John D. Raikos (#0-443183)

Picture taken 1945
Place of Birth
Date of Birth


March 8, 1922
Captain (WWII) - Colonel (Ret.)


83rd Infantry
Combat Infantryman Badge, Silver Star Medal, Bronze Star Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster, Good Conduct, American Campaign Medal, WWII Victory Medal, EAME Campaign Medal with 5 bronze stars for the five Campaigns.

John D. Raikos was born on March 8, 1922. John Raikos was a graduate of Manual High School and joined the Army on January 30, 1942. He was part of the original cadre which reactivated the 83rd Infantry Division "Thunderbolts" at Camp Atterbury on August 15, 1942. He was trained in Tennessee Maneuvers, to Fort Benning and came ashore in the Normandy Campaign as 1st Lieutenant with 329th Infantry landing at Omaha Beach, with mission orders to seize the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin.
John Raikos served as a combat liaison officer, comm. platoon leader and Regimental Headquarters Company Commander, during the war, promoted to Captain and decorated with the Silver Star, Bronze Star for valor, Oak Leaf Cluster to Bronze Star and OLC.
Lt. Raikos rode on the lead tank into Cherbourgh Belgium. On September 1, 1944, he and Lt. James Bagley liberated Tours, France, and Mayor Albert Joubert made John Raikos a "Tours Citizen d' Honneur and Grand Marshall" at the 1964 liberation commemoration and parade in his honor. Raikos was also honored with the esteemed citation from Yom H'ashowa Holocaust Remembrance for his role with the 83rd Division's liberation of Nazi concentration camps. John Raikos was the first American to make radio contact with the Russians. The 83rd Division, near war's end after constructing the Truman Bridge over the Elbe and making furthest penetration into Germany by Allied forces, was ordered to pull back across the Elbe. With "permission with disavowal" of his co Capt. Raikos advanced within 20 miles of Berlin and waited 10 days for the Russians to physically link up. He served as Provisional Governor of Deggendorf Germany, before returning home.

Raikos continued his military career in the reserves, graduated from the Army's Command and General Staff College and retired as Colonel in 1982. Raikos was extremely proud of serving his country and remained active in the 83rd Infantry Division Association, serving as its Judge Advocate until 2003. He was a member of the World War II roundtable. Raikos also attended Indiana University Bloomington undergraduate and law schools in 1950 was admitted as an attorney to the practice of law in Indiana, which he actively pursued until his January 8, 2003 stroke. He joined the law firm of Cook Mendenhall and Bose and later formed, Raikos, Barton, Rochford and Thomas, which became Raikos and Raikos. Raikos was a lawyer's lawyer; tenacious, fiercely loyal, compassionate and always eager to serve as advocate and adviser with generous time and open to all. A warrior and a healer. His soldiering moved to the courtroom and he enjoyed an illustrious and varied legal career, championing causes from "Step 'n Fetchit," one of Hollywood's first African American actors, in his defamation suit against CBS for its portrayal of him as a chicken stealing, crap shooting, slow shuffling Negro, to an original action in the U.S. Supreme Court of behalf of Robert L. Montgomery to mandate Congress to cease deficit spending and restore the gold standard. He successfully tried numerous cases which garnered media attention from procuring the release by a tearful jury of a client wrongfully committed to Central State Mental Hospital, to will contest of a murdered bank heiress from 1st Amendment to Sunday Blue Laws and OSHA, and was a pioneer in using psychologists in jury voir dire and selection, resulting in substantial verdicts. He was elected attorney for the Indianapolis Sanitary District and was a founding board member and legal counsel for many years for the Indianapolis Kroger Credit Union (KEMBA). Raikos also enjoyed the coal business with Kentucky Mountain Coal Co. and Western Minerals Corp. and prior to that his business activities as President in developing South Side Sanitary Landfill, American Reclamation and Earth Equipment Leasing Co. John lived everyday to the fullest, each day after the war as a gift. "Time and tide wait for no man." Driven and determined, he raced up and down steps rather than wait for elevators and moved always with purpose and energy. John was proud of his Greek heritage and proudest of all of his family. First, foremost and always he was a devoted son, brother, husband, father and grandfather, never missing the opportunity for a family gathering filled with his cooking, stories and love. His emotions were as transparent as his words were direct. Raikos was a member of the Indianapolis Murat Shrine Temple, Scottish Rite, the Mystic Tie Lodge, American Legion Broad Ripple Kennington Post, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Reserve Officers Association, Indianapolis Colombia Club, IAC, Indianapolis and Indiana State and American Bar Associations and the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church.

John D. Raikos, somewhere on the riviera (courtesy of John's daughter Margo (Raikos) McLaughlin)

Source: Find A Grave
John D. Raikos passed away on July 24, 2006, and is buried at the Crown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his brothers, Nicholas, George and Andrew Raikos and his sisters, Mary and Katherine Raikos.
Survivors include his loving wife of 60 years, Mary P. Raikos, sons, Gustin J., John Dr. Jr.; daughters, Lili Marlene (Michael) Dehen, Margo Elaine; grandchildren, Melissa Denise, GJ, Nicholas and Jake Raikos, Tiffany, Alyssa and Michael Jr. Dehen; nephews, James A. Raikos, William James Raikos, Springfield, MO and nieces, Pamela Jean Raikos and Denisa Raikos.

Thanks to Margo (Raikos) McLaughlin for sharing this story and the photos of her dad.