Remembering Desert Storm
February 27, 2014
A Quad Cities man will be among those remembered Friday when Illinois honors its soldiers killed during the first Gulf War. The Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs will hold its 23rd annual Desert Storm Remembrance Ceremony at the state military museum in Springfield.
Fourteen members of the military from Illinois died in combat in 1991, including Air Force Captain Stephen Phillis from Rock Island. On February 15th, 1991 while flying over Kuwait, the 30 year old Phillis was hit by a surface-to-air missile while trying to provide cover for his wingman who'd been shot down. He'd flown 25 combat missions during the war and was posthumously awarded the Silver Star, the Air Force's second highest award.
Phillis graduated from Rock Island Alleman High School, and graduated from the Air Force Academy in 1982.
The Veterans Affairs Department says the US suffered a total of 147 combat deaths during the brief war to free Kuwait from Iraqi occupation.
(photo: a plaque at the QC Airport, in the baggage claim area, honoring Captain Phillis)