brochure “Partizanski spomenik u Mostaru” (1980)
book “Spomenica Mostara 1941-1945.”
another document or proof of the memorial stone (e.g., a photograph).
Aleksandar R. VUKOVIĆ
ALEKSANDAR ACO VUKOVIĆ, son of RISTO, born on October 19, 1910, in Mostar, where he completed pilot school. He was a pilot lieutenant. During the April War, as a pilot of the 7th Bomber Regiment of the Royal Yugoslav Air Force, after the capitulation in 1941, he moved to either Greece according to some sources, or to the Soviet Union according to others, and from there to the Allied aviation in the Middle East, where he received additional training. He is remembered as a pilot who eagerly awaited his return to the front. Upon the formation of the Yugoslav People’s Liberation Air Force (NOVJ), he joined the First Squadron. Member of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia (KPJ). He was killed on August 31, 1944, during his third combat mission, as the leader of an aerial fighter group (consisting of six Spitfires), in an operation involving reconnaissance and bombing of communication lines in Northern Dalmatia. He was shot down by anti-aircraft artillery while attacking an enemy train stationed at Suhi Dolac near Drniš.
On February 12, 1945, upon the proposal of Josip Broz Tito, AVNOJ (Anti-Fascist Council for the National Liberation of Yugoslavia) awarded high military decorations to 43 pilots from the 1st and 2nd squadrons of the NOVJ, including Second Lieutenant Aleksandar Vuković with the Order of the Partisan Star of the Second Class. Additionally, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the establishment and development of the Air Force and Air Defense, he was posthumously awarded the Flight Instructor Diploma with a gold pilot’s badge. A stylized propeller monument was erected in his honor on a concrete pedestal at the site of his death in the village of Dolac near Drniš in 1970. In 1990, a design was made for a new monument. The Aviation Museum preserves the Protocol of the unveiling of the monument to Aco Vuković, indicating that it was completed before the war.
EXCERPT FROM LITERATURE:
“While the training was conducted intensively and with apparent success, many of our pilots were not satisfied. They wanted to go to the front as soon as possible. Here is a conversation that somewhat illustrates this mood. Lieutenant Vuković addressed our instructor, Lieutenant Colonel Proctor: ‘Sir, our training is progressing slowly. It seems to me that the war will end and we won’t have a chance to reach the front (this was during the height of the Allied landing in Normandy).’ Proctor replied, ‘Why does that concern you? The main thing is to receive solid training.’ Vuković disagreed, ‘Well, that’s your opinion. I don’t agree with it. For me and my comrades, the main thing is to get to the front as soon as possible, to finally engage in combat.’”
“The first combat mission against naval targets was carried out by the pilots of the 1st Squadron on August 25, 1944 (operation No. 14 from Canne; the pilots were Lieutenant Leopold Ankon as the leader and the escorts in the formation of six: Warrant Officer Radovan Radulović, Aleksandar Vuković, young Corporal Husein Okanović, Captain Branko Kraus, and Second Lieutenant Rudi Luiđi). The report of the 1st Squadron stated: ‘Six Spitfires on a bombing mission against ships in Ražanac or traffic on the road Ražanac-Zadar. 1145 – 1350. 1250 over the target. There were no ships in Ražanac, and there was no traffic on the road to Zadar. In the entire sector, they observed and bombed only two small boats near Sv. Trojica (6 km northwest of the old town). All bombs missed. It was difficult to aim due to poor weather. Light anti-aircraft fire in Vrsi (12 km south of Zadar). Over Dugi Otok, the pilots listened as a voice on frequency ‘B’ spoke in our language: ‘Enemy planes are approaching!’”
“On the last day of August, in the murky morning, the group set off on a new mission. As always, eager for battle, Aco led the six aircraft with the conviction that they would ‘do a good job.’ And indeed, they completed the mission as required, but it cost him his life. Upon their return to the airfield, the leader of the second pair reported: ‘We encountered a freight train near Drniš and immediately attacked it. Seeing that there was no anti-aircraft fire or that we didn’t notice it, we went in for a second attack. Suddenly, the leader of our group dove towards the ground. Moments later, we saw a large cloud of dust and smoke rise from the railway! That’s how our good comrade Aco disappeared, someone who eagerly wanted to reach the front as soon as possible. He was the first casualty of the First Squadron!’ (‘Wings of the Army,’ issue no. 812, February 24, 1977).
“And so, the squadron successfully passed through its baptism of fire. However, towards the end of August, Aleksandar Vuković fell near Drniš during an attack on the railway traffic. He was highly beloved among his comrades. During training, he was a fierce advocate for rushing into battle, and yet, he fell on his third mission. Marshal Tito warned that losses should be minimized. He inquired about how pilot Aleksandar Vuković was killed. He once again emphasized the need for immediate self-sufficiency in the aviation industry upon liberation, but he urged a gradual approach. It is certain that in the beginning, we will have to procure more complex combat aircraft from abroad, but we must also take advantage of this opportunity to train our experts.”
Spomenica Mostara 1941-1945; Vazduhoplovstvo u narodnooslobodilačkom ratu Jugoslavije, izdanje komande ratnog vazduhoplovstva, Zemun 1965.; Božo Lazarević: Vazduhoplovstvo u NOR-u 1941-1945., Beograd, 1972.; Predrag Pejcic: PRVA I DRUGA ESKADRILA NOVJ (znaci.org)
https://www.mycity-military.com/Drugi-svetski-rat/Stvaranje-i-razvoj-vazduhoplovstva-NOVJ-1942-1945.html; https://allspitfirepilots.org/aircraft/7547; https://sr.wikipedia.org/sr-el/%D0%98%D1%81%D1%82%D0%BE%D1%80%D0%B8%D1%98%D0%B0_%D1%81%D1%80%D0%BF%D1%81%D0%BA%D0%BE%D0%B3_%D0%B2%D0%BE%D1%98%D0%BD%D0%BE%D0%B3_%D0%B2%D0%B0%D0%B7%D0%B4%D1%83%D1%85%D0%BE%D0%BF%D0%BB%D0%BE%D0%B2%D1%81%D1%82%D0%B2%D0%B0 ; https://otpisani.niceboard.com/t349-stvaranje-i-razvoj-vazduhoplovstva-novj-1942-1945 ; https://www.mycity-military.com/Drugi-svetski-rat/Stvaranje-i-razvoj-vazduhoplovstva-NOVJ-1942-1945.html
Fotografija: S. Demirović, https://radiosarajevo.ba/vijesti/bosna-i-hercegovina/jahaci-apokalipse-opet-divljaju-oskrnavljeno-partizansko-groblje-u-mostaru/373436#; mo+20200412+partizansko_spomengroblje_devastirano_10apr20_AA4.jpg (1180×807) (bp.blogspot.com); https://allspitfirepilots.org/content/aircraft/7547/images/BAFpilotAleksandarVukovicBeninAfrica.jpg; https://allspitfirepilots.org/content/aircraft/7547/images/EP439352SqnKEP439Yugoslavia19440A.jpg
Zahvaljujemo Vazduhoplovnom muzeju u Beogradu na ustupljenom materijalu.
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