cpt. av. Craciun "Sbilt" Salajan


Bomber/ Long Range Recon Pilot

Born: 1919


Combat missions: over 180

Victories: N/A


War episode:

On 2 May 1944, a formation of 14 Ju-88A4s of the 5th Bomber Group were bombing the Motca village on the Moldavian front. The no. 112 flown by lt. av. Craciun Salajan was hit by the Soviet AAA. One shell set the fuel tank in the left wing on fire. The second broke the left flaps and then cut the rudder controls. Despite this heavy damage, he continued the mission and dropped the bombs over the target area. It took some serious flying skill to bring the damaged airplane back to base, but he made it. When his comrades on the airfield saw him come in for the landing, they expected him to make a belly landing. They were simply surprised to see the Ju-88 making a perfect landing on its undercarriage and then taxing slowly to its parking place. Lt. av. Salajan got out very calm.This was not the last time he amazed his colleagues. After August 1944, he made an aerobatics demonstration with a captured Fw-190, even though he had never flew it before. He is also known to have made rolls with his Ju-88, which is a 12 ton aircraft!

He is presently living in the USA


@ 2002-2004