R. Bruce Campbell was born in Los Angeles, Calif. on Nov. 30, 1927. He was the eldest of three children born to Richard F. Campbell, a banker with Union Bank in Los Angeles, and Muriel W. Wormald. Both parents immigrated from Canada during the Great Depression. Bruce attended Bancroft Jr. High, where he met his future wife, Trudy Eggers.
Bruce was very active in the Boy Scouts, becoming and Eagle Scout and later a Scoutmaster. He and Trudy both attended Fairfax High School in LA.
Bruce decided to join the U.S. Navy as soon as he graduated, rather than be drafted.
In 1945, he was accepted in preflight officer training under the Holloway Plan.
Bruce began college at the University of Southern California (USC) while training to become a naval aviator. After completing two years of college he went to Pensacola, Fla. for flight training and was deployed to Hawaii as a multi-engine pilot flying midshipman.
He joined VP-28 in Barber’s Point, Hawaii as a PB4Y-2 pilot.
After successfully completing aviation requirements, he was commissioned an ensign in 1949.
He deployed to Guam and continued to fly missions. Bruce was sent home to California to be discharged, but re-upped the next day to fight in the Korean War.
He was deployed back to Guam and joined VP-22, where he piloted the new P2V-4 Neptune in the China Straights. Upon returning to the United States, Bruce and Trudy were married in 1952.
Bruce was then trained as a flight instructor in Corpus Christi, Texas, and assigned to Hutchinson, Kansas as an instructor for two years.
In 1954, Bruce was assigned to Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, as a Super Constellation pilot. He was then sent back to USC to finish his bachelor of science degree in business.
Bruce was next assigned to the USS Independence as a Combat Information Center officer during the Bay of Pigs incident in 1961.
He was then assigned to the 6th Fleet Staff on board the USS Springfield, stationed in Villefranche-sur-Mer, France. In 1963, Bruce was again assigned to Barber’s Point as the executive officer of VP-6, where he flew the P2V Neptune. In 1966, Bruce was assigned as the executive officer of VP-2 on Whidbey Island. He became commanding officer in 1967. He deployed to the Republic of Vietnam three times while assigned to Whidbey Island. In 1968, Bruce was assigned to the USS Bennington as the navigator and, in 1969, he attended the National War College in Washington, D.C. where he competed a masters degree in International Relations.
His next assignment was to the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon, where he prepared daily intelligence briefings and received the highest non-combat medal, the Legion of Merit, for exceptionally meritorious conduct. His final military assignment was Commodore, Reserve Patrol Wings Pacific, in command of nine squadrons and based at Moffett Field, Calif., where he flew the P-3 Orion.
Bruce retired from the U.S. Navy in 1975. Following his Navy career, he worked for five years as the manager of Rinconada Hills Country Club and Association in Los Gatos, Calif., before retiring to Whidbey Island, Wash., in 1980. Bruce and Trudy lived at Sandy Hook for many years, where they enjoyed boating, fishing, traveling and many community groups. They moved to Useless Bay in 2004.
Bruce and Trudy were very involved in St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church, Kiwanis, the Oak Harbor Yacht Club and the Useless Bay Club. They supported many local education projects and nonprofits.
Bruce was caregiver to Trudy through a long illness before she passed away in 2012.
Bruce continued to live in Useless Bay Colony until his death on Aug. 7, 2019.
Bruce is survived by his sister, Joan; children, Susan Campbell, Sandri (Kevin), and R. David Campbell (Jenny); four grandchildren, Daniel (Kelly), Lauren Sandri, Annie, and Connor Campbell; and two great grandchildren, Ayla and Cyrus Sandri.