George Frederick Phillips

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George Frederick Phillips
George Frederick Phillips.jpg
Born (1862-03-08)March 8, 1862
Coles Island, New Brunswick, Canada
Died June 4, 1904(1904-06-04) (aged 42)
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Place of burial Fernhill Cemetery Saint John, New Brunswick
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch  United States Navy
Years of service 1898–1903
Rank Machinist First Class
Unit USS Merrimac
Battles/wars Spanish–American War
Awards Medal of Honor

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.


George Phillips went to Galveston, Texas where he joined the United States Navy in March 1898.[1] 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 was discharged from the Navy in August 1903, and 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[edit]

Rank and organization: Machinist First Class, U.S. Navy. Born: March 9, 1864, Coles Island, New Brunswick, Canada. Accredited to: New York. G.O. No.: 529, November 2, 1899.


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.

See also[edit]


This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.