Thursday, March 31, 2022

The Forgotten 500

My book for March was The Forgotten 500: The Untold Story of the Men Who Risked All for the Greatest Rescue Mission of World War II by Gregory A. Freeman. Snipes mentioned the book when we were in New Jersey for the Army/Navy game. I gave Jim the book for Christmas.

The book tells the story of Operation Halyard in 1944. It was the largest rescue ever of downed American airmen. More than 500 U.S. airmen were rescued, along with some from other countries, in Yugosavlia. The combines a number of different elements into the story including: the air raids on the Nazi oil fields in Ploesti, Romania; the internal Yugoslavian politicial struggles between the heavily pro-Serbian Chetniks were led by Draža Mihajlović and the pan-Yugoslav oriented Partisans were led by Josip Broz Tito; the development of the OSS under William Donovan; and the rescue of the airmen.

I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I enjoyed it a lot more than I expected.

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