601 Squadron Spitfire VC BR354 P/O. Walter Alexander Caldwell
Date: 25th May 1942 (Monday)
Unit: No. 601 Squadron
Type: Spitfire VC
Base: Luqa, Malta
Location: St. Pauls Bay, Malta
Pilot: P/O. Walter Alexander Caldwell NZ/405229 RNZAF Age 19. Missing - believed killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off at about 15:00 hrs to intercept enemy fighters with 15 others from 126 and 601 squadron.
BR 354 was shot down and crashed near St. Pauls Bay.
Air and sea searches were carried out but with no success.
Burial and personal details:
P/O. Walter Alexander Caldwell. Malta Memorial. Panel 5, Column 1. Born on the 22nd of September 1922 in Christchurch. Educated at Wellington Technical College. Worked as a shop assistant for J.R McKenzie Ltd. in Wellington. Enlisted as a pilot under training in Levin on the 22nd December 1940. With No. 3 Elementary Flying Training School 09th February 1941. 1st solo on the 19th February 1941. Embarked for Canada on the 29th of April 1941. With 34 Service Flying Training School 16th May 1941 (no flights) With 32 Service Flying Training School 27th May 1941. Pilot badge awarded and promoted to sergeant on the 08th August 1941. Commissioned on the 09th August 1941.
Embarked for England on the 25th of August 1941. With No. 3 Personnel Reception Centre on the 02nd September 1941. With 58 Operational Training Unit 09th September 1941 flying the Hurricane. Joined 131 squadron on the 18th November 1941 and carried out 29 operational sorties. Embarked on the USS Wasp for Malta on the 01st May 1942. Flew off the Wasp for Malta on the 09th May 1942. Joined 601 squadron and carried out a further 10 operational sorties. A total of 295 flying hours were logged. Credited with 3 enemy aircraft destroyed and 1 damaged. Son of Walter Alexander Caldwell and Lorna Irene Caldwell (née Timbrell - died 05th August 1946, age 48), of St. Heliers, Auckland, New Zealand
Above - L-R: Rear; Thomas, Hollands, Ferri, Kearns, Stone, Meyer, Caldwell, Bateman, Mackintosh, Maccartney, Corby, Crequer, Blease.
Third row; Henry, Kennedy, Broughton, Hewitt, De Clifford, Bussell, Jeffreys, Worts, McKeown, Guthrie, Scoble, Packard, Robertson.
Second row; Wilson, Davison, Hornung, Campbell, Field, Brownlie, Grant, Hume, Branningan, Benseman, Hetherton, Colbeck.
Front; A.S Parker, D.K Parker, Mee, Minton, O'Donoghue, Brady, Jagger, Sharp, Daly, Williams, Spear, Stevens. (Courtesy Air Museum of New Zealand)
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to the extensive research by Errol Martyn and his publications: 'For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3', Auckland Library Heritage Collection, Weekly News of New Zealand, Air Museum of New Zealand, Museum of Transport and Technology, Auckland, other sources as quoted below: