D.F.C. AND BAR AWARDED
FAMOUS AIRMAN AND HIS WIFE
24 September 1942 - Squadron-Leader Clive "Killer" Caldwell, who is spending leave with his wife, arrived in Sydney last night before taking up duty in Australia. He is Australia's "ace" fighter pilot, his official score being 20½ enemy aircraft.
Clive Caldwell & his wife
Air Ministry, 4th August, 1942
AWARD OF A FOREIGN DECORATION
ROYAL AUSTRALIAN AIR FORCE
'The KING has granted unrestricted permission for the wearing of the undermentioned decoration,
conferred on the officer indicated, in recognition of valuable services rendered in connection with the war :
CONFERRED BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE POLISH REPUBLIC
Flight Lieutenant, Clive Robertson CALDWELL, D.F.C. & bar (Aus. 402107)
MELBOURNE. Australia. June 18, 1943 - (CP) - Australian Spitfire pilots in the limited number of combats they have had with the Japanese to the north of Australia have destroyed 22 enemy planes thus far. The total includes five bombers, 15 fighters and two reconnaissance planes.
Wing Cmdr. Clive (Killer) Caldwell tops the score with three fighter planes and a bomber, making his total bag for the war 24½ planes.
OUR WAR CORRESPONDENT SOMEWHERE IN AUSTRALIA, 19 August 1943.
Wednesday — Wing-Commander Clive ("Killer") Caldwell took his score to 27½ enemy aircraft destroyed when he brought down a Japanese reconnaissance bomber near Darwin. Wing-Commander Caldwell's kill was the fourth reconnaissance aircraft credited to Spitfires in the Darwin area yesterday.
In the morning, three Japanese bombers on reconnaissance were shot down by Spitfire pilots Squadron-Leader Ken James, of Franklin (Vic.); Flight-Lieutenant Peter Watson, D.F.C., of Vaucluse, Sydney; and Flight-Sergeant R. Watson, of Lismore, who shared a kill with Flight-Sergeant Rodney Jenkins, of Newmarket, Brisbane. Australian-manned Beaufighters
also had a day out, destroying four enemy float-planes over Taberfane (Aru Islands) and seriously damaging a fifth.
The successful Beaufighter pilots were Flight-Lieutenant J.D. Entwistle, Adelaide; Sergeant R.J. Kirkpatrick, Caulfleld; Flight-Lieutenant McCutcheon, Toorak; and Flight-Lieutenant J.C. Taylor, of Adelaide.
Flight-Lieutenant William Willard, of Waverley, Sydney, and Flight-Sergeant Tom Warren, Goulbura, New South Wales, attacked an 80-foot lugger heavily camouflaged, setting it on fire, and sank one or two power barges.
Wing-Commander Caldwell said later: "I followed him down after I hit him and saw him straighten out over the water. I thought, 'now this chap is going to make a break for it,' so I followed him down.
"Then he went into the water.
"I came down to take photographs and saw one member of the crew wriggling in the water."
Suppliment to the London Gazette, 19 October 1943
Acting Wing Commander Clive Robertson CALDWELL, D.F.C. & bar (Aus 402107), Royal Australian Air Force
By JACK STINNETT, 14 December 1944, Washington (AP) — It happened in Buffalo the other day, but only in aviation circles here and among Army fliers scattered over the world did it cause any stir.
What actually happened was that the Curtiss-Wright plant there turned over to the Army Air Forces the 15,000th and last of the P-40's.
It was a P-40N Warhawk, 14th model of the fightingest plane in this war, but now a casualty of wartime aviation progress. The assembly line has been torn down. The cavernous Curtiss-Wright factory there is temporarily as empty as a barn. But in history and in the minds of thousands of pilots, the P-40 will live on for many years.
In something over three years, the P-40's hung up a fighting record that may never be equaled. For a long time, the P-40 was Gen. H. H. "Hap" Arnold's baby. Col. Robert L. Scott, author of "God Is My Co-Pilot" and "Damned to Glory," not long ago summed up many pilots' views when he said "Give me my old P-40 and I'll go back to China any time and slap the Japanese back where they belong."
The P-40 originally was designed as a pursuit plane, but in the hurry-scurry to catch up with the blitzkrieg of the aggressor nations, it became probably the most versatile fighter plane in the skies.
The famed shark-mouthed "Flying Tiger" planes in China were all P-40's. But what isn't generally known is that the P-40's or their "daddys" — the P-36's — chalked up more "firsts" than any other type of fighting plane. For example, they shot down the first ME-109 over France in 1939; the first enemy aircraft downed by Allied or American airmen over Pearl Harbor, Iraq, the Philippines, Australia, Java, the Aleutians, Russia, Africa, Italy and Yugoslavia.
It is claimed that more Army aces to date have flown P-40's than any other plane. Among them, at least, are Wing Commander Clive "Killer" Caldwell, the Australian ace who is credited with 20 and one-half Nazi planes; Col. David Lee "Tex" Hill who dropped 18 Japanese planes in the Chinese theatre; Maj. Kenneth M. Taylor, who sent the first Japanese plane over Pearl Harbor plummeting to death; and Col. Scott, who commanded Gen. Claire L. Chenault's fighter force in China and himself bagged 13 Japanese planes.
In addition to the United States, 26 other members of the United Nations have painted their insignia on P-40's. The P-40's, despite their original design as pursuit planes, have served as dive-bombers, photo-reconnaissance ships, ground strafers and just straight bombers carrying up to a ton of deadly missiles.
In a cross-section made in all theatres, it is estimated that P-40's have accounted for 13 and one-half enemy planes for every one of their own shot down. That estimate, based on 457 planes that engaged 1,257 enemy planes, undoubtedly would be cut down considerably in an overall picture, but it still is a record that may never be approached.
As far as production is concerned, the P-40 is gone, but it will be a long time before it is forgotten, either by our Army pilots or by our enemies.
SYDNEY, Wednesday, 17 January 1945 - "There was a dearth of equipment for my command at Morotai, and I learned that the only way to secure equipment for them was to trade liquor to the Americans for services rendered. They had no regular supplies or stocks of liquor, and depended solely upon supplies that could be brought in from time to time."
That explanation was contained in a statement read by Mr. J. E. Cassidy, K.C., counsel for Group-Captain C. R. "Killer" Caldwell, at the court martial at Bradfield Park today on behalf of his client, who declined to give evidence on oath.
In the statement, Group-Captain Caldwell said he was able by such means to obtain heavy earth-moving plant and other equipment from the Americans, who had plenty of equipment at that stage, but no liquor. He further claimed that it was the recognized practice at Morotai, where he commanded No.80 Fighters' Wing, to trade liquor for equipment, but he denied trading for money.
The wing had a total strength of 3000 officers and men. He claimed that owing to his trading in liquor to obtain equipment, the morale of his men remained very high, and they worked with plenty of enthusiasm. Discipline was completely satisfactory.
The statement added that the prices charged for the liquor were high according to mainland standards, but they were the ruling prices at Morotai, and other officers were doing the same thing to help their units. Orders affecting the carrying or sale of liquor by R.A.A.F. personnel were generally ignored during the period covering the charges, and it was not a secret that liquor was being brought in by service aircraft for trading purposes.
On two occasions in September and October 1944, two flights of Kittyhawks made sweeps over Tanimbar Island, and then went on to Darwin. There were seven planes in the first sweep and eight in the second. They each returned to Morotai with liquor. The sweeps had no operational value and were designed solely for the purpose of obtaining liquor at Darwin and bringing it to Noemfoor where the head quarters of the 1st T.A.F., under Air-Commodore Cobby, were located. Those flights were formally authorized by 1st T.A.F. head quarters, and to enable large quantities of liquor to be brought back, the aircraft were stripped of armament and ammunition at Darwin to increase their carrying capacity.
SYDNEY, Australia. 2 Feb. 1945 - (CP) - Australian newspapers and servicemen's organizations today criticized the Commonwealth Air Board for its decision to reduce Group Capt. Clive Caldwell, Australian air ace, three grades to the rank of flight lieutenant for improperly selling liquor on Morotai Island northwest of New Guinea.
The flier, credited officially with destroying 27½ planes in combat, was convicted at a court martial last month. His reduction in rank was announced Friday.
The Sydney Morning Herald: "The air board has made an example of Caldwell although evidence at the court martial showed he was only one of many trading in liquor. It is a scandal which reflects grave discredit not only on high-ranking officers but on the whole Royal Australian Air Force administration."
The New South Wales branch of the Returned Soldiers' League said Caldwell's reduction in rank is a "shabby reward."
Caldwell himself said he would seek immediate discharge from the R.A.A.F.
SYDNEY, May 14, 1945 — Eight leading aces of the Australian air force have asked permission to resign. An Australian newspaper says the men are resigning in protest of being sent to attack targets which they consider of no value in prosecuting the war.
All eight are members of the first tactical air force operating from Morotai in the Halmaheras. The group includes thrice decorated Captain Clive (Killer) Caldwell who has a confirmed score of 27 and one half enemy planes.
The newspaper says the aces objected to the waste of planes and ammunition in attacking worthless targets.
SYDNEY, Monday, 14 May 1945 - Nothing short of a public inquiry, with the press present, would be satisfactory, declared Group-Captain Clive Caldwell, D.S.O., D.F.C. and Bar. Commenting today on the announcement by the Minister for Air (Mr. Drakeford) that Mr. J. V. Barry, K.C., had been appointed to inquire into and report "on matters relating to the alleged submission of resignations by certain R.A.A.F. officers in a forward area."
Several of the officers concerned are at present on leave in Australia and the others, it is expected, will be on the mainland for the inquiry. Caldwell, who is going tomorrow to visit the R.A.A.F., was pleased at the appointment of the commission. He said it looked as if things were moving in the right direction. He added that he had no official information suggesting that his court martial had been adjourned sine die.
The other officers said to have submitted their resignations are Group-Capt. W. S. Arthur, D.S.O., D.F.C.; Wing-Commander R. H. Gibbs, D.S.O., D.F.C. and Bar; Wing-Commander K. Ranger; Squadron-Leader J. L. Waddy, D.F.C.; Squadron-Leader B. A. Grace, D.F.C.; Squadron-Leader R. D. Vanderfield, D.F.C. and Squadron-Leader S. S. R. Harpham.
Among the grievances stated to have prompted the resignations of the officers is an allegation that they are sent on useless missions, involving possible waste of lives, to build up an imposing picture of air force operations.
In making his announcement yesterday of the appointment of the commission of inquiry, Mr. Drakeford said that allegations of unauthorised trading by certain officers, and charges made by Group-Captain Caldwell against Air-Commodore A. H. Cobby, D.S.O., D.F.C. and two Bars, G.M., and C.B.E., would also be investigated.
It was announced from Melbourne at the weekend that Air-Commodore Cobby had relinquished his command of the First Tactical Air Force at Morotai and had been appointed to a new command.
Inquiry Opens Tomorrow
Mr. Barry will open the inquiry in Melbourne tomorrow. Mr. A. J. Gillard will assist him as counsel.
--- Australian Aces ---
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