On this day, two B-17 Flying fortresses crashed in Serbia, while coming back from a mission to Sofia, Bulgaria. Those were the first planes that crashed in Serbia after 4 Liberators fell during the famous operation Tidal wave. Plane 42-30490 from 301st Bomb group, with 9 man crew fell in vicinity of Kuršumlija.
The second plane, no 42-5340 from 99th Bomb group, with 10 man crew fell in the vicinity of Užice city, on Zlatibor mountain.
All crew members got in touch with Chet
George Mane Vujnovich (May 31, 1915 – April 24, 2012) was an American intelligence officer in the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) during World War II. He is known for his role in the organization of Operation Halyard, which successfully rescued over 500 Allied airmen from Serbia. These airmen had been shot down while flying a mission to bomb oil fields in Ploiesti, Romania.
Ploesti oil fields in Romania were main source of oil for Nazi Germany. Therefore they were considered key target for Allied bombers. However, since they were far away from bases in Britain, it was not easy target. After minor attack in June 1942, and massive attack of 178 B-24 bombers on August 1st 1944, casualties were high, and effectiveness of of bombing was limited. After Allies created bases near Foggia in Italy, it was possible to make constant successful attacks. Dur
George S. Musulin, a World War II veteran, helped evacuate 400 American airmen from Nazi-occupied Yugoslavia in 1944. Musulin, the son of Yugoslav immigrants, was appointed chief of a mission to rescue these airmen who had been forced down while flying over territory controlled by Mihailovich chetniks. For his efforts, Mr. Musulin was awarded the Legion of Merit. Mr. Musulin enlisted in the Office of Naval Intelligence and joined the Central Intelligence Agency in 1950, where
Members of Halyard mission (Arthur Jibilian, on the left, and Nick Lalich, on the right), visit rescued airmen King and Orsini in hospital in Italy, few days after evacuation. Sign "Happy New year is visible on the wall, and there is some more sljivovica brandy in decorated wooden flagon for small celebration.