1. List: Stuart Alexander Caird Campbell - BANZARE RAAF Pilot
    Stuart Alexander Caird Campbell - BANZARE RAAF Pilot thumbnail image

    Stuart Alexander Caird Campbell (1903-1988) was born at Darling Point, New South Wales. He was an Aviator, Antarctic and RAAF Administrator, Antarctic Explorer and Businessman.

    Stuart Campbell graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering from the University of Sydney in 1926. He had studied Mechanical and Electrical Engineering.

    Campbell enlisted in the RAAF on 1st April, 1926. He completed flying training and was commissioned on 1st November, 1926. In 1928 he was posted to RAAF 101 Flight which was surveying the Great Barrier Reef. In early 1929 he served on the Seaplane-Carrier HMAS Albatross.

    During 1929-1931, Stuart Campbell was one of the two RAAF pilots chosen for the BANZARE Antarctic Expedition, under the leadership of Sir Douglas Mawson. The aeroplane flown on the two Voyages which made up the expedition was de Havilland Gipsy Moth VH-ULD rigged as a seaplane with floats. Stuart Campbell was chosen as the Senior RAAF Pilot for these two Voyages.

    Campbell transferred to the RAAF reserve in March, 1932 and made his way to England on a tramp steamer.

    From September 1939 to April, 1946 Campbell was again on the RAAF active list. In June, 1940 RAAF Amberley was set up as a ‘Flying’ Air Base' and with its formation Stuart Campbell who was a Squadron Leader was placed in charge of No 24 Squadron and was appointed as the temporary Commanding Officer. There were four Officers at the Air Base and six Officers in No 24 Squadron at the time. In March, 1942 RAAF Amberley changed its role to No 3 Aircraft Depot (3AD).

    Stuart Campbell also flew Catalina Flying Boats out of Darwin on long range mine laying operations in the South West Pacific. Some of this time was spent around New Guinea. He attained the rank of RAAF Group Captain.

    Campbell was appointed as the Executive Officer of the Australian National Antarctic Research Expedition (ANARE) in May 1947, leading the party which established the Australian Sub Antarctic station at Heard Island in December 1947. The ship used for this voyage was Australian Naval ‘Landing Ship Tank’ (LST) 3501. The ship’s Captain was Lieutenant Commander George Dixon.

    It was reported that LST 3501 encountered tremendous storms and rolled alarmingly on its way to Heard Island. The bow of the ship’s motor boat was stoved in and cracks appeared on the ship’s deck. Loose drums of aviation fuel rolled around the deck. At Heard Island bad weather hampered the unloading of hundreds of tonnes of stores and a storm wrecked the expedition’s Walrus aircraft which had been tied up on the beach.

    The ship Wyatt Earp sailed south to the Antarctic a few weeks later, as an Australian Naval vessel. It was to head for the Antarctic coast at Commonwealth Bay. The mission was to reconnoitre the coast of King George V Land assessing possible sites for an Australian Base. The ship had problems such as water leaks and a rolling hull. Plus rough weather and ice conditions prevented a landing on the Antarctic coast. However, a shore party landed briefly at the Balleny Islands. The Wyatt Earp was historic in that it made four journeys to the Antarctic for Lincoln Ellsworth when he was the owner. Ellsworth however became exasperated with the Wyatt Earp and in 1939 gave the ship to Sir Hubert Wilkins who then sold the ship to the Australian Government. (The ship was then (initially) given a new name the HMAS Wongala, but the name of Wyatt Earp was reinstated later on).

    Stuart Campbell came back to Melbourne on LST 3501. Campbell then joined the Wyatt Earp which was back in Melbourne. The Wyatt Earp then went south again, this time to Macquarie Island to meet with the ship LST 3501 which was already waiting there. Phillip Law (not yet a Dr) was also on the Wyatt Earp and the Captain was Karl Oom of BANZARE Voyage 2. The party onboard the Wyatt Earp was full of tensions and animosity. Phillip Law was trying to focus on Science and Karl Oom and Stuart Campbell were said to 'not be taking Science seriously’. Nevertheless, by March, 1948 the two ship parties had established the Australian Sub Antarctic Station at Macquarie Island. These voyages of LST 3501 and the Wyatt Earp are documented in moving film as Antarctica 1948 which can be found at ‘Australian Screen’.

    In June 1948 Campbell went back to Civil Aviation and he was appointed the Director of that Department. In 1951 he was working with the International Civil Aviation Organization setting up a civil aviation organization for the Thai Government. In 1954 he was made a Commander of the Order of the Crown of Thailand. As a private citizen he set up a business, importing Thai Language books. He co-authored and authored books in Thai and this work was academically respected. He was in Bangkok Thailand in 1968 when he married for the first time and he was there in 1970. In 1973 Campbell and his wife Shelagh Ann Nickson retired to Townsville, Queensland.

    An original log of BANZARE by Stuart Campbell is held in the Library of the Australian Antarctic Division at Kingston, Tasmania. A pencil note account ‘With the Discovery 1929-1930’ by Stuart Campbell is in the Eric Douglas Collection – a word processed account is on Trove, the National Library of Australia site. Stuart Campbell's diaries, related papers and photographs 1928-1949, can be found at the State Library of New South Wales.

    About the Wyatt Earp - http://trove.nla.gov.au/list?id=97696

    Sally Douglas

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    created by: beetle on 2017-03-27 14:48:10.0
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  1. POLAR MEDALS Mawson's Expedition Awards Approved CANBERRA, April 30.
    The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954) Tuesday 1 May 1934 p 8 Article
    Abstract: The Governor-General (Sir Isaac Isaacs) has received advice that His Majesty the King has been graciously pleased to approve the grant of Polar 530 words
    Digitised article icon
  2. Group-Captain Campbell talking to the IST through the expedition's walkie-talkie set, Heard Island, Antarctica, 1948 / D. Eastman
    Eastman, David photographer
    [ Photograph : 1948 ]
    View online
    At National Library
    Group-Captain Campbell talking to the IST through the expedition's walkie-talkie set, Heard Island, Antarctica, 1948 / D. Eastman
  3. BANZARE 1929 - 1931 - Gipsy Moth VH-ULD - a bit patched up
    [ Photograph : 2012 ]
    View online
    At Flickr
    BANZARE 1929 - 1931 - Gipsy Moth VH-ULD - a bit patched up