Illustration for article titled And he walked away.

According to the French description that came with this photo, USAAF pilot 1LT Karl T. Hallberg from the 389th Fighter Squadron took off on December 31, 1944 for a mission over the Ruhr Valley. His P-47D was armed with a 500 lb bomb, but it failed to detach over the target. Despite his efforts, Halberg was unable to release the bomb, so he returned to base. Just before the plane touched down, the bomb released and exploded, obliterating the rear half of his fighter. Halberg was able to climb from the wreckage after it rolled to a stop, but then collapsed unconscious. Though he suffered a head injury, Halberg survived the accident.

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