The life and times of First World War fighter ace Keith Caldwell

Adam Claasen

book cover for Grid
Title Info Sheet Sample Pages

Hard cover


The life and times of one of New Zealand’s greatest military heroes

This gripping biography of Air Commodore Keith ‘Grid’ Caldwell CBE, MC, DFC & bar, Croix de guerre, tells the story of his remarkable exploits during the First World War. Flying single-seat fighters against the best of the German air force, including the Red Baron’s Flying Circus and airmen such as Werner Voss, Caldwell accumulated 26 victories in aerial combat.

Over his illustrious career he flew with numerous ‘stars’ of the British air service, including Albert Ball, William ‘Billy’ Bishop and Edward ‘Mick’ Mannock. In the last year of the war, aged only 22, he was given command of the new 74 Squadron. Under his leadership 74 ‘Tiger’ Sqaudron become one of the war’s most feared and revered units.

Written by a leading military historian, Grid details Caldwell’s journey from early flight training in Auckland to his death-defying sorties over enemy lines on the Western Front. It also details his pivotal role in sustaining military aviation in interwar New Zealand, and his role in reinvigorating interest in the airmen of the First World War during the 1960s and 1970s.

To look inside, click here.

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  • CATEGORY: History, Military history
  • ISBN: 9700995102934
  • ESBN: 9781991016911
  • PUBLISHER: Massey University Press
  • IMPRINT: Massey University Press
  • PUBLISHED: 08/08/2024
  • PAGE EXTENT: 440
  • FORMAT: Hard cover
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Adam Claasen is a senior lecturer in history at Massey University’s Albany campus. He is a Smithsonian Institution Fellowship grantee, a Fulbright Scholarship (Georgetown University) awardee and a Massey University research team medallist.