The remains of a 23-year-old killed during a World War II bombing mission have been identified – CNN

The Prisoner of War Accountability Agency/Department of the Interior said in a statement that Elvin Phillips, who was a sergeant in the US Army Air Force, was a gunner on a plane that crashed north of Bucharest, Romania, in the summer of 1943. new version.

“To identify Phillips’ remains, scientists from the DPAA used anthropological analysis,” the agency explained, adding that the scientists also used mitochondrial DNA during their examination.

His name is inscribed on the tablets of the missing at the Florence American Cemetery, a site of the Commission on the Monuments of the American Battle in Impruneta, Italy. “A rose will be placed next to his name to indicate that her fate has been determined,” the agency said.

Phillips was a member of the 66th Bombardment Squadron, 44th Bombardment Group and was the tail gunner on a B-24 Liberator carrying eight other personnel and took off from Libya on August 1, 1943, as part of Operation Tidal Wave in Romania, According to the accounting agency MIA.

The agency said the target was the Ploiesti oil refineries. Phillips was killed by anti-aircraft fire near Ploiesti and the plane crashed, badly damaged. It added that two crew members survived the rescue.

Initially, Phillips’ remains were interred as anonymous in the Heroes section of the Civil and Military Cemetery in Bulovan, Ploiesti, Prahova, Romania.

After the war, the American Graveyard Registry Command retrieved all American remains from the cemetery for identification. The agency said that it was not able to identify more than 80 unknown persons, and these remains were buried in two cemeteries in Belgium.

By 2017, the agency had begun exhuming unidentified remains believed to be related to unidentified pilots from Operation Tidal. The agency said that the remains were sent to the agency’s laboratory at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska for examination and identification. Phillips’ remains were identified in March.

World War II began in 1939 and ended in 1945, with more than 16 million American soldiers serving in battle. And killed in the war 405,399 American soldiers.

CNN Paradise Afshar contributed to this report.

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