HALYARD MISSION EXHIBIT
This exhibit, held in our main hall, tells the story of the 500+ US Airmen rescued by Serbian soldiers during Operation Halyard in World War II.
It’s the story of the largest rescue ever behind enemy lines that was finally
de-classified by the U.S. Government.
The heroic Gen. Draza Mihailovich and his Serbian Chetniks and villagers rescued and cared for 512 Allied airmen shot down by Hitler’s forces during WWII in occupied Yugoslavia. The Allied assault on Ploesti, Romanian oil fields forced hundreds of Allied airmen to bail over Nazi-occupied eastern Serbia, an area patrolled by the Allied-friendly Chetnik guerrilla army.
Villagers hid and cared for the airmen for months at great personal sacrifice until the OSS (Pre-CIA) arranged for their evacuation. 7,500 Serbian Chetnik soldiers from Ravna Gora Corps carved a dirt runway at Pranjani and defended the airlift of the Halyard Mission.
Major Richard Felman was rescued and befriended by Serbian Chetniks. As a result of the Halyard airlift, he often spoke of a debt of honor he owed the Serbian people. Major Felman repaid that debt many times over, tirelessly speaking in support of the truth and honor of General Mihailovich and the Serbs throughout his remarkable life.
To be conducted with support from the Halyard Mission Foundation.