Mark Campbell was born in Redlands, CA on December 31, 1897. He attended Redlands High School for one year. From 1914-1916, Campbell worked as an airplane mechanic, maintaining engines and building planes, for B. J. Williams at Venice, CA. He flew solo for the first time in 1915. He was employed by Crawford Aviation Company of Venice, CA from 1916-1917. From 1917-1918, Campbell constructed planes with Glenn-Martin and the Wright-Martin Company of Los Angeles, CA. In the spring of 1918 until the end of the first world war, Campbell worked for Curtiss Company of Buffalo, NY. Around this time, he also became an experimental flight mechanic in the Balloon Division of Goodyear Rubber Company in Akron, Ohio until it closed in 1918.

In 1919, Campbell and pilot Ray Goldsworthy formed a stunt flying team. He was the first man to transition from one plane to another in mid-air without a rope ladder as well as the first man to successfully alternate from a fast-moving train to a plane and back. Campbell also performed stunts in two movies, Go and Get It and Stranger than Fiction. Campbell was the first to publicly demonstrate the Army/Air Force parachute around 1923 or 1924. In 1927, he briefly left stunt flying in order to become a trick automobile driver but soon after began to design and build his own airplanes.

For the R.O. Bone Company, Campbell designed the Golden Eagle from 1927-1929. It would later be used by Miss Bobbi Trout as she set three world records for women including endurance, distance, and speed. Campbell was employed by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation from 1934-1962. In the years 1936 to 1939, Campbells was the supervisor of final assembly inspections. From 1939-1943, he was a design engineer on the Lockheed Ventura (PV-1, forerunner of the PV-2). By 1944, he was the division engineer for materials and standards.

In 1955, Campbell received a Designated Manufacturing Inspection Representative of Civil Aeronautics Administration, United States Department of Commerce license. He was given a tribute certificate from the Air Reserve Forces, United States Air Force in 1961. In 1962, he was a speaker at the first joint meeting of the Cross & Cockade and American Aviation Historical Society. In December of the same year, Campbell retired from Lockheed Corporation where he was then a quality control officer in charge of the Chicago, Cleveland, and New York offices.

He died on June 21, 1963 in Hollywood, CA.

Honors:

Co-Founder of Silver Wings Fraternity and State President (CA) for 2 years.

Member OX5 Club of Aviation Pioneers.

1942-1946: Captain in California Wing of the Civil Air Patrol; later named State Supply Officer for California.

Recent Submissions

  • Guide to the Mark M. Campbell Collection, 1897-1963 

    Zawojek, Cassandra (2018-07-26)
    This collection contains materials generated by, for, and about Mark Campbell such as personal papers, certificates, newspaper clippings, memorabila, and photographic albums. The personal papers include original typescript ...