Rank and Organization: Private, U.S. Marine Corps
Reserve. Born 14 July 1926, Rich Hill, Mo. Entered Service at: Labadie, Mo.
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the
call of duty while serving with the 2d Battalion, 28th Marines, 5th Marine Division, in
action against 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 handgrenade fighting against infiltrating Japanese troops,
Pvt. Phillips was the only member of his unit alerted when an enemy handgrenade 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. Stouthearted and indomitable, Pvt.
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
upon the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.