William R. Caldwell Air Force Cross citation

THE UNITED STATES AIR FORCE

AIR FORCE CROSS

PRESENTED TO

CAPTAIN WILLIAM R. CALDWELL
UNITED STATES AIR FORCE

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Title 10, Section 8742, United States Code, takes pleasure in presenting the Air Force Cross to Colonel William R. Caldwell, United States Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an opposing armed force as a C-130E Instructor Pilot for the 776th Tactical Airlift Squadron, An Loc Air Base, Vietnam, in action at An Loc, Republic of Vietnam, on 15 April 1972. On that date, Captain Caldwell flew a tactical emergency airdrop of critically needed ammunition to a besieged concentration of allied forces located in a heavily defended area. En route to the target, his aircraft was severely damaged by hostile anti-aircraft fire, fatally injuring the Flight Engineer and wounding other crew members. Realizing bailout of the injured crew members would be extremely difficult, Captain Caldwell, without regard for his personal safety, remained at his station and flew the aircraft to a successful two-engine landing, thereby saving the lives of his crew. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of the enemy, Captain Caldwell reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.


Born 20 August 1943 in St. Louis, Mo…. Commissioned through ROTC in 1967… Retired as colonel in 1993… Passed away on 1 October 2014… Interred at Caledonia Cemetery in Sparta, Ill.

 

Author: Real American Heroes

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