Clive Caldwell Air Ace: Allen & Unwin 2006
Clive Caldwell was officially attributed with 27½ victories and became Australia’s highest scoring fighter pilot in the Second World War. In addition, he became an Ace in both the Middle East and Pacific theatres—the only Australian pilot to attain this status. He served with 250 Squadron RAF, 112 Squadron RAF and 1 Fighter Wing RAAF and scored with all of these formations. He commanded 80 Fighter Wing but was not able to increase his score.
Originally considered an individualist, Caldwell became a fine fighter pilot and a dedicated leader, much loved by those he commanded. He did not wear the restrictions of the RAAF well and, despite his achievements, endured public inquiry over liquor trading and the so-called Morotai Mutiny. Even so, he continued to be well-regarded and respected by the public.
Kristen Alexander has had unrivalled access to Caldwell’s personal papers as well as official and privately held records. She vividly brings to life Caldwell’s aerial exploits and presents a man driven to carry out his duty.
This well-researched biography is a celebration of Caldwell’s military achievements. It details his rise from a green fighter pilot to Wing leader and includes striking details of his air battles. It also includes unprecedented discussion of the Barry Inquiry and Caldwell’s court-martial.
Fully referenced; includes b&w photos, maps, appendices, bibliography and index.
‘When [Clive Caldwell] died in Sydney in August 1994, the tributes poured in, but only now do we have one worthy of the man.’ Barry Oakley, The Australian
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