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Samuel Phillips - 1942

Director of Apollo Lunar Landing Program

General Samuel Phillips graduated from public schools in Cheyenne, Wyoming, prior to earning a B.S. 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.

After earning 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, Virginia.

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.

Phillips was also the director of the Apollo Lunar Landing Program. On Sept. 26, 1971, he was awarded the Smithsonian Institution's Langley Medal for his contributions to the Apollo 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.He served as the  seventh Director of the National Security Agency from 1972 to 1973, and as Commander, Air Force Systems Command (COMAFSC) from 1973 to 1975.

Phillips retired from the Air Force in 1975. He died on January 31, 1990.


Photos courtesy of United States Air Force and American Heritage Center

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General Samuel Phillips

Samuel Phillips
General Phillips had a much decorated career in the Armed forces after his graduation in 1942. He served as the director for many government programs including the Apollo Lunar Landing Program.

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