Co.  B, 1st Engineer Battalion,
1st Marine Division
An Hoa, RVN
27 May 1969

PFC. Phipps was part of a 2-man EOD team assigned to locate and destroy enemy ordnance and  IEDs.


As his unit was traversing a rice paddy, PFC Phipps discovered a 175mm high explosive artillery round hidden in the sprouts.  Knowing the enemy had a remote means of detonation, he warned other marines to take cover as he prepared to destroy the round with a hand grenade.

As PFC Phipps was attaching his charge to the remote fuse, it ignited. 

The young marine knew that the main charge would explode within seconds.  Realizing that his assistant and his commander were both within kill range, PFC Phipps launched himself forward, covering the explosive device and the artillery round with his body before detonation.

The 19-year old California boy used his body to absorb the full blast and shield his fellow Marines from shrapnel, giving his life for his brothers.

The last line of PFC Phipps’ Medal of Honor citation reads as follows:

“… indomitable courage, inspiring initiative, and selfless devotion to duty saved the lives of two marines and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.”




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s