In the middle of August 1944, the Soviet Red Army crossed the eastern border of Romania and threatened the entire position of the Axis in the Balkans. On August 23, Romania's King Michael summoned the head of the government to the royal palace and asked him to break with the Germans and negotiate surrender terms with the Soviet Union. Shortly thereafter, Michael took Romania out of the war and issued an ultimatum that the German forces leave the country within three days. The German commander responded immediately by bombing the royal palace, government offices, and other targets in Bucharest. Amid this military and political chaos, the guards at the prisoner-of-war camps abandoned their posts, and the question of what was the best course for the Allied prisoners was discussed at great length by the prisoners themselves.
Hanging in the balance were the lives of more than 1200 Allied airmen who had crashed or bailed out over Romania and were now trapped in the midst of a war hundreds of miles from friendly territory. Dire action was needed to settle the dire situation. The senior American airman came up with a plan to be flown to Italy aboard a Romanian Air Force airplane, and his arrival there triggered one of history's great and novel mass evacuations.
The late American fighter ace Robert J. Goebel wrote the definitive account of Operation Reunion, and it is proudly presented here.
©1991 Robert Goebel Family Trust (P)2016 Robert Goebel Family Trust
Yes, it's the most concise and detailed account of the effort that I've encountered
The Romanian fighter pilot (I won't try to spell his name) who liaised between the Romanian forces and the Fifteenth Air Force. He seemed charismatic, skilled, resourceful and genuinely committed to saving the American POWs.
Mr. Goebel is not a professional narrator or actor, but rather is a retired fighter pilot. His father was a renowned Mustang ace and also the author of this work. Mr. Goebel's performance is workmanlike. His voice is not dramatic, but it is clear and more than adequate to tell this story well. His effort to get this story out to a greater audience is commendable.
It's just less than an hour in length, so it was easy to do.
This is not a long story, but at the price, it was worth it to me.
Report Inappropriate Content