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93-year-old's WWII feats are hidden no longer


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JCFalkenbergIII

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Posted 11 January 2009 - 05:53 AM

South Side native George Vujnovich, 93, appeared at a ceremony in New York yesterday to accept an award as a hero in World War II's Operation Halyard.

Never heard of it?

Few have, despite the release last year of "The Forgotten 500," the first book about the daring mission to rescue 500 downed airmen in occupied Yugoslavia.

Mr. Vujnovich, a Pittsburgh boy who became head of the Office of Strategic Services in Bari, Italy, organized what has been called the greatest air rescue of the war.

In the summer of 1944, U.S. bombers targeted the Romanian oil fields in Ploesti that supplied the German war machine. They flew from Italy and across Yugoslavia to get there.

But Luftwaffe fighters and flak from anti-aircraft guns took a fearsome toll, and many shot-up planes never made it back.

Some 1,500 crewmen had to bail out over Serbia, trapped behind enemy lines and dependent on villagers to hide them from the Germans.

Mr. Vujnovich's team of agents, including a former Pittsburgh Steeler from Johnstown and a crack radioman from Toledo, Ohio, worked with Yugoslav guerilla leader Gen. Draza Mihailovich to airlift 512 men from a makeshift runway carved on a mountaintop.

"We didn't lose a single man," Mr. Vujnovich said last week from his home in Jackson Heights, N.Y. "It's an interesting history. Even in Serbia they don't know much about it."


http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08328/930101-455.stm

Edited by JCFalkenbergIII, 16 January 2009 - 04:24 AM.

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For the first time I have seen "History" at close quarters,and I know that its actual process is very different from what is presented to Posterity. - WWI General Max Hoffman.

JCFalkenbergIII

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Posted 11 January 2009 - 05:54 AM

Operation Halyard. The Operation concieved by the OSS. The Operation was a rescue mission to rescue more then 500 Allied airman from deep in Yugoslavia. The Allied airman had to build an airstrip large and long enough for C-47s to land without being found out and with out any real proper tools. Here is an article on "Operation Halyard".

Rescue Behind Enemy Lines - OperationHalyard and the Rescue in Occupied Serbia » HistoryNet - From the World's Largest History Magazine Publisher

Edited by JCFalkenbergIII, 11 January 2009 - 07:45 AM.

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For the first time I have seen "History" at close quarters,and I know that its actual process is very different from what is presented to Posterity. - WWI General Max Hoffman.

Halldin

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Posted 11 January 2009 - 11:06 AM

I had never heard of this till now, nice story and what a incredible mission.
Thanks.

JCFalkenbergIII

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 07:17 PM

I had never heard of this till now, nice story and what a incredible mission.
Thanks.


My pleasure. I wonder how many other stories are out there that are still waiting to come to light ?
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For the first time I have seen "History" at close quarters,and I know that its actual process is very different from what is presented to Posterity. - WWI General Max Hoffman.

JCFalkenbergIII

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 01:21 AM

Heres another account that I had posted earlier :).

http://www.ww2f.com/...wii-rescue.html
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For the first time I have seen "History" at close quarters,and I know that its actual process is very different from what is presented to Posterity. - WWI General Max Hoffman.

STURMTRUPPEN

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Posted 21 January 2009 - 08:20 PM

the oss were hard bastards man
at the end of the night i wont be reaching for the brass ring i'll be reaching for your wwe championship
jeff hardy




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