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Thread: Yugoslav Aircrew PoW in WW2 - Help Needed

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    Default Yugoslav Aircrew PoW in WW2 - Help Needed

    Hello All,
    OK – So who is our Yugoslav expert?
    In Ross’ list of WW2 PoWs there is a P M CRNJANSKI. He was a Plt Off in the RAF. There are CRNJANSKI’s in FREEBMD (same spelling despite transliterations from whatever version of the Cyrillic script(s) they were using). There is an M Milos Crnjanski who appears in the Diplomatic Lists for Yugoslavia in London in WW2, and gets Naturalised on 24 Jan 1951 (LG). He is said to have had “private means” – which makes my antennae twitch quite violently!! Now I don’t know much about the family names in the former Yugoslavia, so I don’t know if this guy might be a (close?) relative of our P M Crnjanski? If our P M Crnjanski was a Plt Off (of Yugoslav extraction) then his Commissioning, etc, is unlikely to appear in the LG to protect rellies back home? Also, there is no a/c serial against his entry in Ross’ list, so we don’t know if he was a fighter pilot, or bomber/coastal/recce aircrew.
    He is one (of very, very, many!!!) on the PoW list(s) about whom little is known.
    Can anybody fill in any of the blanks?
    This (and others) is a problem akin to “painting The Forth Bridge”! I might seek more help in the future!
    TIA
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Default Re: Yugoslav Aircrew PoW in WW2 - Help Needed

    Hi,

    AIR 81/7905
    Description:

    Lieutenant P Crnjanski (Royal Yugoslav Air Force): injured; aircraft accident, Hurricane Z6985, 50 Squadron, 23 July 1941. With photographs

    http://discovery.nationalarchives.go...ls/r/C16757202

    Rather strange: No. 50 Squadron had Hampdens...

    Regards

    Mojmir

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    Default Re: Yugoslav Aircrew PoW in WW2 - Help Needed

    Mojmir,
    Mni tks. I had a feeling that this one might be "difficult"!! We shall just have to keep tapping on the woodwork to see what falls out!!
    Rgds
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Default Re: Yugoslav Aircrew PoW in WW2 - Help Needed

    According to FAA A/c 1939-1945, Hurricane Z6985 was with 51 R & SU at Burgh al Arab, Egypt until transfer to 806 Squadron 14/10/1941, in a crash 26/11/1941. No crew names quoted in this entry.
    From August 1941 806 Squadron became part of the Naval Fighter Squadron in the Western Desert.

    DaveW
    Last edited by davew; 29th September 2020 at 17:01. Reason: typo

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    Default Re: Yugoslav Aircrew PoW in WW2 - Help Needed

    Pavle Crnjanski,

    glider and power pilot, flies no more. He lives in Belgrade. He was a prisoner in Germany during the war, as he had served in the R.A.F., but returned to lead the Yugoslavian National Team for many years.

    BELGRAD DEFENDERS Yugoslavian famous pilots in April War

    http://www.igleize.fr/aces/ww2apr.htm

    Is it the same man? (SOE operation)

    04/02/1942, Operation Disclaim, Airborne Sokolac (Bosnia), Maj Cavan Elliot, 2Lt Pavle Crnjanski, Sgt Petar Miljković, Sgt William Chapman (W/T)
    Almost immediately picked up by Domobrans and handed over to the Germans in Sarajevo

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yugoslavia_and_the_Allies

    https://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=85607

    Mojmir
    Last edited by vrajm; 29th September 2020 at 18:24.

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    Default Re: Yugoslav Aircrew PoW in WW2 - Help Needed

    Hello.

    1./

    2nd Puk fighters were also active on 7 April (1941), patrolling over Central Serbia in expectation of Luftwaffe attacks on factories in Kragujevac and Kraljevo which in the event never materialized. However, when two pairs of 31 Grupa Me109s took off on one such patrol, one pair spotted two Hs126As east of the Morava river, almost at the same position as that shot down by Pajic on the previous day. Pilots Kodra and Cranjanski* opened fire and hit the first Henschel at once and it went down to crash near the monastery of St Petka, the pilot, Josef Ricklin, and his observer were killed. Meanwhile the second Hs126A made good its escape unharmed.

    Index (p.421) - Crnjanski, 2/Lt Pavle, 31 Gr., 2 Fighter Puk. p.211.

    See:
    Air War Over Jugoslavia, Greece and Crete 1940-41.
    Shores,C., Cull,B. & N Malizia
    London:Grub Street,1987.
    p.211.

    2./

    No.30 Squadron, RAF.

    Plt. Off. H. K. Cartwright force-landed on mud flats ten miles west of Rosetta, not injuring himself badly but severely damaging the aircraft. Another Hurricane was written off when on 23rd July (1941), one of the Yugoslavians, Plt. Off. Cranjanski [sic], crashed near Edku following engine trouble.

    See:
    Flat Out The Story of 30 Squadron Royal Air Force.
    Hamlin,John F.
    Tunbridge Wells:Air-Britain(Historians),2002.
    p.151.

    3./

    A second joint British/Royal Yugoslav mission, code-named 'Hydra', had been put ashore from a submarine on 4 February (1942); Maj. Atherton's task was to contact Hudson who had been out of communications since December. A Royal Yugoslav party had also been landed, independently, on 27 January but it would be some months before it came on the air and by then Atherton had been murdered. The 'Disclaim' mission, who were to be dropped by Austin and Jackson in November, were still waiting for the weather to improve and their chance came on the night of 5/6 February. Maj Elliot, Sgt Chapman, his wireless operator, and two Royal Jugoslav officers were parachuted blind from a Halifax of No. 138 Squadron which had flown them from Malta to Mt Rominija, close to Sarajevo in eastern Bosnia. If Atherton's party had reported favourably a second party were to have been parachuted in; the 'Disclaim' party were as ill-fated as Atherton's and were captured three days later by Ustasa patrols and turned over to the Germans.

    See: Flights Of The Forgotten: Special Duties Operations in World War Two.
    Merrick,K.A.
    London:Arms & Armour,1989.
    p.154.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 30th September 2020 at 15:03.

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    Default Re: Yugoslav Aircrew PoW in WW2 - Help Needed

    Hello All,
    Mni tks for all the information! I think we may be getting near the truth!
    The political/military situation in the former Yugoslavia at the time (as I understand it) was that there was Govt in Belgrade running the country, there was a Govt In Exile in London, the Germans and/or Italians were occupying the country, there were two(at least!) revolutionary/resistance organisations who disliked each other intensely, and various bits of the country (depending on religious persuasion) were likely to "change sides" without notice. If I had been told that I was to parachute (blindly!!) into the middle of all this, and to get it all sorted out, I would have assumed that I had upset a Senior Officer very badly!!
    Tks again!
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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