Burton Campbell was born on May 27, 1939, in Amherst, Ohio. After graduating with a Bachelor's degree in Government from Ohio University in 1961, he entered Officer Training School with the U.S. Air Force on February 6, 1962, and was commissioned a 2d Lt at Lackland AFB, Texas, on May 8, 1962. Lt Campbell next completed Undergraduate Pilot Training and was awarded his pilot wings at Webb AFB, Texas, in June 1963, followed by F-100 Super Sabre Combat Crew Training. His first assignment was as an F-100 and F-105 Thunderchief pilot with the 44th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Kadena AB, Okinawa, from August 1964 to June 1966, followed by service as an F-105 pilot with the 13th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Korat Royal Thai AFB, Thailand, from June 1966 until he was forced to eject over North Vietnam and was taken as a Prisoner of War on July 1, 1966. After spending 2,419 days in captivity, Capt Campbell was released during Operation Homecoming on February 12, 1973. He was briefly hospitalized to recover from his injuries at Wright Patterson AFB, Ohio, and left the Air Force on August 31, 1973. He returned to active duty on April 8, 1974, and completed C-9 Nightingale upgrade training in August 1974, serving with the 11th Aeromedical Airlift Squadron of the 375th Aeromedical Airlift Wing at Scott AFB, Illinois, until December 1975. Maj Campbell next completed an Air Force Institute of Technology assignment to complete his Master's degree in Communicative Arts before serving as a Public Affairs Staff Officer at Luke AFB, Arizona, from July 1977 until he entered the Air Force Reserve on June 9, 1980. Col Campbell returned to active duty on March 1, 1982, and served as Chief of the Support Division with the Office of Public Affairs for Headquarters Air Force Logistics Command at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, from March 1982 until his retirement from the Air Force on October 1, 1984. Burton Campbell died on September 3, 2003.
His 1st (of 2) Silver Star Citation reads:
First Lieutenant Burton W. Campbell distinguished himself by gallantry in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force in North Vietnam on 1 July 1966. On that date, Lieutenant Campbell was the pilot of an F-105 Thunderchief that struck and destroyed a heavily defended target deep in hostile territory. Despite intense and accurate anti-aircraft fire, Lieutenant Campbell pressed the attack and delivered his bombs squarely on target rendering it impassable. He demonstrated heroism of the highest order and distinctive professional airmanship as he directed his aircraft against his target. By his gallantry and devotion to duty, Lieutenant Campbell has reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.