Phillips, Ward V., Jr., SSgt

 Service Photo   Service Details
View Time Line
Last Rank
Staff Sergeant
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
AAF MOS 611-Aerial Gunner
Last AFSC Group
Air Crew (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
1943-1944, AAF MOS 611, 353rd Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
Service Years
1942 - 1944
USAAFEnlisted Collar Insignia
Staff Sergeant

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
Year of Birth
Not Specified
This Military Service Page was created/owned by CMSgt Don Skinner-Deceased to remember Phillips, Ward V., Jr., SSgt.

If you knew or served with this Airman and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Casualty Info
Home Town
Not Specified
Last Address
353rd Bomb Squadron
Cerignola, Itlay

Casualty Date
Jan 11, 1944
Hostile, Died while Missing
Air Loss, Crash - Land
World War II
Location of Interment
Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery - St. Louis, Missouri
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Section 79, Site 434-436

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Associations and Other Affiliations
World War II Fallen
  1944, World War II Fallen

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Aerial Gunner Badge

 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
United States Army Air Forces (USAAF)301st Bombardment Group, Heavy  353rd Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
  1942-1943, United States Army Air Forces (USAAF)
  1943-1944, AAF MOS 611, 301st Bombardment Group, Heavy
  1943-1944, AAF MOS 611, 353rd Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1942-1945 World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater
  1943-1943 Air Offensive, Europe Campaign (1942-44)/Operation Strangle
  1944-1944 World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Anzio Campaign (1944)
 My Aircraft/Missiles
B-17 Flying Fortress  
  1943-1944, B-17 Flying Fortress
 Additional Information

Last Known Activity
Ward V. Phillips was born in Alabama in 1921. His parents were Ward V. Sr., and Leah Phillips. The US Census 1940 shows the family residing in Summerville, Alabama.

Phillips was drafted and inducted into the US Army Air Forces on June 23, 1942 at Fort McClellan, Alabama. His papers show he had completed 4 years of high school, and was employed as  sales person.

He was selected for flight duty, then trained as an aerial gunner. After this course of instruction, he was assigned overseas to a bomber unit in North Africa. He flew at least 15 missions, according to traditions of that time.

On January 11, 1944, he was part of a crew sent to bomb installations at the Piraeus, Greece harbor. Inclement weather was encountered as the formation neared the target. In cloudy skies (10/10), excessive winds aloft, and icing conditions, two of the lead aircraft decided to abort. They turned, but right across the path of the on-coming second element.

Two pairs of B-17s collided and crashed, killing a great number of airmen. The dead must have been recovered and buried locally because after the war ended, the bodies were buried in a mass common grave located in the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri. Most of the airmen killed that day were buried in this grave, whose marker is in Section 79, Site 434-436.
US Census 1940
NARA Enlistment Records


SSgt Ward V. Phillips was the waist gunner on B-17G # 42-31396, not named, assigned to the 353rd Bomb Squadron.

Mission loading lists are not available, but a crew roster may be gathered from Missing Air Crew Report 1833, that was issued for this loss. The crew was:

1 Lt Joseph S. Dunbar  p
Cpt Homer G. Mills, Jr.  c-p
2 Lt Reed W. Dean  nav
1 Lt Charles R. Glenn  bomb
SSgt Don E. Brundage  eng/tt gun
TSgt Hilary F. Helsabeck  r/o
SSgt Adolph G. Bauman  btg
SSgt Ward V. Phillips  wg
SSgt Loren C. Bowns  tail gunner

Ranks and grades as of mission date.

Copyright Inc 2003-2011