Soldier Spotlight: Flight Lieutenant Donald Caldwell

Image: The Herald-Tribune, November 15, 1945

Regiment: 168 (Heavy Transport) Squadron
Regimental Number: J/11098
Rank: Flight Lieutenant (Pilot)
Force: Royal Canadian Air Force

Born in 1913, Donald Caldwell was one of 9 children of parents Bert and Bessie May Caldwell from Valleyview. A teacher by profession, he taught in Rio Grande area, Itipaw, and Millerston AB. Donald was married to Margaret Isobel from Ottawa. During the Second World War he enlisted with the RCAF in 1941 in Edmonton, became a pilot, and served for 4 years. After the war Donald and 4 other pilots volunteered to fly penicillin from Canada to war-torn Warsaw, Poland. Tragically all five crew members of the RCAF Flying Fortress were killed when their plane crashed near Muenster, Germany, on November 4, 1945. Poland awarded these five service men the Golden Cross of Merit for “their outstanding heroism while on a mercy flight.” Donald was 32 years old, and he was buried in the Muenster Heath War Cemetery in Germany. The Grave Reference is 4.F.18

Source: Where the Red Willow Grew p. 303 (Name in Roll of Honour), pp. 63-64 (photo p. 64) – Note: this source states that there were 5 crew members killed.
Herald Tribune Nov. 15, 1945 p. 1 c. 7 – Note: this source states that there were 4 crew members killed.
Commonwealth War Graves Commision

Soldier Spotlight highlights veterans from the Archives’ online Soldiers’ Memorial. Each week, our volunteers select a remarkable individual to showcase in this blog series. The Soldiers’ Memorial commemorates more than 1,100 WWI veterans and 2,300 WWII veterans from our region. Three dedicated volunteers have contributed over 1,200 hours to this project by researching and writing biographies. Our goal is to have all South Peace soldiers acknowledged for their service. If you know of someone who lived in the South Peace and should be listed on the Memorial, or would like to get involved by researching a local veteran, please contact the Archives.

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