C. Douglas Caffey of the 509th Composite Bomb Group
58th Wing, Air Photo Unit, 20th Air Force
United States Army Air Corps
1944, 1945, and 1946

 

"A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles"
~ Christopher Reeve ~

 

"FOR OUR TOMORROW THEY GAVE THEIR TODAY"
~ Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
General Henry H. Shelton ~
Ceremony for USS Cole

 

"It's what the world did not see that I will forever remember"
a survivor of 911

 

Once Upon A Time
That was Then, This is Now

This is an historical account of WWII -in poetry- as seen by Doc Caffey, who lived it then and is living it now.

 


 

Once upon a time, a young man went to war.  He went to fight for his country and for freedom for himself and those he loved.  Then his name was C. Douglas Caffey.  Now he is called Doc Caffey by his friends.  Doc gave up his youth, put his life on the line, and gave much more than we -who are enjoying our freedom because of him- will ever know.  Doc - you are my hero!  Thank you!

Below is a little background on Doc, then and now, in his own words.

 


 

I was in a B-29 Group in WWII. That's why I often speak of the B-29 in my poetry. In WWII, the B-29 was the top of the line bomber. It was not an easy ship to fly, as were some.

I qualified as a fighter pilot but never got to fly as such, for before my group got their commission and wings, the government "washed us out" and we were assigned to other posts.  

I went on to become a private pilot on my own.

I was sent to Photographic School, Lowry Field, Denver, where I received three MOS's (Military Occupational Specialties) 940, 941, and 945 - Aerial Photographer, Lab Technician, and Camera Technician. Became a part of the famous 509th Composite Bomb Group of the 58th Wing, 20th Air Force.

I served in the Army Air Corps, 1944-1946, in the 509th Composite Bomb Group, 58th Wing, Air Photo Unit, 20th Air Force. The 509th dropped the atomic bombs on Hiroshima, Nagasaki, as well as two atomic test bombs at Bikini, Marshall Islands in the Pacific. I came out of WWII 50% disabled and am still suffering from a thing known as PTSD (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder). They say that I brought the war home with me

PTSD is a part of my life.


In the Air Photo Unit I installed aerial cameras and kept them in good repair. Before I was assigned to a crew I received a back injury when deplaning from a B-29 with a K-17B camera, and was hospitalized in the Naval Hospital on Kwajalein, then flown to Tripler Hospital in Hawaii, then later a hospital ship to Letterman Hospital in San Francisco, then an Air Force plane to the Air Force Regional Hospital, Maxwell Field, Montgomery, AL. Spent about six months in four military hospitals, consecutively.

When I was hospitalized, two hospitals overseas and two here in the States, I lost all of my personal possessions, which never caught up to me. Among those possessions were hundreds of photos which I took during the war. This was my greatest loss, other than my health.

I have had back problems since WWII along with PTSD


As an Aviation Cadet I studied, under the auspices of the Army Air Corps, both at Davidson College, NC and North Georgia Military College, Dahlonega, GA.

Following WWII, I went on to get four college degrees and was a professor, college dean, Christian high school principal, and a pastor, yet never "walked away" from WWII.  

I was a student at Bob Jones University in Greenville, SC, where I received two college degrees, then went on to receive an M.A. in Education and Mathematics from Bucknell, University, Lewisburg, PA. and finally a Th.D. degree from a Baptist Seminary in LA. I met my wife at BJU when I was a graduate student there. She comes from Williamsport, PA. Her father, Oliver W. Fawcett, was a first manager of the Original Little League teams. The founder of Little League was Carl Stutz, a close friend of the Fawcetts. Helen's father is still living at age 95.

 


I have written over 400 poems in the past two and a half years, over fifty of those had to do with War and Veterans. I have spoken about WWII half a dozen times at a local college, to their history department and have recited some of my poetry many times over radio station WOSM, Ocean Springs, MS. I am now 77 years old and have great difficulty getting around.

I never talked about WWII until the past two and a half years, when I had to get some of the thoughts and memories out. A few years ago I would not have told anyone that I suffered from PTSD. That is true of many WWII vets. 

 

Every man has many dimensions.  For a different dimension of C. Douglas Caffey, 

go to

Doc's Other World

you will be glad you did

 

Best Bumper Sticker of the Year

"If you can read this, thank a teacher....

If you are reading it in English, thank a soldier."

 


 

Index of Poems
All Poems below are
Copyright C. Douglas Caffey
All Rights Reserved 


All poems copyright
C. Douglas Caffey
used by permission


 

Links

Once Upon A Time     B 29, Then and Now     High Flight

Enola Gay     Kwajalein     History of the B29 Superfortress

Fifi     Diamond Lil     Watch and Listen to Fifi taking off and doing a flyover

Bob Copeland's Diary (Look on left side of page for "Copeland's Diary")

"D Day" - Normandy and Beyond     The Mighty 8th

Fantastic Photographs by John Durst


 

Background music 
~ This Land Is Your Land ~
performed by Brenda Jolly 


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