Sgt. Philip D. Doyle, USMC

After every snowstorm we have, our road always turns into a undrivable nightmare. So, for the last few days I have been driving my wife to work so she won’t have to take her front wheel drive car off of the hill with the chance that she might not get back up. Why am I telling you this? I do have a reason.

My wife currently works at a school for children with special needs about fifteen minutes from where we live. When we first drove to the school when she was applying for her job, I noticed the flags of all of the military services flying with the American Flag. It struck me as kind of odd because schools usually do not have military flags anywhere near them.

So yesterday, when I went to pick her up, the only space available was directly in front of the USMC Flag. Being a Marine, I kind of laughed and sat back to continue reading, coincidentally enough, E.B. Sledge’s, With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa, a book that I had read a couple of times already.

As the sun lowered in the sky just a bit, it highlighted a memorial plaque on the flagpole and I got out to take a look at it. From my jeep, I thought the last name looked familiar, and I was surprised to see the name Sgt. Philip D. Doyle (no relation of course).

To say the least, I was a little shocked that this Marine had been killed during the Battle of Okinawa in May of 1945 and I was reading a book on the same subject. When I got home, the first thing that I did was Google his name and sure enough, this Marine was posthumously awarded the Silver Star for actions during the Battle. Here is what his Silver Star citation read:

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Silver Star (Posthumously) to Sergeant Philip Dunwoodie Doyle (MCSN: 450993), United States Marine Corps Reserve, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity while serving as a Platoon Guide of Company L, Third Battalion, Fourth Marines, SIXTH Marine Division, during operations against enemy Japanese forces on Okinawa, Ryukyu Islands, 2 April 1945. When his platoon was pinned down by the merciless fire of a numerically superior enemy, and reduced in strength by many Marine casualties, Sergeant Doyle unhesitatingly rushed across open terrain under intense small-arms fire and swam a deep irrigation ditch to inform his company commander of the desperate plight of his men. Then, leading a relief unit in a successful flanking movement, he rejoined his platoon and directed the evacuation of the many wounded. By his utter disregard for personal safety, his cool courage and initiative, he was responsible for saving the lives of several of his comrades who otherwise would have perished. His heroic conduct throughout the engagement reflects the highest credit upon himself and the United States Naval Service.

Semper Fi to this fine Marine and may he rest in peace.

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