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 Robert M. Fife

Robert M. Fife

Birth
Death 16 Jan 1945 (aged 21)
France
Burial Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Minnesota, USA
Plot C-6, 0, 8347
Memorial ID 647135 · View Source
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Navigator 2nd/Lt. Robert M. Fife KIA
Hometown: Minnesota
Squadron: 576th BS 392th Bomb Group
Service #O-723599
Awards: Air Medal, Purple Heart.
Pilot 1/Lt Novik RTD

Target: Lauta (Dresden)
CASUALTIES NOT LISTED IN MACR
Date Lost: 16-Jan-45
Serial Number: #42-51121
Aircraft Model B-24
Aircraft Letter:
Aircraft Name:
Location: near St. Maur
Cause: Fuel Crew of 10 2KIA 8RTD

Five Liberators would be lost on this complex mission but only two men were killed in action. The field order instructions arrived late with two plans outlined for target options. Plan "A" listed a primary strike against the synthetic oil complex at Ruhland near Dresden with a secondary target of the Dresden marshalling yards.

These men were on 1/Lt Novik's crew aboard #42-51121 (which was on its 36th combat mission). On the return route, gas reserves ran low and the ship left formation to land after informing the Group leader. Gas ran out and the crew abandoned ship at 1530 hours. Parachutes were used by all crew members. Copilot 2/Lt J.H. Graves, T/Sgt R.O. Hildebrand, and gunner Sgt H.Q. Malone suffered minor injuries. The body of S/Sgt Glass was found about one-half mile from the ship; his parachute apparently opened late. The body of 2/Lt Fife was found near the ship, parachute unopened. A Quartermaster unit brought the remaining crewmen to Station A-73 (Roye-Amy), 391st BG. The aircraft was completely wrecked near St. Maur; its radar equipment was turned over to the station Provost Marshall and military police guarded the airplane and bodies.
An investigation of the scene of the accident indicated that the deaths were probably due to the extreme low altitude of the plane at the time the jump was made. Wide distribution of the wreckage along an up-grade pointed to the conclusion that the plane flew into the ground at a fairly flat angle of glide.

S/Sgt Glass is interred in the Epinal American Cemetery in France. His grave is A-41-38 and awards were an Air Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters. S/Sgt. Richard D. Glass Bombardier was from West Virginia. 2nd/Lt. Robert M. Fife Co Pilot KIA is interred at Ft. Snelling National Cemetery, Section C-6, Site 8347.

Lt. Novik Crew
1st/Lt. Albert J. Novick Pilot
2nd/Lt. Jack H. Graves co Pilot
2nd/Lt. Robert M. Fife Navigator (KIA)
S/Sgt. Richard D. Glass Navigator (KIA)
S/Sgt. Frank J. DiMarco Engineer
S/Sgt. Robert O. Hildebrand Radio Op.
S/Sgt. Maltby F. Watkins Gunner
S/Sgt. Raymond H. Graves Gunner
S/Sgt. Charles A. Buckley Gunner
S/Sgt. H. Q. Malone RCM



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  • Maintained by: John Dowdy
  • Originally Created by: US Veterans Affairs Office
  • Added: 25 Feb 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 647135
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Robert M. Fife (15 Mar 1923–16 Jan 1945), Find A Grave Memorial no. 647135, citing Fort Snelling National Cemetery, Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Minnesota, USA ; Maintained by John Dowdy (contributor 47791572) .