Thomas W. Phillips

BRANCH OF SERVICE
U.S. Marine Corps

HOMETOWN
Philadelphia, PA

HONORED BY
Orville L. Kline

ACTIVITY DURING WWII

RANK: PRIVATE. HE WAS INDUCTED INTO THE MARINE CORPS JANUARY 10, 1942 ATTENDED BOOT CAMP AT THE MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT, PARRIS ISLAND, SOUTH CAROLINA. SERVED AS AN ASSISTANT BROWNING AUTOMATIC RIFLEMAN WITH C-COMPANY, 1ST BATTALION, 5TH MARINES, 1ST MARINE ‘THE OLD BREED’ DIVISION IN THE PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS. PARTICIPATED IN THE INVASION OF GUADALCANAL SATURDAY, AUGUST 7, 1942 CODE NAME: OPERATION WATCHTOWER, ‘SOLOMON ISLANDS CAMPAIGN’. HE WAS A MEMBER OF A MARINE ASSAULT TEAM WHOSE OBJECTIVE WAS TO CAPTURE THE JAPANESE AIRFIELD ON GUADALCANAL. KILLED IN ACTION THURSDAY, AUGUST 27, 1942 WHEN THE JAPANESE AMBUSHED HIS UNIT AND WAS CAUGHT IN A MACHINE GUN CROSS FIRE. HIS UNIT WAS ATTEMPTING TO OUT FLANK A JAPANESE DEFENSIVE POSITION NEAR THE TOWN OF KOKUMBONA. REPORTED AS MISSING IN ACTION ON THE DAY OF HIS DEATH AND MEMORIALIZED AT THE MANILA AMERICAN CEMETERY LOCATED AT FORT BONIFACIO, MANILA, PHILIPPINE ISLANDS AND THE GUADALCANAL AMERICAN MEMORIAL LOCATED ON GUADALCANAL. A MEMORIAL PLAQUE HAS BEEN PLACED ON A WALL IN THE TANGANI CHURCH IN KOKUMBONA IN HIS MEMORY AND HONOR. DECORATIONS AND CITATIONS: PURPLE HEART AND THE AMERICAN DEFENSE SERVICE MEDAL. THE PURPLE HEART WAS AWARDED TO THE MARINE FOR HIS SUPREME SACRIFICE IN DEFENSE OF HIS COUNTRY.