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Greek / American Operational Group Office of Strategic Services (OSS)
Memoirs of World War 2


Battle of Brac

The island of Brac was not only the largest island in the Dalmatian chain, it had the strongest German garrison. We knew that sooner or later we would raid Brac. We left Vis June 4, 1944; we had no idea that D Day would be two days later in Normandy. We still believed the invasion would be through the soft underbelly of Europe. A few days before we left for Brac the Adriatic was loaded with all type of ships. Later we were told that they had skeleton crews, a ploy to fool the Germans that a second invasion force would be sent into Europe via the soft underbelly. The Greek and Yugoslavian groups loaded onto the infamous LCIs for Brac.

Following is the report of the Brac operation.

Report of the Brac Operation

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Place: Brac Island
Date: 4 June 8 1944
Mission: Large scale diversion to draw and hold enemy troops and reserves on the coastal mainland.

SUBJECT: Report on Operation Flounced

TO: Richard R. Quay, Headquarters, SBS, Bari

  1. This operation took place on the island of BRAC over the three day period of 2nd June to 4th June 1944. The operation was a joint Allied Partisan action and was hurriedly planned as a major effort against the enemy outposts on the Dalmatian islands to draw off, or at least contain German reserves on the coastal mainland, which might otherwise have been employed to reinforce the large scale enemy drive then in progress against Tito's Headquarters.
  2. Initially forces employed consisted principally of the Partisan 26th Division totaling approximately 2500 and allied troops in the neighborhood of 1000 men. Both of these figures were increased by subsequent reinforcements so that the final total involved probably 4500-5000 men. The allied element was composed generally of one complete Commando. (43rd Royal Marines) reinforced by elements of other Commando forces on VIS, heavy and light artillery and AT guns, a company of the Highland Light Infantry, plus a SMALL Bren Carrier detachment from the same, detachment of Operational Groups, medical, signal, engineer, etc., elements.
  3. The OG detachment numbered approximately 140 officers and men. Two complete combat groups from Unit A under command of Lt. Kopenits and Lt. Bentham, were employed, one combat group and one weapon group from Unit B UNDER Lt. Manusos and Captain Eichler, respectively. The Unit B weapons group included one complete LMG squad from Unit A weapon group to fill out the LMG section of Unit B Weapons Group due to absentees undergoing jump training. Both C.O.'s, Captain Robert Houlihan , Unit B and Lt. Ward (act'g. Unit A) were along. Captain Bliden. with a small Headquarters Detachment, commanded by Major Lovell and including Captain Kerr and one complete squad from Unit A, in addition to other elements completed the U.S. forces.
  4. The operation, as planned, was divided virtually into two separate sections. The main effort was to be made against the enemy garrison on the eastern part of the island in the vicinity of NEREZISCE. This included the assault of an OP overlooking the town of BOL, assigned to the HLI, and a containing action against a small garrison in SUPETAR assigned to the Partisans, all to be accomplished at H Hour by forces landed on D-1, following which the main attack was to be launched against the NEREZISCE garrison. A secondary drive, scheduled to be principally a containing action, was to be inaugurated against the other principal garrison on the eastern end of the island in the Sumartin area to prevent the sending of reinforcements to NEREZISCE.
  5. One Combat Group, under Lt. Kopenitz, at the request of Colonel Churchill, was assigned as a security detachment to 2nd SS Brigade Headquarters , located at the NEREZISCE area. The balance of the U.S. forces together with a battery of four(4) 75mm howitzers, two 47 mill AT guns of the 101 LAA, and 3 Bren Carriers of the HLI, made up the Allied Detachment under command of Major Lovell, to assist the Partisans on the western end of the island.
  6. At the conclusion of the three day action , the situation in the SUMARTIN area was well under control. The Allied Partisan force had not only succeeded in closely contained the German garrison, but Major BOGDAM, commanding the 1st Dalmatian Brigade, with excellent support from the howitzer battery, had driven the Germans troops back into their inner defense ring, killing and capturing many in the process. The action at NEREZISCE was not as successful. Considerable difficulty was encountered in reducing the OP and the main positions were found to be strongly fortified and well defended.
  7. Evacuation on the third day was orderly and made without incident. The U.S. forces suffered only one casualty, resulting in the loss of an eye due to enemy artillery fire on the beachhead at BOL. All our troops are believed to have done a creditable job. At the time of this writing, complete information is not yet available but it is believed that both Partisan and British casualties in the NEREZISCE area were heavy and included key officer personnel.
  8. Principal Mission O.G. Detachment this operation was simply to provide protection for artillery. Troops accordingly, though exposed to severe enemy shell-fire, did no actual fighting. Brunt of the battle was borne entirely by British and Partisans forces which deserve full credit for performing splendidly in the face of heavy odds and casualties. Work of British artillery was particularly effective and was dominant factor in punishment inflicted upon the enemy.

By order of Major Lovell

A. W Keer
Captain, CAV
Operations Officer



The above mission was assigned to Allied forces on Vis in order to tie down German reserves and prevent them from reinforcing the intense German drive then in progress against Marshall Tito's Partisan Headquarters in Bosnia. In the course of the four day battle, Allied and Partisan troops probably built up strength of 4-5000 men. American forces totaled approximately 150 men. Our troops, together with a battery of four mountain guns of the RSR, a section of two AT guns, and a detachment of four Bren carriers of the Highland Light Infantry, were given the specific mission of containing enemy forces on the east end of the island and to prevent them from reinforcing the garrison in the NEREZISCE area where the main effort was to take place. A large force of Partisans was assigned to this same sector and they immediately engaged enemy positions and over the course of the three day battle gradually forced the enemy back to strong mined and wired positions in SUMARTIN. During this period the American troops effected liaison between artillery and the Partisans, provided security to the rear and flanks and functioned as a reserve striking force. A separate combat group under Lts Kopenits and Lavinskas was assigned as a reserve and to provide security for Brigade Headquarters in the section of NEREZISCE. American troops suffered one casualty in the vicinity of our advanced supply base at BOL. Subsequently intelligence disclosed that in addition to containing all troops on the coastal mainland some three or four additional German divisions were drawn from the interior presumably to repel what was thought to be an invasion in force. This relieved considerable pressure on Tito's troops and the action was therefore considered to be successful.

Principal mission of the OG Detachment this operation was simply to provide protection for artillery. Troops accordingly, though were exposed to severe enemy shell fire.

PERSONNEL: Operational Groups


Major P. G. Lovell
Captain W. G. Bliden
Captain A. W. Keer
Captain R. F. Houlihan
Captain R. E. Eichler
Captain G. C. Markoutsos
Lieutenant H. H. Smith
Lieutenant L.W. McGrary

Lieutenant C. E. Bathory
Lieutenant M. P. Manusos
Lieutenant P. B. Pope
Lieutenant M Kopenits
Lieutenant V. Lavinskas
Lieutenant M. C. Ward
Lieutenant J. W. McConnell
Lieutenant N. Pappas
Lieutenant W.C. Benthan

Enlisted Men

S/Sgt. J. Mayer
T/5 A. T. Walther
T/5 L.G. Gaal
T/5 J. Koutla
T/5 P. J. Haydu
S/Sgt. W. F. Parobechek
T/5 L. S. Merecicki
T/5 L. Luf
T/5 E. W. Pucel
Sgt. L. M. Nowicki
Pfc. G. E. Lorens
T/5 P. J. Beno
T/5 M. Redovian
T/5 N. F. Rennie
T/5 S. Rejko
T/5 R. R. Kozinek
T/5 L. Oros
T/5 A. G. Sampatacacus
T/5 A. C. Poryzees
T/5 H. Shiomos
T/5 J. Bogo
S/Sgt. S. Butyter
T/5 F. Jurgaitis
S/Sgt. W. S. Mierzejewski
T/5 D. E. Van Gampleare
Cpl. O. M. Feher
T/5 S. Caldarea
T/5 J. Choehola
T/5 J. W. Baron
T/5 M. Kalisz
T/5 C. J. Bartz
T/5 H. S. Nagler
T/5 S. A. Pobutkiewicz
T/5 H. F. Wozniak
T/5 S. Gniewek
T/5 C. J. Novak
T/5 L. Franczyk
T/5 W. R. Kazmierczak
T/5 F. Kovalkevich
T/Sgt. J. G. Glaros
S/Sgt. G. T. Saris
T/5 I. E. Tsankaris
T/5 H. Ginis
Cpl. J. G. Katsikos
T/5 G. A. Nickolopoulos
Sgt. D. N. Polyzos
T/5 C. S. Katsikis
T/5 P. G. Anton
T/4 J. Zonas
T/5 A. Poulis
T/5 M. J. Vardales
T/5 G. Eliopoulos
T/5 T. S. Kastanes
Sgt. C. C Christis
Sgt. T. P. Georgalos
Cpl. A. P. Phillips
T/5 Helinski
T/5 J. Simon
Sgt. W. A. Zach
T/5 E. L. Chmieleski
T/5 H. S. Kozlowski
T/5 E. Sliwa
T/5 F. G. Smolinski
T/5 W. S. Kopascz

Sgt. G. J. Kirchner
T/5 W. M. Kira
S/Sgt. J. J. Lutchkus
T/5 G. Ivansko
T/5 J. Zonenberg
Cpl. F. T. Blackwood
T/5 J. G Pekar
T/5 R. G. Kelso
T/5 J. Kubachka
T/5 E. J. Youhouse
T/5 T. S Fornowski
Cpl. D. Pounovich
T/5 C. Lasczcych
T/5 J. Czebely
T/5 J. Stauski
T/5 A. Radak
T/5 S. Gotch
T/5 W. Lovrich
T/5 E. A. Herman
T/5 L. Zotter
Pvt. A. Stojak
T/5 V. J. Brudnicki
S/Sgt. M. Kovalick
S/Sgt. E. Della
S/Sgt. M. Bogdanoff
Sgt. B. V. Narewski
S/Sgt. M. Sasko
Sgt. R. J. Kelly
Sgt. E. John
T/5 J. Caroulis
T/5 A. P. Bugay
T/5 C. Robertson
T/5 J. Bachiu
S/Sgt. L. D. Udvari
Cpl. A. S. Mousalimas
T/5 J. Antonakis
T/5 A. G. Grevis
T/5 N. H. Cominos
T/5 G. S. Kalliavas
Cpl. P. P. Phillips
T/5 D. Fotinatos
T/5 J. M. Koutelis
T/5 B. Economo
T/5 J. A. Laubs
S/Sgt. T. K Andrews
T/5 H. J. Pulos
T/5 J. K. Alexatos
T/5 J. K. Alexatos
Sgt. J. Tsolas
Cpl. P. Siapicas
Sgt. G. C. Karakitsos
T/5 T. Lefikis
T/4 E. Angelopas
Cpl. N. A. Angelo
T/5 G. T. Basiardanes
T/5 S. D. Pleasatos
Cpl. S. J. Carles
T/5 S. B. Papayannakis
T/5 E. Tsantes
T/5 C. W. Mitchell
T/5 A.L. George
T/5 P. Hatsivassiliou
T/5 D. J. Christ
Cpl. P. H. Lewis


  • U.S. National Archives, Battle of Brac, History of Operations in Yugoslavia, p. 19 (report filed at Headquarters, Co. C, 2671st Special Reconnaisance Battalion, APO 512, U.S. Army, 20 November1944).

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