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Archive Report: Allied Forces

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.
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16th August 1941 274 Squadron Hurricane IIB Z4578 Sgt. Cash

Operation: Sweep

Date: 16th August 1941 (Saturday)

Unit: No. 274 Squadron (motto: Supero - 'I overcome') 262 Wing. Western Desert

Type: Hurricane IIB

Serial: Z4578

Code: YK-?

Base: Sidi Barrani

Location: Mediterranean Sea off Ras Beddad, Libya

Pilot: Sgt. John Francis Cash Aus/402109 RAAF Age 21. Missing believed killed


Taking off from Sidi Barrani Airfield with others from the squadron to carry out an offensive sweep over Gambut.

They were flying at just over 1000 ft when Sgt Cash was seen to peel away followed by his No.2 23 year old, Sgt. John Paterson McDonell Aus/400266 RAAF (1)

Lt. Harry Hoffe (2) reported that he saw an aircraft hitting the water 4 miles north of Ras Beddad but he could not be sure if it was Z4578.

No trace of the pilot could be found despite searches made later.

(1) Sgt. John Paterson McDonell lost his life on the 27th August 1943. Whilst with 127 squadron flying Hurricane IIC KC440. Buried at Khayat Beach War Cemetery, Israel. Grave C. G. 15. Son of John Paterson McDonell and Margaret Isobel McDonell, of East Kew, Victoria, Australia. Grave inscription: 'Greater Love Hath No Man" He Gave His Life For Others'.

(2) Harry Hoffe passes away on the 24th May 2014 age 95.

Burial details:

Sgt. John Francis Cash. Alamein Memorial. Column 245. Born on the 06th July 1920 at Randwick NSW. Worked as a bank clerk for the Commonwealth Bank prior to service. Enlisted on the 27th May 1940 at Sydney, the first civilian from Australia of the war to join the RAAF. Embarked from Sydney to Egypt on the 09th April 1941. Son of the Revd. Edward Francis Nicholson Cash and Violet Elizabeth Cash, of Christchurch Rectory, Lavender Bay, New South Wales, Australia.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to NAA, other sources as quoted below:

KTY 03-04-2021

Acknowledgements: Sources used by us in compiling Archive Reports include: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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Last Modified: 03 April 2021, 13:55

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