Retired Brig. Gen.
Donald John Campbell, a native of Cincinnati and a 1939 graduate of Western
Hills High School, died Saturday, May 12, 2007 of
multiple illnesses. He was 87.
A World War II Army
pilot, Mr. Campbell later served as commander of the 302nd Troop Carrier
Wing at Clinton County AFB in Wilmington,
Ohio, and as deputy commander of the Air Force Reserve at the Pentagon.
He will be buried at
Arlington National Cemetery this summer.
Born in Cincinnati
on Nov. 13, 1919, he was the son of John Campbell and Elsie Rosemeyer
Campbell. Days after the Japanese attacked
Pearl Harbor, Mr. Campbell entered Army Air Corps cadet flying training in
California. He married fellow West High graduate Elizabeth Mae Van
Harten while in training.
He volunteered to
serve overseas and three weeks after his wedding shipped out to the South
Pacific. He flew the P-38 Lightning heavy
fighter plane and the P-39 Airacobra fighter.
From 1942 to 1944, Mr. Campbell rose to
be squadron commander of the Army Air Corps' 36th Squadron, 8th Fighter
Group, 5th Air Force, based in Milne Bay,
New Guinea. The 5th Air Force played a major role in pushing the Japanese
back to their home islands.
After a short time
in the states, Mr. Campbell spent a year as a liaison officer flying the
P-51 Mustang fighter with the Nationalist Chinese forces. After the
war, he commanded an early version of the Air Force's aerial demonstration
team out of Wright-Patterson AFB
He was commander of
the 302nd Troop Carrier Wing from 1952 until 1970 when he went to the
Pentagon to serve as deputy commander
of the Air Force Reserve.
attained the rank of brigadier general in 1962. He retired to Vienna, Va.,
in 1977. In 1988, he built a house on Escambia
Bay in Pensacola, Fla., where he lived with his wife until his death.
his wife of 65 years, Elizabeth Mae (Van Harten) Campbell; four sons and
their wives, Craig and Tricia of Virginia
Beach, Va., Donald and Patty of Elizabethtown, Mark and Cathy of Saginaw, Mich., and Chris
and Julie of
Fairfax, Va.; nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.