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April 24. Mission to Bucharest

B-24 Liberator, 41-29199, named Big Boober Girl by her crew, on the photo with trailing smoke from a damaged engine en route to Bucharest. Despite the engine problem which began over Adriatic, the crew continued the mission. Immediately after the target, the plane was attacked by enemy aircraft which damaged a second engine. 

On the return trip, over southern Serbia, the first engine stopped working, and the crew of 10 was forced to bail out in the vicinity of Brus. One crewman was captured by the enemy on the ground.  Three airmen, Forest Jones, Rogers Thomas, and Charles Beall, were immediately approached by Chetniks. They were evacuated from Pranjani on May 29th, with the British missions departing Serbia. 

The remaining six airmen, Willard Johnson, John Hanephin, Herman Burgess, Erhart Kruse, William Watson, and Samuel Rardin were found by Partisans.  They were assisted by the OSS mission led by Linn Farrish. After being chased by Germans and Bulgarians, the mission was evacuated from the slopes of Mt Jastrebac on June 16th, with a total of 13 American airmen.

Being caught in the fight between Chetniks and Partisans, the rescued airmen testified of the bitter rivalry between them. 


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