10 Things We Learned About the Pilot of the Battle-Damaged A-10

YouTube / Ward Carroll

1. Decided to be a pilot when she was young

Campbell dreamt of being a fighter pilot when she was just in fifth grade. However, her dream didn’t stop there – ultimately, she wanted to become a pilot to be an astronaut.

2. First flew the T-37

She spent the first year of training operating the T-37 and then the T-38 for six months. After that, she picked to go through fighter pilot training which eventually resulted in her choosing the A-10.

3. Part of the 75th Fighter Squadron

When she finished training in late 2001, Campbell was deployed months later as part of the 75th fighter squadron headed to Afghanistan.

4. Her first deployment was quiet

Operation Anaconda had just wrapped up when her squadron arrived in Afghanistan. She recalls dropping one flare for the whole three months of her deployment.

5. Participated in Operation Iraqi Freedom

Months after her first deployment, she packed her bags again and headed to Iraq. Campbell arrived in March 2003 and participated in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

6. The famous incident happened on April 7, 2003

Campbell’s Warthog sustained damages while providing close air support over Baghdad. She regained control of the aircraft by putting it into manual reversion mode.

7. Awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross

Kim Campbell was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for her actions in aerial combat. She is also one of the few pilots who landed the A-10 in manual mode.

8. Has a piece of the A-10

As a “souvenir,” she was given a part of her Warthog’s tail and the control stick. 

9. Ended her career in the Air Force Academy

After her retirement as a pilot, she returned to the Academy to teach in the Military and Strategic Studies Department. She would eventually end her career as one of the directors of the Academy.

10. Now works as a speaker

When she finished her tenure last year, Campbell pursued a career as a motivational speaker and keynote speaker at various military events.