Libertyville native flying in for air show
U.S. Air Force Capt. Russell Campbell, a 1995 Libertyville High School graduate, will fly his A-10 Thunderbolt II to the Wings Over Waukegan air show on Saturday, Sept. 8. | Submitted photo
NAME: Russell Campbell
BEST KNOWN AS: A 1995 Libertyville High School graduate who is a pilot in the U.S. Air Force. He will fly his A-10 Thunderbird II home this week to be part of the Wings Over Waukegan Air Show on Saturday.
EVENT: Wings Over Waukegan at Waukegan Airport, 3580 N. McAree Road, Waukegan. Gates open at 9:30 a.m. Air show starts at noon. Tickets are $10. Kids under 12 admitted free.
Updated: October 7, 2012 6:06AM
LIBERTYVILLE — Russell Campbell can’t wait to fly his A-10 Thunderbolt II home this week for the air show in Waukegan on Saturday.
It’s the first time family and friends in Libertyville will see Campbell, an active-duty U.S. Air Force pilot, with the plane he flies and get a chance to check it out for themselves, maybe even sit inside.
The 1995 Libertyville High School graduate will fly in tandem with a second A-10 Thunderbolt II from Moody Air Force Base in Valdosta, Ga., arriving in Waukegan on Sept. 6.
Campbell, a U.S. Air Force captain, thinks those who attend Wings Over Waukegan 2012 will like what they see.
“It’s a pretty awesome airplane,” he said.
The single-seat, twin-engine, straight-wing jet has the shark face surrounding a large gun characteristic of the historic Flying Tigers squadron, made famous in the 1942 John Wayne movie of the same name.
Campbell, a graduate of Southern Illinois University’s aviation program, was deployed to Afghanistan in the aircraft he will fly in to Waukegan and recently returned from flying missions in South Korea.
He is a member of the historic 23rd Fighting Group.
A fourth-generation Libertyville resident, Campbell first became interested in airplanes as a child.
“I guess I’m kind of an airplane nut,” he said. “My dad started taking me when I was 4 years old. That’s probably what got me hooked on aviation.”
The son of Sue Campbell of Libertyville and Ray Campbell of Lindenhurst intends to spread his love of aviation to the community where he grew up and still has close ties.
“I’m looking forward to coming home and showing off what I do to my family and friends and connecting with the community,” he said.
Campbell believes air shows, like the Waukegan event Saturday, are a good opportunity to show people what aviation is all about.
“People get to come see airplanes, sit in them, look at them and talk to pilots,” Campbell said. “It’s going to be a pretty big deal.”
Gates to the event located at the Waukegan Airport, 3580 N. McAree Road, Waukegan, open at 9:30 a.m. The air show will feature the Royal Canadian Snowbirds, classic war birds and a variety of military aircraft. It starts at noon.
Tickets are $10; children younger than 12 are admitted free.
For more information, go to www.waukeganairshow.com. ~.