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Slav Serving at Atterbury Found
   Sister and Nephew Slain by Nazis
   Bedford, Ind, July 15 --- [Special]  Don Bokonicj, 24 years old, a native of Yugoslavia, now n special assignment to the United states Army at Camp Atterbury, has only bitter hate for the Germans.
   Bokonich, in an interview during a visit here, told a story of German butchery in his native land.
   He was a student at the University of Belgrade when the Germans invaded his homeland.  He joined a Guerilla band under Marshal Tito.  One morning he returned to his home from the guerilla hideout in the hills to discover that just an hour before his arrival 50 men, women and children had been rounded up by the Germans and machinegunned to death in reprisal for the slaying of a German officer, whose throat had been cut by a Yugoslav barber when the officer entered his shop and demanded a shave.
Served With Tito
   Among the dead were Bokonich's sister and her year-old son.
   He served 11 months with Tito's guerillas completing 14 demolition missions and destroying railroad bridges and tracks, he said.  But he considers most important his destruction by knife and gun of 72 Germans.
   while in college, he applied for admission o the United States.  When his emigration papers came through he escaped to Italy, boarded a ship at Genoa and sailed for this country.  Upon his arrival he joined the army and for 22 months has served at Camp Mackall, North Carolina and Camp Atterbury.  He speaks six different languages.
   He says he plans to remain in America after the war and hopes to become a portrait painter.  He said his parents escaped from Yugoslavia and are now in Ireland/

Don Bokonich, 74, Raytown, MO, died Saturday, April 11, 1998, at a hospital from an accident.

Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Thursday, April 16, at Mount Moriah & Freeman Chapel; burial in Mt. Moriah Cemetery. Friends may call 6-8 p.m. Wednesday at the chapel. Memorial contributions may be made to Ascension Lutheran Building Fund.

Mr. Bokonich was born September 9, 1923, in Zrenjahnih, Yugoslavia. He came to the United States at the age of 17 and served in WWII as a paratrooper in the 101st Airborne Unit. He came to Kansas City in 1950. He was the owner & operator of Dan Holiday Furniture Store in Kansas City and Independence for 48 years. He was an active member of Ascension Lutheran Church.

He is survived by his wife, Alice Bokonich, of the home; a son, Steve Bokonich, Independence, MO; four daughters, Judy Bokonich, North Kansas City, MO, Kris, and son-in-law, Kent Wilcoxon, Lee's Summit, MO, Sharon, and son-in-law, Mike Cucchiara, North Kansas City, MO, and Karen, and son-in-law, Duane Larsen, Raytown, MO; a sister, Donica Dumitron; 11 grandchildren.

Kansas City Star, The (MO) - Tuesday, April 14, 1998, METROPOLITAN edition, Page: B4

Born Danilo Bokonich, he later adopted the more American name of "Don".

Only in the country two years, Danilo enlisted in the Army at Camp Dodge, Herrold, Iowa on 2 March 1943.

On 29 October 1943, T/5 Bokonich transferred from the 551st PIR, Ft Benning, GA to Co H, 508th then at Camp Mackall, NC.

He was subsequently transferred from the 508th, perhaps to the 101st Airborne Division, although the date is unclear.  Since he was multi-lingual his assignment may have been within the Intelligence arena.

Pvt Bokonich was taken prisoner on 21 December 1944.  This article appeared in the Mason City newspaper on 2 April 1945 announcing that he was a POW. 

It was 13 months later that the same newspaper announced that Pvt Bokonich had been liberated according to an Office of War Information announcement issued on 22 May 1945.

On 11 June 1945,   Pfc Bokonich arrived in NY City harbor aboard the USS George Washington.  One of many ex-POW's aboard, he was listed as suffering from mild malnutrition.

Pfc Bokonich may have been hospitalized in the U.S. for further treatment as he was not discharged until 4 October 1945.

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