Gold Star Mothers of New Mexico

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LTJG Philip Edward Buch, USN


 Philip was born July 4, 1964 in Montreal General Hospital, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  His parents were both US citizens.  His father was an Electronics Engineer with Hughes Aircraft Company  assigned to the Canadian Air Force to teach maintenance and use of missiles bought for their F14s.


 Philip attended first grade at Palos Verdes Elementary School, Palos Verdes, CA and second through 5th grade at Skyline North Elementary, Barstow, CA.  He played tuba in the music program at Skyline North and was also a member of Barstow Swim Team.  He has many ribbons and trophies earned from his swimming abilities.  Middle school years 6 through 8th grades were spent at Oakland Middle School in Oakland, NJ.  He played ice hockey in Spring Valley, NY. 

In 1978, the family moved to Las Cruces, NM as his father was with Western Union Space Communications and the ground station for their first satellite was at Johnson Space Center.  On the way across country we visited an uncle in  Colorado Springs and visited the Air Force Academy.  After seeing the movie shown to tourists, Philip told me he would like go to the Academy. 


 Arriving in Las Cruces, NM, we discovered the high schools were 3 year schools so he attended 9th grade at Zia Junior high and was then supposed to attend Las Cruces High but there was no JROTC there but Mayfield High has AFJROTC so he transferred to spend 3 years at Mayfield.  He was secretary of the Honor Society and Cadet Commander of the JRTOC flag corps.  He was also Cadet Commander of the Las Cruces Civil Air Patrol1980 to 82.  On graduation from Mayfield High School in 1982, he received The Bauch & Loam Science Award and a Navy Scholarship to Purdue University.


 Philip entered Purdue University as a midshipman in August 1982, graduated in June 1986 with a BS in Physics, and received his commission as Ensign in the Navy.  He went to Surface Warefare School and was assigned to the Battleship USS Iowa BB 61.  He was the Turret Two Gunnery Officer.

On April 19, 1989, Philip and 46 of his men were killed in the Explosion of Turret Two.  Philip is buried in Arlington Nations Cemetery,  Section 60.