Bombing of the Ploiesti, Romania, oil refineries, a key German resource, started in 1942. Allied pilots sustaining damage frequently bailed out over Serbia in German-occupied Yugoslavia, where the resistance and others hid them. By 1944, more than 500 were stranded and slowly starving. The OSS concocted the daring Operation Halyard to airlift them, but they had to construct a landing strip without tools and without alerting the Germans or endangering local villagers, and then the rescuers had to avoid being shot down themselves. The operation's story is an exciting tale, but it was kept from general knowledge for decades; the resistance leader most responsible was a rival to Tito. Nazi-baited by a Stalinist mole in British intelligence, he was executed in 1946 with the consent of Britain and America, which thereafter refused to acknowledge having been snookered (the State Department kept many details classified more than 50 years). Evoking the rescuees' successive desperation, wild hope, and joy, and their gratitude to the Serbians who risked their lives to help, Freeman produces a breathtaking popular account. Murray, Frieda
"The daring rescue effort to save hundreds of downed airmen in dangerous enemy territory is an amazing but unknown WWII adventure story. Told in riveting detail for the first time, The Forgotten 500 is a tale of unsung heroes who went above and beyond." -- James Bradley, #1 "New York Times" Bestselling Author of "Flags of Our Fathers" and "Flyboys" "Gregory A. Freeman has written a riveting account of the greatest escape during World War II. It is a remarkable adventure story of courage and daring that is superbly told." -- Tony Zinni, General, USMC (Ret.) "Gregory A. Freeman's "The Forgotten 500" is a literary and journalistic achievement of the highest order, a book that illuminates, thrills, and reminds us that heroes sometimes do live among us. It will take your breath away." -- Gregg Olsen, "New York Times" Bestselling Author of "The Deep Dark: Disaster and Redemption in America's Richest Mining Town" "This is an exciting, powerful story of escape and rescue. It has been buried for too long..." -- Tony Koltz, "New York Times" Bestselling Author of "The Battle for Peace" "A gripping, true-life narrative of one of the most heroic and inspiring-but virtually unknown-military operations of World War II . . . Freeman chronicles it with a master's touch for detail. Although this book reads like a fast-paced novel, it is based on scores of probing interviews and meticulous archival research. "The Forgotten 500" is destined to become required reading for serious students of the Second World War." -- Malcolm McConnell, #1 New York Times Bestselling Coauthor of "American Soldier" "A breathtaking popular account." -- "Booklist"
aJames Bradley, "New York Times" bestselling author of "Flags of Our Fathers"
aFascinatinga]full of romance, action, and adventurea]told with skill and grace.a
a"America in WWII"
aA literary and journalistic achievement of the highest order, a book that illuminates [and] thrillsa] It will take your breath away.a
aGregg Olsen, "New York Times" bestselling author of "The Deep Dark"
?James Bradley, "New York Times" bestselling author of "Flags of Our Fathers"
?Fascinating?full of romance, action, and adventure?told with skill and grace.?
?"America in WWII"
?A literary and journalistic achievement of the highest order, a book that illuminates [and] thrills? It will take your breath away.?
?Gregg Olsen, "New York Times" bestselling author of "The Deep Dark"