Rank and organization:   Private, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve.
12 June 1923, Neafus, Ky.
Accredited to:   Kentucky.
Citation:   For conspicuous
gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the
call of duty while serving with the 3d Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine
Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces on Peleliu Island, Palau
Group, during a savage hostile counterattack on the night of 4 October
1944. Stationed with another marine in an advanced position when a Japanese
handgrenade landed in his foxhole Pfc. Phelps instantly shouted a warning
to his comrade and rolled over on the deadly bomb, absorbing with his own
body the full, shattering Impact of the exploding charge. Courageous and
indomitable, Pfc. Phelps fearlessly gave his life that another might be
spared serious injury, and his great valor and heroic devotion to duty
in the face of certain death reflect the highest credit upon himself and
the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
This data was extracted from the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, U.S. Senate, Medal of Honor Recipients: 1863-1973 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1973)