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Lt. Col. Martin T. Phillips

October 8, 1925 October 8, 2018
Lt. Col. Martin T. Phillips
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Obituary for Lt. Col. Martin T. Phillips

Lt. Col. Martin T. Phillips of Warrensburg, Missouri died on his 93rd birthday, October 8, 2018 at the Missouri Veterans’ Home. A career military officer of 33 years, Col. Phillips was a veteran of three wars, serving in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam.  

Born in Carbondale, Illinois to Ivan and Beulah (Greer) Phillips, Col. Phillips graduated from Carmi High School in 1943. He studied agriculture at Southern Illinois University and enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corp. where he served as a navigator during World War II.  

Col. Phillips married Cora Jeannene Pollard of Burnt Prairie, Illinois on June 28, 1947 before being called back to active duty for the Korean War. He flew unarmed, unescorted C-47 firefly missions in support of United Nations’ front-line troops.  

Col. Phillips was in the 31st Air Rescue Squadron at Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines where he assisted in the rescue of Northwest Airlines 292. The rescued flight, full of U.S. school teachers, was featured on the cover of Look magazine.  

In 1963, Col. Phillips was a combat crew member in the inaugural class of the Minuteman Missile program at Whiteman Air Force Base. At which time he earned an MBA from the University of Missouri.  

During the Vietnam War, Col. Phillips was a squadron executive officer. He navigated 75 combat missions on C-130 aircraft, including the Tet Offensive and the Battle Khe Sanh where he flew low altitude parachute extractions, providing support to trapped Army ground troops.  

Col. Phillips was a professor of aerospace studies at The University of Puget Sound and commander of the ROTC program during the tumultuous 1970s. He ended his military career back at Whiteman Air Force Base as code commander. After retiring from the military, he worked as a stockbroker for Merrill Lynch and as a finance professor at the University of Central Missouri.  

In addition to his wife, Col. Phillips is survived by three children, Michael Phillips and his wife Lynette of Alma, Kan., Melinda McMahan of Knob Noster, Mo., and Melissa Morehead and her husband Thomas of Blue Springs, Missouri.; two granddaughters, Ashley Erickson and her husband Nick of Austin, Texas, and Lindsey Warren and her husband John-Kelly of Tulsa, Oklahoma.; and two great-grandsons, Finnegan and Rhys Erickson.

He was preceded in death by his son-in-law Michael McMahan.  

Visitation will be held 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. on October 15, 2018 at Nale’s Funeral Home in Fairfield, Ilinois. Graveside services will follow at 2 p.m. at Liberty Cemetery in Burnt Prairie, Illinois. 

Donations may be sent to the Missouri Veterans Home at 1300 Veterans Road, Warrensburg, Missouri 64093.


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Previous Events

Visitation

Monday

15

Oct

12:30 PM 10/15/2018 12:30:00 PM - 1:30 PM 10/15/2018 1:30:00 PM
Nale's Funeral Home - Fairfield

106 East Center Street
Fairfield, IL 62837

Nale's Funeral Home - Fairfield
106 East Center Street Fairfield 62837 IL
United States

Graveside

Monday

15

Oct

2:00 PM 10/15/2018 2:00:00 PM
Burnt Prairie Cemetery

?
Burnt Prairie, Illinois 62820

Burnt Prairie Cemetery
? Burnt Prairie 62820 Illinois
United States

Memorial Contribution

Missouri Veterans Home

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