Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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World War II - U.S. Marine Corps Reserve

Wesley P Phelps

  • Rank: Private
  • Conflict/Era: World War II
  • Unit/Command:
    3d Battalion, 7th Marines,
    1st Marine Division
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Marine Corps Reserve
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: October 4, 1944
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: Peleliu Island, Palau Islands
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with the 3d Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces on Peleliu Island, Palau Group, during a savage hostile counterattack on the night of 4 October 1944. Stationed with another marine in an advanced position when a Japanese hand grenade landed in his foxhole, Pfc. Phelps instantly shouted a warning to his comrade and rolled over on the deadly bomb, absorbing with his own body the full, shattering impact of the exploding charge. Courageous and indomitable, Pfc. Phelps fearlessly gave his life that another might be spared serious injury, and his great valor and heroic devotion to duty in the face of certain death reflect the highest credit upon himself and the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
Medal of Honor Recipient Wesley P. Phelps
Medal of Honor Recipient Wesley P. Phelps
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Kentucky
  • Awarded Posthumously: Yes
  • Presentation Date & Details: April 26, 1946
    The Naval Ordinance Plant, Louisville, Kentucky, presented by the commanding officer to his Mother
  • Born: June 12, 1923, Neafus, Grayson County, KY, United States
  • Died: October 4, 1944, Palau Islands
  • Buried: Rosine Cemetery (PMH), Rosine, KY, United States

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