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A fact from World War II: 

The Serbs have saved more than 600 American Fliers

As the merciless and savage NATO attacks go on unabated it is politically correct to forget the due that America has toward the Serbian people. Let us remind you:

During WWII the Serbian Royalist guerrilla movement, led by General Draza Mihajlovich, have saved more than 600 American fliers. To this day, the "Halyard Operation" remains the largest one-time rescue of Americans from behind enemy lines in American history.

In Time-Life book, the series on World War II, entitled: "Partisans and Guerrillas", published in 1978, on page 188, you can see some of the rescued American fliers:

On page 189, of the same book you will find the following quote referring to the above photograph:

American fliers, shot down over Yugoslavia, catch up on their sleep in a hayloft after being rescued by the [Serbian royalist] Chetniks. DURING THE WAR SOME *600* [SIX HUNDRED!] AMERICANS WERE RESCUED BY THE CHETNIKS AT GREAT PERSONAL RISK. "Our guides told us in all sincerity," said one of the fliers, that the GERMANS EXECUTED FIVE OF THEIR PEOPLE FOR FAILURE TO DISCLOSE OUR WHEREABOUTS."

"Their people" means that the Serbs have watched their neighbors, their girlfriends, their parents or their own children being shot - but they would make this painful, impossible sacrifice - to save these great men; these dear allies.

America boasts about its great sense of morality. Is any of it left?

The last American Ambassador to ex-Yugoslavia (who was also an active participant in anti-Serb bigoted campaigns) Mr. Warren Zimmermann, in a moment of candor said:

"Serbs are a naturally talented and ebullient people with an instinctive LIKING FOR AMERICANS that is based partly on a shared garrulity and partly on a military alliance spanning both world wars."

(The above quote is from: "Foreign Affairs", issue March/April 1995, page 3, "Origins of the Catastrophe").

What should the Serbs, what should the WORLD think about America now?

Please, follow this link to read what Major Richard L. Felman, one of the rescued aviators had to say about the Serbs. His speech is part of Congressional Record.

American aviator, from the above photograph
writes to us:

The photo "The Serbs have saved more than 600 American Fliers" holds vivid memories for me. I learned of the photos existence fifty years later while visiting in Chicago. Obviously, all the fliers were exhausted and sound asleep in the photo. Having said that, obviously we did not know of the photographers presence. While in Chicago in 1993, I met the photographer, quite by accident. He was as much surprised to meet me as I was to meet him. His name?... J.B. Allin, who was attached to the HALYARD MISION. This same photo appeared on page 49 in the November/December issue of SERB WORLD, U.S.A.

"Nick" Lalich was a very good friend of mine in 1944 and continued to be a life-long friend until his recent death.

The same photo has appeared in many publications during the past sixty years.

However, I have never seen the men in the photo identified. I knew all of them, quite well.

They were the enlisted men of my B-24 Liberator Bomber Crew, shot down by German anti-aircraft fire over Belgrade on Sept. 8, 1944. Only two of them are still living, including myself.

Left to right in the photo, they are Howard Ford, ball turret gunner; Gerald Wagner, radio operator; Curt Diles, nose turret gunner; Rudolph Schmidt, Flight Engineer; and Leland Porter, tail gunner. One of our crew, James Barker, was captured by the Germans and spent the balance of the war as a German prisoner.

AMERICAN SRBOBRAN has published many of my articles over the past six decades.


A faithful Serbian supporter,

Curt Diles   
Dayton, Ohio 
July 4, 2005 

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First posted: April 27, 1999
Last revised: July 20, 2005