This deeply moving documentary tells the remarkable story of the greatest rescue mission of American servicemen behind enemy lines in history. It reveals the extraordinary sacrifice and courage of the Serbian people to shelter and defend hundreds of American Flyers from capture in Nazis in occupied Yugoslavia and their horror and outrage at the decision of the US government to bomb the Serbian people.
“As a member of the CIA , O.S.S. really at the time, I volunteered to go into Yugoslavia. On the mission what was called the Halyard Mission. This was to evacuate 50 airmen, American airmen who had been shot down and were now being harbored in an area called Pranjani . We finally made it into Pranjani on August the 2nd, 1944. And we found, not 50 American airmen, but 250 American airmen. They’d been sheltered there and protected by General Mihailovic. The Serbian people, and I cannot say enough about them now, had also sheltered them and protected them against Germans and they fed them out of their own rations that they really couldn’t afford to do because you must remember the Serbs had been raped by the Germans, ravaged by a civil war, and they didn’t have two nickles to rub together. But as poor as they were, and as much as they lacked, for their own personal well being, they still shared with our Americans, and if they were wounded, they gave their bed up to the Americans. I get a little emotional sometimes, when I talk about them. But they slept on the floor, while our American boys slept in their beds. They fed them food that they needed for their own family so our boys would be fed. I want to emphasize that we as a nation owe the Serbian people. And we cannot say that about very many nations. Most of the nations in the world owe us. But we owe the Serbs because they took care of our boys in a manner no one else could have done.’ ~ Art Jibilian, O.S.S. Agent, “Operation Halyard”