Took part in Operation Tidal Wave, the raid on Ploesti on 1 August 1943, in B-24 Liberator 42-40773. Lt. Phifer was awarded the "Distinguished Flying Cross" for his valor in " Operation Tidal Wave " one of the most daring raids of WW2. Coming in at tree top level the Sky Scorpions destroy the Steaua Romana oil refinery. The refinery did not produce oil for six months. The 389th earned a Presidential Unit Citation and lost six aircraft on this mission.
3 October 1943 killed in B24 42-40773 over Morocco from fuel exhaustion during flight back to England having flown missions TDY out of N. Africa.
Earlier, Collision on training mission in B24 42-40687, but landed safely back at Hethel June 25, 1943.
Units served with
The 389th Bomb Group, known in more familiar terms as "the Sky Scorpions", flew strategic bombing missions in B-24 Liberators from Hethel, England. They also sent detachments to join bases in North Africa at Benghazi No. 10, Libya, between 3 July 1943...
B-24 Liberator 42-40773 '773' 564th BS, 389th BG, 8th AF, flew on 1st Aug 43 Ploesti oil refinery raid piloted by Capt Edward L Fowble, returning safely to Libya.
Damaged beyond repair in a Mid-Air-Collision on 25 June 1943 with B-24 42-40774 while on a training mission
Military site : airfield
Construction of Hethel airfield began in 1941, and was finished in late 1942. The number of hardstandings was increased from the planned 36 to 50 in 1942, in order to accommodate a full heavy bomb group. The 320th Bomb Group occupied the base for ten...
||McMinnville, Warren County, Tennessee
||1 October 1920
|Killed non combat
||3 October 1943
||North Africa American Cemetery and Memorial
Plot B Row 6 Grave 9