|Pilot Captain Russell C. Cash, O-413571 49th FG Operations Officer (MIA / KIA, BR) WY
Crashed March 22, 1944 at 12:20pm
Built by Curtiss in Buffalo, New York. Delivered to the U. S. Army. Disassembled and shipped overseas to Australia and reassembled.
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 49th Fighter Group, 7th Fighter Squadron. No known nickname or nose art.
When lost, engine V-1710-81 serial number 43-108113. Weapon serial number C-748223, HS-112364, S-505225, KHW-670588, HS-112510, S-411027.
On March 22, 1944 took off from Gusap Airfield on a bombing and strafing mission against Tadji Airfield, armed with two 300 pound bombs and a center line drop tank. The weather was clear with unlimited visibility. Over the target, hit by accurate anti-aircraft fire and was last seen pulling out of its dive and in a gentle turn to the west (inland) at tree top height at 12:20pm by 1st Lt. Joseph J. O'Conner. No one in the formation saw this P-40 crash. When Cash failed to return, he was declared Missing In Action (MIA).
This P-40 crashed inland from Aitape. On April 22, 1944 when the US Army troops landed at Aitape the wreckage of this P-40 was located and the remains of the pilot were recovered and later identified by squadron mate, Joseph Todd.
Cash was officially declared dead the day of the mission. Postwar, he was permanently buried at Bethel Cemetery in Laramie County, Wyoming. at Sec F Lot 27 Sp D.
Missing Air Crew Report 3787 (MACR 3787)
PNG Museum Aircraft Status Card - P-40N Kittyhawk 41-105738 piloted by Cash
Protect & Avenge: The 49th Fighter Group in WWII page 241
FindAGrave - Captain Russell C. Cash
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February 4, 2018