Philip W Nearing      

Philip W Nearing was born in Kansas City, Missouri on July 4, 1924.  Philip attended Faxton Elementary School, graduated from Paseo High School and studied at  Rockhurst University for a semester just prior to serving his country during World War II.

He enlisted in the US Navy on November 4, 1942 and entered the V-12 Navy College Training Program at Central Missouri State Teachers College in Warrensburg, Missouri.  He served during WWII as a Seaman First Class and was assigned to the USS Shipley Bay (CVE-85) V-Division Catapult Crew responsible for launching and retrieving aircraft.

After WWII, Philip returned to Kansas City to continue his education at Rockhurst University.  He later met the love of his life, Virginia Margaret Valenti.  They were married in Denver, Colorado where they raised their family.  Philip was an talented model builder, craftsman, collector, hunter, fisherman, gardener and historian.


  November 10, 1945  USS Shipley Bay (CVE-85) "V" Division, Marshal Islands, Kwajalein.  Philip W. Nearing is standing in the back row, fifth from the left.  
  The USS Shipley Bay Catapult Crew in front of a F4U Corsair taken at the Port of Balboa on the Pacific side of the Panama Canal.  Philip W. Nearing is standing in the back row second from left and James J. Withers is kneeling in the front row second from the right.  

October 25, 1945  Philip W. Nearing and James J. Withers became best friends during their service aboard the USS Shipley Bay.  The photo shown above was taken during the Navy Day celebrations in San Francisco.
Click [here] to see the souvenir folder from that day.


Seabag was the USS Shipley Bay's Mascot and was also shown on the cover of the Shellback Ceremony Booklet. Click [here] to view the booklet.

Photo left:  Philip W. Nearing holding Seabag on deck of the USS Shipley Bay.

  February 1, 1946  Philip W. Nearing standing on top of a F4U Corsair fighter and connecting a crane cable.  

February 16, 1942  The blueprint shown above was drawn by Philip W. Nearing at age 17 just prior to his graduation from Paseo High School in Kansas City on June 2, 1942.  Philip hand crafted this and several other WWII recognition model aircraft from solid wood as shown in this drawing.

  The poem shown above was written by Philip and sent to his mother Josephine  
  World War II, Asiatic Pacific Campaign and American Campaign medals.  
  February 4, 1978  Philip W. Nearing passed away on February 1, 1978.  His wish to be surrounded by American flags was honored at his funeral on February 4, 1978.  His US Navy portrait photograph can be seen on the right.  The funeral photo shown above was taken by Ron Dobbs, a very good friend and neighbor.  

June 18, 2011  The official US Navy Memorial Service for Philip W. Nearing was held on June 18, 2011 at the Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg, Texas.  A plaque dedicated by his family was permanently set in the limestone wall.  Click [here] to watch the video and see other photos on the Fredericksburg Memorial Page.

  Memorial Wreath     Memorial Plaque  
  The photo album and scrapbook show to the left contains other photographs from Philip's Navy experience.

Click [here] to view the complete album in a new window.


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