Sunday, March 08, 2009

Testimony of Captain George "Guv" Musulin, Commanding Officer of the Halyard Mission Rescue Operation, before the Commission of Inquiry

General Draza Mihailovich (left) with Captain George S. Musulin, Serbia 1944.

BY MR. TIMBERS to Captain George Musulin: "Tell us how you were received by the Serbian peasants with whom you came in contact."

MUSULIN: "I was received with a great display of enthusiasm; and when they learned that I was an American I just about had free reign over that territory. They had a great respect for the Americans, and they spoke of God and America in the same breath. They felt that since the Americans were coming there that their battle against the Nazis would soon be over. They felt that the coming of the Americans in that territory was an indication that America was going to take an active part in the battle that they were engaged in against the enemy."

From the testimony of Captain George S. Musulin
Before the Commission of Inquiry, May 15, 1946

On May 13, 1946, the Committee for a Fair Trial for General Mihailovich announced that a Commission of Inquiry had been established in New York for the purpose of taking testimonies of American officers and airmen whose request to be heard as witnesses at the trial of General Draza Mihailovich in Belgrade, Yugoslavia had been refused by the Tito government.



Committee for a Fair Trial for Draza Mihailovich
Commission of Inquiry in the Matter of Depositions of American and
Allied Military Personnel
New York County Lawyers Association
New York, May 15, 1946
Met pursuant to adjournment
Present: Arthur Garfield Hays, Esq., Theodore Kiendl, Esq., Adolph Berle, Esq., members of the Commission of Inquiry; Porter R. Chandler, Esq., and William H. Timbers, Esq.

The following is a transcript of Captain George S. Musulin’s testimony before the Commission of Inquiry

GEORGE S. MUSULIN, called as a witness, being duly sworn, testified as follows:

EXAMINATION BY MR. TIMBERS: Where do you reside, Mr. Musulin?

MUSULIN: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Q: Did you come all the way from Pittsburg to testify at this inquiry?

A: That is right.

Q: You are wearing the insigne of an honorably discharged veteran from the American Army, is that right?

A: That is right.

Q: What rank did you have when you were discharged?

A: Captain in the Army of the United States.

Q: When were you discharged?

A: On April 18th.

Q: 1946?

A: 1946.

Q: What rank did you have when you went in?

A: Private.

Q: How long were you in the Army?

A: Four years and eleven months, to be exact.

Q: During part of that time, Captain Musulin, did you carry on operations in Yugoslavia?

A: I did, sir.

Q: Now going back, how long ago were you born?

A: I was born in New York on April 9, 1914.

Q: Of what ancestry?

A: Yugoslav.

Q: Were both of your parents born in Yugoslavia?

A: That is right. It formerly was Austria-Hungary, it was part of the Austria-Hungary Empire up in the area of Croatia.

Q: When did your parents come to this country, Captain?

A: My father came to this country in about 1889 or 1890, I do not know the exact year.

Q: Have you spoken the Serb-Croat language all your life?

A: Yes, the Serb-Croat language.

Q: That is the language used in Yugoslavia and Serbia?

A: Yes, particularly in Serbia.

Q: Tell us very briefly what the extent of your education was before you got into the Army.

A: I graduated from public school in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, and later went to the University of Pittsburg, and graduated with a B.S. degree in physical education.

Q: While you were at the University of Pittsburgh did you play football?

A: Yes.

Q: How long?

A: I was varsity there from 1934 to 1938.

BY MR. KIENDL: Was that the time when they had a good team, Captain?

MUSULIN: Yes, a good team, but not good enough to beat Fordham; we had three scoreless ties here in New York.

BY MR. TIMBERS: What did you play on the team?

MUSULIN: Tackle.

Q: While you were in Yugoslavia as an officer of the American Army, at times did your training on the football team at the University of Pittsburgh become of very material assistance to you?

A: I would say it was of very important assistance to me.

Q: Did you also find that your knowledge of the native tongue was of direct material assistance to you?

A: I would say it was a most important factor.

Q: When you were inducted into the Army in May, 1941, as a private, to what branch were you assigned?

A: To the 115th Regiment of the 29th Infantry Division at Fort Meade, Maryland.

Q: And after a period of preliminary training did you finally get assigned to OSS [Office of Strategic Services] ?

A: Yes, I was recruited to do voluntary work for OSS. At that time they were recruiting men of different nationality background to form intelligence units to operate all over the world.

Q: Approximately when did you first get assigned to OSS?

A: In July of 1942.

Q: Where did you go?

A: I went to the Office of Strategic Services in Washington, D.C., and from there I was delegated to go to certain training schools in and around Washington; this training consisted of parachute work, demolitions and sabotage, intelligence and short-wave radio work.

Q: How long a period of time did that training occupy?

A: From July, 1942 until May of 1943, when I was commissioned a second lieutenant in the AUS [Army of the United States].

Q: Did the time come, Captain, when as a lieutenant attached to OSS, you were assigned to Cairo, Egypt?

A: That is right.

Q: When was that?

A: I left the United States May 10th and reached Cairo Egypt, on May 23, 1943.

Q: Did you know when you arrived at Cairo, Egypt, what your eventual mission was to be?

A: Yes, sir, I did. I was being prepared to go into Yugoslavia, for a period of about a year I would say.

Q: Did any other training take place while you were in Cairo?

A: No other training with the exception of keeping in shape for the work that was to come. That was of a physical nature.

Q: Did you have occasion to examine any cablegrams while you were in Cairo, preliminary to your going into Yugoslavia?

A: Yes, sir, I was permitted to look at all cables which came from Mihailovich’s and Tito’s territory at that time.

Q: During the period that you were in Yugoslavia did you have occasion to confer frequently with General Mihailovich?

A: Yes, sir.

Q: On a number of occasions?

A: On a number or occasions.

Q: When did you first go into Yugoslavia?

A: I first went into Yugoslavia after four unsuccessful attempts from North Africa. I finally reached my target on October 18th, when I left the British airfield about 30 miles east of Bengasi—

BY MR. HAYS: What year was that?

MUSULIN: That was in 1943.

BY MR. TIMBERS: At what point did you land, what point in Yugoslavia?

MUSULIN: In Central Serbia, around the region of Cacak [pronounced Chaa-chaak]

Q: How long did it take you to fly from the airfield at Bengasi to the vicinity of Cacak?

A: About 5 ½ hours.

Q: What type of plane did you fly in?

A: B-24 Liberator.

Q: Did anybody accompany you when you jumped at Cacak?

A: No, sir, I went alone.

Q: From what elevation did you parachute?

A: From about a thousand feet. For operational purposes we always jump at low altitudes.

Q: Had preliminary arrangements been made to your knowledge with Mihailovich’s headquarters for your reception there?

A: Yes, we were in constant radio touch with the British and American missions at Mihailovich’s headquarters, and they requested that I be dropped into Yugoslavia.

BY MR. HAYS: You say you made three or four attempts before that?

MUSULIN: That is right?

Q: Why did they turn out unsuccessfully?

A: The first time that I was turned back was in Derna, I think that was in Cyrenaica.

BY MR. KIENDL: The reason you were not successful on your first 3 attempts was because you did not make the necessary contacts at the right time, I suppose?

MUSULIN: Well, it was a little more than that. The first time I went in or was supposed to have gone in I had my own radio with me, and it seemed that there was a matter of policy at that time between the British and American authorities that only the British radio link would be used for all messages emanating out of Mihailovich’s territory. So I was returned.

BY MR. HAYS: Was that after landing?

MUSULIN: No, that was during these four unsuccessful attempts, sir.

BY MR. TIMBERS: The difficulty in making your landing was simply your inability to find the spot which had been prearranged for your landing, is not that so?

MUSULIN: Well, weather conditions also prevented my getting there. We could only use the moon period, which started from about the 11th or the 12th of the month and which could end about the 18th or 19th of the month. We had to take advantage of the moon’s period in each month for these operations.

Q: Over what period of time were these unsuccessful attempts made?

MR. KIENDL: I do not think we are so much interested in why these attempts were unsuccessful; all we are interested in is when the Captain got into Yugoslavia and what he did thereafter. Who did you first meet when you landed at Cacak?

MUSULIN: I was received by elements of General Mihailovich’s troops who were under the command of Captain P. Rakovic, who was commander of the Second Ravna Gora Corps.

Q: Did you state to the Captain what the purpose of your mission was?

A: Briefly I stated to the Captain what the purpose of my mission was, yes, sir.

MR. HAYS: The Commission will adjourn to 2 p.m.

Recess until 2:00 p.m.

After Recess.

BY MR. TIMBERS: Just before the adjournment, Captain Musulin, you had testified about your first landing in Yugoslavia. Now subsequent to that first landing you went in for a second mission, did you not?

MUSULIN: That is right.

Q: And when was that?

A: August 2nd of 1944.

Q: So you were there for two separate periods of time, is that so?

A: That is right.

Q: One beginning October 18, 1943, and extending until May 29, 1944, is that so?

A: That is right.

Q: And the second period of time extending from August 2, 1944, until September 29, 1944?

A: That is right.

Q: There were two separate missions?

A: That is right.

Q: Please testify as to the first mission, beginning on October 18, 1943. You were on the point of telling the Commission what the purpose of that mission was; you related about meeting one of Mihailovich’s men on the night you landed.

A: I told Captain Rakovic that I was sent to Mihailovich’s territory to gather intelligence data to organize resistance groups and sabotage groups against the Germans and the transportation facilities that were used in my area of operation. I knew prior to this time a Captain Peter Maynard was the liaison officer in this area.

BY MR. KIENDL: Of the United States Army?

MUSULIN: Of the British Army.

BY MR. TIMBERS: Did you report to Captain Maynard?

MUSULIN: Yes, my instructions were to report to Captain Maynard and remain at his headquarters until further instructions.

Q: And you followed out those instructions and did report to Captain Maynard?

A: That is right.

BY MR. HAYS: When you went into Yugoslavia had there been any talk of the Mihailovich forces collaborating with the Germans before you first went in?

MUSULIN: Yes, sir, in some of the cables that were coming out of Partisan territory there was some indication that some units in various parts of Yugoslavia had been or were purported to be in collaboration with the Germans.

Q: Was it any part of your duty to inquire about that and look into it?

A: Yes, it was one of my specific duties, to look into any so-called evidence of collaboration.

Q: In other words that was one of the things you specifically went there for?

A: Yes, sir.

BY MR. TIMBERS: Captain, tell us what equipment went in with you, if any, on the night of October 18, 1943.

MUSULIN: On the night of October 18, 1943, the equipment that was dropped to Mihailovich and his Second Corps was composed of about a ton of demolition material for eventual sabotage purposes, 8 rifles of German-Italian manufacture, 1 captured Italian 2-inch mortar with shells, and personal equipment for various parts of the British mission.

Q: Do you know whether any military equipment ever went into Mihailovich’s headquarters thereafter?

A: I have no personal knowledge of any thereafter, no sir.

Q: As far as you know that was the last load of equipment sent in by the Allies for the use of Mihailovich?

A: That is right.

BY MR. HAYS: Was that equipment up to date, Captain?

MUSULIN: No, sir, it could not have been, because it was captured material that was captured during the North African campaign.

Q: Was there any reason why you did not take good military stuff in rather than the stuff you have enumerated?

A: I would not know the reason for that, sir.

BY MR. TIMBERS: Tell us how you were received by the Serbian peasants with whom you came in contact.

MUSULIN: I was received with a great display of enthusiasm; and when they learned that I was an American I just about had free reign over that territory. They had a great respect for the Americans, and they spoke of God and America in the same breath. They felt that since the Americans were coming there that their battle against the Nazis would soon be over. They felt that the coming of the Americans in that territory was an indication that America was going to take an active part in the battle that they were engaged in against the enemy.

Q: Did you have any trouble with the German occupation forces within a day or two after you arrived at Mihailovich’s headquarters?

A: Yes, sir; several days after my arrival a strong German patrol came out on to the terrain where we were, and we were forced to evacuate, and we moved around for about 10 days. This force was composed of elements of the Prinz Eugen Division and other elements of the Brandenburg Division, excellently equipped. And we were forced to move about to avoid an open clash with them.

Q: Did you eventually have to move your headquarters as the result of this operation on the part of the occupation troops?

A: Yes, we were on the move constantly for about 10 days.

Q: Can you tell us just briefly how the area controlled by Mihailovich was organized and how you fitted into that organization?

A: Mihailovich’s areas were organized into corps; these corps, the size of these corps, depended upon the geographical areas; in other words it depended on the geographical possibilities of the areas; so that some corps would have maybe four to five thousand men operating in them and [be] composed of about four or five counties, what would be similar to our counties here in the United States. In the corps in which I operated it was composed of two counties.

Q: Which area was that?

A: That was in the Second Corps area where I had been sent by Captain Maynard to take care of the liaison work there. Since they did not have a liaison officer in the Second Corps they appointed me to that particular area.

Q: Did you have occasion to make an inspection of that corps area with a particular view to observing conditions of collaboration between Mihailovich and the German troops, if any such conditions existed?

A: Yes, I had an opportunity on an inspection tour which began on November 26th, 1943, when I received instructions—

Q: November 26, 1943, is that it?

A: 1943 is right. When I was instructed to meet Colonel Seitz who was in charge of the American mission, Captain Mansfield and a Lieutenant Colonel Marko Hudson of the British mission. [“Marko” was the nom de guerre of Duane T. (Bill) Hudson]

Q: Did you meet these other officers pursuant to those instructions?

A: That is right, sir. I met them—it happened to be Thanksgiving Day, and I was on my way to the designated area.

Q: Tell us in your own way juts where you went, who you saw and what you did during this period of your inspection.

A: It happened that on November 26th—it was Thanksgiving Day if I recall—and Mihailovich in respect to this great American holiday was going to put on a display of his strength. This display was to take place in all the areas that were under his control. And large bonfires were to be built on the mountain-top, and he had sent a telegram to Cairo prior to Thanksgiving asking American planes to come over the area and see for themselves the extent of the territory that was under his control. We sent to the little town of Konjusa [pronounced Kohn-yushah], which happened to be Colonel Seitz’s headquarters at that time. We had a very good turkey dinner; I do not know where they got the turkey, but we had two turkeys for the occasion. And we were very enthusiastically received, and we had to speak before the different members of Mihailovich’s staff, thelocal staff, and we came in contact with the people, who asked hundreds of questions, most of them pertaining to the war and America’s part in it, etc.; I mean generally speaking about the war conditions in Europe at that time.

During this inspection tour we had seen many thousands of Chetnik troops, most of them were ill clad, many of them were barefooted, they had primitive arms, they did not have any ammunition to speak of, they were suffering from diseases due to malnutrition, it was easy to see a lot of skin diseases because of unhygienic conditions that they were living under; and it was a very poor, poor-looking army; but they were strong in morale and weak in material.

Q: Did you have occasion to observe just how the Chetnik Army was organized?

A: Yes, it seems to me that the Chetnik army was composed of two groups; they had any active standing army which was composed of about sixty to seventy thousand members constantly under arms that could be called upon in case of an emergency in any part of Yugoslavia. The other part of Mihailovich’s army was a territorial army composed of peasants who lived on little farms, who worked their little farms, and were a potential strength in Mihailovich’s army. I would say this potential would be anywhere from two hundred to three hundred thousand men. Mihailovich only kept enough men under arms to take care of an immediate emergency, and he allowed these territorials to go back and work their farms until the army would be able to have proper food or what food could be developed in the areas which they occupied; and in case of a total mobilization this territorialarmy would become a regular active army. There were no arms to speak of amongst this territorial army, there would be one rifle to ten men, or maybe less than that.

Q: During the course of this inspection that you have referred to—by the way, how long a period of time did that last, beginning the end of November?

A: That lasted from about November 25th to about December 5th.

Q: How much territory did you cover?

A: Roughly speaking, about 200 miles.

Q: Did you see any evidence of resistance, any act of resistance on the part of Mihailovich’s men, resistance to the Germans?

A: At that time during our inspection tour I did not.

Q: Did you see any posters indicating the execution of Chetnik peasants as reprisals by the Germans for acts of resistance?

A: Yes, I saw quite a few bulletins issued by the German command and posted in the so-called town halls and other prominent places, naming people who had been killed or been shot by the Germans as a reprisal measure against some of the resistance. I also saw quite a few areas that were burned down, some of them totally and some of them to various degrees of destruction.

Q: Do you know that they were burned by the German troops in reprisal against acts of resistance by the Chetniks?

A: Yes, I was told so; and the ruins were more or less living evidence of that fact.

Q: During the course of this tour of inspection did you see any collaboration between the Germans and the Chetniks?

A: None whatsoever.

Q: And were you looking for such acts of collaboration?

A: Yes, I was.

Q: If there had been any in the area in which you were observing would you have seen it?

A: Yes, I believe I would have. I would like to enlarge upon that. We were instructed to see if there was any new material coming into the corps which we inspected. I mean in the way of arms and ammunition and medical supplies. That was one of the reasons for our tour, to find out if there were any German shipments of ammunition and medical supplies, and we failed to see any.

Q: You were looking for them?

A: Yes, sir, I was looking for them.

Q: And if they had been there you would have seen them?

A: Yes, sir.

BY MR. TIMBERS: Did you see any offers of rewards by the Germans for the capture and turning over to the Germans of American airmen?

MUSULIN: At that time I did not, although I did see a reward, a poster offering the equivalent of $50,000, I think it was 100,000 gold Reichsmark.

Q: For what?

A: For the life of General Mihailovich, I mean for his capture dead or alive.

Q: Do you know exactly how much that was, was it a hundred thousand German Reichsmark?

A: It was a hundred thousand gold Reichsmark.

Q: Was a similar offer of reward outstanding for the head of Tito?

A: I was told there was, but on the posters I saw they had just Mihailovich.

Q: Did there come to you in the course of your official duties in this American area any knowledge of rewards outstanding by the Germans for American airmen?

A: Yes, there was supposed to have been a reward of about 1,000 to any native or any Yugoslav who would turn over American airmen.

BY MR. KIENDL: What do you mean when you say there was supposed to have been? Do you mean that that information was brought to your official attention?

MUSULIN: Yes, sir, it was brought to my official attention that there had been a cash reward offered by the Germans for American airmen who were captured and turned over to them.

Q: From what source did you obtain that information?

A: From General Mihailovich’s corps commanders and from our corps personnel that I had talked to who had been in my area at that time, and who had gotten this information from their G-2 intelligence units.

Q: And those air corps men were both United States and British?

A: They were, yes.

BY MR. HAYS: Do you know whether any were turned over to the Germans?

MUSULIN: No, sir, I do not know of any cases.

MR HAYS: Before you proceed further I will state that in answering the letter I read this morning I have written the following answer:

Dr. Sergije Makiedo
Charge d’Affaires, a.i.
Embassy of the Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia
Washington, D.C.
May 15, 1946

Dear Mr. Makiedo:

With all deference to your expressed feeling, we must inform you at once that the activities of the Commission of Inquiry in no way questions the integrity or independence of the Yugoslavian Courts. Your Government declined the request of our State Department to permit American service men to present evidence to your Courts of facts within their knowledge. This request has been renewed within the last few days. If this testimony is not to be heard in your Courts, we propose to hear the evidence under appropriate safeguards and report it to your Courts in the hope that it will be received and considered. Outside the hearing-room at the County Lawyers Association is a plaque which contains the following statement of Elihu Root, a distinguished former Secretary of State of the United States: “Justice is above allgovernments, above all majorities.”

Yours truly,

Chairman of Commission of Inquiry
Member of Commission

MR. HAYS: You may proceed.

BY MR. TIMBERS: Captain Musulin, when you answered Mr. Hays’ question as to whether you had ever heard or seen American airmen being turned over to the Germans by Mihailovich’s forces you said you had not, is that so?

MUSULIN: That is right.

Q: Now did you make it your job as the American liaison officer in that area when you heard such offers of rewards were outstanding to investigate and determine if such turning over of American airmen had ever taken place?

A: That is right, sir, that was part of my duty.

Q: And you did make such an investigation?

A: Yes, sir.

Q: Did there come a time when you had a conference with General Mihailovich?

A: My first conference with General Mihailovich occurred on December 12, 1943.

Q: Where?

A: In the little town of Bajina Basta, not exactly right in the town but on the heights overlooking the town.

Q: Who else was present besides yourself and General Mihailovich?

A: There were several members of General Mihailovich’s staff present at that time; one was Colonel Lalatovic, and a Colonel Baletic.

Q: How much time did you spend with General Mihailovich on this occasion?

A: Well, I spent the afternoon and night and part of the next day with him.

Q: What was the purpose of the conference?

A: The purpose of the conference at that time was to ask General Mihailovich for help, material help, to destroy an antimony mine that was producing 75 to 100 tons of antimony-blend for the German war effort.

Q: What is antimony, do you know?

A: Antimony is a metal that is used in tempering steel for shells, bombs, etc.

Q: Where was this mine located?

A: This mine was located in Lisa, in the county of Dragacevo, which happened to be in my area of operation.

BY MR. HAYS: Will you point it out on the map, Captain?


BY MR. TIMBERS: Will you put a little red pin in that spot, please?

MUSULIN: Yes. It would be just outside of Guca. Lisa is not on the map, but Guca is in the immediate vicinity.

Q: Can you tell the Commission in a bit more detail what specific plans were discussed between you and General Mihailovich with relation to the destruction of that mine? And tell us first what you mean by destruction of the mine.

A: We were interested in putting the mine out of commission. You could not destroy the mine, it was almost impossible; what we wanted to do was to destroy the compressors, the smelt[er]s and the electrical equipment which helped to operate this mine and produce this antimony. Mihailovich told me that he would give me his fullest cooperation; and he also instructed me to contact a Captain Vuckovic, who would give me the necessary men to do the job. But before we could get into the antimony mine we had to destroy the garrison that was entrenched there.

Q: Was that a German garrison?

A: Yes, sir, a German garrison.

Q: Of how many men, do you know?

A: Our intelligence reports claimed that there were about 200 men in that area.

Q: Do you know what personnel was operating the mine?

A: Native personnel was operating the mine under more or less instructions by the Germans, the German military command.

Q: When Mihailovich told you that he would give you the necessary men and personnel to carry out this operation, what did he mean? Did he tell you that he would give you Chetnik military personnel?

A: He told me that he would give me all the soldiers in his forces that were necessary to knock that mine out of commission.

Q: How many soldiers did you estimate were necessary?

A: I felt with the arms that we had and the arms that we probably could get through Allied sources we would need about 100 well-equipped Chetniks to do the job.

Q: And General Mihailovich assured you of that number of men?

A: He assured me of any number that I would desire.

BY MR. KIENDL: You proceeded on the assumption that one Chetnik could take care of two Germans entrenched?

MUSULIN: Well, I felt that if we had mortars and bazookas we could reduce the garrison with 100 men who were excellent guerrilla fighters.

Q: The Germans I suppose did not have any heavy guns or ammunition?

A: I do not think so; they had machine guns and rifles, and they depended more on the stronger garrisons in the vicinity like Belgrade and Cacak [pronounced Chaa-Chaak] that could reinforce that garrison if necessary.

BY MR. TIMBERS: Tell the Commission any further conversation you had with General Mihailovich in relation to the destruction of that antimony mine.

MUSULIN: I also asked him about the various targets for sabotage—

Q: I am interested about this antimony mine first. Was anything else said by you and by General Mihailovich about the plans for destroying that mine?

A: We talked about the plans and the geography surrounding this area, and I had sent a cable to Cairo—can I read the cable?

MR. TIMBERS: Yes, with the permission of the Commission.

MR. KIENDL: Yes, indeed.

MR. TIMBERS: Suppose we have that marked as an exhibit.

MR. HAYS: You had better have him read it into the record, I think.

BY MR. KIENDL: How would you get cables over to Cairo?

MUSULIN: Through the British cable links.

THE WITNESS-Captain Musulin: This is cable No. 7, OSS, Cairo, December 27th—

BY MR. HAYS: 1943?

MUSULIN: 1943.

THE WITNESS-Captain Musulin: Can I read excerpts from it or do you want the whole thing?

MR. KIENDL: I was wondering whether you have the right to disclose the contents of that cable as an officer of the OSS, without the permission of the War Department.

THE WITNESS-Captain Musulin: I imagine I could because there is nothing in the nature of a military secret.

MR. KIENDL: It does not disclose any military information of importance?

THE WITNESS-Captain Musulin: No sir. The cable reads in part—

MR. HAYS: Unless there is some good reason for not doing so I think we ought to have all of those cables.

THE WITNESS-Captain Musulin: Part of it is just instructions to take over an area.

MR. HAYS: Some question might be raised about our not reading the whole thing.

The memorandum produced by the witness reads as follows:

No. 1. October 18, ’43. Arrived safely. Seitz-Mansfield with me. Waiting for instructions.

Oct. 28.

No. 2. Message concerning R. Marjanovic.
No. 3. Request for medical supplies from Green.

No. 4. Nov. 1. Purchased Horse. Info. concerning currency exchange.

No. 5. Nov. 5—Request for equipment and arms. Personal Kit.

No. 6. Dec. 8--OSS Cairo Inspection my area with American mission complete. Am retained in operational capacity MVICH First Corps—Comply with my three and five—intelligence details forwarded via Dutch. Marko.

No. 7. OSS Cairo December 27. Inform Pub. Wix Hq. Marko. Arrived Rakovic area Xmas day. Will return Vuckovic area Jan. second to complete destruction of a 11 at L. after which comply with one kite automatic weapons rifles ammo for eventual sabotage purposes. We can’t fight Jerry with bare feet brave hearts and radio London. Marko.

No. 8. Jan. 31. American Bomber Crew rescued by Mivch. Chetniks south west of Tish [sic]. All are safe and well. Have contact via Mivch. radio with instructions for all members to reach my area. Names and details later. Marko.

No. 9. Feb. 1st Second American Bomber crew rescued by Mvich Chetniks on Zlatibor, south of Uzice x x All are safe and well. Have instructed all members to reach my area for disposition x x Names and details later. Marko.

BY MR. TIMBERS: What became of that project to blow up the antimony mine, do you know?

MUSULIN: In reply to that cable I received one from Cairo sent by the British instructing me that I was not to take part in the destruction of the antimony mine at Lisa.

Q: Do you know of your own knowledge the reason for that reply?

A: I never learned until later on the exact reason for that reply, but I was told by British officers to whom I had showed this cable that perhaps they were dropping Mihailovich completely at that time, the British were going to evacuate and they felt that they just did not want to have anything more to do with any activity in that area. Yet I could not quite understand why a mine of that type would not be destroyed, which was producing such valuable material for the German war effort, regardless of Mihailovich’s position.

BY MR. HAYS: You did not interpret that cable to mean that you personally were not to take part, but that so far as you were concerned you were not even to encourage it?

MUSULIN: I was not to have anything to do with the destruction of the antimony mine. I showed the cable to a British sergeant who was staying with me at the time, his name is Dennis Hunt, and he could not quite figure it out either.

BY MR. TIMBERS: Do you happen to know of your own knowledge, Captain, whether that mine did continue to turn out antimony for the German army?

MUSULIN: Yes, it continued after that, and when I went back to Yugoslavia a second time it was still in operation.

Q: That was during the middle of the year 1944?

A: During the middle of the year, yes, sir.

BY MR. HAYS: How far was that mine from territory that was controlled by Tito?

MUSULIN: Well, Tito’s forces were supposed to have been further north. There were not any in that immediate area at that time.

BY MR. KIENDL: Geographically speaking, were Tito’s forces mainly to the north and Mihailovich’s to the south in Yugoslavia?

MUSULIN: Yes, I would say they were generally to the south.

BY MR. HAYS: Is that Tito’s forces or Mihailovich’s?

MUSULIN: There were some Partisan forces in the south, south of the area in which I was operating, that is in south Serbia; and the bulk of Tito’s forces were supposed to have been congregated in western Bosnia, with some elements in Montenegro.

BY MR. KIENDL: And the bulk of Mihailovich’s forces were where?

MUSULIN: His strength seemed to be in Serbia, eastern Bosnia, with elements in Hercegovina, Dalmatia, Slovenia, and Montenegro; but his strength was in Serbia, his main strength, the disposition of his troops.

BY MR. TIMBERS: Did you ever talk with General Mihailovich about the destruction of other targets?

MUSULIN: Yes, I talked to General Mihailovich about all the targets in the area in which I was operating as liaison officer that could be used for eventual sabotage.

BY MR. HAYS: What sort of targets to do you refer to?

MUSULIN: I refer to targets such as railroads, bridges, roads, garrisons, ammunition dumps, and airfields and other targets of military nature.

Q: Did this cable you refer to instruct you to lay off entirely or merely not to have anything further to do with the destruction of the mine?

A: I interpreted it to mean that I was not to have anything further to do with the destruction of the mine.

Q: Did it instruct you not to have anything to do with other sabotage operations?

A: No, it was specifically concerning the mine.

Q: Then why did you interpret it to mean that the government was not behind Mihailovich, since you were still assigned there to do further sabotage work with him and for him?

A: Our instructions for the sabotage came from the British-American mission, and they wanted a detailed list of all the points that could be sabotaged in case of any invasion of the Balkans at that time.

Q: One of the parts of the sabotage had to do with the destruction of that mine?

A: That is right.

Q: And you received instructions not to do anything in regard to that?

A: That is right.

Q: Why did that lead you to believe that the reply indicated that the Americans were not going to support Mihailovich further, although it merely suggested that you give up one operation?

A: I did not believe that Mihailovich was being dropped by the Americans at that time. But we did receive cables shortly thereafter tha the British mission and the Americans with that mission would have to evacuate Mihailovich territory.

BY MR. TIMBERS: And for the purpose of facilitating that evacuation did you after the antimony mine incident discuss with General Mihailovich the destruction of further targets?

MUSULIN: Yes, I asked General Mihailovich about the possibility of sabotaging the railroads and several bridges in that neighborhood, and also the airfield.

Q: What did General Mihailovich say to you on those occasions about your proposition?

A: He mentioned quite frequently the reprisal measures that would be involved in case that sabotage took place in this area. And it was his idea that those targets should be destroyed by Allied forces activity, which would leave him free of the reprisal question.

It is pretty hard to destroy a road for any length of time, because they had the necessary equipment and men to repair it, and it is the same with the railroads. So we could destroy a railroad and they would fix it the next day, and they killed a hundred men for that single act of sabotage, and it was not worth the effort.

Q: Did you communicate that information back to your commanding officer?

A: Yes, it was a detailed written report to my commanding officer.

BY MR. HAYS: When you speak of these sabotage operations was it your idea that you would take care of them or that you would propose them and they would be carried out by someone else?

MUSULIN: I was not to take part in the actual activities, that was relegated to Mihailovich’s supervision.

BY MR. TIMBERS: During the period of your first mission at Mihailovich’s headquarters did there come to your first-hand attention the evacuation of any American airmen?

MUSULIN: During my first tour of duty?

Q: Yes.

A: Yes, on January 27th I received a cable from Mihailovich telling me that the crew of one B-17 had parachuted into the area under his control, and he was asking me as to their disposition, what I wanted to do with them. On the same day, a little later, I received a cable from Mihailovich telling me that another crew of a B-24 had parachuted in the area under his control.

Q: What did you do in response to those cables?

A: I cabled my command in Cairo about these two crews, and I also told them that I was instructing Mihailovich to deliver the two crews to me for further disposition.

Q: Did those two crews eventually get into your custody?

A: Yes, both crews came into my custody. There were also a few British airmen and about 20 other airmen who had been collected during that time and were either staying at my headquarters or at various British headquarters in the general area.

Q: And you are referring to a period of time during the first part of 1944 and prior to May 29th of that year, is that so?

A: That is right.

Q: During that period approximately how many American or Allied airmen were delivered into your custody for evacuation?

A: During that period about 40.

Q: To your knowledge were they evacuated?

A: They were evacuated with me when I was evacuated on May 29th.

BY MR. HAYS: What year?

MUSULIN: 1944.

BY MR. TIMBERS: Was that the first evacuation of American and Allied airmen who had landed in Mihailovich’s territory?

MUSULIN: To my knowledge that was the first evacuation.

Q: You made the arrangements for their evacuation?

A: Well, I helped to make the arrangements through the British headquarters; I did not have a direct link with Cairo.

BY MR. HAYS: How were you evacuated, by plane?

MUSULIN: By plane.

Q: And while they were in Yugoslavia what did they do, just wait to be evacuated, or did they help the Mihailovich forces?

A: They waited; and if there were any injured in the group they got the best medical attention that was possible. They did a lot of walking, because for security reasons we had to keep changing our headquarters constantly. And they did not do anything, they did not help Mihailovich in any way, they just took it easy and were waiting for the day of their evacuation.

Q: The important thing was to keep out of the hands of the Germans?

A: Yes.

Q: Where did you get your supplies?

A: They came right from the peasantry, and sometimes were given to us by the commander of the brigade.

BY MR. TIMBERS: What did those security measures consist of?

MUSULIN: Those security measures consisted of 30 or 40 armed men.

Q: Chetnik soldiers?

A: Yes, Chetnik soldiers. We would pack the supplies up in the mountains that were not very easily accessible, and to transport these airmen to areas of safety in case there was any danger in that area. They lived off the land, and the people gave up their beds, they gave us the food they had, which was not very much, corn bread and cheese and some potatoes and things like that, but it was the best they had.

Q: Did soldiers or officers acting under the direct orders from General Mihailovich keep a constant surveillance over these American and Allied airmen who were awaiting evacuation?

A: Yes, sir.

Q. And was it the purpose of that to keep them out of the hands of the Germans?

A: That is right.

Q: To your knowledge did that surveillance ever fail?

A: It never failed, because we had never lost a man to the Germans at that time.

Q: Did General Mihailovich receive any compensation in any form, shape or manner for this work?

A: He did not receive anything in return for this work, and we told him that he could not expect to receive anything for that work.

BY MR. HAYS: When you speak of that you are talking of war material or things he could use in the war, not personal compensation?

MUSULIN: That is right.

BY MR. KIENDL: What did he say when you told him that?

MUSULIN: He felt that he was an Ally, and that his contribution was saving these airmen to go back to their bases and go out and fight the enemy again.

Q: You mean he conveyed that to you, when you say he felt that?

A: He felt that he was doing one of his duties when he sent these airmen back to Italy?

Q: He told you so?

A. Yes, sir, he told me so.

BY MR. HAYS: Did he ever talk to you about the Allied troops coming in through Yugoslavia instead of coming through France?

MUSULIN: He strongly felt that there would be a Balkan invasion, and he felt that that invasion would come through Greece, and he was making preparations with the British at his headquarters to have a plan for execution should that day come.

BY MR. TIMBERS: Did you have occasion to attend a convention at Ba called by Mihailovich during this first period of your mission, during your first mission to Serbia?

MUSULIN: Yes, I went to the convention at Ba as the Allied representative.

Q: What was the purpose of that convention?

A: The purpose of this convention was to draw up a plan, or you might say to draw up plans for a new federated democratic Yugoslavia. And delegates were asked to attend this meeting. These delegates represented every political party within the country, with the exception of the communists, although they had also been extended an invitation. They had delegates from the different guilds and the YMCA, the unions and other various organizations within the country, the social and cultural organizations within the country.

Q: Approximately what was the date of this convention?

A: January 27, 1944.

BY MR. HAYS: Where is this place on the map?

MUSULIN: On the map it would be near Kadina Luka.

Q: What direction is that from Belgrade?

A: South of Belgrade. I will find it on the map. It is near Valjevo.

BY MR. TIMBERS: Now, Captain, will you tell us in your own words just briefly what took place at this convention?

MUSULIN: It seemed that there had been two elements present at this convention, one element was composed of the political party headed by Stevan Moljevic and Dragisa Vasic, who represented a sort of a Pan-Serbian chauvinistic section of the country; the other element was led by a more liberal group of delegates. And they had free discussion, I mean they were free to discuss everything, I mean their ideas. And it seemed that the Liberal forces had won out at that time. They were headed by a Socialist named Zivko Topalovic; and the movement was supposed to bring forth new social requirement and new economic reforms and other such things and more of a political nature that I was not concerned with.

MR. KIENDL: We are not concerned with the political features of it either, Captain.

THE WITNESS (MUSULIN): I was there to take down notes of the proceedings and forward them to the British, and they would send it out to Cairo for whatever it was worth.

BY MR. TIMBERS: And you made such a report?


BY MR. HAYS: And was Tito represented there?

MUSULIN: The Communist party was not represented there, nor were there any of Tito’s delegates, although there was an invitation sent out to all parties to be present.

BY MR. TIMBERS: Now, Captain, in the spring of 1944 did the Partisans attack the Chetniks within your territory?

MUSULIN: In the spring of 1944 they made determined efforts to get into Serbia. These attempts came from the area of Guca [pronounced Goo-Cha] and Ivanjica [pronounced Eva-nee-tsa].

Q: Tell us what you observed, if anything, in connection with the Partisan offensive.

A: Well, during this period I got malaria and I was not very active for about a month, but I was getting intelligence reports from Mihailovich’s corps commanders which I was sending to the headquarters about this fight. I did not witness the fighting myself.

Q: As the result of the reports which came to you in your official capacity as American liaison officer in that area what observations did you make?

A: The observation that I made, which I thought was a very significant one, was that during these operations we would plot the activities of the Partisan troops on the map, and we found that they had been avoiding German garrisons in order to get at the Chetniks.

BY MR. HAYS: This was in Serbia?

MUSULIN: Yes, this was in Serbia?

Q: And where had the Partisans come from, what other part of Yugoslavia?

A: It seems that one group penetrated from eastern Bosnia and Montenegro.

Q: Were they in large force, do you know?

A: They were in very large force and they were very well armed. And Mihailovich’s position was strictly that of defense at the time.

Q: Was that during the time when we were arming Tito’s adherents?

A: Yes, sir.

BY MR. TIMBERS: Eventually, Captain, you were evacuated from your first mission in Serbia?

MUSULIN: Yes, sir.

Q: On what date?

A: May 29, 1944.

Q: I believe you had previously testified that at the same time approximately 40 American airmen went out?

A: Had been evacuated at that time, yes, sir.

Q: Where did you go after you left Mihailovich’s territory?

A: I was returned to Bari, Italy.

Q: Within a few days after you were evacuated out following your first mission, did you commence preparations for your second mission?

A: Yes, a few days after I got out of Bari our headquarters in Bari asked me if I would be interested in going back to Yugoslavia to evacuate 11 stranded airmen that were in Montenegro at that time. I said that I would be interested in that mission.

Q: Did you go to Montenegro?

A: No, I did not go to Montenegro because it seemed that American airmen were dropping all over Yugoslavia at that time due to the extended bombing around eastern Romanian oil fields, and we felt that we should have a mission of broader scope, one which would set up a collecting agency to collect all these men that were dropping over Yugoslavia and construct an airstrip to evacuate them.

Q: Where was that airstrip located and eventually picked for the point of evacuation?

A: It was picked near Pranjani [pronounced prah-nya-nee].

BY MR. KIENDL: Will you indicate that on the map, Captain?

MUSULIN: Yes. It is near Cacak.

BY MR. HAYS: How could you manage to control the airstrip there without the Germans knowing about it and driving you out?

MUSULIN: It was a cornfield, 675 yards long, which did not resemble an airfield in any manner, shape or form.

Q: All that it consisted of was a place that you designated as a place to take these men out of?

A: That is right, it is strictly a field which had a pretty firm base and which could grow corn.

BY MR. TIMBERS: Under your supervision and with the help of Mihailovich’s troops were improvements made in that airstrip for the purpose of this evacuation?

MUSULIN: Yes, there had to be some improvements made, because we got instructions from the 15th Air Force that they felt it was not big enough to accommodate our planes. They said if we could lengthen it 75 feet they could use it. I told General Mihailovich about that, and he told me that if I would instruct the natives there he would give me all the help necessary to lengthen that airfield. There were about 300 natives and 60 ox carts that worked on that for about nine days, and we cut away the necessary obstacles and filled it in with earth and tamped it down firmly, and the airfield was ready for use.

BY MR. KIENDL: These natives were all Chetniks?

MUSULIN: Soldiers and natives.

BY MR. TIMBERS: I show you a paper and ask you if you identify it.

A: Yes, this is my briefing on my mission to General Mihailovich on the air evacuation work.

Q: Those were your orders, were they not?

A: Yes, those were my orders.

Q: And what is the date of those orders?

A: July 8, 1944.

Q: Who are they signed by?

A: Signed by Edward I. Green, Lieutenant Commander, USNR, Commanding.

BY MR. HAYS: That is prior to your second trip?

MUSULIN: Yes, that is prior to my second trip.

MR. TIMBERS: I offer that as an exhibit.

MR. HAYS: It will be received.

(The paper was admitted in evidence and marked Exhibit 7, May 15, 1946, C.B.)

BY MR. HAYS: In substance what is it?

MUSULIN: In substance it is a brief of my orders and my activities in Yugoslavia. Do you want me to read it?

Q: You can read it.

A: I would like to read it.

(Musulin Reading):
1. You are directed to proceed under the direction of Commanding Officer “A” Force to a destination in Yugoslavia and there to do such things as are necessary to accomplish the evacuation and escape from Yugoslavia of such Allied crew members as you may find within the territory in which you find it possible to operate.

2. You are not authorized to make any military or political commitments on behalf of the United States of America or other Allied nation, or to make any commitments or promises for the furnishing of supplies or other material aid to any political or military group.

3. You are authorized to assure any person or group of persons that any assistance such person or group lends to you in the accomplishment of your mission will be fully and promptly reported to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Washington, D.C., and to other proper Allied authorities.

4. You are not authorized to engage in any operations against the enemy except such as may be necessary for your own defense or in order to accomplish your mission.

Edward J. Green
Lt. Comdr., USNR

MR. HAYS: Who is Edward Green?

MUSULIN: He was in command of the 26th-77th Regimental Headquarters Company in Bari, Italy, that is, OSS branch.

BY MR. TIMBERS: Pursuant to those orders did you parachute to Mihailovich’s territory the second time?

MUSULIN: Yes, sir, I parachuted into Mihailovich’s territory again on August 2nd, 1944.

Q: And where did you land?

A: I landed in the area surrounding Pranjani, that is in the Cacak area.

Q: Did you go in alone or with somebody else?

A: I went in with a master sergeant and a radio operator.

Q: Were they American personnel?

A: Yes, they were American personnel.

Q: They went in to help with this evacuation project?

A: That is correct?

Q: Prior to your going in the second time had arrangements been made by you with Mihailovich for the collection of American and Allied airmen at the Pranjani location for evacuation?

A: No, I made no prior arrangements.

Q: Were the arrangements made afterwards?

A: Yes, after I got out of Yugoslavia.

Q: Tell us what help Mihailovich and his associates gave you, if any, in the assembly of these Allied and American airmen for evacuation?

A: They gave me the best cooperation possible. I went to General Mihailovich and told him to instruct all of his corps commanders to collect any American or Allied airmen in that vicinity and direct them to a collecting point which we had established near Pranjani for the eventual evacuation. He also saw that they were well taken care of, the wounded being transported on ox carts and horseback, they were given the best treatment possible and best medical attention. And shortly thereafter they started to come in from all parts of Yugoslavia.

Q: Eventually and with that unqualified help of General Mihailovich how many American and Allied airmen were collected in that area for evacuation?

A: There was an official evacuation of 237 American and Allied airmen.

Q: On what date?

A: On the night of the 9th and the morning of August 10th.

Q: What means of transportation were used to get these men evacuated?

A: They used ox carts, they used two-wheel buggies, they used horseback, some of them were even carried on the backs of Chetnik men.

Q: You used that method to get them to the evacuation point at Pranjani?

A: Yes.

Q: How did they get out of there?

A: The Chetniks used this method of transportation to get them to this collecting point, and I got them out of Yugoslavia by C-47’s.

Q: How many C-47’s was it necessary to evacuate them?

A: In the first evacuation 16 C-47’s; four came in on the night of the 9th and 12 came in on the morning of the 10th with an umbrella cover of about 50 pursuit planes.

Q: Captain, will you tell the Commission what if anything these C-47 transports brought in to Mihailovich when them came to evacuate the airmen?

A: When they came to Mihailovich’s territory they were completely empty; they did not bring in any material of any kind.

Q: And these were large transport planes, were they not?

A: Yes, sir.

Q: Do you have any knowledge as to whether they started out from their base in Italy with any equipment?

A: Yes, they would start from Italy with a payload of equipment, they would drop it to Partisan groups, and then return to the area where I was doing my evacuation work.

Q: How do you know this?

A: From the pilots that had gone on those missions.

Q: The pilots of the C-47’s told you that?

A: Yes.

BY MR. TIMBERS: When did you leave Mihailovich’s territory for the second time, the end of your second mission?

MUSULIN: On September 29, 1944.

Q: After the initial evacuation on August 9th and 10th, do you know of your own knowledge whether there were any other evacuations of American and Allied airmen from Mihailovich’s territory?

A: Yes, there were other evacuations that were under the command of the officer who took over when I evacuated. That officer is Captain Nick A. Lalich.

BY MR. HAYS: Did we not even send over food and supplies and medicines for the American airmen?

MUSULIN: Yes, there were supplies that came in during this large evacuation that took place on August 9th and 10th. But the supplies that came in were exclusively for American use, medical supplies to take of our airmen, and clothes and shoes and K rations, and other such material to take care of the Americans that were in that area.

BY MR. TIMBERS: Did Mihailovich or any of his men ever say anything to you about this arrival of empty planes for the picking up of American airmen?

MUSULIN: They never said anything to me about it.

Q: While you were in there the second time did you supervise the organization of the air crew rescue units?

A: Yes, sir.

Q: And when you left that organization was left in charge of Captain Lalich?

A: Yes.

Q: Did he thereafter make official reports to you relating to the evacuation of this additional hundred airmen?

A: No, not to me; he had direct contact with the Bari, Italy, headquarters.

Q: Did you see those official reports in your official capacity?

A: Yes, I was entitled to see these reports.

Q: And you did see them?

A: Not all of them; some of them I did.

Q: You saw enough of them to know that at least 100 men were evacuated after this initial two hundred and thirty-odd.

A: That is right. It was four hundred and some.

Q: I was going to ask you how many American and Allied airmen to your knowledge were evacuated out of Mihailovich’s territory during 1944?

A: 435 American personnel and 80 or better, I would say, of Allied personnel.

Q: And those figures are borne out by official documents in the files of the American Army?

A: That is right.

BY MR. HAYS: There were also American aviators in the hands of Tito, were there not, who landed in his territory.

MUSULIN: Yes, there were.

Q: I do not quite understand why those planes that picked up your men with Mihailovich did not pick up American and other aviators who were with Tito?

A: There probably was not an airstrip in the area, so they dropped material and continued on to Mihailovich’ territory.

BY MR. KIENDL: Any of the American airmen that came down in Tito territory, were they delivered by Tito to Mihailovich and then to you?

MUSULIN: No, sir, they had their own means of communicating.

BY MR. TIMBERS: While you were within Mihailovich’s territory, both during your first mission and your second mission, was there any restraint of any kind, character or description exercised over you by Mihailovich?

MUSULIN: None whatsoever. I had the freedom to move about any time anywhere I wanted.

Q: In coming here today to testify has any force or duress been exercised upon you to give this testimony?

A: None.

Q: You have done so of your own free will and volition?

A: That is right.

Q: And if given the opportunity would you testify along similar lines at the treason trial of Mihailovich in Belgrade?

A: I would.

MR. TIMBERS: That is all.

BY MR. HAYS: You stated that one of your missions was to make what inquiry you could into possible collaboration by Mihailovich with the Germans?

MUSULIN: Yes, sir.

Q: What particular inquiries did you make?

A: I did not quite understand you.

Q: You stated that when you were over there one of your duties was to find out if there was any collaboration. Did you other than by mere observation make a special effort to inquire into that?

A: Yes, I did. I made special attempts to find out in what form this collaboration was taking place.

Q: And what method did you pursue to find that out, merely talking to Mihailovich and officers, or did you do anything else?

A: I talked to the peasantry that I met and I have talked to officers. And I did know that there was some setup, that was told to me, there was some setup of obtaining ammunition and arms, whatever method they could get.

Q: I would like to know what you did find along that line. To whom did you talk about possible collaboration? Who said anything about it? What was the explanation of it, and things of that sort?

A: Well, I talked directly to General Mihailovich about these accusations directed against him.

Q: And what did he say?

A: He said only a fool could believe those accusations. He said, “After the death of one hundred thousand Serbs during the reprisal measures of 1941, 1942 and 1943 how could I ever do any work among the Germans and still remain a loyal subject of my people?”

Q: What did he say about Tito and his relations with Tito and the fighting with Tito?

A: The fighting against Tito was very bitter, there had been a pool of blood between the two groups. I asked Mihailovich what he thought could be done to avoid this clash between his troops and Chetnik troops –

Q: You mean Partisan troops?

A: Yes, I mean Partisan troops.

Q: What did he say?

A: He said that one thing that he could propose as far as the collaboration was involved was to send newspaper men into his area and give them the freedom to move about his territory and see for themselves his organization, his methods of operation and any evidence that might be construed as collaboration.

Q: Did you report that to your superiors?

A: It was reported, and the request had been sent to us earlier, but nothing was done about it.

Q: Were any newspaper men sent in to your knowledge?

A: None whatsoever.

Q: What did Mihailovich say about Tito or why he was fighting Tito?

A: He was fighting Tito because he felt and believed that Tito’s movement was strictly a communistic movement that represented an ideology that would not be accepted by the people of Yugoslavia.

Q: Did he say anything about how the differences between himself and Tito occurred, as to who started the fighting?

A: Well, he accused Tito of attacking him during the early days of 1941 while they had been collaborating together against the activities of the Germans. But Mihailovich proposed to me, seeing that this civil war was just helping the Germans—he proposed to me a plan, and the plan was supposed to have been this, that the British, the Russians and the Americans should send a commission to his headquarters, and that a commission composed of the same elements be sent into Tito’s headquarters, and this commission with his help could set up zones of operation where they would receive material help and aid from the Allies to use it in the common effort against the Germans. In this way he felt that this commission would prevent a clash between the Chetniks and the Partisans.

Q: Now the Chetniks and the Partisans in general in most instances were in different parts of Yugoslavia, were they not?

A: That is right.

Q: And what was the occasion, if you knew, that would bring them into a clash?

A: Well, it seemed that during this period of time that I had spent in Yugoslavia, it seems that the Partisans wanted to take over the territory that was under the control of General Mihailovich and his officers.

BY MR. KIENDL: That was particularly Serbia?

MUSULIN: Yes, that was Serbia, and that is the heart of the Balkans.

BY MR. HAYS: So they had moved into the territory in which Mihailovich was in control?

MUSULIN: That is so.

Q: Do you know whether Mihailovich ever moved into the territory of which Tito had control?

A: I have no knowledge of any movement of that kind, unless it was a movement of defense, sending troops up ahead to anticipate attacks.

Q: You have told us of your talk with Mihailovich and referred to talks with others about so-called collaboration. Tell us about the talks with others, who they were and what information they gave you.

A: I talked to peasants in the Second Ravna Gora Corps, and they reported to me that German trucks carrying ammunition from Cacak [pronounced Cha-Chaak] would come into mountainous areas, and they would throw off this ammunition and turn around and go back to Cacak, and a short time later troops of Mihailovich would take this ammunition. I reported this in a report that I sent to Bari, Italy.

Q: Did you receive any information from the Chetniks or Mihailovich about what caused this?

A: I did not receive any explanation; they told me that that was one of the methods in guerrilla warfare of obtaining ammunition.

Q: That was a case of by hook or crook getting help from the Germans?

A: That is right.

Q: Do you know of any instance where he gave help to the Germans?

A: I know of no instance.

Q: You were speaking of talking to peasants who were also Chetniks. Were the Chetniks as soldiers distinguished by uniforms?

A: No, they just wore the peasant clothing, homespun cloth trousers and woolen jackets and opankas, which is simply moccasins as we know it, they wore moccasins and rough clothing.

Q: Did they bear any distinguishing marks to indicate that they were soldiers?

A: Well, they wore the emblem of Yugoslavia, that would be the crown with the eagle.

Q: I assume there were a great many of the peasants who were not in the Chetnik forces, who were not soldiers?

A: There were many that were not soldiers.

Q: Were there many women in the Chetnik forces?

A: Do you mean armed women?

Q: Yes.

A: None whatsoever. They took care of the first aid, knitting stockings and so on, and washing clothes, etc., other household duties.

Q: I asked that because I have been informed that there were a great many women acting as soldiers in the Tito forces.

A: Yes, there were.

BY MR. KIENDL: As I understand it, there were a total of over 500 airmen who were evacuated from Yugoslavia during the year 1944?

MUSULIN: Yes, sir.

Q: And of that number as I understand it you personally evacuated 40 at the end of your first mission?

A: Yes, that is right.

Q: And some 230 during your second mission?

A: No, about 435. There were about 235 evacuated on August 10th, and then there were subsequent evacuations that took place on August 12th, 15th and 18th.

Q: You continued evacuating them until it ran up to 435?

A: Yes, sir.

Q: And with the 40 that you evacuated on your first mission there were about 470?

A: Yes.

Q: Those 470 were all evacuated with you as the commanding officer in charge of their evacuation, is that right?

A: Yes, sir.

Q: You were in command?

A: Yes, sir.

Q: And you talked to many of those officers?

A: Yes, sir.

Q: And did you ascertain from them what cooperation they received from Mihailovich or his army or his Chetniks?

A: Yes, I talked to as many of them as I could.

Q: You talked to a great many of them?

A: Yes.

Q: And did you get reports from them to the effect that Mihailovich and his army had cooperated with them to the fullest degree possible?

A: Yes, sir.

Q: Did you ever receive any reports from any American airmen or any British airmen that they had not received such cooperation from Mihailovich and his army?

A: Not one, sir.

BY MR. HAYS: These men who landed also landed in various parts of Yugoslavia under Mihailovich’s control, is that right?

MUSULIN: That is right.

Q: So that all told they would have a chance to survey large parts of the territory where Mihailovich was operating?

A: That is right.

Q: Do you know whether they were allowed to walk around and do as they pleased, or were they kept in camp?

A: They were free to walk around anywhere, but lots of times they were restricted to a small village because of the security angle. They were not allowed to go into the village stores or go where they might have been detected by enemy forces.

Q: There were many villages where there were no German troops at all?

A: Yes, and there were many where there had been German troops.

Q: And the troops had left?

A: Yes.

Q: Did you ever hear from any of them any stories which would lead you to believe that Mihailovich was collaborating in any way with the Germans?

A: None to my knowledge.

BY MR. TIMBERS: During your second mission in Yugoslavia did there come to your attention in your official capacity a document, a photostatic copy of which I show you?

MUSULIN: Yes, sir.

Q: Can you tell us what that is?

A: It is an order signed by a captain, chief of staff.

Q: Mihailovich’s chief of staff?

A: One of the corps commanders, and it is an order instructing safe passage for an American airman.

Q: What is the date?

A: The 5th of September I believe it is. This is not in English and it is rather hard to tell. This says “Avalski Korpus Staff, Yugoslavia, in the Homeland”—

Q: I show you a second paper and ask you if that is a correct English translation of the first document shown you.

A: Yes, I would say so.

MR TIMBERS: I ask to have both documents marked as one exhibit, subdivisions A and B.

MR HAYS: They will be received.

THE WITNESS (MUSULIN): It is a safe passage.

(The papers were marked Exhibits 8-A and 8-B respectively, May 15, 1946, C.B.)

MR. TIMBERS: I will read the English translation for the record:

Command of the Yugoslav Army in the Homeland
Hq. Staff, Avala Corps
No. Official
5 September 1944

To all the Commandants of the Yugoslav Army in the Homeland

An American pilot Loyd is being directed through your terrain and you are to have him continue to the American Mission which will receive him and transfer him to his base.

See that the above mentioned is given needful hospitality everywhere enroute having in view the interest and honor of our Ravna Gora Movement and our country.

Always arrange a fearless guide with a buggy or wagon who will proceed to transport him by the shortest route. Have in view that he is an Allied officer and that his aim is to reach his base so that he can again fly to continue the fight against our common enemy. He must not be detained under any circumstances except for night lodgings.

The above mentioned is traveling by wagon because during his parachute jump he was injured in his legs. Do not require of him to ride horseback as he expressed that he is not able to.

The above mentioned has given the necessary information which has been forwarded to the Supreme Command. Therefore it is not necessary to interview him.

This act is to be read, placed in an envelope and given to the guide and must accompany the above named continually.

Where passage is not certain you must give armed escort for security.

By order of the Commandant Chief of Staff
Captain Stevan D. Stricevic

MR. TIMBERS: Captain Stevan D. Stricevic was a Chetnik soldier acting under immediate orders from General Mihailovich, is that so?

MUSULIN: That is right.

Q: I show you a further document and photostatic copy thereof and ask you if that came to your attention during your second mission to Yugoslavia.

A: That is right. It is another safe passage order for American airmen.

BY MR. KIENDL: For just one?

MUSULIN: No, this is for six of them.

BY MR. TIMBERS: A crew of six?

MUSULIN: Yes, a crew of six.

Q: And what is the date?

A: 26/8/44. [August 26, 1944]

Q: Who is it signed by?

A: It is signed by Commandant of Serbia, Division General, Miroslav Trifunovic.

Q: I show you a second paper and ask you if you can identify that as a correct English translation of the paper last shown you.

A: Yes, I would say it was.

MR. TIMBERS: I ask that they be marked as one exhibit.

MR. HAYS: They will be received.

(The papers were marked Exhibits 9-A and 9-B, respectively, May 15, 1946, C.B.)

MR. TIMBERS: With the Commission’s permission I will read just the English translation.


The American airmen, forced down on our territory due to motor trouble, are being directed to the 1 Ravnogorski [Ravna Gora] Corps for further evacuation. The airmen are the following:

1. Captain Joe Skerza
2. Lt. Jerry Mendomen
3. Sgt. Leif Hunt
4. Sgt. John Milan
5. Sgt. John Feness
6. Sgt. Julius Polska

They dropped 22 July 1944 on the territory of the [1 Ravno-]Gorski Corps. Capt. Joe injured his right foot at the ankle and was cared for at the Corps hospital.

I order:

All leaders and authorities of the Yugoslav Army in the Homeland within the region of this command to give all necessary aid to these allied airmen, and to undertake measures to have them reach the required place and be turned over to the American Captain George Musulin.

I call particular attention to Capt. Joe who needs to be as comfortable as possible.

Everywhere they must be given guides and transportation in buggies and wagons.

26/VIII/1944 Commandant of Serbia
Free Mountains Division General
Yugoslav Army in the Homeland, Gorski Staff

MR. TIMBERS: Is that to you, Captain Musulin, to whom this order refers?

MUSULIN: That is right.

MR. TIMBERS: That is all I have.

BY MR. KIENDL: One other question. Captain, these two orders and translations, the translations being Exhibits 8-B and 9-B, do you know whether there were similar safe passage orders for all other crews of all other planes that became disabled and were shot down in Yugoslavia?

MUSULIN: That is right, sir. I have safe passage for Russians that had been saved by Mihailovich, and Poles and French and all the other Allies.

Q: But all the American and British were covered by safe passage orders issued by the Chetniks?

A: Yes.

BY MR. HAYS: What happened to the Russians that came down in Mihailovich’s territory.

MUSULIN: I evacuated them.

Q: Where to, to Russia?

A: No, to Bari, Italy. They were not airmen, they were fellows that were captured in the fighting and had been sent by the Germans to Yugoslavia to do forced labor, and there the Chetniks during raids had been able to save them and took them up in the mountains, and they turned them over to me to be evacuated to Italy.

Q: Were there many of them?

A: I believe there were eight or nine in the group that I evacuated. There were several Poles that had the same status as the British, also a group of 35 or 40 Russians that were sent out by Mihailovich to contact the Russians who had been operating in Turnu Severin in Romania.

BY MR. HAYS: These people were people who had been taken prisoners by the Germans?

MUSULIN: That had escaped from labor camps in Yugoslavia.

Q: Do you know whether Mihailovich was in touch with the Russians during the time you were there?

A: I do not know, sir. I did not handle that activity.

Q: Have you any idea of the size of the Mihailovich forces in October, 1943, when you first got there?

A: The armed size?

Q: Yes.

BY MR. KIENDL: Didn’t you give us that before?


BY MR. HAYS: And what was the situation in reference to numbers in September, 1944, when you left there?

MUSULIN: Well, Mihailovich in the beginning of September, 1944 gave out an order of mobilization. Of course I had left at the end of August.

BY MR. KIENDL: Had his army increased in size while you were there or diminished?

MUSULIN: Increased in size.

Q: Very substantially?

A: Yes, very substantially, because that was a total mobilization of everybody that was able to carry a gun.

BY MR. HAYS: Do you mean between 1943 and 1944?

A: Yes, sir.

Q: Do you know anything about Tito’s forces?

A: I do not.

Q: One of the other witnesses gave me the impression that as supplies were lacking, Mihailovich’s forces decreased. Was he wrong about that?

A: His force maintained the arms that they had, and there was no way of increasing the arms of the so-called territorial army. One fellow with a gun would be accompanied by one that did not have a gun, so that if something happened to this gentleman he was with he would take up the rifle and continue to fight.

MR. HAYS: That is all.

MR. KIENDL: Thank you very much, Captain.


Transcript from Patriot or Traitor: The Case of General Mihailovich / Proceedings and Report of the Commission of Inquiry of the Committee for a Fair Trial for Draza Mihailovich
Hoover Institution Press 1978
Stanford University
Stanford, California
"Hoover Archival Documentaries"
General Editor: Milorad M. Drachkovitch


Aleksandra's Note:  George S. Musulin passed away in February of 1987 at Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland at the age of 72. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. He was survived by his four children: son, Nicolas, and three daughters, JoAnne de la Riva, Milena Sanchez and Georgene Murray.

For his service, he was awarded the Legion of Merit. The citation reads as follows:

Legion of Merit Citation awarded to George S. Musulin, 0519461, 1st Lieutenant, AUS, Office of Strategic Services, while attached to Company B, 2677th Regiment, OSS (Provisional), for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services:

Lt. Musulin’s descent by parachute into enemy-occupied territory, (Yugoslavia), where he remained from 2 August 1944 to 27 August 1944, his leadership, his courage in the face of heavy odds, and his resolute conduct in the face of great peril in the successful accomplishment of an extremely hazardous and difficult mission, exemplified the finest traditions of the armed forces of the United States.’


To get in touch with me, Aleksandra, please feel free to contact me at


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