Chester G. Phillips was born in Spirit Lake, Idaho, on April 16, 1924. He entered naval service on November 4, 1943 and under the V-12 Program attended the University of Idaho at Pocatello, from which he received the degree of Associate of Arts in 1944. He was a student at the Pre-Midshipmen’s School, Asbury Park, New Jersey, from November 1944 to January 1945, then entered the Naval Midshipmen’s School at Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois. He was commissioned Ensign in the U.S. Naval Reserve on May 24, 1945 and subsequently advanced in rank to that of Captain, to date from July 1, 1966, having transferred from the Naval Reserve to the U.S. Navy on July 22, 1946. His selection for the rank of Rear Admiral was approved by the President on April 27, 1971.

After receiving his commission in 1945, he had instruction at the Fleet Service School, San Diego, California, until August 1945, after which he served as Assistant Communications Officer on board the USS KALK (DD 6ll). He joined the USS McCOOK (DMS 36) as Communications Officer in April, 1946 and in August of that year transferred, in a similar capacity, to the USS THOMASON (DD 760). During April and May 1948 he was Acting Commanding Officer of the USS PCE-885, after which he had duty as Executive Officer of the USS PC-114.

He was assigned to the Naval Security Group at the Naval Communication Station, Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii, from July 1949 to July 1951, then served in the Security Branch, Communications Division, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Navy Department, Washington, D.C. He remained there until August 1953 and in September of that year joined the Staff of the Commander in Chief Naval Forces, Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean, for duty until August 1955 with the Naval Security Group. Following similar service at the U.S. Naval Security Group Activity, Germany, he reported in July 1957 for duty at the Naval Security Group Headquarters, Washington, D.C.

In June 1960 he became Head, Naval Security Group Department, NAVCOMMSTA Morocco. He remained there until June 1962, after which he attended the Naval War College. Completing his instruction there in June 1963, he returned to the Naval Security Group Headquarters, where he served as Inspector General until June 1964, then as Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff for Special Operations. In April 1966 he assumed command of the U.S. Naval Communications Station, Adak, Alaska, and in October 1967 he became Director of the Cryptology Division, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Navy Department. His selection to Rear Admiral was approved by the President in April 1971 and he was promoted in April 1972. He assumed duties as Director, Signals Exploitation and Security Division (OP-944) in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, and as Commander, Naval Security Group on June 11, 1971. He reported to the National Security Agency/Central Security Service as Assistant Director for Plans and Resources on 31 August 1974. He retired from the Naval Service on 1 September 1975.

Rear Admiral Phillips was awarded the Legion of Merit; the Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon; the Meritorious Unit Commendation Ribbon; American Campaign Medal; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal; World War II Victory Medal; Navy Occupation Service Medal, Asia Clasp; and the National Defense Service Medal with bronze star.

He is married to the former Dorothy Ann Daddow of Clarkston, Washington and they have one daughter, Pamela Rae. He has traveled in sixty-eight foreign countries in connection with various inspection assignments.

He is author of “Capture at Sea in Perspective,” published in the U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings in April 1965. He is a member of the Masonic Lodge, Naval Cryptologic Veterans Association, and his hobby is oil paintings of naval ships.

Source: NCVA Echoes of our Past