Skip to main content

Lt. Harold Korger was the navigator on the B-24D, Liberator, heavy bomber, 41-11825, Hail Columbia, on Operation Tidal Wave, the mission to destroy the German held oil refineries at Ploesti, Romania, in 1943. Hail Columbia, was named and piloted by Col. John Riley "Killer" Kane and Lt. John S. Young from Dallas Texas, on the mission. Note the four extra .50 caliber fixed nose guns, visible in this photo, which were added to the the lower front plexiglass nose of the five lead aircraft on the Ploesti mission to strafe and suppress the German flak guns ahead of the bombers, as they made their low level bombing runs into the Ploesti oil refinery area. Hail Columbia, and all of it's crew members, including Lt. Korger, survived the Ploesti mission with over 150 counted flak holes in their airplane, yet, with no life threatening injuries to anyone on board. Knowing they could not return to their base at Benghazi, Libya, with their aircraft so heavily damaged by the German anti aircraft flak hits over the Astra Romano Refinery complex, Group Leader and Command Pilot Col. John Kane, and his navigator, Lt. Norman Whalen, decided to try to fly south to the island of Cyprus, and crash landed in the dark, on the British air base at Nicosia, August 1, 1943. Hail Columbia, was wrecked and written off, crash landing at the British air base, August, 1,1943. The next day, as the men inspected their wrecked airplane that had carried them into the burning hell of a bombing mission, and brought them safely home, there were tears in the eyes of their, normally, stoic Commander, John "Killer" Kane. Aug, 2,1943. That's how the men often felt about their airplanes that enabled them to accomplish their missions, then brought them home and saved their lives.

Connections

Units

  • 98th Bomb Group

    98th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 98th trained for bombardment missions with B-24 Liberators during the first half of 1942. ...

  • 344th Bomb Squadron

    344th Bomb Squadron

    Squadron
    The 344th Bombing Squadron was first activated at MacDill Field, Florida as one of the original three squadrons assigned to the 98th Bombardment Group. The 344th soon moved to Barksdale Field, Louisiana, where it began to train as a Consolidated B-24...

Aircraft

  • 41-11825 - Hail Columbia - Little Chief Big Dog - Grumpy

    B-24 Liberator
    The B-24D, Hail Columbia, 41-11825, was assigned to the 9th Air Force, the 98th Bomb Group, and the 344th Bombing Squadron. It was first assigned to the 344th Squadron's CO, Col. John R. Kane's, personal aircraft until Kane became the 98th Bomb Group's...

Locations

  • Lete

    Military site : airfield

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
10 October 2021 08:45:58 general ira snapsorter Changes to person associations and mission associations
Sources

Removed associations not depicted in the image. Associated content should be added to the AIRCRAFT and/or PERSON records.

Date Contributor Update
10 October 2021 00:26:20 Kickapoo Changes to caption
Sources

Into The Fire - Duane Schults

Date Contributor Update
10 October 2021 00:16:22 Kickapoo Changes to caption, person associations and mission associations
Sources

Black Sunday - Ploesti - Michael hill

Date Contributor Update
28 June 2021 09:31:17 Kickapoo Changes to caption and mission associations
Sources

Word changes for accuracy - John S Young Jr

Date Contributor Update
11 June 2021 15:28:39 Kickapoo Changes to caption
Sources

Corrections to spelling for clarity - John S Young Jr

Date Contributor Update
04 May 2021 10:57:12 Kickapoo Changes to caption
Sources

Personal Archives - John S Young Jr

Date Contributor Update
04 May 2021 10:53:10 Kickapoo Changes to caption
Sources

Personal Archives - John S Young, Jr

Date Contributor Update
23 February 2021 08:44:41 general ira snapsorter Changes to person associations and mission associations
Sources

Removed associations not depicted in the image. Associated content should be added to the AIRCRAFT and/or PERSON records.

Date Contributor Update
23 February 2021 06:52:00 Kickapoo Changes to caption, person associations and mission associations
Sources

Black Sunday - Michael Hill ----- Personal Archives - John S Young Jr

Date Contributor Update
10 January 2021 18:06:42 general ira snapsorter Changes to person associations, aircraft associations and mission associations
Sources

Removed associations not depicted in the image. Associated content should be added to the AIRCRAFT and/or PERSON records.

Date Contributor Update
10 January 2021 18:01:44 Kickapoo Changes to caption
Sources

Black Sunday - Michael Hill ---- Personal Archives - John S Young Jr

Date Contributor Update
10 January 2021 17:49:51 Kickapoo Changes to person associations
Sources

Black Sunday - Michael Hill ---- Personal Archives - John S Young Jr

Date Contributor Update
10 January 2021 16:30:31 Kickapoo Changes to caption, person associations, aircraft associations and mission associations
Sources

Personal Archives - John S Young Jr

Date Contributor Update
15 December 2020 14:38:10 general ira snapsorter Changes to person associations and mission associations
Sources

Removed associations not depicted in the image. Associated content should be added to the AIRCRAFT and/or PERSON records.

Date Contributor Update
15 December 2020 10:45:24 Kickapoo Changes to collection, caption, unit associations, person associations, place associations and mission associations
Sources

John S Young Jr - personal archives

Date Contributor Update
10 July 2019 10:17:46 general ira snapsorter Changes to person associations, aircraft associations and mission associations
Sources

Removed associations not depicted in image.

Date Contributor Update
07 July 2019 20:36:08 Kickapoo Created entry with collection, caption, unit associations, person associations, place associations, aircraft associations and mission associations
Sources

Anatomy Of A Disaster - Gen. Hoyt S. Vandenberg ---- Black Sunday - Michael Hill ---- Into The Fire - Duane Schultz ---- TogetherWeServed.com ---- FindAGrave.com ---- Personal Archives - John S. Young

Share