JIM CAMPBELL – US Army Air Corps, 1st Lieutenant
My cousin Esther Hogan and her husband Jim were visiting St. Lucia and agreed to take the book back in order to mail to Mr. Ferencz. Jim Hogan proceeded to tell me of his friend and choir associate, Jim Campbell who I was naturally delighted to hear about.
First Lieutenant James S Campbell – Pilot, 15th Army Air Corps, 450th Bomber Group, 720th Squadron was the third of seven Campbell sons, five of whom served in World War II. His first mission target was the east marshaling yards in Sopron, Hungary, December 6, 1944. Campbell said he flew somewhere around 30 missions over Italy, Germany, Austria, Hungary and Yugoslavia. He said “I didn’t count them. We just had a job to do and we did it.”
On a mission over Lintz, Austria, they were shot up pretty badly and came back with 128 holes in their B24 plane. On their thirteenth mission, somewhere in Italy, their navigator, Ed Barchuck, was killed in action.
On one mission, Campbell and crew were to fly in the #6 formation position but the #5 plane had trouble taking off and Jim was ordered to take the #5 spot. The other plane finally caught up and took position #6. While banking into a turn Campbell saw the #6 plane blown out of the sky by exploding flack. Campbell flew his final mission on April 17, 1945 which was over Bologna Italy according to the records maintained by the 450th Bomb Group Memorial Association (www.450thbg.com).
Sadly on 6 February 2018, Jim Campbell would become the first of the log book signatories to pass away: