I dedicate this memorial to

William Kearney Phillips US Navy (Retired)
Captain of USS OAKLAND CL-95


It is only fitting that I use the speech of D. T. Rohde CDR USN Ret.(SC) USN Plankowner Supply Officer USS OAKLAND (CL-95) delivered at the 1 Aug 1988 Toledo, OH Reunion. I can't say enough about CDR Rohde when it comes time for a speech or something to do with or about the USS OAKLAND he will be there. Thank you Don and God Bless.

Thanks to Kathleen (Pike) Lowe for the image of Captain William K. Phillips.

Robert L. Cole Sr SoM1c Plankowner for the images of Mausoleum in Sherman, Texas where Admiral William K. Phillips and Anges Cherry Phillips were laid to rest. May they and Robert Cole who has also passed away rest in peace.

I would like to thank the Naval Order of the United States for permission to use their Admirals List of Distinguished Members Current and Former Companions of the Naval Order. If you would like to visit this website please do so at this URL. http://www.navalorder.org


William Kearney Phillips USN, (Ret)

First Captain of USS OAKLAND CL-95

Eulogy delivered by
D. T. Rohde CDR USN Ret.(SC) USN
Plankowner Supply Officer
on 1 Aug 1988 at the Toledo, Ohio reunion.

It is a pleasure and an honor to be given the opportunity to talk with you about the finest naval officer all of us have ever known. It is most fitting that we are doing so while gathered here atReunion IX of one of the fightinest ships the U.S. Navy ever had. To all of us, for all time, USS OAKLAND and CAPT Phillips are synonymous. We can't think of one without thinking of the other, for he was our Skipper, our leader, our inspiration, and we love him as only sailors can love the man who led them in battle.

I promised myself I would keep this short, but how do you "say a few words" about someone who had such a hold on your life for over a year at sea under wartime conditions, and who will always be in our hearts and minds.

We all have copies of the data from the U. S. Navy Historical Division, provided earlier by MCGM Larry Reilly. So, I will not review that information, but I want to summarize the duties Admiral Phillips had during his career for that is the true measure of the ability and experience of an officer. During his 38 years of active naval service, spanning three wars, he had the following sea duties:

He served in armored cruisers during WW1 Served in 4 submarines and was Captain of 2.

Captain of 2 destroyers

Navigator of a light cruiser

Designated Naval Aviator - Lighter than Air.

Commander of 2 destroyer divisions and a destroyer squadron

Captain of USS OAKLAND

Chief of Staff, Commander Cruisers-Destroyers, Pacific Fleet

Commander of a cruiser division, Commander of a destroyer division

Atlantic Fleet, Chief of Staff

Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet

Commander, First Fleet

In important shore duty assignments. That is the record of a real seagoing sailor. I have never known another naval officer who had duty in cruisers, destroyers, submarines and dirigibles; in other words, underseas, on the surface, and in the air. A remarkable record!

Now, you can see fromthis list that he had had a broad seagoing experience of some 26 years when he reported as Prospective CO of USS OAKLAND. That is why he was such an inspiration to us he was the very epitome of a naval officer, a worthy successor to Stephen Decatur, David Farragut, Hugh Rodman, Willian S. Sims, and a host of others. When we saw him around the ship, he was every inch the Skipper, and we said to ourselves that we had better try to be as good at our jobs as he was at his. That is what leadership is all about, and Admiral Phillips personified it to the nth degree.

I am sure that you all have memories of his popping up at odd times, in unexpected places. He had a sharp eye for detail, and a kindly way of talking to the seamen, as well as the chiefs and the officers. But it was not always so; he could bring you "up with a round turn" if he found you in error. But it was a great comfort to all of us that he was not just a mythical figure up in his ivory tower (the Bridge), but a real warm person who was to be seen in the engine room as well as the ship's office, in after steering as well as a storeroom, and who knew what we were all doing. Those days are gone forever. It was 45 years ago that we joined the ship, almost half a century since, but these thoughts remain an almost sacred part of our memories, to a large degree due to our Skipper, who made such an impression on our lives.

Admiral Phillips entered the Naval Academy in 1913, a year before WW I broke out in Europe. He served his country admirably for 42 years, being transferred to the Retired List of the Navy in 1955. He was much decorated and highly respected by his juniors, his peers, and his seniors, and will forever live in the memories of all of us, as a great, human, warm, competent gentleman and naval officer.

As we think about him today, and pay tribute to his memory, I'm certain that he is looking down on us from his place of honor in that great Valhalla in the sky, where all sailors finally go, to rest on their laurels and relish the memories of a long honorable life in the service of their country.

Requiescat in pace! -------- Mayhe rest in peace!

This document is the property of CDR. Donald T. Rohde. @http://www.rtcol.com/~oakland

Thanks to Robert L. Cole for the images
of Mausoleum in Sherman, Texas

participated in following operations

Gilbert Islands
Bismarck Archipelago
Asiatic-Pacific Raids 1944
Western New Guinea

Western Caroline Islands
Okinawa Gunto
Third Fleet operations against Japan

Current and Former Companions of the Naval Order

George W Anderson, Jr.
Jeremy M. (Mike) Boorda
Arthur S. Carpender
Richard L. Conolly
Donald C. Davis
Austin K. Doyle
Frank G. Fahrion
William M. Fechteler
Matthias B. Gardner
Byron H. Hanlon
Thomas C. Hart
James R. Hogg
John H. Hoover
Roy L. Johnson
Frank B. Kelso, II
Thomas C. Kinkaid
Henry H. Mauz, Jr.
Wesley L. McDonald
Albert G. Noble
Alfred M. Pride
Arthur W. Radford
Harold B. Sallada
Frederick C. Sherman
Raymond A. Spruance
William T. Swinburne
Russell R. Waesche
John M. Will
Jackson D. Arnold

William F. Bringle
Robert P. Briscoe
John H. Cassady
Charles M. Cooke, Jr.
Louis E. Denfield
James H. Doyle, Sr.
William J. Fallon
Harry D. Felt
Albert Gleaves
Huntington Hardisty
Thomas B. Hayward
James J. Holloway, Jr.
Royal E. Ingersoll
Edward C. Kalbfus
Isaac C. Kidd, Jr.
Alan G. Kirk
Henry T. Mayo
Frederick H. Michaelis
William A. Owens
Alfred M. Pride
Dewitt C. Ramsey
U.S. Grant Sharp
William S. Sims
William H. Standley
Carlisle A. H. Trost
James D. Watkins
Jerald Wright
Elmo R. Zumwalt, Jr.

Stanley R. Arthur
Charles R. Brown
Robert B. Carney
eph J. Clark
William J. Crowe, Jr.
Louis R. Desteiguer
Leon A. Edney
Thomas B. Fargo
Aubrey W. Fitch
James S. Gracey
William H. Harris
Henry K. Hewitt
James J. Holloway, III
David E. Jeremiah
Robert J. Kelly
Husband E. Kimmel
Robert E. Kramek
John S. McCain, Jr.
Thomas H. Moorer
William K. Phillips
Joseph W. Prueher
Suel M. Robinson
Forrest P. Sherman
Leighton W. Smith
Felix B. Stump
Richmond K. Turner
Maurice F. Weisner
Paul A. Yost, Jr.

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Last updated 05 January 2013