Remains of WWII veteran returned home, buried in Fort Jackson Na - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Remains of WWII veteran returned home, buried in Fort Jackson National Cemetery

Remains of WWII veteran returned home, buried in Fort Jackson National Cemetery. (Source: WIS) Remains of WWII veteran returned home, buried in Fort Jackson National Cemetery. (Source: WIS)
FORT JACKSON, SC (WIS) -

The remains of a World War II veteran who died more than 70 years ago have found their final resting place in Fort Jackson National Cemetery.

Lt. William Harth Jr., of Columbia, was 22 years old in the summer of 1943 when he was assigned to the 329th Bombardment Squadron, 93rd Bombardment Group, which was known as “The Traveling Circus.”

On August 1 of that year, he served on a B-24D aircraft while participating in a historic mission, codenamed Operation Tidal Wave. The operation was the first large-scale, low-altitude attack by the U.S. on Romania.

However, confusion in navigation during the attack caused some planes to miss their turn, where they encountered German anti-aircraft fire. The B-24D that Harth was traveling in crashed and he was killed.

“The amount of bravery that day when they took off from Libya is astounding,” Alan Landers, a member of the 93rd Air Ground Operations Wing, said. “They knew how low they were going to fly, they knew they were going to meet those defenses and they knew they were going to be blowing up petroleum. It’s truly incredible.”

Several days after the bombing raid, Romanian civilians and officials recovered the remains of the deceased Americans and interred them in the Hero Section of the Bolovan Cemetery. In 1946 and 1947, Harth's remains were reinterred into an American cemetery in Belgium. The American Graves Registration Command was able to identify 145 of the Soldiers killed in the operation, but Harth’s remains were listed as non-recoverable.

However, after extensive DNA analysis and testing, Harth’s remains were positively identified thanks to DNA provided by his niece in addition to dental records.

“We didn’t know a whole lot about my uncle because it was devastating to my grandparents and my mother,” Bonnie Hipkins, Harth’s niece, said. “So learning all of this stuff about him is invaluable.”

Fort Jackson held a ceremony for the family of Lt. Harth on Friday. His family said they can now rest easy knowing Harth is home.

“We’re really emotional for everything that Fort Jackson has done, everything the Army has done to get him home and all of these organizations who have come out to provide full honors for my uncle,” Hipkins said.

Copyright 2018 WIS. All rights reserved.

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • 1 student injured in Florida school shooting; suspect in custody

    1 student injured in Florida school shooting; suspect in custody

    Friday, April 20 2018 9:27 AM EDT2018-04-20 13:27:44 GMT
    Friday, April 20 2018 10:39 AM EDT2018-04-20 14:39:55 GMT

    One student was injured in a school shooting at Forest High School in Ocala, FL. Police say the shooter is another student.

    More >>

    One student was injured in a school shooting at Forest High School in Ocala, FL. Police say the shooter is another student.

    More >>
  • Couple killed Vietnam vet, burned body while kids watched, authorities say

    Couple killed Vietnam vet, burned body while kids watched, authorities say

    Friday, April 20 2018 7:58 AM EDT2018-04-20 11:58:17 GMT
    Friday, April 20 2018 7:58 AM EDT2018-04-20 11:58:17 GMT
    Stacie Mendoza and her husband, Jose Mendoza, were arrested in the torture and murder of a Vietnam War veteran. (Hanford Police Department via AP)Stacie Mendoza and her husband, Jose Mendoza, were arrested in the torture and murder of a Vietnam War veteran. (Hanford Police Department via AP)

    Authorities believe Stacie Mendoza, a waitress, used her friendship with Kenneth Coyle to get access to his financial information.

    More >>

    Authorities believe Stacie Mendoza, a waitress, used her friendship with Kenneth Coyle to get access to his financial information.

    More >>
  • American ISIS wife endured horror, now wants to come home

    American ISIS wife endured horror, now wants to come home

    Thursday, April 19 2018 7:26 PM EDT2018-04-19 23:26:55 GMT
    Thursday, April 19 2018 9:02 PM EDT2018-04-20 01:02:08 GMT

    Sam Sally says she was coerced by her husband, who has since died, into crossing into ISIS territory while on vacation in Turkey four years ago.

    More >>

    Sam Sally says she was coerced by her husband, who has since died, into crossing into ISIS territory while on vacation in Turkey four years ago.

    More >>
  • South Carolina news on WIStv.comNEWSMore>>

  • In Comey memos, Trump talks of jailed journalists, 'hookers'

    In Comey memos, Trump talks of jailed journalists, 'hookers'

    Friday, April 20 2018 1:03 AM EDT2018-04-20 05:03:06 GMT
    Friday, April 20 2018 10:46 AM EDT2018-04-20 14:46:18 GMT
    (AP Photo/Susan Walsh). Copies of the memos written by former FBI Director James Comey are photographed in Washington, Thursday, April 19, 2018. President Donald Trump told former FBI Director James Comey that he had serious concerns about the judgment...(AP Photo/Susan Walsh). Copies of the memos written by former FBI Director James Comey are photographed in Washington, Thursday, April 19, 2018. President Donald Trump told former FBI Director James Comey that he had serious concerns about the judgment...

    President Donald Trump told former FBI Director James Comey that he had serious concerns about his first national security adviser, Michael Flynn.

    More >>

    President Donald Trump told former FBI Director James Comey that he had serious concerns about his first national security adviser, Michael Flynn.

    More >>
  • Barbara Bush believed literacy could cure other ills

    Barbara Bush believed literacy could cure other ills

    Friday, April 20 2018 1:33 AM EDT2018-04-20 05:33:17 GMT
    Friday, April 20 2018 10:45 AM EDT2018-04-20 14:45:46 GMT
    (AP Photo/Luc Novovitch, File). FILE - In this May 16, 1994 file photo, former first lady Barbara Bush reads to a group of children at the Clinton Family Inn, a shelter run by Homes for the Homeless in New York. Promoting literacy was a longtime cause ...(AP Photo/Luc Novovitch, File). FILE - In this May 16, 1994 file photo, former first lady Barbara Bush reads to a group of children at the Clinton Family Inn, a shelter run by Homes for the Homeless in New York. Promoting literacy was a longtime cause ...

    Barbara Bush came up with the idea of focusing on literacy as first lady during a jog in 1978, the year her husband considered his first run for president.

    More >>

    Barbara Bush came up with the idea of focusing on literacy as first lady during a jog in 1978, the year her husband considered his first run for president.

    More >>
  • Wells Fargo to pay $1B for mortgage, auto lending abuses

    Wells Fargo to pay $1B for mortgage, auto lending abuses

    Friday, April 20 2018 9:33 AM EDT2018-04-20 13:33:09 GMT
    Friday, April 20 2018 10:44 AM EDT2018-04-20 14:44:53 GMT
    (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File). FILE - This Aug. 11, 2017, file photo shows a sign at a Wells Fargo bank location in Philadelphia. The New York Times and other news outlets are reporting Thursday, April 19, 2018, that federal regulators plan to fine Well...(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File). FILE - This Aug. 11, 2017, file photo shows a sign at a Wells Fargo bank location in Philadelphia. The New York Times and other news outlets are reporting Thursday, April 19, 2018, that federal regulators plan to fine Well...

    Wells Fargo fined a combined $1 billion by federal regulators for abuses tied to its mortgage and auto lending businesses.

    More >>

    Wells Fargo fined a combined $1 billion by federal regulators for abuses tied to its mortgage and auto lending businesses.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly