Aggie war hero reunited with his long lost love

Colonel Bill Campbell Aggie Class of 1952 was laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery after he went missing in action in during the Vietnam war.

COLLEGE STATION, Texas - It's a love story for the ages that finally reached the closing chapter for one former Aggie Air Force Colonel. 

In January of 1962 Colonel Bill Campbell from the Aggie class of 1952 was assigned on a bombing mission that would take him to the Mu Gia Pass area of Laos. 

Sadly during that mission, Campbell's F4 Phantom plane was hit by enemy fire and crashed. 

"He would remain declared missing in action until 1978, when the defense department declared that he could presumably be considered killed in action," said Vice President of Communications for The Association of Former Students Kathryn Greenwade. 

Yet still no remains of Colonel Campbell had been discovered. Campbell was survived by his high school sweetheart Claretta "Boo" Campbell and their four children. 

It wasn't until 1991 that the Campbell family would receive one of the few missing puzzle pieces. 

"His Aggie ring was located in a jewelry store in Thailand, and it was eventually returned to his wife. She had it resized and wore it on her finger until her death in 1995," said Greenwade. 

As one of his wife Claretta's wishes, Colonel Campbell's ring was returned to the one place that the couple shared so many memories. 

"In 2002 his children returned the ring to A&M and we have proudly taken care of it and displayed it in the Clayton W. Williams Jr. Alumni Center since," said Greenwade. 

In 2016 after more than 50 years since the initial crash, Colonel Campbell's children received what they had been waiting so long for. 

Remains had been located and positively identified as those of their father. 

"His children received notice from the Department of Defense that he would finally be coming home," said Greenwade. 

Family and loved ones of Colonel Campbell gathered at the Arlington National Cemetery Thursday May 18 to say their final goodbyes and gain that closure they had longed for. 

Along with burying their father, Campbell children were able to reunite him with his wife Claretta for last time. 

"His remains will be interred with those of his late wife, and so they will rest together in Arlington National Cemetery."

To read more about Colonel Campbell's story you can visit the Aggie Network website. 

 

 

© 2017 KAGS-TV


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