Remains of World War II soldier to be buried in Plains

Robert C. Elliott (circled).
Robert C. Elliott (circled).(United States Army)
Published: Jul. 21, 2023 at 12:01 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - The remains of U.S. Army Air Forces Staff Sgt. Robert C. Elliott, a Soldier killed during World War II, will be interred Aug. 1 at Plains Cemetery in Pains, Kan. Meade’s Fiddler Orme & Bachman Funeral Home will perform graveside services preceding the interment.

A native of Plains, Elliott was an assistant engineer assigned to the 343rd Bombardment Squadron, 98th Bombardment Group, 9th Air Force. He was serving aboard an aircraft Aug. 1, 1943, when it crashed after being hit by enemy anti-aircraft fire during Operation TIDAL WAVE, the largest bombing mission against the oil fields and refineries at Ploiesti, north of Bucharest, Romania.

Elliott was 24 years old. His remains could not be identified following the war. Remains that could not be identified were buried as unknowns in the Hero Section of the Civilian and Military Cemetery of Bolovan, Ploiesti, Prahova, Romania.

Following the war, the American Graves Registration Command, tasked with recovering fallen American personnel, disinterred all American remains from the Bolovan Cemetery for identification. More than 80 unknowns could not be identified and were interred at Ardennes American Cemetery and Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery, both in Belgium.

In 2017, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency began exhuming unknowns believed to be associated with unaccounted-for airman from Operation TIDAL WAVE losses, sending the remains to the DPAA Laboratory at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, for examination and identification.

Elliott was accounted for by the DPAA Feb. 8, 2023, after his remains were identified using anthropological, mitochondrial DNA, Y chromosome DNA and autosomal DNA analysis.

His name is recorded on the Tablets of the Missing at the Florence American Cemetery, an American Battle Monuments Commission site in Impruneta, Italy, along with others still missing from World War II. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

For additional information about Staff Sgt. Elliott, go to: