President Decorates Pilot for Flying First MIG to Croatian Side

Total Croatia News

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Photo: Robert Anic/PIXSELL
Photo: Robert Anic/PIXSELL

On the 30th anniversary of that flight, the president thanked Borović for his brave act, saying that in the history of the Croatian war some names were rightfully and respectfully known to the wider public and children.

“One of the names that, without reason or justification, is not as well-known is your honourable name, Danijel Borović, colonel of the Croatian Army and the Croatian Air Force, the man who was the first to bring a supersonic fighter jet into Croatian ownership,” the president said.

He recalled that in February 1992, after his fellow fighter Rudolf Perišin flew across the border, Borović landed a MIG-21 at the Pula airport in the dark after “dangerously, skillfully, heroically and riskily” separating from a fighter duo, putting the aircraft “into the functional use of the Croatian Air Force, which was just being created.”

Great heroic act

“That’s a great heroic act because heroism, and only then ownership, is reflected in the choices you had and how you could have acted but did not. You could have left, you could have simply come one day to one of our Croatian commands and registered. What you did surpasses that first option many times,” Milanović said.

He said Borović had risked his life not only to bring Croatia a fighter jet but also to make that a very significant and visible way of lifting Croatia’s morale at that time.

Thanking the president for the decoration, Borović said it was in a way compensation for what he should have received 27 years ago when many people were decorated in the president’s office.

He said injustice was done at that time not just to him but also to his wife and five-year-old son Vanja who had been involved in months-long preparations. “We have made it and this award has found its place after 27 years. I thank you for that.”

Borović said that despite the disappointment at that time, he and his wife Snježana wrote a book, “Flyover for Croatia”, which he said could be used as a textbook because it described what had been happening in 1992.

For more, check out our politics section.


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