Thursday, September 07, 2006

Former U.S. Congressman Philip Crane honors Halyard Mission in May 1994

The following is a letter sent to Major Richard L. Felman of the United States Airforce, a veteran of World War Two, from former Congressman Philip Crane of Illinois in commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Halyard Mission operation in former Yugoslavia.

House of Representatives

Washington, D.C.

Dear Dick,

"Let me join you, the other 500 Americans whose lives were saved thanks to the efforts of General Draza Mihailovich and the sacrifices made by the Serbian people in their behalf, and all those who join in honoring this brave and great patriot.

The Halyard Mission is without precedent in its audacity plus the magnitude of its success. For that and his valor, General Eisenhower is to be saluted for recommending the Legion of Merit for General Mihailovich, and President Truman has to be congratulated for conferring it.

The Legion of Merit is the highest award our government confers on non-nationals and General Mihailovich earned it.

It is shameful that our State department has prevented us from securing the property necessary for the erection and maintenance of a statue in Washington, D.C. by the downed American airmen who owe their existence to this principled hero.

I deeply regret my inability to be with you all for the wreath laying. Know that my heart is with you and that all who know of this event are indebted to you, Dick, for keeping the faith."



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