PFC Thomas Leonard “Tomie” Phillips

PFC Thomas Leonard “Tomie” Phillips

Birth
Marion County, Alabama, USA
Death 20 Apr 1945 (aged 23)
Okinawa, Japan
Burial Guin, Marion County, Alabama, USA
Memorial ID 48238309 · View Source
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Thomas Leonard (Tomie) Phillips was a PFC in the Alabama 306, Infantry 77 Division, first platoon of the US Army Company "G" serial #34396349 during World War II. He was killed in action.

Thomas Leonard Phillips was always known as "Tomie". He was born and raised in the Pea Ridge Community of rural Marion County, AL where his father farmed and worked in saw mills. He loved his eleven brothers and sisters and his parents very much. He only attended grade school and then helped his father with the farming until he was old enough to go out on his own.

Tomie went to Winston County and lived with his first cousin, George Washington Roberts and his family. There Tomie worked in a saw mill and sent money home to help his mother and father.

Thomas Leonard Phillips enlisted in the Military Service on Oct 23, 1942 at Ft McClellan, Alabama. He listed his mother as a dependent and she started receiving an allotment on Feb. 1, 1943. He also obtained life insurance with his mother as beneficary.

Sometime during 1944, Tomie was on leave before being shipped overseas. He came home to Alabama to visit his parents and siblings. His older sister, Stella, was married and had been estranged from their father for nine years. Tomie and his older brother James, went and brought their sister, Stella, home for a visit. Tomie and James were responsible for the reconciliation of their father and their sister, Stella.

On Christmas 1944, Tomie sent a Christmas Card to his family while he was on a ship. From a ship on April 16, 1945, the invasion of Ie Shima (Iejima), Ryukyus Islands was made. Fighting contiuned until April 20, 1945 on Mount Iegusugu where he lost his life along with his commander and 25 other lost or wounded soldiers. He was 23 years old. His remains were interred at the 77th Infantry Division cemetery on Ie Shima, Ryukyus Islands, in grave 4, row 1, plot 1.

On June 18, 1945 the Purple Heart was awarded posthumously to "Private First Class Thomas L. Phillips, Infantry, who sacrificed his life for the defense of his country."

Tomie's remains were returned to the United States about March 1949. The funeral was held at Liberty Freewill Baptist Church and burial was in Old Libery Cemetery, Marion County, Alabama.

On April 1, 1949, an authorization was written for his father, George Willis Phillips, to receive a Gold Star Lapel Button. The Gold Star Lapel Button is "for widows, widowers, parents, and next of kin of members of the Armed Forces of the United States who lost their lives during.... World War II, September 8, 1939 to July 25, 1947;..... while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States"
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Stella is my mother and Tomie is my uncle. My son is named in his honor.



Inscription

HE DIED IN SERVICE OF OUR COUNTRY
HE IS GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN


  • Maintained by: Martha
  • Originally Created by: rebekahpaw
  • Added: 16 Feb 2010
  • Find a Grave Memorial 48238309
  • Martha
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for PFC Thomas Leonard “Tomie” Phillips (25 Jul 1921–20 Apr 1945), Find a Grave Memorial no. 48238309, citing Old Liberty Cemetery, Guin, Marion County, Alabama, USA ; Maintained by Martha (contributor 47958457) .