Arkansas
Military Veterans'
Hall of Fame

×

Arkansas
Military Veterans'
Hall of Fame

Staff Sergeant Paul E. Calkin | Arkansas Military Veterans' Hall of Fame

Staff Sergeant Paul E. Calkin

Staff Sergeant Calkin, Jonesboro, U.S. Army Air Corp, WWII. Awards include the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Purple Heart Medal, five Air Medals and was presented in 2013 the French Legion of Honor Medal which made him an official knight of France.

Calkin’s first bomber mission, with 142 other B-17’s , was to Rjukan, Norway, the home of Nazi Germany’s nuclear energy project.  On his thirteenth mission to bomb the German’s ME-109 fighter factory in Regensburg, Germany, antiaircraft fire and enemy fighters damaged their bomber so badly they had to ditch in the English Channel.  The water was in the low teens and ice formed over their uniforms before being rescued some thirty minutes later by the British Air Rescue Services.   His 30th and last combat mission was four days before the D-Day Invasion.  It is noteworthy that six of these missions were the bombing of Germany’s capital Berlin.  Though eligible to rotate back to the States, Calkin volunteered for reassignment to fly six more missions to assist transporting troops in B-17s from Naples, Italy to Casablanca in North Africa and Marrakesh.  In 2013, Calkin was presented the French Legion of Honor Medal which made him an official Knight of France.  On 2 June 1944 Staff Sergeant Calkin was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.  The narrative reads as follows: Paul L. Calkin, Staff Sergeant, 100th Bombardment Group, Army Air Forces, United States Army.  For extraordinary achievement while serving as Right Waist Gunner on a B-17 airplane on many heavy bombardment missions of enemy occupied Continental Europe.  Displaying great courage and skill, Sergeant Calkin, fighting from his gun position has warded off many enemy attacks and has materially aided in the success of each of these many missions.  The courage, coolness, and skill displayed by Sergeant Calkin on all these occasions reflect the highest credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of the United States. 

Back to 2017 Inductees