About Jimmy Wayne Phipps
The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pride in presenting the Medal of Honor (Posthumously) to Private First Class Jimmy Wayne Phipps (MCSN: 2412145), United States Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty on 27 May 1969, while serving as a combat engineer with Company B, First Engineer Battalion, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in connection with combat operations against the enemy near An Hoa, Republic of Vietnam. Private First Class 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, Private First Class 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 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 three men, Private First Class 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. Private First Class 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 United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
Action Date: 27-May-69
Service: Marine Corps
Rank: Private First Class
Company: Company B
Battalion: 1st Engineer Battalion
Division: 1st Marine Division (Rein.) FMF