CAMPBELL, ELDON JOSEPH, Second Lieutenant, # 0-808850, USAAF
Eldon J. Campell was born on 5 June 1918 in Oklahoma to John Monroe Campbell (1887-1976) (KS) and Mary Agnes (Mastney) Campbell (1891-1982) (Austria – immigrated 1903 – naturalized). Siblings included Francis M. (Campbell) Grammer (1912-2004), John Monroe Campbell Jr. (1915-2001), Charles Elliott Campbell (1916-1977), Dorothy Mae (Campbell) Hannon (1921-2006), Virginia Campbell (1924- ), Agnes Bessie Campbell (1910-2007), Charles Elliott Campbell (1916-1977).
He registered for the WW II draft on 16 October 1940, worked for the Union National Bank, and described himself as 6’1”, 150 lbs, with brown hair and blue eyes. After enlisting, he completed basic and advanced flight school and was assigned to the B-29 Superfortress. He earned his commission and wings. He was sent overseas to 20th Air Force in India then to an advance airfield in China. On 7 December 1944, B-29 Superfortress # 42-6359, “Vixen,” assigned to 20th Air Force at Piardoba, India, 462nd Bomb Group, 770th Bomb Squadron (Very Heavy), departed its forward airfield at Kuinglai, China, on a mission to bomb the aircraft construction and iron works at Mukden, Manchuria (China). Weather conditions were bad and visibility poor, requiring IFR flight rules throughout the mission. At about 0422 hours Zulu, it was last seen near Sianfu, China, low on fuel at last contact. Capt. Harold R. Ebbeler, 0-367116. He reported that his B-29 and 42-6359 was in the same element on the mission. He heard Capt. Johnson call the lead aircraft and state he was going to have to land at an airfield enroute and refuel. 42-359 stayed in formation as it entered overcast. The aircraft lost visual contact with one another and had to fly IFR. It was in the area of the Tsinglung Range and the Wie Ho River. He is remembered on the memorial wall of missing in action at the Manila American Cemetery & Memorial, Philippines. He was awarded the Air Medal and Purple Heart.
His brother, Charles E. Campbell, born 30 June 1916, served from 12 March 1945 to 16 March 1946. He died 17 July 1977 and is buried in the Pond Creek Cemetery, Hunter, Oklahoma.