January 16, 1929
David McCampbell was born in Bessemer on Jan. 16, 1910, but by 1922 his family had moved to West Palm Beach, Florida. After attending the Georgia Institute of Technology, he graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1933 with a degree in marine engineering. During World War II in the Pacific theater of operations in 1944, McCampbell in the First Battle of the Philippine Sea shot down five Japanese bombers and two fighters. In the Second Battle of the Philippine Sea four months later, he shot down nine planes. In January 1945, he was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions in those battles.
Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.
David McCampbell, c. 1943. (U.S. Navy, Wikipedia)
Lt. David McCampbell serves as landing signal officer aboard the USS Wasp (CV-7) ca. 1942. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, courtesy of the U.S. Navy)
U.S. Navy Commander David McCampbell poses in his F6F “Hellcat” on board USS Essex (CV-9) in the Pacific theater of World War II in October 1944. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, courtesy of the U.S. Navy, photograph by Joe Rosenthal)
Portrait of Medal of Honor recipient David McCampbell. (From Medal of Honor, 1861-1949, The Navy, page 223; Naval History and Heritage Command)
A U.S. Navy Grumman F6F-5 Hellcat fighter undergoing maintenance on board the aircraft carrier USS Essex (CV-9), July 30, 1944. This plane is “Minsi II,” belonging to the Essex Air Group Commander, Commander David McCampbell, USN. (U.S. Navy, Wikipedia)
For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.