Invader Air Force

Decent Essays

Army Air Corps/USAF
Entered Service in 1941 and re-enlisted in 1947
Gunner on B-25 Mitchell in WWII, 5th Photo Recon Squadron, 3rd Recon Group
Gunner on B-26 Invader in Korean War, 8th Bomb Squadron, 3rd Bomb Group
Mediterranean Theater, 12th Air Force, WWII
Pacific Theater, 5th Air Force, Korean War
Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with 3 OLC, Purple Heart


Jose entered the service just prior to the US entry into WWII, and later trained as an aerial gunner at Army airfields in Florida. Assigned to the 12th Air Force he would complete 100 missions with the 5th Photo Recon Squadron from airfields in North Africa, Sicily and Italy. His squadron,
…show more content…
After a period, he realized that conditions for Hispanics at Inspiration Copper had not changed. Since the late 19th century, when copper mining companies had first begun operations in Arizona, Hispanics had been relegated to labor and labor only. There was little or no chance to move up the ladder. That was possible for other ethnicities, but not for Hispanics, and especially Hispanics of Mexican origin. These conditions in the copper companies of Arizona, when WWII ended, would remain unchanged until the 1960s, two decades later. The blatant racism that existed at that time was difficult for Jose to deal with. He was young, intelligent, and ambitious. He had served his country with honor and distinction. In the Army it was different. As a non-commissioned officer and decorated flyboy, he was treated with respect by all his colleagues, both officers and enlisted men. After much soul searching and counsel with others, Jose decided to return to the military in November,…show more content…
Assigned to the 8th Bomber Squadron, 3rd Bomber Group, he flew as a gunner on a Douglas B-26 Invader medium bomber. He was with this unit on June 25th , 1950, when all hell broke loose, and communist North Korean forces crossed the 38th parallel, invading the Republic of Korea (South Korea). The ensuing conflict, known as the Korean War or “police action” by the United Nations, would last three and one-half years and result in the deaths of millions, including over 33 thousand US servicemen. Campos’ unit began flying combat missions soon after the invasion in an attempt to stem the North Korean’s advances south. Three days after hostilities had begun, while on his third mission, and flying in a violent thunderstorm, flight instruments malfunctioned, and his aircraft crashed into the Yellow Sea about 20 miles from the Korean coast. Of the three-man crew, only the navigator managed to parachute from the plane. Listed as Missing in Action on June 28, it would be a week before his body was recovered by South Koreans. S/Sgt. Campos would become Arizona’s first casualty of the Korean
Get Access