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OSS agent who led WWII rescue of 500 dies in NY
OSS agent who led WWII rescue of more than 500 US airmen shot down by Nazis dies in NY
By The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) ' George Vujnovich (VOOY'-noh-veech), the intelligence agent who organized a World War II mission to rescue more than 500 U.S. bomber crew members shot down over Nazi-occupied Serbia, has died in New York. He was 96.

Vujnovich is credited with leading the so-called Halyard Mission in what was then Yugoslavia. It was the largest air rescue of Americans behind enemy lines in any war.

Vujnovich was a member of the Office of Strategic Services, the forerunner to the CIA.

His daughter, Xenia (zee-NEE'-uh) Wilkinson, said her father died of natural causes at home in Queens on April 24.

The long retired salesman of aircraft parts was formally awarded the Bronze Star in 2010. Vujnovich said upon receiving the honor: "Better now than never."

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