The achievement of Raka Ljutovac, the first anti-air personel in the world
During September of 1915, austro-hungarian army was, along with preparing an all out assault on Serbia, bombing Kragujevac several times, which was the capital of Serbia’s army industry. In just a few days of bombing, apart from several building were destroyed, a huge number of innocent civilians were also killed.
On 30th, September 1915, the enemy once again did an aerial assault. The alarm was sounded. On the hills near Kragujevac, the hero of our story Radoje Raka Ljutovac patiently waited. He aimed from the Turkish cannon, determined to save the civilians who were dying… and he hit instantly. The enemy plain dropped near Kragujevac, and along with it, two German pilots burned to their deaths. After congratulating him on his achievement, the commander has given his horse, on which Radoje rode into the city and to the place on which the enemy plane has fallen down. In his military attitude, he honoured the fallen soldiers. The citizens understood that that day he was the one who saved them therefore congratulated him. Radoje was honoured with Karadjordje star with swords. Later he even crossed Albania, survived the the Thessaloniki front and he received two more commendations. When he retired from the army after the war, Radoje Ljutovac, the world’s first anti-air gunman, opened his shop in Trstenik and he lived modestly until the end of his life. He died when he was 81 years old, on 25th November, 1968. The date on which he brought down the enemy aircraft was taken to be a holiday of the Anti-air artillery of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. That September 30th is also the day of Artiller-rocket units of the Yugoslav army.
In 1938, great march of the Yugoslav Army was held, possibly by being the 20 years of ending the First World Was and the liberation of Serbia. As a special guest, Radoje Ljutovac was attending, on which the famous photography witnesses.
Radoje’s wife gifted the medals of her late husband to the Museum in Krusevac in 1976, where it resides even today. In front of the Judicial Building in Trstenik, which was built on the land Raka Ljutovac gifted to the municipality of Trstenik, a bust in his honour was erected to make future generations remember the man who achieved something almost impossible at that time. On Meta’s Hill near Kragujevac, a monument was erected as well, and the military barracks carry the name of our Hero Radoje Ljutovac.