Private First Class Phillips was a member of Company F, 2nd Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division. He was listed as Missing in Action while fighting the enemy in South Korea on September 6, 1950. He was presumed dead on December 31, 1953. His remains were not recovered. His name is inscribed on the Courts of the Missing at the Honolulu Memorial. Private First Class Phillips was awarded the Purple Heart, the Combat Infantryman's Badge, the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Korean Presidential Unit Citation and the Republic of Korea War Service Medal.