95-Year Old WWII Veteran Receives Medal for Rescue

Rebecca Kollmann

The U.S. government recently recognized a World War II veteran for his brilliant rescue of at least 500 U.S. bomber crew members that were shot down over a part of Serbia previously occupied by Nazis. It was the largest American air rescue ever recorded during a war. George Vujnovich, 95, led the “Haylard Mission.”

On Sunday, the New York City veteran was awarded the Bronze Star at a ceremony at Manhattan’s St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Cathedral. He received a very warm reception from a modest crowd of a few hundred. Vujnovich is a retired aircraft part salesman, and he was bittersweet about the honor. While the honor is “better now than never,” (Associated Press) he is bothered that the majority of men on his wartime mission are deceased. Incidents like this one prove that even elderly people get the spotlight on occasion.