Clive Robertson "Killer" Caldwell

Top Australian Ace

RAAF  G/C  -  DSO,  DFC & Bar
Cross of Valor (Poland)

Born 28 July 1910 (or possibly 1911) in Lewisham, Sydney
Educated at
Albion Park School,
Sydney Grammar School &
Trinity Grammar School
Learned to fly at the Aero Club of New South Wales in 1938
Joined the RAAF in 1939
Commissioned as a Pilot Officer in 1940
Slated to be an instructor after completing his training,
  - he resigned then re-applied as an air-crew trainee
Reinstated, he was sent to the Middle East & 250 Sq.
Took command of 80 Group as G/C in 1944
Arrested for selling liquor early in 1945
(Many believe this to have been the "last straw" that had several
  pilots resign their commissions. An inquiry found otherwise)
Convicted in January 1946 and reduced to the rank of F/L
He appealed to the Governor General but lost
He left the RAAF shortly thereafter
He then started a successful import / export business

He died 5 August 1994

  Clive Caldwell


Caldwell gets Polish Award  

Poles Give Cross to Chieftain of Shark Squadron

North American Newspaper Alliance Cairo, Egypt, 23 March 1941 — "Killer" Caldwell, champion fighter pilot of the Middle East, now is wearing the green ribbon of the Polish Croix de Guerre ("Krzyż Walecznych" or Cross Of Valor -jf) beside the ribbon of the Distinguished Flying Cross and Bar.
The Polish government honored the Australian flier in recognition of his exploits in command of the famous Shark Kittyhawk squadron in Libya in which nine Poles are serving as pilots. These are the first Polish pilots to serve in the Middle East. The squadron also includes English, Australian, Canadian and New Zealand pilots.
Squadron Leader Clive Caldwell is officially credited with destroying 19½ enemy aircraft — one (3? -jf) of his victories was shared with another pilot — and he has flown 66,750 miles on fighter operations.
"Killer" has taken part in 56 air battles and he thinks the German pilot is a tough, determined and worthy air fighter.
"When you meet a German you generally know that either you or he is going to be shot down," he said.

LEFT: Killer Caldwell also received Polish Pilot's Wings




CANBERRA, Wednesday, 18 Dec. 1941 — A simultaneous award of the Distinguished Flying Cross, and a Bar to it, has been made to Flight-Lieutenant Clive R. Caldwell, of Sydney, now serving with an R.A.A.F. squadron in Libya.
The award was announced in a despatch received today by the Minister for Air, Mr. Drakeford, from R.A.F. Middle East Headquarters.
Flight-Lieutenant Caldwell won the D.F.C. for consistent and brilliant work in various theatres of war in the Middle East, and particularly for a feat while patrolling over units of the Royal Navy. Though badly wounded when attacked by two Messerschmitt 109's, he attacked and shot one of them down.
The bar to Flight-Lieutenant Caldwell's D.F.C. was earned in the current operations in Libya. A flight he was leading encountered a number of Junkers 87's over the battle area, and, in the fight that followed, he shot down five of the enemy dive-bombers. He has shot down a total of 12 enemy aircraft and shared in the destruction of another.
Flight-Lieutenant Caldwell, who is aged 30, represented the Sydney Grammar School in swimming, rowing, and athletics, and later won the 440 yards and 120 yards hurdles championships of New South Wales.


Clive Caldwell is serving with 250 Squadron in the Western Desert

  Clive Caldwell


London Gazette (Supplement to the Gazette of 23 December)
Air Ministry, 26th December, 1941. ROYAL AIR FORCE

The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the following awards in recognition of gallantry displayed in flying operations against the enemy :

Distinguished Flying Cross

Acting F/L Clive Robertson CALDWELL (Aus.402107), R.A.A.F., No. 250 Squadron

This officer has performed splendid work in the Middle East operations. He has at all times shown dogged determination and high devotion to duty which have proved an inspiration to his fellow pilots. On one occasion, during a patrol, he was attacked by 2 Messerschmitt 109's. His aircraft was badly damaged, while he himself received wounds on his face, arms and legs. Nevertheless, he courageously returned to the attack and shot down one of the hostile aircraft. Flight Lieutenant Caldwell has destroyed at least 4 enemy aircraft.


Same issue of the London Gazette of 26 December 1941 reporting a

Bar to the Distinguished Flying Cross

Acting F/L Clive Robertson CALDWELL, D.F.C. (Aus.402107), R.A.A.F. No. 250 Sqn.

This officer continues to take his toll of enemy aircraft. One day in December, 1941, Flight Lieutenant Caldwell led his flight against a number of Junkers 87's and, during the combat, he personally shot down 5 of the enemy's aircraft bringing his total victories to 12.




Assert Italians Are More Acrobatic Than Capable in Fighting

Washington, 23 May 1942 - (CP) - Five aces of the Royal Air Force in the Middle East, including F/O Ian Spengler, Windsor, Ont., and P/O Lloyd Warriner, of Toronto, arrived here Friday and, in a joint press conference, told newsmen the united nations hold air superiority in the Middle East.

Caldwell & a group of pilots from 250 Squadron  
Accompany "Killer"
The Canadians came here with S/L Clive R. Caldwell, an Australian fighter pilot known as "Killer" throughout the Middle East because he shot down five German Stukas during one engagement, and two Britons, S/L John Alexander and F/L J. E. S. White.
White once swam for four hours in the Mediterranean and tramped 50 miles over the desert to rejoin his squadron after being shot down.
Spengler was a cabinet maker in Windsor before the war and was trained under the Commonwealth plan in Canada. He went to Britain early in 1941 where, as a bomber pilot, he raided Germany many times. Later he was transferred to the Middle East.
Warriner was employed in an aircraft plant before the war, joining the R.C.A.F. in October 1940. He also made some raids over Germany before going to the Middle East where he was Alexander's navigator in a Wellington long-range bomber.
Warriner took part in one of the most successful raids on Italian aerodromes on the island of Rhodes, but both he and Spengler missed the big Crete show.

Quiet in Libya
The airmen said the ground fighting in Libya is static at present, both sides limiting their operations to short patrols. Air activity, however, goes on most of the time.
The fighter planes in the Middle East, they said, are divided 50-50 between American, and British models, but the British Wellington is used almost exclusively for long-range bombing. The big bombers are used principally against ships and docks in Benghazi, submarine bases in Greece and aerodromes in Crete. They take off from forward bases in the desert.
Caldwell said practically all the axis planes over the desert are manned by Germans and from March 1941, until the end of the second Libyan campaign, he had encountered only two Italian planes. Since then Italians were found once in a while "driven along by Germans who fly above them" in Messerschmitts.
Some of the Italian pilots put up a fight, but mostly they go in for acrobatics.
"They are not very determined about it," Caldwell said. "Their hearts are not in it."

Hold 3 to 1 Ratio
The allied air forces have maintained a 3 to 1 ratio against the Germans in the Middle East, Caldwell said, and he saw no reason why this should not continue.
For the most part, British fighter planes are used at night because they are equipped with flash eliminators and American planes during the day.
White said he had been at Malta recently where, despite the worst raids in all history, he found the spirit of the people "simply magnificent."
He said it was common for 50 or 80 German bombers, escorted by as many as 100 fighters, to raid the tiny Mediterranean Island, but Malta's anti-aircraft barrage was terrific, particularly over the harbour area, and many hits were made.
"That may be due to the fact that Malta gunners get more practice than any one else in the world," he added with a grin.

Predicts Russian Victory
Caldwell, asked about German prisoners, said he had seen three recently. One was arrogant, but another seemed to be almost happy about his capture.
"He told us," said Alexander, referring to the latter German, "that he would be all right, better off than we would be."
"He said he was sure that Russia would defeat Germany within a year, whereas we would be forced to fight another four or five years to beat Japan."
Alexander said this man was a member of a special wing sent to Libya, composed of ace flyers, every one having shot down at least 10 allied planes. Within a few months he and three others were the only pilots left of the original 70.


Flier in Libya Mourns Absence Of Pumpkin Pie
Freeze at High Altitudes In Middle East

WASHINGTON, May 23, 1942 — Flying Officer Ian Spengler, R.C.A.F., who comes from Windsor, Ont., and has been flying big Wellington bombers out of the western deserts on raids into Cyrenaica, Greece, Crete and Rhodes has a complaint to make.
"The grub is good out there," he says, "but you can't get good pumpkin pie."
Along with a fellow-Canadian, Pilot Officer Lloyd Warriner, R.C.A.F. and three other Empire airmen he was here yesterday. Both Canadians, who hope to get home for a visit, say there are a good many Canadians out there in the Middle East and they are giving a good account of themselves.
They don't like to talk about themselves but both of them who have flown both in Europe and in the Middle East have seen a lot of action. What's the difference?, you ask.

"Well," said Warriner, "when you fly over Germany you meet a lot of ack-ack and the fighter opposition is heavier but you get your job done a lot quicker. Out in the Middle East, you may be eight hours on a run — and don't believe them when they tell you that the Middle East is a hot climate — not when you are flying. You almost freeze at those high altitudes."
Spengler, who has seen a lot of action and has been shot down, smiles when you ask him to talk about himself.
"Can't you know," he said, "the less said the better."
For twelve months he has served as navigator with Squadron Leader John Alexander, D.F.C., a blue-eyed British lad who has served through the Norwegian campaign and who was here with him. Like Spengler, Alexander it a bit tight-lipped about his side of the show. Asked about the Nazi anti-aircraft he said, "It goes cracking along."
Most interesting personality in the team was Squadron Leader Clive Robertson Caldwell, D.F.C., with bar, Polish military medal, a trim young Australian who was once an insurance broker in Sydney. They call him "Killer" because in the course of operations in Libya he has destroyed 20 enemy aircraft.
In one engagement he shot down five planes, deprecated this accomplishment cheerfully in these words, "it all depends on the opportunity, you know, and how your ammunition lasts out. I happened to run into a group that were flying in close formation. When I shot down one, the others obligingly moved over to take his place — they are a bit strong on regimentation you know."
Fighter pilots out there have established a three to one superiority over the Nazis in the air fighting because of the greater flexibility of our planes.


Bay Area Gleanings ....

1 September 1942 - Nigel Bruce and Squadron Leader Clive Caldwell are home from Del Monte where they were the guests of honor at a dinner given by Mr. and Mrs. Samuel F. G. Morse.



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

Caldwell & his wife


Air Ministry, 4th August, 1942
'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 :

Krzyz Walecznych (Croix des Vaillants)

Flight Lieutenant, Clive Robertson CALDWELL, D.F.C. & bar (Aus. 402107)




Killer Caldwell Tops Aussie Fighter Pilots


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.



Clive "Killer" Caldwell is Australia's Top Shot



Strauss, NT, 25 April 1943 - Group portrait of pilots of No. 452 (Spitfire) Squadron RAAF in front of one of the Squadron's aircraft. Left to right: Back row: Flying Officer (F/O) J. P. Adams #404491 of Qld; F/O Williams #402675; Flight Sergeant McDowell #403070 of NSW; Wing Commander Clive R. (Killer) Caldwell DFC and Bar of NSW; F/O P. A. Goldsmith DFC, DFM; F/L E. S. Hall #403013 of NSW; Sergeant C. Duncan #401778 of Vic. Front row: Sergeant F. White #403614 of NSW; F/O J. G. Gould #404613 of Qld and Flight Sergeant Paul Tully #404998 of Qld.

Australian Ace's Success

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.

Caldwell and his Spitfire  

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."

Caldwell is seen here with his personal Spitfire. Note his initials on the side. A W/C's privilege.


Supplement to the London Gazette, 19 October 1943

Distinguished Service Order

Acting Wing Commander Clive Robertson CALDWELL, D.F.C. & bar (Aus 402107), Royal Australian Air Force




Used By 26 Nations Besides U.S.
Accounts For 13½ Enemy Ships For Every One Lost

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. Chennault's fighter force in China and himself bagged 13 Japanese planes.
Caldwell shows off his score
Caldwell shows off his score. Most were claimed in a P-40

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.




Caldwell and a bird friend  

Fliers Criticize Air Command


SYDNEY, 14 May 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.


Clive Caldwell sits with a bird friend


Public Inquiry Sought

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 unauthorized 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.


Explanation by Minister

CANBERRA, Tuesday, 16 May 1945 — Answering a question in the House of Representatives today, the Minister for Air (Mr. Drakeford) said proceedings against Group Captain C. R. Caldwell had been suspended pending the inquiry and report by Mr. J. V. Barry, K.C. Mr. White (Lib. Vic) had asked whether the Minister would state the terms of reference of the inquiry and direct that it be an open one.
Mr. Drakeford said certain officers of the First Tactical Air Force had requested permission to resign, and court-martial proceedings had been initiated against Group Captain Caldwell in connection with alleged liquor transactions in contravention of air force orders.
The Air Board was informed last week by the air officer commanding the First Tactical Air Force that the resignations were returned to the officers concerned for submission in proper form if they desired to proceed with their applications. The latest advices received were that the officers did not intend to go further with their applications.
Regarding the court-martial proceedings against Group Captain Caldwell, the Minister said that officer in the preparation of his defence, made counter-allegations, which on the face of them implicated certain other personnel. In consequence of which the proceedings against him had been suspended. Mr. Barry, K.C., had been appointed as a commissioner to inquire into and report upon such allegations and any matters reasonably incidental thereto. It would be for Mr. Barry to decide under National Security Regulations whether the inquiry should be held wholly or partly in public. When the report was received, any action necessary would immediately be taken concerning the court-martial proceedings against Group Captain Caldwell, and any other matters emerging from the inquiry.

Interests Safeguarded
Mr. Drakeford said the suspension of court-martial proceedings against Group Captain Caldwell was in the interests of Group Captain Caldwell, as it would be inequitable to place upon him, as an

Caldwell and some of his pilots from
Morotai, Halmahera Islands, Netherlands East Indies, 24 January 1945. Australian Spitfire pilots operating in the Halmaheras who were fortunate in having such an accomplished mentor on tactics as Group Captain Clive “Killer” Caldwell. He is fourth from the left, talking to some of his pilots of No.452 Squadron RAAF.
accused officer under court-martial proceedings and subject to all the restrictions imposed by normal rules of evidence, the burden of seeking to establish facts which, if true, were appropriate for action by the highest service authorities.
Because of the nature of the allegations, it would be unfair also to permit Group Captain Caldwell to be the subject of court-martial proceedings unless and until the correctness or otherwise of those allegations was determined. Pending completion of the inquiry, Group Captain Caldwell had been released from arrest without prejudice to re-arrest.
Mr. Drakeford added that subject only to overriding considerations of national security, he would consider making public the commissioner's findings, or such of them as could be disclosed without prejudice to the national interest.


Terms Not Disclosed

17 May 1945 - With high-ranking officers of the R.A.A.F. involved in counter-allegations arising out of a court-martial charge at Morotai, Mr. J. V. Barry, K.C., opened an inquiry at Victoria Barracks yesterday. He did not disclose the terms of reference, and the proceedings are continuing in camera.
The only officer present at the opening, apart from counsel, was Group-Captain C. R. Caldwell, D.S.O., D.F.C. and bar, Polish Cross of Valor, who has been commanding officer of a Spitfire Wing, 1st Tactical Air Force. Court-martial proceedings initiated against him in connection with alleged liquor transactions in contravention of Air Force orders had been suspended by the Minister for Air (Mr. Drakeford) pending the present investigation.
Air-Commodore A. H. Cobby, D.S.O., D.F.C. and two bars, G.M., C BE., formerly air officer commanding 1st Tactical Air Force on Morotai, is in Melbourne awaiting call by the Commissioner, pending his appointment to another post.

Third Officer Mentioned
The Commissioner (Mr. Barry), in opening the inquiry, said the Minister had appointed him to inquire into certain matters which were set out in terms of reference, which the Minister had signed.
Mr. O. J. Gillard, who said he had been asked to assist in the inquiry, submitted that it should be conducted in private. Many of the matters to be traversed in the course of the inquiry, he added, would involve discussions of the work of certain operational groups, which concerned national security.
Wing-Commander V. S. Vincent said he appeared for Air-Commodore Cobby, and, pro tem, for Air-Commodore H. P. De la Rue, D.F.C., C.B.E., A.D.C., who is Inspector of Administration, R.A.A.F.
Flight-Lieut. J. J. Davoren, requesting leave to appear on behalf of Group-Captain Caldwell, said that officer's attitude in regard to the application was that the inquiry should be held in public. His reason was that publicity had already been given to matters which would form at least part of the subject matter in the inquiry. He felt that in justice to himself, his own standpoint, which would be indicated in evidence by him, should receive equal publicity.

Commissioner's Direction
The Commissioner said the Minister, in the terms of reference, stated that certain matters related to the public safety and defence of the Commonwealth and the Territories of the Commonwealth. Under National Security Regulations, he (Mr. Barry) was directed that part or whole of the proceedings should be held in private if the Commissioner decided that was desirable. As Australia was still at war, Mr. Gillard's assurance led him to the conclusion that the proper course to take was that the whole of the proceedings should be in private. At the conclusion of the proceedings, it would be his duty to return a report to the Minister, it would then be for the Minister to decide whether all or any part of the report should be disclosed for publication.
"I therefore direct, under Regulation 15," added the Commissioner, "that the whole of the proceedings shall be heard in private, as I consider it is in the public interest to do so."


Victories Include:

  6 June 1941
26 June 1941
30 June 1941
  9 July 1941
12 July 1941
  3 Aug 1941
10 Aug 1941
14 Aug 1941
16 Aug 1941
19 Aug 1941
25 Aug 1941
28 Aug 1941
29 Aug 1941
14 Sept 1941
26 Sept 1941
27 Sept 1941
30 Sept 1941
18 Oct 1941
11 Nov 1941
22 Nov 1941
26 Nov 1941
28 Nov 1941
30 Nov 1941
  5 Dec 1941
14 Dec 1941
17 Dec 1941
18 Dec 1941
19 Dec 1941
22 Dec 1941
28 Dec 1941

  8 Jan 1942
26 Jan 1942
21 Feb 1942
23 Feb 1942
  6 Mar 1942
  9 Mar 1942
11 Mar 1942
12 Mar 1942
14 Mar 1942
23 Apr 1942

  2 Mar 1943
  2 May 1943
20 June 1943
28 June 1943
30 June 1943
17 Aug 1943

1/2 Z1007
one Me109
one Me109
one Me110
two Ju87s
one G50
one Me109
one Me109
one Me109
one Me109
1/2 G50
one Me109
one Me109
one Me109
one Me109
two Me109
one Me109
one Me109
one Me109
one Me109
one Me109
one Me109
one Me109
one Me109
one Me109
one Me109
five Ju87s
one Me109
one Me109
one Me109
one Me109
two Me109
one Me109
two Ju87s

one Me109
one Me109
one Me109
one Me109
one Me109
one Me109
one Me109
one Me109
one Me109
one Me109
one MC202
one Me109

one Zero
one ?? [a]
one Zero
one Hap
one Zero
one Betty
one Betty
one Zero
one Betty
one Dinah

destroyed &
destroyed &
destroyed &
destroyed &

destroyed &

destroyed &
destroyed &
destroyed &
destroyed &


Caldwell and his score







28.5 - 26 / 11 / 28 - 25

His score is generally accepted to be 27.5 destroyed
as seen in the photo above showing the kill markings on his plane

[a] unidentified Light Bomber


Chris Shores in "Aces High volume 2" has many notes
and details concerning Clive's score if you're interested


Post War


Mr. Barry's Report on R.A.A.F. Inquiry

20 October 1945 - Although he found ample evidence that liquor had been taken to Morotai in R.A.A.F. aircraft, the Commissioner (Mr. Barry, K.C.), appointed to inquire into allegations of liquor trading by members of the R.A.A.F. at Morotai and elsewhere, has not recommended that any further disciplinary action should be taken.
Briefly, the commissioner's findings were:
1. Practically every witness at the inquiry candidly admitted having used aircraft for importing liquor.
2. Officers and NCO's purchased liquor in breach of Air Board order N. 548.
3. G/C C.R. Caldwell and Squadron Leader R.H.M. Gibbes imported liquor in considerable quantities and contemplated selling liquor for cash at Morotai.
4. Air Commodore A.H. Cobby, officer commanding, was aware of importations, but did not regard the practice as being a breach of A.B.O. N./548.
5. By being unaware of the discontent which existed and developed in the First Tactical Air Force at Morotai, Air Commodore Cobby failed to maintain proper control over his command.
6. The Commissioner satisfied himself that applications to resign by G/C W.S. Arthur, W/C K. Ranger and S/Ls R.H. Globes, J.L. Waddy, D.A. Grace, R.D. Vanderfield and S.R. Harpham were not connected with the court-martial of G/C Caldwell or the terms of his inquiry as to transactions in alcoholic liquor.

Exchange With Americans
Two officers, G/C C.R. Caldwell and S/L R.H.M. Gibbes, the Commissioner found, had imported liquor in considerable quantities. He was satisfied that both of them contemplated selling liquor for cash at Morotai at the time they acquired the liquor in Australia.
Members of the First Tactical Air Force admitted having exchanged liquor with American servicemen for cigarettes or articles. Such exchanges included one bottle of spirits for a carton of cigarettes, one bottle of whisky and one bottle of gin for fourteen cartons of cigarettes, one bottle of spirits for a fountain pen, and three bottles of spirits for flying kit.
G/C Caldwell and S/L S.R. Harpham admitted having disposed of liquor to obtain camp equipment from American officers.
If alcoholic liquor was purchased, imported, sold or disposed of by members of the First T.A.F., the air officer commanding, Air Commodore Cobby, was not aware of it, except the sales by G/C Caldwell, S/L Gibbes, Corporal Kenneth Parker. LAC G.C. Charter and LAC J.A. Fitzroy. He became aware of these sales as a result of investigation conducted by F/O Schweppes, deputy assistant provost marshal, and he took steps necessary to charge G/Cs Caldwell and Gibbes before court-martials with offences arising out of these sales. Aware of importations of liquor by aircraft, he took no disciplinary steps in respect of them.


Wide Dissatisfaction in Tactical Air Force

20 October 1945 - In his report of the inquiry into allegations of liquor trading by certain members of the R.A.A.F., which is given briefly on page 1, the Commissioner (Mr. Barry, K.C.), said there was widespread dissatisfaction in the First Tactical Air Force.
When pressed at the inquiry to give the names of any officers he new who had sold liquor for cash, Group-Captain Caldwell, states the Commissioner, said: "I do not make the allegation against other officers that to my knowledge they sold liquor for cash except the instance I know — Wing-Commander Gibbes." He could not give the names of any officers he believed had sold liquor for cash. The allegation that W.-Cdr. Gibbes had brought in some liquor and sold some of it was true."
Mr. Barry found that senior officers of the First T.A.F., other than Group-Captain Caldwell, did not by their actions and conduct abrogate the effect of A.B.O. N/548 as far as the First T.A.F. was concerned.

Air Commodores Exonerated
Referring to the resignations of eight officers of the First T.A.F., the Commissioner said: "The evidence has satisfied me that the action of the eight officers, in applying for permission to resign, was directly related to the general feeling prevailing in the First T.A.F. Was morale throughout the First T.A.F. at a languorously low level? If the word "morale" was referring to contentment, and not to courage or willingness to engage the enemy, I think this was substantially true. There was widespread dissatisfaction in the First T.A.F. Many other officers were prepared to take action similar to that of the eight officers whose conduct was under review.
From about the beginning of January 1945, there was widespread discontent and dissatisfaction at Morotai. The two main factors which brought about that position was the opinion generally held about the nature of the operational activities upon which the wings were engaged, and the attitude of the senior staff officers, Group-Captain Simms and Group-Captain Gibson. As that condition existed and developed without his being aware of it, the A.O.C. First T.A.F. failed to maintain proper control over his command.
Referring to the allegations made by Group-Captain Caldwell against senior officers of the First T.A.F., the Commissioner instanced cases in which liquor was imported to Morotai. On one occasion, the pilot in charge of Beaufighters from Darwin to Noemfoor had over £100 to be expended in the purchase of liquor to be taken to Noemfoor.
The allegation, states the report, that Group-Captain W. M. Gibson had brought liquor from Darwin to Noemfoor in a Beaufort aircraft, and that on two occasions flights of Kittyhawks from the First T.A.F. had flown to Darwin from Noemfoor, where the First T.A.F. was then located, and brought back liquor to Noemfoor, was true. It was not true that Air Commodore Cobby furnished a cheque for a large or any amount to pay for liquor to be purchased at North-Western Area.
The Commissioner exonerated Air Commodores F. M. Bladin and H. F. de la Rue from certain allegations under the terms of reference. At the time, Air Commodore Bladin imported liquor from the mainland he was not aware, said Mr. Barry, that his action in doing so was contrary to Air Force law. He neither sold liquor nor personally exchanged liquor for any commodity, and there was no evidence on which it would be possible to act that any person sold it on his behalf. Air Commodore de la Rue disposed of liquor at Nadzab and Noemfoor, but these disposals were gratuitous.
Practically every witness at the inquiry candidly admitted that he had used aircraft for importing liquor.
In his finding relating to the Air Officer Commanding, Air Commodore A. H. Cobby, the Commissioner said: "Air Commodore Cobby was aware that there were importations from the mainland of Australia in R.A.A.F. aircraft to areas in which units of the First T.A.F. were located. He was not aware of the quantities except those imported in his own aircraft in April, 1945, and he did not regard any of them as being a breach of A.B.O. "N"548.

Brought in Liquor to Drink
In the report are set out the names of 22 officers from the ranks of wing-commander to flight-lieutenant who were called as witnesses and admitted having imported liquor from Australia for consumption by themselves or fellow members of the First Tactical Air Force.
"In most instances," commented Mr. Barry, "the only evidence was the members' own admission, and accordingly I consider that no action should be taken against them, and that their answers should not affect them in the service."
These witnesses were: W/C G. M. Artaud, G/G W. D. Brookes, W/C G. A. Cooper, W/C R. C. Cresswell. W/C E. G. FIndlay, S/L B. A. Grace. F/L C. E. Griffin, S/L J. N. Guinand, G/C W. N. Gibson, S/L S. R. Harpham, S/L L. A. Hope, F/L F. A. Jones, W/C M. H. Meyers, F/L L. K. Prosser, F/L F. A. Quinn, F/L V. H. Roberts, W/C B. F. Rose, G/C R. H. Simms, S/L J. S. St. Heaps, W/C C. F. Thompson, S/L R. D. Vanderfleld, F/L Clive Winter-Irving.
Concluding his 70.000-word report, the Commissioner said the personal relationship between Air-Commodore Cobby and Group-Captain Caldwell was one of mutual regard and esteem. There was no ground for suggestion that any matters which gave rise to the inquiry resulted from any clash between them.
Court-martial proceedings against Group-Captain Caldwell were justifiably taken. The air officer commanding the First T.A.F. would have been wanting in his duty had he not preferred charges in respect of the matters revealed in the investigation made by F/O Schweppes. There was no ground for any suggestion that there had been discrimination against Group-Captain Caldwell.


Caldwell Court-Martial Next Friday

28 December 1945 - A court-martial has been convened for 10 a.m. next Friday at Bradfield Park, Sydney, to hear charges of liquor trading, under Section 40 of the Air Force Act, against Group-Captain Clive Caldwell.
Defendant, it is understood, will apply for an adjournment.
As members of the court-martial must be of rank senior to the defendant, it will be comprised of Air Vice-Marshal S.J. Goble, Air-Commodore J.P. McCauley and several group-captains. The majority of the court is stationed in Melbourne. In all probability, these members will fly by special plane from Laverton next week.




Whisky Necessary to Deal With Yanks, Aussie Flier Says

16 January 1946, Sydney, Australia - (AP) - A charge that RAAF Kittyhawks, ostensibly on sweeps from Morotai over Tanibar island, flew to Darwin on two occasions late in 1944 and returned with loads of liquor was made here Wednesday by J. E. Cassidy in defending an Australian fighter ace at a court-martial.
The prosecution charged that Group Capt. Clive (Killer) Caldwell, through his batman, had sold whisky to Americans of a fighter squadron at Morotai in December, 1944, at the equivalent of $40 a bottle and gin for $30.
Caldwell pleaded innocent to a charge of illegal sale of liquor.
His former batsman, Cpl. Kenneth Parker, testified he had sold about 14 bottles of liquor supplied him by Caldwell to Americans and received approximately 10%.
Cassidy, in Caldwell's defense, said that the highest RAAF officers openly countenanced the importation of liquor into Morotai against regulations. He added it would be shown that "for a bottle or two of gin or whisky, services had been rendered by Americans which otherwise could not have been obtained."
Caldwell, in a statement, said liquor was the only means by which he could get equipment from Americans to establish his wing at Morotai.


Allegations at Court-Martial

SYDNEY, Wednesday, 17 January 1946 - "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.


Clive Caldwell on Trial

17 January 1946 - Thousands of pounds worth of equipment essential to the establishment of the R.A.A.F. base on Morotai was obtained from the Americans in return for "presents of liquor," said Acting Group-Captain Clive Caldwell, D.S.O. and Bar, D.F.C., when court-martialed at Bradfield Park yesterday on charges of conduct prejudicial to discipline in having illegally sold liquor.
Kenneth Parker said that when serving as Caldwell's batman he had sold whisky and gin to Americans for Caldwell at £12/10/- and £10 a bottle.
Caldwell, who admitted selling liquor but pleaded not guilty, said everybody knew that liquor was being flown into Morotai in Service planes. In September and October 1944, two sweeps of Kittyhawks went to Darwin and took back liquor bought for £90 and £195. The planes were stripped of armament and ammunition at Darwin to increase their carrying capacity. Neither sweep had any operational value.

Caldwell pleaded not guilty to the following charge:
Conduct to the prejudice of good order and Air Force discipline in that at Morotai, between December 22, 1944, and February 15, 1945 when officer commanding No. 80 Fighter Group Headquarters, improperly and contrary to his duty, he engaged in the selling of alcoholic liquor, namely whisky and gin, through the agency of No. 5139, Corporal K Parker, a member of No. 110 Mobile Fighter Control Unit, a unit under the command of No. 80 Fighter Group Headquarters.
On the application of Mr. Cassidy, K.C (Caldwell's leading counsel), the Judge Advocate, Squadron-Leader J. X. O'Driscoll, ruled that the Court should deal with the first charge only.

£12/10 for Whisky
Kenneth Parker, waiter, 15 Park Avenue, Glenhuntly, Victoria, said he was discharged from the R.A.A.F. on November 20, 1945. While he was at Darwin at the end of 1944 he was Caldwell's batman, attached to 80 Fighter Group Headquarters.
About the end of November 1944, Caldwell said to him at Darwin; "There is money to be made in liquor at Morotai. If you want to earn a few shillings, you can sell the liquor for me."
Parker said he followed Caldwell to Morotai, arriving on December 21, 1944. He had conversations with Americans near his camp on December 24, 1944, and subsequently, he saw Caldwell in his tent.
He told Caldwell that a few Americans were asking for liquor. Caldwell agreed to sell it to them and gave him two bottles of whisky and one bottle of gin. Caldwell said: "We should charge 75 guilders (£12/10/) for the whisky and 60 guilders (£10) for the gin."

Cut of 10 Per Cent
Parker said he sold the liquor to the Americans. He gave the money to Caldwell, and received a cut of 10 per cent. The same transaction took place on eight separate occasions in two weeks. He received bottles of whisky and gin from Caldwell and sold them to Americans belonging to a Thunderbolt squadron.
"The last of these transactions was on January 15, |944 Parker continued. "At that date I had not accounted for all sales. The last sale I made for Caldwell was six bottles of whisky. I sold them to members of the Thunderbolt squadron and while I was in the camp, I finished up in an advanced state of intoxication. I woke up the next morning and my wallet was missing.
"I owed Caldwell about 450 guilders (£75). I told him what had happened, and he said I could pay him the money later.
"At Darwin, in February, 1945, T told Caldwell I was ready to settle the debt.
"Caldwell said: 'Give me £25 and it will be all right.' I paid Caldwell £18 then and have since paid him the balance, except 10 guilders (30/). After this I had no further transactions with Caldwell."
"I emphatically deny that my transaction with Parker had any prejudicial effect on good order or Air Force discipline," said Caldwell.
He gave his evidence after Mr. Cassidy, by permission, had outlined the case for the defence.
Mr. Cassidy said it would be shown that trading in liquor was so prevalent and open that it was "a custom of the country."
In his statement, Caldwell said: "I first visited Morotai from Darwin early in December, 1944, as a preliminary to the move of No. 80 Group. I made inquiries as to the availability of building material, water piping, and equipment generally required for establishing the camps. I found that there was practically no building material available and that it was impossible to obtain adequate quantities of water piping and tanks.
"Equipment was in very short supply. I then interviewed officers of American units and found they had ample supplies of equipment.

"Presents of Liquor"
"I learned that the most effective way of obtaining the required equipment from them was to make them presents of liquor.
"I took the first squadron of the wing to Morotai about December 22. I look liquor for my own consumption, and also to have available for gifts to the Americans in return for co-operation and equipment.
"The quantity of equipment and material obtained for the wing from the Americans, as a result of gifts of liquor, was very great. We obtained among other things, seven large tanks two water pumps, timber, water piping, joints and tentage. I also had the use for long periods of drilling machines, boring plants, bulldozers, automatic compressed air hammers, and heavy motor transport. The value of such material and equipment ran into thousands of pounds."
The first association he had with Parker concerning liquor was on December 25, 1944, he continued.
Parker told him that some Americans from a unit nearby had approached him about liquor for Christmas celebrations. He asked him whether he could give him a couple of bottles. He did so, and later, Parker gave him the money he had received from the Americans.
The price paid to Parker for the liquor Was the ruling price on the island at the time. That was the only price that anybody wanting liquor would have expected to pay. No one selling, or buying, liquor at that time would have thought of any other price unless the transaction was based primarily on friendship.
During the following fortnight, Parker obtained less than a dozen bottles of liquor from him, Caldwell said. He was paid by Parker at the ruling rate, and he made Parker a present by way of a tip. In Darwin, later, Parker paid him £25 for liquor which he had sold to Americans. This was just less than the total he had received from him by way of tips.
Up to this time he was not aware of the provisions of Air Board Order N548/1944, and he did not see anything wrong in selling liquor which was his own property, he said. Without the things he obtained from the Americans it would have been impossible to have filled the role assigned.
"Liquor was scarce on the island, and it was only natural that a great deal of the liquor available was sold at high prices," Caldwell added.
Former Flight-Lieutenant G.S. Greaves said he was stationed at Morotai from April to June, 1945. One day in April he saw the A.O.C.'s plane arrive. A truck came alongside and two or three cases of beer were unloaded.

Chief-of-Staff Called
Air Vice-Marshal O.J. Jones, Chief-of-Staff of the R.A.A.F., called by counsel for the defence, said he had received a report of a rumour that his own plane had been used by his own pilot, Squadron-Leader Upjohn, to carry liquor. He received the report from Squadron-Leader Palmer.
Mr. Cassidy: Did you have any investigations made into the report? - I did not. It was only a rumour.
You knew that Upjohn was soon to leave the R.A.A.F. Was that an additional reason why you did not institute any inquiries into this nebulous rumour? - I would not have done so in any case on such a story.
Witness admitted that the order against carrying liquor in aircraft had always been hard to police. If Squadron-Leader Upjohn had used his plane to take liquor to the islands, he would have regarded it as an extremely disloyal thing to do.
The court-martial will sit again this morning.
Air Vice-Marshal S.J. Goble presided over the court-martial, the members of which were: Air Commodore J.P.J. McCauley, Group-Captains S.A.C. Campbell and J.A. Cohen, and Wing-Commander (Acting Group-Captain) B.R. Polly.
Squadron-Leader J.X. O'Driscoll appeared as Judge-Advocate.
Prosecuting officers were Flight Lieutenants R.C. Pluck and K.F. Torrington.
Mr. J.E. Cassidy, K.C., and Mr. B.J. Macfarlan, instructed by Messrs. Barkell and Peacock, appeared for the defence


Court-Martial's Sudden End

19 January 1946 - The court-martial of Acting-Group Captain Clive Caldwell ended suddenly yesterday after he had pleaded guilty to a second charge of conduct to the prejudice of good order and discipline in having traded in liquor.
Caldwell said he would plead guilty to save the time of the Court in view of its adverse finding in a similar charge to which he had pleaded not guilty.
When he was warned that his plea was tantamount to an admission that his conduct had been prejudicial to good order and discipline, Caldwell replied: "I understand that."
When the Court resumed in the morning at Bradfield Park the Judge Advocate, Squadron-Leader J. X. O'Driscoll, summed up the evidence given, during the hearing of the first charge.
This charge was: Conduct to the prejudice of good order and Air Force discipline in that at Morotai, between December 1944 and February 18, 1945, when officer commanding No. 80 Fighter Group Headquarters, improperly and contrary to his duty, he engaged in the selling of alcoholic liquor, namely whisky and gin, through the agency of No. 5139, Corporal K. Parker, a member of No. 110 Mobile Fighter Control Unit, a unit under the command of No. 80 Fighter Group Headquarters.
After the Judge Advocate's summing up, the Court adjourned for more than an hour to consider its finding.
When the Court resumed, the president, Air Vice-Marshal S. J. Goble, announced that the hearing of the other charges would be proceeded with.
(Normal procedure at court-martials is for decisions of not guilty to be promulgated immediately.)

Caldwell was asked how he pleaded to the second charge — that of conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline by selling whisky and gin through the agency of L.A.C. George Croft Charter at
Morotai on or about March 31 and April 1, 1945.
He replied: "In view of the adverse finding of the Court on the first charge, and the similarity of the second charge, to save the time of the Court I will plead guilty."
The Judge Advocate warned Caldwell that a plea of guilty would be an admission of the truth of the charge.
Caldwell: I understand that.
The Judge Advocate: You realise that it was tantamount to an admission that your conduct has been prejudicial to good order and discipline?
Caldwell: I understand that. He added that his decision had been made after consultation with his counsel.
The Judge Advocate said that, in view of Caldwell's plea, witnesses would not be called on the second charge, but a summary of evidence taken previously would be given.
The summary of evidence which was produced included a statement by Corporal Parker, who was named in the first charge.
Parker said in the statement that he and two other airmen took liquor to American camps to sell on Caldwell's behalf.
Later, he said, Caldwell gave them permission to use a jeep to carry the liquor.

His statement also referred to cases of liquor having been buried in a trench.
A statement by L.A.C. Charter (the person named in the charge) said that on March 31 he asked Caldwell what liquor he had available, and said he thought he could dispose of a case of gin and a case of whisky.
Later that morning L.A.C. John Alexander Fitzroy, Parker, and he packed some of the liquor provided by Caldwell into three haversacks and sold six bottles of gin and two bottles of whisky. Each made about 40 guilders (about £7).
Charter said that later Caldwell gave them permission to use the jeep and gave them a case of gin for sale.
"At the last camp we visited," he added, "Fitzroy and I were arrested by American MPs, and spent the night in the American stockade."
A statement by Pilot-Officer Albert James Schweppes, Deputy Assistant Provost-Marshal, said that he interviewed Caldwell in the presence of Group-Captain Leleu and Wing-Commander Finlay.
He told Caldwell, the statement continued, that two men who had been apprehended while trying to sell liquor to American Servicemen alleged that they were selling liquor on Caldwell's behalf and were receiving a commission of five guilders a bottle of whisky, and eight guilders a bottle of gin.

The statement continued: "The accused said, "I don't know anything about that."
Schweppes said that later, accompanied by Caldwell, Group-Captain Leleu and Wing-Commander Finlay, he searched the tent occupied by Wing-Commander Gibbes and that occupied by Squadron-Leader Dickson.
"I did not find any liquor in either of these tents," the statement added, "but at the rear of Squadron-Leader Dickson's tent, I noticed a partly covered trench in which were a number of boxes containing liquor."
Schweppes' statement continued that later he showed Caldwell a statement by Parker.
Caldwell said: "That looks pretty conclusive," and added: "I am sorry he has mentioned Squadron-Leader Dickson's name. He would not be mixed up in anything like this."
When he was asked where he had got the liquor Caldwell said: "I bought some of it. Some of it I had brought up from Darwin and some was given to me, and I have had a few windfalls. 1 have also had to give away about 17 bottles to get certain work done at the camp."
Schweppes said in his statement that he asked Caldwell whether he had ever given liquor to Charter to sell, and Caldwell replied. "Yes, on several occasions, but I do not remember how much."
The statement said that Caldwell was then asked if he wished to make a statement and had said; "I have only broken an 'N' order, and at no time have I asked these men to sell liquor for me. They have always come and asked me."

Mr. Cassidy, K.C. (for Caldwell), addressing the Court, said that one thing emerged crystal clear — hundreds of others had engaged in trading in liquor.
Asking the Court to refrain from any "savage punishment." which would affect Caldwell's career, Mr. Cassidy said that no man had added more to the permanent distinction of the RAAF. His record had been one of intense devotion to duly.
"In an area where trading had grown to such proportions the question of morals does not arise," he added. "The question of values depends on the individual outlook. It is an offence only because it is a breach of a military order."
The prosecutor, Flight-Lieutenant Pluck, announced that he had been in touch with the convening authorities, who had instructed him to withdraw two other charges against Caldwell.
The president announced that the sentence of the Court, which was subject to confirmation, would be promulgated.


Expected To Appeal

2 Feb. 1946 - Acting Group-Captain C. R. ("Killer") Caldwell, D.S.O., D.F.C. and Bar, Polish Cross of Valor, was officially informed yesterday that he had been reduced to the rank of flight-lieutenant for having traded in liquor at Morotai.
Later, Mr. A. E. Barkell, of Barkell and Peacock, Caldwell's solicitors, said an appeal might be made to the Governor-General against the decision.
Caldwell expected to be discharged from the R.A.A.F. very soon, Mr. Barkell said.
Caldwell is believed to be going into business in Sydney on his own account after his discharge from the R.A.A.F.

Traded In Liquor
Caldwell was found guilty by an R.A.A.F. court-martial at Bradfield Park last month on one charge of conduct to the prejudice of good order and discipline, in having traded in liquor.
The court-martial ended suddenly on January 18 when Caldwell pleaded guilty to another similar charge, "in order to save the court's time."
Two other charges, which also dealt with alleged liquor sales by Caldwell, were withdrawn at the trial.
The decision of the court-martial to reduce Caldwell to flight-lieutenant, three ranks below group captain, was confirmed by the Air Board. Caldwell's substantive rank was squadron leader.
Caldwell was paraded before the commanding officer of No. 2 Personnel Depot, Bradfield Park, Wing Commander Brown, D.F.C., yesterday, and the court-martial's findings were read to him.
Leading "Ace"
Caldwell was the only Empire Air Scheme trainee in the R.A.A.F. to rise from aircraftman to group captain during the war, and he was the R.A.A.F.'s leading fighter "ace."
He took part in more than 80 air-to-air combats, and 59 ground strafing attacks.
Credited with 27.5 enemy aircraft shot down, Caldwell probably destroyed 9.5 more and damaged 13 others.


Aussie Veterans Rap Air Board

SYDNEY, Australia. 2 Feb. 1946 - (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.


Aussie Veterans Rap Air Board

SYDNEY, Australia. 2 Feb. 1946 - (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.


To Lodge Petition

SYDNEY, Friday, 2 Feb. 1946 — Flight-Lieutenant Clive Caldwell will petition the Duke of Gloucester to have revoked a court-martial decision announced this afternoon demoting him three ranks from acting group-captain.
The decision of the court-martial was conveyed to Caldwell by his commanding officer, Wing-Commander Brown, D.F.C. Caldwell was dressed in full uniform, wearing the ribbons of D.S.O., D.F.C. and Bar, and Polish Cross of Valor when the decision was announced. The sentence takes effect immediately. The demotion has been confirmed by the Australian Air Board. Caldwell was accompanied to Bradfield station by one of his legal advisers, Mr. A.S. Peacock. He refused to comment beyond saying he would leave the Air Force as soon as possible.


Caldwell December 1946


Dakotas Arrive at Mascot

Six Dakota aircraft arrived at Mascot from Manila yesterday in a flight led by former R.A.A.F. fighter ace, Clive ("Killer") Caldwell. All crews were former members of the R.A.A.F. The aircraft were purchased in Manila.


LEFT: Clive Caldwell.
RIGHT: Inside some of the Dakota aircraft were some small L5 observation-type planes, which had been stripped of engines, wings, and rudders. Joe Palmer, the chief pilot, is standing beside one of the small planes.

  Dakota December 1946


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