His Royal Highness Crown Prince Alexander, accompanied by Hon. Branko Terzic, member of the Privy Council, laid a wreath today at Galovica Field near Pranjani. This is where Operation Halyard took place, the biggest Allied airlift operation behind enemy lines during World War II.
The ceremony was also attended by Mrs Maja Gojkovic, Speaker of the Parliament of Serbia, HE Mr Kyle Scott, the United States Ambassador to Serbia, HE Mr Tomáš Kuchta Ambassador of the Czech Republic, HE Mrs Kathleen Csaba Ambassador of Canada, representatives of the Army of Serbia and numerous citizens.
During Operation Halyard in 1944, several hundred United States pilots and several dozen British pilots, together with air crews from Russia, France and other Allied countries were taken to freedom from an improvised airstrip in the Village of Pranjani near Gornji Milanovac in a joint operation conducted by Serbian villagers, the Yugoslav Army in the Homeland and the American Office of Strategic Services (OSS).
“Thanks to the Minister of the army of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, General Dragoljub Mikhailovich, as well as to my father, King Peter II, Allied airmen were saved from certain death. Serbian people cherish freedom as the greatest value and have always showed that, even in the most difficult moments of history, will not give up on this ideal. That is why preserving the memory of Operation Halyard is very important to all of us, to remind us of the glorious moments of our past, pointing us to the right direction that we should take in the future” – said the Crown Prince addressing the present.
United States President Harry S. Truman decorated posthumously General Dragoljub Mihailovic with the Legion of Merit for his support to Allied forces and contribution to victory in World War II.