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Phillip E. Payne

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Lieutenant Colonel Phillip E. Payne, USAF (ret.), after two years of college, he “entered the USAF Aviation Cadet Program, and was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in March 1956.  During his active duty years he acquired a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and finally a Masters Degree.  As a fighter pilot he saw during in the F-86D at Kansas City; F102A in Anchorage, AK; F-105B/D/F in Goldsboro, NC; Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK; F-4C/D/E at Las Vegas, NV; Osan AB Korea, and Wright Patterson AFB, OH; included as a lengthy duty at Incirlik AB, Turkey,; Takhli, Thailand, and all of the South Viet Nam’s and Thailand’s F-4 Squadrons.  Lieutenant Colonel Phillip E. Payne is the author of Growing Up In The West and Becoming a Man.


The MOAA said of Growing Up In The West, “Set in the 1880s, Luke Markanis and his father, a railroad expert, travel the western U.S. advising and leading major construction efforts. Luke, through ages 8 to 13, encounters many mysteries and challenges, as they experience cattle drives, bandits and encounters with U.S. Marshalls, and Pinkerton agents. All encounters are woven around real historical events. The theme of the story is: many people have opportunities/experiences that can offer accomplishments, if we will just take a chance and believe in themselves. The characters are fiction, but the events are at real places and times.”

Becoming a Man
Phillip E. Payne  More Info

Growing Up in the West
Phillip E Payne  More Info

According to the book description of Becoming a Man, “Using real historical events and places adventures are woven into the life of Luke, a fictional young boy that carries him through tragedies and successes in the 1880s. Orphaned at the age of 13, he rides west on his one eyed pony, a Sharps Rifle, and encounters Indians and cattle drovers. At a buffalo wallow his pony is killed and he obtains a large black horse. Luke continues west in search of the horse's true owner. At the Rio Grande River, assistance is provided by a Padre who sends Luke on west to the Bar-C ranch to return the black horse. With successful encounters at Socorro and Magdalena, NM, Luke becomes a ranch hand, where his Sharps is used on rustlers, mountain lions, and Indians.


Becoming A Man is a sequel to Growing Up In The West. The main character again is Luke Markanis in his early teens and has just discovered that his father has died. Living in a orphanage in Wichita Kansas, Luke realizes if he remains in Wichita he will likely become a servant or day laborer. Taking the big risk, he takes his one eyed pony and a Sharps rifle and heads west. Traveling across Texas and into New Mexico he meets Indians and is forced to fight. His skills with the Sharps rifle provides success after success and he is hired at a large cattle ranch as a cowboy and becomes a man.”

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