Gravesite of Staff Sgt. Curtis Bud Diles, Jr. (U.S.A.F.) July 15, 2017,
on what would have been his 92nd birthday. Staff Sgt. Diles is one of the
"Forgotten 500" of the great Halyard Mission rescue operation of WWII
in Nazi-occupied Serbia. The flags adorning his gravesite are those of the
United States of America and of Serbia.
Photo courtesy of his daughter Diane Diles Hammond.
Curtis "Bud" Diles, Jr. on his 89th birthday, July 15, 2014, with the extraordinary gift he received from his daughter Diane Diles Hammond, an album filled with birthday messages of gratitude from Serbs all over the world who wanted him to know how much they appreciated his lifelong commitment to paying tribute to General Draza Mihailovich, his Chetniks, and the Serbian people loyal to them in WWII. This would be his last birthday here on earth and perhaps his most memorable. Photo courtesy of Diane Hammond.
Aleksandra's Note: The following video is a tribute to American Airman Staff Sgt. Curtis "Bud" Diles, Jr. of the U.S.A.F., by his daughter Diane Diles Hammond. Staff Sgt. Diles was a WWII veteran who was shot down by the Germans over Nazi-occupied territory in Serbia in 1944. He was saved by Serbia's General Draza Mihailovich and his Chetniks and returned safely back home to America. There he married, had a family, and lived out the rest of his long and rich life paying homage to the man and the people who had made that rich life possible.
I knew Staff Sgt. Curtis Diles personally. When I think back now about how much respect and appreciation he always gave forth so graciously to me, I can't help but think he had it all backwards. For me he is still alive, and I'm so glad I had the privilege to know people like him.
Today, July 15, 2017, would have been Curtis Diles' 92nd birthday. I know that for his beloved family it is a bittersweet day. It is people like him that we wish would live forever, not just in our hearts and memories, but in our daily lives.
You see, there really was such a thing as "The Greatest Generation". We shall not see their kind again.
July 15, 2017
"Dedicated to General Mihailovich, the Chetniks, and my father, Curtis Diles, Jr."
Posted on You Tube by: Aleksandra R
Published on Sep 20, 2015
"The daughter of Halyard Mission WWII American veteran Staff Sgt. Curtis "Bud" Diles, Jr. gives a beautiful and moving tribute to her beloved father, and to Serbian WWII General Draza Mihailovich and his Serbian Chetniks who rescued him from behind enemy lines in WWII Yugoslavia. Diane Diles Hammond created and produced this memorable tribute as her contribution to the Second Annual Chetnik Family Reunion held in Cleveland, Ohio on September 19, 2015. Take the time to watch and listen - you will be moved."
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