Draza Comic Books 1942, 1943

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.

Chetniks!  The Fighting Guerrillas!  <——

Click on the link to play movie

Read more about this on Wikipedia.


America in WWII Magazine
Read OSS Radioman

Arthur Jibilian’s (Jibby’s) Story here!

The Fighting Guerrillas


Read Aleksandar Milosevic’s account of the rescue as commented in the Congressional Record, Washington, DC, Thursday, Nov. 19, 1987.

From http://www.srpska-mreza.com

(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.

– A.M. Milosevic –
Sincerest Condolences to Ted Connolly on the loss of his dear mother this June, 2009. While going through some of her strong boxes, he found this golden treasure:
Telegram to save Mihailovich
 Click on bottom right hand corner to enlarge……


Olive Wood Carving of Draza Mihailovich by George Bozich of Phoenix, Arizona,
given to Milan M. Karlo as a gift, 
and then passed on to me, his daughter, Milana M. Karlo Bizic.
George wrote/carved on the back
Dragoljub Draza Mihailovich, ubijen od  Komunista u Beogradu, 17 Jula. 1946. G. Bozich
 George Bozic was a former Monroe, Michigan auto worker, who settled in Phoenix, Arizona after retirement.  He was a pioneer founder of the St. Nikola parish where he lived nearby.  He carved remarkable likenesses of Serbian greats and his works were printed in the Observer pages.

Comic strips of how Chetnik movement got started from a book belonging to
+Major Aleksandar Crepajac


++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++Posted by: “Art Jibilian”

Sat Jun 20, 2009 8:57 am (PDT)
‘Forgotten 500’ pay tribute to Serbian peasants

Posted by: “osssociety@aol.com” osssociety@aol.com
Sat Jun 20, 2009 1:32 pm (PDT)

Airmen recall life-saving help they received from Serbian Chetnik peasants
By DAVID WARFIELD – H-P Staff Writer
Published: Saturday, June 20, 2009 1:09 PM EDT

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 ScottALL 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.








Less than 90 km. from Belgrade

Thanks to Google Maps:





Latitude (DMS):

43° 59′ 6 N

Longitude (DMS):

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. —

“Balbo’s Own
   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


  different cover


 To read Carl Savich’s latest reviews of the books shown here, visit his web page:  



Carl adds:

“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.


Carl Savich's Draza Comic Book

Click on the bottom right hand corner to enlarge.

We are so lucky that Carl Savich shared his Comic Book Collection of Draza Mihailovich with us!

From Carl Savich:

“The American Crusader was a combination of Superman and Captain America. He had superhuman strength, was impervious to bullets, and he could fly. He is a mild-mannered professor by day who transforms into a superhero to defend democracy and freedom. He was known as “The Defender of Democracy”. He meets Draza Mihailovich on page five, an image of Mihailovich which is based on the Time magazine cover from 1942. The publisher and editor of Thrilling Comics was Ned Pines, who also published Real Life Comics, which featured Draza Mihailovich on the cover in 1942.”











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Serbian History 101
United States

A Tribute to the late Aleksandar & Wilma Crepajac

  1. Aleksandar (Zandor) and Wilma Crepajac are both gone now, but the two of them left behind a legacy of love for their Serbian people.  This website is posthumously dedicated to the Military Major who was declared a “persona non-grata” during the Communistic rule in the former Yugoslavia after WWII.  Slava mu!  Vjecnaja Pamjat!  To you and your beloved “Vilma”, a Wreath of Valor for preserving the best ideals of the Serbian people in America.


Zandor in King Aleksandar’s Military Academy of 1924Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, Slovenes


“Sandor” was born July 17, 1903 in Sremska Mitrovica, Yugoslavia, a son of the late Ljubomir and Sofia (Boric) Crepajac. Aleksandar Crepajac studied at the Yugoslav Military Academy, graduating in the Class of 1924.  He was a Major in the Royal Yugoslavia Army’s 44th Infantry Regiment, and took part in the VERY POPULAR people’s uprising against Hitler when Regent Prince Paul signed a pact, supposedly to save the country.  

While in America, Aleksandar worked as an engineer at Pullman, Inc. with good friend, Vlastimir Djordjevic.  Aleksandar died in 1998 at the age of 94.

Wilma passed away at age 93 in Good Samaritan Hospice on January 18, 2009.  Born Oct. 7, 1915 in Essen Germany, she was the daughter of the late Paul and Sophie (Feldhot) Pohle.

The two met while Zandor was a prisoner in the WWII camp.

While in Germany (where she said she witnessed so many WWII tragedies and atrocities), Wilma was a well-known senior midwife who delivered thousands of babies.  While living in America, Wilma also was famed for her baby delivery skills.  Too, she worked in the Sewickley Valley Hospital’s Operating Room as a respected assistant to the doctors.

Both Aleksandar and Wilma were very kind to all, respectful and deeply loving to each other, and very religious members of the St. Elijah Serbian Orthodox Church in Aliquippa, PA.

I’d like to publicly thank their grandniece, Annegret (“Ann”) Rachuba, of Datteln, Germany (daughter of Annelore and Lotha Mix), for her goodness and compassion in making sure the Serbian historical records and books pertaining to WWII and King Peter II, whom Aleksandar guarded while a Major in the Yugoslav Army, would be preserved for future studies.

“Bozich 1919”   (Christmas, Jan. 7, 1919)

 June 30, 1923 and the names found below…..


Serbian Orthodox Aleksandar Crepajac, a Major on Active Duty in the 44th Inf. Reg. before being taken prisoner and given a number #140 in Oflag XXIC.
Next of kin would be Dusanka Crepajac, Belgrad IV, Dalmatinski 40/II .  Aleksandar’s father’s name was Ljubomir, and his mother’s maiden name was Sophia Boric.
103 books from the Crepajac Library were given to the Joe Buley Library at the Serbian Orthodox Monastery at Gray’s Lake, IL.  The catalogued books traveled via the bus rented by St.Elijah Choir of Aliquippa to Joliet, IL, where the choir was singing at the 68th Annual Serbian Singing Federation Festival in Joliet, Illinois.  From there, our good friend, Joey Puhar, a member of the “Brankies” Choir of Chicago, took them to the Monastery for us, delivering them to V. Rev. Tom Kazich on Memorial Day, 2009.  The photo of Nikola Crepajac, was also sent in this collection, although at the time, his identity wasn’t known. (7/16/12 only.)
136 books from the Crepajac collection will form the nucleus of the proposed special WWII Research Library to be built in Pranjani, Serbia, near the airfield that saw the rescue of over 500 U.S. airmen trapped from behind German-occupied lines in Serbia.  Three boxes of books were sent by Col. Cappello to Belgrade for distribution. More boxes were packed and shipped.
Since the word of the Pranjani Library got out, I received the following donations:
$20.00 from Joe & Debbie (Karlo/Kneib) Burger of Pittsburgh, PA
$25.00 from Nick and Claudia Karlo of  Warren, Ohio
$100 from the St. Elijah Serbian Orthodox Church Choir of Aliquippa, PA
 One large box of gently used Children’s Books from neighbors Paul and Sherri Von Stein
 Two small boxes of gently used Children’s books from neighbors Mike & Monique Pietropaoli
For Aleksandar and Wilma Crepajac,
“Vjecnaja Pamjat.  Memory Eternal!”

Wilma and Aleksandar were always together! 
Bottom photo from 1989.
Update:  7/25/09
Fifty more children’s books were sent to Pranjani, purchased and sent by Milana Bizic.
Update:  7/16/12
These photos below are courtesy of grandnephew, Dr. Aleksandar Dekanski of Serbia.
Wedding of Bojana and Rada (Radivoj) Crepajac.  Brother Nikola is far left, and Brother Aleksandar Crepajac is right behind the Groom.
(Click photo on lower right side to enlarge.)
Radivoje & Sandor in 1930.
Nikola is the one with Sandor guarding the king at the top photo right; and the photo on the wall that was on Sandor’s and Wilma’s wall.  Nikola died in 1951.

 From AMERICAN-SERB LIFE magazine 1948


One of the most popular books found in most Junior High School Libraries was SERGEANT NIKOLA, also called “Chetnik Brigades.”  It was written by Istvan Tamasand published by L.B. Fischer Publishing Corporation, NY.  The NEW YORK TIMES had a literary review of the book on 23 Nov. 1942.  This fiction book was so popular it had to be reprinted!  My well-worn out first edition came from the Fort La Bosse School District No. 41 of Manitoba, Canada and was still in circulation by the 1970s!  The second printing of the book was also in 1942.  My second copy with the 2nd printing of the book came from the Hopkinsville, Kentucky, USA Public Library.


“Our next aim is Bitolj.  Then will follow Prilep, Sarajevo, Skoplje, Nish, Kragujeac and Belgrade!  We shall not rest until every German has been swept from our country!”

“Zivio!” cheered our troops again.

“Ziveo!” echoed the wind, echoed the black-robed widows and the dead under the fresh earth….

Mihailovich continued thus:  “If the United Nations wants to gain a foothold, they would have to come across the Dalmatian Coast, since the Balkans are the Achilles’ heel of the Axis.  We can break the Italian blockage with a minimum of losses and the least opposition by landing in the ports of Dubrovnik and Durazzo.  They could come not only on ships, but on troop transport planes, landing on airports held by us, while our troops would cover the invasion.  Then, with the Black Mountains (Crna Gora), better than any man-made fortress, behind us, we could launch a general offensive against the army of occupation.  The completely equipped American-English army could finish Italy off in a few weeks; and across Bulgaria, caught in a pincers, and weakened Roumania,


with Russia, we could also deliver the stab of mercy to the Germans caught between two fires.”

Then Popov, our radio officer, excitedly announced: “The Belgrade Oberkommando is paging the Commander-in-Chief!”

Mihailovich took the microphone into his hand.

“I am listening.”

…………………..you have to read the rest yourselves….


SERGEANT NIKOLA was also reviewed in the January 1943 issue of Harper’s magazine by Katherine Jackson.



It is exciting to know that Aleksandar Crepajac’s grandnephew, Aleksandar Crepajac, reached me via Facebook to let me know he saw this website March 17, 2010.  Alex’s grandfather,  Dragoljub  Crepajac,  and Major Aleksandar were brothers. Aleksandar lives in Sid, which is located near Sremska Mitrovica.

Today, July 8, 2012, another grandnephew, Aleksandar Dekanski, reached out via the CONTACT page on our www.babamim.com website to let us know that he’s working on a book about the family, and by happy accident found this page!  He offered to share some more information that we will be sure to offer here!  Aleksandar Dekanski’s maternal grandfather, Radivoja Crepajac, was the brother to Major Aleksandar Crepajac of Sewickley, PA!

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.  


Wilhelmine Crepajac, photo taken in Dorimund, Wesienhellweg 26.

 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 sistersMilena, 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.

V” for Victory in the War Bond Drive.

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!




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.”
—p. 8.



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.

Draza Mihailovich-More!

On July 30, 2009 Arthur Jibilian, OSS radioman with the late General Draza Mihailovic and his Chetniks, other OSS members, and the brave airmen who flew into rescue the downed airmen were honored at the OSKGOSH, WISCONSIN airshow called AIRVENTURE. 

This event annually gets between 750,000-1 million visitors per day.  Thanks to everyone who made this possible, but especially the EAA#582 of Toledo, OHIO.

American SERBS have always known the story and kept it close to their hearts.  Now its time for other AMERICANS to learn the truth about the greatest rescue of their fellow Americans from behind German-occupied enemy lines in Yugoslavia’s Serbia!



The Hero Whom You Gave to History Has Not His Like in Our Time

“Twenty years after the death of Draza Mihailovich he is undimmed in his glory as a defender of liberty against the Fascist terror, who defended it also against the Communist terror. He had no moment of weakness, nor of bitterness. I know no instance where he reproached those who were guilty of his betrayal.

Twenty years ago I knew he was innocent of all charges against him, and since then I have had many further proofs of his innocence. His abandonment was a crime, and like all crimes it brought no real profit to the criminals.

I loved your nation before the war, I have loved and honoured it more and more as the years have gone by and I have seen that the hero whom you gave to history has not his like in our time.”

Dame Rebecca West <—-click here

 to the Serbs July 8, 1966



Clare Boothe Luce <—-click 
American playwright, editor, journalist, ambassador, and first woman elected to U.S. Congress 

Clare Boothe Luce Photo by Carl Van Vechtan 

“The United States must insist on a fair and open trial for General Mihailovich, anti-Red Chetnik hero, now in the hands of the Communist regime of Marshal Tito in Yugoslavia if our future allies are to have any confidence in our pledged word as a nation.
There is no real question about the fact that General Mihailovich took up arms against the German invaders of his country in April, 1941, at a time when Soviet Russia was an ally of National Socialist Germany.

At that time the present dictator of Yugoslavia, Marshal Josip Broz, called Tito, was an expatriate, studying in Moscow as a faithful adherent of the Third International – the Comintern – which had adopted the alliance with Hitler’s Germany as an internal program of aggression for mutual benefit.

For two and one half years, during the darkest days of the struggle against Germany, Italy and Japan, Mihailovich, former minister of war in Yugoslavia, fought on our side.

No question was raised as to his loyalty or valor while there was real doubt about the outcome of the war. Only after our victory was seen as to be certain did other elements in Yugoslavia flock to the well-equipped and well-provisioned ranks of Tito, who then began to receive from the United States and Britain all that had been promised – but not delivered – to Mihailovich.

This request has been categorically refused by Tito, whose supporters in the Kremlin now openly demand that all Tito’s claims be ratified without argument.

From every point of view of American law, customs and instinct, these proposals go against the grain. They contravene our basic conception of fair play, honest dealing and of the right of every man accused to be allowed witnesses in his defense.”

The Honorable Clare Boothe Luce (R) Connecticut, April 20, 1946


A Thanksgiving Tribute to the Americans from the General. An American Officer Remembers…

”As we proceeded out over the Adriatic my mind flashed back to one incident which will always have great meaning for me. Before I was leaving for my tour of Serbia, the Minister [General Mihailovich] had expressed a desire to do something to honor America saying “Here we have Slava, the day of our patron saint. What is America’s slava? ”

I thought for a moment and said, ‘We have four great days, Christmas, New Year, Independence Day and Thanksgiving. Christmas we love because it is the day of Christ. New Years we enjoy because we look with hope to it, but on its Eve we celebrate, sometimes not too wisely but too well, and often the day itself finds us with aching heads. Independence day would be wonderful except for the sadness of sacrifice and mourning that sweeps the South from the cause of our Civil War. Thanksgiving is our day, our Slava, because that day we give Thanks to God for our founding Fathers and the beginning of our country and freedom.’

Mihailovich replied, ‘Good, we would honor America and on the Eve of that day each mountaintop of Serbia will have a fire lighted by our peasants.’

On Thanksgiving Eve, three Americans standing in a tiny village high in the Serbian mountains, saw a huge fiery “A” come into being. Then another, and one after the other fires appeared until eleven peaks were outlined.

This I remember. A magnificent tribute to America from a truly great man.”

Colonel Albert B. Seitz
American Liaison Officer with General Mihailovich
Why not approach the U.S. Mint and the U.S. Stamp Department and ask that a special commemorative coin be made in honor of WWII Legion of Merit Awardee General Draza Mihailovich and the rescued 513 American airmen?  Perhaps the front design would be of General Mihailovich and the back could include a montage of the OSS, the pilots and Tuskegee Airmen who flew cover, and the Serbian villagers or Chetniks.

Some of the Sewickley, PA Tuskegee Airmen now living in California.

The Jan. 2009 Rose Bowl Parade will have a float featuring a salute to the Tuskeegee Air Men

 OR, the front could be a montage of ALL of the above, and the back or reverse could be of the eleven Serbian hillsides, each with a burning shape of an “A” for America to celebrate America’s Thanksgiving Eve!  (See Al Seitz’s testimony above)


Read about this great event from Aleksandra’s blog!

L-R: Vera Dragasich, Clare Musgrove, George Musulin’s daughter JoAnne Musulin de la Riva, and Aleksandra Rebic.


Day Two – The Conclusion of “The Forgotten 500 Reunion – Operation Halyard Remembered – Lest we Forget” Michigan June 2009


*** Visit Carl Savich’s SERBIANNA page featuring Draza Mihailovich’s Trial covered by LIFE magazine here! ***






Serbian Air Force at the Monument with U.S. Marines.


U.S. Embassy representatives and film crews…2009.

Some of the U.S. airmen who visited Pranjani in 2004 

U.S. and Serbian soldiers in Pranjani, August, 2009 

September 7, 2009:  Labor Day

New Gracanica Serbian Orthodox Monastery, Gray’s Lake, Illinois

Latest photos of Draza Monument unveiling on Labor Day in the Serbian Orthodox Monastery near Gray’s Lake, IL.  These photos were sent to me by Milenko Vukevich, who got them from Jovan Savich. It’s the Serbian grapevine in action!  
The photographer was none other than Jovan Ivancevich, originally from Bellwood, IL, but now of Joliet, Il.  Jovan took up photography as a hobby a few years ago, and we’re glad he did!  Thanks, Jovan!  Jovan’s father’s family is originally from Pocitelj -Medak in the Krajina area.  He traveled there as a 16 year old boy in 1988, before the war.
God bless them all!  His Grace, Dr. Longin was there along with many, many priests who conducted a memorial service. The choir sang the responses and “Doline Tutne” at the end to everyone’s happiness at the fulfillment of such a joyful, monumental task.
The bronze statue was commissioned by THe Association of Serbian Combatants of the Royal Yugoslav Army of Draza Mihailovich. 



Is this scene what this Chetnik was recalling?  This is commemorating VIDOVDAN, June, 1944, on Ravna Gora, Serbia.

Serbian Chetniks of General Draza Mihailovich, on Vidovdan, 1944, Ravna Gora


Beautiful, beautiful monument to a great man! 


The Northcoast Veteran’s Museum in Ohio currently has a wonderful exhibit on OPERATION HALYARD.

Click on the bottom right hand corner to enlarge

Want to visit?  Want to join? 

North Coast Veterans Museum

c/o LeRoy Booze

5757 US Rt 6

Vikery, OH 43465

Society President: Gary Cooper

Museum Curator: Rex Postlethwait

Email: northcoastveterans@gmail.com

Museum Administrator: Vaughn Billow 

Thanks Mark and Vaughn for sharing! 







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