with Baba Mim....
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Not Retired From Learning! http://www.notretiredfromlearning.com
Bizic Education Enterprises.
"The Power of Three"--> www.mimbizic.com
And the Moon Township Historical Society website:
Born: 4/30/1923 - Died: 3/21/2010 What a difference he made with "the dash!"!!!
On St. Mary of Egypt's Day, March 21, 2010, Arthur "Jibby" Jibilian of Fremont, Ohio passed away, but for us who knew him well, he and his story will continue well into the future.
"I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend." (J.R.R. Tolkien). Arthur (Jibby) Jibilian used his tongue and pen, and later his computer as his sword. To reach as large an audience as possible his arrows were TRUTHS sent flying in all directions.
I admired Jibby as the finest kind of warrior, not only as the brave and gifted WWII O.S.S. radioman, but in later life, too, when he realized there was another fight to be won.
As a warrior whose thoughts are pure and good, Jibby tried desperately against all odds to tell the true story of General Draza Mihailovich, the Serbs, and the rescue of the 500+ U.S. airmen from behind German-occupied lines in the former Yugoslavia. Throughout these 60+ years, he fought the good fight, defending the honor of General Mihailovich and his Chetniks, in guest appearances on airfields, in Museums, on TV and in interviews for documentary films.
It wasn't always pretty or easy. But Jibby persevered through a variety of age-related illnesses because as Friedrich Nietzsche said, "He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how."
Some may say you lost your battle to leukemia and forces determined to keep plain truths hidden for evil purposes. As for me, I am positive I see a determined Vince Lombardi waiting in Heaven, reminding everyone there who is happily coming to greet you: "We didn't lose, we just ran out of time."
To the very end, you were always so helpful to me and so many others. I thank you for your kindness, friendship and love. You were a wonderful part of my life from the time I was seven. Good-by my special Super Hero!
I’ve known of Arthur (“Jibby”) Jibilian from the time I was seven years old and read my father’s magazine entitled AMERICAN SERB LIFE. Jibby was featured prominently in the serial publication of O.S.S. Captain Nick Lalich’s day by day diary of the rescue of 513 U.S. airmen from behind German-occupied lines in Yugoslavia’s Serbia.
That’s why I drove six hours to see Jibby being honored a few years ago, by the people there in Toledo, Ohio, for a Fly-In. Imagine my joy and excitement in finally meeting the man almost 60 years later, who did so much to help rescue our American airmen, and who was STILL carrying on a fight to have the name of General Draza Mihailovich rightly honored as a hero.
I remember getting up on the stage there on the airfield where Jibby was receiving an award and saying, “Other kids had their Superman, Captain Marvel and Green Lantern heroes. I had George Vujnovich, Nick Lalich, and Jibby! Everyone applauded so enthusiastically when I recalled how I used to pour over those day by day stories and photos documenting the rescue over and over.
Jibby, a REAL AMERICAN HERO, has been recognized as such by his community and his Ohio State Senators and Ohio U.S. Congressmen and Generals. He’s been honored at his University of Toledo where his studies were interrupted when his skills were needed for this rescue! He’s been somewhat of a celebrity on TV shows and in numerous community events where he even served as Grand Marshall of a Homecoming Parade. It is now time for him to be blessed and honored with one of our Nation’s highest awards.
Please visit my www.babamim.com website that documents in five different sections the work that Arthur Jibilian has done for his country. Not only with the rescue of the U.S. Airmen, but in his desire to correct a wrong and make it right. A true American.
For years, our U.S. State Department covered up the facts of Operation Halyard. The Legion of Merit Award given to General Draza Mihailovich was kept secret for years so as not to ruffle Tito’s Communist feathers. Arthur has so unselfishly spoken to groups across the country so that more people know of the great deeds of this almost unknown great leader who was sacrificed to expediency and deception.
Also, Jibby has always been grateful to the Serbian villagers who helped rescue and hide the American airmen, who fed them, and even lost their lives to make sure none were harmed. He has served as America’s spokesman for Truth, Justice and the TRUE American way!
Jibby has always been my hero. I hope he becomes one of America’s greatest heroes too, standing alongside all of the brave men and women who have earned our nation’s highest honors, the Congressional Medal of Honor or Citizen Service Above Self Honor. He deserves it!
Here's a story that appeared in the Toledo Blade
What we can safely say is that ANYONE who met Jibby, loved him......
From Cory Toth, of Congressman Latta's office:
"Congressman Latta will also be doing a Resolution to honor the life of Jibby and his service to his country through the Navy and the OSS."
"We are working on a floor speech for the Congressman to talk about Jibby today, as well as suggesting to Mr. Latta a bill to honor the life of Jibby while we continue to pursue the MoH for Jibby. This issue is far from over and I want you to know and the family to know that we are all working hard to continue the mission. Jibby was a great man and I loved speaking to him because he was so full of life and knowledgeable."
From Bill David, one of Jibby's BEST friends, a pilot and a pilot teacher of so many who belong to the EAA#582 group.
On Mar 23, 2010, at 11:28 PM, William J. David wrote in an email:
This is what I wrote for our newsletter, share it if you like;
Right now I’m on gate 6B at Boston Logan Airport. My phone sounds off that I have a text message, it is from my wife. It reads in short that Art Jibilian has passed. The gate agent comes to the cockpit door and tells me the passenger count. I don’t hear her. Jibby is gone. She doesn’t know who Jibby is, she just wants us off her gate. I look at my co-pilot and tell him that Arthur Jibilian has passed and he is one of the first to know. He has never heard of Jibby either. That is a shame on us for not knowing.
Nobody, or should I say that very few people have heard of him, and that is a shame. I know who he was and I feel very lucky to be touched by him and his story. He and his fellow soldiers were honest to God real live American heroes, the kind that you would read about in comic books. They managed to save over 500 lives during WWII and nobody knows about it. The guys they rescued went on to live their lives, father families, build careers, help make America great. Nobody knows of all of this.
Art’s death brings us all closer to losing a very important piece of real and important American history that has been suppressed by the very government that Art and his colleagues fought for. That is why nobody knows about him and his fellow soldiers.
They saved over 500 Americans and nobody knows about it. We as a nation are worse off because of it. It disconnects us from our gallant values. Values that were in place before political correctness became vogue. Back when people worked together better than they do now. I think they call them, “the Great Generation.” They were great, and Art was one of them. How many people do you know that carried a cyanide pill to work with them just in case?
This however is not the news of the day. Tiger Woods will take center stage for his indiscretions. Even more importantly than the passing of the Health Care Bill. That is the kind of stuff that is important to us now. I think as a nation we are losing sight of what made us so great in the first place. Everybody knows who Tiger and Paris are, but nobody knows who Draža Mihailović was and what he and the Serbian people did for our country, the sacrifices they made so that our boys could live. Art told me that they loved us and would do anything for us, including the ultimate sacrifice. I believe what he told me.
So another one of many great war heroes has passed on. One less voice to remind us of our past. One less voice to remind us of what is really important. One less voice to tell us of the sacrifices that many made so selflessly, years ago. Our past and what was once important has now, with Art and his fellow soldiers' passing, become more foggy, more distant, more forgotten.
Too bad for us. I was lucky to have learned about this straight from the horse's mouth, and if you ask me, it’s a little more important than Tiger Woods.
Bowling Green, OH
TO THE FAMILY OF ARTHUR JIBILIAN:
"I wish to offer my condolences to you on the passing of Arthur. I was reminded of his exploits in Yugoslavia and his participation in the Halyard Mission which led to the rescue of over 500 American, British, and Canadian Airmen. I read the entire story of his heroics in a local newspaper. I immediately called him and we discussed our experiences in Yugoslavia. I told him how when he parachuted down near the airfield at Pranjani in August of 1944 and ran up the hill to the airfield, I was one of the first airmen to greet him as he approached with Captain George Musulin and the other member of their team. It took about nine days until Jibilian and the team could set up the rescue. The sick and wounded were flown out on August 9, 1944 and the remaining 200 airmen, including myself, were flown out on August 10, 1944. But Jibilian wasn't through yet. He and the team stayed behind and rescued over 300 additional airmen. They left only when they knew that the airmen had been returned to Allied control.
I thought of that rescue team many times in the years that followed. It took a certain type of person to participate in that kind of mission. Arthur Jibilian was that kind of person... Brave, Strong, Dedicated, Conscientious, Loyal and Devoted. Thanks, Arthur Jibilian, along with General Mihailovich, the Halyard Team, and the Serbian people for saving my life and the lives of over 500 of our fellow airmen."
With Great Respect,
Milton E. Friend
Lt/Col, USAF (Ret)
"The last of the Halyard Mission operators in the field is no longer with us. Art Jibilian was a brave and courageous man who did not flinch, who unselfishly gave of himself and gave everything to further the cause of justice and freedom and General Mihailovich. More than 500 airmen owe their lives to Jibilian and the Halyard team, and he was the last living connection to those men."
Major George Vuynovich
Chief of Operations, OSS
Who this year will be 95 years old.
"I was stunned. We had lunch with him March 11th and while he appeared a little weak, he ate a healthy meal, was jovial and wished us well. Lest We Forget has a mission to "brighten the future by illuminating the past" and the story of Jibby and how he saved over 500 American airmen during Operation Halyard is a story that must never be forgotten. His heroic story will live on for decades. While small in stature, he was a giant of a man and it was truly an honor to have had the chance to meet him. I never saw Jibby when he didn't have a smile on his face. If there was ever a soldier who deserved the Medal of Honor it is Arthur Jibilian!"
President, Lest We Forget of Southwest Michigan
From an Interview of WWII Veteran hero, Arthur Jibilian by Vladimir Bibic, probably his last interview on camera. This was at the huge Oshkosh, WI airshow in August, 2009.
Jibby meeting Mr. and Mrs. Dennis Kuchinich, U.S. Representative of Ohio in Cleveland....
Jibby's Celebration of Life Memorial Service on WTOL Toledo, OH
Jibby would be so proud of his daughter, Debi, who has picked up from where her Dad left off! Also, thanks to rescued airman, Clare Musgrove, who is also in the video, and of course, to the wonderful folks at WTOL/Toledo, OH!
The fellows at the Northcoast Veterans Museum sent this link to their local newspaper, THE NEWS MESSENGER, about what they had to say about Jibby:
Stefan Popovic, from Australia, wrote on my Facebook page 3/22/10:
"Made mention of Jibby's passing on my radio program last night and dedicated a song to him - thought it was particularly appropriate - 'Od topole pa do Ravne Gore.' :)"
Beautiful! Jibby would have loved it. He truly enjoyed singing all the old Chetnik songs.
UPDATE: From good friend, Steve Kozobarich in Ohio for Jibby in Heaven! Click the link below!:
Brian MaMahon, President of Danberry National LTD, and a member of EAA #582 from Toledo, sent this email message:
"Art Jibilian lost his battle to leukemia over the weekend and passed away. Prior to Art entering the hospital for what turned out to be his chemo treatment, he must have had a premonition. One of the last discussions I had with Art was that:
In that regard, Art Jibilian would like to thank the following individuals and organizations in no particular order of importance. I will try to do this in the chronological order in which they took place:
- To Bill Hirzel and Capt. Bill David and all the Members of the EAA Chapter 582 for honoring me at their Air Show at Metcalf Airport
- To Bridgett David who provided medical and psychological comfort for me and my family during these trips to the Indy Championship Race
and Air Venture/Oshkosh.
- To the members of the Yankee Air Museum at Willow Run Airport for flying me to that Air Show in their B-17
- To General A. J. Feucht, Jr., Col. Bartman, Capt. Bentley, Col. Mike Digby and all the members of the 180th Fighter Wing of the Ohio Air Guard for that special event that took place at the Air Guard on the anniversary of Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7th of 2 years ago. I was especially honored to be installed as a "Honorary Colonel".
- To racing legend - Scott Goodyear - for inviting Dr. Harold Brown and myself to the Indy Championship Race in Chicago last year
- To John Wagner and his family for flying me to Oshkosh
- To John Robinson Block, Dave Murray and Joe Zerbey from the TOLEDO BLADE and Jack Kelly of the PITTSBURG-POST GAZETTE for their articles and support in helping me share the fact that the Tuskegee Airmen flew cover for a number of these rescue missions.
Without the support of the Tuskegee
Airmen, we would not have been able to keep all 512 airmen escape from behind enemy lines and return us safely home.
- To my good friend Dr. Harold Brown and all of the Tuskegee Airmen for providing air cover during "Operation Halyard".
- To Gregory Freeman for publishing THE FORGOTTEN 500 that allowed so many people to become aware of "Operation Halyard" and all the individuals
who participated in this rescue mission.
- To Danny Clisham of the EAA who allowed us to participated in the AirVenture/ Oshkosh program and gave me the opportunity to thank the Tuskegee Airmen for their efforts.
- To Tim Barzen and members of the RED TAIL REBORN for all of their efforts.
- To Brad Ball of NASCAR and Jack Roush of Roush Fenway Racing for their efforts to contact the national media.
- To Dr. Lloyd Jacobs, Dan Saevig, and Vern Snyder for including me and my
friend, Dr. Harold Brown in last year's UT Homecoming and including us in the Parade of Heroes.
- To Joe Zerbey and the members of the Toledo Rotary providing me with the last opportunity to make a public presentation on Operation Halyard.
- To Mim, the Tesla Memorial Society and all the members of the Serbian community who worked so hard on my behalf.
On behalf of all of us who were touched by Art's heroism, his final tribute was to donate his body to the University of Toledo's Medical College for research. We want to thank his wife Jo and his daughter Debbie for sharing Art with us during what was a very difficult time.
From Marti Grimes in Florida:
"So sorry to hear of Jibby's passing. He lived an extraordinary and most productive life and I am sure all who knew him pray that he is now in the hand of Our Lord!"
Thanks to Aleksandra Rebic for sharing this incredible interview conducted by Jose A. Amoros, Host and Executive Editor of the program, Foreign Policy and You on WPRR 1680 AM 95.3 FM, Public Reality Radio.
Jose interviewed Jibby and author Gregory Freeman simultaneously, on what would be Jibby's last interview: March 17, 2010.
From SAM SUBOTICH:
On Mar 28, 2010, at 2:18 PM, Sam Subotich wrote:
Jibby's memorial at the American Legion Hall in Fremont went REALLY well. Almost two hundred people half filled the large hall that was adorned with many of Jibby's tributes, along with his crystal "Medal of Honor Nomination", WWII uniform, medals, plus many, many pictures, a video, beautiful red, white and blue flower arrangement by rescued airmen Charles Davis with a wonderful letter. Family, friends and also Chetniks from Ravna Gora Cleveland, plus a 2 star General, and a Tuskegee Airmen who gave a nice speech. Light food and drink plus the beautiful hall made a very nice tribute.
Only two days before he died, I had talked on the phone to Jibby, thanking him for sending me the following RARE photo I needed for some research work. It was typical of Jibby's efforts to readily assist until the very end of his battle!
Jibby and Nick Lalich visit the two Serbian officers on General Mihailovich's staff who were blinded by the war.
He also sent the following info received from Charlie Davis, one of the rescued Air Men.
Click to enlarge about the Halyard Mission.
Wonderful tribute from the Tuskeegee Airmen
and the REDTAILS project:
Celebration of Life Ceremony
at the Legion Hall
3 American Legion Members
Brian McMahon & Pilot Mike Digby with the 180th Air National Guard in front of the traveling exhibit of Arthur's memorabilia from the Northocoast Veterans Association.
Brian & Dan Weise and Bill Hirzel.