Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Technical Sergeant Thomas Lee Campbell

United States Air Force Security Forces, U.S. Government

End of Watch Sunday, March 26, 1978

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Reflections for Technical Sergeant Thomas Lee Campbell

Searching for anyone who was stationed with us, 3800 SPS, when Tom was there contact me on Facebook or at [email protected]. I cannot find anyone. Sgt.Larry E. Thomas, 3800 SPS K-9

Sgt Larry Thomad
3800 SPS

April 20, 2021

TSgt Campbell worked for me at Maxwell AFB when I served as the Operations Officer. I was assigned to Gunter AFS as Chief of Police prior to his death. Tom was an outstanding NCO, intelligent, knowledge able, well liked individual. I have no doubts had he had a full career he would have retired as a CMSgt. I attended his funeral in his hometown as did many cops from different agencies. The most vivid memory I have is of his family and his children, my heart went out to them. Security police lost 111 men in the Vietnam War, I served there in 1965/66. Over the last 55 years (I'll be 80) I often think of those men who never had the chance to grow up. All the men and women who put that badge on every day are my hero's, especially those who gave the surpreme sacrifice. RIP, Captain Bruce Ross, USAF, Retired.

Bruce Ross

June 5, 2020

I'm retired chief Master Sergeant Del Combs Sergeant Campbell was one of my first flight Chiefs at Maxwell Air Force Alabama I'm driving through Alabama today and for some reason my mind shifted to the remembered solve Tommy Campbell I think it was the effort that we had in aiding tornado victims in the Birmingham area in 1974 and during these thoughts my thoughts turn to Tommy Campbell I enjoyed work with Sergeant Campbell and I was very sad to hear of the tragic incident that ended his life it's been many many years since but totally you're not forgotten Dale k Combs

Chief Master Sergeant retired Dale k Com
United States Air Force Security police

April 26, 2018

Iwas stationed at Maxwell AFB and had the honor of working for him at times to working with him while assigned to the Youth Division (School Crossing and Traffic Section). I was overseas at RAF Wleford working when TSgt Wagoner called me and related the message. He said Don wanted me thier and I flew back for his funeral. TSgt Campbell was a good egg. He was a very caring perosn about the people he worked with and very professional. I do think often about his death and will forget the tears. Thought about thru out my career in the Air Force when IO retired in 1994. I am very pround to have met him and agfain worked with him sharing good and bad times.


Thomas L Tomlinson, Ret Chief of Police
3800th SPS May 1973-Sep 1977

August 3, 2016

I was stationed at Maxwell and on the same call that Tom was shot. I'm sure that no one remembers me. My name is Don Golden and for anyone who was there, it would be a privilege for you to contact me. [email protected]

arnold afbt,Tn

December 29, 2014

I was an Airman 1st class and on patrol and on the same call the night that Sgt. Thomas Campbell was shot. It has been many years an it still haunts me. If anyone is still out there and could respond to me.

arnold afbtn

December 29, 2014

Thank you for your service and for helping to make America a safer place.

Deputy Brian Jones
Boulder County Sheriff's Office, CO

December 8, 2012

I was stationed there at Maxwell from 2-76-4-77. I remembered Ssgt. Campbell , he was my flt. leader and NCOIC and he always put me on walking patrol when the gates were full and no trucks were available, because the station wagon was reserved for the NCOs. Ssgt. Campbell was a good man, he was fair but firm. He didnt let anything go when we were on duty, because he always told me, we never are told if it is an exercise or if it is real and to watch his back and stay behind him when we went into a bldg. on a bomb scare threat. I left Maxwell control in April of 1977 and I had heard from others that Ssgt Campbell had fallen while on duty. I was saddened as were so many of his subordinates and friends there at Maxwell Control. God bless him and his family even after all these years. Heres to the 3800th. S.P.'s. Fight on ! !

E-3 Martin Avalos
3800 Th. S.P.

November 23, 2012

I was a young, immature, Airman. SSgt Campbell was my Flight Commander, A Flight, 3800 SPS. Under his supervision, along with other 3800 SPS personnel, I did straighten out, continued my USAF career, and retired at 20 years, in the grade of Master-Sergeant. I go by a different last name now than I did then. Back then, I was known as A1C Randy Zickefoose. As a matter of fact, I used to Desk Clerk with Sgt Crowley. Rest in Peace, and God bless, Tommy Campbell. You were a good boss and a good friend.

MSgt Randy Welker (Zickefoose(
USAF (Ret), former A Flight Member

August 24, 2012

Your heroism and service is honored today, the 34th anniversary of your death. Your memory lives and you continue to inspire. Thank you for your service. My cherished son Larry Lasater was a fellow police officer who was murdered in the the line of duty on April 24, 2005 while serving as a Pittsburg, CA police officer.

Time never diminishes respect. Your memory will always be honored and revered.

I pray for solace for all those that love and remember you for I know both the pain and pride are forever. Your family is in my heart's embrace. Thanks to your family and friends for sharing their memories and devotion to you through their reflections.

Rest In Peace.

Phyllis Loya
Mom of fallen California Officer Larry Lasater, Pittsburg PD, eow 4/24/05

March 26, 2012

Tom and I served together with 3800 SPS during 1973-74. One vivid memory I have from my 40+ year law enforcement career came from 1978 when I was a Robbery-Homicide detective with Montgomery (AL) Police Department and my having to see my friend Tom shortly after he was murdered. Sadly, it was only the first of several times during my career that happened, but was perhaps the most difficult because of my relative youth on the Job, and because it was my first dose of reality---that line-of-duty murders don't just happen to officers you read about in distant places or those you barely know, but also happens to our youngest, most vigorous, and highly competent friends---and perhaps to ourselves.

Post Script: I left Alabama law enforcement in 1982 to pursue a federal law enforcement career from which I retired during 2003. I was posted to a number of States distant from my Alabama roots, but I never forgot Tom Campbell or his murder. Shortly after my federal retirement I returned to Alabama law enforcement where I continue to work as a special agent for the Alabama Attorney General. One of my early assignments by the AG was a cold case homicide in Blount County, AL. One day while working the case I randomly pulled into the parking lot of a small country church to catch up on some notes. Shortly thereafter I got that eerie feeling of déjà vu, and as I looked at my surroundings the church and its cemetery across the road seemed vaguely familiar even though I had rarely been in that County. A short time later I met with the County's Sheriff & his Chief Deputy who I soon learned was Tom's cousin. The Chief confirmed what I had already deduced---that random church/cemetery where I had stopped earlier was indeed where I had attended Tom's funeral and burial nearly 30 years earlier.

Chris McRae (former Staff Sergeant, 3800 SPS, 1973-74)

W. Chris McRae
Friend & Co-Worker at 3800 SPS, Maxwell Air Force Base

September 16, 2011

I was stationed at Maxwell AFB and was the Desk Sergeant on that Sunday Easter night which was March 26, 1978. Even though it was well over 33 years ago, I remember it as though it was yesterday. Tom and I had joked that particular evening about the Wizard Of Oz coming on T.V. that night. After joking about it, Tom left SP headquarters to patrol the base. Not long after that, around 1915 hours I received a telephone call from a lady in Maxwell Heights saying that a black male was trying to break into a house on Smith Street. I dispatched all units to that location and within 5-10 minutes, the most dreadful thing that a Police Officer could ever experience had happened.

Gunfire was heard by the responding patrols. I initiated a status check on all responding units. Everyone answered up with the exception of Tom. After a search of the housing area was conducted Tom was found by one of the responding patrols laying on his back with his eyes wide open looking up with labored breathing at the rear of one of the houses on Smith Street. He had been shot three times. The patrol unit who located him had attempted first aide, but one of the bullets that struck him, hit a vital area in his chest. Maxwell AFB hospital dispatched and ambulance there but it was too late. This my fellow Police Officers along with current, former and retired Air Force Security Force personnel was carved into my memory like an artist would carve his work into a piece of granite. After being involved in law enforcement for almost 36 years, I constantly think of this incident and it has helped me to remain vigilant.

Tom was my friend and we all miss him. Thank you Tom for being the person that you are.
Ervin Littleton

Sgt Ervin Littleton
Sewells Point Police/Naval Station, Norfolk Va.

May 31, 2011

I was stationed at Maxwell AFB. that terrible day. Until today I don't understand why I did not get the recall message. I was in my barracks asleep, I was on my days off. That night I had gone to sleep with my radio on and awoke around 0700. I laid in bed for a while listening to the radio when the DJ started talking about the shooting, expressing his and the communities condolenses and if any one had and information to call the Montgomery PD. I still was not fully awake and thought I was having a very bad dream as I never thought that something this horrible would happen at our base, our home. When I realized that this had actually happened, I jumped out of the bed and threw on the first thing I grabbed and went outside were I encountered my next door barracks mate who was working that night. We talked and cried and then remembered the good times we had working with Tom. I never was assigned permanetly to Tom's flight but did work with him when we consolidated the four flights for the Christmas and New Years holidays and once when we went to permanent shifts because a of man power shortage. Tom was a terrific Flight Cheif and I thourghly enjoyed those times and will never forget Tsgt (Posthumously) Thomas Campbell, Rest in Peace Brother and I will see you in the Big Cop Shop above when it's my time. Keep the coffee on!

Msgt (Ret.) Gerald D. Ward
3800 SPS 1975/1978

August 4, 2010

On Memorial Day, let us honor the memory of TSgt Thomas Lee Campbell. Tom was an SP with the 3800th Security Police Squadron at Maxwell AFB, Alabama. On Easter Sunday, March 26, 1978, he was killed in the line of duty while responding to a "man with a gun" call.

For each of us who knew him, his friendship was a blessing. He served our country, our base, and our unit with distinction. Let us always keep Tom's memory alive. Let us honor his sacrifice by working to make our country safer and supporting our veterans.

The members of Sgt Campbell's unit, it's successor unit the 42nd Security Forces Squadron, and the SPs of Gunter AFS, are planning a remembrance ceremony for Tom and other unit members who have passed away. This will be part of a reunion held in Montgomery, Alabama, in June 2011. Please search for "3800th SPS" to find details.

Maxwell/Gunter SPs
3800th SPS and 42nd SFS

May 31, 2010

A Remembrance of honor has been started for TSgt Campbell at AIR FORCE TOGETHER WE SERVED, profile #78198

A3C Mike Bell
Air Force Together We Served

March 26, 2010

It has been 32 years since that night in Maxwell Heights. A night that I will never forget and I think about often. I was one of the patrolmen that was with Tom the night he was killed, one of the first to reach him as he lay dieing. As a young airman Tom was my supervsor, my mentor, and most of all my friend. Rest In Peace my friend, you are truly missed.

L. Wayne Franklin
Friend and Security Police K9 Handler

March 26, 2010

A night I never want to remember, and a night I'll never forget. Don you'll always in my heart and mind.

A1C John DeGray
3800th sps

January 4, 2010

Tom was a dear friend of mine. I shall never forget his sense of humor. We told jokes to each other almost everyday. He was a man of great honor and a Security Policeman admired by all.I miss you Tom. I hope to see you again some day.

Jimmy Hall

James R. Hall Jr., TSgt, Ret

December 8, 2009

I had worked for Tom prior to that night. The night it happened I was coming on duty and was standing in the desk Sgt office when the call came in stating he had been shot. I changed in to my response uniform, grabbed a canine unit and responded to Maxwell Heights. We searched the surrounding area and later found out we had followed the same route the killer had taken when he left the area. The only reason he didn't stay and try to kill another officer was his gun jammed. When the killer was found at his home a few days later and they recovered the gun, it was still jammed. I have worked in law enforcement almost 25 years since then and Tom was the first friend and fellow officer I ever lost in the line of duty. That night opened my eyes to the dangers and sacrifices Tom and many others made and still make daily, when they put on the uniform or badge and patrol the streets of this country or lands of what ever country they might be stationed in, to keep the people safe. The world owes these men and women a great debit. Tom was a great guy and the world lost one of the best that night.RIP

Senior Airman Ronald Fellion
3800 SP, worked with Tom

August 24, 2009

Tom you were a wonderful Human Being and a friend to all of us. When I was called in Denver about your Murder I was stuned and shocked beyond belief. You will always live on in my Heart and the Hearts of so many others. I now rest easy knowing that you are in Paradise in the loving arms of Jesus. God Bless you and all your family. I am a better man today because of my friendship and Service with you.

Tom Crowley, 2325 49th St., N.E., Canton, Ohio, 44705

SSgt Thomas F Crowley
Close Friend of Tom's

August 16, 2009

Thank you for your service to our country and your fellowman. It has been 31 years since the end of your watch, you have not been forgotten. Rest in peace my brother.

State Constable J.L. Green
S.C. State Constables

March 26, 2009

Hero's are never forgotten! Continue to rest in peace brother.

Paul Bodenhamer
Police Officer
Dept of Veterans Affairs Police

Former 36th SFS Andersen AFB Guam
Security Forces - United States Air Force

Police Officer - Paul Bodenhamer
Dept of Veterans Affairs

April 10, 2008

T/Sgt. Campbell,
Sir, On today, the 30th anniversary of your murder, I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for our Country. And to your family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.



March 26, 2008

I was too young at the time of your death to have any real memories of you. But know that on this anniversary of your death that you are not forgotten and I’m proud to say that you are my uncle. Rest in peace

Jaymes Campbell

March 26, 2008

"The Badge"

He starts his shift each day
To respond to calls unknown.
He drives a marked patrol car.
A police officer he is known.

He's paid by the citizens' taxes
To make it safe on the streets.
But he usually has a second job
'Cause a waitress has his salary beat.

Now he doesn't know a holiday
'Cause he works all year round.
And when Thanksgiving and Christmas finally arrive
At his home he cannot be found.

He's cursed and assaulted often,
The one whos blood runs blue.
He seldom ever gets a thanks,
To some he's just a fool.

His friends are always other cops
'Cause people just don't understand
That underneath his badge and gun,
He's just another man.

He knows there might not be a tomorrow
In this world of drugs and crime.
And he gets so mad at the court system
'Cause the crooks don't get any time.

And each day when he leaves for work,
He prays to God above.
Please bring me home after my shift
So I can see the ones I love.

But tonight he stops a speeding car,
He's alone down this ole' highway.
It's just a little traffic infraction.
He does it everyday.

Well, he walks up to the driver's window,
And his badge is shining bright.
He asked the guy for a driver's license,
When a shot rang through the night.

Yes, the bullet hit its mark,
Striking the officer in the chest.
But the Department's budget didn't buy
Each officer a bullet-proof vest.

So he lay on the ground bleeding.
His blood wasn't blue - His blood was red.
And briefly he thought of his loved ones
'Cause in a moment the officer was dead.

In the news they told the story
Of how this officer had died.
And some who listened cared less,
But those who loved him cried.

Well, they buried him in uniform
With his badge pinned on his chest.
He even had his revolver,
He died doing his best.

Written By:
David L. Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Department
Columbia, South Carolina
Used with Special Permission of the Author
Copyright © 1993 - All Rights Reserved
and may not be duplicated without permission

Investigator David L Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Dept., Columbia, SC

March 12, 2008

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