A Congressional Gold Medal is displayed before the start of a ceremony honoring the Office of Strategic Services in Emancipation Hall on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, March 21, 2018. Photo: Associated Press.
Arthur Jibilian 2009
The Toledo Blade
March 21, 2018
2 Toledo-area WWII vets awarded Congressional Gold Medal
Two World War II veterans with Toledo ties were posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal on Wednesday at the U.S. Capitol in Washington.
The ceremony honored the 13,000 members of the Office of Strategic Services — the CIA forerunner — from all branches of the military. Included in the honor were former Toledoans U.S. Navy radio operator Art Jibilian and U.S. Army Cpl. Anthony Rogowski, who was the uncle of U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D., Toledo).
"Like Tony, many of these extraordinary Americans went unrecognized until today," Miss Kaptur said.
Mr. Jibilian grew up in Toledo and died of leukemia at age 86 in 2010 at his Fremont home. He and two others parachuted into Nazi-occupied Yugoslavia in 1944 to coordinate a rescue for 513 downed U.S. airmen during World War II. The Tuskegee Airmen — the Red Tails — provided air cover for what was called "Operation Halyard," which took several months.
Mr. Rogowski, who died at age 57, served in the OSS from 1942 to 1945 and was awarded a Bronze Star. His letters home were censored, so it is difficult to know where he served. But his relatives believe he helped build roads in China that served as an entry point for American and Chinese forces to fight the Japanese.
Mr. Rogowski was stabbed by a Japanese soldier in a foxhole and later contracted malaria, from which he suffered for years.
"The OSS conducted acts of great bravery and accomplished feats of which many would have deemed impossible during the war,” said U.S. Rep. Bob Latta (R., Bowling Green).
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