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Decorated pilot to speak at EAA AirVenture Museum

Ret. Col. Kim Campbell is traveling to Oshkosh Friday to speak during the Wright Brothers Memorial Banquet at the EAA AirVenture Museum.
The EAA AirVenture Museum has a number of newer displays to enjoy.
Posted at 4:49 AM, Dec 08, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-08 07:46:28-05

Retired Colonel Kim Campbell has flown more than 100 combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, and she's speaking Friday night in Oshkosh to commemorate more than a century of flight.

"Colonel Kim Campbell is going to be here. She is a retired U.S. AirFforce A-10 warthog pilot," EAA AirVenture Museum Chris Henry said.

Henry says he's elated to welcome Colonel Campbell to Northeast Wisconsin.

"She's just fantastic. I'm a big fan of the A-10 platform. She's a great ambassador of that aircraft, as I think anybody is with their airplane," Henry said.

Campbell has flown several important missions—including one over Baghdad nearly 20 years ago where her aircraft came under attack.

Henry says Friday's banquet will be a moment for flight enthusiasts to share their love while honoring the Wright Brothers who made it possible 120 years ago.

"We're all going to get together, spend some time together and again pay respect to the guys who did it all first and made it all possible for us," Henry said.

"We usually have more aircraft out here. We just have them moved out right now for the banquet, but yes, this is where the event will be," Henry said.

Henry says the banquet will also be an opportunity to see the Corsair and Huey and walk through the museum's latest exhibit about how engineers created blueprints long before computers—while showcasing Wisconsin's many contributions to flight.

"This is a Lockheed P-38 Lightning. This one is painted up as Marge, which was flown by Richard Bong. He's America's highest-scoring ace, and he was from Poplar Wisconsin. He ended the war with 40 victories. The airplane named Marge was after his girlfriend then wife, who was from the Poplar area as well. That's her college graduation picture on the nose," Henry said.

Henry says at the end of the day, it's all bout sharing a passion for all things flight.

"I think one of the biggest things that EAA champions is the camaraderie that exists at every airport. I think the Wright Brothers Banquet is sort of a formal pinpoint where people can get together and sort of showcase that," Henry said.

Doors open Friday 5 p.m. at the EAA AirVenture Museum, and the Wright Brothers Memorial Banquet Dinner starts at 6:30 p.m.

Tickets are limited.