WILLIAM R. PHILLIPS, 2LT, USMC

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Birthdate & Date of Loss

Date of birth: March 30, 1929
Date of death: October 30, 1952
Age: 23

Lucky Bag

1951 Phillips LB.jpg

From the 1951 Lucky Bag:

William Richardson Phillips

Newport News, Virginia

A true gentleman of the old South typical of its easygoing way of life . . . "Flip" came to the Academy from Newport News, Va. via the Marine Corps . . . intensely loyal, makes friends easily . . . a quick tempter offset by a keen sense of justice . . . a man of voluminous correspondence, has complained about everything except dragging . . . is always well-stocked with cigarettes . . . claim to fame . . . passed a dago exam youngster year . . . a true radiator squad man, he earned his "N" star in extra duty . . . considers academics a black evil between leave periods . . . riding life's bumps with his earnest attitude, Flip will be a great success in the service.

Loss

Unable to find details on Flip's loss. He was killed in action four days after the action for which he received the Silver Star, below; he is buried in Virginia.

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.)

Related Articles

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 Navigation

Class of 1951
William is one of 48 members of the Class of 1951 in Memorial Hall.
<< James Laramore '51 Edward Guthrie, Jr. '51 >>