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Flight Lieutenant Donald Forest Caldwell

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Flight Lieutenant Donald Forest Caldwell

Birth
Mountain View, Claresholm Census Division, Alberta, Canada
Death
4 Nov 1945 (aged 32)
Halle (Saale), Stadtkreis Halle (Saale), Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany
Burial
Telgte, Kreis Warendorf, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Plot
4. F. 18.
Memorial ID
18430052 View Source

"Flying Fortress 9202"---The story behind two plaques, 4,000 miles apart, that commemorate Canada's first international airborne humanitarian mission:--
In September 1945, the United Polish Relief Fund, through the Polish Red Cross, appealed to the Canadian government to deliver several tons of life-saving penicillin to Poland; this would be a difficult task as Poland was now under Russian occupation. The only RCAF unit with extensive transatlantic experience was No. 168 (Heavy Transport) Squadron, based at Rockcliffe (Ottawa), Ontario.
The first postwar mercy flight by the aging Flying Fortress 9202 involved transporting the penicillin to Prestwick, Scotland, where it then became the RAF's responsibility for the final delivery to Poland.
Following that first mission, Canada decided that the RCAF's second delivery of 5500 lbs of penicillin was to be a more direct one to Warsaw; so another Fortress mission was organized. The aircraft was the same one that had fulfilled the first mission. It was dispatched on Oct. 31, 1945 with 39 cases of the medicine, reaching Prestwick the next morning. It then flew to Manston in southern England, and from there the RCAF aircraft took off on the morning of Nov. 4, heading towards Berlin. At 11:45 a.m. it struck trees atop Eggeberg Hill, near Halle, Germany. All five men on board were killed. They were buried with full military honours by RAF and RCAF personnel.
The five RCAF crew members were:-
Flight Lieutenant Donald Forest Caldwell of Mountain View, Alberta,
Flight Lieutenant Edward Pattern Harling of Alberta,
Sergeant Edwin Erwin Phillips of Montreal,
Flight Lieutenant Norbert David Roche of Montreal and
Squadron Leader Alfred Ernest Webster, born in Ontario but raised in Yorkton, Saskatchewan.
Because the penicillin was so desperately needed, on Nov. 16, another Fortress left Ottawa on the third mission for a swift delivery, this time with 2,235 pounds of the precious cargo.

The five RCAF airmen were laid to rest in Munster Heath Cemetery, in Germany.
A Polish-Canadian artist, A. Birkenmeyer, was commissioned to produce two plaques to honour these men:-
-the first—in Polish—was unveiled on Nov. 25, 1946, at the Military Hospital, 27 Nowowiejska Street in Warsaw, Poland.
-the second plaque—in English—was unveiled on May 5th, 1947, in the Roman Catholic chapel at Rockcliffe air base, in Ottawa, Canada. Its place of honour is now in the combined Protestant and Roman Catholic Military Chapel at Uplands (Ottawa).

Military Service:-
Rank: Flight Lieutenant
Trade: Pilot
Service Number: J/11098
Age: 32
Force: Air Force
Unit: Royal Canadian Air Force
Division: 168 RAF Squadron (MOTTO: 'Rerum cognoscere causas' [To know the cause of things]

F/L Donald Forest Caldwell of Mountain View, Alberta, had been teaching school when he joined the RCAF in July 1941. He flew a tour of anti-submarine operations on Canada's East Coast. In 1944 he became a transport pilot, joining No. 168 Squadron in January 1945.

Son of Bert and Bessie M. Caldwell; husband of Margaret Isobel Caldwell, of Ottawa, Canada.

Flight Lieutenant Donald Forest Caldwell is commemorated on Page 501 of Canada's Second World War Book of Remembrance.

"Flying Fortress 9202"---The story behind two plaques, 4,000 miles apart, that commemorate Canada's first international airborne humanitarian mission:--
In September 1945, the United Polish Relief Fund, through the Polish Red Cross, appealed to the Canadian government to deliver several tons of life-saving penicillin to Poland; this would be a difficult task as Poland was now under Russian occupation. The only RCAF unit with extensive transatlantic experience was No. 168 (Heavy Transport) Squadron, based at Rockcliffe (Ottawa), Ontario.
The first postwar mercy flight by the aging Flying Fortress 9202 involved transporting the penicillin to Prestwick, Scotland, where it then became the RAF's responsibility for the final delivery to Poland.
Following that first mission, Canada decided that the RCAF's second delivery of 5500 lbs of penicillin was to be a more direct one to Warsaw; so another Fortress mission was organized. The aircraft was the same one that had fulfilled the first mission. It was dispatched on Oct. 31, 1945 with 39 cases of the medicine, reaching Prestwick the next morning. It then flew to Manston in southern England, and from there the RCAF aircraft took off on the morning of Nov. 4, heading towards Berlin. At 11:45 a.m. it struck trees atop Eggeberg Hill, near Halle, Germany. All five men on board were killed. They were buried with full military honours by RAF and RCAF personnel.
The five RCAF crew members were:-
Flight Lieutenant Donald Forest Caldwell of Mountain View, Alberta,
Flight Lieutenant Edward Pattern Harling of Alberta,
Sergeant Edwin Erwin Phillips of Montreal,
Flight Lieutenant Norbert David Roche of Montreal and
Squadron Leader Alfred Ernest Webster, born in Ontario but raised in Yorkton, Saskatchewan.
Because the penicillin was so desperately needed, on Nov. 16, another Fortress left Ottawa on the third mission for a swift delivery, this time with 2,235 pounds of the precious cargo.

The five RCAF airmen were laid to rest in Munster Heath Cemetery, in Germany.
A Polish-Canadian artist, A. Birkenmeyer, was commissioned to produce two plaques to honour these men:-
-the first—in Polish—was unveiled on Nov. 25, 1946, at the Military Hospital, 27 Nowowiejska Street in Warsaw, Poland.
-the second plaque—in English—was unveiled on May 5th, 1947, in the Roman Catholic chapel at Rockcliffe air base, in Ottawa, Canada. Its place of honour is now in the combined Protestant and Roman Catholic Military Chapel at Uplands (Ottawa).

Military Service:-
Rank: Flight Lieutenant
Trade: Pilot
Service Number: J/11098
Age: 32
Force: Air Force
Unit: Royal Canadian Air Force
Division: 168 RAF Squadron (MOTTO: 'Rerum cognoscere causas' [To know the cause of things]

F/L Donald Forest Caldwell of Mountain View, Alberta, had been teaching school when he joined the RCAF in July 1941. He flew a tour of anti-submarine operations on Canada's East Coast. In 1944 he became a transport pilot, joining No. 168 Squadron in January 1945.

Son of Bert and Bessie M. Caldwell; husband of Margaret Isobel Caldwell, of Ottawa, Canada.

Flight Lieutenant Donald Forest Caldwell is commemorated on Page 501 of Canada's Second World War Book of Remembrance.


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