The Death of War Hero Božidar Jagatić

In late August of 1991, rebel Serb forces with the help of the Yugoslav People’s Army (YPA) tightened their grip on Topusko. On 23 August 1991 Božidar Jagatić, hero of the Homeland War was killed during one of the artillery attacks on that village located on the border between the regions of Kordun and Banovina.

Božidar Jagatić

Jagatić was born on 3 November 1963 in Zagreb and was the only son of parents Stjepan and Barbara. He finished primary and secondary school in his hometown and worked for the “INA – OKI” company. Jagatić is remembered as a cheerful, sociable and brave young man who loved motorcycles and Dinamo Zagreb soccer club. He was married to Davorka with whom he had two sons and the family lived in Botinac. At the time of their father’s death, Allen was five years old while Dean was only four.

Jagatić first enlisted as a volunteer in the Homeland War through Civil Defense forces but with the establishment of the National Guard Corps in June of 1991 he became one of the first members of the Independent “Cobra” Company. This unit was comprised of volunteers exclusively from the ​​New Zagreb area of Croatia’s capital city. Upon completion of training on Sljeme Mountain on the outskirts of Zagreb, the “Cobras” were given their equipment (which consisted of hunting weapons and roughly 50 automatic rifles) and sent to the front at Topusko. Although Topusko was surrounded at the time, they broke through to the town via the village of Gređani. Darko Mateša, one of the “Cobra” commanders recalled the mission:

We had to break through forests, vineyards and dirt roads in order to reach unoccupied Gređani. We encountered only desolation and emptiness and did not find a single civilian in Topusko

The “Cobras” suffered their first casualty on that mission. “Kiki”, as Božidar Jagatić was known to his comrades was killed by a mortar shell fired from Serb positions. The journey to the hospital was arduous and Jagatić did not survive as his wounds were too severe. He was laid to rest at the Miroševac cemetery in Zagreb on 28 August 1991.

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