US Mountain Ranger Association

Promoting fellowship & brotherhood among US Army Rangers
Robert Phillips

Robert Littleton Philips was born on August 10, 1946, at Fort McPherson, Fulton County, Georgia. Bob attended Brown High School for the school year 1959-60 and was transferred to Therrel High School when it opened in 1960. Like many of the first-born sons of World War II career soldiers, Bob wanted to serve his country as an Army Officer.

While at North Georgia College, Bob was commissioned a Second Lieutenant of Infantry in the Regular Army of the United States. Bob began Ranger School in November 1968 and graduated on January 22, 1969. First Lieutenant Phillips was reassigned to Vietnam and arrived there on August 12, 1969. On May 5, 1970, Bob had been in command for 3 months of “C” Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division.

On May 6, 1970, after First Lieutenant Phillips had a platoon on the ground and the Platoon Leader had been shot, they discovered that the landing zone had been overrun by North Vietnamese forces. The landing of the remainder of First Lieutenant Phillips’ company at that LZ was halted until the units on the ground could re-establish superior firepower and control the LZ. Lieutenant Phillips was still in the air when the order to cease further landing at the LZ was given, but a redeployment of the airborne assets was not yet determined. Somehow Bob convinced the pilot to land and said that there were good men down there and he wasn’t going to stop until they were able to reach safety.

After landing at the C Company LZ, First Lieutenant Phillips re-deployed his assets; obtained fire superiority; and secured his LZ. Late in the day, Bob was loading the wounded onto Dustoffs. As he was laying smoke for another medivac, Bob walked past a spider hole and was shot in the back by a North Vietnamese soldier who was lying in wait for the Americans. For gallantry in action on May 6, 1970, First Lieutenant Phillips was posthumously promoted to the rank of Captain and was awarded our Nation’s third highest Valor award - the Sliver Star.

Captain Robert Littleton Phillips was buried in the Oxford Historical Cemetery, Oxford, Georgia, and remained there for 40 years until he was reinterred in the family plot in Circle View Cemetery, Social Circle, Georgia. Bob was a friend to everyone who knew him. He was smart, admired, highly respected, and well-liked. He is the epitome of the best and brightest of his generation.

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