Samuel C. Phillips

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Samuel Cochran Phillips

Birthplace: Springerville, Apache County, AZ, United States
Death: January 31, 1990 (68)
Rancho Palos Verdes, Los Angeles County, CA, United States
Place of Burial: 5136 Eagle Drive, Air Force Academy, El Paso County, CO, 80840, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Private and Clarence Arthur Phillips
Husband of Betty Anne Phillips
Brother of Private; Private; Private; Private and Private

Managed by: Alex Bickle
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Samuel C. Phillips

Samuel Cochran Phillips (19 February 1921 – 31 January 1990) was a United States Air Force general who served as Director of NASA's Apollo program from 1964 to 1969, as commander of the Space and Missile Systems Organization (SAMSO) from 1969 to 1972, as the seventh Director of the National Security Agency from 1972 to 1973, and as commander of the Air Force Systems Command from 1973 to 1975.

A 1942 graduate of the University of Wyoming, Phillips was commissioned in the Army through the Reserve Officers Training Corps. He transferred to the Army Air Corps, qualified as a fighter pilot, and flew two tours of duty in World War II with the Eighth Air Force's 364th Fighter Group. After the war he was an electronics officer during Operation Greenhouse nuclear weapon tests at Eniwetok Atoll, and served in project officer assignments with the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress heavy bomber, AIM-4 Falcon air-to-air missile, and Bomarc surface-to-air missile programs. He helped negotiate the agreement with the United Kingdom for the deployment and use of the American Thor nuclear-armed intermediate-range ballistic missiles. In 1958, he was assigned to the Air Force Ballistic Missile Division of the Air Research and Development Command, as the Director of the Minuteman Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) Program. As such, he oversaw the first deployments of Minuteman missiles in 1962.

In 1964, Phillips was seconded to NASA as the director of the Apollo program. He brought in Air Force personnel to fill project management positions, and instituted common procedures, documentation and terminology, to prevent potentially catastrophic failures and oversights. An Apollo Configuration Management Manual was issued in 1964, which was largely copied from the Air Force Systems Command's manual. Phillips proposed a system of design reviews and change control that would give managers both the authority and the information necessary to manage the project. Daily reports were sent to headquarters, where they were kept by a central control room he modeled on the one that he had used on the Minuteman project. The Apollo program's mission was accomplished in July 1969 with the Apollo 11 Moon landing, and Phillips returned to the Air Force.

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Samuel C. Phillips's Timeline

February 19, 1921
Springerville, Apache County, AZ, United States
January 31, 1990
Age 68
Rancho Palos Verdes, Los Angeles County, CA, United States
United States Air Force Academy Cemetery, 5136 Eagle Drive, Air Force Academy, El Paso County, CO, 80840, United States