Saturday, September 5, 2009

TSgt Thomas L. Campbell Memorial Page

Painting of TSgt Thomas L. Campbell at Building 837, Maxwell AFB, AL
(photo by Philip "J.P." Brown)

TSgt Tom Campbell was killed in the line of duty on March 26, 1978, defending Maxwell AFB, and thus defending America.

Many of Tom's fellow SPs from the 3800th SPS have added their remembrances of that night at "The Officer Down Memorial Page, Inc." web site:

The Officer Down Memorial Page, Inc.

Please feel free to comment here (this site) or at their site.


philip534 said...

Memories from that night are still vivid: The "war wagon" running "Code 3" down Selfridge, the Desk Sergeant confirming the "10-13", the recall from the SP barracks, and the Flight Chief informing those of us still at Building 837 that Sgt Campbell had died.

May we always remember Sgt Campbell: for his sacrifice, for his service, and for his friendship.

Philip "J.P." Brown (SrA)
3800th SPS, MAFB (1976-79)

Anonymous said...

I was the Desk Sergeant on that dreadful night. It was the worst feeling that a Police Officer could possibly have. You and your friends, co-workers laughing and joking prior to going on the streets. You dispatch your patrols to a place not knowing what the outcome might be. Within 5 minutes after being dispatched, Tom was found laying on his back. A supervisor and a friend, gunned down by a 16 year old hellbent on killing a police officer. Tom's wife calling the Desk Sergeant's office wanting to speak to him and me not knowing what to tell her because he hadn't come home. I couldn't tell her that he had been gunned down. I turned to my Operations Officer and by looking into his eyes, I could tell that he couldn't tell her either. This is extremely vivid in my mind today just as it occurred 31 years earlier. I've been a Police Officer for the past 25 years and to this day I have never experienced that feeling again and hope that I never will. Having a supervisor, friend or co-worker gunned down. OH MY GOD. All of you who were stationed at Maxwell during that time know who I am. I'll only leave my initials as E.L.

Mike DeCapua said...

I was Tom's shift commander in Thailand and was serving as an instructor at the SP Academy when I heard the news. He was a professional who loved his work and family, he was my friend.

Mike DeCapua, Lt. Col, USAF (ret)

philip534 said...

Note: Chris McRae e-mailed the following remembrance of Tom, and asked that it be posted to our web site.
~J.P. Brown

Tom and I served together with 3800 SPS during 1973-74. One vivid memory I have from my 40+ year law enforcement career came from 1978 when I was a Robbery-Homicide detective with Montgomery (AL) Police Department and my having to see my friend Tom shortly after he was murdered. Sadly, it was only the first of several times during my career that happened, but was perhaps the most difficult because of my relative youth on the Job, and because it was my first dose of reality---that line-of-duty murders don't just happen to officers you read about in distant places or those you barely know, but also happen to our youngest, most vigorous, and highly competent friends---and perhaps to ourselves.

Post Script: I left Alabama law enforcement in 1982 to pursue a federal law enforcement career from which I retired during 2003. I was posted to a number of States distant from my Alabama roots, but I never forgot Tom Campbell or his murder. Shortly after my federal retirement I returned to Alabama law enforcement where I continue to work as a special agent for the Alabama Attorney General. One of my early assignments by the AG was a cold case homicide in Blount County, AL. One day while working the case I randomly pulled into the parking lot of a small country church to catch up on some notes. Shortly thereafter I got that eerie feeling of déjà vu, and as I looked at my surroundings the church and its cemetery across the road seemed vaguely familiar even though I rarely had been in that County. A short time later I met with the County's Sheriff & his Chief Deputy who I soon learned was Tom's cousin. The Chief confirmed what I had already deduced---that random church/cemetery where I had stopped earlier was indeed where I had attended Tom's funeral and burial nearly 30 years earlier.

Chris McRae (former Staff Sergeant, 3800 SPS, 1973-74)

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