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Vietnam War - U.S. Marine Corps

Jimmy Wayne Phipps

Details
  • Rank: Private First Class
  • Conflict/Era: Vietnam War
  • Unit/Command:
    Company B, 1st Engineer Battalion,
    1st Marine Division (Rein) FMF
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Marine Corps
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: May 27, 1969
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: near An Hoa, Republic of Vietnam
Citation
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a combat engineer with Company B in connection with combat operations against the enemy. Pfc. Phipps was a member of a two-man combat engineer demolition team assigned to locate and destroy enemy artillery ordnance and concealed firing devices. After he had expended all of his explosives and blasting caps, Pfc. Phipps discovered a 175-mm high-explosive artillery round in a rice paddy. Suspecting that the enemy had attached the artillery round to a secondary explosive device, he warned other marines in the area to move to covered positions and perpared to destroy the round with a hand grenade. As he was attaching the hand grenade to a stake beside the artillery round, the fuse of the enemy's secondary explosive device ignited. Realizing that his assistant and the platoon commander were both within a few meters of him and that the imminent explosion could kill all three men, Pfc. Phipps grasped the hand grenade to his chest and dived forward to cover the enemy's explosive and the artillery round with his body, thereby shielding his companions from the detonation while absorbing the full and tremendous impact with his body. Pfc. Phipps' 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.
Medal of Honor Recipient Jimmy W. Phipps
Medal of Honor Recipient Jimmy W. Phipps
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Culver City, Los Angeles County, California
  • Awarded Posthumously: Yes
  • Presentation Date & Details: April 20, 1970
    The White House, presented by Vice Pres. Spiro T. Agnew to his family
  • Born: November 1, 1950, Santa Monica, Los Angeles County, CA, United States
  • Died: May 27, 1969, Republic of Vietnam
  • Buried: Woodlawn Cemetery (MH) (18-504-8), Santa Monica, CA, United States
 

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