Honoring Early Rose Hill, Kansas


Jack Phillips

Jack enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1956 and served his entire two year hitch in Southern California, mostly at Camp Pendleton. After a little over a year at several jobs in California and Seattle, Washington, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in November, 1959. Given a choice of base assignment he selected Nellis Air Force Base near Las Vegas, Nevada. After winning base airman of the month in May 1960 he was rewarded with a flight in the supersonic F-100 aircraft. This spurred him to apply for officer training. He entered the Officer Candidate program in January 1961 and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in June 1961. Fortunately he was one of the few to receive a pilot training assignment to Vance AFB, OK, and won his pilot wings in October 1962. Graduating as top pilot gave him the opportunity to pick a fighter aircraft, the F-100 at Luke AFB, AZ. After that training was complete he was selected to fly the next six years with assignments to McConnell AFB, KS (twice), Germany, and a combat tour in Southeast Asia during 1967. The 100 missions over North Vietnam resulted in numerous decorations including 3 Silver Stars presented by President Lyndon Johnson at McConnell AFB. Jack’s mother, Ruth Phillips, had a wonderful time that day and got to meet the president! Subsequent assignments included: staff officer, aide-de-camp for a 3 star general (and his personal pilot), operations officer for an F-4 Phantom squadron, and chief of flight simulation for Tactical Air Command. Jack elected to decline an assignment to the Pentagon and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel with 20 years service.