24 May 1945 — Tokyo Bay, Japan
Born Robert Glen Phillips on 26 December 1924 at Antioch, Illinois to William S. Phillips (b. 1895*) and Florence M. Phillips (b. 1902*).
Enlisted in the Army Air Corps on 10 May 1943. Completed Bombardier training and was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant. Underwent B-29 aircraft transition and combat crew training at Pyote Army Air Field, Texas. In March 1945, deployed to the Central Pacific Theatre of Operations and was assigned to 20th Air Force, XXI Bomber Command, 73rd Bomb Wing, 500th Bombardment Group (VH), 881st Bomb Squadron stationed at Isley Field on Saipan in the Mariana Islands. During the night of 23-24 May 1945, he flew as the Bombardier aboard a Boeing B-29 Superfortress, Tail Code: Z-Square-7 (serial #42-63486). It was one of 520 aircraft launched in multi-wing group formations to bombard the urban-industrial area south of the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, Japan. After bombs away, the plane’s right wing was set afire by flak from anti-aircraft artillery. While departing the target area, the plane was hit with flak in the rear fuselage that destroyed all the flight controls including the intercom. During aircrew bail-out, the plane exploded in mid-air and fell into Tokyo Bay. He managed to clear the bomber, but was captured and held as a POW at Camp Omori. Released after the war on 29 August 1945. Deceased 6 March 1970. Final resting place at Tempe, Arizona.