with Baba Mim....
Check out my other websites too:
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:
From the book: Govori i Izjave Generala Draze Mihailovca, Chicago, 1966 which is one of many books scheduled to go to Pranjani, Serbia for a WWII Research Library there:
"No people in Europe have a more heroic record in this war than the Serbs. Among them, no hero is more glorious than General Draza Mihailovic."
( From Wikipedia: Watson Kirkconnell was a Canadian scholar, university administrator and translator. He was President of Acadia University, and in 1968, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada "for his services at home and abroad as an educator, scholar and writer".  In 1936, he was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.)
MAY 11, 2009 University of Pittsburgh
Seal of Allegheny County, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
USAF Lt. Col. John Cappello, Air Attache to the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade, and 4 Representatives from the Euro-Atlantic Initiative (Daniel Sunter, Bojan T. Dragicevic, Zlatko Stojilovic, and Tom Vukadinovic) were welcomed to Pittsburgh, PA, USA, May 11, 2009!
George Vujnovich, George Musulin, and Robert Marjanovich were all recognized by Allegheny County, Pittsburgh, PA, for their roles in the heroic and successful evacuation of over 500 American Airmen from German-occupied Serbia.
Update: 94 yr. old George Vujnovich was inaugurated into the Ambridge Area High School (PA) HALL OF FAME on June 8, 2009 in the 1st such recognition by the school. Unable to attend due to his advanced age and the distance involved, Mim Bizic and Carl Walpusk (in his WWII uniform) accepted the award on George Vujnovich's behalf.
Click in lower right hand corner to enlarge.
WHEREAS, during the summer of 1944, United States bombers targeted the Romanian oil fields in Ploesti that supplied the German war effort, and many heavily damaged planes never made it back; and
WHEREAS, more than 1,000 United States airmen were forced to bail out over German-occupied Serbia and were trapped behind enemy lines where they were dependent upon the villagers to hide them from the Germans; and ...........(several more paragraphs!)
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that I, Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato, on behalf of the 1.2 million residents of Allegheny County, do welcome Lt. Col. Cappello and his team to Pittsburgh and thank them for bringing further recognition to Operation Halyard.
FURTHERMORE, I do hereby recognize the important role that Major Vujnovich, Captain Musulin, and Mr. Marjanovich played in what is considered one of the greatest rescues of American servicemen from behind enemy lines.
Lt. Col. John Cappello is happy with the crowd he addressed on Monday night, May 11 at 7:30 PM. L-R in the front row: Dr. Nenad Janicijevich who was responsible for millions of dollars of relief medicines reaching Serbia and Bosnia, Brian Hayden who serves on the Serb National Federation Board, and Col. Carl Walpusk, rescued airman from Moon Twp., PA.
The venue was changed from meeting in the Yugoslav Nationality Room to the English Nationality Room at the University, due to the increased number of interested attendees. Almost all of the 65 available seats were filled with interested listeners.
George Topich showing Sally Stone the photos from the dedication of the Draza Mihailovich bronze bust at the Serb National Federation Headquarters. The photo shows His Grace Bishop Mitrofan who flew to Belgrade that very day for a Sabor meeting. With His Grace is Carl Walpusk, rescued airman, who also attended the ceremonies then. Carl was in the audience at Pitt too. Like most of the other remaining airmen, Carl has been defending Draza Mihailovich and the Chetniks and the Serbian villagers since 1946!
George later wrote: "Enjoyed the evening.
This project can assist tremendously in finally getting some good press for us Serbians. I hope we all can pull together to move it forward to completion and reaching Western media. Thanks for your efforts."
Nick Terbo (Nikola Tesla's nephew and representing the TESLA MEMORIAL SOCIETY), SNF President George Martich and SNF VP George Topich. The photo below shows a smiling Nick Lalich between the two SNF representatives.
Delegation ready to go home after a successful night!
Debbie Studen-Pavlovich, Professor and Chair of the Department of Pediatric Dentistry at the University, was one of those attendees who enjoyed the evening.
Deb wrote: SUPERB PROGRAM!
"It was a wonderful event that you planned for Lt. Col. Capello and his Serbian contingent. They certainly received a warm welcome from all of the Pittsburgh Serbs. Thanks so much for making the time to organize everything and bring it together. I really appreciate your efforts. It was good that Maxine Bruhns was also there for the presentation. Would you please send me Lt. Col. Cappello’s e-mail address? I would like to thank him for his perseverance with this important piece of history for proper recognition."
Cheri Bobik sent this note:
"Just to let you know that we truly enjoyed the program last night. As usual, you did an outstanding job making everyone feel welcome. Because of you, Mr. Vuich, Col. Cappello and the Serbian filmmaker's determination, 'The
Forgotten 500' will never be forgotten!"
Dr. Natalie Pavlovich, retired nursing professor from Duquesne University, left several phone messages letting us all know how excited and pleased she was with the program.
Then she added: "I know that the Colonel is going to be a General someday. He has it all! Great manner, fabulous speaker, sense of humor, etc. His mother has to be real proud of him! They were ALL so nice! It was a great evening and I'm so glad I came!"
The Proclamation from Dan Onorato, Executive Director of Allegheny County was read at the beginning of the lecture. But the end belonged to U.S. Congressman Jason Altmire who wrote:
I am sorry I cannot be with you tonight as you learn about the amazing story of Operation Halyard. Although the story of how the Draza Mihailovich's Chetniks and the Serbian people worked with American forces to rescue more than 500 American Airmen or 600 Allied Airmen is not widely known, many scholars consider it to be one of the greatest rescues of the 20th Century. I am sure you will all be proud when you learn about the vital role three western Pennsylvanians played in making the Halyard Rescue possible.
The Serbian community in western Pennsylvania has long been a dynamic and important part of our region’s larger community. I want to thank Mim Bizic and everyone who has helped put tonight’s event together and introduce the story of Operation Halyard to a wider audience. I hope this story will inspire all of you as it has inspired me.
Congressman Jason Altmire
Special Kudos to
U.S. Congressman Jason Altmire,
Allegheny Co. Executive Director Dan Onorato
and their remarkable staffers,
especially Michelle Dorothy, Tess Mullen and Megan Dardanell
to Maxine Bruhns-head of the Nationality Rooms at the University of Pittsburgh for her generosity
and Eli Shorak of the Chancellor's Office at the University for securing the room for the presentation,
along with his executive assistant, Susan.
To Brian Hayden, Susan Hayden, Dan August and Adam Loverich for technical assistance
for Marko Doncich leading the assembly in "Hristos Voskrese" during this Easter season.
For Mike and Steffie Bozic sharing their VIEW
To Dave Vuich, for coordinating the Belgrade visit and traveling from Washington, DC to Pittsburgh
and to Carl Walpusk, one of the 513 rescued American airmen, who never tires of letting others know what good people the SERBS are!
To Rachel Weaver, editor of the Sewickley HERALD, and the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Here's Rachel's story on THE FORGOTTEN 500 that appeared on Thursday, May 21, 2009. It had more than 175 hits on the first day as news traveled across America! Thank you, Rachel, Sewickley HERALD, and Frank Craig,Tribune-Review.
IF it doesn't work, try this on your own:
To Sewickley attorney Rich Brandt and his wonderful Real-estate agent wife, Kathy Brandt for suggesting the Serbian book collection of the late Aleksandar Crepajac and his wife Wilma Crepajac be given to me by their great-niece, Annegret Rachuba of Germany. Although there have been several requests for individual books, I think this is the wisest use of them. If the book is not in the Joe Buley Library in the Monastery at Gray's Lake, IL, it will go there first. (The Joe Buley Library was sent 102 books via the St. Elijah Choir bus to Joliet, IL/in care of Fr. Lunich and Fr. Kazich). However, if a copy already exists in the USA, it will go to Serbia.
More than 130 books from the Crepajac collection will be given to the proposed Library to be built by Pranjani Field in Serbia, where most of the American Airmen were rescued.
Col. Cappello and his crew already mailed out 3 packed boxes and several more boxes are yet to shipped!
This material collected by Major Aleksandar Crepajac could serve as a basis for a WWII special research library where scholars could come and learn more about the displaced people who had to scatter to the four corners of the earth during/after the war, and how they left their marks on history.
The +Crepajac Memorial Library Collection is truly serving as a living link between the American and Serbian people on the two Continents, separated by Oceans, connected by Love.
Col. Cappello & University of Pittsburgh Hostess Mim Bizic with the Proclamation from Allegheny County Director of Commissioners, Don Onorato, on behalf of the 1.2 million residents of Allegheny County, including those from the City of Pittsburgh.
Dave Vuich from Washington, DC, introduced each member of the "Operation Halyard" Delegation from Belgrade.
"It is my wish that the Serbs in the Pittsburgh area will attend and participate in the events that you have organized not only to pay homage and respect to the young men, but a specific honor be bestowed upon Col. Cappello for his dedicated efforts to the Serbian people. Should my schedule so permit, I may join you all for this momentous occasion.
The following is a list of Col. Cappello's most professional crew who represent an organization entitled: Euro-Atlantic Initiative (EAI):
Daniel Sunter, Executive Director
Bojan T. Dragicevic, Executive Producer
Zlatko Stojilovic, Film Director
Tomo Vukadinovic, Camerman
Thank you and the wonderful Pittsburgh Serbs for the courtesies and generosities extended."
Cappello and Sunter, Executive Director of the film project, watch the screen as rescued airman, Clare Musgrove of St. Joseph, MI, USA, tells his story. (See other photos of Musgrove on the "General Draza Mihailovich & Operation Halyard" page of this same website.)
Clare Musgrove always says he is alive because of the courage and heroism of the Serbian
people and Chetnik forces. His enthusiasm and memory of the rescue
are incredibly clear.
George Topich brought his poster of General Mihailovich and other photos of the great rescue produced by Mike Sudjevic years ago, to be signed by the well-received presenters on May 11, 2009!
Dave Vuich brought along this old photo featuring Dave, USAF Ret. Col. Dick Felman, "Lt. Gen. James H. Doolittle, Medal of Honor recipient)," USAF Ret. General Don Smith (one of the rescued airmen himself!), and Mike Sudjevic, whose late father was one of General Mihailovich's Chetniks, and who has one of the greatest collections of memories of the rescued airmen on film and tape from years ago.
This framed photo was presented to John Cappello from Dave Vuich with the following inscription: "To an honorable and dedicated warrior, John Cappello. Best wishes for continued success."
John was a fighter pilot in just such an airplane as this B-1 bomber.
Dave Vuich and Col. Carl Walpusk at the home of Mike and Steffie Bozic after the presentation. The Belgraders enjoyed the view of Pittsburgh lit up at night from atop of Mt. Washington.
Col. Cappello and Zarko with Pittsburgh Mt. Washington hostess, Steffie Bozic. Daniel Sunter in background.
Mike Bozic, retired executive businessman of several national companies, shows his guests his Serbian family history on the walls of his study, along with photos of Mike and his wife/family with many U.S. Presidents, famous sports figures, etc.
Mike shows Tomo, Bojan and Daniel special photos of his family. The delegation was pleased to see Mike's grandfather's gusle and other Serbian artifacts. American Serbs are very proud of their Serbian heritage.
Dave Vuich from Washington, DC, was the first to arrive.
Daniel Sunter, Euro-American Initiative Executive Director of the Film Project OPERATION HALYARD.
In front of the Serbian Spruce.
Cappello, Stolijovic, Vukadinovic, Sunter, Dragicevic
"Dobro Nam Dosli!"
Special patch created for OPERATION HALYARD project
Special little booklet with a synopsis of the story, complete with historical photos and a DVD of some interviews conducted.
(Click right hand corner of photo to enlarge.) Text of book by USAF Lt. Col. John Cappello. DVD by EAI Initiative.
Col. Cappello with a Marine Contingent attending St. Sava's Day activities at the school in Pranjani where the Marines distributed toys, books and supplies.