LaVern "Squash" Campbell

Picture of Lavern Campbell LaVERN "SQUASH" CAMPBELL, born July 14, 1923 in "Lincoln, Nebraska. He attended the University of Nebraska, enlisted as an aviation cadet in 1942, trained in the class of 44-C, was commissioned at Williams Field, Arizona, had his advanced fighter and gunnery training in P-40's and P-47's at Luke Field, Arizona, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Pocatello, Idaho, and Matagorda, Texas.

Campbell joined the 507th Fighter Group, 465th squadron, when it was formed in Brunning, Nebraska. The 507th trained at Dalhart, Texas prior to Pacific theatre assignment on Ie Shima in the spring of 1945.

The 465th squadron flew daily missions in the last months of the war. It was equipped with new long-range P47Ns and the group was awarded a Presidential Citation for the "longest fighter sweep" - 7 1/2hours - Ie Shima to Kiejo, Korea.

The 507th was de-activated in November 1945. Then Campbell was assigned to 333rd Heavy Bomber Group on Okinawa, checked out as a B-29 co-pilot and flew a variety of other planes.

Returning home in July 1946, he again attended the University of Nebraska, graduating from the Agricultural College in June 1948.

The Campbells, Bonnie and Squash, were married at the Pocatello AAF Base, Idaho on June 10, 1944. They have eight children. Called Vern since college days, Campbell has been employed by Farmhand, Inc., Hopkins, Minnesota since 1948. The company markets an agricultural line of implements.

His interest in aviation re-kindled in 1965 and he flew extensively until 1975 when a heart by-pass operation ended pilot days. The Campbells reside on the banks of the Yellowstone River, Columbus, Montana - where the latch string is always out.

List of all P47 Pilots:
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Pilot Name Biography Summary
John Abbotts P-47 transition followed at Pocatello, Idaho and Greenville, Texas after which he was assigned to the 56th Fighter Group in England. When the news of his arrival reached Berlin, Hitler retired to his bunker with his cyanide capsule and revolver. Eva found the news equally depressing.
Asa A. Adair He returned to the States in August of 1944 after participating in the invasion "D" Day. He flew P-63's, P-51's, F-80's, T-33's, F-84's, T-38's, P-47's in numerous assignments during the following twenty years in in, Japan, U.S.A. and Europe before retiring after twenty-six years of Active Duty.
Edward B. Addison The 507th Fighter Group, equipped with P-47N's, won the Presidential Unit Citation for destroying 32 Japanese aircraft in the air on one mission to Seoul, Korea. The average flying time for raids to Korea and Japan would be 7 to 9 hours flying time. In a total of 31 months, the 507th not only provided top cover for B-29's, but also dive-bombed, napalm-bombed and flew low-level on strafing missions.
Levon B. Agha-Zarian It is rumored that he, took his primary training on a flying rug. He flew Spits, briefly, in England, but as the, war moved to the East, he was sent to India as a Sgt. Pilot and first saw action from Ceylon, flying the Curtiss P.36, the Brewster Buffalo, and the Hurricane. At this point he might have opted for the rug! This was at the time of the fall of Singapore and the sinking of the Prince of Wales and the Repulse.
George N. Ahles Posted to A-20 light bomber squadron Barksdale Field, Louisiana. . Group moved to Hunter Air Base Savannah, Georgia. Qualified for Pilot training November 1940. Entered Aviation Cadets January 1942. Presented wings November 1942 class of 42-J. Married Mary Louise while in Advanced Pilot Training at Craig AFB, Selma, Alabama, September 1942.
Roy J. Aldritt Shortly after the group moved to France he ran into some unseen flak and was forced to make a nylon descent behind the lines; some evasion and a lot of luck had him back with his unit in 24 hours.
Eugene J. Amaral After graduation from Stonington High School he enlisted as an Aviation Cadet in December 1942 and was called to active duty in March, 1943. He received his wings and commission at Spence Field, Georgia as a member of the Class of 43-C.
Talmadge L. Ambrose Flew 84 missions thru VE Day, was downed by 22mm ground fire over Siefried Line. He destroyed 11 enemy aircraft, 9 known confirmed in air and on ground, including 4 FW 190-D's in one afternoon over Hanover, Germany, April 8, 1945. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal, 17 man, Oak Leaf Clusters, Good Conduct Medal, Pacific Theatre and European Theatre Meda1s with 5 Battle Stars and Unit Citation Medal.
John C. Anderson After P-47 transition he was assigned to the 406th Fighter Group, 512th Fighter Squadron. (E.T .0.) He flew 56 missions through January, 1945 destroying supply routes, bridges, and railroads; he also flew close support missions with the ground forces, with attacks on tanks, artillery and enemy positions.
William Anderson It was not always flak,two ME-109's beat the hell out of me one day. The central controller called me and said "Basher-Red Leader do you have contact Bandits," I replied, "I sure do, I'll bring them over the field in 3 minutes, they're chasing me home." Got all the usual medals including two Belgium and two French but one I'm most proud of is the Silver Star -it is the greatest.
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