Notable People

(displayed alphabetically by last name)


LeftSeal RightSeal

Vice Admiral Wayne E. Caldwell


Wayne E. Caldwell is from Springfield, Ohio, where he graduated at the head of his class from Springfield High School in 1941.  After taking a freshman year of engineering at Ohio State University in 1942-43, he was graduated from Army Civil Engineering Special Training School at Kansas State College, Manhattan, Kansas, with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1944.

He was credited with service in the U.S. Army Reserve from November 1942 to May 1943, and the Army Combat Engineers until July 1944.

Entering the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, New London, Conn,. with an appointment of cadet on July 21, 1944 during World War II, he was commissioned an ensign on June 4, 1948, and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Engineering.

His first assignment after graduation was to remain at the Academy for a brief period as physical education instructor and as assistant football coach.  From November 1948 to March 1951, he was assigned as gunnery officer on board the 311-ft USCGC Barataria which operated out of Portland, ME., on ocean station patrol duty in the Atlantic.  After a brief stint as operations officer at the Coast Guard Base at Boston from March to July of 1951, he was assigned as a student in communications at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, Calif.  In July 1952, he returned to the Academy to serve as mathematics instructor, company tactics officer, education officer, assistant football coach and assistant track coach.

He served his next tour of duty in Alaskan waters, first as executive officer and eventually as commanding officer of the buoy tender USCGC Hemlock from June 1957 until the vessel's decommissioning in July 1958, and then as executive officer of the ender USCGC Balsam for a year.  Both vessels operated out of Ketchikan.

From July 1959 to July 1963, he was stationed as Chief, Communications Section in the Eleventh Coast Guard District Office at Long Beach, Calif.  He served next as executive officer on board the cargo vessel USCGC Kukui out of Honolulu on logistics missions to loran stations and other outposts in the Pacific.

In June 1965, he again returned to the Academy to serve as Assistant Commandant of the Cadets for four years.  For duties in that post he was awarded the Coast Guard Achievement Medal.

From June 1969 to July 1971, he commanded the 378-ft USCGC Chase based at Boston, Mass.  During that period the cutter was deployed to Southeast Asia from September 1969 to July 1970.  For meritorious service in the Vietnam conflict he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal.  He was cited for seven antifiltration patrols and 35 naval gunfire support missions to aide allied ground forces.  Under this command, the cutter carried out a variety of humanitarian missions that included the treatment of 1,032 Vietnamese civilians by MEDCAP (Medical Civic Action Projects) teams from the Chase sent into various villages, and construction of a playground for children by crew members.

Caldwell next was assigned as a student at the National War College, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.; and while there, he earned a Master's degree in International Affairs from George Washington University in June 1972.  In July 1972, following his graduation from the National War College, he reported at Coast Guard Headquarters for duty as Chief, Officer Personnel Division.  For that duty he was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal.  In June 1974, he was reassigned at headquarters tot he post of Deputy Chief, Officer of Marine Environment and Systems.

In July, 1975, he returned to New London again, this time to serve as Assistant Superintendent at the Coast Guard Academy.  On January 19, 1976, he was nominated for flag rank by the President and, following approval by the Senate, appointed to the rank of rear admiral effective July 1, 1976.  At that time he assumed the position of Commander, Second Coast Guard District, St. Louis, Mo., where he earned his second Meritorious Service Medal.

He returned to headquarters in June 1979 to serve as Chief, Marine Environment and Systems and in June 1982 to his present station with the rank of vice admiral as Commander, Atlantic Area and Commander, Third Coast Guard District.

Following is a resume of VADM Caldwell's appointments in rank: ensign, June 4, 1948; lieutenant (jg), January 19, 1951; lieutenant, August 26, 1952; lieutenant commander, March 1, 1960; commander, April 3, 1965; captain, July 1, 1970; rear admiral, July 1, 1976; vice admiral, May 21, 1982.

VADM Caldwell's campaign and service medals include: American Defense Service (with star), World War II Victory; Army Good Conduct; Bronze Star Medal (Sept. 1970) for Vietnam combat duty, Vietnam Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Medal; Coast Guard Achievement Medal (May 1969); Meritorious Service Medal (April 1974 and June 1979); Legion of Merit (May 1982); Expert Rifle; American Theater; Navy Unit Commendations; Vietnam Civil Action.

VADM Caldwell's wife is the former Suzanne J. of Dallas and San Antonio, Texas.  They have three children, Mary Suzanne, James A., and Lisa A.

Does your biography need to be corrected, updated, or added?  Please contact us at for assistance.