Medal of Honor





Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps, Company B, 1st Engineer Battalion, 1st Marine Division (Rein), FMF


Place and date: Near An Hoa, Republic of Vietnam, 27 May 1969


Entered service at: Culver City, California


Born: 1 November 1950, Santa Monica, California




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 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.

The following message was received on 28 June 1999 from Sharon Corby < >

Jimmy Phipps was my cousin and we spent a lot of happy years together. He came from a very loving happy family. His death brought much grief to our family. We were all very proud of Jimmy's sacrifice. I will always remember him and be proud of him for what he did. Jimmy has a angel still here with us and someday we'll all be together again. Remember we love you.


Sharon Corby.

The following message was received on 12 April 1999 from Michael R. McCarty < >

Thanks for your page.

PFC Phipps was attached to Company C, 1st Bn, 5th Marines at the time of his death. We were then operating in the Arizona Territory northwest of An Hoa.

I was Platoon Commander of 3d Platoon Charlie Company. On the morning of May 27, 1969, we found the dud 175 round that eventually killed him during our morning patrol. Because I did not have an engineer attached to my patrol, we returned to the Company perimeter and reported the location of the round.

2d Lt Neil Meier, platoon commander of 1st platoon, took out the afternoon patrol, and PFC Phipps accompanied the platoon. It was Neil who was one of the men Phipps saved by his gallant action.

I remember him as a friendly young man who was glad to be attached to a rifle company and away from the humdrum of the garrison-like life of an Engineer Company. He was a gallant Marine.

Just thought you might like to know what Paul Harvey calls "the rest of the story."

Michael R. McCarty

LtCol, USMC (ret)


--- General / Personal ---


Last name: PHIPPS

First name: JIMMY WAYNE

Home of Record (official): CULVER CITY

State (official): CA

Date of Birth: Wednesday, November 1, 1950

Sex: Male

Race: Caucasian

Marital Status: Single


--- Military ---


Branch: Marine Corps

Rank: PFC

Serial Number: 2412145

Component: Regular

Pay grade: E2

MOS (Military Occupational Specialty code): 1371


--- Action ---


Start of Tour: Sunday, December 8, 1968

Date of Casualty: Tuesday, May 27, 1969

Age at time of loss: 18

Casualty type: (A1) Hostile, died

Reason: Multiple fragmentation wounds (Ground casualty)

Country: South VietNam

Province: Quang Nam

The Wall: Panel 23W - Row 002


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