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John F. Campbell
Lieuenant Colonel, United States Air Force
South Dakota State Flag
Lieutenant Colonel John F. Campbell, United States Air Force (retired), age 79, died Thursday, July 20, 2000 at Whetstone Care Center. 

John Campbell was born in White River, South Dakota, July 23, 1920. He graduated from Washington High School in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He attended The University of Nebraska, before joining the Army Air Corps in 1942.

Colonel Campbell was a B-29 pilot in World War II, serving in the Pacific Theater of Operations. After World War II, he was stationed at Clark Air Base in the Phillipines. He was a ROTC instructor at The University of South Carolina. Colonel Campbell was a counter insurgency pilot after World War II flying covert missions over Eastern Block nations. Later he became Director of Military flight operations at Rhine-Main Air Base Frankfurt, Germany. Later he was chosen to be the Director of Flight Operations at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. He later served as the Deputy Commander of the Air Force Orientation Group based out of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

He was instrumental in directing the building and operation of the Air Force display outside the Hall of Science at the 1964-65 New York Worlds Fair. He later transferred to the Aeronautical Systems Division, helping to develop a V/STOL fighter with the Federal Republic of Germany. Following that assignment, he was Adjutant to the Commander of the Military Advisory Group to the Air Force of Viet Nam from 1968-70, where he helped to direct the Vietnamization of the war effort with the Viet Namese Air Force. He was recognized for his dedication and
      achievements in Viet Nam with the Legion of Merit Medal. Upon returning from Viet Nam, he was the Systems Program Officer for the Remotely Piloted Vehicles Program (Precursor to cruise missiles) and was recognized by the
      Air Force Association for having the best managed Systems Program Office in the Air Force in 1972. 

John retired from the Air Force after serving 30 years, from 1942 to 1972. He was the last to pilot "Bocks Car", the B-29, to the Air Force Museum. He was a member of the Order of Dedalions at Wright-Patterson.

He was a proud father and loving grandfather.

He was a resident of Fairborn, Ohio from 1960 to 1996. He then moved to Columbus, Ohio, where he was a resident at the Gardens at Whetstone until his passing July 20, 2000, three days short of his eightieth birthday. 

He is survived by his children, Susan (Michael) Galbreath of Upper Arlington, J. Patrick (Ellen) Campbell of Potomac, Maryland, Christopher (Geraldine) Campbell, of Medford, New Jersey, Michael Campbell of Columbus, and Mary
      Anne (Scott) Rajoppi of Chatham, New Jersey; grandchildren, David and Lindsay Galbreath, Chris and John Campbell, Benjamin and Jeffrey Campbell, Sara and Michelle Campbell; sisters, Virginia McGlone of Utah, and Margaret Anne Campbell of Colorado. Preceded in death by his former spouse, Shirley W. Campbell, in 1996 and brothers Robert Campbell, M.D., and Dean Campbell. A memorial service will be held Friday, August 18, 2000 at St. Mark's Episcopal Church, 2151 Dorset Road, Upper Arlington, where family will receive friends immediately following the service. 

Private interment at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date. 

In lieu of flowers, those who wish may make contributions to Central Ohio Parkinson Society, 1380 Dublin Road, P.O. Box 18313. Columbus, Ohio 3218-0313 in his memory.

JF Campbell Gravesite PHOTO
Photo Courtesy of Russell C. Jacobs


Posted: 5 January 2002  -  Updated: 31 August 2003 Updated: 24 November 2005 Updated: 20 August 2006
Legion of Merit