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The Forgotten 500: The Untold Story of the Men Who Risked All for the Greatest Rescue Mission of World War II

Unabridged Audiobook

Written By: Gregory A. Freeman

Narrated By: Patrick Lawlor

Publisher: Tantor Media

Date: October 2007

Duration: 11 hours 0 minutes


The astonishing, never-before-told story of the greatest rescue mission of World War II-when the OSS set out to recover more than 500 airmen trapped behind enemy lines...

During a bombing campaign, hundreds of American airmen were shot down in Nazi-occupied Yugoslavia. Local Serbian villagers risked their own lives to give refuge to the soldiers, and for months the airmen lived in hiding, waiting for rescue.

In 1944, Operation Halyard was born. The risks were incredible. The starving Americans in Yugoslavia had to construct a landing strip-without tools, without alerting the Germans, and without endangering the villagers. And the rescue planes had to make it through enemy airspace and back-without getting shot down themselves.

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. The Forgotten 500 is the breathtaking, behind-the-scenes look at the greatest escape of World War II.


  • Andy D.

    Brilliantly written, these men were true hero’s in every sense of the word. Terrific historical quality.

  • Connie

    WOW....what a story! Very sad that the world was not allowed to hear this true story immediately after the war. I admired the men that were involved, that they persisted in trying to get the truth out, even many years after the fact. Disappointed to hear that the U.S. followed U.K.'s direction in handling this event, and in the end.....the governments of both countries were wrong.

  • Anonymous

    Fascinating story. The attention to detail and the politics is important but not riveting. Well worth the time to get this "untold" story. (like the title, ha ha). Really a story you should hear.

  • Anonymous

    POWERFUL This book tells a moving and powerful story. It is generally well written, although its does drag a bit and is a little redundant at times. However, this is more than offset by the depth of the individual stories and the tales of the incredible sacrifices made by so many to save these 500 airmen. It also sheds light on the tragic failure by the British government and the American State Dept which led to the rise of Tito and the betrayal of our allies in Serbia. Overall, an interesting book, which reaffirms why this was "The Greatest Generation:.

  • APDS4

    This is a must read for WWII and/or military history buff's but it is not all that well written/told and does not hold ones attention real well. I stopped and started it several times but eventually finished it and was glad I did for the knowledge.

  • charlie

    Remarkable story, well read and exciting from start to finish.

Forgotten 500: The Untold Story of the Men Who Risked All for the Greatest Rescue Mission of World War II

by Gregory A. Freeman

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Forgotten 500: The Untold Story of the Men Who Risked All for the Greatest Rescue Mission of World War II, Gregory A. Freeman