I am trying to obtain a photo of the crashed Typhoon IB MN376/S plane of W/O Ivan William CAIN RNZAF# 421674 who flew in the RAF 175 Squadron which was based at Volkel [B-80]. He crashed and died on 6 October 1944 at about 1215, about 5 km south of Nijmegen, the Netherlands, at the coordinates 51° 48' 35.75" N and 5° 52' 46.18" E. He came back from an armed recce over Germany and was hit by flak near Emmerich. W/O Cain is reputed to have crashed under heroic circumstances “by deliberately staying at the controls of his plane” and thus avoiding a crowd of Dutch onlookers, according to an eyewitness report from Australian Mr Derek W du Maurier, whom I have met. He was in the 9th British Field Ambulance of the 1st Airborne Division. I am trying to get Cain’s heroism recognised, somewhat belatedly.

His ORB says that he was accompanied on his last flight by F/O H Ambrose, W/O G B Swift, F/O F H Baden, F/Sgt F L East, and Capt M C Hopkins. [Ambrose led the sortie]. The ORB also says that many Army Witnesses were at the crash site but so far, no photo has been located. The Army Witnesses were most likely from the 43rd Wessex Infantry Division. Cain crashed near the NEBO monastery and near Hotel Sionshof where many officers and war correspondents stayed. My Dutch helpers and I think that Cain was aiming for the airstrip “Nijmegen 66” which was used by Auster V planes from the AOP, but he crashed just short of that strip. In early October 1944, the RAF Squadron 662 was using it, but on 7 October 1944, the RAF Squadron 653 started to use it as well. Both were AOP squadrons. The airstrip was close to the HQ of Brig. Gen. James Gavin, US 82nd Airborne Division.

I have compiled a 15-page dossier on W/O Cain’s crash which the NZ Ambassador in The Hague, HE Rachel Fry, presented to the Mayor of Nijmegen, but this was rejected because “additional information was needed to recognise Cain’s heroism”. A photo of W/O Cain’s crashed Typhoon would substantially add to this information. The plane would have been identified as “376 HH-S”. While I have contacted a very wide range of agencies and persons in NZ [including Cain’s next of kin], the Netherlands, UK and USA, additional advice will be appreciated.