The Belgrade “Batajnica” military airport will be renamed “Colonel-Pilot Milenko Pavlović” military airfield after a colonel killed in the battle with NATO aviation during the bombing of Serbia.
According to the information by Serbia’s Tango 6 aviation portal, the Chief of General Staff of the Army of Serbia /Milan Mojsilović/ passed the decision on June 6 to rename the “Batajnica” military airport the “Colonel-Pilot Milenko Pavlović” military airport.
The decision on renaming the airport has already entered into force, according to which the largest military airport in the former Yugoslavia is no longer named after a geographical term, but after one of the most famous pilots in the modern history of the Yugoslav and Serbian Air Force and Air Defence.
During the NATO aggression against FR Yugoslavia, Pavlović was the commander of the then 204th Hunting – Aviation Regiment, and he was killed during the battle that took place on May 4, 1999, not far from his native Valjevo.
The Serbian Armed Forces, above all the Air Force and the Air Defence, have kept a memory of Pavlović; a documentary was filmed about his death, a street towards the “Batajnica” airport is named after him, and the 101st Airborne Squadron named one of hunter fighters “MiG 29” after him.
Colonel Milenko Pavlović, a hero, the commander of the 204th Hunting – Aviation Regiment, was killed in an unequal battle with NATO aviation scarifying himself to save his younger colleagues from a certain death.
Pavlović was killed on May 4, 1999, over Valjevo in a battle with NATO planes that took off from the Tuzla airport, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
On that day, around noon, Milenko pulled out a young pilot from the cockpit of MiG 29 who was about to take off from the Batajnica airport.
“Damn it, children, you won’t die, I will!” said Pavlović while pulling his colleague out of the cockpit. He then, on a plane in not so good shape, headed for Valjevo, the region where he was born, to meet dozens of NATO fighters and bombers.
Twelve minutes later, his colleagues at the Operations only heard: “They got me!” and the plane disappeared off radar.
He was soon shot and parts of the “MiG 29”, which he was piloting, fell in the village of Bujačić, near Valjevo.
Pavlovic did not eject.