brochure “Partizanski spomenik u Mostaru” (1980)
book “Spomenica Mostara 1941-1945.”
another document or proof of the memorial stone (e.g., a photograph).
Franjo F. INTIHAR
FRANJO F. INTIHAR, born on May 9, 1909, in Zagreb. A sergeant in the Army of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, an aircraft mechanic, he lived in Mostar until the capitulation of Yugoslavia. In April 1941, he participated in the evacuation of high-ranking Yugoslav officials (April 16 – Čemovsko Polje, Kapino Polje; April 17 – Heliopolis, serving as a mechanic). He fled to the Middle East by plane, where he joined the Mediterranean RAF unit. He was a member of the Yugoslav detachment in the 15th American Air Force (Royal Airforce Yug 15 AF USAAT). He was a crew member of the heavy bomber B-24 (serial number 42-70389, aircraft number 21), one of four assigned to Yugoslav pilots by the U.S. Air Force. He died as a member of the B-24 crew on December 19, 1943, above Augsburg, Germany.
In 1942, 40 Yugoslav pilots, mechanics, and other crew members (out of approximately 300 who were in the Middle East at the beginning of the war) were sent to the U.S. for training by the decision of President Roosevelt and at the request of King Peter. They first learned English in Miami Beach and then moved to military bases in Fort Myers, Florida, and California. The training lasted from November 1942 to August 1943. Out of the 40 selected pilots, 35 successfully completed the training, after which President Roosevelt presented them with four bombers, saying: “Let these planes carry out their mission under your leadership. They exist for two reasons: first – to bombard our common enemy, second – to supply your compatriots with the necessary materials they have been waiting for too long: food, medical supplies, weapons, and ammunition. I am confident that you will be successful in this task you have undertaken. Remember that we will always be brothers in arms.”
In September 1943, the crew members met with King Peter in Egypt, where the royal government had relocated from London. A short footage was made of the visit (WAR PICTORIAL NEWS NO 132). The King was filmed delivering a speech to the crew, greeting them, and visiting the bomber. Shortly after, the bombers departed for missions in the Middle East. Combat missions of bombers with Yugoslav crews began in November 1943. King Peter expected the planes to fly under the markings of the Yugoslav Royal Air Force, but the request was denied when Tito lodged a protest, so they flew under the markings of the U.S. Air Force. However, they were allowed to display the squadron’s emblem, a skull with crossed bones and a propeller, and to wear the JRV (Yugoslav Royal Air Force) insignia on their caps. Additionally, the King expected the crews to fly over Yugoslavia and assist Draža Mihailović’s army, but instead, they were assigned missions in other countries – Greece, Austria, Germany, and Bulgaria.
Franjo Intihar was registered as engineer Y-207 and belonged to the 376th Heavy Bomber Group, 512th Squadron. In his aircraft number 21 (42-73089 #21), there were ten Yugoslavs, members of the crew, and one American. On December 19, 1943, the bomber took off on a mission to bomb the German Messerschmitt aircraft factory in Augsburg. It departed from the Italian airbase San Pancrazio in Brindisi, south of Bari. That morning, like on every mission, it carried 2,300 gallons of fuel and 10 bombs, flying over Italian territory to the north, across the Alps. The bomber dropped approximately 220 kg of bombs on the aircraft factory but was intercepted by German fighters, estimated to be up to 30 aircraft, which attacked and shot it down (the bomber did not have P-38 fighters as protective escorts). During the attack, the propeller fell off, and it was seen descending upside down without any parachutist jumping out. The crew consisted of Dušan Milojević, the pilot, Dušan Mučić, the co-pilot, Borislav Stefanović, the bombardier, Dragoljub Jeremić, the pilot, Franjo Intihar, the flight engineer, Edvard Ceraj, the radio operator, and Dušan Lazarević, Petar Išić, Momčilo Vidojković, and Jovan Ognjenović, all machine gunners, and the American Levie E. Vause Jr as the navigator. They all perished. The exact crash site was never determined, and the bodies of the crew were never found. A report was made about the accident, and the search for the missing crew members is still ongoing.
According to the family, Franjo Intihar’s name is on the memorial plaque for soldiers in an American military cemetery in the Netherlands. Franjo Intihar’s wife, Viktorija, received an American pension her entire life, and when she passed away, her funeral was organized by the Association of Fighters of the National Liberation War (SUBNOR) in Mostar.
Attached is an extensive collection of photographs and documents, mostly related to the training and the death of F. Intihar. Some of the materials are from the family collection, which was handed over to the Aeronautical Museum in Belgrade for safekeeping.
http://usaafdata.com/?q=node/185084; http://usaafdata.com/?q=search&order=field_asn_value&sort=desc; https://www.armyaircorps-376bg.com/yugo_crews.html ; www.pogledi.rs-forum-thread-1687-page-11.html ; https://www.yuantiques.com/en/blog/royal-yugoslav-air-force-detachment ; Dokumenti o nestaloj posadi u akciji https://catalog.archives.gov/id/90908066 ; http://accident-report.com/MACR/1943/m194312.html ; http://www.accident-report.com/Yearly/1943/4312/4312n3.html; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consolidated_B-24_Liberator; http://accident-report.com/MACR/1943/m194312.html; https://www.americanairmuseum.com/archive/aircraft/42-73084 ; http://380th.org/aircraft-typeJ.html video: https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/1060007105 ; https://wingsofserbia.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Savoia-Marchetti-SM.79-The-Yugoslav-Story-Sample-Pages.pdf ; https://www.cidom.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Rodo%C4%8D_-_aerodrom_102._eskadrila_6._lova%C4%8Dkog_puka__April_1941.jpg.jpg; www.sistory.si/cdn/publikacije/9001-10000/9056/SLUZBENE_NOVINE_14.pdf
grupa autora: Spomenica Mostara 1941-1945. Pročitajte više: Aleksandar Kolo (2006): Nebeska odiseja – Jugoslovenski detašman teških bombardera u Drugom svetskom ratu, AeroArt, Beograd, Photo of the memorial plaque: S. Demirović.
Dobar dio fotografija je iz zbirke Vazduhoplovnog muzeja u Beogradu – zahvaljujemo na ustupljenom materijalu. Takođe zahvaljujemo gospođi Lj. Nevrt na saglasnosti da se fotografije i dokumentacije iz porodične zbirke dodaju na profil F. Intihara, kao i na komentarima za svaku sliku.
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