Peter R. Phillipy

Peter R. Phillipy

Peter R. Phillipy, of Moon Twp. Age 101 died on Thursday, March 23, 2023 in Good Samaritan Hospice at Heritage Valley Beaver.  He was born in Milbach, PA the son of the late Rufus & Emma (Frantz) Phillipy.

Brigadier General Peter R. Phillipy passed away on Thursday March 23rd. He is survived by his beloved wife Eleanor (Zakan) Phillipy of 61 Years. David (Katie) Phillipy, Patricia (Murdoch) Lind, and Peter (Renae) Phillipy, five grandchildren, David Phillipy, Elizabeth (Timothy) Lamping, Whitney Phillipy, Demi Phillipy and Rebecca Leibrick, and three great grandchildren, Noah, Emma, and Mary Lamping. He is also survived by sisters Orpha Shoener, Fern Hitz, and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was a veteran of World War II. He enlisted in the army in July 1942 and completed pilot training in December 1943. Upon completion of P-51 trading, he was assigned to the 325th Fighter Group, 15th Air Force in Italy. Main mission of the unit was escorting the bomber force throughout Europe. Upon completing 56 missions he returned to the States and served as a Gunnery instructor until released from active duty in November 1945 and assigned to the Air Force Reserve.

In February 1948 Capt. Phillipy joined the 148th Fighter Squadron of the PA Air National Guard. In February 1951 his unit was recalled to active duty for the Korean conflict and based at Dover AFB. In August 1953 he became the commander of the 148th Fighter interceptor squadron. In 1956 Major Phillipy was assigned as commander of the 112th Fighter Group at Greater Pittsburgh Airport.

In 1957 he competed in the Annual Ricks Trophy event sponsored by the Air Force Association. The event was speed dah in F-84f aircraft by participants of 12 Air Guard units.  The route was from Fresno, CA to Andrews AFB. Major Phillipy was declared the winner averaging 638 MPH.

In December 1961 Lieutenant Colonel Phillipy was appointed Commander of the 112th Air Defense Wing. Under his leadership a unit in his command, in conjunction with five regular Air Force units, captured first place in the World Wide Interceptor Weapons Meet (Willian Tell) at Tyndall AFB in October 1963.

In 1964 the 112th Air Defense Wing was awarded the air Force Outstanding Unit award. This was the first Air Guard Unit to receive this prestigious award.

During the 1964-65 he attended the Air War College at Maxwell AFB, Alabama. Upon graduation he was designated a Distinguished Graduate. In 1966 he was promoted to Brigadier General.

In 1972 the Wing was redesignated the 171st AirRefueling Wing. In 1977 the Refueling Wing was also awarded the Air Force Outstanding unit for air refueling in Operation Creek Party from August 1973 to February 1977.

General Phillipy retired in January 1982 after serving as the Wing Commander for 20 years. He was qualified in the KC-135 with over 10,000 flying hours, which included 4,000 hours in fighter aircraft from the p-40 to the F-102.

In retirement he served on the Board of the Harmarville Rehabilitation Center 10 years. He was an active member of the Sharon Community Presbyterian Church for many years.

Military Awards – Air Force Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal, Airs Medal with 4 Oak Leaf Clusters, Air Force Outstanding Medal, and the Combat Readiness Medal.

With his many accomplishments he remained a humble man who was an avid golfer and very devoted and loving to his family.

Friends will be received on Monday, March 27, 2023 from 2-4 & 6-8 PM in the Huntsman Funeral Home & Cremation Services of Moon Twp. (1522 Coraopolis Hts. Rd.) where a Prayer Service will be held on Tuesday at 9:30 AM before Mass of Christian Burial at 10 AM in the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish, St. Margaret Mary Church, Moon Twp.  Interment and military honors will follow at Resurrection Cemetery.


11 thoughts on “Peter R. Phillipy

  1. Thanks to the Pete, Eleanor and their family for life long kindness, good times and love. Pat and Kathy Angert (Goetz).

  2. I served under General Phillips for many years.He was very strict in his Command. That is why we had a great Unit. I remember a time when I was giving ejection training from the T-33 for the pilots who flew that A/C. I set up a T-33 so we could lift them out by using a overhead Crane. This was to make sure they were in the right position while being ejected or they could lose their knees. At this time He was flying the T-33 and He wanted to know why He had to do. this .When I had him do this it showed if you were not in the right position while ejecting you could lose your knee caps. He thanked me and told me I was doing a great job. I will never forget that. I give my condolences to the Family and I would attend the funeral service, but I am living in FL now. CMSGT John Lucarini.

  3. As a new Generation of the post Vietnam Veterans comming into the Guard , we were the first federal employees with full federal recognition and started the union . He was not happy . I didn’t have a clue who he was but he didn’t like the union. I sat with him in his office and told him I would never get involved with anything that would interfere with the mission or serving my country . He was strick and always pointed a finger at me with that smile and evil eye . Thank you sir for your service. With respect. Bill Porupsky, seat shop F- 102 A- 7D , lovingly called by all PETE THE HEAT

  4. Rest in peace old friend. Never forget some great rounds of golf we played . My condolences to your family.

    1. What a Man huh Tip. Yes, enjoyed many rounds of golf with Pete. He will always be remembered from so many of the Old timers like your brother Jimmy, Rock O’Hara, Joe Filloy and all those we had laughed about all those years. What GREAT times we had golfing & tipping a few cold ones & a hot dog or two with the PA ANG golf league. Thoughts & prayers going out to the Phillipy family.

  5. When I enlisted in the Guard in 1966 my Dad was with me. As the paperwork was being completed the General walked in. He went to my Dad and said his name was Peter Phillipy
    My Dad Said General very nice to meet you. The General said you can call me Pete because they had some of the same friends. He said General I served in the Army in World War II and always had respect for officers Each time that he saw me he would ask about my Dad.He was a true Officer and a Gentleman. Rest In Peace Sir

  6. I had the privilege of working with General Phillipy to put together our unit’s history. He was so incredibly sharp. It was as if the unit’s history was his own personal history. In fact maybe the two were synonymous. I appreciated the time I spent listening to his detailed recollection and getting to know him. My sincere condolences to the Phillipy family. Chief Master Sgt. Ann Young, Retired

  7. How a Commander treats his men and women speaks volumes about him. It’s the true measure of the man.

    General Phillipy diligently investigated false charges made against me and my supervisor around 1975 or so, after I had only been in the 112th about a year after 6 years of active duty. He could easily have ignored the situation, but dug deep, resolved the issue, and saved both my career and my supervisor’s as well.

    Always the gentleman, always with a kind word, but quick to point out anything that might jeopardize the reputation of the 112th. He never once commanded respect, but rather, he earned it. I will celebrate his life, his many accomplishments, and his legacy. Rest in Peace, Sir, your legend lives on.

  8. Thanks cousin (uncle) Pete for all the great visits over the years. I especially enjoyed watching you give the boys the secret hand shake that dropped them to their knees. Lol!
    Enjoy heaven!
    Hugs and Kisses to cousin Eleanor Davey, Patty and Petey. Wish I could be there to help you say goodbye.
    Love, Cindy Chapman ( Jasniecki)

  9. Our deepest sympathy to the Phillipy Family with the passing of General Phillipy. He was my first Wing Commander when I enlisted in 1980 and my father’s (Geno Gionta) Wing Commander when he retired in 1974 and my mothers civilian boss (Esther Gionta) in the early 1960’s. General Phillipy was a true American Hero, Patriot and a great leader in the Air National Guard. He will always be remembered and honored in our hearts as a true Icon of the Pennsylvania Air National Guard. May he rest in peace and enter through the Gates of Heaven.

  10. I met the General in 1975 when I transferred from active duty to the 171st CS under Palace Chase. He took an interest in former USAF active duty personnel and treated enlisted members with dignity. After learning the history of our base I gained the knowledge of his outstanding service to our USA. A fighter AND a tanker pilot, what a transition! I still remember the change of command ceremony when he retired. He was the epitome of the Greatest Generation. MSgt Bill Costello PA ANG retired.

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