January 24. 1944.
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 Chetnik guerrillas soon. Those were the first airmen that fell to Chetnik territory in Yugoslavia. Under the orders of Draza Mihailovic, they were transferred to the vicinity of Pranjani and got in contact with Allied missions, which tried to arrange their evacuation. Ten men were evacuated on May 29th, with Allied missions. Nine men from other crew could not wait so long, so they decided to go for a 500-mile trek to the Adriatic sea. They arrived near the coast with Chetniks, but could not go further, since Germans guarded routes to the sea. With help of locals, they contacted partisans, who led them to Allied mission, and evacuated them from Berane airfield on June 17th.