January 24. 1944.
On this day, two B-17 Flying fortresses crashed in Serbia, while coming back from mission to Sofia, Bulgaria. Those were first plane that crashed in Serbia, after 4 Liberators fell during famous operation Tidal wave.
Plane 42-30490 from 301st Bomb group, with 9 man crew fell in vicinity of Kuršumlija. Second plane, no 42-5340 from 99th Bomb group, with 10 man crew fell in vicinity of Užice city, on Zlatibor mountain. All crew members got in touch with Chetnik guerrillas soon. Those were first airmen that fell to Chetnik territory in Yugoslavia. Under orders of Draza Mihailovic, they were transferred to 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 500 mile trek to Adriatic sea. They arrived near coast with Chetniks, but could not go further, since Germans guarded routes to sea. With help of locals, they contacted partisans, who led them to Allied mission, and evacuated them from Berane airfield on June 17th.