On Friday, September 25th 2015, the 71st anniversary of the Halyard Mission was celebrated in Pranjani, Serbia, the location of the rescue of over 500 American Airmen during the Second World War. The Halyard Mission Foundation would like to thank the U.S. Embassy for sponsoring this year's event.
The event started with a wreath laying ceremony on Galovica Field, the site of the runway built for the rescue mission. Representatives from the United States Air Forces in Europe (USAFE), the U.S. Embassy, the Serbian Ministry of Defense, the Municipality of Gorni Milanovac, and the Halyard Mission Foundation laid wreaths at the monument on the field. Brigadier General Mark D. Camerer, the Director of Plans, Programs and Analyses for Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe, made remarks following the wreath laying.
Additionally, the Mayor of Gorni Milanovac, Mr. Milisav Mirković, and Dr. Oliver Antic, representing the President of Serbia's Office, both addressed the crowd at Galovica Field. Other special guests included Ms. Laura Gross, Principal Director for Political Affairs of Russia, Ukraine and Eurasian Affairs, U.S. Department of Defense; Brigadier General Dusko Žarković, Deputy Commander, Serbian Air Forces; John Cappello, Lieutenant Colonel retired and president of the Halyard Mission Foundation; Colonel Taft Blackburn, Defense Attaché, U.S. Embassy, Belgrade; and Gordon Deguit, Deputy Chief of Mission, U.S. Embassy, Belgrade.