Sunday, November 27, 2011

Pvt. George Phillips

I found this information on Pvt George Phillips at
George Phillips was born on 14 July 1926 in Rich Hill, Missouri, and enlisted in the Marine Corps in April 1944. Phillips was assigned to the Second Battalion, Twenty-eighth Marines, FIFTH Marine Division during the battle for Iwo Jima. During the night of 14 March 1945, he was standing watch as other Marines rested when Japanese troops tossed a hand-grenade among them. Instantly realizing the gravity of the situation, Private Phillips threw himself on the grenade, sacrificing his own life to save his comrades from the blast. For his "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty," he was posthumously awarded Medal of Honor. George Phillips is buried at Bethel Cemetery, Labadie, Missouri.

Medal of Honor citation of Private George Phillips, USMCR (as printed in the official publication "Medal of Honor, 1861-1949, The Navy", page 241):
"For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with the Second Battalion, Twenty-eighth Marines, FIFTH Marine Division, in action against the enemy Japanese forces during the seizure of Iwo Jima in the Volcano Islands, on 14 March 1945. Standing the foxhole watch while other members of his squad rested after a night of bitter hand-grenade fighting against infiltrating Japanese troops, Private Phillips was the only member of his unit alerted when an enemy hand grenade was tossed into their midst. Instantly shouting a warning, he unhesitatingly threw himself on the deadly missile, absorbing the shattering violence of the exploding charge in his own body and protecting his comrades from serious injury. Stout-hearted and indomitable, Private Phillips willingly yielded his own life that his fellow Marines might carry on the relentless battle against a fanatic enemy. His superb valor and unfaltering spirit of self-sacrifice in the face of certain death reflect the highest credit upon himself and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country."

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