Retired Sep. 1, 1975. Died Jan. 31, 1990.
General Samuel C. Phillips is commander, Air Force Systems Command, with headquarters at Andrews Air Force Base, Md.
General Phillips was born in Springerville, Ariz., in 1921. He graduated from public schools in Cheyenne, Wyo., earned a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from the University of Wyoming in 1942, and a master's degree in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan in 1950.
He was commissioned a second lieutenant, Infantry, after completion of Reserve Officers Training Corps and graduation from the University of Wyoming in 1942. He then entered active military service, transferred to the Army Air Corps, attended flying school and earned his pilot wings.
During World War II, he served with the 364th Fighter Group, Eighth Air Force, in England and completed two combat tours of duty in the European Theater of Operations. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross with oak leaf cluster, Air Medal with seven oak leaf clusters, and the French Croix de Guerre. After the war, he was assigned to the European Theater headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany. In July 1947 he was transferred to Langley Air Force Base, Va.
Since 1950 his research and development assignments have included six years with the Engineering Division at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio; duty as electronics officer with the atomic energy experiments at Eniwetok during Operation Greenhouse; and project officer assignments with B-52 bomber aircraft, and Falcon and Bomarc missiles programs.
General Phillips returned to England in 1956 where he served with the 7th Air Division of the Strategic Air Command. His participation in writing the international agreement with Great Britain for the deployment and use of the Thor intermediate-range ballistic missile earned him the Legion of Merit.
He returned to the United States in 1959 and was assigned to the Air Force Ballistic Missile Division of the Air Research and Development Command, Los Angeles, as director of the Minuteman Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Program.
In 1964 General Phillips was assigned to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration as director of the Apollo Manned Lunar Landing Program. He assumed command of the Space and Missile Systems Organization, of the Air Force Systems Command in Los Angeles in September 1969. In August 1972 he became director, National Security Agency/chief, Central Security Service, and in August 1973, commander, Air Force Systems Command, Andrews Air Force Base, Md.
He was awarded the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal in September 1969 for his distinguished service with NASA from December 1964 to August 1969 and again in July 1972 for his service as commander of SAMSO. He also was awarded two NASA Distinguished Service Medals by that agency, in 1968 and 1969, for distinguished achievements and contributions to the Apollo Program which put America's first men on the moon.
General Phillips holds an honorary doctor of laws degree from the University of Wyoming. He is a member of Kappa Sigma Fraternity; a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers; and as a member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics was selected for a fellowship by that organization in October 1969 for "notable and valuable contributions to sciences and technology." He also is a fellow of the American Astronautical Society; an honorary member of the national business fraternity, Alpha Kappa Psi; a member of the Board of Governors of the National Space Club; a member of the Board of Directors of United Services Automobile Association and president of the Military Benefit Association.
On Sept. 26, 1971, General Phillips was awarded the Smithsonian Institution's Langley Medal for his contributions to the Apollo manned space program from 1964 to 1969. He was the 14th recipient of the Langley Medal since the award was first presented to the Wright Brothers in 1909. In April 1971 General Phillips was elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering for his leadership and direction of the Minuteman weapon system and the Apollo programs. He received the General Thomas D. White U.S. Air Force Space Trophy, Sept. 11, 1972, and the Flying Tiger Pilot Trophy (awarded by the American Volunteer Group) on July 7, 1973.
General Phillips was promoted to the grade of general with date of rank of Aug. 1, 1973.