23rd Veteran of the Quarter, Jordon Phillips, US Navy

June 10, 2016

At the age of 18, shortly after graduating High School, Jordon L. Phillips enlisted into the United States Navy on October 19, 1943 in Roanoake, Virginia. He spent seven weeks of training at the Naval Training Station in Sampson, NY before being assigned to the aircraft carrier the USS Franklin which was under construction in Newport, Rhode Island.

Shortly thereafter, Phillips was transferred to a new assignment to Dunkeswell, Devon, England as part of the Fleet Air Wing Seven (FAW7). During the war, FAW7’s primary responsibility was aerial antisubmarine activities in the Bay of Biscay in the North Atlantic. The dangerous voyage from Norfolk, Virginia to Southampton, England, as part of a convoy of several ships, took 20 days. The convoy experienced hurricane like conditions and many oil barrels and a locomotive were lost overboard.

At Dunkeswell, Phillips was given the task of Aviation Storekeeper. He was assigned to guard a hanger with several B-24 Liberator bombers as well as the airplane flown by Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr., son of US Ambassador to Britain and his navigator, Lt. Wiliford J. Willy, whom later was killed in action on August 12, 1944 when they left on a one-way bombing mission.

Phillips was in Dunkeswell during the D-Day invasion on June 6, 1944.  He remembers hearing the guns of the US Navy battleships shelling coastal France all day long. Everyone on the base knew from the sound of the shells that the invasion of Europe had begun. So effective were FAW7’s missions leading up to June 1944 that not a single allied vessel was lost due to enemy submarines during the D-Day invasion.  Phillips spent about 16 months in England. He was on leave in Virginia when Japan surrendered.

When the war in Europe had come to a close, Phillips was attending school at Wooster College in Wooster, OH for pilot training when they offered him the option to enlist for six years or ‘wash out’ of the NAVY V-5 program. Phillips chose to continue service in the Pacific on board the USS Horace A. Bass that was anchored in Tokyo Bay. The ship left Japan on January 14, 1946, arriving in San Francisco on February 7, 1946.

Jordon L. Phillips received an Honorable Discharge from the US Navy on April 16, 1946. For his service, he received the WWII Victory Medal, the American Defense Medal, the European-African Medal and the Asiatic-Pacific Medal.

After service, Jordon Phillips helped farm his father’s land in Virginia, then worked for Standard Oil Company in Ohio until his retirement in 1986.  Phillips married Vivian in January of 1951 and they have three children.

To nominate a local Veteran for the Branson Bank Veteran of the Quarter, please visit our website: www.bransonbank.com or stop by any of our Branson Bank location to pick up a Nomination Form.  Veterans are chosen by a panel of their peers.

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