Wednesday, April 04, 2012

American Legion Sought to Save General Mihailovich


Chicago Herald-American
June 12, 1946

The American Legion today was attempting to save General Draza Mihailovich, heroic leader of the Yugoslav Nationals, now on trial in Belgrade on charges of collaboration with the Nazis, brought by Marshal Tito’s Communist-controlled government.

A resolution, passed yesterday in Indianapolis by the legion’s national executive committee and forwarded to Secretary of State James Byrnes, demanded:

1. That the United States exert every means to obtain a “fair and impartial trial” for the general.

2. That the United States withhold all aid—financial, UNRRA supplies and otherwise—from Tito’s government and all persons and territories within his command until a fair and impartial trial is granted by an inter-allied tribunal.

The resolution, forwarded to Byrnes by National Adjutant Donald G. Glascoff of the legion, flatly rejected Moscow-inspired charges that General Mihailovich had any “treasonable relations” with Nazi forces or puppet leaders.

The resolution, which originated with the legion department of Wisconsin through Milwaukee’s Aviation Post No. 456, composed of World War II fliers, said:

“Whereas, General Draza Mihailovich was personally responsible for saving the lives of approximately 600 American airmen forced down during the war over territory in which men under his command were operating, and,

“Whereas, General Mihailovich’s aid and assistance to such American airmen, at considerable risk to himself and members of his command, is prima facie evidence that he was not a collaborationist, and,

“Whereas, it is apparent that the Communist government of Marshal Tito is intent on giving General Mihailovich a summary and unfair trial of the kind which characterizes Soviet justice,

“Therefore, be it resolved that the American Legion petition the United States government to exert its influence by every possible means to insure a fair and impartial trial for General Mihailovich in return for the generous aid and assistance accorded to the American airmen, and

“Be it further resolved, that the American Legion further petition the United States government to withhold all financial aid, UNRRA supplies and other assistance from Tito’s government and all persons and territories within Marshal Tito’s command and/or control until such time as a fair and impartial trial by an inter-allied tribunal is guaranteed General Mihailovich.”

Chicago Herald-American
June 12, 1946


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