Wesley Phelps

Wesley Phelps

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Wesley Phelps

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Wesley Phelps (June 12, 1923 – October 4, 1944) was a United States Marine who posthumous received the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions and sacrifice of life during the World War II Battle of Peleliu.


Wesley Phelps was born in Neafus, Kentucky on June 12, 1923. He was educated in the Ohio County, Kentucky, elementary schools and graduated from Horse Branch High School in 1942. Radio was his hobby and he had built some one-tube sets. Deciding to turn his hobby into an occupation, he went to school in Owensboro, Kentucky, for four months where he studied basic electricity, then took a three-month course in radio repair work at the Lafayette Trade School at Lexington, Kentucky. He followed that with studies in field radio repair work, and radio repair work on aircraft receivers at the Johnson Pre-Frequency Modulation School.

Although he was the sole support of his aged parents who owned and operated a farm with his help, he was called up by the draft and was inducted into the United States Marine Corps on April 9, 1943 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

After boot camp at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, Pvt Phelps was assigned to the Signal Battalion at the Marine Base at San Diego for one month and then was transferred to the Infantry Training Battalion at Camp Elliot, California. He successfully completed an eight-week course on the Browning Heavy Machine Gun, 30 caliber, and was classified as a heavy machine gunner. Pvt Phelps joined the 27th...
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