Rank Insignia Previous Honoree ID Next Honoree ID

honoree image
First Name: George

Last Name: Phillips

Birthplace: Rich Hill, MO, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Marines (present)

Date of Birth: 14 July 1926

Date of Death: 14 March 1945

Rank: Private

Years Served: 1944 - 1945
George Phillips

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


George Phillips

Private, U.S. Marine Corps

Medal of Honor Recipient

World War II

Private George Phillips (14 July 1926 - 14 March 1945) was a U.S. Marine who was posthumously awarded the U.S. military's highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor, for his heroic actions during World War II.

George Phillips was born in Rich Hill, MO, on 14 July 1926. He worked on the railroad before enlisting in the Marine Corps on 25 April 1944.

On the night of 14 March 1945 during the Battle of Iwo Jima, Private Phillips was standing guard as the other Marines in his unit were resting. A Japanese soldier tossed a hand-grenade toward the group. Realizing the gravity of the situation, Phillips sacrificed his life by covering the hand grenade with his body to save the lives of his fellow Marines. For this action, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: Private, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve.

Citation: 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 hand grenade fighting against infiltrating Japanese troops, Pvt. Phillips was the only member of his unit alerted when an enemy hand grenade 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.

Private Phillips' Medal of Honor was presented to his uncle, with whom he had formerly resided.

Medals and Awards

Medal of Honor
Purple Heart

Death and Burial

Private George Phillips was killed in action on 14 March 1945. Initially buried in the 5th Marine Division Cemetery on Iwo Jima, Private Phillips' remains were later returned to the U.S. and re-interred at Bethel Cemetery in Labadie, MO, in 1948.

Honoree ID: 1600   Created by: MHOH




Honoree Photos

honoree imagehonoree imagehonoree image

honoree imagehonoree image

honoree image