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Our beloved husband and father, Colonel Jesse W. "Bill" Campbell, USAF (Ret.), died on September 28, 2013, at the age of 82, from heart failure. He retired from the United States Air Force on June 30, 1981 following a long and distinguished military career spanning more than 28 years. His last assignment was Randolph AFB where he was the Inspector General for Air Training Command. He was born on November 17, 1930 in Pixley, CA to Jesse and Lila Pearson. Bill received his BA degree in mathematics from Fresno State College and a master's degree in public administration from the George Washington University. He was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant and was dual rated as a navigator and as a pilot. In addition to Senior Navigator Wings and Command Pilot Wings, he also wore a Command Missile Badge and Command Pilot Wings of the German Air Force. Col. Campbell entered the Missile and Space field after flying assignments as a navigator and pilot in 1960 and served at Sheppard AFB and Patrick AFB. He attended Air Command and Staff College in 1966 and then was assigned to the 311th Air Commando Squadron at Phan Rang Air Base in Vietnam. As a C-123 pilot he flew over 1,000 sorties during his combat tour of duty including a harrowing and heroic evacuation at Kham Duc in May 1968. After being nominated for the Congressional Medal of Honor he was removed from combat duties. He returned to the United States in July 1968 and spent the rest of his career in Air Training Command (ATC). His assignments included Secretary of the Interservice Training Review Organization and Assistant Chief of Staff, Headquarters ATC Randolph AFB, Wing Commander of the 80th Flying Training Wing, Sheppard AFB, and Inspector General of ATC, Randolph AFB. His military awards and decorations include the Air Force Cross, Silver Star, Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with four oak leaf clusters, Meritorious Service Medal and Air Force Medal. After retirement, Bill was the Regional Manager for an oil field service company in Midland, Texas for five years and then after returning to San Antonio in 1986, he established an insurance and investment company that serviced the senior market in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Arkansas. He retired in 2010. Never Jesse, or JW as he was known in his youth, Bill Campbell was devoted to his childhood sweetheart, the former Carol L. Landels and married to her for more than 63 years. They have four daughters: Kimberly who lives in Corvallis, Oregon, Lynn who lives in Austin, Lori who preceded her father in death, and Kristina who lives in Dallas. Bill and Carol have ten grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. He was our hero, our go-to guy, and the love of our lives. We will miss him more than words can say. A Memorial Service will be held on Friday, November 15, 2013, at 10:00AM, at Schertz Funeral Home. Interment will follow at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery with full United States Air Force Honors. Because Colonel Campbell held the Air Force Cross, there will be a military flyover during the services at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that any memorials be made in Bill's name to the Wounded Warrior Project.
You are invited to sign the electronic guestbook at www.schertzfuneralhome.com
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Published in Express-News on Nov. 10, 2013