The drama of the conquest of the skies throughout the XX century is presented through 25 stories about men and machines from 1913 until 1999. Connecting the early flights of fragile aeroplanes, covered with canvas and braced with wires, to supersonic jet fighters, is the area of the former Yugoslavia. Although on the periphery of the main centres of aviation development, the richness of this heritage is amazing. Captured through the lenses of the diverse participants in these events, curious onlookers or professional photographers, preserved in private collections and public institutions around the globe, 219 authentic photographs, most of which are published for the first time, bring back to life the known and unknown airmen – from Serbia, Austria-Hungary, France, Germany, United Kingdom, Italy, United States, Soviet Union, Israel and Yugoslavia – who left a unique, important and permanent impact on the history of aviation.

Depicted in the book are no less than 60 aircraft types: Blériot XI; Arsenal S8; Lohner Typ M, P, T & TL; Etrich A.II; Rumpler B.I; Hansa Brandenburg B.I & C.I; Nieuport XXI & XXIII; Spad VII, Phönix C.I & D.I; Aviatik Berg; Ufag C.I; Albatros D.III; FBA Tipo H; Aero A-15; Ikarus ŠM & IK-2; Dornier Do Wal, Do D & Do 17; SiM X & XII; Loire-Gourdou-Leseurre B3; Hawker Fury & Hurricane; Messerschmitt Bf 108; Fieseler Fi 156; Potez 25; Rogožarski R-100, PVT & IK-3; Zmaj R-1; Avia BH.33E; Fizir FN & FP-2; Spartan Cruiser; Breguet XIX; Caproni Ca.310; Henschel Hs 126; Bristol Blenheim; Junkers Ju 52; Cant Z.1007; Macchi C.205; Consolidated B-24; Yakovlyev Yak 1 & UYak 9; Ilyushin Il 2; Supermarine Spitfire; Lockheed T-33; Augusta-Bell AB-47; Republic F-84; McDonnell Douglas DC-9; Northrop F-5E; Mikoyan Gurevich MiG 21 & MiG 29.


Foreword          5

Abbrevations          6

Tricolor in the Sky          7

First markings on Serbian aircraft, 1913

Fledgling Eagle          8  

Seaplane pilot Dimitrije Konjović at Training Flying Station Cosada and Seaplane Station St. Catarina, 1915

From the Album of a Czech Airman          12  

Aviation mechanic Adolf Parýzek in 1st Aviation Resupply Company at Novi Sad, 1915

One of the Many          16

Fighter pilot Jean Nicolas in the Aeronautics of the Serbian Army on the Salonika Front, 1916-1917

An Ace with Many Names          20  

Military career of the fighter pilot Franz Wognar in three wars, four states and five air forces, 1913-1943 

Nobleman in a Seaplane          26

Military career of seaplane pilot Miroslav Federik Gogala Dominis, 1921-1940

Fighter Trainer          32  

Loire-Gourdou-Leseurre B3 in the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes & Yugoslav Kingdom, 1926-1937

Fighters and Hacks at Borongaj          36

The 4th Fighter Regiment, 1939-1941  

Spoils of War at Zemun          42 

Yugoslav aircraft captured at Zemun aerodrome and ther fate, 1941

Dornier Do 17Ka-3, RAF Serial AX706          46

Ex- 3rd Bomber Regiment aircraft in RAF service, 1941

Supporting Prinz Eugen          48

Henschel Hs 126B-1 of Short Range Reconnaissance Escadrille Croatia in Operation ‘Black’, 1943

Daring Raid          52

Attack of the Partisan 1st Krajina Brigade on Rajlovac aerodrome, 10 August 1943

Cants over Montenegro          58

88th Group of the Italian Co-Belligerent Air Force in air-drop supply missions, 1944-1945

The First Bomber at Vis          60

Forced landing of B-24G-5-NT s/n 42-78084 from the 450th Bomb Group at Vis island, 2 April 1944

Selby’s Hurricanes          62

RAF fighter ace and SOE operative John Beauchamp Selby, 1944-1945

Taming the Yaks          64

Transition of Yugoslav pilots on Yak 1 fighters, 1944-1945

Shturmoviks at Niš          68

Ilyushin Il-2s in 421st Ground Assault Regiment, 1945

Velvetta          72

Ferry flights of Spitfire LF Mk.IXs from Czechoslovakia to Israel, 1948

Jet Premiere          74

First delivery of Lockheed T-33A jets to the Yugoslav Air Force, 10 March 1953

Hunting Uranium          76

Augusta-Bell AB 47 Rangers in the Section for Aerial Prospection of the 27th & 783rd Helicopter Escadrille, 1960-1966

Hectic Day at Zemunik          78

Accidents of F-84G Thunderjet fighter-bombers of the 172nd Fighter-bomber (Training) Regiment, 18 August 1966

‘Niner’ in the Cornfield          82

Accident of DC-9-32 ‘YU-AJN’, 21 November 1974

‘L’s’ at Slatina          84

MiG 21M jet fighters in the 83rd Fighter Regiment, 1979

Eye of the Tiger          86

Flight tests of the Northrop RF-5E reconnaisance jet, 1980

The Pilot who Loved to Sail          90

Fighter pilot Zoran Radosavljević and 127th Fighter Escadrille in the war against NATO, 1999

Selected bibliography          95

Research and Private Archival Sources          95

Approximate Comparison of Ranks          96


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Blériot XI Militaire of the Aviation Command at Trupalsko Polje, January 1913.
Lohner ‘R28’ of Schulflugstation Cosada returns to St. Catarina, 1915.
Crashed Etrich A.II (Fd) 72.35 of Flek 1 near Novi Sad in early spring 1915.
Nieuport XXI C1 of escadrille N.387 at Vertekop aerodrome in 1917.
Aviatik Berg between two Phönix D.Is of LSL at Šiška airfield, autumn 1919.
FBA Type H ‘N15d’ of 3.HK at Hvar, 12 June 1925.
LGL B3 no.132 of 1.VP with skis at Novi Sad aerodrome, late twenties.
Hawker Hurricane Mk.I s/n 2301 of 4.LP at Borongaj, spring 1940.
Captured prototype of the multirole Zmaj R-1 at Zemun, spring 1941.
Dornier Do 17Ka-3 AX706 of 102 MU at Shalufa, Egypt, in summer 1941.
Crashed Hs 126B-2 W.Nr.4361 of NASt. Kroatien at Kapino Polje, May 1943.
Remnants of Dornier Do 17E-1 W.Nr.3031 of 7.ZJ at Rajlovac, August 1943.
Cants Z.1007ter from 190ª Esc of 88° Gr ACI over Montenegro, March 1944.
B-24G-5-NT Liberator 42-78084 of the 450th BG at Plaško Polje, 2 April 1944.
Hurricane Mk.IV of W Cdr John Selby at Zemun aerodrome in February 1945.
Airmen of TLC with a Yakovlyev Yak 1b at Ruma airfield, March 1945.
Ilyushin UIl-2 ‘White 0’ of 421.VJP at Niš aerodrome, autumn 1945.
Bound for Israel, Spitfire LF Mk.IXEs at Kapino Polje in December 1948.
Lockheed T-33A-1-LO 51-6524 at Batajnica air base, 10 March 1953.
SGZ geologists next to Augusta-Bell AB-47J s/n 11562, Bugojno, September 1961
F-84G Thunderjet s/n 10595 of 172.LBAP(Š) at Zemunik, 18 August 1966.
Destroyed McDonnell Douglas DC-9-32 ‘YU-AJN’ near Bežanija, November 1974.
MiG 21M s/n 22804 of 130.lae at Slatina aerodrome, summer 1979.
Edwards AFB, 24 September 1980: Maj Hamzić inside RF-5E Tigereye 71-1420.
Mikoyan Gurevich MiG 29 of 127.lae ‘Knights’ in HAS at Batajnica, 1993.