KORITZ, THOMAS F.
Name: Thomas F. Koritz
Rank/Branch: O4/US Air Force
Unit: 335th Tactical Fighter Squadron
Home City of Record: Rochelle IL
Date of Loss: 16 January 1991
Country of Loss: Iraq
Status: Missing in Action
Status in 2002: KIA/Body Recovered
Other Personnel in Incident: Donnie R. Holland (missing)
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 19 March 1991 from one
or more of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources,
published sources, interviews. Update in 2002 POW NETWORK.
REMARKS: OPERATION DESERT STORM
SYNOPSIS: Major Thomas F. Koritz is an Air Force officer from the 335th
Tactical Fighter Squadron based at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in North
Carolina. When his squadron shipped out to Saudi Arabia, Koritz, a pilot and
Air Force surgeon, was assigned to fly an F15E fighter/bomber.
Koritz and his weapons/systems officer, LtCol. Donnie R. Holland,
participated in the first wave of attacks on Iraqi military targets on
January 16, 1991. Koritz was also an Air Force surgeon. Holland had been in
the Air Force for seventeen years, but this was the first combat mission he
had flown. Three hours after the aircraft in the first wave returned to
base, Holland and Koritz had not returned and they were listed missing in
On January 20, 1991, Cable News Network (CNN) described a propaganda parade
of Coalition POWs and reported on interviews with several POWs. Three POWs
made "peace" statements and were filmed, and later televised in the U.S.,
ensuring that public record is available that they are held by the Iraqi.
Holland and Koritz were not mentioned in this, the first report of POWs of
In the first days of March, 1991, 21 American POWs were released by the
Iraqis. Thomas F. Koritz has not yet been released.
Those who recall the abandonment of American POWs in World War II, Korea and
Vietnam are watching carefully, determined that men like Koritz will be
returned alive, or fully accounted for, before American troops leave the
Middle East when hostilities cease.
Thomas F. Koritz was married and had three sons, age 8, 6 and 4. His parents,
Dr. Thomas and Mary Koritz, reside in Rochelle, Illinois. Koritz is a former
high school football player.