We follow up on the events of July 22nd.
Flying Fortress No. 42-97725 was attacking Ploesti on this faithful day. As they approached their target, the Astra-Romana refinery, their group ran into very accurate flak. One of their engines was hit, while another two were damaged. The aircraft had to drop its bombs earlier in order to continue flying. They lost some altitude before the pilot managed to stabilize the aircraft by reducing power to the two damaged engines. The damag
July 22nd marked another big raid on the Ploesti oilfields, and again it resulted in numerous casualties. Liberator No. 42-94887 from the 449th Bomb Group was hit over the target, causing widespread damage. One engine stopped working, and the propeller could not be feathered, so the aircraft could not keep up with the formation. On the way home, the plane was hit again by anti-aircraft artillery near the Bor mines. With another engine lost, the plane started to lose altitude.
James Alonza Walker was the only African-American pilot rescued during the Halyard mission. He flew in the famous 332 Fighter Group, called "Redtails" for the paint scheme on their aircraft. On July 22nd, his group flew escort for bombers on a Ploesti mission. While crossing the Danube near Negotin, his plane was hit by anti-aircraft artillery and caught fire. James immediately turned back, but only managed to reach the Morava river where he bailed out near the city of Stalać
During the first evacuation flights of the Halyard Mission, 225 American and 6 British airmen were evacuated. In addition, there were 8 Yugoslavs. Some of them, like Mihailo Paunović, were stowaways. Dr. Ivan Popov (brother of famous spy Duško Popov), was being chased by the Gestapo and was also evacuated. The departure of these Yugoslavs was mostly unauthorized, but the largest problem was with the delegation from the Yugoslav Army in Homeland, sent by general Draža Mihailo
There was one unexpected passenger among the rescued airmen on the August 10 evacuation flight from Galovica Field. Mihailo Paunović was a Chetnik, assigned to help the rescued airmen. He became friendly with members of two crews that were shot down near Čačak, on June 6th. He was very close to Charles Davis, from Liberator No 42-52717, and Donald Smith, co-pilot on plane No 42-7757.
When it became clear that evacuation was getting closer, and since the situation in Serbia be
Minister in Serbian government Zorana Mihajlović believes that on September 19, together with the president of Serbia Aleksandar Vučić and representatives of the American Administration, we will mark the completion of the construction of the site and memorial complex.
She pointed out that by building an airport for small sports planes and Memorial Complex, Serbia wants once again to show the friendship between two nations, Serbian and American. News was published on August
On this day 76 years ago, the first evacuation of the Halyard mission took place. A total of 225 US and 6 British airmen were evacuated, with an additional 31 Yugoslav, Russian, Italian, and French citizens. It was a great success, carried out without an incident. First planes landed during the night, on runway visible at moonlight. Remaining planes came in the morning, with fighter cover. We present the report of George Musulin, sent during the evacuation, we discovered duri
In partnership with the Ministry of Infrastructure and Serbian Airports the Halyard Mission Foundation is proud to announce work has begun on building an airfield on Galovica Field, the site of the Halyard rescue mission. After 76 years, aircraft again will land on the field where the greatest rescue from behind enemy lines took place. Hundreds of American airmen were evacuated from the field in August and September 1944.