Military Bios

Major General Phillips Waller Smith:

Military Branch:United States Airforce
Retired.   Died Feb. 16, 1963.
Phillips Waller Smith was born at St. Paul, Minn., in 1906. He attended the University of Wisconsin for a year, and graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., and was commissioned a second lieutenant of Cavalry June 12, 1930.
The following three years he held various assignments with the Cavalry, and on Oct. 16, 1933 was detailed to the Ordnance Department. In 1935 he received his master of science degree in ordnance engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a year later graduated from the Army Ordnance School. He was transferred to the Ordnance Department Oct. 16, 1937.
In 1938 he entered Harvard University, from which he received his master of business administration degree two years later.
In July 1940 he became chief of the ordnance section in the Office of the Undersecretary of War at Washington, D.C., and in March 1942 was named deputy director of the purchase division at Army Service Forces headquarters in Washington, D.C. He was appointed assistant director of the Readjustment Division, Army Service Forces in August 1944, and as such was in charge of overseas property.
The following January he went to Europe to become deputy general purchasing agent for the Army and Air Force in that theater, with station at Paris, France. In March 1945 he became a research analyst for the oil division of the U.S. Strategic Air Forces in Europe.
He returned to the United States in August 1945 to become director of the procurement division of the Army Service Forces at Washington, D.C., and the following June became chief of the current procurement branch of the War Department General Staff in Washington.
He transferred from the Army to the Air Force Dec. 10, 1947.
A month later, when the Air Force took over its own procurement, he was appointed special assistant to Lieutenant General Howard A. Craig, the deputy chief of staff for Materiel of the U.S. Air Force. At that time he also was designated deputy to Brigadier General Alfred A. Kossler Jr., director of procurement and industrial planning in the Office of Deputy Chief of Staff for Materiel. In that capacity he handled deviations from procurement policies set up at Air Force headquarters and carried out by Air Materiel Command, and was the final authority for clearing, approving and taking other action on Air Force contracts and the sale of Air Force equipment.
He was transferred to Air Materiel Command headquarters at Wright-Patterson Air Force, Dayton, Ohio, in August 1949 as a special project officer in the procurement division. Shortly afterward he became deputy chief of the procurement division, and in January 1950 was appointed chief of that division.
General Smith was transferred to the Office of the Special Representative, Europe, at Paris, France, in August 1952 for duty as deputy to the minister for defense affairs and director of the defense production division.
In October 1953 General Smith became comptroller of Air Materiel Command at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.
General Smith has been awarded the Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster and the Army Commendation Ribbon.


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