Mato Dukovac

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Benoit Douville
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Mato Dukovac

Post by Benoit Douville » 30 May 2004 03:01

This guy was the top Croatian Ace of World War II with 44 kills! What is intriguing too is the fact that this guy joined the Soviet side in september 1944. After this incident the Staffel was grounded and on the 1st November 1944 the Germans requisitioned the planes from Croats and the Croatian legionary fighter Staffel ceased to exist as an Air force unit. The Croat personel was degraded to the regular German infantry, but they kept their Luftwaffe uniforms. More info about that episode is welcome and also why Dukovac decided to join the Soviet?

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Post by Bosanac » 30 May 2004 11:23

Sorry for my english.
Mato go on soviet side 20.09.1944 in estern prusia with wingman Spoljar. Later in1945 go in "Yugoslavia" and be in Zemunik like instructor of flying. In August 1945 he took off from his airfild and flew to Italy. In Canada lives his nephev Dane who write me that Spoljar have accident on airplane and Mate try to save him but both fall in Russian prison. May be that stori is truth but may be not. If someone lives in Kanada may be contact with his familly.

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zvone
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Post by zvone » 31 Jul 2004 19:28

Well... I dont belive that Dukovac escape was accident cause he turned back in Yugoslavia as captain in JRV (Yugoslav airforce).
Also during the Arab-Israeli war Dukovac was captain in Syrian Air Force.
He died in 1990.

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Post by Bosanac » 06 Aug 2004 21:10

I do not say that story is true. Other sources is told that Dukovac planned to escape on russian side but I do not is that story is thrut? In that time eno of NDH is near and in Croatian airforce is many comunist simpatizer.

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Post by Larry D. » 06 Aug 2004 23:39

Mato Dukovac was a personal friend of mine during the 12 or so years immediately prior to his death. He and his Canadian wife Jean stayed with me at my home in Florida several times in 1982-84 and I spoke on the telephone with him several dozen times over the years. I interviewed Mato extensively about his wartime experiences, both in person and on the phone. As to your question, Mato was not an Ustasha or a Nazi and by 1944 he was fed up with the war and could clearly see that the Reich and her erstwhile allies were doomed to eventual defeat. His last flight from Flugplatz Eichwalde in East Prussia was an intentional and planned defection that had been arranged well before hand. A number of Croatian Legion pilots had already gone over to the Russians and Mato had been contacted and assured that he and any others who accompanied him would be well treated. He was very proud of his decision but kept these feelings to himself after the war because he feared possible retaliation from Canada's large Croatian population. Further, to them he was a fighter ace hero and for the sake of the Croatian people living in emigration he didn't want to destroy that image. Accordingly, he maintained the fiction about his forced landing behind Russian lines until his death. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, Mato was a Pravoslavni and he was sickened by the persecution of this minority by the Roman Catholic Ustasha in the NDH under Pavelic and Dido Kvaternik. He no longer wanted to be associated with the NDH government by late 1943.

Grüß

Larry D.

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zvone
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Post by zvone » 11 Aug 2004 11:03

Larry,

Thanks for informations about his late life but I belive that one information is incorrect in your post. Due to fact that Mato was his name is almost impossible that he was pravoslavni (ortodox church) cause that is tipical catholic name and serbs doesn't give that name to their childs. Also Dukovac is surname which is not common in Serbia or between croatian serbs nor is common among the croatians.

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Post by Larry D. » 11 Aug 2004 12:20

Hello Zvone,

All I can do is repeat what Mato told me. I can't testify as to whether it's true or not. If he is not a Pravoslavni, then why would he say that? I didn't ask him his religion, he casually volunteered the information while discussing other things.

Kind regards,

Larry D.

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zvone
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Post by zvone » 13 Aug 2004 09:17

Well...

There is one explanation which is comming to my mind. It was not rare that serbs in Croatia during WWII changed their names together with their religion so maybe just maybe that could be the reason...

Maybe someone on this forum knows more about it so we just have to wait.

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Benoit Douville
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Post by Benoit Douville » 22 Aug 2004 02:32

Hi all,

I really appreciate the info about the Croatian Ace Dukovac.

Larry,

You said that you had the privilege to interview Dukovac extensively about his Wartimes experience. I would really appreciate if you can post more info about him here on this forum because it is really hard to get any info about him.

Regards

Larry D.
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Post by Larry D. » 22 Aug 2004 12:59

Three years ago I turned over all of my interview notes with Mato to Marko Jeras, a young Croatian aviation historian who lives in Zagreb. Marko incorporated those notes into a book he recently published about 15.(kroat.)/JG 52, Mato's former unit. I do not have the book nor do I recall its exact title, but I thing it was published in May or June this year and is in the English language or perhaps dual languages with English being one of them. A Google search under Jeras should turn it up for you. Marko also posts frequently on the Luftwaffe Discussion Board (TOCH!) in the event you have need to contact him. Boris Ciglic could also put you in touch with him.

Cheers,

Larry D.

zoobie
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Post by zoobie » 14 Oct 2005 17:50

Im Mato Dukovac's grandson and i had no idea that people were so interested in him.. please email me with any valid information that you have. thank you.
Matt
zoobie69@hotmail.com

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Post by Orlov » 15 Oct 2005 23:29

Hello,
I find two photos of friends of Dukovac (but not him) at the time service in HZL in Eastern Front.

Regards,

Orlov
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Larry D.
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Post by Larry D. » 15 Oct 2005 23:51

Orlov -

Please do NOT post those red "x's" in place of the actual photos here. Most of us can not process them

Thank you.

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Post by Tero T » 25 Nov 2005 17:46

Good Day!
I had the pleasure of interviewing Mato as well in Scarborough where I live presently. One story he told me was when he attacked Soviet bombers he could hear the chatter on the radio from these pilots and in some cases begging for their lives or indicating they had children etc. I understand talking with him he understood the Russian language to a certain degree. Another time he had to bail out but forgot to disconnect his radio cord from the panel and dangled outside his aircraft for some time. Interesting man. Regards Tero T Toronto

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Post by Larry D. » 25 Nov 2005 17:52

I understand talking with him he understood the Russian language to a certain degree.


Yes, most Slavic languages are understandable at a level of 50% - 75% by the many different Slavic peoples because of the common linguistic roots.

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