Alex Hnarakis was the subject of the “Top Guns” article that inspired Topgun

Of all of our classmates accomplishments and there are a lot of them, one of the coolest might be that Alex Hnarakis (13th Co.) was the subject of the article “Top Guns” in the May 1983 California Magazine that inspired the hit movie Topgun. That article has been added to the Professional Writings page as well as Alex’s own article “The Story Behind “Top Guns,” Ehud Yonay’s Article That Inspired The Hit Movie Topgun.” In that article, Alex recounted how he and his RIO’s experiences while attending Topgun were collected and chronicled in the article. Although Alex’s time as a student at Topgun was the basis for the article, he didn’t participate in the making of the movie. When the movie was being made, Alex has PCS-ed to the east coast and was a student at the Naval Test Pilot School at NAS Patuxent River.

However, the movie still had Class of 78 connections:

  • John Semcken (4th Co.) served as and was recognized in the in the credits as “Lt. John Henry Semcken — cooperation and support officer: U.S. Navy” 
  • Mike Galpin (23rd Co.), who was an instructor at Topgun at the time the movie was being made, participated in some of the flying scenes in the movie

In addition to those two articles being added to the Professional Writings page, we have also added another article authored by Alex, “The Back Story on How the Navy’s Jolly Rogers Remained an Active Squadron,” and the link to an extensive article on Alex Hnarakis on the the Greeks in Foreign Cockpits website. There are great pictures in the great article about him written just after he passed away. The author starts off the article on how he was connected to Alex through a mutual friend just before Alex became ill but never got a chance to meet or talk with him.

Alex is the tenth classmate whose writings have been featured on the Professional Writings page.