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Earnal Spurgeon Campbell (born December 28, 1921, Eldridge, Alabama[1] ) is an honored World War II veteran of the United States Merchant Marine. His part in the rescue[2] of 19 Norwegian refugees was recorded in The Last Voyage of the SS Henry Bacon.[3] This was later recognized by several governments, including Russia and Norway.[4] Campbell went on to become Vice President, Engineering and Technical Services, of Radio Free Europe.[5] In Waves Astern, his autobiography, he recalls eight decades of adventures to exotic and sometimes isolated destinations while serving his country. Campbell recalls the February night in a lifeboat in the Arctic filled with terrified refugees, his efforts to send SOS signals in gale-force winds, and of their miraculous rescue. Decades later, he and the survivors were reunited when he was honored by the Norwegian government. Campbell's odyssey includes Cold War episodes in Eniwetok and Thule, Greenland and a 20-year career with Radio Free Europe.


  1. Campbell, E. Spurgeon (2004). Waves astern: a memoir of World War II and the Cold War. Bloomington, Ind.: Author House. p. ix. ISBN 978-1-4184-9892-4. Retrieved 17 February 2011. 
  2. Frederick N. Rasmussen (29 March 2003). "Three still afloat recall SS Henry Bacon ; Way Back When; Way Back When". p. 2D.,+2003&author=Frederick+N.+Rasmussen&pub=The+Sun&desc=Three+still+afloat+recall+SS+Henry+Bacon+;+Way+Back+When;+Way+Back+When&pqatl=google. Retrieved 17 February 2011. 
  3. Foxvog, Donald R.; Alotta, Robert I. (2001). The last voyage of the SS Henry Bacon (1 ed.). St. Paul, Minn: Paragon House. p. 42. ISBN 978-1-55778-801-6. Retrieved 17 February 2011. 
  4. "Kongen æret overlevende fra krigsdrama i 1945" (in Norwegian). 5 March 2005. Retrieved 17 February 2011. 
  5. Mickelson, Sig (1983). America's other voice. New York, NY: Praeger: Praeger. p. 227. ISBN 978-0-03-063224-2. Retrieved 17 February 2011. 

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