From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

William Phillips '51

Date of birth: March 30, 1929

Date of death: October 30, 1952

Age: 23

Lucky Bag

From the 1951 Lucky Bag:


Unable to find details on William's loss. His date of death is four days after the action for which he received the Silver Star, below; he is buried in Virginia.

He is listed on the killed in action panel in Memorial Hall. Perhaps he was wounded in this action and died on October 30?

Silver Star

From Hall of Valor:

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Silver Star (Posthumously) to Second Lieutenant William Richardson Phillips (MCSN: 0-51958), United States Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity as Officer in Charge of the Sound Ranging Section of the Eleventh Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), in action against enemy aggressor forces in Korea on 26 October 1952. Learning that both the observation and living bunkers on his outpost had been destroyed by hostile forces, Second Lieutenant Phillips immediately organized and led a search unit to the position to locate and reorganize his personnel. When his party was subjected to intense enemy artillery and mortar barrages and forced to seek cover on a bunker upon arrival in the devastated sector, he bravely made his way into the fire-swept terrain on four separate occasions and, in the face of persistent fire, methodically searched the area in an effort to locate his men or gain information as to their whereabouts, returning to the emplacement only for periodic checks with others who were assisting in the search. Locating one of his men, he led him through the enemy fire to safety, again exposed himself to the heavy barrage to obtain medical assistance for a wounded member of the search party and assisted in carrying the stricken man to the battalion aid station. By his exceptional courage, inspiring leadership and selfless devotion to the fulfillment of his mission, Second Lieutenant Phillips upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

Action Date: October 26, 1952
Service: Marine Corps
Rank: Second Lieutenant
Regiment: 11th Marines
Division: 1st Marine Division (Rein.)

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Morris Reisinger '51, Jerome Stuart '51, Earl Valentine, Jr. '51, and James Laramore '51 were also graduates of the "9th Special Basic Class" who trained at Quantico from July to December 1951.

Class of 1951

William is one of 48 members of the Class of 1951 on Virtual Memorial Hall.