Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Douglas Campbell 1896-1990

The son of astronomer William Wallace Campbell, Douglas Campell graduated from Harvard University in 1917. On 18 May 1917, he enlisted in the United States Signal Corps, Aviation Section. After training at the School of Military Aeronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology he embarked for France on 23 July 1917. He was promoted to 1st Lieutenant on 29 September 1917. After additional training in early 1918 at Issoudun and Casaux, Campbell was assigned to the 94th Aero Squadron on 1 March 1918. He and Lt. Alan Winslow shared the squadron's first official victory over an enemy aircraft on 14 April 1918. Flying the Nieuport 28, Campbell was the first United States Air Service pilot trained in the United States to score five confirmed victories. Scoring his final victory on 5 June 1918, he and James Meissner shot down a Rumpler near Nancy, but Campbell was wounded in the back by an explosive bullet and sent home to recover. Promoted to Captain, he returned to France on 8 November 1918 and served with the Army of Occupation in Germany. Returning to the United States on 1 January 1919, Campbell was discharged from the army on 24 February. On 7 June 1919 he accepted a Captain's commission in the Air Service Officers' Reserve Corps.