Wendell Kingsley Phillips – First Lieutenant, United States Army

In 1923 an airfield, hangar, and quarters for an aviation squadron were also created at Aberdeen Proving Grounds. The airfield  was used by aircraft that supported the creation of bombing tables; the techniques these tables provided were a means of improving the adequacy of aerial bombing. The Phillips Army Air Field was named in memory of First Lieutenant Wendell K. Phillips who was killed in an aircraft accident at Aberdeen. This is the old airfield, now a portion of the industrial area. Later, in 1943, the Phillips' name was transferred to the new airfield.

Lieutenant Phillips (30 April 1900-5 June 1923) is buried in Section 3 of Arlington National Cemetery.  Buried with him is Charles Lee Phillips, Captain, Quartermaster Corps, United States Army (1 July 1879-5 September 1954), who is his Father.

Father of Lieutenant PhilippsGets Word Of Aviator'sFall By Mere Chance

WASHINGTON, June 6, 1923 – Captain Charles Lee Phillips, recently of the Ordnance Bureau of theArmy, came to Washington today to see his aviator son, Lieutenant Wendell K. Phillips of Aberdeen, Maryland, who was to take part in the Shrine Convention after a flight from the Aberdeen Proving Grounds to this city.

Walking down New York Avenue, Captain Philipps saw a picture of his son on a newspaper bulletin board, and learned for the first time that his son had been killed while leaving the Aberdeen Field for his flight to the capital yesterday.

Captain Philipps said tonight that because  of an estrangement between himself and his wife, fifteen years ago, which resulted in divorce, he had not seen his son since the latter was a little boy.  Recently, however, he came into possession of a photograph of his son as an aviator, and it was this picture that he saw today.

The Captain said he had spent a long time in Mexico, Central America countries, California, Nevada and Canada, returning to New York City about a year ago.  His home is said to be in Brooklyn, New York.

Tomorrow afternoon the body of the aviator will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery and both Captain and Mrs. Phillips are expected to attend the service.

Only the day before he was killed Lieutenant Phillips flew from Aberdeen to  Washington bringing to Mrs. Harding flowers which had been carried by airplane all the way from Georgia.

An added note of tragedy was given today when Lieutenant Phillips'wife, hurrying to Baltimore to take charge of her hushand's body, was injured when her automobile collided with a motor truck.  Her injuries were not serious, but halted her trip for several hours.  She will see her husband's father for the first time tomorrow when they meet in Arlington Cemetery.

Mr. Patterson,

Thank you so much for honoring my uncle through your website.  He died at a very young age and left his mother, my grandmother, profoundly distraught.  He saved 5 other men although he died in that crash.  Just the day before his death, he had delivered flowers to Mrs. Harding.  I don't know what happened to his wife.  I do have a picture of Wendell that I can scan and send to you if you would like more information.

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