Colonel F.T. Caldwell
Burtonwood - Little Staughton
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Colonel Caldwell wearing a 9th USAAF shoulder patch (© FT Caldwell via JT Caldwell)
Colonel Freeman T. Caldwell
Hi Robert,
my father Freeman T. Caldwell had a very interesting life, born 1896 in Atlanta, Georgia, he joined the Georgia National Guard and saw service on the Mexican Border in 1916.
He was one of the six original soldiers assigned as aircraft "mechanicians", having served 1916-18. He was Commissioned in 1918 at Fort Sill, Oklahoma and was placed on inactive duty shortly after the Armistace. He was recalled to duty in September 1941.
He spent time at Savannah setting up the 8th Air Force and took his group from Texas to Macon, Georgia, where they boarded the Queen Mary and proceeded to England. He went directly to Burtonwood and took command from the RAF. He Commanded the 5th Air Depot Group and I think also the 53rd Service Group, and was in North Africa during Operation Torch. Later he moved to Little Staughton. Regards, JT Caldwell

Lieutenant Colonel Caldwell wearing
an 8th USAAF shoulder patch
He passed away in 1953 at the age of 57. He met my mother in Oklahoma at Fort Sill and used to drop notes to her from planes. He also spent time mapping out the early air mail routes for the US Government. He still managed to raise five boys who were all involved with aviation in one way or another. The two oldest were also in WW2 but did not go overseas, one a P-47 Thunderbolt pilot and the other a B-26 Marauder pilot. Third to oldest was an Air Force mechanic during the Korean War and the youngest was in Army Aviation and recently retired from Delta airlines. Myself I am a private pilot.
In addition to all this he built an airplane in 1928 in Atlanta that could carry three people and had several revolutionary things for its time - fuel tanks in the wings, split landing gear and was made from tubular steel. He sold it to a fellow with the Ford Motor Company.

After the war he told my mother to ask him anything she wished to know and then he never talked much about the war again. The only things I heard him say was that there was a B-17 Flying Fortress called the Bad Penny that always managed to make it back. He also flew B-17, P-38 Lightning, and P-39 Airacobra aircraft during his time as an AAF pilot and the P-38 was his favourite. After the war he seemed to have lost his love for aviation.....
J.T. Caldwell
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Transfer of RAF Little Staughton from RAF to USAAF control, Colonel Caldwell first left
1st May 1943

(© USAAF, FT Caldwell via JT Caldwell)
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RAF Little Staughton - RAF Burtonwood- airfield - control tower = © robert truman 2006