Australia Day

26 January 2015

281 days to go

Major Jim Campbell DFC

Major Jim Campbell DFC


 Foundation member of the Sunshine Coast Helicopter Rescue Service

Major James Campbell (Ret) is the Foundation Member, CEO and Chief Pilot of the first Community Search, Rescue and Medical Evacuation Helicopter Service in Queensland. Jim holds commercial licenses on helicopters, fixed wing aircraft and gliders and has 11,100 flying hours on helicopters and 800 hours on fixed wing aircraft. He also has a helicopter instructor rating and instrument and night flying ratings on both helicopters and fixed wing.

Signing up for the Australian Army at 15, Jim’s 25 year career as a helicopter pilot and flight instructor included:

  • 1st Battalion Royal Australian Regiment (Malaysia), 1961
  • graduated as pilot 16th Army Light Aircraft Squadron, 1962
  • working with United Nations (Irian Jaya), 1962
  • helicopter instructor training at Fort Rucker (USA), 1963–64
  • Flying Instructor at Amberley (Queensland), 1964–66
  • Rotary Wing Section Commander with 161 Squadron (Vietnam), 1966–67
  • Senior Flying Instructor at Amberley (Queensland), 1967–68
  • Second in Command 183 Squadron (Papua New Guinea), 1968–70
  • Instructor at the Royal Military College (Australian Capital Territory), 1970–71
  • exchange with the US Army, in command of 48 instructor pilots (USA), 1972–73
  • Senior Standards Officer at Army Aviation Centre (Queensland), 1974–75
  • Australian Army Staff College (Victoria), 1976
  • Instructor at Land Warfare Centre (Queensland), 1977–78
  • Instructor at Army Aviation Centre (Queensland), 1979.

After retiring from the Army, Jim became Chief Pilot and CEO of the Sunshine Coast Helicopter Rescue Service from its inception in November 1979.

Until he retired in 2005, the Rescue Service grew to a Community Owned Service with three fully equipped aircraft at two bases, Sunshine Coast Airport and Bundaberg Airport, providing invaluable Medivac and emergency services to the country communities as well as the coastal regions of South East Queensland.

After 50 years of service to the people of Australia, Jim continues to be a Company Member for Sunshine Coast Helicopter Rescue Service, volunteers for Legacy, and has been a guest speaker at Anzac Day and Australia Day ceremonies throughout Queensland.

Jim still has interests in aviation, business and the Australian Army.

Jim has received many honours including:

  • Life Membership of RACQ Careflight Queensland, 2013
  • Queensland Senior Australian of the Year finalist, 2005
  • Prime Minister’s Centenary Medal, 2003
  • Fischer Community Australia Day Award, 2001
  • honoured with the task of delivering the Bell 47 helicopter he flew in Vietnam to the Canberra War Memorial for display in the Museum, along with his DFC Citation, 1979
  • Distinguished Flying Cross for Gallantry and Bravery—first recipient of this award in the Vietnam War, 1966
  • Queensland Orienteering Champion, 1975
  • many sporting achievements in athletics and represented Queensland in the modern pentathlon at the Australian Titles, 1952-1975.