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

“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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This is a great book!  Billed as one of the last untold stories of World War II, The Forgotten 500 tells the amazing story of the rescue of US airmen trapped behind enemy lines in Nazi-occupied Yugoslavia.  More than that, it tells the story of how the peasants of the villages did everything they could to save and hide the Americans from the Nazis, including giving up their own lives.  Truly inspiring.

The story is a true adventure tale, and it is as gripping as any real or fictional story about the war you may have read before.  But what is a revelation is the history of Yugoslavia before and during the war, before it became a Soviet puppet.  What the Yugoslavian villagers did to help save hundreds of downed airmen from the Nazis is the most inspiring story I have read about in a long time.

This book transcends the topic.  Sure, if you are interested in World War II and stories of how the Allies beat the enemy, you will enjoy this book. However, anyone interested in the ability of mankind to help one another in the most difficult of circumstances, this is a story you must know. 

It is so easy to think about recent history in the Balkans and think that it is all beyond our modern sensibility’s comprehension.  This story will provide you with context as to what Yugoslavia was before Tito and Communism and all that came after. 

Most of all, it is a great story that will renew your faith in your fellow man.

The Forgotten 500 is available on Amazon and other retailers.