In our remembrance of Veterans Day, as has been our tradition, we’ll hear from a product of The Greatest Generation, local WWII hero, Bruce Campbell.
Bruce, an avid skier, enlisted in the storied 10th Mountain Division, and served in the Appenine Mountains in north central Italy.
The Germans held Mt. Deli Torracia, and after securing Riva Ridge – the foremost observation point, and Mt. Belvedere, Campbell’s unit engaged the Nazis in a four and a half day battle. “This was our fiercest combat”, Campbell relates “the enemy’s defenses and massive counterattacks caused server casualties on both sides”.
In the fall of 1942, Campbell and his friends sat in a movie theater. He recalls seeing a trailer showing dozens of men at Ft. Lewis, Washington, skiing down Mt. Rainier wearing white snow suits. He was so impressed. After the film, the theater manager announced that if anyone was interested in the Ski Troops, there would be applications in the lobby. He filled one out, secured three references, and was accepted.
Campbell spent three years in Europe and at war’s end, returned to UCLA, earning his degree in 1947.
His careers were 40 years in the insurance brokerage field, a decade in waste disposal technology, and now, he is pursuing work doing radio and television commercials. He appears in a 2014 Tide TV commercial that celebrates uniforms; in it he is wearing his 10th Mountain Division “whites”.
Campbell is still active in his old WW II unit and frequents their reunions.
He and his wife, Mary, reside on Lorain Road and have a married daughter living on a ranch in Kentucky.
Information provided by the San Marino Tribune, Mitch Lehman.