LOOKING BACK - THE PEOPLE OF CAPREOL
September 22, 2002
Donald Claude Campbell
Donald Claude Campbell was born in Ottawa on January 23, 1924. Don and his mother Agnes came to Capreol in 1925 to be with husband and father Cyril. Don was raised and educated in Capreol.
An article in the Sudbury Star stated: Capreol Typhoon pilot seriously wounded in France. Flyer returns to Capreol in a cast after crash landing. The upper part of his body, including his head, completely encased in a plaster cast, F.O. Donald Campbell, 20, pilot of one of the famous rocket- carrying Typhoon fighter planes, has returned to his home in Capreol after 11 months of operational duty overseas. The young airman was seriously injured when he was forced to make a crash landing early in September. He came back to Canada on board the hospital ship "Liandove Castle".
F.O. Campbell established a considerable reputation on the other side as a Typhoon fighter pilot who successfully attacked Nazi targets behind German lines.
A letter from the Royal Canadian Air Force, Trenton, Ontario., May 15 1945 states:
Dear Flying Officer D.C.Campbell.
The rapid and successful development of the Royal Canadian Air Force, would not have been possible without the services of officers like yourself who, by loyally dedicating their time and experience to their country, have made a most valuable contribution to the Canadian War Effort.
On the occasion of your retirement from active service, in the Royal Canadian Air Force, I wish to convey to you my sincere appreciation of your faithful service.
Please accept my best wishes for your happiness and every success in the future.
A.D. Ross A/C., for Air Officer Commanding, No. 1 Air Command, Trenton Ontairo.
After his injuries healed, Don hired on at the CNR as a fire man and later became an engineer retiring with over 30 years service. Don was one of the oldest serving legion members with 57 years activity at Branch 179, in Capreol.
There was also a lighter side to the fighter pilot who loved to play duplicate bridge with various partners from Capreol and area. He was a life master with the American Contract Bridge League and won many tournaments in Canada and the United States. A master of the cards, he often won at the gambling casinos and it wasn't luck, just pure card instinct.
One thing that sticks in my mind about Don was his small engine repair shop that he had in his garage. He could fix anything you brought to him but he especially liked working on "Mercury" outboard motors. I kept bringing Don an old beat up Johnson outboard and time after time he would repair it. Finally, when I brought the old beat up Johnson in for one more repair he told me to take the Johnson and drop it off the boat in the deepest part of Ella Lake. Don then told me to buy a "Mercury" outboard so I wouldn't have to get it fixed as often. It was at this point that I said "yes Don", I mean "yes Mercury Don". From then on I always called Don Campbell "Mercury" Don.
Don Campbell passed away on August 24, 2002. He was a good man who helped many people. He put his life on the line so we can enjoy the freedom that we have today. Don will be missed greatly by his family and friends but he will not be forgotten.
Alex Nepitt email@example.com