I was a member of VA-12 embarked on the USS Independence CV-62 with Carrier Air Wing 7. The Indy was at anchor in Athens harbor and our squadron had rented a hotel room in Glyfada, a suburb of Athens as our Squadron "Admin". I choose to spend the night of 24 November in the Admin but had to get up early in order to get back to the boat to stand watch as the Squadron Duty officer. The first launch from Athens Harbor back to the ship was scheduled for 6 AM. So i left the Admin at 5:00 AM on the 25th expecting to get a cab to the pier. As soon as i got out to the street, i noticed there were no cabs and actually no cars at all. So I started walking in the direction of the piers. About 4 blocks down the street I took a left onto the main thoroughfare from Glyfada to Athens.
Much to my surprise the road was blocked by tanks and other amoured vehicles manned by approximately 100 armed Greek Soldiers. standing in front of this blockade were about a dozen enlisted guys. I went up to them and asked what was going on. They weren't sure but said that thought that there had been a Coups D'etat and the military had taken control of the government.
It appeared that i was the only officer in the group and therefor the senior office present. I was in civilian clothes, so i took out my Navy ID and approached the Greek soldier who appeared to be in command. I identified myself as and American Naval Officer and asked for permission for myself and the others to be allowed to proceed to the harbor so we could return to the ship.
This Greek Officer replied with a very loud an strong "NO!" and pointed his weapon at me in a menacing manner. I quickly retreated and decided I needed to communicate with the ship. I returned to the "Admin" and tried to make a call to the Shore Patrol. Alas, all the phone lines were down. The Air Force Officer's Club was just across the street from the Admin so i went over and discovered that it was open but nobody was there.
As it turned out, the city of Athens was under blockade for 3 days. During those days, we made our own meals in the O'Club and drank most of the booze. I met Mike Mullen and his wife that weekend as his ship was also anchored in Athens Harbor. By he third day, the Navy had worked an agreement with the new Greek government to extract us via helo back to the ship.
What a wonderful memory that I have treasured and shared with many.