Philip M. Wilson – Colonel, United States Army


Philip M. Wilson, age 96, the man credited with shaping the U.S. Army Claims Service died of a stroke at Dunwoody Village in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, on November 20, 2001.

Born in Siloam Springs, Arkansas, Colonel Wilson remembers at an early age the sheriff coming to reposess the family farm. A series of moves from ranches in New Mexico and Texas led to Missouri where he took advantage of musical training in high school in Kansas City to become a professional musician. After several years of touring with bands, Colonel Wilson was able to work his way through college and law school at the University of Missouri in Columbia. There he met and later married Neva Cornelius of St. Joseph, Missouri. They were married 60 years before her death in August this year.

In private practice in Kansas City, Missouri, when World War II came he enlisted in the Army, graduated from Artillary Officer Candidate School, and then entered the Judge Advocate General Corps. He won a Bronze Star for coolness under fire in the Battle of the Bulge and after the war investigated war crimes and claims against U.S. personnel. During the Korean war he won his second Bronze Star for adroitly running what was later called the busiest military justice unit in the history of the Army. As Chief of Claims for the U.S. Army in Asia, and later in Europe he yet again distinguished himself by being awarded the Legion of Merit.

After 23 years of service, he retired to continue his career in civil service as Deputy Chief of Claims for the U.S. Army world wide.

He is survived by his son, Richard, grandson, Philip, and brother Jack. Memorial contributions may be made to the Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger, 2901 W. Hunting Park Ave., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19129, a non profit organization headed by his daughter-in-law, Karen.

Interment Arlington National Cemetery, December 10, 2 p.m.

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