Tako Ivanov Krustev, born June 20, 1920 in the village of Dolna Melna in western Bulgaria. He moved with his family to Sofia when he was 7 and graduated from high school in 1939. He joined the partisans, and was arrested in February 1944, imprisoned and tortured. When the new government took power in September 1944 he volunteered for the newly formed Bulgarian army, was trained by the British, and saw action in Serbia and Macedonia in an attempt to stop the retreating German units from regrouping with others in Hungary. He remained in the military after the war and retired with the rank of Lieutenant General in 1991.
© Jonathan Alpeyrie