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Phillip Carl Katz



Fading light dims the sight,
And a star gems the sky,
    Gleaming bright.
From afar drawing nigh,    
    Falls the night.

Day is done, gone the sun,
From the lake, From the hills,
    From the sky.
All is well, safel
y rest,
    God is nigh.

Then good night, Peaceful night,
Till the light of the dawn
    Shineth bright,
God is near, do not fear,
  Friend, good night.

Cypress Lawn Cemetery
  Family Plot  

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Born:  December 12, 1889 at San Francisco, CA

Entered Service in the US Army from San Francisco, CA

Earned The Medal of Honor During World War I For heroism September 26, 1918 at Eclisfontaine, France

Died:  October 29, 1987 at the age of 97

Philip Katz was cremated and his ashes buried among the 20 stones in the family plot. He does not have an individual marker.

Sergeant Katz earned the Medal of Honor for heroism near Eclisfontaine, France, during withdrawal of his company after heavy combat with enemy forces. After his company had pulled back for a distance of 200 yards on a line with the units on its flanks, Sergeant Katz learned that one of his comrades had been left wounded in an exposed position at the point from which the withdrawal had taken place. Voluntarily crossing an area swept by heavy machinegun fire, he advanced to where the wounded soldier lay and carried him to a place of safety.

Ceremony to Install New MOH Headstone

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San Jose Mercury News

Woman continues project to honor unknown heroes

By Lisa Fernandez
Mercury News
In her mission to ensure that courageous military heroes are recognized, a San Jose woman is spearheading a small but meaningful ceremony for two men awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor -- but whose graves have not reflected the prestigious honor.

Through her own research, Debbie Peevyhouse, 52, is organizing the Saturday event at Cypress Lawn Memorial Park in Colma to coincide with National Medal of Honor Day. ``Right now, we have a need for heroes. Our youth have a need,'' Peevyhouse said. ``All the heroes seem to end up in the news for steroid scandals or drug scandals. I want the next generation to still have heroes to teach them patriotism and doing the right thing. That's my motivation.''

Peevyhouse will decorate the grave sites of:

o George Franklin Shiels, a San Franciscan who served as a U.S. Army Volunteer Medical Corps surgeon in 1899 in the Philippine Insurrection War, according to his medal citation. He was awarded the medal for exposing himself to enemy fire while helping two wounded men. He received two other medals during World War I. He died in Palo Alto in 1943.

o Sgt. Phillip Carl Katz, a San Franciscan who served in World War I and earned the medal for carrying a wounded soldier to safety despite heavy machine gunfire in France in 1918, according to his medal citation. He died in 1987 in San Francisco.

The Congressional Medal of Honor is considered the pinnacle of wartime achievements. Of the 30 million who have served since the Civil War, only 3,460 have been granted the award, which is given for acts of heroism.

Alison Giesea Adams, 60, a great-niece of Shiels, said she surprised herself, not realizing how proud she'd feel, when Peevyhouse called to say she had organized the ceremony.

``I'm a pacifist, I was opposed to the Vietnam War and I'm opposed to this one,'' the Kentfield resident said. ``And when Debbie first called my brother, he almost hung up on her. But then, I found myself filled with this sense of family pride and patriotism. I've been pulling out family documents and I hope to impress my grandchildren.''

Saturday's ceremony will mark the fourth and fifth unmarked grave sites that Peevyhouse has decorated with military seals since officially launching the California Medal of Honor Project.

She began the effort, mostly dipping into her own pocket for flowers, phone calls and invitations, shortly after Memorial Day in 2005. That's when she discovered the grave site of Marine Sgt. Edward Alexander Walker, who won the Congressional Medal of Honor during the 1900 Boxer Rebellion, but whose grave site at San Jose's Oak Hill Memorial Park bore only his name without any military recognition.

She thought that was a shame, and worked to affix a seal on his tombstone, organizing a small military service for him.

Peevyhouse is an amateur genealogist and a self-described ``taphophile,'' someone who catalogs tombstones. Many people in her family, including her husband, Joe, have served in the military. Her son, Jared, enlisted last year.

Peevyhouse was able to get the Veterans Administration to provide the military headstones for Saturday's ceremony for free, and the cemetery will waive the setting fee.

Peevyhouse said there are 192 Congressional Medal of Honor recipients buried in California. So far, she has found 47 of the 55 unmarked graves, and plans to decorate them all.

``It's a big task,'' she said.



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