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Unsung World War Two Hero

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    Магазин Видовдан
    Александар Недић
    10 јул 2014


    Недавно је у изложбеном простору Историјског музеја Србије на тргу Николе Пашића отворена је изложба „У име народа – политичка репресија у Србији 1944-1953.године“.
     
    Ова мултимедијална и савремено конципирана изложба је велики корак напред у сагледавању наше прошлости. По први пут се уз владајући режим вежу појмови као репресија или злочини о чему се и данас сме говорити само шапатом. Аутор је храбро суочио српску јавност са питањем репресије режима који је током пола века покушавао да себе прикаже хуманим и демократским. Посебно признање аутор и његови сарадници заслужују за иновативности и ажурирањем садржаја и догађаја којима настоје да одрже актуелност изложбе и спрече да је званична гласила занемаривањем потисну на маргине.
     
    Уз све похвале и подршку сматрам неопходним да укажем на неке, пре свега методолошке недоречености, које код посетилаца и заинтересованих могу за последицу имати неразумевање и чак покушај оправдавања злочина и злочинаца.
     
    Комисија чији рад је послужио као увод и претходница ове изложбе бавила се периодом након 12.септембра 1944.године. Овај, произвољни, датум ничим није обавезивао ауторе изложбе да истраживачки обраде и период који је претходио овом периоду. Можда до самих почетка Комунистичке партије и терористичког убиства бившег министра Драшковића у Делницама али у сваком случају до Дрезденског конгреса када је званичним резолуцијама уређена антидржавна активност Комунистичке партије. Грађани  Југославије и Србије имали су прилике да се током седам деценија упознају са злочинима свих других зараћених страна на тлу Краљевине Југославије. Била би то прилика да се упознамо и са злочинима Комунистичке партије и партизана као њене оружане формације. Већ од јесени 1941.године и злочина у тзв. „Ужичкој републици“, преко „левих скретања“ у Црној Гори и Херцеговини до појединачних злочина на тлу Србије све до наведеног 12.септембра 1944.године. Овако без правог увода може се стећи утисак да су терор и злочини последица нечега што је претходило а не да је комунистичка власт континуитет терора и да без њега не може ни опстати.
     
    У савременим истраживањима жртава у свету општеприхваћени метод је метод персоналне идентификације. Овај метод не само да је најпоузданији већ и омогућава да се персонилизацијом жртве њој врати личност и достојанство уместо да буде третирана као проста статистичка цифра. Овај метод има и своје отежавајуће „околности“, он захтева темељан и прецизан рад и строгу контролу унетих података. Метод који су аутори изложбе применили прекуцавањем докумената добијених из архиве ВБА добар је због своје ефикасности али је, нажалост, мањкав по питању прецизности и тачности кроз више сегмената:
     
     
    * Не прави разлику између оргиналног и веродостојног документа. Неки документ настао од органа који трди да то јесте и у време за које се у документу наводи не мора у целини или у појединостима бити и вродостојан. Чест је пример да су у време настанка документа унети подаци који су били нетачни. Тако су као жртве унета и лица која су преживела рат или имала другачији статус од наведеног. Неопходно је овако, механички, унете податке подвргнути најпре логичној а потом и историјској провери упоређујући изворе са на други начин прикупљеним подацима.
     
    У формирању базе података жртава није испоштована подела на жртве и страдалнике (која би могла имати и више подгрупа). Жртве су лица која су потпуно или претежно недужне постале жртве неке од зараћених страна а страдалници су оне жртве које су из неког разлога имале статус легитимног циља приликом одузимања живота (на пример војници у борби или лица осуђена од регуларних судова на смрт због тешких кривичних дела)[1]. Сва лица којима је одузет живот имају право да буду евидентирана али би се потпуно недужни морали другачије третирати од оних за које постоји вероватноћа да су смрт, условно речено „заслужили“.
     
    За питање жртава и страдалника непосредно је везано и питање заштићених категорија лица, односно оних који подпадају под одредбе међународног права. Заштита се пре свега односи на цивиле, као и на неке категорије војног особља (санитетско и верско особље) а онда и на рањенике и ратне заробљенике. На Балкану се већ некако одомаћило да се рањеници и ратни заробљеници сматрају легитимним циљем што је потпуно недопустиво.
     
    Због превеликог ослањања на доступна документа БИА нису реализована теренска истраживања тако да је број жртава међу припадницима српског народа, првенствено припданика ЈВуО, далеко мањи од стварног, док је број страдалих из редова немачке националне мањине углавном објективан или нешто мало увећан у односу на стварне. Аутор би морао нагласити да тренутно стање утврђених жртава није и коначно и да се рад мора наставити коришћењем шире мреже сарадника и ослањањем на друге истраживаче (првенствено Милослава Самарџића и његове изворе).
     
    Када се говори и пише о осуђеним лицима веома је значајно одговорити на кључна питања сваког судског поступка, на основу чега се суди и ко суди. Илузија да су револуционарни судови легални и легитимни мора се демаскирати. Прописи по којима су судили народни или партизански војни судови су потпуни провизоријум. Њих није донео нити један законодавни орган а поред класичних кривичних дела обухватали су и идеолошке одреднице и санкционисали су политичко деловање супротно од воље доносиоца прописа. Таква је и Уредба из маја 1944.године[2] која и процесно (једностепеност) и суштински представља противзаконити акт без правне ваљаности. И судије које су судиле обично су биле без правног образовања и судиле су у духу воље Комунистичке партије.
     
    
    Изложба би морала још у свом уводном делу да јасно подвуче насилност преузимања власти од новог режима који је тек након масовне репресије на новембарским изборима 1945.године огрнуо плашт легалности. Пошто се већина у Србији (осим, можда, пар појединаца) слаже да је Недићева влада била квинслишка и да њено деловање не може имати никакве правне последице, основа питања легитимности односило би се на однос ЈВуО (четника) и партизана под контролом КПЈ. Наивна тумачења о томе како је 12.септембар некакав преломни датум и да би својом предајом припадници ЈВуО променили своју судбину више је него неутемељено. Још 4.априла 1944. године генерал Михаиловић је примио телеграам премијера Пурића (непосредно пре него што су радио везе стављене под потпуну британску цензуру):стр.пов.бр. 188 од 04.04. „Овде траже и даље пријатељски и незванично од Краља укинути владу. Једини начин да и ви из ње испаднете. Направити неки комитет или прелазну владу која би се споразумела са Титом и у ствари му предала земљу. Краљ и влада одлучно против. Не верујте ничему обратно чак и ако бисте чули преко радија. Све ово јављам због могућности прекида веза са Вама. У случају ма какве комбинације у Лондону без Вас као министра војног, ја и Краљ мислимо да ви треба да продужите у земљи као једини слободни члан владе са паролом Краљ је заробљен – живео Краљ![3]... Дакле сматрати једно радио обраћање,  иза кога нису следила никаква конкретна наређења нити прецизиран поступак, не могу се сматрати званичним позивом за обуставу борбе и предају  посебно јер је легална војска Краљевине Југославије требала да се преда побуњеницима који не признају њено државно уређење и не поштују међународно ратно право[4].
     
    Без обзира на напред наведене примедбе кључна замерка аутору би била што није испоштовао до краја хронолошку развојност већ је предност дао тематском принципу. Тако су као жртве (с правом) приказани „голооточани“. Нељудски третман коме су изложени је неспоран али је такође неспорно да је већина логораша у ранијем периоду обављала значајне функције у КП, партизанском покрету и државној управи. Многи од њих су били налогодавци или извршиоци тешких кривичних дела учињеним над припадницима ЈВуО, заштићеним категоријама и посебно демократској опозицији непосредно након рата. Занемаривање ове чињенице битно утиче на перцепцију репресије јер тежиште није на државној већ унутарпаријској репресији у оквиру њихове борбе за превласт. Репресија над голооточанима није ексцес већ логична последица репресивности система коме су, добрим делом, и сами кумовали све до тренутка кад је „револуција почела да једе своју децу“.
     
    Начинићемо велику грешку уколико Изложбу прихватимо као коначну истину о свему што се дешавало. Она је пре први корак на дугом путу трагања за истином и самоспознајом нашег народа који још увек при помисли на комунизам пре има асоцијацију  на синдикална одмаралишта и фармерке из Трста него на масовна стратишта и Голи оток. Аутору похвале а држави задатак да обезбеди услове и средства за даља истраживања, јер Србија је једина посткомунистичка земља, у којој на њеном путу ка демократији,  није извршена лустрација и која се није дистанцирала од тоталнитарних идеологија.
     
     
    Напомене:
     
    [1] Игор Граовац, Дилеме виктимологије, жртве и/или страдалници, 450.
     
    [2] Зборник НОР-а, том 2, књига 13, документ 74, да би правно ваљани закони били донети тек након рата: Првивремена народна скупштина ДФЈ међу првим законима донела и два која су се односила на организацију и рад судова, и то: 24. августа 1945. Закон о уређењу и надлежности војних судова у ЈА и два дана касније Закон о уређењу народних судова.
     
    [3] Младен Жујовић, Ратни дневник 2, Врљачка Бања 2004, 363.
     
    [4] Познато је да Краљ није одржао говор  27.марта већ се уместо њега народу обратио један од официра-заверника.
     
    Aутор је члан Српског либералног савета
     
     
     
    *****
     
    If you would like to get in touch with me, Aleksandara, please feel free to contact me at ravnagora@hotmail.com
     
    *****
     

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    Diane Diles Hammond March 2014
     
    Curtis Diles with his daughter Diane, March 31, 2013.

    Aleksandra's Note: I hope that many Serbs who are familiar with the great true story of the Halyard Mission Rescue Operation of 1944 in the Nazi-occupied Serbian lands respond as soon as possible to this request from the daughter of Curtis "Bud" Diles, one of the last remaining living American veterans of that legendary mission.

    Curtis "Bud" Diles, 88, is one of the "Forgotten 500" - an American Army Air Force WWII veteran that flew bombing missions over Nazi targets in the war, who was shot down by the enemy, and who was saved by the Mihailovich Serbs in Nazi-occupied Serbia in 1944. He was born in July of 1925 and though he may have forgotten many things through the course of his long life, he has never forgotten the 9 days he spent with the Serbs and how they saved his life, took care of him, and got him back to his home base only 10 days after he had fallen out of the sky over Yugoslavia.

    I had the pleasure of meeting and spending time with Curtis Diles in Chicago, in May of 1994, when he came to participate in the 50th Anniversary Commemoration of the Halyard Mission Rescue Operation being celebrated that year as part of the D-Day Anniversary ceremonies being held throughout the United States. We became instant friends and have stayed in touch ever since. At 88, he continues to share his memories and gratitude for what the Serbs did for the Americans behind enemy lines in Yugoslavia in 1944. He has never forgotten General Mihailovich or his Chetnik forces and is convinced that he would not have returned alive to America and a long and happy post-war life had it not been for the Serbs.

    Curtis Diles has led a rich life. After the war he was discharged from the Army Air Force in November of 1945, returned to Ohio, and married Inez Pruitt of Kentucky in 1948. Together, he and his wife have three daughters and one son, 15 grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren - for a total of 26 descendants who are alive today because Curtis Diles was saved.

    As with other rescued airmen I've had the privilege of becoming acquainted with over the years, I'm struck by how humble, stoic, and noble men such as Curtis Diles are. They truly exemplify everything that’s honorable about the American Armed Forces. My sincere gratitude goes out to Curtis "Bud" Diles for continuing to remain dedicated to spreading the word about General Mihailovich and the Halyard Mission through all these years.

    I treasure men like Curtis "Bud" Diles. He is truly "the greatest generation."

    Sincerely,
    Aleksandra Rebic

    And now - the request from his daughter Diane Diles Hammond:

    Hi my Serbian friends,

    Next Tuesday, July 15th, 2014 is my dad's 89th birthday (Curtis Diles, Halyard Mission, Forgotten 500). There's very little that sparks his passion these days. It seems the only thing he still has a fire for is his love for the Serbian people that saved his life in WWII. That's about the only thing he wants to talk about...living it as though it was yesterday. He feels he can never repay his debt. You are his family. Nothing would make him happier than to receive HAPPY BIRTHDAY wishes (and maybe a few comments) from the Serbs.

    They can email me at:

    diane.hammond@hp.com
    or
    dhammond61@hotmail.com

    or they can send me a friend request and send me a message on Facebook. I will print them, place them in a fancy notebook, and give them to him on his birthday. He's unable to get on his computer, so he won't see any wishes posted on his Facebook wall. My brother was in town during the 4th of July celebration. I made these t-shirts for me and my 3 siblings so that dad would smile and trust that we will continue to carry the torch for him. Thank you, in advance, for your help in giving my dad a very special Happy Birthday!

    Diane Diles-Hammond
    July 2014

    Diane Diles Hammond (red shirt) and her three siblings - the four children of Curtis Diles.
    Photo courtesy of Diane July 2014.
     
    Curtis Diles sharing his WWII Serbian rescue story with his grandchildren
    on Easter, March 31, 2013. Photo courtesy of Diane Diles Hammond.
     
     
    *****
     
    If you would like to get in touch with me, Aleksandra,
    please feel free to contact me at ravnagora@hotmail.com
     
    *****

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    Sa velikim zadovoljstvom Vas pozivamo da u ČETVRTAK 17. jul 2014. 18 časova dodjete na tribinu:

     
    DRAŽA MIHAILOVIĆ GENERAL JVuO -
    PRVI GERILAC ILI IZDAJNIK!?

    Učestvuju:

     dr Kosta Nikolić, istoričar,
     
    dr Bojan Dimitrijević, istoričar,

     Novica Stevanović,
    pukovnik i pozanvalac vojne strategije JVuO

     Pero Simić publicista,

    autor knjige o generalu Draži Mihailoviću
     

    Istorijski Muzej Srbije
    Trg Nikole Pašića 11, Belgrade, Serbia
    ČETVRTAK 17. jul 2014. 18 časova


    U ime naroda represija u Srbiji 44-53

    na Facebook.


    *****

    If you would like to get in touch with me, Aleksandra,
    please feel free to contact me at ravnagora@hotmail.com

    *****


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    Mihailovich monument at St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Monastery
    Libertyville, IL U.S.A.
    Photo by Aleksandra Rebic Sept. 11, 2011

    UPCOMING CIKA DRAZA COMMEMORATION EVENTS

    Courtesy of Vera Dragisich

    Thursday, July 17th marks 68 years that our beloved and martyred Cika Draza was murdered by the Yugoslav communists

    Organization of Serbian Chetniks “Ravna Gora”
    Annual Draza Parastos

    St. Sava Monastery, Libertyville, Illinois, USA (dacha at New Gracanica Monastery)
    Thursday, July 17th (morning)


    *****

    St. John the Baptist Serbian Orthodox Church
    (Dedicated to the memory of General Draza Mihailovic)
    Annual Parastos and Program
    Bellwood, Illinois, USA
    Thursday, July 17th (evening)


    *****

    The Movement of Serbian Cetniks Ravne Gore
    Annual Drazin Dan Weekend
    Chetnik Memorial Hall (Winona Vine Estates), Winona, Ontario, Canada
    Saturday and Sunday July 19, 20th


    *****

    Ja Sam Iz Cetnicke Familije Reunion
    St. Sava Monastery, Libertyville, Illinois, USA
    Saturday, July 19th


    *****

    The Movement of Serbian Cetniks Ravne Gore
    Annual Drazin Dan Parastos and Banquet
    General Draza Mihailovic Memorial Hall, Schererville, Indiana, USA
    (Parastos following Divine Liturgy at St. George, Schererville)
    Sunday, July 20th
    (All proceeds to benefit Serbia Flood Relief)



    *****

    If you would like to get in touch with me, Aleksandra, please feel free to contact me at ravnagora@hotmail.com

    *****

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    Aleksandra's Note:
     
    General Dragoljub Draza Mihailovich was born in the beautiful town of Ivanjica, Serbia on April 27, 1893 and was executed in Belgrade, Serbia by the Yugoslav Communists on July 17, 1946. He remained loyal to his beloved homeland and remained a true man of the people until the day he died.
     
    He remains beloved.
     
    Sincerely,
     
    Aleksandra Rebic
    July 16, 2014
     




    http://youtu.be/ENQlfeDQRtc


    *****

    If you would like to get in touch with me, Aleksandra, please feel free to contact me atravnagora@Hotmail.com


    *****


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    "17. јул је најтужнији дан за све поштоваоце ђенерала Драгољуба Михаиловића и Југословенске војске у Отаџбини.
     
    17. јула 1946. комунистички зликовци су убили првог герилца поробљене Европе, најодликованијег официра српске и југословенске краљевске војске!
     
    Убили су га они који су седели у својим кућама када се он већ увелико борио против нацистичке немани!
     
    Убили су га јер је био частан и поштен човек, веран своме Краљу и својој Отаџбини!
    Убили су тело али нису могли и дух, он живи вечно!
     
    Нека ти је вечна слава и хвала Чича!
    С вером у Бога, за Краља и Отаџбину!"
     
     
    Урош Парезановић
    17. Jul 2014.
     
     
    *****
     
    If you would like to get in touch with me, Aleksandra,
    please feel free to contact me at ravnagora@hotmail.com
     
    *****

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    First Annual Chetnik Family Reunion group photo
    St. Sava Monastery, Libertyville, IL U.S.A.
    July 19, 2014
    Photo courtesy of Vera Dragisich

    Aleksandra's Note:Such a great day it was, on Saturday July 19, 2014 at St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Monastery in Libertyville, Illinois! As young and old gathered together for the "First Annual Chetnik Family Reunion", it was clear right from the beginning that this was indeed going to be a very special day that would leave us all with wonderful memories and hope for the future of "Chetnistvo".

    I'll be posting more extensively about the Reunion in the near future, complete with photographs from the event, but here I wanted to give a heartfelt "Thank You" to the initiators and organizers of this wonderful event, and some of the key participants who made it the great success that it was.

    Mira Grubnic, Slavojka Sally Ivankovich, Musician Nick Bratkovich (of the Orkestar Beograd from Milwaukee), Vera Dragisich, Father Dennis Pavichevich and Father Serafim, Jovan Ivancevich (Struja) - Thank You for making it possible for all of us to enjoy this meaningful event and to leave with wonderful memories in our hearts and a reaffirmation of what being part of the Chetnik Family is all about. Thank you for all of your hard work and the energy, effort, and passion you dedicated to making the First Annual Chetnik Family Reunion a success!

    St. Sava Monastery and grounds were the perfect backdrop, and the combination of great weather and a lovely atmosphere left me with the conviction that this was truly a blessed event.

    A special thanks go out to my mother and father who both attended and spent the afternoon enjoying the day and the camaraderie of old and new friends. For me, that's where it all began, in the home of my parents, and I will be forever grateful that I am from a Chetnik family!

    Sincerely,
    Aleksandra Rebic
    July 20, 2014

    The great grand-children of Voyvoda Pavle Djurisic
    in front of the Mihailovich monument at St. Sava Monastery in Libertyville, Illinois.
    Photo by Aleksandra Rebic July 19, 2014
    at the First Annual Chetnik Family Reunion.
     
     
     
    *****
     
    If you would like to get in touch with me, Aleksandra,
    please feel free to contact me aravnagora@hotmail.com
     
    *****

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    Srbija Danas
    July 17, 2014

    Američki pilot Kurt Dajls će svoj 89. rođendan [15. jul 2014.] pamtiti do kraja života. Pored čestitki od mnogobrojne rodbine i prijatelja, putem Fejsbuka pristiglo je više od 300 pisama iz Srbije, kao i poruka iz drugih zemalja.

     
    Kao što je portal SrbijaDanas već pisao, izvesna Dajana Hamond je pre par dana putem Fejsbuka pozvala sve ljude iz Srbije dobre volje da joj pomognu kako bi svom ocu, američkom veteranu iz Drugog Svetskog rata, ulepšala 89. rođendan. Ovoj molbi se odazvalo, kako kaže Dajana, neverovatan broj ljudi iz Srbije, kao i drugih zemalja. Dajana Hamond na svom Fejsbuk profilu opisuje kako je došla na ovu ideju i kako je sve proteklo.
     
     
    "Kada je moj tata, tokom Drugog svetskog rata, bio oboren iznad Jugoslavije, bio je sakriven od strane srpskih vojnika. Ne samo da je bio spašen, već je bio tretiran kao kralj. Srpski narod se odrekao svoje hrane, udobnosti, i ugrozio svoje živote kako bi zaštitio američke vojnike.
     
     
    "Sve u svemu, spašeno je preko 500 američkih vazduhoplovaca i njihovih saveznika u misiji koja je bila poznata pod imenom "Haljard", čija su dešavanja opisana u knjizi mog oca "Jedan od 500".
     
     
    "Nakon povratka u Ameriku, misija mog oca je bila da širi istinu. On oseća da srpskom narodu duguje mnogo. Kontaktirala sam nekoliko tatinih prijatelja i sve ljude dobre volje iz Srbije kako bi ga obradovali I poslali mu virtuelnim putem čestitke za njegov 89. rođendan."
     
    
     
    "Međutim nisam bila spremna na ono što je usledilo nakon moje molbe. Do sada je stiglo preko 300 pisama podrške i čestitki iz Srbije, a i dalje stižu, čak iz drugih zemalja. Sada mi je jasno zašto tata toliko voli ovaj narod. Ljubav i saosećanje ljudi iz Srbije daje mi nadu u čovečanstvo."
     
    "Za sve vas koji su učestvovali u ovom iznenađenju, zahvaljujem iz sveg srca. Veoma ste usrećili jednog veterana Drugog Svetskog rata, kao i njegovu porodicu."
     
     
     
     
    *****
     
    If you would like to get in touch with me, Aleksandra, please feel free to contact me at ravnagora@hotmail.com
     
    *****

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    Aleksandra's Note: I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to attend this "Drazin Dan" event last summer in July 2013 and was so thoroughly pleased with the warm and generous hospitality and spirit of these genuine Serbian patriots. It was my very first visit to Canada and the wonderful experience left me looking forward to returning for more visits in the future. Thank you, Canadian Serbs, for keeping the Chetnik legacy flourishing! You've got a lot to be proud of!

    Sincerely,

    Aleksandra Rebic

     
     
     
    *****
     
    If you would like to get in touch with me, Aleksandra,
    please feel free to contact me atravnagora@hotmail.com
     
    *****
     

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    ЖИВОТ ЈЕДНОГ КРАЉА, ГЛАВА XIV:

    “Михаиловић је осуђен на смрт у јуну [јулу] 1946. године и погубљен 17. јула. Сав демократски и слободни свет гласно је осудио овај чин као највеће политичко убиство у историји. Али савезничке вође су изгледа заборавиле свог пријатеља и савезника, првог човека у окупираној Европи који је подигао војску на оружје против надмоћнијег непријатеља и повео борбу каква раније није била позната. Тек данас, девет година после те издаје, тек после извршених терора и бруталности комунистичког система у ратовима у Кореји и Индокини, схваћено је како је велика неправда нанета овом сјајном борцу који је морао да се брани од другог непријатеља пре него што је први поражен како треба. Данас је његов други непријатељ, непријатељ свих нас.“



    A KING’S HERITAGE, CHAPTER XIV:

    “Mihailović was sentenced to death in June [July] 1946 and executed on July 17. The whole democratic and free world was loud in con­demnation of this act as the greatest political murder in history. But the leaders of the Allies seemed to have forgotten their friend and ally, the first man in occupied Europe to raise an army and fight against odds such as had never been known before. It is only today, nine years after his betrayal, and after experiencing the terrors and brutality of the Communist system in the wars in Korea and Indo-China, that it is realised how great a wrong was done to the magnificent fighter who had to defend himself against his second enemy before his first was properly defeated. Today his second enemy is the enemy of us all.”


     
     
    on Facebook.
     
     
    *****
     
    If you would like to get in touch with me, Aleksandra,
    please feel free to contact me at ravnagora@hotmail.com
     
    *****

    0 0

    The vibrant and flourishing "Chetnik Family" in America gathers in front of the Mihailovich monument at St. Sava Monastery in Libertyville, IL for the First Annual Chetnik Family Reunion July 19, 2014.
    Photo by Aleksandra Rebic.
     
    "Песма је написана и посвећена деци Дражиних четника, поводом њиховoг првог сусрета одржаног пред српским манастиром Светог Саве у Либертивилу, САД, 19. јула 2014."

    "This song is dedicated to the children of Draža's Chetniks, for the occasion of their first meeting [Reunion] that was held before the Serbian St. Sava Monastery in Libertyville, IL USA, July 19, 2014."

    Posted on You Tube by "барјактар ного"
    Published on Jul 29, 2014



    http://youtu.be/pTxoAeqL4AA

    *****

    МИ СМО ДЕЦА ДРАЖИНИХ ЧЕТНИКА

    (Pечи: Милан Кецман/М. М. Петровић
    Mузика: М. М. Петровић)

    Дошли смо пред манастир, дошли са свих страна,
    да славимо дично име српских великана.
    Браћо драга, сеје миле, понос је и дика
    рећи свету ми смо деца Дражиних четника.

    Рођени по логорима, ма где сад живели,
    Ми памтимо ко су наши родитељи били.
    Ми чувамо Православље, српско име славно,
    О имену којем гусле певаху одавно.

    О јунаштву нашег соја, цео свет се диви,
    Негујемо дух четништва, да поносно живи.
    Ој чентици, храбри борци, Равногорске страже,
    Преци наши, чврста руко, ђенерала Драже.



    *****

    English translation of the song:

    WE ARE CHILDREN OF DRAŽA’S CHETNIKS

    (Words: Milan Kecman/M. M. Petrovic
    Music: M. M. Petrovic)

    We came to the monastery, we came from near and afar,
    to celebrate the glorious name of Serbian giants.
    Dear brothers and sisters, it’s with pride and joy
    that we tell the world that we are children of Draža’s Chetniks.

    We were born in (post-war) camps, yet wherever we now reside,
    we remember who our parents were.
    We foster Orthodoxy and our Serbian proud heritage,
    a name that gusle preserved for centuries.

    Heroism of our forefathers, the whole world admires,
    we cherish the spirit of Chetniks, may it propagate proudly.
    O Chetniks, you brave fighters, mountain guard of Ravna Gora
    Our ancestors, the right hand of General Draza.



    *****

    If you would like to get in touch with me, Aleksandra, please feel free to contact me at ravnagora@hotmail.com

    *****


    0 0


    "Preko 36.000 posetilaca, 36 tribina, preko 5000 gostiju na programima, vise od oko 120 ucesnika i govornika..."

    U ime naroda represija u Srbiji 44-53
    na Facebook.

    "Izložba U IME NARODA! - sve u šest i po minuta"

    Video posted on You Tube by: "uimenaroda2014 Marinkovic"
    Published on
    Aug 3, 2014



    http://youtu.be/NWnRCsRjatA


    *****

    If you would like to get in touch with me, Aleksandra, please feel free to contact me at ravnagora@hotmail.com

    *****


    0 0

     
    Serbian Krajina in Croatia - Lest we Forget
    August 4, 1995 - August 4, 2014
     
     
    "Da se nikad ne zaboravi - Oluja - Zločin bez kazne"
    "We must never forget - Operation Storm - Crime without Punishment"
     
     
    "19 years ago - we will never forget - our Homeland, from where our blood flows and flows - SRPSKA KRAJINA. Memory eternal to all those who perished in Operation Storm/Oluja."
     
    Vera Dragisich
    Secretary - Movement of Serbian Chetniks Ravne Gore
     
    August 4, 2014
     
     
     
    *****
     
    If you would like to get in touch with me, Aleksandra,
    please feel free to contact me atravnagora@hotmail.com
     
    *****
     

    0 0

    B92
    Tanjug
    August 5, 2014

    The 19th anniversary of Serb exodus from Croatia in Operation Storm was marked in Serbia and the Serb Republic (RS) in Bosnia on Monday [August 4, 2014].

     
    The victims of the continuation of the military operation that took place in the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina, known as Operation Mistral, were also remembered.

    In St. Marko's Church in Belgrade, Bishop Jovan of Slavonia headed the memorial service honoring slaughtered Serb civilians and soldiers. The memorial was co-served by priests of the Serbian Orthodox Church.

    In the speech delivered after the service, Bishop Jovan said that nobody can say that they seized Lika, Banija and Kordun from Serbs for as long as Serbian holy sites still stand there and called on Serbs to return to the territories.

    In addition to several hundred banished Serbs and Serb refugees from Croatia, the service was attended by Serbian Interior Minister Nebojša Stefanović, Belgrade Deputy Mayor Andreja Mladenović and presidents of associations of Serb refugees and Serbs banished from Croatia.

    A group of refugees came to attend the service in traditional Serbian folk costumes and some of them wore banners with messages calling for faster exhumation and identification of victims' remains and for return of property and other Serb rights in Croatia.

    To mark the anniversary of Serb exodus in Operations Storm and Mistral, a memorial service was held in the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Banja Luka, RS, after which wreaths were laid at the local cemetery to honor the victims.

    Addressing reporters after the commemoration, adviser to the RS minister of labour and veterans' affairs General Milan Torbica said that Operation Storm aimed to conduct an ethnic cleansing in the Republic of Serb Krajina (RSK).

    Drawing from the experience of Serbs from the Republic of Serb Krajina, we need to protect the RS, he said.

    President of the Documentation and Information Center Veritas Savo Štrbac noted that the authorities are still looking for 1,900 out of the 7,000 Serbs slaughtered during the civil war in Croatia in the period 1991-1995.

    He underscored that Operation Storm conducted by the Croatian armed forces has all the characteristics of genocide and expressed the hope that the ruling of the International Court of Justice will confirm this in late 2014 or early 2015.

    During the military operation Storm in the territory of the RSK in Croatia, which was under UN protection at the time, around 2.000 Serbs were killed or reported missing, among whom 1.192 or 62 percent were civilians. In the continuation of this action in neighboring Bosnia, entitled Operation Mistral, the Croatian armed forces, in conjunction with the Fifth Corps of the Bosnian Muslim Army, killed another 655 and expelled about 125.000 Serb residents from 13 Bosnian municipalities.

    Aside from the verbal condemnation of the crime, the UN Security Council did not pronounce any sanctions for Croatia. The International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia established that joint criminal enterprise was committed in Operation Storm, the aim of which was ethnic cleansing of Serbs, but it acquitted two Croatian generals, Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markač, of the crimes so nobody was held responsible for the crimes to date.


    http://www.b92.net/eng/news/comments.php?nav_id=91192



    *****

    If you would like to get in touch with me, Aleksandra, please feel free to contact me at ravnagora@hotmail.com

    *****

    0 0


    Zastava Republike Srpske Krajine
     

    RTRS
    August 4, 2014

    Prilog Radio televizije Republike Srpske u drugom večernjem Dnevniku povodom 19 godina od hrvatskog progona Srba iz Republike Srpske Krajine.

    Parastos u Hamu Hrista Spasitelja u Banja Luci i polaganje vijenaca na groblju Svetog Pantelije, izjava Save Štrbca, presednika DIC Veritas.

    RTRS: 19 godina od etničkog čišćenja Srba iz RSK, Dnevnik 2, 4.8. 2014.

    Pubished on You Tube by "CentarVeritas"
    Published on Aug 5, 2014





    http://youtu.be/tC5ZLnjEj1I

    http://www.veritas.org.rs/rtrs-04-08-2014-19-godina-od-etnickog-ciscenja-srba-iz-rsk-dnevnik-2-video/


    *****

    If you would like to get in touch with me, Aleksandra, please feel free to contact me at ravnagora@hotmail.com

    *****

    0 0

    Blic Online
    Tanjug
    August 7, 2014

    Beograd - Apelacioni sud u Beogradu naložio je beogradskom Višem sudu da ponovo razmotri zahtev za rehabilitaciju predsednika srpske vlade u vreme nemačke okupacije u Drugom svetskom ratu, generala Milana Nedića, pošto je ukinuo rešenje kojim je zimus taj zahtev odbačen kao neuredan.

    Milan Nedić
     
    Zahtev za rehabilitaciju Nedića odbačen je 7. februara ove godine jer je Viši sud smatrao da predlagači rehabilitacije nisu zainteresovana lica za podnošenje tog zahteva, ali je razmatrajući žalbu predlagača Apelacioni sud ukinuo to rešenje, objavljeno je na sajtu suda.
     
    Zahtev su podneli Srpska liberalna stranka, odnosno njen pravni naslednik Srpski liberalni savet, Udruženje političkih zatvorenika i žrtava komunističkog režima i Aleksandar Nedić - praunuk Milana Nedića.
     
    Viši sud je odbacio zahtev obrazloživši da uz njega predlagaci nisu dostavili dokaz, odnosno akt o osnivanju iz kojeg proizlazi da su navedeni predlagači zainteresovana lica za podnošenje zahteva za rehabilitaciju.
     
    Takođe, jer je predlagač Srpska liberalna stranka brisana iz registra političkih organizacija čime je izgubila status pravnog lica, kao i jer je punomoćnik predlagača obavestio sud da je prestao da obavlja advokatsku delatnost.
     
    Pored toga, na rocisštu od 27. septembra 2013. godine nije pristupio pravni zastupnik Udruženja političkih zatvorenika žrtava komunističkog režima(koji je u medjuvremenu preminuo).
     
    Apelacioni sud je u obrazloženju naveo da prvostepeni sud nije u potpunosti utvrdio sve činjenice i okolnosti i nije dao jasne razloge za svoj zakljucak, ne ceneći pri tom da u spisima predmeta postoji punomoćje drugog advokata, koji je punomoćnik Srpske liberalne stranke, Udruženja politickih zatvorenika žrtava komunistickog režima.
     
    "Uvažžavanjem žalbe punomoćnika predlagača, prvostepeno rešenje moralo da bude ukinuto i predmet vraćen prvostepenom sudu na ponovni postupak", naveo je Apelacioni sud.
     
    Zahtev za rehabilitaciju podnet je sudu pre šest godina, 2008. godine.
     
    Podnosioci zahteva za rehabilitaciju tvrde da je Nedić bio žrtva progona i nasilja, i da je 1946. godine ubijen, odnosno da nije izvršio samoubistvo, kako je tada zvanično saopšteno.
     
    Mediji su preneli da je u zahtevu stoji da je neprihvatljiva ocena komunističkih vlasti da je Nedić izdajnik i da je kriv za stradanje Srba u vreme okupacije, već da se zalagao za to da Srbi sa ostalih područja nekadašnje Jugoslavije, njih oko 600.000, pređu na teritoriju Srbije i tako budu zaštićeni od likvidacije.
     

    http://www.blic.rs/Vesti/Drustvo/486164/Zahtev-za-rehabilitaciju-Milana-Nedica-ponovo-na-razmatranju


    *****

    If you would like to get in touch with me, Aleksandra, please feel free to contact me at ravnagora@hotmail.com

    *****
      

    0 0


    The 50th Anniversary Celebration of the Halyard Mission
    Chicago, IL May 1994
    From left to right:
    Lt. Col. Milton Friend (USAF), Norman Reid (Canada)
    Major Richard L. Felman (USAF), kneeling and saluting, and
    Major George Vujnovich, OSS chief of the Halyard Mission.
    Photo by Aleksandra Rebic

    "The first meeting with the General was very brief.  Two Canadians, one British airman, and myself were trying to get to the coast to find a way out of Yugoslavia. We were met by Chetnik soldiers and brought to Mihailovich's headquarters. We spoke only to the General's staff members for about half an hour. We told them we were on our way to the coast after having been in their country for over 50 days. We asked for help to get to the coast. It was then that General Mihailovich came into the room. After being briefed by his Staff, he told us that an American escape committee had been formed which was trying to reach the 15 Air Force headquarters in Bari, Italy to notify headquarters about how many airmen were stranded in Yugoslavia. If they were not successful, the General said that he would provide an escort of his soldiers to take us to the coast. That was good news, and we went back to Pranjani to await developments. I remember how warm and friendly and sincere he seemed in trying to help us.

    The second meeting was longer, lasting for about an hour. General Mihailovich described his fondness for America and his hopes for the future when the Americans would come to his aid and help his forces free Yugoslavia. He spoke in French and an aide translated his words into English for us.

    I remember that I didn't speak too much, I just listened in awe. He ended up being good to his word. I never saw General Mihailovich face to face again after those meetings in 1944, but I won't ever forget him."

    Lt. Col. Milton Friend
    USAF (Retired)

    Lt. Col. Milton Friend (USAF, Ret.)
    at the age of 88 in January of 2010.
    Photo courtesy of Milton Friend.

    *****

    Aleksandra's Note:To my surprise and joy, Lt. Col. Milton Friend of the USAF, a Halyard Mission veteran that I met in person in Chicago in 1994 for the 50th anniversary celebration of the Halyard Mission Rescue Operation, got in touch with me in 2009. I had wondered if he was still living. Indeed he was, and he had a story to tell. When I searched for him on the internet, I discovered that he was not featured anywhere that I could find. I told him that his story needs to be made public and be given wide exposure, and it is my absolute pleasure to share that story with you, in Milton's own words. The following year, in October of 2010, Lt. Col. Friend traveled with his wife all the way back to Serbia after 66 years, because he wanted to testify at the Mihailovich Rehabilitation hearings. Fortunately, there was an extensive amount of attention given to his visit and here in the archives of www.generalmihailovich.com you can find many of the news stories, in both the Serbian and English language, that highlighted his visit to Serbia as well as the Mihailovich Rehabilitation hearing that he participated in. He made this journey at the age of 88 with his wife Shirley, and it turned out to an unforgettable trip for both of them.

    I'm very happy to report that Milton recently celebrated his 92nd birthday, on June 25, 2014, and that he is alive and well to mark the 70th anniversary of the great Halyard Mission Rescue Operation which forever changed the course of his life in World War II. The first wave of Halyard Mission rescues began on August 9/10 of 1944 in Nazi-occupied Serbia, and Lt. Col. Friend was among the American military personnel evacuated during that first wave.

    Thank you, Lt. Col. Friend for sharing your important story. I know that others will be so happy that you are still with us, and continue to carry the torch for General Mihailovich. You are a fine example of the "good American" and it is a privilege and an honor to know you.


    May God bless you and hold you in the palm of His hand.
     
    Sincerely,
     
    Aleksandra Rebic
    Chicago
    August 10, 2014
     
    *****
     
    2nd Lt. Milton Friend at home in New Jersey after returning safe
    and sound from Serbia, in August of 1944 via the Halyard Mission
    Rescue Operation. He is wearing his Purple Heart and Air Medal, awarded to him after only two combat missions.
    Photo courtesy of Lt. Col. Milton Friend.
     

    MILTON'S STORY

    My name is Milton E. Friend. My twin brother Murray and I were born on June 25, 1922 in Passaic , New Jersey. I’ll be 88 years old this year. My brother Murray and I enlisted in the Aviation Cadet Program in July 1942, prior to being drafted. We were called up from the enlisted Reserve as Aviation Cadets in February 1943 and sent to Nashville, Tennessee for classification as a pilot, bombardier, or navigator. During classification, my brother Murray underwent a minor operation, and I asked to have my classification held up so that we could remain together in Service. However, the request was turned down with the comment that the specialized training we were to undergo could not be delayed. Murray’s healing process took much longer (over six months) than anticipated, and I was classified as a Pilot and sent to pre-flight training in Montgomery, Alabama and then to Primary Flight School at Douglas, Georgia. Unfortunately, I did not progress as quickly as the Air Corps demanded, and was “Washed Out”, but in view of my exceptionally high grades during the academic portion of my training, I was reclassified as a Navigator and sent to Selman Field, Monroe, Louisiana, for navigation training. I graduated on February 8, 1944 from Navigation School and was commissioned as a Second Lt. In the Army Air Corps. Next came training at Aerial Gunnery School in Florida, assignment to a crew on a B-24 Heavy Bomber as a Navigator, combat crew training in Charleston, SC and orders to proceed overseas to Italy with my assigned crew in a brand new B-24.



    The crew Milton Friend trained and flew with on his first

    combat mission in WWII, to Florence, Italy. 
    On his second mission, to the Ploesti Oil Fields, Romania
    he would fly with a different crew.
    Photo courtesy of Lt. Col. Milton Friend.
     
    The B-24 Liberator
     
    Murray was still in the hospital in Nashville, recovering from his operation, which was not healing properly. Miraculously, just as the Air Corps was about to release him from service, six months after the operation, the wound healed, and Murray convinced the Air Corps that he should be allowed to continue with his training. In those days with the United States at war, no one wanted to remain at home and not participate as an active combatant. Murray was classified as a navigator and completed his training at Selman Field, Louisiana.

    My crew and I arrived in Italy on June 1, 1944 and were assigned to the 15th Air Force. I flew my first mission on June 5, 1944, a milk run to Florence, Italy, and my second and last mission on that tour on D-Day, June 6, 1944. Though I still had not completed all the “Escape and Evasion Lectures” given to all newly arrived crew members, I filled in as navigator on my second mission for an experienced crew (not my own) to replace a navigator who had been assigned to the group. My second mission was to the Ploesti oil fields in Rumania, the toughest and most dangerous target assigned to the 15th Air Force. The plane, piloted by First Lt. Everett Estep, was selected to lead the squadron, a contingent of 12 B-24 bombers within a total force of over 800 bombers. Approximately 100 P-51 fighter planes were assigned to accompany the bombers to the target area. As the 12-plane formation reached the target area and the B-24s were about to drop their bombs from 19,000 feet, another squadron appeared under the formation at a lower altitude just as the bomb bay doors were opened. Since it is impossible to go back to the IP (initial point) and make another run at the target, especially a target as well defended as Ploesti, the pilot ordered the bomb bay doors closed and asked me for a heading (the course he should take) to the alternate target, which was also in Rumania. The 12 planes left the major formation and left the fighter escort and proceeded to the alternate target in Rumania . The bombs were dropped on the marshalling yards (railroad center) in a small city in Rumania , and I then gave the pilot a heading for home, to the airbase in Italy . I called to the crew on the plane’s intercom at 11:00 a.m. on D-Day, June 6, 1944:

    “Navigator to crew. My ETA to base is 1132. We will be in the debriefing room in about 30 minutes. Be alert. Watch out for German fighters.”

    Within 7 minutes from the time I alerted the crew, the plane was on fire. The Number 4 engine was burning, and the right wing was starting to burn off and curl up. The plane had been attacked by two German ME-109 fighters. As the lead plane, we were at the head of the diamond formation. German fighters always liked to attack the most experienced crews first. Therefore, they flew under the last plane in the diamond without firing and attacked us in the lead plane. They made one pass and got the Number 4 engine. It was so sudden that only a couple of gunners were able to get any 50 caliber rounds off. Almost immediately, the pilot gave the order to bail out. I calmed down enough to tell the crew that we were over Yugoslavia . I was behind the nose gunner turret in the navigator’s compartment. I waited for the gunner to get out of the turret. He was wearing heavy sheepskin lined flying boots and as he tried to climb out of the nose turret his foot got caught on the turret’s control pedals. He told me of the difficulty he was having, but he eventually broke free and gave me the high sign that he was O.K. I then left the plane through the exit doors in the nose. I, too, had some difficulty, because only one of the two swinging escape doors opened, and I hung in the slip stream for about ten seconds (that seemed like 10 minutes) but finally fell free. The entire crew bailed out at about 16,000 feet, and as I remembered the briefing I had attended, I attempted to free fall to avoid being fired upon by the enemy fighters in the area. I pulled the rip cord at about 2000 feet, and within seconds the two ME-109 fighters who had attacked our plane approached my chute. They came close enough so that I could see the face of one of the pilots, but, fortunately, they only buzzed by me without firing and then flew off. After the noise of the gun fire and the enemy fighters subsided, as I floated lazily toward the ground, everything became deathly still. I looked up at the clear blue sky, and said: ‘Thanks, GOD.’

    The German Messerschmitt Bf 109E-3 single-seat fighter
     
    Bomb Route from Italy to the Ploesti Oil Fields, Romania
    and the fall over Yugoslavia June 6, 1944

    Once my parachute opened, I felt confident that everything would be okay. I don’t know why, but I wasn’t worried about what was ahead. I was alive, and that’s what I was thankful for, at the moment. I did not know what was ahead of me, whether the enemy would be waiting for me or whether I could reach friendly forces. At the last escape briefing I had attended we were told that if we landed in Yugoslavia we were to try to find members of Tito’s Partisans. Identify them by the red stars on their hats. They might be able to get us out of enemy territory. We were further told at the escape and evasion lecture that if we landed with the Chetniks, ‘we don’t know what will happen to you’. There were all kinds of rumors back in Italy about the Chetniks. I tried to steer the parachute to an open area (as I was briefed) and away from some trees I saw looming ahead. In spite of my effort, I landed right in the middle of a small group of trees. My chute caught on the branches, and I was hanging in the wind. I banged my right foot on a rock as I landed and I thought it was broken(it turned out to be a bad sprain). Just then, as I was hanging in the tree, I saw three people come over a hill into view. Not knowing if they were friendly or the enemy, as they got closer and I recognized them as two elderly men and a young boy, I yelled ‘Americana!’ When I saw what looked like a smile on the boy’s face, I thought that they might be friendly. When the young boy climbed the tree and cut my parachute down, I felt a little more secure and safe for the time being. It turned out that they were, indeed, friendly. They carried me into a small town nearby, rounded up some more of my crew, fed us, offered us “rackia” (Shlivovitza), a very potent Serbian plum brandy, and told us we were with the Chetniks. About 30 minutes later they told us that the Germans were out looking for us. Some Chetnik soldiers entered the home where we were hidden and said they would escort us away from the town and into the mountains. Only five of us (out of a crew of 11) were together at that time. The soldiers later told us that our nose gunner was hit by the out-of-control airplane and was killed. They found his body and gave him a burial. We traveled for two days, mostly straight up the mountains, until we reached a garrison of about 20 Chetnik soldiers.
     
    The Chetniks told us that the Germans would not come up into the mountains, because they could not bring their heavy equipment, and that we were safe for the time being. They treated us well, fed us with whatever food was available to them - mostly bread, goat’s milk, some berries, and once in a while, some lamb roasted over an open fire. In about five weeks, after many false alarms, we were told that we were leaving the area and being taken to a place where airplanes could land and take us back to Italy . This turned out to be false, and our prospect of getting out of Yugoslavia before the war was over seemed hopeless. At that time, the rest of our crew members were brought to the mountain garrison, and we were joined by about ten other airmen, including two Englishmen and two Canadians. The Canadians, a pilot and a navigator, and the two Englishmen, aerial gunners, were from the same airplane, a Wimpy light bomber, which had been shot down by anti-aircraft while bombing a bridge in Yugoslavia at night. Accompanied by about 15 armed Chetnik soldiers and traveling through German occupied territory, past radar stations and small guard posts, and crossing a bridge controlled by the Germans, we were taken to a small village about 80 kilometers south of Belgrade, named Pranjani. It took seven days of travel by horse cart, on foot, and for short periods, by truck. We traveled by night and slept by day to avoid the German patrols, which, we were told, were still looking for us.
     
    Navigator Milton E. Friend USAF,
    standing, 3rd from right, with Serbian Chetnik rescuers,
    Serbia, 1944. Photo courtesy of Lt. Col. Friend.

    When we got to Pranjani we found out that no rescue planes were coming. The Americans, at the insistence of the British and Russians, had cut off aid to General Draza Mihailovich and the Chetniks and had decided to support Tito and his Partisans exclusively. At this time, there were more than one hundred airmen in the vicinity of Pranjani. Since an immediate rescue looked hopeless, the two Canadians, one of the English gunners, and I decided that we would leave the area on our own and try to reach the Partisans who we knew were close to Sarajevo, thinking that they could get us out.

    After traveling for three days and nights, while looking for a place to sleep, we came upon three farmers in a field. We tried to explain that we wanted to go on, but they insisted we go with them. They eventually took us to Mihailovich’s headquarters. It was there that I met the General for the first of the two times that I would meet with him face to face. He explained to us that an American Escape Committee made up of downed fliers had been formed and that they were trying to reach the Allies in Italy by ham radio. If they didn’t make contact in the next few days, the General told us he would provide an armed escort to enable us to contact the Partisans.

    Fortunately, contact was made. At my second and last meeting with General Mihailovich at his headquarters, members of the escape committee he had told me about at our earlier meeting were present, and we obtained maps of the area to prepare for future evacuation. It was at this meeting that General Mihailovich spoke to us at length (in French, which was translated into English by one of his staff) about his plans after the war for a democratic form of government in Yugoslavia . He told us that when the time came, and the Allies returned to Yugoslavia, his forces would be ready to sacrifice their lives, if necessary, for the American and Allied cause. To this day, I have never forgotten either him or his sincere promise to us all those years ago in a faraway land.

    An OSS team, of which radioman Arthur “Jibby” Jibilian remains the sole living survivor, was sent into Yugoslavia and a rescue was planned and we were readied for evacuation. The rescue mission, led by Captain George “Guv” Musulin, who lived in McLean, VA and is since deceased, made arrangements with the 15th Air Force in Italy to send in transports and fighter planes to surround the area and to neutralize the German airfields that were in the vicinity of our “homemade” air strip constructed by the Chetniks there in the hills of Pranjani, Serbia. On the night of August 9, 1944 six C-47 cargo planes landed, and the sick and wounded were flown out first. The remainder of the downed airmen, including myself, was flown out the next day, August 10, 1944, on C-47 transports protected by P-51 fighter planes. A total of over 200 Allied airmen were rescued during those two days. The rescue was called the Halyard Mission. To date, the Halyard Mission remains the greatest mass air evacuation of Allied airmen from behind enemy lines in the history of warfare.


    C-47 transport planes waiting on the airfield at Pranjani, Serbia
    to evacuate the fallen airmen who were rescued during
    the Halyard Mission, August 10, 1944. Newspaper source unknown.

    The complete story of the Halyard Mission was first published in BLUE BOOK Magazine in Vol. 83, No. 4, in August of 1946. I still have a copy of that article. It is unbelievable what was accomplished. In all, General Mihailovich was responsible for saving over 500 American airmen through this rescue mission and others that followed through the end of 1944. The sad aspect of this story is that Tito and the Partisans captured Mihailovich after the war, and on trumped up charges and refusing the rescued airmen’s repeated offer to testify at the trial in Belgrade, found the General guilty of treason in what turned out to be a phony kangaroo trial and had him executed on July 17, 1946. Over 25 of the rescued airmen, including myself, formed the “National Committee of American Airmen Rescued by General Mihailovich” and attempted for many years to have a monument erected in Washington, D.C., with our assurance that we would fund the monument ourselves, without requesting Government financing, to honor the General for what he did for us Americans, but without success, mainly because of the politics surrounding the situation in Yugoslavia during and after the war. That no such monument yet stands in Washington, D.C. haunts me still.

    ....Though my flying days were over long ago, I continue to remain grateful today for the many things I experienced over the course of my military career in the U.S. Air Force and wouldn't trade any of it for anything in the world. I remain especially grateful to the Serbian people, their beloved General Draza Mihailovich, and his Chetniks soldiers for saving not only my life, but the lives of over 500 of my countrymen.

    I think of those days often. I’m proud to have served and will never forget the people in faraway lands that got me home safe and sound to serve another day.

    Milton E. Friend
    Lt. Col. USAF (Ret.)

    *****

    NATIONAL COMMITTEE OF AMERICAN AIRMEN RESCUED BY GENERAL MIHAILOVICH, INC.
     
    TESTIMONY OF MILTON E. FRIEND, LT. COL. USAF (RET) before the National Capital Memorial Advisory Committee National Capital Parks

    Washington, D.C.

    June 11, 1991

    Mr. Chairman and Distinguished Committee Members:

    My name is Milton E. Friend. I am a retired United States Air Force Lt. Colonel, and I am here today to speak in support of erecting a monument for the late General Draza Mihailovich, who with his Chetnik forces in Yugoslavia, saved over 500 American Airmen who had bailed out or crashed in Yugoslavia during 1944. I was shot down by German fighter planes after returning from a raid on the Ploesti Oil Fields in Rumania, while flying as a navigator on a B-24 Liberator Bomber, on D-Day, June 6, 1944.

    It is over 47 years since that fateful day. Nothing that has occurred since then will lessen my determination to repay my, and that of my WWII companions, debt of gratitude to General Mihailovich. General Mihailovich was a great leader, a great humanitarian, and an outstanding friend of the United States. The General saved my life, and hundreds of other Americans, and we will forever be indebted to him and his Chetniks.

    Immediately upon landing after bailing out of a burning B-24 just after 11:00 a.m. on June 6th, I was picked up by Serbian townspeople, and after the rest of my crew members (nine of the remaining ten – the nose gunner was killed during the fighter attack) were rounded up, we were taken out of the area by the Chetnik soldiers to avoid the German patrols that had seen our parachutes and were searching the area. We were taken into the mountains under the protection of the Chetnik soldiers, hidden and fed, and moved as was necessary to avoid the Germans. When it was safe, we were moved under the protection of Mihailovich’s forces from the mountains to the village of Pranjani in Serbia for eventual evacuation to Italy.

    It was at Pranjani that I was fortunate enough to meet the General. When I met with the American Escape Committee at Mihailovich’s Headquarters to obtain maps of the area for the future evacuation, General Mihailovich spoke to us at length (in French, which was then translated by one of his staff into English) about his plans after the war for a democratic form of Government in Yugoslavia. He told us that when the time came, and the Allies returned to Yugoslavia, his forces would sacrifice their lives, if necessary, for the American and Allied cause.

    I and over 200 Allied airmen were evacuated from the Chetnik built airfield at Pranjani on August 9th and 10th, 1944. Each of us owes him this debt of gratitude and recognition for saving our lives. We have been pursuing this cause for over 20 years. As we grow older, and our numbers decrease, it becomes more difficult, but those of us who are left will never give up trying.

    On March 29th, 1948, President Truman, on the recommendation of General Dwight D. Eisenhower, awarded the Legion of Merit to General Draza Mihailovich in recognition of his service to the Allied cause. Among other things, President Truman’s citation said about Mihailovich:

    ‘Through the undaunted efforts of his troops, many United States airmen were rescued and returned safely to friendly control.’

    But for the first and only time in history, this award of the Legion of Merit was classified and kept secret. The facts about the award were not made public until Congressman Edward J. Derwinski of Illinois intervened in 1967 – almost 20 years after the event – to oblige the State Department to make public the text of President Truman’s citation.

    We initially petitioned Congress for permission to erect a monument on public land in 1976 as a way of expressing our gratitude to the man who saved our lives. Legislation has been introduced in ever session of Congress since then. It has twice passed the Senate by voice vote and has had as many as ninety cosponsors in the House of Representatives, but each time it has been turned down by the Department of State, with the argument that the Yugoslav communist government might not like it. Isn’t it time to ask what the 500 rescued airmen and the United States Government might like? Though are ranks are becoming thinner, we will continue our efforts, because we owe an inescapable moral debt to General Mihailovich.

    Erection of a monument to recognize General Mihailovich’s rescue of the Allied airmen is long overdue. We respectfully ask for your support in this continuing effort. Thank you very much.

    Milton E. Friend
    Lt. Colonel, USAF (Retired)
    National Committee of American Airmen Rescued by General Mihailovich

    June 11, 1991

    *****

    If you would like to get in touch with me, Aleksandra, please feel free to contact me at ravnagora@hotmail.com

    *****

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    "Дража из студентског угла"
     
    Испрљана,умрљана,гарава,сва у блату,мусава,тешко оболела,крастава,сва у ранама,утучена,неутешна,сва малодушна,огњеним мачем исечена.То је данас Србија.

    Наравно пошто смо давно у установили да смо стручњаци у лечењу последица а не узрока како би у ствари требало,кад читалац прочита овај претходно речени први пасус,онда га он и не би требало да га прими пуно к срцу.Па то је још само један „почетак краја“ или „крај почетка“ што би рекао Черчил,ал` онако извучено из садржаја његове пуне реченице.Нама је ето остао још само тај јадни „крај“,само да се за њега ухватимо па можда наиђемо на неки део тог спасоносног ужета који се зове „почетак“ .

    За мене, као студента Факултета политичких наука,генеза настанка мука сваког становника Србије потпуно је јасна.Овде је завладала малодушност,људи примају плата не више сваког месеца него негде чекају и до годину дана.Ал` добро,сетимо се оног сјајног времена од 1944. на овамо.Не беше ли то наш „највећи тренутак“?Било је то време великих парола,идеја. „Комунизам од Трста до Владивостока“, „променићемо човека у Србији“тако су говорили другови и променили су га.Држава је тад као и сад „увек и свугде “има је свугде само тамо где треба нема је.Учени смо да мрзимо класне непријатеље. „Класне непријатеље“?Јел се то овде мисли на Југословенску војску у отаџбини,на остатак војске из априлског рата?Да.Свака војска у свету носи име свог народа али се ту нашао изузетак.Само је НОВЈ била „народна“ војска.као да у свету постоје и некакве приватне војске.Добро ајде, руку на срце,нису баш сви партијски руководиоци били одбојни према том „приватној“својини,нарочито не они на највишим местима. Кад је 1944. дошло време „ослобођења“ од живота ,од имовине, партизани су се показали  као вешти стручњаци у приватизацији.Нема те дедињске виле коју нису ослободили и која им се није свидела и на коју нису поболи црвену заставу на којој је било исписано „ово је моје“.И данас ми основу закона о реституцији враћамо ту одузету имовину правим власницима.Тако је и војвода Петар Бојовић ослобођен.

    А Дража?Човек који нас је волео,вожд који је волео да чује реч свогнарода,сељака,студента,омладине.Шта је он скривио?Ма,Срби су увек волели и дивили се својим џелатима као што је био Броз.А кнез Павле и Дража који су хтели да спасу народ проглашени су за неке издајнике.Кога су издали?Па је л то Дража био у партизанима па да може да их изда.Дража је осећао присност са тим сељацима јер то је био „буке“ нашег народа.Данас тих сељака и нема,а ако их и има онда је то углавном старачко становништво без наследника огњишта и будућности.Народ је под таласом вештачке индустријализације извучен из села и доведен у градове.Крахом комунизма и пљачкашком приватизацијом они су остали без посла.

    После рата су они који су нас гурали у смрт кићени титулама „народних хероја“.Највећа уметност тада постаде заглупљивање људи уместо да на универзитетима предају они су митинговали ,учили да говоре и зборе до зоре о бескласном друштву а високошколске установе су у потпуности обезвређене и подређене партији.Сви партијски руководиоци врло брзо постадоше доктори наука.Све што је после рата мирисало на памет,надареност и интелигенцију стрпано је у воз без повратне карте за „ненародне елементе“.Нама ето остаје да се окренемо будућности,само се надам да када будемо градили и копали темеље за будућност не налетимо на неку комунистичку масовну гробницу „народних непријатеља“.


    Милош Николин

    17.07.2014
     
    *****
    If you would like to get in touch with me, Aleksandra, please feel free to contact me at ravnagora@hotmail.com
     
    *****

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    New Gracanica Serbian Orthodox Monastery in Third Lake, IL U.S.A.
    Photo by Aleksandra Rebic June 30, 2013.

    A perfect moment of reflection and prayer
    at New Gracanica Serbian Orthodox Monastery in Third Lake, IL U.S.A.
    Photo by Aleksandra Rebic June 30, 2013.

    Aleksandra's Note: I am so pleased to have the opportunity to share this wonderful documentary film produced and directed by Mirko Popadic of Mir Productions in Chicago and written by Joe McGarry! This film gives the historical background of the development of the New Gracanica Serbian Orthodox Monastery in Third Lake, IL along with fantastic documentary footage of the process. Before your very eyes, you will see the birth of this Christian landmark in Chicagoland that's been welcoming the Orthodox faithful for 30 years now since August 12, 1984.

    When I first saw this film courtesy of producer and director Mirko Popadic back in 2009, I was in awe of how well it was done and watching the process of the building of the New Gracanica Monastery was absolutely mesmerizing. The historical background provided in the narration complements the film footage beautifully. For this extraordinary documentary, Mirko received a Chicago Emmy Award in 1990 as producer.

    In "BUILD THYSELF A CHURCH" Mirko Popadic gives the Christian community a real historical and visual treasure through the magic of film. If one would like to learn more about his production company here in Chicagoland, please visit http://mirproductionsinc.com

    As you watch, and I encourage you to watch the 35 minute video from start to finish, you will undoubtedly see many people you recognize or have known over the years, especially if you live in the Chicagoland area.

    A heartfelt "Thank You" goes out to Mirko Popadic, for making "BUILD THYSELF A CHURCH" available for all of us and for future generations to enjoy and learn from!

    Sincerely,

    Aleksandra Rebic
    August 2014

    *****

    "BUILD THYSELF A CHURCH"
    Published on You Tube by"jelmirolimic"
    Published on Aug 13, 2014


    http://youtu.be/lHaqlgaAmRk


    ABOUT THE VIDEO:

    "Build Thyself A Church was produced and directed by Mirko Popadic and written by Joe McGarry.

    "Thirty years ago Bishop Iriney and the Serbian Orthodox Free Diocese of United States and Canada consecrated their new church monastery, Gracanica.

    "As Bishop Iriney wrote, Build Thyself a Church has and will continue to impact future generations."


    *****

    If you would like to get in touch with me, Aleksandra, please feel free to contact me at ravnagora@hotmail.com

    *****

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    Plaque dedicated to the Halyard Mission Rescue Operation of 1944 erected in Pranjani, Serbia in September of 2004. Another plaque, with the same inscription in Serbian Cyrillic, stands next to the English language plaque.
    Foto courtesy of "Wikipedia". Author unknown at this time.

    Aleksandra's Note:I was so pleased to hear this news from good friend Milana "Mim" Bizic, someone who has shared so much wonderful information about the historic Halyard Mission Rescue Operation of WWII on her great website www.babamim.com. Serbia will be celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Halyard Mission right there in Pranjani where a series of incredible rescues of American and Allied airmen from Nazi-occupied territory began in August of 1944. The successful rescue missions continued in various other areas through the end of December of 1944 in Serbia and Bosnia. The Halyard Mission evolved into the "Ranger Mission," but it was all part of the same series of events made possible by General Draza Mihailovich, his Serbian Chetnik forces, and the Serbian civilians loyal to them.

    What follows is a current schedule of events. I also provide contact information for Lt. John Cappello who has been, and continues to be, seriously involved in the efforts to properly commemorate the Halyard Mission Rescue Operation.

    This Halyard celebration "in the homeland"truly is a significant move forward in the historical context, because it appears that there is going to be "official" recognition by the Serbian government of what was, for a very long time, a taboo subject in Serbia due to "political" restraints. High level representatives of the current Serbian government have committed to participating in the ceremonies.

    Thank you, Mim and Lt. Cappello, for sharing this great news!

    Sincerely,

    Aleksandra Rebic

    General Draza Mihailovich with Serbian Orthodox clergy in Pranjani, Serbia
    September 6, 1944.


    *****

    From Mim Bizic:
     
    "So important! This is great news for all of those who know the story of General Draza Mihailovich and his Chetniks and the rescue of over 500 U.S. airmen. I'm sharing this message from a GREAT FRIEND of the Serbian people..."

    *****

    From Lt. John Cappello, August 2014.

    "I also wanted to let you know about the 70th Anniversary Ceremony commemorating the Halyard Mission we are planning. The event will take place in Serbia, with activities on both 22 and 23 September 2014. Dan and Bojan have been working closely with both the President's and Minister of Defense's offices and they have committed to participate in the event.

    Here is the agenda:

    22 September 2014: Pranjani ceremony:
    -Galovica field 1200-1220


    Wreath laying by President, US Ambassador to Serbia, MoD delegation, Halyard Foundation.
    -Galovica field 1220-1245


    Remarks by President, Ambassador, and Defense Minister.

    -Church/School area 1300 - 1330
    Tour of Wooden church and Pranjani elementary school.

    23 September 2014: Military Museum, Belgrade
    1900- Ceremony

    "I will be traveling to Serbia for the ceremony. While we have come a long way in recognizing the sacrifice of those who rescued American airmen, we have a long way to go. We are still working on completing the documentary and I believe we are getting close to completion. Dan, Bojan and a few associates will be back in the U.S. to conduct some more research and a few last interviews. After this I hope they will be able to put the finishing touches on the documentary.

    "You mentioned that your class will be interviewing Carl Walpusk. Please pass him my sincerest regards and wish him well. I hope we can put something together that will make him proud.

    "If you can think of any other veterans of the rescue mission that we have not been in contact with please let me know."

    All the best,
    Lt. John Cappello
    August 2014

    *****

    TO CONTACT LT. CAPPELLO, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO WRITE TO HIM AT:

    Jcapp12@hotmail.com


    *****

    If you would like to get in touch with me, Aleksandra, please feel free to contact me atravnagora@hotmail.com

    *****


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