Monday, June 04, 2012

Mirjana Vujnovich - the woman behind the great Halyard Mission Rescue Operation

Mirjana and George Vujnovich
at the Halyard Mission 50th Anniversary Reunion
Chicago, IL U.S.A. May 30, 1994.
Photo: Aleksandra Rebic

"...there are hundreds... can you do something for them? It would be great if [they] are evacuated".

Mirjana Vujnovich
in a letter to her husband George Vujnovich
Washington, D. C.

The following is from "Operation Halyard" on Wikipedia:

Radio Link

The Democratic Yugoslavia news agency bulletin reports

Reports about the rescued airmen were sent to the 'Democratic Yugoslavia' news agency, which belonged to the High Command of the Yugoslav Army in the Fatherland of General Draža Mihailović. This agency had an office and radio station in New York City. A report was received by the Yugoslav embassy in Washington, D.C. Staff headed by the ambassador Konstantin Fotić, forwarded the report to the US Army, so that the families of airmen, especially their mothers, who were in some cases previously notified that their offspring were "missing in action". The reports almost always contained the names and addresses of the airmen.

Mirjana Vujnovich was working at the Yugoslav Embassy in Washington when she learned of reports that Serbian guerrillas were sheltering Allied airmen. She passed the information on to her husband, George Vujnovich, who put together a rescue plan. Lieutenant George Vujnovich, worked for the OSS in Brindisi, in southern Italy. He received a letter from his wife which mentioned the American airmen's plight: "there are hundreds... can you do something for them? It would be great if [they] are evacuated". It was the turning point which led to the planning and execution of Operation Halyard.


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