Below you will find a fine example of how a citizen can make a difference. After you read Milana Bizic's published "Letter to the Editor", you will find that the newspaper corrected its original headline to read the way it should have from the beginning. Thank you to Milana Bizic for her vigilance.
Letters to the Editor
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
I thank Jack Kelly for his March 23 obituary on America's hero, Arthur Jibilian, the World War II Office of Strategic Services radioman who worked with Gen. Draza Mihailovich and the Serbs to save 500-plus U.S. airmen from behind German-occupied lines in Serbia.
I object, however, to the headline on that article, "Art Jibilian: Part of WWII Team That Rescued Airmen in Nazi Yugoslavia." There is a huge difference between "Nazi Yugoslavia," as the headline blared, and "Nazi-occupied Yugoslavia."
Bill David, an Ohio pilot, was in the Boston airport when he learned of "Jibby's" passing. He wrote this in an e-mail to me:
"Art and his fellow soldiers were honest-to-God real live American heroes, the kind that you would read about in comic books. Over 500 lives were saved during WWII and nobody knows about it. The guys they rescued went on to live their lives, father families, build careers, help make America great. Nobody knows of all of this.
"This is not the news of the day. We as a nation are worse off because of it. It disconnects us from our gallant values and what made us great as a country in the first place.
"Tiger Woods will take center stage for his indiscretions. That is the kind of stuff that is important to us now. Everybody knows who Tiger and Paris are, but nobody knows who Draza Mihailovich was and what he and the Serbian people did for our country, the sacrifices they made so that our boys could live."
Perhaps if Americans did know, this wouldn't have been written on the 11th anniversary of the illegal bombing of Serbia by NATO forces.
MILANA (MIM) KARLO BIZIC
Obituary: Art Jibilian / Part of WWII team that rescued airmen in Nazi-occupied Yugoslavia
Died March 21, 2010
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
By Jack Kelly, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
During World War II, Art Jibilian was part of a three-man special operations team that helped rescue 513 Allied airmen from Nazi-occupied Yugoslavia.
Mr. Jibilian died Sunday of leukemia at his home in Fremont, Ohio. He was 86.
Mr. Jibilian was the radio operator on the team, which was led by Ambridge native George Vujnovich. The team was dispatched from the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the forerunner to the CIA, which joined forces with Gen. Draza Mihailovich and his Chetnik guerrillas. The third member of the team was Johnstown native George Musulin, who played tackle on the University of Pittsburgh's 1936 Rose Bowl team.
The story of Operation Halyard, the greatest rescue of downed American airmen in World War II, was told in the Post-Gazette July 31, 2009. It was hushed up for decades because it was Allied policy to support Josip Tito in his struggle with Gen. Mihailovich, a royalist, over the shape of postwar Yugoslavia. The State Department had even opposed undertaking the rescue mission.
Mr. Jibilian, Mr. Vujnovich and Mr. Musulin and many of the pilots Gen. Mihailovich rescued tried for many years to right what they considered a historical wrong. Even while battling cancer, Mr. Jibilian traveled around the country to speak about the injustice he said was done to Gen. Mihailovich.
Rep. Del Latta, R-Ohio, last summer introduced a resolution calling for awarding the Medal of Honor to Mr. Jibilian for his service in Yugoslavia. That resolution is pending before the House Armed Services Committee.
A spokesman for Mr. Latta said Monday the congressman will press to have the award made posthumously.
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