Spitfire MK.VIII, Grp/Cpt Clive 'Killer' Caldwell, RAAF - Aircraft of the Aces GB.

Discussion in '#11 Aircraft of the Aces' started by Peebs, Aug 7, 2011.

  1. Peebs

    Peebs Member

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    #1 Peebs, Aug 7, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 8, 2011
    User: Peebs
    Name:peter
    Catagory:2, Intermediate
    Scale: 1/32
    Kit Manufacturer: Tamiya
    Model: Spitfire MK.VIII
    Additions: Eduard Interior and Seatbelts, BarracudaCast Seat, Cockpit Upgrade, Starboard Sidewall, Door With Separate crowbar and Z Block 4 slot wheels as used on Australian Spitfires
    Scale Aircraft Conversions White Metal Landing Gear, Master Model Brass Hispano Cannons

    Aero Imageworks pacific spitfires 'Caldwell' decal set
     
  2. Peebs

    Peebs Member

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    clive3.jpg gdlj5j8HEpm0w4npElyFtFA8o1_500.jpg

    Group Captain Clive Robertson Caldwell DSO, DFC Bar (28 July 1910 – 5 August 1994) was the leading Australian air ace of World War II. He is officially credited with shooting down 28.5 enemy aircraft in over 300 operational sorties. In addition to his official score, he has been ascribed six probables and 15 damaged. Caldwell flew Curtiss P-40 Tomahawks and Kittyhawks in the North African Campaign and Supermarine Spitfires in the South West Pacific Theatre. He was the highest-scoring P-40 pilot from any air force and the highest-scoring Allied pilot in North Africa. Caldwell also commanded a Royal Air Force (RAF) squadron and two different Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) wings. His military service ended in controversy, however, when he resigned in protest at the misuse of Australian First Tactical Air Force's fighter units and was later court martialed and convicted for trading liquor.
    Middle East and North Africa
    Caldwell's first, brief combat posting was a British Hurricane unit, No. 73 Squadron, Royal Air Force, in the early stages of the North African campaign. He had gained only a few operational hours when he was transferred to No. 250 Squadron RAF as it converted to the new P-40 Tomahawk, one of the first units in the world to operate P-40s. According to some accounts, Caldwell—as Flying Officer Jack Hamlyn's wingman—was involved in the P-40's first ever kill, of an Italian CANT Z.1007 bomber, over Egypt on 6 June 1941. However, the claim was not officially recognised. (Hamlyn and Sergeant Tom Paxton scored the first official kill two days later, another CANT.) Soon afterwards, Caldwell served with the squadron over Syria and Lebanon.
    After he struggled to acquire the skill of gunnery deflection, Caldwell developed a training technique, known as "shadow shooting", in which he fired at the shadow of his own aircraft on the desert surface. This was later widely adopted by the Desert Air Force.
    The squadron returned to North Africa. On 26 June 1941, while escorting bombers attacking Gazala, Libya, Caldwell destroyed an aircraft in air-to-air combat for the first time, during his 30th sortie. He downed a German Messerschmitt Bf 109E, piloted by Leutnant Heinz Schmidt of I gruppe, Jagdgeschwader 27, over Capuzzo, he followed this claim with a 'half share' of a Bf 110 on III./ZG 26 and 2 Ju-87s of II./StG 2 on 30 June.
    On 4 July 1941 Caldwell saw a German pilot shoot and kill a close friend, Pilot Officer Donald Munro, who was descending to the ground in a parachute. This was a controversial practice, but was nevertheless common among some German and Allied pilots. One biographer, Kristin Alexander, suggests that it may have caused Caldwell's attitude to harden significantly. Months later, press officers and journalists popularised Caldwell's nickname of "Killer", which he disliked. One reason for the nickname was that he too shot enemy airmen after they parachuted out of aircraft. Caldwell commented many years later: "...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." (In later life, Caldwell said that his thoughts often turned to one Japanese airman or passenger, who survived Caldwell's last aerial victory but could not be rescued.) 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 troops and vehicles. During his war service, Caldwell wrote in a notebook: "it's your life or theirs. This is war."
    While flying to his base alone, over north west Egypt on 29 August 1941, Caldwell was attacked by two Bf 109s, in a deadly simultaneous approach at right angles. His attackers included one of Germany's most famous Experte (aces), Leutnant Werner Schröer of Jagdgeschwader 27 (JG 27), in a Bf 109E-7. Caldwell sustained three separate wounds from ammunition fragments and/or shrapnel; his Tomahawk was hit by more than 100 7.9 mm bullets and five 20 mm cannon shells, but he shot down Schröer's wingman, and heavily damaged Schröer's "Black 8", causing Schröer to disengage.[12] On 23 November, Caldwell shot down an Experte, Hauptmann Wolfgang Lippert, gruppenkommandeur of II./JG 27, who bailed out and struck the tailplane. Lippert was captured and had his legs amputated. Ten days later a gangrene infection set in and he died on 3 December. For this action Caldwell was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.[15] Caldwell claimed five Junkers Ju 87 (Stuka) dive bombers in a matter of minutes on 5 December. For this he was awarded a Bar to his DFC. His report of that action reads:[12]
    I received radio warning that a large enemy formation was approaching from the North-West. No. 250 Squadron went into line astern behind me and as No. 112 Squadron engaged the escorting enemy fighters we attacked the JUs from the rear quarter. At 300 yards I opened fire with all my guns at the leader of one of the rear sections of three, allowing too little deflection, and hit No. 2 and No. 3, one of which burst into flames immediately, the other going down smoking and went into flames after losing about 1000 feet. I then attacked the leader of the rear section...from below and behind, opening fire with all guns at very close range. The enemy aircraft turned over and dived steeply... opened fire [at another Ju 87] again at close range, the enemy caught fire...and crashed in flames. I was able to pull up under the belly of one of the rear, holding the burst until very close range. The enemy... caught fire and dived into the ground.
    The citations for both the original DFC and the Bar were published in the same issue of the London Gazette, a supplement to that of 23 December 1944, dated 26 December 1944, they read:
    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 :—
    Bar to the Distinguished Flying Cross.
    [...]
    Acting Flight Lieutenant Clive Robertson CALDWELL, D.F.C. (Aus.402107), Royal Australian Air Force- No. 250 Squadron.
    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.
    [...]
    Distinguished Flying Cross.
    [...]
    Acting Flight Lieutenant Clive Robertson CALDWELL (Aus.402107), Royal Australian Air Force, 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.
    On 24 December, Caldwell was involved in an engagement which mortally wounded another Luftwaffe ace, Hpt. Erbo Graf von Kageneck (69 kills) of III./JG 27. Caldwell only claimed a "damaged" at the time, but postwar sources have attributed him with the kill.
    In January 1942, Caldwell was promoted to Squadron Leader and was given command of No. 112 Squadron RAF, becoming the first EATS graduate to command a British squadron. 112 Sqn at that time included a number of Polish aviators, and this was why Caldwell was later awarded the Polish Krzyż Walecznych (KW; "Cross of Valour").
    Caldwell scored another striking victory in February 1942, while leading a formation of 11 Kittyhawks from 112 Sqn and 3 Sqn. Over Gazala, he sighted a schwarm of Bf 109Fs flying some 2,000 ft higher. Caldwell immediately nosed into a shallow dive, applied maximum power and boost, then pulled his Kittyhawk up into a vertical climb. With his P-40 "hanging from its propeller," he fired a burst at a 109 flown by Leutnant Hans-Arnold Stahlschmidt of I./JG27, who was lagging behind the others. Stahlschmidt's fighter "shuddered like a carpet being whacked with a beater" before spinning out of control. Although the Kittyhawk pilots thought that the 109 had crashed inside Allied lines, Stahlschmidt was able to crash-land in friendly territory.[21]
    When Caldwell left the theatre later that year, the commander of air operations in North Africa and the Middle East, Air Vice Marshal Arthur Tedder described him as: "[a]n excellent leader and a first class shot Caldwell claimed 22 victories while in North Africa flying P-40s, including ten Bf 109s and two Macchi C.202s. He had flown some 550 hours in over 300 operational sorties.
     
  3. Peebs

    Peebs Member

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    South West Pacific

    During 1942, Australia came under increasing pressure from Japanese forces, and Caldwell was recalled by the RAAF, to serve as the wing leader of No. 1 (Fighter) Wing, comprising No. 54 Squadron RAF, No. 452 Squadron RAAF and No. 457 Squadron RAAF. The wing was equipped with the Supermarine Spitfire and in early 1943 was posted to Darwin, to defend it against Japanese air raids.
    Caldwell claimed two kills in his first interception sortie over Darwin, a Mitsubishi A6M Zero (also known by the Allied codename "Zeke") fighter and a Nakajima B5N "Kate" light bomber. The Spitfire pilots found Japanese fighter pilots reluctant to engage Allied fighters over Australia, due to the distance from their bases in the Dutch East Indies. The wing initially suffered high losses, due to the inexperience of many of its pilots, and teething mechanical problems with their newly-"tropicalised" Mark VC Spitfires. This was viewed with concern by high commanders, to such extent that the Allied air commander in the South West Pacific, Major General George Kenney, considered sending the wing to the New Guinea campaign, and returning U.S. Fifth Air Force fighter units to Darwin.
    Caldwell scored what was to be his last aerial victory, a Mitsubishi Ki-46 "Dinah" of the 202nd Sentai, over the Arafura Sea on 17 August 1943.[11] He claimed a total of 6.5 Japanese aircraft shot down.
    Later in 1943, Caldwell was posted to Mildura, to command No. 2 Operational Training Unit (2OTU). He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) in November 1943. By 1944, with the Japanese forces retreating north, Caldwell was again posted to Darwin, this time commanding No. 80 (Fighter) Wing, equipped with the Spitfire Mark VIII.
    In April 1945, while serving at Morotai in the Dutch East Indies with the Australian First Tactical Air Force, as Officer Commanding No. 80 Wing, Caldwell played a leading part in the "Morotai Mutiny", in which several senior flyers resigned in protest at what they saw as the relegation of RAAF fighter squadrons to dangerous and strategically worthless ground attack missions. An investigation resulted in three senior officers being relieved of their commands, with Caldwell and the other "mutineers" cleared.
    Prior to the "mutiny", Caldwell had been charged over his involvement in an alcohol racket on Morotai, where liquor was flown in by RAAF aircraft and then sold to the sizable U.S. forces contingent in the locality. He was court martialled in January 1946 and reduced to the rank of Flight Lieutenant. Caldwell left the service in February.


    After the war, Caldwell was involved as a purchasing agent obtaining surplus aircraft and other military equipment from the U.S. Foreign Liquidation Commission in the Philippines. The aircraft and equipment were exported to Australia in 1946. After the successful conclusion of this venture, Caldwell joined a cloth import/export company in Sydney and shortly after became its managing director. He became a partner in 1953 and later served as chairman of the board. The firm, Clive Caldwell (Sales) Pty Ltd, achieved considerable success under Caldwell's direction and expanded through subsidiaries worldwide.
    Although in later life Caldwell "spoke modestly" about his wartime service, upon his death in Sydney on 5 August 1994, Australians "mourned the passing of a true national hero".
     
  4. Peebs

    Peebs Member

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    Late_Spit_07.jpg
    Group Captain Clive 'Killer' Caldwell DSO, DFC and Bar, Polish Croix des Vaillants, C.O. No.80 (Fighter) Wing 1st TAF, RAAF Morotai 1945

    Note:- Caldwell hated the nickname 'Killer'

    The Kit:

    SpitVIII001.jpg SpitVIII006.jpg

    Extras:

    SpitVIII003.jpg SpitVIII004.jpg SpitVIII005.jpg

    Other References:

    SpitVIII002.jpg
     
  5. N4521U

    N4521U Well-Known Member

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    Beauty, another Darwin Spitty.
    Look forward to seeing this one progress.
     
  6. N4521U

    N4521U Well-Known Member

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    Beauty, another Darwin Spitty.
    Look forward to seeing this one progress.
     
  7. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Good one and great kit. Looks like you've got more 'add-ons' than kit!
     
  8. ozhawk40

    ozhawk40 Active Member

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    Oh Wow, good one Pete! Lots of kit and add-ons will keep you busy.

    Cheers

    Peter
     
  9. Vic Balshaw

    Vic Balshaw Well-Known Member

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    Struth Pete you're pulling the stops out on this one, great looking kit, accessories galore and good background material.
     
  10. Wildcat

    Wildcat Well-Known Member

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    Kick arse choice Pete! Fantastic write up aswell mate :cool:
     
  11. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    NICE!! almost pulled this one out myself....:)
     
  12. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    Well, this should be good!
     
  13. rochie

    rochie Well-Known Member

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    great choice, hope there's enough time to put all those bits together !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :lol:
     
  14. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    The next nice model smells around the corner.:)
     
  15. Coors9

    Coors9 Member

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    Looking forward to seeing it unfold.
     
  16. Catch22

    Catch22 Well-Known Member

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    This should be gorgeous!
     
  17. Peebs

    Peebs Member

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    Ok I've made a start!!

    Opened the box and went straight for the Merlin!!!!

    I built it as 3 sub assemblies and a few bits for ease of painting..

    here it is assembled, with some intial weathering.
    The weathering was done by rubbing the completed assembly with some absorbant kitchen paper towel

    SpitVIII007.jpg
     
  18. tigerdriver

    tigerdriver Member

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    good start, really looking forward to see this kit come together
     
  19. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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  20. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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