other destination. Though everybody is satisfied down here, we are looking forward to the day when we will return to our homes in the States which we all love so dearly.”
Sergeant Segakis is buried in Long Island National Cemetery, 2040 Wellwood Avenue, Farmingdale, New York; Section O, Grave 34210. Photo by webmaster.