McCampbell Oral History Is Available
The following is an excerpt from the just-released Naval Institute Oral History of the late Captain David McCampbell, U.S. Navy (Retired), who here describes being awarded the Medal of Honor on 10 January 1945. The Navy’s top fighter ace sat for a series of interviews with the Naval Institute’s Paul Stillwell in July 1987.
I was called to Washington in January 1945 and told I was to receive the Medal of Honor. The Navy had arranged to bring my mother and sister from California by train—my father had fallen, injuring his face, and didn’t get to make the ceremony. We were ushered in to meet President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who looked ill—his eyes were sunken and had black rings. I remember this was quite an exciting moment, and the President said to me, “Well, Dave, aren’t you going to introduce your mother and sister to me?” Then he said a few words to my mother, gave her the medal, and she snapped it on me, on a ribbon. Later, in the anteroom, I met Admiral Ernest King, General George Marshall, and General Hap Arnold. I got to talk to each one individually—it was quite a thrill.