November 28, 1946 to January 22, 2011
Mike Philbin was born in Philadelphia, into a Marine family. His father, who had served in China in the late 1930s, was a career Marine. Mike grew up as a Marine brat living in Parris Island, Camp Lejeune, El Toro and San Diego. He attended San Diego State University, majoring in marketing. After leaving school in 1968, he joined the Marine Corps.
Following OCS and Basic School, Mike went to Army Flight School, receiving his Army Wings in 1969. He was then sent to MCAS Tustin and transitioned into the CH-53A/D and received his Naval Aviator Wings.
After training, Mike received orders to Okinawa, where he was attached to HMH-462 at MCAS Futenma. After a year of varying assignments and deployments, Mike transferred to MCAS Kaneohe Bay, and was assigned to HMH-463. While stationed at K-Bay, HMH-463 was deployed as a part of Operation End Sweep. Mike played an active role in clearing mines in the shipping channels of North Vietnam.
Mike left the Marine Corps in 1973 and returned to San Diego. He began his professional career in the commercial real estate industry as a broker with Grubb & Ellis. After ten years with Grubb & Ellis, the first nine as a broker and the last as a Sales Manager, he joined John Burnham & Company to manage their brokerage operation in San Diego. Mike went on to manage the entire brokerage group and later became a Principal in the company.
Mike Philbin was a true gentleman and a passionate advocate of the Foundation and Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum. He was a member of our Board for several years, and served on the Fundraising Committee. Mike eagerly supported and participated in the Foundation’s activities. He believed strongly in our mission to honor the legacy of Marine Corps aviation, and to build a world-class museum here at MCAS Miramar. Mike’s business expertise, valuable insight and friendship will be dearly missed. His passing was a profound loss to our team.