ROBERT E. PHEIFER
Robert E. Pheifer, oldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Elmer Pheifer, of New London, has been officially declared dead after being carried as “missing in action” as of July 11th, 1943, followng[sic] the dsappearance[sic] of the submarine, the U. S. S. Runner to which he had been assigned.
James Forestal, secretary of the navy, directed the following report:
“On May 27, 1943, the U. S. S. Runner departed from Midway Island with orders to proceed to the vicinity of the Kuril Island Chain and to patrol south-westerly so that on June 8, 1943, she would be off the shore of Hokkaido and Honshu, Japan. The Runner was to patrol in the area until sunset of July 6, 1943.
After leaving Midway the submarine was not reported seen or heard from and on July 11, 1943, Midway Island could not establish radio contact with the Runner as ordered.
In view of the length of time that has elapsed and the assurance that he was not a prisoner of war, I am reluctantly forced to the conclusion that he is deceased, presumed to have occurred as of January 2nd, 1946. Extending my deepest sympathy to you. Sincerely yours, (Signed) James Forrestal.”
The Norwalk Reflector-Herald, Friday, January 18, 1946, page 3