William Tait Campbell Is Dead at 86; British Officer Who Planned Air Assault on Sicily



LONDON (AP) -- Maj. Gen. William Tait Campbell, the British Army officer who planned air operations for the Allied invasion of Italy during World War II, died Friday, October 1, 1999. He was 86.

Campbell later served with the British command in Washington D.C.

As head of operations for the 1st Airborne Division, Campbell planned the British parachute and glider-borne assault on Sicily in July 1943 that combined with the U.S. Army's 82nd Airborne Division to pave the way for the sea landings by the American and British armies.

It was the first large-scale Allied airborne invasion of the war.

He subsequently headed the newly formed Allied Airborne Army in August 1944, and after the war served at British Army headquarters in Washington D.C. For his wartime service he was designated a Companion of the British Empire, and awarded the U.S. Bronze Star.

In 1953, Campbell took over command of the army's senior regiment, the Royal Scots, before moving on to teach at the Royal Naval War College in Greenwich, England. He served as an administrative officer with the 17th Gurkha Division in Malaya before being appointed deputy quartermaster-general in the Ministry of Defense in 1964.

He retired from the service in 1967, taking on the directorship of the children's charity the Fairbridge Society. He retired to his native Scotland in 1977.


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© 1999 by Neil Mishalov