This is my dad, my haibun today is about him. He was a decorated soldier and career military officer. He was buried at Arlington Cemetery with full military honors. It’s a good day to remember him.
Henry Gerard Phillips was born in Portland, Oregon on May 10, 1922.
From the Infantry Officers Candidate School, 2nd Lieutenant Henry G. Phillips, now known as “Red” Phillips, joined the 47th Infantry Regiment at Fort Bragg, North Carolina in August 1942, where he was assigned to “M” Company. He participated in the Regiment’s amphibious assault on Safi, Morocco a few months later and after that, was wounded at El Guettar, Tunisia while leading a machine gun platoon.
He took part in the Allied amphibious landing on mainland Italy and landed on Utah Beach on D-Day in “Operation Overlord,” part of the combined the forces of 156,115 U.S., British and Canadian troops, 6,939 ships and landing vessels and 2,395 aircraft and 867 gliders that delivered the airborne troops into France.
He subsequently served as company executive officer and commander and as a Battalion staff officer, participating in the Sicilian, French and German campaigns of the 9th Infantry Division.
He was wounded again in Belgium and Germany and was twice awarded the Silver Star Medal for gallantry in action. He was also awarded the French Legion of Honor Medal for his service in France during World War 2.
Red Phillips was commissioned in the Regular U.S. Army following World War 2, retiring in 1967 as a Lieutenant Colonel. His postwar decorations include the Legion of Merit and the Army Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster. In the course of his service he graduated from the University of Maryland (BS) and Illinois (MS) and the Army Command and General Staff College. After Army retirement, he was employed on the faculty of PMC Colleges (Widener University) at Chester, Pennsylvania, and later moved to Lake Wildwood in California where for ten years he published and edited his community’s newspaper.
Lt. Colonel Phillips was a Fellow of the Inter-University Seminar on the Armed Forces and Society and a Distinguished Member of the 47th Infantry Regiment.
Henry was married to his wife Lee for nearly 68 years, when she passed away in 2010. He was also the father of two daughters, Christine Irving And Kathryn Farmington Phillips.
Red Phillips wrote several books about the 9th Infantry Division. He is the author of Heavy Weapons, a chronology about the World War 2 adventures of his Company; El Guettar: Crucible of Leadership, an oral history of the 9th Division’s first encounter with German Army in North Africa; Sedjenane: The Pay-off Battle, about the 9th Infantry Division’s actions against the German and Italian forces in Africa; Remagen: Springboard to Victory, about the 9th Infantry Division’s fight to keep and widen the bridgehead near Remagen in Germany, and the book The Making of a Professional: Manton S. Eddy, an examination of the life of 9th Infantry Division General Manton S. Eddy. Red Phillips also was the “Official 9th Infantry Division Historian” and the former president of the Ninth Infantry Division Association. Red Phillips also was named the “Official 9th Infantry Division Historian” and was a president of the Ninth Infantry Division Association.
Lt. Colonel Phillips passed away on August 19th 2011, but will never be forgotten.
My dad stands up to face the four directions. He is tall – at least a head above the crowd. His arms stretch toward the ceiling and he turns with the crowd as chants ring out invoking The Goddess, the spirits of this land, the guidance of eagle, coyote, bear and white buffalo. An intelligent private man, he is skeptical and cynical, humorous and generous of heart. Today my father trusts me enough to engage unabashedly in an uncomfortable, unfamiliar ceremony, just because I hold it precious. He honors me, his daughter, takes my esoteric customs and beliefs on faith, because he commits wholeheartedly, unshakably to fatherhood.
many pathways wend
the no-man’s-land between worlds
honor all, choose one
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