George Vujnovich Dies At 96. This OSS Agent Saved 500 Airmen Shot Down In The Balkans

by Daniel Russ on May 6, 2012

George Vujnovich Saved US pilots

George Vujnovich on the Right

 

This last week this Serbian born Pittsburgh native George Vujovich died at the age of 96. Whilst working in the CIA precursor organization the OSS, Vujnovich liberated 500 American airmen who were shot down over Yugoslavia and Romania targeting German oil facilities and held as POWs.

 

 

The airmen were hidden in villages by Serbian guerrilla fighter Draza Mihailovich, who  lead an ethnic group known as the Chetniks. It was a difficult sale to US officials to allow Vujnovich to work with Mihalovich. The airmen were freed in commando style raids and the Chetniks hid the airmen until they could be picked up by planes sent in over a period of a month clandestinely on runways made by partisans.

 

George Vujnovich, Seated

George Vujnovich, Seated

 

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