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American hero, Art Jibilian, nominated to receive the Medal of Honor for his heroism in WWII, Operation Halyard
The American hero, Arthur "Jibby" Jibilian, is nominated to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor, for his heroism in WWII, in the successful mission known as Operation Halyard. The Serbian people saved 500 American pilots in WWII. These pilots, who were involved in the bombardment of Romanian oil fields, parachuted over Serbia after their planes were shot down by Germans. Romanian oil was used by Hitler's army to attack the Soviet Union in WWII.
Tesla Memorial Society of New York and many Tesla admirers around the world support the nomination of Art Jibilian for the military's highest honor, the Medal of Honor. We ask President Barack Obama to award Art Jibilian the Medal of Honor.
Art Jibilian is one the "Forgotten 500" who deserve our recognition after so many years of silence for political reasons.
Email sent to Dr. Ljubo Vujovic, President, Tesla Memorial Society of New York from Art Jibilian:
It was a pleasure talking to you, Dr. Vujovic! I learned a great deal regarding the Tesla Society during our conversation!
The Tesla connection, the Serbs saving American airmen, and Chica Draja, are so interwoven that it is almost impossible to talk about one without mentioning all of them.
The Tesla Society has done a tremendous job of keeping the story of Mission Halyard alive. Now we have added documentation in the form of THE FORGOTTEN 500 by Greg Freeman. It will now live forever.......and I am sure a movie will be made shortly.
This is not the end of the revelations. I look forward to our government finally admitting the true story of General Draja Mihailovich's contribution to the Allied war effort and his complete exoneration of being a traitor!!!!!
Arthur "Jibby" Jibilian
Local man nominated for Medal of Honor
By LESLIE BIXLER • News-Messenger • August 11, 2009
The following article can be found at http://www.thenews-messenger.com
FREMONT — Art Jibilian could receive the Medal of Honor for a World War II mission he was part of for nearly five months in 1944.
Recently, U.S. Rep. Bob Latta, R-Bowling Green, introduced a bill asking President Barack Obama to award the Fremont man the military's highest honor for his actions behind enemy lines during a successful mission known as Operation Halyard.
In that mission, more than 500 soldiers from the United States and other countries were rescued. Jibilian was a radio operator at the time, and volunteered for the "Halyard Mission". He thought it was going to be a 10-day mission to rescue 50 men, but it lasted about five months.
E-mail Leslie Bixler at firstname.lastname@example.org
The 65th anniversary of Operation Halyard
The following was taken from an email corresepondance between John Cappello and Arthur "Jibby" Jibilian regarding the rescue of the 500 American pilots:
From: Art Jibilian [mailto:email@example.com]
Hey John! That is the corn field that I landed in.......but the chicken coop that Muselin demolished is no longer in existence! Pictures brought back a lot of memories.
On my behalf, and the 513 Americans that the Serbs saved, please ask all the youngsters to take their 80, 85, 90, plus years old relatives gently in their arms and give them 513 kisses, one for each American that they rescued..........and thank them for me and on behalf of the American people who are becoming aware of their great contribution to the Allied victory
Arthur "Jibby" Jibilian
----- Original Message -----
From: Cappello, John T (Belgrade)
I would like to inform you of the memorial celebration that took place on Galovica Field, in Pranjani, Serbia on Saturday, 15 August.
To commemorate the 65th Anniversary of the beginning of the "Halyard Mission", the US Embassy organized a wreath laying ceremony at the site of the first flights that rescued over 500 US airmen. With the assistance of the Serb Ministry of Defense and the Serb Ministry of Labor and Social Policy the event was a successful commemoration of the mission. It is important to note that this is the first time the Serb government has officially recognized and participated in such an event commemorating the partnership of US-Serb forces during this mission.
Here is an example of the press coverage of the event:
65th Anniversary of Evacuation of 500 American Pilots
The 65th anniversary of Operation Halyard was marked on Saturday in
Pranjani, near Gornji Milanovac, during which the joint team of
Yugoslav Royal Army and American service evacuated more than 500
American airmen during World War II, Radio and Television of
Serbia (RTS) reported.
The representatives of the US Embassy in Belgrade, Ohio
National Guard, Serbian Government and Army of Serbia laid the
wreaths on a monument in Pranjani.
Charge d’Affaires Jennifer Brush led the delegation of
American Embassy in Belgrade, and the USAF Attaché John Capello
was also present.
Brush said that America could never forget what Serbian
people did for their airmen.
Some 1.000 members of US Air Force were struck down in
the summer of 1944 above the occupied Yugoslavia, and the
significant number ended up in Serbia.
During the serie s of day and night flights, the joint team of
Yugoslav Royal Army in the country led by general Draza Mihailovic
and American Service for Strategic Affairs evacuated more than 500
American airmen from the village of Pranjani.
The rescue mission included the action of low-numbered
troops against German forces and this jeopardized the whole village
protected by American military staff.
Operation Halyard was marked as one of the most
successful rescue mission behind enemy lines in the history of
warfare, RTS reported.
You will also find some photos of the event. It was a beautiful day in Pranjani, and there was a terrific turnout.
Please let me know if you have any questions or comments.
All the best,
Lt Col, USAF
Air Attaché, DAO Belgrade
This message is UNCLASSIFIED based on definitions provided in E.O. 12958.
Click below for the radio Interview of Arthur "Jibby" Jibilian regarding the rescue of 513 American pilots in WWII in Serbia:
http://www.wspd.com/podcast/Fred.xml (Click here to download the podcat)
Photo of American pilots saved by Serbians in 1944 during World War II
The photos below were taken from the book "The Forgotten 500" by Gregory A. Freeman:
Letter to the Tesla Memorial Society of New York from the American Hero, Arthur Jibilian, who was saved by Serbs in World War II
Just a note to say "thank you" for sending Dr. Vujovic at the program honoring Arthur "Jibby" Jibilian and the Halyard Mission. On December 7, 2008, at the Toledo Airport, the 180th National Guard honored the rescue of over 500 American airmen by Gen. Draja Mihailovich. He, together with the Serbian people, rescued, fed, clothed, protected and risked their lives on behalf of the Americans. These shot down airmen were "funneled" to the "Halyard Mission" which set up airfields for airlifting the fliers back to Italy. The event was also attended by state and federal government officials which now gives credibility to efforts of Jibby, Lalich,Rajacic and the 513 rescued airmen who have been pleading, shouting, and using any means at their disposal to right a terrible wrong. Mihailovich was labeled a traitor and collaborator and we have been trying for over 60 years to clear his name. Now, with the publication of THE FORGOTTEN 500, the commemoration of the rescue on December 7, 2008, the newspaper and TV publicity, I feel that our mission will reach fruition soon. Furthermore, there is no doubt in my mind that a movie will be made of the "largest behind the lines rescue of American airmen".
I had the privilege of spending sic months with Cica Draja and participating in the rescue of these airmen. I cannot begin the thank the Serbs for the care given our boys. The Serbs hid our boys from the Germans, guiding them from village to village, until they were in the hands of the members of the "Halyard Mission". They were then flown back to Italy and lived to get back to their families and loved ones.
THIS STORY NEEDS TO BE TOLD TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE!! America owes a great big debt of gratitude to the Serbs. On behalf of the American people and the rescued airmen, I extend kudos, gracias, fallah, and thank you to the Serbian people.
Arthur "Jibby" Jibilian (last surviving member of Mission)
8-2-44 TO 12-27-44