RAF 112Sqn

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May 6, 2005
Can anyone inform if this Sqn was in anyway 'Infamous'.

I believe that on Oct 3rd 1942 some pilots from this Sqn shoot Italian airmen whilst in there parachutes!

Any info on this would be gratefully received

No. 112 Squadron RAF operated P-40s with the shark nose logo, but I don't think that P-40 pilots shot Italian airmen while in parachutes because they would have been killed in combat by Italian gunfire.
Clive Caldwell who flew P-40;s DID shoot opponents as they came down in parachutes.
That is how he got his nickname "Killer". I don't know which squadrons he flew with though.

- Ivan.
He flew with 250 Sqd and then 112 Sqd. I don't recall any mention of incidents of Caldwell shooting opponents in parachutes in Mediterranean Air War vol. I and vol. II.
He flew with 250 Sqd and then 112 Sqd. I don't recall any mention of incidents of Caldwell shooting opponents in parachutes in Mediterranean Air War vol. I and vol. II.

This is not a subject that people like to attribute to their heroes. Please read the Wikipedia article on Caldwell for a general summary.
While I do not trust Wikipedia in general, other sources have stated basically the same thing and one can always go to the references that are listed at the bottom of the Wikipedia article.

- Ivan.
It's not about hero worship, but rather about finding out what's up and what's down with this story. From the wiki article:

A more commonly cited reason for the nickname was his habit of using up ammunition left over at the end of sorties, to shoot up enemy troop convoys and vehicles.[1][10] During his war service, Caldwell wrote in a notebook: "it's your life or theirs. This is war.
The wiki gives the killing of P/O Donald Munro in his parachute (which is supposedly the reason for Caldwell's shooting enemy pilots in their 'chutes) occurring on 4 July; but he was shot down and killed on the 18 June. I will have do check, but I don't remember Shores mentioning any incident of 'chute killing on the part of the Germans on this date.

Looking at Caldwell's claims in the MAW series, there are only a handfull of Axis losses that definitely can be verified, more claims can be regarded as possible, i.e. there are corresponding losses but more total DAF claims, and it's not possible to sort out who got what. However, Caldwell also has a number of claims where there are no corresponding Axis losses at all.

There are quite a few stories about Caldwell in the wiki article and in the references that aren't backed up by Shores in MAW I & II:

The shooting down of Schroer's wingman and damaging Schroer's aircraft on 29 August; no German losses.

Lippert shot down on 23 November; total claims for Bf 109's was 9, the 8 by Tomahawk pilots (2 by Caldwell iirc) for 2 actually lost.

Shores has Graf von Kageneck mortally wounded 24 December in combat with 94 Sqd Hurricanes.
Hello Stig1207,

You are making the assumption that I believe the Wikipedia article is entirely correct. I do not. I don't generally use Wikipedia as a reference but often they have a pretty good summary. They are certainly the easiest to find. I have taught my children to use Wikipedia as a summary for general understanding, but quote from the references that are listed at the bottom of the article.

I believe the most significant part of the Wikipedia article is the quote attributed to Caldwell that he used to excuse shooting airmen in their parachutes. Either that quote is true or it is not. I tend to believe that it is because this is not the only place that I have found it. I only suggested looking in Wikipedia because that was the quickest source that I could find on demand.

Do you believe that a pilot would pick up the nickname "Killer" for strafing troops while returning from missions?
I wonder how many ground attack pilots would also deserve such a nickname?
Do you believe that a pilot would object to having such a nickname if strafing is how he earned it?

- Ivan.
I'm not making any assumptions , Ivan and I have no problems with the Wiki as your source :salute:

What I am doing is pointing out that there is conflicting anecdotal evidence, but which is correct I don't know either. Caldwell may have witnessed Munro being shot in his parachute; Shores is non-committal about it, stating only that his body was discovered bullet riddled but without making any comment as whether he was deliberately shot in his 'chute.

Caldwell may also have shot enemy pilot(s) in their 'chutes, but the MAW series does not provide any information as to when it may have happened or who it could be.
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If you read Clive Caldwell, Air ace by Kristen Alexander two possibilities for his "killer" nickname are given. Pilot Bob Whittle claims that Caldwell flew alongside a burning Ju-87 and was heard over the radio to exclaim "burn you bastard!", resulting in the nickname. Another pilot, Archie Wilson states it originated from his "diligent ground strafing". In the book there are several vivid diary notes from Caldwell describing his strafing of enemy ground personnel (bodies flung in the air, etc).
In regard to shooting parachutist's and his nickname, the book quotes a 1958 article in which Caldwell himself states,
".. because I advocated shooting [them] in the parachutes and ground strafing... Yes, I did a lot of strafing. It was war. Our job was to win and we had to do as much damage to the enemy as possible. I considered it necessary to shoot them in the parachutes, but there was no blood lust or anything about it like that. It was just a matter of not wanting them back to have another go at us. I never shot any who landed where they could be taken prisoner."
Australasian Post 14 August 1958 cited in Clive Caldwell Air Ace. Kristen Alexander, Allen & Unwin. 2006

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