27 May 2011


The President of the United States
in the name of
The Congress
takes pride in presenting the
Medal of Honor (posthumously)
Private First Class
United States Marine Corps

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty, as set forth in the following

While serving as a combat engineer with Company B, 1st Engineer Battalion, 1st Marine Division on 27 May 1969 in connection with combat operations against the enemy, PFC Phipps was a member of a 2-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 175mm 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 prepared 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 3 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 2 Marines and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

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