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First Name: Phillip

Last Name: Albert

Birthplace: Southington, CT, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Middle Name: Robert

Date of Birth: 21 August 1962

Date of Death: 23 November 2003

Rank: Sergeant Major

Years Served: 1980 - 2003
Phillip Robert Albert

•  Gulf War (1990 - 1991)
•  Afghanistan War (Operation Enduring Freedom) (2001 - present)


Phillip Robert Albert
Sergeant Major, U. S. Army
Operation Enduring Freedom - Afghanistan

Phillip Robert Albert was born on 21 August 1962 in Southington, Hartford County, CT. Phillip grew up in the Terryville section of Plymouth and was the youngest of eight children.

Military Service

Phillip joined the U.S. Army at the age of 18 and was thinking of retiring after 22 years of service to possibly start his own business in construction. He served in the Gulf War in 1991 and was on his second tour of duty in Afghanistan taking part in Operation Mountain Resolve. He loved the service and was very proud of his work; life as a soldier suited him. Phillip's fellow soldiers remember him as an 'infantryman's infantryman' and a solid commander.

On 23 November 2003, Sergeant Major Albert was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, NY, which was deployed in Afghanistan. Albert was onboard an MH-53 Pave Low helicopter conducting combat operations for 'Operation Mountain Resolve' when it crashed nine miles east of Bagram Air Base.

A compressor problem caused one of the two engines on the Pave Low to stall, leaving it with one engine operating and too much weight to carry in the thin mountain air. The pilots unsuccessfully attempted to jettison the auxiliary tanks. Then the other engine stalled while they attempted an emergency landing. With all power lost, the helicopter fell from an altitude of about 200 feet onto an uneven river bank where it rolled over and burst into flames. Somehow, eight people managed to survive.

Medals, Awards and Badges

Bronze Star Medal with Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster
Purple Heart
Meritorious Service Medal
Army Commendation Medal
Army Achievement Medal
Army Good Conduct Medal
National Defense Service Medal
Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Bronze Star
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Army NCO Professional Development Ribbon
Army Service Ribbon
Army Overseas Service Ribbon
Combat Infantryman Badge
Expert Infantryman Badge
Parachutist Badge

Death and Burial

Sergeant Major Phillip Robert Albert was killed in action on 23 November 2003 while on a combat mission. Four other men were also killed in the crash.

Phillip's remains are buried in two locations, which is common when the cause of death has been a devastating plane or helicopter crash. The first funeral and burial was held for his family at Saint Joseph's Cemetery, Bristol, Connecticut on 9 December 2003.

The second burial, with full military honors, took place on 21 January 2004 at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA. The grave is located in Section 60, Site 1821. An honor guard preceded a horse-drawn caisson containing a single flag-draped coffin with the remains of the five servicemen killed in the crash. Because their remains were commingled, the five men were buried in a single coffin with a single headstone. The names of the five men (in the order they are listed on the headstone) are:

Sergeant Major Phillip R. Albert, U.S. Army
Master Sergeant William J. Kerwood, U.S. Air Force
Staff Sergeant Thomas A. Walkup, Jr., U.S. Air Force
Technical Sergeant Howard A. Walters, U.S. Air Force
Major Steven Plumhoff, U.S. Air Force

Phillip Robert Albert is survived by three brothers and a sister-in-law, Camille Albert, Donald and Jocelyn Albert, and Richard Albert, all of Bristol; four sisters and three brothers-in-law, Joan Vallee of Plainville, Nancy and Thomas Rama of Bristol, Rinette and Emile Pelletier of Middletown, and Judy and Lucien Lebel of Kensington; two aunts and an uncle, Priscilla and Thomas Cyr, and Stella LaChance; and several nieces, nephews, and great nieces and nephews.

Saint Joseph's Cemetery

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=8377915 Arlington National Cemetery

Honoree ID: 2102   Created by: MHOH




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