Phipps publication available as a veterans fundraiser

Laurel Phipps, 97, of Marshalltown, a World War II Navy veteran considered among the most decorated in Iowa for his military services, is reporting through a personal publication a special project of assistance to fellow veterans of the community.

Through this publication, reporting his military services in the South Pacific Ocean and autobiographical details of his life experiences, copies are available for interested persons.

According to Phipps’ wishes, the publication printed via MinuteMan Inc., is available for free will donations, with all funds earmarked for local Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 839 or the joint VFW/American Legion Post 46 Honor Guard. The publication includes a varied assortment of Phipps’ experiences as a gunners mate aboard the light cruiser C.L. Flint and its duties firing at enemy Japanese kamikaze aircraft, plus other missions leading to the Japanese surrender in 1945.

Through the summer of 2017, Phipps worked jointly with the printer in updating the story, also adding a variety of war photographs of actions at which he and his shipmates were involved.

As memories and news stories of those events decades ago came to him, Phipps developed them into an interesting descriptive manner. He notes special awareness of his proximity to Atomic Bomb maneuvers such as the notorious and later sunken USS Indianapolis and its role in that project.

Adding to the publication are details of Phipps’ youth days in his Missouri birthplace and family life, followed by his career after World War II.

The publication reports his deep involvement assisting in regaining the lost charter of the troubled early days of VFW Post 839. Later he served as commander of the post, and then also as commander of the Iowa Department of the Veterans of Foreign Wars; two terms also with the Iowa Commission of Veterans Affairs; as a Marshalltown city council member, too. He still serves as head commissioner of the Marshall County VA Commission.

In respect to his many family connections, Phipps has added a wide variety of facts and a photographic exhibit.

Samples of the publication are available for viewing with the Historical Society of Marshall County, the Marshalltown Public Library and the VFW Post. Copies can be obtained via Phipps (641-753-5157); VFW Post 839 (641-753-9548) or Mel Pitzen (641-752-3773). Phipps added that persons in possession of an earlier copy can obtain an updated version by contacting him.