|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 Air Force (USAAF) as P-40N-5-CU Warhawk serial number 42-105738. 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 piloted by Captain Russell C. Cash armed with two 300 pound bombs and a center line drop tank on a bombing and strafing mission against Tadji Airfield. 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 this aircraft failed to return it was officially declared Missing In Action (MIA).
In fact, this P-40 crashed inland from Aitape. After the April 22, 1944 U. S. Army landing at Aitape, the crash site and recovered the remains of the pilot.
Recovery of Remains
On June 6, 1944 the recovered remains were identified by his squadron mate, 1st Lt. Joseph W. Todd and buried in New Guinea. Postwar, his remains were transported to the United States for permanent burial.
Cash was officially declared dead the day of the mission. His is buried at Bethel Cemetery in Laramie County, Wyoming. at Sec F Lot 27 Sp D.
USAF Serial Number Search Results - P-40N-5-CU Warhawk 42-105738
"105738 (49th FG) lost Mar 22, 1944"
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 (photo, grave photo)
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June 29, 2019