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First Name: Lawrence

Last Name: Bischoff

Birthplace: Annapolis, MD, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Middle Name: Philip

Date of Birth: 01 October 1917

Date of Death: 20 April 1993

Rank: Colonel

Years Served: 1943 - 1973
Lawrence Philip Bischoff, Jr.

Graduate, U.S. Military Academy, Class of 1943

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)
•  Korean War (1950 - 1953)
•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)


Lawrence Philip 'Phil' Bischoff, Jr.
Colonel, U.S. Army

Lawrence Philip 'Phil" Bischoff, Jr. was born on 1 October 1917 in Annapolis, MD, the son of Lawrence Philip and Ethel MacNaughton Bischoff. His father [Honoree Record ID 308504] was a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Class of 1912, and was serving as an instructor there at the time of his birth.

Because of his military family's travels, his early academic training took place in the United States, Shanghai, China; Manila, Philippines; and in Panama. His first year of high school was in Manila; the last three in Eau Claire, WI, and then it was two years at George Washington University. In an effort to cover all appointment bases to get into the U.S. Military Academy, he spent three years in the National Guard. Still failing to gain an appointment, he worked the 'Hill.' At the last minute, a Congressman from Texas, despairing of ever getting a graduate let alone an entrant, gave Phil the vacancy caused by a principal who failed the academic exam; a first alternate who failed the physical; and a second alternate who fell and damaged his knee shortly before 1 July.

At West Point, Phil always stood in the top quarter of his class. He played C Squad football, B Squad lacrosse and won his intramural insignia for soccer. Phil was also an academic coach for all four years; math particularly intrigued him. His bio read, “Conscientious, determined, but versatile.” During his last years as a cadet, he roomed with Ed Geaney and Pete Thaler. As Phil said, the room had a Protestant, a Catholic and a Jew...and they all got along famously.

When it was time to select a branch at graduation, Phil’s math ability pushed him toward the new antiaircraft equipment with the early forerunners of computers. As a result, he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant of the Coastal Artillery Corps.

In the fall of 1944, Phil married Jessie Anne Hammond, an elementary school teacher from Eau Claire, Wisconsin, in the U.S. Naval Academy Chapel in Annapolis before going overseas.

On 12 April 1945, First Lieutenant Philip Bischoff, Jr. was serving with Battery C, 574th Anti-Aircraft Artillery (Automatic Weapons) Battalion (Self Propelled) in action against enemy forces near Urbach, Germany. On that day, his heroic actions earned him the U.S. Army's second highest award for valor, the Distinguished Service Cross.

Phil had several Anti-Aircraft assignments after the war. At one point, he became the “mayor” of the Berchtesgarden Recreation Area, complete with some of Adolph Hitler’s furniture in his office. With Phil's being awarded the DSC, and with his time in Europe, Jessie qualified for the April 1946 trip of the USAT Thomas H. Barry; the first boatload of wives to Germany. They had a daughter, Mary Ethel, who was born in Austria and lived only one day.

In December 1947 Phil and Jessie returned home to Florida, where a second daughter, Mary, was born. A Master's Degree in Science at Johns Hopkins University coincided with the birth of Lawrence 'Lance' Philip Bischoff III in DC. A decade later, Todd Richard Bischoff was born in California.

Phil's assignment locations increasingly had nuclear associations - Sandia, Eniwetok and Nevada. For his work in program evaluations at JTF II, he was awarded the Joint Service Commendation Medal. While on the staff of CINCPAC during the Vietnam War, he often traveled to that country on Inspector General missions. Later he was Chief of Nuclear Support to the Turkish Artillery and really enjoyed his travels to the three Turkish armies and their units.

In 1973, Colonel Phil Bischoff retired from the Army after 30 years of active Service.

Medals and Awards

Distinguished Service Cross
Legion of Merit
Joint Service Commendation Medal
American Campaign Medal
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal
World War II Victory Medal
Army of Occupation Medal
National Defense Service Medal

Distinguished Service Cross Citation

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to First Lieutenant (Coast Artillery Corps) Lawrence P. Bischoff, Jr. (ASN: 0-25571), United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving with Battery C, 574th Anti-Aircraft Artillery (Automatic Weapons) Battalion (Self Propelled), in action against enemy forces near Urbach, Germany on 12 April 1945. On that date, when the convoy which Lieutenant Bischoff was protecting with two sections of anti-aircraft artillery was ambushed by a large enemy force, he gallantly exposed himself to intense hostile fire and organized a defense. During the bitter fighting which followed, he carried a wounded man to safety, drove the trucks to cover, and fearlessly ran across a field swept by enemy fire to contact friendly tanks coming to the aid of the beleaguered convoy. Lieutenant Bischoff's heroic actions and unflinching devotion to duty reflect great credit upon himself and the military service.

General Orders: Headquarters, Third U.S. Army, General Orders No. 147 (22 June 1945)

Post-Military Life

While trying to decide where to live in retirement, Phil and Jessie participated in a lottery while attending a State Fair in Albuquerque, NM. The lottery prize, which they won, was a parcel of land in Colorado Springs, CO, so it was there that they settled.

Phil's compassion for people made him a natural volunteer and the Olympic Training Center became the center of his focus. An interest in volleyball drew him as a spectator. Then he was asked to volunteer as an Olympic helper. That led to his being asked to organize a booster committee, which led to a position on the Olympic Committee itself. No task was too small or too large for Phil—from doing the team’s laundry overnight to acting as a tour guide for VIPs.

During his retirement, he also volunteered for the American Cancer Society, the American Lung Association and the Colorado Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Death and Burial

Colonel Lawrence Philip 'Phil' Bischoff, Jr. died alone, at his home in Colorado Springs, CO, on 20 April 1993. His wife discovered him when she arrived home. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Arlington County, VA, in Section 68, Site 4556.

[The information in this biography was compiled using various sources of information. It relied heavily on data from the memorial to Colonel Bischoff prepared by his classmates and family and posted by the West Point Association of Graduates at https://apps.westpointaog.org/Memorials/Article/13178/. MHOH is most grateful for the material.]

Honoree ID: 308503   Created by: MHOH




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