Real Life Comics, no. 8 (Nov. 1942) CONTENTS:
“Black Phantoms : The Story of the Commandos” 7p. —
“Malta, Stronghold of Courage” 7 p. —
“Benito Juarez, Redeemer of Mexico” 8 p. —
“Draja Mihailovitch, the Yugoslav MacArthur” 7 p. —
“Johnny Appleseed” 2 p.text —
“Miguel de Cervantes” 5 p. —
“West Point, the Army’s Alma Mater” 6 p. — “Brigadier General Claire L. Chennault” (Aces of the Air) 7 p. —
“Igor Sikorsky : The Story of the Winged ‘S'” 5 p. — “2nd Lieutenant Alexander R. Nininger, Jr.” 3 p. — “Leonardo Da Vinci” 5 p. —
Call no.: PN6728.1.N4R4no.8
Many, MANY thanks to Comic Art Bibliographer Randall W. Scott of the Special Collections Division of 100 Library, Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan, 44824-1048 USA.
I am so deeply appreciative…. and know you’ll all be happy too! MKB
Again, thanks to Carl Savich’s detective work also!
Carl just emailed and said how lucky we were to find this PRIMARY SOURCE document! He’s right!
John Buffalini wrote: “This is absolutely amazing. I would never have thought in a million years that there was a comic book about General Draza. Congratulations on yet another score on your wonderful and expansive project on preserving our Serbian history.”
Kathy Loverich added: “As the saying goes: ‘Ask and you shall receive.’ Once again you have managed to do the impossible! Thanks once again for sharing this delightful piece of our history!”
Above is the poster from the popular WWII movie.
Click on the link to play movie
Read more about this on Wikipedia.
Read OSS Radioman
Arthur Jibilian’s (Jibby’s) Story here!
Read Aleksandar Milosevic’s account of the rescue as commented in the Congressional Record, Washington, DC, Thursday, Nov. 19, 1987.
(Read the WHOLE report by clicking link above!)
Milosevic served as an artillery commander under General Mihailovich, who offered an eyewitness account as to the heroic efforts and sacrifices of the Serbian people who saved the lives of the downed airmen. The First Ravna Gora Corps organized the reception, lodging and food as well as the continuous protection required of the airmen.
“The operation itself was a significant and major united military effort between the U.S. Air Forces and the entire Ravna Gora Movement under the command of General Draza Mihailovich. Specifically, it include the Western Morava Group of Corps which consisted of the First and Second Corps of Sumadia, the First and Second Corps of Ravna Gora, the Corps of Valjevo and Corps of Pozega. The strength of these corps numbered some 7,500 men.
“At the end of August, there followed two smaller evacuations from Pranjani, then three more evacuations, also of a smaller scope, followed. One took place in the village of Svileuva not far from Kiceljeve around September 17th, and two in the region of Boljanici not far from Doboj [Bosnia]. The first occurred at the end of October, and the second on December 27, 1944.”
“All in all there were approximately 600 airmen evacuated of which over 500 were Americans while remainder were from other allied forces. It would take many more words if I were to begin to cite examples which would show with what love and sacrifice the Sebian people, through their Ravna Gora Movement headed by General Mihailovich, participated in these rescues.”
“I leave this to the rescued airmen with the deep belief that among them there is not one who does not have at least one souvenir of remembrance of that effect. I also leave it to these men to tell the American people how much truth there is in the spurious disinformation since emanating from the communist government of Yugoslavia. I would, however, like to emphasize, as commander of the Western Morava Groups of corps, that were to Germans to have attacked during the evacuation of August 10, 1944, our units, although poorly armed and low on ammunition, would have defended the American Fliers to the last man.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++Posted by: “Art Jibilian”
Sat Jun 20, 2009 8:57 am (PDT)
‘Forgotten 500’ pay tribute to Serbian peasants
Posted by: “email@example.com” firstname.lastname@example.org
Sat Jun 20, 2009 1:32 pm (PDT)
BENTON TOWNSHIP – The Lest We Forget events keep the stories of ordinary Americans’ extraordinary heroism in World War II alive in Southwest Michigan.
But throughout the war there were countless stories of heroism, bravery and sacrifice that were too often lost to the historical record.
Members of “The Forgotten 500” met Thursday
at the Lake Michigan College Mendel Center to celebrate the memory of Operation Halyard, a daring airlift behind enemy lines to rescue the
more than 500 downed American airmen in the hills of former Yugoslavia in the summer of 1944.
The operation – and the bravery and generosity of the Serbian Chetnik peasants and resistance fighters who made the rescues possible – is recounted in a book titled “The Forgotten 500” by Gregory Freeman.
Freeman and others were on hand Thursday along with several American airmen who were a part of
Operation Halyard, including Arthur “Jibby” Jibilian, Bob Wilson and local resident Clare Musgrove of St. Joseph Township.
Wilson, of Peoria, Ill., said he has never forgotten the “generosity and feeling of the Serbians” who took him in.
“You bail out over a foreign country you don’t know anything about … all you know is that you’re fighting the same enemy … and they were
willing to help,” Wilson said. “They were a very poor people. They had very little food. But they were willing to help.”
Jibilian, of Fremont, Ohio, took part in the rescue efforts. Working in the Office of Strategic Services, the forerunner to the CIA, Jibilian had volunteered to parachute in. On the ground he used a radio to
communicate with underground Serbian operatives.
“We were behind enemy lines,” with Germans stationed just 20 miles away, Jibilian said. “We were afraid all the time.”
Musgrove and his comrades signed copies of Freeman’s book Thursday at the Mendel Center. The event drew about 300-400 people.
Musgrove talked about his story during a 2006 interview with The Herald-Palladium.
On a bombing run targeting German supply stations, Musgrove, a ball turret gunner on a B-24 plane, took fire and had to bail.
He landed in the wooded, mountainous terrain of an unfamiliar land.
“There were two ladies and two young boys that were shepherding this flock of sheep. I told them I was American the best I could because I didn’t
speak their language. Fortunately, they were friendly people.”
Musgrove was kept hidden in the homes of Chetnik villagers, then taken by resistance fighters on a two-week journey through the Yugoslavian
countryside to a newly built airstrip, where other American airmen were waiting for flights on American C-47 planes.
Freeman said the story of “The Forgotten 500” is not a story about nations and politics, but “individual human beings helping one another, willing to sacrifice themselves for those who would sacrifice for them.”
For many years, geopolitics kept the story of the Serbian Chetnik resistance a secret in Serbia. After Yugloslavia fell under communist rule, Chetniks
could not publicly acknowledge the heroism of their resistance leader, General Draza Mihailovich. Shortly after taking over, the communist regime had the general tortured and executed by firing squad.
Mihailovich’ s grave never has been found, but in the hills of the Chetniks’ homeland “his spirit is everywhere,” President Harry Truman said. Truman in 1948 awarded Mihailovich a posthumous Legion of Merit award, the highest award bestowed on a non-American.
In 2004, Musgrove revisited the hills as a guest of the Serbian government to dedicate a memorial
at the famed “Forgotten 500” airstrip. The site will soon have a new addition – an American C-47.
Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steeler Legendary Great Running Back #32 Franco Harris holds THE FORGOTTEN 500 book young Nick Jovanovich received as part of a graduation gift from Mim Bizic at a fabulous party hosted by Nick’s parents, Nick and Nena Jovanovich in Sewickley, PA.
Franco knew the story of the rescued airmen. But Mim failed to tell him about another Pittsburgh STEELER connection! George Musulin, the OSS officer in charge of the OPERATION HALYARD mission, ALSO played for Art Rooney’s Pittsburgh Steelers, only then it was called the Pittsburgh Pirates Football Team, just like the Pirates Baseball Team.
Draza and U.S. Major George Musulin, who played for Art Rooney’s Pittsburgh Pirates (later called Pittsburgh Steelers.)
At night, the downed airmen and their Serbian Chetnik hosts would sit around campfires and tell true-life stories. George Musulin always told the guys how he played on the Pittsburgh football team for two years. Each game the players received $25 and they had to bring their own helmets. If the team WON the game, Rooney awarded them with $35 instead!
Thanks Franco and Nick!! Great time tonight!
Carl Savich just keeps uncovering these for us! Here’s the latest! 1/4/10
Within Closed Frontiers: A Woman in Wartime Yugoslavia by Lena Yovitchitch from 1956 which is a good objective account of Draza and the Chetniks.
(Click lower rt. hand corner to enlarge image.)
The INTRODUCTION to this book was given by Honorable Fiorella H. LaGuardia, Mayor of New York!
For years and years I heard about several people who at one time owned a comic book about Draza Mihailovich as kids, but then, just couldn’t find them again.
I always asked and had several people inquire of me if there really WAS a Draza comic book.
The breakthrough came today (6/15/09) when Carl Savich said that he knew the date of the book, and the issue No. 8, Real Life Comics, Nov. 1942.
Using that info, I scoured the web and finally struck gold at the University of Michigan.
Thanks to the efforts of librarian/ comic book bibliographer Randy Scott, ALL of us can see how Draza Mihailovich was revered and placed with Chennault, Sikorsky, Juarez, Leonardo de Vinci, and Cervantes. I’d say pretty good company.
Draza’s (Spelled Draja in the comic book) story continues for 7 pages.
The cover and the first page are on the left hand side.
Due to memory restrictions, I’m placing the others here in a smaller format, but all you have to do is click on the lower right hand corner to enlarge and view better.
WHERE IS PRANJANI?
Less than 90 km. from Belgrade
Thanks to Google Maps:
43° 59′ 6 N
20° 12′ 42 E
Over 500 U.S. airmen (and over 600 if you add in the Allied Airmen!) were evacuated from Serbia thanks to General Draza Mihailovich and his Royal Yugoslav Army of the Homeland Chetniks, the OSS (Office of Strategic Services) and the villagers from surrounding areas. Many of the daring rescues took place near Pranjani.
From Carl Savich: 6/16/09
Here is some information on the comic book to explain the context. The publisher and editor of Real Life Comics, Ned L. Pines, was a major publisher of comic books.
Real Life Comics was published by Nedor Publishing at 10 East 40th Street in New York City. It was a comic book series that ran from September, 1941 to September, 1952 for 59 issues. The editor and publisher was Ned L. Pines, who also published Thrilling Comics, Startling Comics, and Exciting Comics. The comic book was published every other month and cost ten cents. The comic book featured real persons such as Leonardo Da Vinci, Igor Sikorsky, Claire Chennault, and Draza Mihailovich.
Draza Mihailovich was featured in one issue of the comic book, No.8 from November, 1942, Volume 3, No. 2., consisting of 7 pages. Mihailovich was also on the cover. Mihailovich was in section 4 entitled “Draja Mihailovitch: Jugoslav Hero.” The title of the story was “Draja Mihailovitch, the Yugoslav MacArthur”, comparing him to U.S. General Douglas MacArthur. The story is introduced as follows: “Drawing upon a background of military education and diplomatic skill, the commanding officer of the Chetniks has held the hordes of Hitler and Mussolini at bay.” The issue also contained comics featuring Miguel Cervantes, Leonardo Da Vinci, Johnny Appleseed, Claire Chennault, and Benito Juarez.
The comic recounted Draza Mihailovich’s service in World War I, his diplomatic assignment in Czechoslovakia in the 1930s, his imprisonment by Milan Nedich, and his emergence as a resistance leader in 1941. The comic focuses on his guerrilla activities against the German occupation forces, derailing trains, engaging in sabotage, and organizing a massive popular resistance movement.
Draza Mihailovich was also featured on the cover of Time magazine in 1942, the cover of Liberty magazine in an article entitled “Hitler’s No.1 Headache”, and a major motion picture was made by 20th Century Fox entitled Chetniks! The Fighting Guerrillas. Draza Mihailovich was one of the most popular and acclaimed European resistance leaders in America in 1942.
The Table of Contents page is attached. This page gives a blurb on Draza as a “Jugoslav Hero” and more info on him.
(See Contents page from Carl above)
June 19 and 20, 2009 from Carl:
Draza Mihailovich and his Chetnik guerrillas appeared in at least SIX major comic books in the United States during the Golden Age of Comics, the late 1930s to the late 1940s:
1) Real Life Comics, #8, Nov. 1942, “Draja Mihailovitch, the Yugoslav MacArthur”, Nedor Comics; (See above.)
2.) Master Comics, no. 36 (Feb. 1943) CONTENTS: “Liberty for the Chetniks” (Captain Marvel Jr.) 12 p. —
“The Wizard of Murder” (Bulletman) 13 p. —
“Hoodoo Hannigan” 3 p. text —
“Minute Man Meets the Mummy”
(Minute Man) 12 p. —
“The Mad Artist” 1 p. —
“Death Rides the Falls” (Balbo, Boy Magician) 10 p. —
Magic Page” 1 p. —
“Little Albert” 1 p. —
Cassidy Rides with Death in Thunder Pass”* (Hopalong Cassidy) 7 p. —
Data from Bob Klein, Lou Mougin, and Jim
Vadeboncoeur via The Grand Comics Database Project. — Call no.: Film 15791r.882) Master Comics, Captain Marvel Jr., #36, Feb. 1943, “Liberty for the Chetniks”, Fawcett Comics;
3) Kid Komics, #3, Fall, 1943, Red Hawk, Timely Comics;
Kid Komics #3 (Fall, 1943)
Jan Valor was a heroic American fighter pilot who with his girlfriend Tanka helped General Draza Mihailovich and the Chetniks of “Jugoslavia” to fight against the German forces. Jan is the pilot of the Red Hawk, a fighter plane, and allows the guerrillas to use it. Timely Comics would evolve into Marvel Comics.
4) Black Cat, #1, March 7, 1945, “The Story of the Fighting Chetniks”, Harvey Publishing.
5. Military Comics. Stories of the Army and Navy, #14, Dec. 1942. Quality Comics. Contents: 3. Mission to Yugoslavia. 8. The Chumps and the Chetniks, Shot and Shell, by Klaus Nordling, script, pencils, inks.
6. Thrilling Comics, #35, May, 1943, Standard Comics.
Contents: 2. The American Crusader Joins the Chetniks
Thank you again to Carl Savich for such wonderful detective work in searching out these Comic Books with stories about Draza Mihailovich and his Chetniks!
In Pranjani again……
Photo of Charlie Davis who stayed at this man’s house in Pranjani as one of the downed airmen in 1944.
Click bottom right hand corner to enlarge photos.
Another movie poster, this one from Australia!
Again, all of these photos of the posters and book covers are thanks to the intense research by Carl Savich.
To read Carl Savich’s latest reviews of the books shown here, visit his web page:
“Here is a link to a cool 20th Century-Fox movie ad for the Chetniks film from 1943:
“Once you get on the page, look at the bottom which will have small boxes. The 9th box across has the 2-page spread on the movie. It is on pages 16-17. You can’t miss it on the bottom. It is all in BLUE.
“It is a pretty cool ad emphasizing the fact that the movie was a huge hit all across America! In some movie theaters, it even beat out Casablanca, which was playing at the same time. The movie was a major box office hit and that is what the 20th Century-Fox ad emphasizes. They emphasize that the movie was a huge hit in Washington, Denver, Pittsburgh, and Elmira.
Accompanying King Peter II on his first trip to America, both Aleksandar behind the King, and his brother Nikola Crepajac would be the third person on here. I don’t YET know the name of the 4th man.
Aleksandar, standing far left, again “standing guard” with his beloved King Peter II, while the King visited Aliquippa, PA at the home of V.Rev. Vlastimir Tomich, seen here in the middle.
Aleksandar as a prisoner of war in Oflag 140.
Aleksandar was from Sremska Mitrovica, Serbia, Yugoslavia, while Wilma was from Essen, Germany.
Souvenir of the Serbian National Defense from 1941-1961. It is dedicated to: “Ovo Spomenicu posvedjujemo muchenichkoj seni djenerala Draze Mihailovich i borcima sprskim palim za ‘Krst casni i slobodu zlatnu”, sa narochitim osvrtom na zivot i rad srpski rodoljuba Jovana i Mihaila Duchica i njihovih preminulih saradnika— clanoa Sprske narodne odbrane.”
King Peter and his guards
I thought this photo was of a good friend of the Crepajacs, as this picture hung in their dining room. But! Thanks to my new friend, Dr. Aleksandar Dekanski and his mother, Sofija Crepaja Dekanski, of Sremska Mitrovica, we now know this was Aleksanda’rs brother, Nikola. He can also be seen in the photo at the top of this page, guarding young King Peter II with Aleksandar! His name is on the Crepajac gravestone shown here. He died in 1951. He is also on the group photo from 1923 (this is VI class of the Gymnasium in Sremska Mitrovica. This photo was sent to Gracanica Monastery, along with more than 100+ books, and delivered by good friend, Joey Puhar.
Crepajac Men Photo recently found! 11/23/15
Most likely, Aleksandar, his father, and his brother, Nikola!
Major Aleksandar Crepajac had 14 sisters and brothers, but only 7 of them survived early childhood. Three brothers (Milivoj, Radivoj (Aleksandar Dekanski’s grandfather) and Nikola who was also a military officer as you can see here.
There were four sisters: Milena, Jelica, Dusanka, and Vida. Just three of them had children.
Milovoj Crepajac’s ‘s son, Ljubomir, is a professor of classic languages on the Faculty of Philosphy in Belgrade, and daughter Vida. Sofija, the daughter of Radivoj, had two sons, Dr. Aleksandar Dekanski, and his brother, Slobodan.
More information as it becomes known.
From Aleksandar’s books:
Click to enlarge. American Serbian girls from Chicago with photos of Draza and President Roosevelt.
Click to enlarge. This is the symbolic christening of the TWO airplanes bought by the American Serbs by selling war bonds from May 1 to July 2, 1944. The two airplanes were called “The American Serb” and “The Spirit of St. Sava.” There are attempts now to say this never happened. Here is your history. Make sure you know it!
Click to enlarge.
10th Jubilee Congress of the Serb National Defense Council, 1951. St. Bishop Nikolai in front! Vlajko Ljugona in 2nd row. Glisho Rapaich in end seat, front row. U.S. Congressional Medal of Honor winner, Big Jake Alexx Mandusich, etc.
Don’t let anyone tell you that the Serb Natl. Defense Council was anything but the BEST of our American Serb leaders! 100% Americans first and foremost, but also wanting the best for their fellow suffering Serbs!
Click to enlarge. Western Union telegraph to the President of France in Paris, asking that the execution of Gen. Mihailovich be stopped. Signed by Rt. Rev. Bishop Dionisiye, Lou Christopher (SNF), Mitchell Duchich (Serb Natl Defense Coucil of America)
Proclamation from Edward Kelly, Mayor of the City of Chicago, “the valor of General Draja Michalovitch and his legions of Chetniks is symbolic of this great universal freedom. April 1, 1943 was CHETNIK DAY in Chicago, and “all citizens are urged to salute the glorious deeds of these patriots and allies.”
Button owned by the Crepajacs. Photos attest to their attendance at King Peter II’s funeral in Libertyville, IL in 1970.
From the Crepajac Collection, including the American-Serb Life magazine seen below.
This AMERICAN-SERB LIFE magazine from March/April 1948 was published by my dad, Milan Karlo.
In this and subsequent issues he documented the day-by-day diary of OSS Captain Nick Lalich. Thus, I knew from the time I was 7 yrs. old of the daring rescue of the 513 U.S. Airmen from behind German-occupied enemy lines in Yugoslavia’s Serbia.
Always click on the bottom right hand corner of the photo to enlarge picture.
Slava mu Cica Draza!
The last page of SERGEANT NIKOLA,p. 310, says this:
And the Chetnik divisions, legions and brigades marched forward with our song on their lips:
Darling, please do not cry,
It need not be good-bye.
Under the blue Serb sky
True Chetniks never die,
Never die. Never die! Never die!
ANOTHER WWII BOOK!
Thank you to Carl Savich for sharing this WWII book and subsequent info with us also!
“Another book that was popular during World War II but is largely forgotten now is THE CHETNIKS by George Sava, published in 1942 by Faber and Faber in London, in the UK. It was reprinted several times.
In the attachment I have the cover of the 1955 reprint by Regular Publication. The cover has the following description on the top: “General Mihailovich, the famous guerrilla leader and the story of the heroic struggle of these guerrillas is told in the pages of this book.”
George Sava, the British author, described the book as follows:
“The names of friends I have re-christened. I have altered dates and changed the names of places. This much is fiction: the rest is fact. The … exploits of the guerrillas, the Chetniks, I have reconstructed from letters and reports.”
First published in November, 1942.
Here’s another book photo Carl found!
Wrath of Eagles:
A Novel of the Chetniks
by Frederich Heydenau, which was published in 1943 in New York by E.P. Dutton. The novel was translated from the German, Der Zorn der Adler, by Barrows Mussey.
Book came today and I’m loving it! 7/28/09
New York Times Book Review By ROBERT ST. JOHN,
June 27, 1943, Sunday, Section: Book Review, Page BR6:
Balkan Supermen: WRATH OF THE EAGLES: A Novel of the Chetniks. By Frederick Heydenau. Translated by Barrows Mussey. 318 pp. New York: E.P. Dutton & Co. $2.50.