After 61 Years, Nevada Honors a War Hero

After 61 years, Nevada welcomed home a World War II hero today.

While across the country, students wave U.S. flags while watching the annual Veterans Day parade in Davenport, Iowa. (FOX)

The remains of World War II pilot Stanley D. Campbell returned home to Lincoln County Nevada today for burial in his home town of Pioche:

Campbell was reported missing on Dec. 10, 1944, when he failed to return from a cargo flight to Hollandia, New Guinea. Campbell’s last radio contact was in the Saidor area, when he reported bad weather.

Richard Korthals, on whose wing Campbell was flying, still remembers that fateful day.

“We encountered a wall of clouds past Nadzab and radioed back and forth in discussing our course of action. I told Stanley that the showers beneath the clouds would probably be spotty and that I was going to get on the deck and make my way over the jungle to Hollandia (which I did — and I can still see the rain showers and the tree tops.) He radioed that he was going north, climbing to get over the mountain range and would then follow the coastline from Wewak area to Hollandia. We parted at that point. He never arrived at Cyclops, our home strip.”

All searches were unsuccessful, and on July 15, 1949, the crew was declared KIA/non-recoverable.

The crash site was located from the air by Richard Leahy in 1975 at 11,000 feet in the Sarawaget Ranges of Morobe Province. In April 1979, Leahy and a team from the Central Identification Lab Hawaii (CILHI) recovered a piece of Campbell’s jaw, and the remains of Cpl. Carl A. Drain. In November 2004, POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) returned to this crash site and recovered the remains of four servicemen: Campbell, 2nd Lt. Robert H. Cameron, Cpl. George E. Cunningham and Capt. Vlad Sasko, M.D.

Korthals, who spent days searching for Campbell, plans to attend the service.

“I have never forgotten that day. The story of the recovery of the wreckage and the bodies has put a period to an unfinished sentence that has been part of me for almost 61 years,” he added.

Previous Posts Honoring Military Heroes:
Ohio Honors Their Heroes
Texas Honors A Hero
Georgia Honors its Heroes
Illinois Honors A Hero
Missouri Honors an Army Hero
Missouri Welcomes Home a War Hero
Utah Welcomes Home a War Hero
A New Jersey Hero

Atlantic Review has links to a number of Veterans Day tributes.

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