Thursday, September 10, 2015

Remembering Halyard Mission WWII American veteran Curtis "Bud" Diles on the one year anniversary of his death, September 10, 2015.

Aleksandra's Note: It's been one year since we lost one of our beloved American Airmen, one of the "Forgotten 500" of the Halyard Mission Rescue Operation of WWII. Curtis "Bud" Diles went home to the Lord on September 10, 2014 and left behind 26 descendants and a wife, and a legion of Serbians in the homeland and throughout the Diaspora who deeply appreciated all that Curtis Diles did to show his gratitude for everything the Mihailovich Serbs did for him during some of the darkest hours of his life, back in 1944.

If you do a "search" for Curtis "Bud" Diles on this website, you'll find all kinds of information and tributes to his life and legacy. I recommend that you come to know this man if you do not know of him and about him already. It will be worth your time and energy.

He was my friend. I tried to pay tribute to him as best I could, both while he was alive and when he passed, but perhaps the most poignant tribute to Staff Sgt. Diles of the U.S.A.F. came in the form of the simple announcement that he had died. It was posted by Sasa Jovanovic, a Serbian man in the homeland, who knew and understood just how good a man, a truly good American, Staff Sgt. Diles was.

This is the announcement, along with the picture, that Sasa posted that day. It will stick with me always:

"I have been asked to get the sad word out... I regret to inform all his friends and followers that Curtis "Bud" Diles passed away last night. Curt is now with his crew again, on his final and eternal flight... He will never be forgotten! May he rest in peace. Memory eternal!" S.J.

To his family and friends, who I know still mourn his loss, please know that Staff Sgt. Curtis "Bud" Diles has not been forgotten,
nor will he be.
Aleksandra Rebic
September 10, 2015
Staff Sgt. Curtis "Bud" Diles dressed in his WWII uniform.
Photo: November 2009.

The Diles yard in Ohio, with American flags paying tribute to the "Forgotten 500" Americans of the WWII Halyard Mission and the Mihailovich Serbs
who saved them all. Photo courtesy of Curtis Diles.
 Staff Sgt. Diles with the birthday gift he received from his daughter Diane Diles Hammond, filled with tributes and thank you notes from Serbs throughout the world, for sharing the legacy of General Mihailovich and his Chetniks and the Halyard Mission story for the duration of life after WWII. This was his 89th birthday, the last he would celebrate, on July 15, 2014.

The Western Union telegram sent Sept. 22, 1944 notifying his family that Curtis Diles was missing in action after being shot down by the Germans over Yugoslavia on September 8, 1944.
 Curtis Diles and wife Inez Diles on Father's Day, June 16, 2013.
Photo courtesy of the Diles family.

The 26 children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren alive today, in 2015, as a result of the life of one man, Staff Sgt. Curtis "Bud" Diles, being saved by the Mihailovich Serbs in 1944.

If you would like to get in touch with me, Aleksandra,
please feel free to contact me at

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