Donald Stuart Caulkins, Sr., age 82 of Brentwood, TN passed away October 18, 2017.
Retired from the US Air Force after 20 years of service. Practiced law for 30 years.
Survived by: wife of 57 years, Yvonne Poynor Caulkins; sons, Donald Stuart Caulkins Jr. and William Gregory (Lynne Harper) Caulkins; grandchildren, Caitlin Caulkins (Evan) Mitzel, Rachel Christine Caulkins and Rebecca Grace Caulkins; two step grandchildren, Scott York and Reed York; sister, Pamela Lindblom; niece, Christine (Jeremy) Forgeron; sister in law, Joan Tremblay Caulkins; nephews, Dean Caulkins, Jr and Robert Caulkins and other loving family members.
Major Caulkins was a graduate of St Joseph Juniorate, Peabody, MA and entered the Air Force becoming a Command Pilot with the Tactical Air Command reaching retirement with the rank of Major. He served three tours in the Vietnam War, flying 86 ground attack missions targeting the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Laos and Cambodia with the 56th Special Operations Wing, Udorn, Thailand. Maj Caulkins trained scores of Hmong pilots to fly the AT-28D Trojan fighter-bomber in The Secret War. For displaying extraordinary aerial heroism by repeatedly attacking a heavily defended ammunition depot, Caulkins was awarded The Distinguished Flying Cross. Piloting the C-130 Hercules he assisted in the tactical development of JATO rockets, the Fulton Recovery system, Arctic operations, and the in-flight recovery of Corona satellite film dropped from space during the Cold War – earning two Air Medals among other decorations. Thousands of Army Airborne troops have jumped from his plane during his time at Sewart AFB, Smyrna, Tn.
He was a staff member of the Inspector General, USAF Europe, and also at USAF Headquarters, the Pentagon, serving as the Officer of the Day for the Air Force worldwide. During his military service, he earned a B.A, Syracuse University; an M.P.A., University of Pittsburgh; and a law degree from George Washington University. On loan to the Justice Department he served as an Assistant Deputy Attorney General of the United States and then retired from military service.
Upon relocating to Franklin he served as Chief Deputy Attorney General for the State of Tennessee where he led the go team to remove Governor Ray Blanton from office and wrote the legislation establishing the compensation and benefit system for District Attorneys and Public Defenders. Entering private practice as a Trial Attorney with his faithful wife and legal assistant Yvonne and son D. Stuart Caulkins, Jr, attorney, he practiced law for 25 years until 2005.
Funeral services will be conducted 1:00 PM Saturday, October 21, 2017 at Williamson Memorial Funeral Home, Jim Taylor officiating. Interment Mt. Hope Cemetery with full military honors. Memorials may be made to the Salvation Army. Visitation will be 11:00 AM until 1:00 PM Saturday at WILLIAMSON MEMORIAL FUNERAL HOME, 615 794-2289.