It was quite an honor for Corsicana's “Dr. Dave.”
The longtime Corsicana physician, and namesake of C. David Campbell Field at the Corsicana airport was named 2014 Texas Aviator of the Year by the Texas Department of Transportation.
The announcement was made during the 32nd Annual Texas Aviation Conference held in Dallas last week.
“It was a great honor,” Campbell said. “I was absolutely surprised.”
Campbell said he was honored to be in the company of the two previous winners of the award.
“I don't feel like I'm quite in the company of those two guys,” Campbell said. “Both of them were in World War II. One of them has flown his own plane around the world, and the other is still an active airport manager in his late 90's. They are some pretty amazing people.”
Campbell had high praise for the aviation division of TxDOT — an agency he's worked closely with through the years.
“They know their mission,” he said. “They work very, very hard to help in developing general aviation. They are a good group of people to work with.”
Campbell developed a love for aviation at an early age. He made his first solo flight on his 16th birthday in his father’s Piper Cub at the family’s small air strip.
During his college years from 1947-1950, he attended the University of Texas in Austin, studying Pre-Med while continuing his flight training and obtaining his initial ratings.
After graduation from UT, he went to Baylor University College of Medicine, graduating in 1954, and receiving recognition from Alpha Omega Alpha — a medical honor society.
After medical school he joined the U.S. Air Force and was sent to Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio for initial training. He was then transferred to Laredo Air Force Base, serving as a flight surgeon from 1955 to 1957.
After leaving the Air Force in 1957, he settled in Corsicana, and joined his brother and other medical professionals in establishing a medical clinic. Campbell has long been involved in Family, Aviation and Sports Medicines.
He has accomplished a number of aviation achievements, which include work as: single engine land and sea, multi-engine and instrument rated pilot; ground instructor, both advanced and instrument; certified flight instructor for both airplane and instrument; senior aviation medical examiner for the Federal Aviation Administration; recipient of Master Pilot Award from the FAA; and also a proud member of Aircraft Owners and Pilots’ Association.
Campbell is highly visible in his community, having served as Chairman of the Airport Advisory Commission, City Commissioner and Mayor.
He is a Charter Fellow with The American Academy of Family Physicians and a Charter Diplomate with the American Board of Family Practice.
In later years, he restored an historical building to serve as a medical office on the airport grounds. This was done primarily to serve pilots in need of an aviation medical exam. When he closed the office, the now restored historical building was returned to the city to serve as an annex to the aviation museum collection.
In December 1985, when the new airport terminal building was dedicated, he unveiled a plaque and was astonished to realize the airport had been named after him.
In presenting the award, TxDOT said Campbell worked tirelessly to improve the local airport which has become a source of public pride.
“His family history is rich in aviation activities. But his record of community service through civic leadership and the promotion of aviation safety through aviation medicine are truly outstanding,” a release announcing the award stated.
“TxDOT is proud to honor Dr. Campbell not only for his achievements in aviation, but for the indelible mark he has left on his community.”
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It was quite an honor for Corsicana's “Dr. Dave.”
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