Tuesday, August 04, 2009

RELEASE: Rep. Latta Introduces Bill to Award Medal of Honor to WWII Vet

WASHINGTON- On July 31, Congressman Bob Latta (R-Bowling Green) introduced H.R. 3496, a bill that would authorize and request the President of the United States to award the Medal of Honor for actions behind enemy lines during the 1944 successful mission, code named “Operation Halyard” to Fremont resident Arthur Jibilian. In addition, this legislation will waive the time limitations specified in sections 6248 and 6250 of Title 10, U.S. Code for Mr. Jibilian and his actions during “Operation Halyard” so the Department of Defense can begin a full investigation for the Medal of Honor.

Mr. Jibilian was a member of the United States Navy and the Office of Strategic Services, the precursor to the CIA. Operation Halyard, the largest allied airlift operation behind enemy lines during World War II, started in August of 1944 and ended in December 1944. More than 500 allied airmen were rescued from Nazi controlled territory in the hills of Yugoslavia. Mr. Jibilian also received a Silver Star with the OSS in Operation Columbia in 1944.

H.R. 3496 has been referred to the House Armed Services Committee.

“It truly is an honor to introduce H.R. 3496, which will fully recognize the heroic actions of Mr. Arthur Jibilian and his key participation in ‘Operation Halyard’. Through his heroism, over 500 brave allied pilots were safely returned to their families. For that, we are extremely proud or Mr. Jibilian and other members of the “Forgotten 500” who saved hundreds of lives during World War II. In today’s world, it is essential to preserve the cherished memory of the sacrifices of millions of American service members for future generations. By remembering the past, Americans can chart a better course for the future. I have the highest and utmost respect for the men and women who serve, and have served, in our armed forces. They have always been at the forefront of defending our treasured liberties,” Latta stated after introducing the legislation.