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Kenneth Marion Caldwell

Military

Lt. Kenneth M. Caldwell from the 8th Air Force, the 389th Bombardment Group, and the 565th Bomb Squadron took part in Operation Tidal Wave, the raid on Ploesti with Col. Jack W. Wood, observing, on 1-Aug-43, flying the B-24D, 42-40629, named, THE SCORPION. He and his crew survived the mission and returned home safely. Major Caldwell and Col. Jack Wood, both, received Distinguished Service Cross Medals for their gallantry in bombing their heavily defended targets at Campina, Ploesti. 1 Aug, 1943.

Lt. Caldwell was shot down by FW-190 fighters near Orleans, France in the B-24, 42-41013, named, TROUBLE. Caldwell and his crew were killed in action (KIA), 7 Jan 44.

Major Kenneth Marion Caldwell was the son of Elmer Elzie Caldwell and Florence Marion Knetzer Caldwell. Elmer and Florence had six children, all boys except for one. The baby of the family was a girl. Imagine how spoiled she was. Here are the Caldwell kids in order of birth:

CCM Ralph Henderson Caldwell, USN, WWII
Maj. Kenneth Marion Caldwell, AAF Bomb Group Pilot, WWII
Raymond J Caldwell
Lt. Col. Robert Dean Caldwell, USAF Pilot, WWII
Merritt Lee Caldwell
Helen Jean Caldwell Marshall

On 8 Dec 1941, Kenneth married Ruth Faye Anderson in Kansas City, Jackson, MO, USA. At the time he was serving a two year stint in the Royal Canadian Air Force and was stationed at Dartmouth, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

In early 1944, Mrs. Kenneth M. Caldwell got the news that her husband's plane had been shot down, and he, along with 9 others on his mission were Missing In Action, 1-Jul-44.
- News Articles :
- The Kansas City Star Oct 1, 1943 : "Kansan Kenneth Caldwell Led Flight on Ploesti Raid",
Aug 1, 1943 : "Distinguished Service Cross Awarded To Maj. Ken
Caldwell"
- The Kansas City Star Jan 21, 1944 : Major Kenneth M. Caldwell Missing In Action
Major Kenneth M. Caldwell's DSC Citation Reads as follows :
AWARDED FOR ACTIONS -
DURING World War II
Service: Army Air Forces
Battalion: 565th Bombardment Squadron
Division: 9th Air Force
GENERAL ORDERS:
Headquarters, Ninth U.S. Army Air Force, General Orders No. 89 - 1943

CITATION:
- SYNOPSIS: The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Army Air Corps Captain Kenneth Marion Caldwell, United States Army Air Forces, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving as pilot of a B-24 Heavy Bomber in the 565th Bombardment Squadron, 389th Bombardment Group, and the 9th Air Force, while participating in a bombing mission on 1 August 1943, against the Ploesti Oil Refineries in Rumania. During a long and hazardous attack against a vital enemy oil installation made at low altitude by a formation of B-24D type aircraft, Major Caldwell flew through heavy enemy fire against impossible odds, and then brought his crew safely back to base without the loss of a single man. The personal courage and zealous devotion to duty displayed by Captain Caldwell on this occasion, even when confronted with practically certain destruction, exemplified the highest traditions of the military service and reflects great credit upon himself, the 9th Air Force, and the United States Army Air Forces. The historian, Larry Smith. wrote about Ken Caldwell and his flight crew's war experiences and his book, "TROUBLE".

Service

People

  • Philip Ardery

    Military | Major General | Pilot | 389th Bomb Group
    Silver Star/ 2 DFCs/ 4 Air Medals/ Croix de Guerre. ...

  • John Brooks

    Military | Brigadier General | Pilot | 355th Fighter Group
    Led 17 B-24s on the low level attack at Ploesti whilst with the 389th Bomb Group. ...

  • Adelbert Cross

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Command Pilot | 389th Bomb Group
    Took part in Operation Tidal Wave, the raid on Ploesti on 1 August 1943, flying B-24 Liberator 42-40733.

  • John Fino

    Military | First Lieutenant | Bombardier | 389th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 565BS, 389BG, 8AF USAAF. Took part in Operation Tidal Wave, the raid on Ploesti on 1-Aug-43, flying B-24 42-40629. ETD. Awards: DFC, AM, WWII Victory, EAME

  • Howard Gibson

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 389th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 565BS, 389BG, 8AF USAAF. Took part in Operation Tidal Wave, the raid on Ploesti on 1-Aug-43, flying B-24 42-40629. 13 x combat missions. ETD. Awards: DFC, AM (2OLC), PH, WWII Victory, EAME

  • Bernard Greeley

    Military | Technical Sergeant | B-24 Radio Operator | 389th Bomb Group
    TSgt. Bernard Patrick Greeley was a B-24 Radio Operator assigned to to the 565th Bomb Squadron, the 389th Bomb Group, in the 8th Air Force, USAAF. Took part in Operation Tidal Wave, the bombing mission on the Ploesti oil refineries flying the B-24D, 42...

  • Arthur Greenhalgh

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Flight engineer / Top turret | 389th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 565BS, 389BG, 8AF USAAF. Took part in Operation Tidal Wave, the raid on Ploesti on 1-Aug-43, flying B-24 42-40629. Awards: DFC, AM (OLC), WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Otis Hamilton

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 389th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 565BS, 389BG, 8AF USAAF. Took part in Operation Tidal Wave, the raid on Ploesti on 1-Aug-43, flying B-24 42-40629. Awards: DFC, AM, WWII Victory, EAME.

  • James Hodges

    Military | Major General | Commanding General
    Major General James P Hodges served as Commanding General of the 2nd Air Division from 13 September 1942 to 1 August 1944. He retired 30 September 1951. His son, James P Hodges II, served as a fighter pilot with the 56th Fighter Group.

  • Stell Meador

    Military | Captain | Navigator | 389th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 565BS, 389BG, 8AF USAAF. Took part in Operation Tidal Wave, the raid on Ploesti on 1-Aug-43, flying B-24 2-40629. Awards: DFC, AM, WWII Victory, EAME.

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Units served with

  • 8th Air Force

    8th Air Force


    Eighth Air Force Bomber Command became the Eighth Air Force on February 1944, it oversaw bombardment of strategic targets in Europe until 1945. ...

  • 389th Bomb Group

    389th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 389th Bomb Group, known in more familiar terms as "the Sky Scorpions", flew strategic bombing missions in B-24 Liberators from Hethel, England. They also sent detachments to join bases in North Africa at Benghazi No. 10, Libya, between 3 July 1943...

  • 565th Bomb Squadron

Aircraft

  • 42-41013 Trouble / Trouble In Mind

    B-24 Liberator
    Originally assigned to the 8th AF, the 44th BG, and the 506th BS. Piloted by Lt. Kenneth Caldwell, "Trouble", flew on the low level mission to bomb the oil refineries at Ploesti, Romania. Caldwell and the crew survived the mission and returned to base....

  • 42-40629 The Scorpion

    B-24 Liberator
    The B-24D Liberator, 42-40629, The Scorpion, in the 8th Air Force, the 389th Bombardment Group, and the 565th Bomb Squadron, flew on Operation Tidal Wave, the bombing mission on the oil refineries, piloted by Lt. Kenneth M. Caldwell and Col. Jack Wood...

  • 42-72871 Miss Liberty

    B-24 Liberator
    Arrived at the 389th Bomb Group, 4-Sep-43, and flew about 28 missions with the 564th Bomb Squadron. Transferred to the 492nd Bomb Group after 27-Apr-44.

Missions

  • Operation Tidal Wave

    1 August 1943
    Operation TIDAL WAVE. B-24D Liberators attack the oil refineries at Ploesti, Romania. The bombers flew low to avoid radar detection and dropped time delayed bombs. Out of the 177 B-24s that took part in the raid 167 managed to attack their targets. 57...

  • 8th Air Force 178

    7 January 1944
    The industrial areas of Ludwigshaven, Germany are the primary target for this mission. The formation has three elements. The bomber gunners of the entire force claim 30-6-17 of attacking German aircraft. ...

Associated Place

  • Berca

    Military site : airfield

Events

Event Location Date
Born Kansas City , Kansas, USA 16 August 1914

Son of Elmer Elzie and Florence Marion [Knetzer] Caldwell.

Died Orléans, France 7 January 1944

Shot down by FW 190 fighters near Orleans, France on 7-Jan-44 in B-24 42-41013 'Trouble N' Mind' Killed in Action (KIA).

Buried East Hill Cemetery, Erie Neosho County, KS 1948

East Hill Cemetery, Erie
Neosho County, Kansas, USA.

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
15 August 2021 11:18:01 Kickapoo Changes to nickname, role and biography
Sources

AMERICAN AIR MUSEUM IN BRITAIN - Kenneth Marion Caldwell

Date Contributor Update
01 June 2021 06:55:45 Kickapoo Changes to biography
Sources

Punctuation removed for clarity

Date Contributor Update
01 June 2021 06:52:15 Kickapoo Changes to role
Sources

Punctuation added for clarity.

Date Contributor Update
01 June 2021 06:50:59 Kickapoo Changes to nickname
Sources

Punctuation added for clarity.

Date Contributor Update
01 June 2021 06:49:10 Kickapoo Changes to biography
Sources

Punctuation added for clarity

Date Contributor Update
19 May 2021 09:46:16 Al_Skiff Changes to role, biography and events
Sources

Removed # from A/C serial No. to aid clarity and consistency

Date Contributor Update
18 May 2021 19:49:50 jmoore43 Changes to biography
Sources

Added punctuation in the "Summary biography" to aid clarity.

Date Contributor Update
20 December 2020 01:02:06 Kickapoo Changes to unit associations
Sources

Into the Fire - Duane Schultz

Date Contributor Update
18 December 2020 11:28:37 Al_Skiff Changes to biography, awards and events
Sources

https://www.fold3.com/image/211229002
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/100755423/kenneth-marion-caldwell

Date Contributor Update
18 December 2020 08:18:40 Kickapoo Changes to biography
Sources

Halls Of Valor - Major Kenneth Marion Caldwell

Date Contributor Update
18 December 2020 08:03:25 Kickapoo Changes to biography
Sources

Halls Of Valor - Major Kenneth Marion Caldwell

Date Contributor Update
18 December 2020 07:42:23 Kickapoo Changes to middlename and biography
Sources

The Hall of Valor Project - Major Kenneth Marion Caldwell

Date Contributor Update
18 December 2020 06:05:12 Kickapoo Changes to nickname, role and biography
Sources

Find A Grave - Major Kenneth M. Caldwell

Date Contributor Update
18 December 2020 05:35:46 Kickapoo Changes to awards
Sources

Into The Fire - Duane Schultz

Date Contributor Update
18 December 2020 05:34:08 Kickapoo Changes to awards
Sources

Into The Fire - Duane Schultz

Date Contributor Update
06 November 2019 14:15:16 general ira snapsorter Changes to biography
Sources

Ploesti Sortie Reports, 389th Bomb Group

Date Contributor Update
24 January 2019 01:49:26 Dieterle Changes to person associations
Sources

Philip Ardery, Bomber Pilot: A Memoir of World War II (Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky: 1978) 99.

Date Contributor Update
24 January 2019 01:42:12 Dieterle Changes to person associations
Sources

Philip Ardery, Bomber Pilot: A Memoir of World War II (Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky: 1978) 99.

Date Contributor Update
24 January 2019 01:15:25 Dieterle Changes to place associations
Sources

Richard Dieterle.

Date Contributor Update
24 January 2019 01:14:12 Dieterle Changes to person associations
Sources

Philip Ardery, Bomber Pilot: A Memoir of World War II (Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky: 1978) passim.

Date Contributor Update
08 April 2015 09:23:14 Al_Skiff Changes to events
Sources

http://www.findagrave.com

Date Contributor Update
08 April 2015 09:22:25 Al_Skiff Changes to biography, awards, events, unit associations and mission associations
Sources

http://www.findagrave.com

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:17:57 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 1853 / MACR 1853, 8th AF Losses, WWII Memorial / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

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