July 04th 2007 01:42:29 AM
Thank you for your article on THE BALKAN BLOWBACK in the July issue of the AMERICAN LEGION!I parachuted into Mihailovich (Serb) territory in August,1944, to evacuate shot down American airmen.
We “saved” over 500 American airmen…..made possible with the help of Gen. Draja Mihailovich and the Serbian people, many who lost their lives protecting and hiding our boys. I have been trying to clear Mihailovich’s name for over 60 year, but no one is willing to listen.
Again, my heartfelt gratitude,
Richard Felman was in the first contingent of 250 Americans evacuated on Aug. 9 and 10, 1944, I believe. I spent almost six months with General Mihailovich, during which time he “funneled” over 500 American airmen to us so that we were able to evacuate them back to Italy.
I was a member of the small contingent that had the honor of presenting the Legion of Merit to Mihailovich’s daughter in May, 2005. VERY little publicity attended this event……it was almost like another one of our OSS secret missions!!!!! In addition, I had the pleasure of presenting her with an album of the Halyard Mission that I had made copies of for this express purpose.
I could go on and on, but suffice it to say that, had Mihailovich been a collaborator, 500 American airmen, four members of the HALYARD MISSION, and three members of the RANGER MISSION, together with a three member medical team, would have been turned over to the Germans……
As the last survivor of the HALYARD MISSION, and on behalf of those who are no longer able to, I say “thank you, and God bless”.
Arthur “Jibby” Jibilian