Operation Reunion

'Reunion' was a US operation to recover, via airfields in the Bucharest area, all USAAF personnel incarcerated in Romania following that country’s surrender and change of side (31 August 1944).

A total of 36 Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress aircraft evacuated more than 700 of the 1,100 US airmen in Romania from Bucharest to Bari in south-eastern Ital;y as Romania fell to the Soviets. The undertaking was the brainchild of Romanian airmen and civilians, who concentrated the US prisoners of war at a Romanian-controlled air base while contacting the headquarters of the US 15th Army Air Force by flying a high-ranking prisoner to Italy in a modified Messerschmitt Bf 109 fighter of the Romanian air force. All of those involved in the undertaking realised that the entire operation had to remain a tightly held secret from both the Germans and the Soviets.