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In 1946, the rescued U.S. Airmen banded together to try to attend the Kangaroo Trial General Draza Mihailovich was subjected to by Marshall Tito of Yugoslavia who already so unjustly pronounced him guilty of crimes against the people of Yugoslavia.
Luckily for us, the airmen from all over the United States kept a copy of every article that ever appeared in their local or national newspapers and magazines.
The capture of General Mihailovich was written about by Stanley Pieza, longtime newspaper reporter.
General Draza Miahilovich, Yugoslav hero, now being tried by a Marshall Tito court on charges of treason and Nazi collaboration was kidnapped by airplane by Tito’s Communists who posed as allied officers and friends, it was charged today in an official document.
Heretofore, no official explanation had been made of Mihailovich’s capture.
The sensational facts of the capture came to light in a document smuggled out of Yugoslavia into France, on to the United States and into the hands of U.S. government officials.
The document states that Tito's followers masqueraded as allied airmen, speaking English and French, came down into Yugoslav mountains where Mihailovich was hidden, and took the sick and unconscious general in a plane under pretense of taking him to Italy for hospitalization.
OBTAINED BY H.A.
The document, obtained by the Herald-American, included states of Maj. Milos Markovich, commander of the Pozega Corps of the Royal Yugoslvan army which was stationed in the area of Trudovo village before May 13. According to the major's report, Mihailovich became seriously ill with typhus in February. (Tito announced Mihailovich was captured March 13.)
Details of the capture, as reported, in the document follow:
"The supreme command arrived in the region situated south of Rudno on March 10, 1946. We have received medicants for our sick commander, Gen. Mihailovich, from this village.
"During one of the movements pamphlets were strewn over the area near Samengjevo, these evidently edited by Anglo-Americans, who informed us they have arrived to aid us with arms and ammunition. "On the following night, some planes reappeared over the area, flying very low. They dropped several packs of arms, ammunition and sanitary supplies so sadly needed, and which were of allied origin. One of the packs were (was) with instructions to designate the sport for landing the planes and how they should be marked and the time.
"In the afternoon of March 13, 1946, two planes appeared with allied insignia. Flying very low, they threw out some flares requesting that we indicate the landing spots."
WEAR ALLIED UNIFORMS
After designating the field, the report continued, two planes landed and several officers, dressed in allied uniforms, stepped out of these planes. They spoke English and French to the Chetniks. The report continues:
“The three officers of the group were led to our staff headquarters and presented to our staff officers. Upon learning of the condition our chief commander, who had a very high fever and was unconscious, they said that they wanted to take our sick commander, Gen. Mihailovich, to Italy for a cure.
"We had him placed immediately in a plane in company of our two officers, while unconscious. At the same time, two other planes landed and nine officers, among them two non-commissioned officers, the personal attendants of the general, boarded the planes. Immediately following the take-off of the plane in which our commander was placed, the other planes followed."
The ruse whereby their leader was captured was discovered soon after two squadrons of planes flew over the area, serving as signaling planes to ground forces of our enemy. The report went on:
"These planes dropped small gas bombs, overcoming our troops stationed to guard our supreme headquarters. Then we noticed motorized troops were coming in our direction from the area of Prihoj, which a new group of enemy planes began dropping parachutist troops upon the supreme headquarters. It was then that our troops realized finally that the enemy had employed a cowardly ruse to kidnap our commander.
"It was through such cowardly use of allied uniforms, planes, arms and ammunition the enemy accomplished this, which they could not do through combat. We lost between 3,000 and 4,000 warriors. Many of Tito's men were also killed."
The report further states that Mihailovich was brought to Sarajevo by the kidnapers, then to Belgrade, without regaining consciousness. He was kept alive by artificial nourishment, the statement said, adding that the general was unconscious for at least seven days.
P. 55 of book of newspaper clippings assembled by the National Committee of American Airmen Rescued by General Mihailovich, INC.
By Stanley Pieza, 1946, p. 55 Natl. Com. Of Amer.Airmen Rescued by Gen. Draza Mihailovich
(Transcribed by Milana (Mim) Karlo Bizic, Sept. 2, 2014
(Stanley Pieza died age 88, retired Chicago reporter and editor, started as a police reporter in the 1920’s and then covered religion in the city for more than four decades for the Chicago Examiner and Chicago’s American and Chicago Today. He began with the Chicago Examiner at age 26. Read more: )
Young Draza in WWI, Hero!
The Draza the 512 Rescued U.S. Airmen knew, besides the 100+ other Allied airmen!
The Cica Draza, forever in our hearts and souls...
An $100,000 reward is being offered by the Serb National Defense to anyone who finds the grave of General Draza Mihailovich and proves the identity through DNA testing!