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Col William Haddock "Bill" Campbell, Sr
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Birth: Oct. 27, 1916
Cook County
Illinois, USA
Death: May 8, 1987
Collier County
Florida, USA

COL William Haddock "Bill" CAMPBELL, 1916 - 1987, 3rd son of:
Lloyd Corr "Beppo" CAMPBELL (Sr.) of IL, and
Olive Madeline (WALLENIUS) CAMPBELL of IL.

Bill enlisted in the Army Air Corps shortly before WW-II. Following his basic training, he was an instructor in hydraulics at Chanute Field in Rantoul, Illinois. He completed night school and was accepted into pilot training as an Air Cadet in the Army Air Corps.

His parents & siblings drove down to (Kelly Field?) in Texas for his graduation from flight school. This was all prior to WW-II and Bill was a 2nd Lieutenant. The war buildup was obvious with all the activity at Kelly Field. By November 1941, Bill was training & flying with the 7th Bomb Group, 88th Reconnaissance Squadron, which had recently moved to Fort Douglas, Utah.

Around 26 November 1941, a "super secret" photo recon mission had been ordered by high ranking Army and Navy officers. The plan called for two high-flying B-24A aircraft (SN# 40-2371 & 40-2376) to overfly Japanese islands "high & fast" while conducting daylight aerial reconnaissance while enroute to their new Philippines.

<<< The rewrite continues below >>>

by two high flying B-24A aircraft were ordered. The USAAF only had about nine B-24A aircraft in their entire inventory, and none were assigned to bomber or recon squadrons. Almost all had been stripped of guns, armor plate, and bomb shackles and were flying passengers and cargo for the Ferry Service.

Bill never flew for the Ferry Service, however 1 or 2 December found him at Sacramento, CA as co-pilot on a nine man recon crew assigned to a "very secret" photorecon mission. The two aircraft were supposed to fly their mission armed, but the Sacramento Air Depot couldn't complete the conversion back to a combat aircraft in a timely enough manner. On 3 December 1941, Bill's aircraft took a test hop from Sacramento, and around 2pm that afternoon the crew grabbed their gear and hopped over to Hamilton Field, just north of San Francisco, CA. Top level brass in Washington and the War Department were anxious for the planes to be on their way.

Bad weather delayed their departure for 24 hours. When they departed, they had a twin .50 caliber machine gun in the tail and one "portable" .30 caliber machine gun stowed in the nose. The rear bomb bay was equipped with two large vertical spy cameras for photo recon. The bomb shackles were missing for the front bomb bay, as were the side .50 caliber and the regular camera tunnel .50 caliber gun & mounts. The aircraft was still missing the crew armor plating found on the combat versions of this aircraft.

A second B-24A arrived at Hamilton Field on 4 December, but it experienced continuing problems, and it was to be carrying the guns, gun mounts, bomb shackles, and other equipment for both aircraft. These would be fitted in Hawaii, time permitting.

Both B-24A's departed Hamilton Field between 9 and 10pm on Thursday, 4 Dec 1941. About an hour out, Bill heard the second B-24A flown by Lt Watkins, turn east for Sacramento for engine trouble and/or wheel shimmy problems. Bill's plane had good weather and flew a celestial navigation practice route to Hawaii, while also enjoying the commercial radio broadcast.

The four officers on Bill's plane included:
1Lt Ted S. Faulkner, as first pilot
2Lt William H. Campbell "Sr", as co-pilot
2Lt Walter Snowdon "Smitty" Smith, III, as "bombardier" and relief pilot
2Lt Louis Gustav Moslener, Jr., celestial navigator.

The five enlisted men on the crew were:
... To be completed later...
All were thought to be from the 7th Bomb Group (?), 88th Reconnaissance Squadron

The "senior" pilot on Bills' B-24A was 1Lt Ted S. Faulkner as first pilot, with Bill as co-pilot. It is believed that only the pilot, Faulkner, had any experience in the B-24, having flown on "detached service" for the Ferry Command. Bill departed Hamilton Field with about 1.5 hours right seat time in a B-24A: the test hop & the hop to Hamilton Field.

They arrived early on the morning of Friday, 5 Dec 1941, between 6:15am and 7am. The aircraft was met by several unidentified generals and an armed guard was placed around the "spy plane". It was taken to the Hawaiian Air Depot to have the guns and mounts and armor plate installed, if possible. (The second B-24A was to bring them in.) The aircraft was supposed to fly this mission "high and fast", above the threat of enemy pursuit planes, but also able to defend itself and avoid an international overt act of aggression.

<<< rewrite in progress >>>

Family links: 
  Lloyd Corr Campbell (1881 - 1962)
  Olive Madeline Wallenius Campbell (1887 - 1952)
  Mary Ellen Smith Campbell (1921 - 1996)
  Lloyd Corr Campbell (1911 - 1974)*
  Donald Arthur Campbell (1913 - 1985)*
  William Haddock Campbell (1916 - 1987)
  Olive Josephine Campbell Chambers (1918 - 2009)*
  David Boice Campbell (1925 - 2008)*
*Calculated relationship
Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington County
Virginia, USA
Plot: Columbarium Court 2, section M, Stack 12, Niche 4
GPS (lat/lon): 38.87646, -77.06163
Maintained by: Greg Campbell
Originally Created by: International Wargraves ...
Record added: Jan 02, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 32582061
Col William Haddock Bill Campbell, Sr
Added by: International Wargraves Photography Project
Col William Haddock Bill Campbell, Sr
Cemetery Photo
Added by: James Seidelman
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

- bob tarte
 Added: Sep. 24, 2015
For my uncle Bill
- Greg Campbell
 Added: Jun. 1, 2012

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