William Campfield Jr.
June 7, 1930 – November 11, 2020
Colonel William Campfield Jr. William Campfield Jr. (Bill) was born in Swainsboro, Georgia, June 7, 1930 to the late William and Sallie Mae Campfield. He was the oldest and last survivor of nine children. Bill graduated from Swainsboro High and Industrial School in 1948. In 1952, Bill graduated from Tuskegee University, Tuskegee Alabama with a Bachelor of Science degree and received a second lieutenant commission through the Air Force ROTC program as a distinguished graduate. He entered active duty in July 1952 and awaited the start of pilot training. Colonel Campfield entered pilot training in February 1953 and was awarded pilot wings at Foster AFB, Victoria, Texas in December 1953. After graduating from F-84 Combat Crew Training School at Luke AFB, Arizona in April 1954, he began a series of assignments in tactical jet fighter operations flying such aircraft as the F-86, F-100, F-105, and F-111. His combat experience consists of 100 missions over North Vietnam in 1967 as a Wild Weasel pilot in the F-105 aircraft. He few 53 of his 100 missions in the local area of Hanoi. He held positions as instructor pilot, flight commander, professor of aerospace studies, squadron operations officer; air division operations officer; air division chief of safety; chief of wing operations and training; Vice Air Base Wing Commander at Osan AB, Korea, Deputy Chief Airmen Management Division and Deputy Office Career Management Division at the USAF Military personnel Center; Base Commander at Elmendorf AFB, Alaska, and McClellan AFB, California. A command pilot with over 3,700 flying hours, Colonel Campfield served in Morocco, Germany, Thailand, Vietnam, Kansas, Texas, Korea, Alaska, and California. His professional military education includes the Air Force Squadron Officer’s School and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. Colonel Campfield’s military awards and decorations include the Silver Star (presented by President Lyndon B. Johnson), Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal and several other medals and citations. He retired from the Air Force after 30 years on August 31, 1982. His last assignment was Base Commander, McClellan AFB, Sacramento, California. During his career, he was a mentor to many and found great pleasure in helping others. Colonel Campfield remained in the Sacramento area and was employed by the State of California in October 1982 as a Staff Services Manager in the Department of Community Services and Development. He retired from the State in December 1992.
Colonel Campfield remained active in community affairs which included membership and support assistance to the goals and objectives of the Order of Daedalians, and Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. In 2005, Bill was inducted into the Tuskegee University Athletic Hall of Fame for Track and Field. Bill enjoyed spending time with his family, traveling, reading, cooking (grilling) and watching sports. He is predeceased by his wife Catharyne J. Campfield and grandson Byron L. Garmon Jr. Bill is survived by his children: Catharyne Dianne Garmon, William Campfield III, Van Fernandez-Campfield, Lynda Denise Campfield. Grandchildren: BJ Campfield and Cameron Campfield. Daughter-in-laws: Alicia Fernandez-Campfield and Sharon Campfield. Son-in-law: Byron L. Garmon. He is also survived by a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. Special thanks and gratitude to Renaissance Senior Care Facility for their love and devotion.
Due to the Current COVID protocols for Sac/Placer/El Dorado county, guests must wear protective masks at all times while inside the funeral home facility and practice the recommended six foot social distancing.
Sunday, November 29, 2020
Monday, November 30, 2020
William Campfield Jr.
November 30, 2020
Col. Bill Campfield was among the first to offer his support and guidance when I became Base Commander many years after he set the standard for that job. It was always a pleasure and honor to meet with a true hero and legend among fighter pilots. My sincere condolences to his family and friends. Fly high, Billy.
November 29, 2020
Bill Campfield was a mentor, combat leader and friend. He was my Flight Commander in the 9th Tactical Fighter Squadron, in 1965-66, Spangdahlem AB, Germany where I was a newly assigned and fresh from pilot training and F-105 upgrade First Lieutenant. After his Wild Weasel upgrade he served an F-105 Combat Tour at Tahkli AB, Thailand, flying and leading missions over North Vietnam. He transferred back to the US where was he was my Operations Officer in the 561st TFS, McConnell AFB, Ks, providing F-105 upgrade training to pilots heading to Southeast Asia. He was always a firm, friendly and positive leader. Subsequently, we met Bill and Kitty at many River Rats Reunions. Below is a picture of of Bill, Lucky Ekman, a fellow Wild Weasel pilot who also served with Bill in the 561st, at the Orlando reunion, with Bill in his favorite "party suit"
November 27, 2020
I will never forget the excitement that came over McClellan AFB about the arrival of Colonel Campfield. He brought such anticipation being the Base Commander of a huge diverse workforce, military and civilian. He was a fair, honorable, respected commander and an all around nice man. He was beloved by all and liked to have fun. He was always smiling. He was so handsome in his Air Force uniform displaying his achievements that proved anything was possible. He made the young airmen have hope and purpose. What a wonderful man and married to the nicest woman. My heart goes out to the family on the loss of your father. I know your parents are extremely proud of each of you. Bill & Kitty are together again. We are all better people having known them. They live on forever in you. Bask in the happy moments. My deepest sympathy to each of you. What a truly special man!
November 23, 2020
A hero and a patriot has left us, this country will miss him. The Campfield's lived down the street from us at McConnell and as a young kid, he was bigger than life to me. Rest in peace. (photo I believe from a reunion, Thud pilots Col Moser, Col Campfield, Col Dillard)