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Saint John, New Brunswick

George Frederick Phillips: Metal of Honor Recipient

   George Frederick Phillips, (March 8, 1862 - June 4, 1904) was a U.S. Navy Machinist First Class who received the Medal of Honor for his actions during the Spanish-American War in 1899.

Biography

   George Phillips went to Galveston, Texas where he joined the United States Navy. During the Spanish-American War he was aboard ship that made its way to the entrance to the harbor at Santiago de Cuba. There, the USS Merrimac, a 3362-ton collier, was supplying coal to U.S. warships. On June 3, 1898, in a daring attempt to bottle up the Spanish cruiser squadron, the Merrimac was scuttled inside the entrance of Santiago Harbor. Under heavy fire from the Spanish shore batteries, Machinist First Class Phillips displayed extraordinary heroism throughout this operation.

   In recognition of his valor, on November 2, 1899 he was awarded the Medal of Honor, the highest United States military decoration.

   George Phillips died in 1904 at the age of 42 in Cambridge, Massachusetts; his body was returned home to Canada where he was interred in the Fernhill Cemetery in his hometown of Saint John, New Brunswick.

Medal of Honor citation Rank and organization:

   Machinist First Class, U.S. Navy. Born: March 9, 1864, Boston, Mass. Accredited to: New York. G.O. No.: 529, November 2, 1899.

Citation:

In connection with the sinking of the U.S.S. Merrimac at the entrance to the harbor of Santiago de Cuba 2 June 1898. Despite heavy fire from the Spanish shore batteries, Phillips displayed extraordinary heroism throughout this operation.

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