Grover Gordon Phillips was born at Walker, Georgia, the son of John White and Bertha Jane Russell. Husband of Daisy Aileen Pitman and father of Herman Floyd Phillips, John Franklin Phillips and James Gordon Phillips.

First Class Grover Gordon Phillips, US Navy Reserve. Was shipped aboard the U.S.S. Frederick C. Davis (DE-136) a destroyer escort. He was lost at sea on 24 April 1945.

He is Memorialized at the East Coast Memorial, New York, NY.

From the Dictionary of American Fighting Ships:
Returning to duty (following a refit in New York), in the western Atlantic early in 1945 Frederick C. Davis served on coastal convoy escort and antisubmarine patrol service and in mid-April joined a special surface barrier force, formed to protect the Atlantic coast from the threat of close penetration by snorkel-equipped German submarines. It was one of these, U-546, which was contacted 24 April by Frederick C. Davis. Within minutes, as the destroyer escort prepared to attack, the submarine torpedoed her, hitting on the port side, forward. Five minutes later, she broke in two, and efforts to preserve the buoyancy of the stern, where the damage was less and the majority of survivors were located, failed. Her survivors abandoned the ship, with a loss of 115 men. They were taken from the water within 3 hours, and other escorts sank her attacker the same day.

My name is JoAnna Lynn Phillips, I am also a United States Naval Veteran, USS Holland, AS-32. (Decommissioned). Grover Gordon Phillips was my Grandfather, my father’s father. In World War II, he was assigned to the USS Frederick C. Davis (DE-136), in the western Atlantic. Approximately April 24, 1945, a German U-546 submarine torpedoed the ship on the port side. According to the survivors, my grandfather, Grover saved a lot of sailors before he lost his life. His best friend Chester Oliver, who was in the Army at the same time and flying planes, had made a pact with Grover and told him that if anything happened to him that he would take care of his wife Aileen, and his three children, Floyd, 5 years old, Johnny, 3 years old, and Jimmy, 1 year old. Chester stayed with Aileen until he passed away in 1983. My Grandmother Aileen passed away this year at the wonderful age of 98. I would like to know what I would need to do to help upkeep my Grandfather’s memorial. I am on disability and don’t have a lot of money, but I will do what I can.
Thanking you in advance.
–Submitted by JoAnna Lynn Phillips, Granddaughter of Fireman First Class Grover Gordon Phillips, United States Naval Reserve.

I found Mr. Phillips’ name in the Report of Changes for the ship. He reported to duty on the USS Frederick Davis on 11/3/44. He appears on the 6th in the attached report.
My grandfather, Bill Glass, died that day 24 April 1945.
My condolences to the family for their loss so long ago.
–Submitted by Marc Tepe

See also

Letter to his Mother:
Tuesday PM
December 01, 1944
From Grover Phillips
Newport News. VA Virginia

To Mrs H. N. Phillips Galahar
2002 Dorris Street
Chattanooga, Tennessee

Dearest Elsie and Lewis,

Dearest Mother and all,

Mom, this is to let you and Elsie and Helen and all know that there is a reason that I am writing to all. I had a little bad luck the other day when one of the ship’s hatches, or drop door as I guess you would call it, fell on my hand and banged it up pretty bad. They just took the splints off of it this evening, so that’s why I am writing to all of you in one letter. It sure hurts to try and write with it, but this may be the last chance I will have to talk truly because the rest of them will be censored. My cold is about okay and my hand will be in a few days. Outside of that, I am doing fine.

We left Brooklyn, New York one day week before last and went out to some little place and took on ammunition, then went back to New York and stayed last week. We then left last Monday and got here in Norfolk today. I made the trip fine, but boy some of the guys sure got sea sick. I don’t much believe I will get sea sick for my system is is in pretty good shape by not drinking and I eat lots too!

Mom, this is the straightest dope I can get on what we will do. I know you had rather I would tell you than for you not to know where I am. We join a Hunter Killer Squadron here made up of six more Destroyer Escorts and a Carrier. We will operate from South America to Iceland hunting submarines! That is about as good of duty as there is. And, don’t you worry, I’m not going to take one unnecessary chance! And, don’t worry if my letters get wide apart for I don’t know how often our mail will get out. But, I promise to write every chance that I get. We haven’t had any mail in almost a week now.

  • Rank: Fireman First Class
  • Date of birth:
  • 25 June 1918
  • Date of death: 24 April 1945
  • County: Hamilton
  • Hometown: Chattanooga
  • Service Branch: Navy
  • Division/Assignment: USS Frederick C. Davis (DE-136)
  • Conflict: World War II
  • Awards: Purple Heart
  • Burial/Memorial Location: East Coast Memorial, New York, New York
  • Location In Memorial: Pillar XI, Middle Panel
  • Sponsored by: JoAnna Lynn Phillips, John Phillips, and the USS Frederick C. Davis Family

Image Gallery

Click a thumbnail below to view at full size.

Submit more information on this veteran →