WILLIAM R. PHILLIPS, 2LT, USMC

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:


Loss

From Together We Served:

2nd Lt. William Phillips served at the end of WWII as an enlisted Marine. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1951.

In Korea, he served with the Sound Ranging Section, Hq. Battery, 11th Marines.

He was killed by shrapnel at OP-3, The Hook, Western Outposts, Korea.

From Korean War Project:

On October 30, 1952, while he was inspecting his observation bunker, he was struck and killed by fragments from an enemy mortar round.

William had arrived in Korea in early February. He was survived by his parents, two sisters, a brother, paternal grandparents, and maternal grandmother. William was killed four days after the action for which he was awarded the Silver Star, below.

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 of 1951

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