The Forgotten 500: The Untold Story of the Men Who Risked All for the GreatestRescue Mission of World War II

( 56 )

Overview


Now in paperback the "amazing"( James Bradley, New York Times bestselling author of Flags of Our Fathers) never-before-told story of the greatest escape of the Second World War.

In 1944 the OSS set out to recover more than 500 downed airmen trapped behind enemy lines in Yugoslavia. Classified for over half a century for political reasons, the full account of this unforgettable story of loyalty, ...

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The Forgotten 500: The Untold Story of the Men Who Risked All for the GreatestRescue Mission of World War II

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Overview


Now in paperback the "amazing"( James Bradley, New York Times bestselling author of Flags of Our Fathers) never-before-told story of the greatest escape of the Second World War.

In 1944 the OSS set out to recover more than 500 downed airmen trapped behind enemy lines in Yugoslavia. Classified for over half a century for political reasons, the full account of this unforgettable story of loyalty, self-sacrifice, and bravery is now being told for the first time.
 

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Editorial Reviews

Booklist
Exciting...breathtaking.
America in WWII
Fascinating...full of romance, action, and adventure...told with skill and grace.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451224958
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/2/2008
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 33,161
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Gregory A. Freeman is an award-winning writer with more than 25 years in journalism. He is the author of Sailors to the End: The Deadly Fire on the USS Forrestal and the Heroes Who Fought It.
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Table of Contents


Introduction     xi
We'll Get Them Out     1
Abandon Ship!     10
Counting Parachutes     26
Americanski?     37
Long Journey to Somewhere     59
Escaping Yugoslavia     79
Passports, Please     99
Man of the Year     113
Abandoned Ally     129
Screw the British     147
Goats' Milk and Hay Bread     168
An All-American Team     183
SOS ... Waiting for Rescue     189
Sure to Be a Rough Landing     199
Red. Red. Red.     213
Going Home Shoeless     225
Gales of the World     240
Secrets and Lies     267
Epilogue     274
Partial List of Airmen Rescued in Operation Halyard     281
Acknowledgments     285
Notes     287
Bibliography     301
Index     307
Contact the Author     309
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 56 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(35)

4 Star

(11)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 56 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2007

    A reviewer

    I do not typically read books about war and anything historical. I picked this book up because I had heard that one of the men written about in the book was from my hometown. I could not put this book down once I started it. For someone who doesn't have extensive knowledge of World War II, this book was written in such a way that was easy to understand and left you wanting to know more about this time in our history. For those who like to read about World War II, this is a story that hasn't really been told before.

    13 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2009

    The Forgotten 500

    Upon reading this book and being of Serbian heritage I have known about this story for years but the rest of the world had not known the whole story. The book reads in detail how the Serbian people help the American Soldiers to be protected until our troops could come in and get them.

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 9, 2009

    Engaging story

    I had no idea about this piece of WWII -- Yugoslovia. As engaging as the parts are about the American airmen being shot down returning from bombing runs from Italy to Romania, and having to ditch in Yugoslovia, the part that really enlightened me was the politics of the Serbs, General Tito, and General Mihailovich and how the power struggle affected the result after the war. A good read.

    9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2008

    Failure to study history condemns you to repeat it.

    Just finished a great book called ¿The Forgotten 500¿ by Gregory Freeman. It recounts a risky rescue mission launched during WWII to save over 500 American and Allied flyers who had bailed out over Yugoslavia. The airmen were saved by the local Serbia people. The Serbs saved them from the Nazis at great personal risk. And fed from their meager rations. Many Serbs died for harboring US airmen. The leader of the Serbs was an anti Nazi guerilla Draza Mihailovich. With the help of Mihailovich¿s fighters a high mountain plateau is turned into a small landing field. The OSS in spite of British opposition mounts a rescue mission that involves landing C-47s on the short runway. The runway was prepared by the local peasants and downed airmen using rudimentary farm tools. The airstrip was only 12 miles from Nazi encampments. It is an exciting and tense drama. The book also recounts how the US and it¿s allies turned their back on Mihailovich. Primarily because of the disinformation provided by communists and their sympathizers in both US and British ranks. He points out ¿Far more numerous than the Communists, and infinitely more numerous that the committed agents, were the muddleheaded liberals who shares a nebulous feeling that they too were serving the cause of progress. This book is a must read for anyone interested in WWII missions or how the US lost the Eastern block to Stalin.

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 2, 2012

    Highly Recommended! Tom Hanks or Ron Howard need to bring this story to the Big Screen! School History classes need to teach this!

    I really liked this book. I am a 1st generation Serbian-American. In fact, when my Dad was a pre-teen, he lived very close to that constructed landing strip; and my Mom (also a pre-teen at the time)lived in a nearby village of that same landing strip. I've grown up listening to my parents tell me about their childhood experiences in WW2. So, while reading this book, it occured to me that there were quite a few references in the book, that matched directly with some of the stories I heard my parents talk about- concerning their experiences of living that horrible time of their childhood. One story - My Mom remembers being given a piece of silk fabric from a parachute that was entangled in a tree-and sometimes seeing that saved soldier being whisked between houses when Ustashe were nearby. Another story- My Dad recalls hearing intermittent loud plane engines at nighttime. Said all of a sudden he'd hear a plane- like it was dropping out of the sky & might hit the hillside above him- and then the engines were cut off/turned off; a few minutes later-he'd hear a plane engine rev up suddenly- uptop of the same hillside and within seconds it was gone and all was quiet again. There are more stories - but these were told to me years before this book was ever written. This book stirs the soul. I am VERY thankful & fortunate, my parents were able to survive the war at such a tender age...and eventually were able to leave Yugoslavia with my sister and brother;and start a new life in JohnstownPA and have one more child. Also Thankful for those who risked & sacrificed to feed and hide 500 stranded airman - allowing enough time to rescue all 500 of them and bring them back to their families. Tom Hanks or Ron Howard need to read this book and produce a film for our children & future generations to REALLY see and appreciate the TRUE sacrifice of all involved in the rescue of the Forgotten 500! The school History textbooks need to include this event so it is never forgotten!

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 23, 2010

    Well Written Not a waste of time!!

    The Forgotten 500 is a well written none fiction book. Written from the perspectives of several men who were downed over Nazi-occupied Yugoslavia and a few of the men trying to get airmen out. The down airmen had to convert a field into a makeshift runway with Nazi troops only a few miles away. I enjoyed learning what these men went through even if it was a heart wrenching story. The information was presented in a well organized manner. But it can be difficult to read at some points with the very different and diverse back stories that needed to be told in order to fully comprehend why certain people felt and acted the way they did. The story of the men and women involved in Operation Halyard should be made known to every one whether it is through reading this book which covers much of it, being told in class, or doing the research on their own.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2012

    Highly recommend

    Not usually a history buff but out book club chose it. Wonderful read - true story. The beginning is a little too historical but then you get roped in and are cheering by the end.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 12, 2011

    A must read for the youth of America,least we forget the people who kept us free.

    The story is about a generation of people who sacrificed all to keep the world from going over the precipice of darkness.A must read for the younger generation.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 12, 2011

    A engrossing account of downed airmen and the true account to get them home.

    A real tribute to the bravery to those people who fought to keep the world from going over the precipice of darkness in World War Two.Should be a must read for high school students.A part of American history that should be remembered and not forgotten.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2009

    The Forgotten 500 was of particular interest as I know and worked with one of the men featured in the story.

    The drama of getting the abandoned men out of harms way was good. The politics of the situation and todays world are similar. I recommend this book to anyone who knew people involved in WWII.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2013

    Wrong

    This book is full of wrong information. One cannot go west from italy to get to romania. And romania was Not one of germanys westward possesions once again romania is east of germany. Also the first targets bombed by americans in the war in europe were german cities which we bombed during the day and the brits bombed at night. I havent even read past page 27 and its full of bad infirmation. DO NOT use this book for a research paper. This book is just terrible. Also a b24 didnt have the range to reach tokyo even if it did launch from iwo jima which we didnt take until 1945 and flying from florida to egypt to get to japan is the stupidist thing ive ever heard. The "author" obviously does not know what hed writing about. I have studied WWII for years and kniw aout everything there is to know about it. This book is probably a made up story based on all the wrong information i have seen so far. Anyone knows that romania is east of italy and if you say that the air ase was facing south it still doesnt matter you still fly east to get

    2 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2012

    Forgotten 500 forget it

    Dissapointing, repitious, too much fluff for this type of documentary ! Story needed to be told

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2012

    I heard about the Halyard Mission throughout my life from my fat

    I heard about the Halyard Mission throughout my life from my father. This book answered many of my questions that my dad could not – for example, how was the airfield constructed so that the Germans did not detect it and how did anyone know these men were alive and needed to be returned to Italy. The details Mr. Freeman reveals are amazing and coincide with all my father told me about his experiences. Yes, my dad was one of the Forgotten 500.

    Great book and discloses the details even those rescued did not know!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 29, 2011

    Highly recommended

    This is a very well written account of a little known event. Not only a great adventure, it is also the story of a terrible wrong done by the Brits to a Yugoslav patriot.

    I consider this book an absolute must read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2012

    Great story

    I love ww2 books and this is a great story. If you are younger it might be alittle hard to follow but it is still a awesome story and people should know about these airmen and the people that risked thier lives.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2012

    Good story

    Just one more ww 2 stroy I did not know about....till now

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2012

    Excellent read!!!!!

    Well worth any time spent - very good read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 7, 2012

    Just when you thought all the WWII stories had been told

    This excellent book tells the story of the rescue of over 500 allied bomber crews lost over Yugoslavia while conducting bombing raids on the refineries of Rumania. These crews were gathered under the protection of anti-communist resistance leaders for eventual rescue. It tells the story also of the impact on British foreign policy by communist moles in British Intelligence that eventually led to Allied support of Tito and the post war domination of the Balkans by the Soviet Union.

    Bravery, sacrifice and stubbornness of a handful of people saved a large number of individuals.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 3, 2012

    Highly Recommended So Informative

    My husband and I are 84 and 74 young. We give The Forgotten 500 5 Stars. My husband is not much of a reader but may well become one due to this book.

    Kit

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2012

    THE FORGOTTEN 500

    Having read a number of books on World War II, I was surprised to hear about this rescue so recently. The book was well written, documenting the patriotism, the dedication, the heroism, and the humanity of the Airmen, their Serbian protectors, and the OSS operatives who put the rescue together.

    Unfortunately, it also outlines the worse in treachery and stiff necked diplomacy, much of which cannot be blamed on the fog of war.

    Along with the addendum THE RED TAILS I highly recommend this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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