Lawrence was born in Annapolis, Maryland on October 1, 1917, to Lawrence Sr. and Ethel M. Bischoff. He also had two sisters (Marjorie and Elizabeth).
He served as an Enlisted man in the United States Army National Guard from November 20, 1934, to March 1, 1937, and again from July 7, 1937, to August 2, 1937. He was appointed to the United States Military Academy in July 1940. He graduated on January 18, 1943, and was commissioned in the Coast Artillery Corps (ASN: 0–25571). During World War II he served with Battery C, 574th Anti-Aircraft Artillery (Automatic Weapons) Battalion (Self Propelled) earning the Distinguished Service Cross for heroic actions.
After several AA assignments after the war, he the Mayor of the Berchtesgarden Recreation Area, complete with some of Hitler's furniture in his office.
Increasingly, his assignments had nuclear connotations—Sandia, Eniwetok and Nevada. For his work in program evaluations at JTF II, he was awarded the Joint Service Commendation Medal. On the staff of CINCPAC during the Vietnam War, he travelled often to that country on IG missions. Later he was chief of Nuclear Support to the Turkish Artillery and very much enjoyed his travels to the three Turkish armies and their units. On February 28, 1973, he retired as a Colonel after earning the Legion of Merit.
Dates of rank
- January 19, 1943: Second Lieutenant
- May 19, 1943: First Lieutenant
- December 15, 1945: Captain
- October 26, 1950: Major
- March 9, 1956: Lieutenant Colonel
- June 13, 1966: Colonel
He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Military Academy in 1943 and a Master of Science degree from Johns Hopkins University in 1951. He graduated from the United States Army Command and General Staff College in 1962. Before 1934, his academic career ranged from the United States to Shanghai, Manila and Panama. His first year of high school was in Manila; the last three in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Then it was two years at George Washington University.
Sports and time at West Point
At USMA, he always stood in the top quarter. He played C Squad football, B Squad lacrosse and won his intramural insignia for soccer. He also was an academic coach for all four years; math particularly intrigued him.
Where to go in retirement was decided by lottery at a state fair in Albuquerque: a lot of land in Colorado Springs was the prize they won. So it was there that he and Jessie settled. He had a tremendous compassion for people, so it was natural that he become a volunteer. The Olympic Training Center became the center of his focus.
An interest in a volleyball drew him as a spectator. Then he was asked to volunteer as an Olympic helper. That led to 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 him from doing the team's laundry overnight to acting as a tour guide for VIPs. He also volunteered for the American Cancer Society, the American Lung Association and the Colorado Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau.
In 1944, he married Jessie Anne Hammond. Together they had three children (Todd, Mary, and Lance). His wife died on May 13, 2012.
Phil died on April 20, 1993, in Colorado Springs, Colorado of Natural Causes and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
Awards and decorations
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.
- "Lawrence P. Bischoff, Jr.". Military Times. http://valor.militarytimes.com/recipient.php?recipientid=21898. Retrieved August 29, 2017.
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