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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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06th October 1944 175 Squadron Typhoon IB MN376 W/O. 2 Cain

Operation: Armed Reconnaissance

Date: 06th October 1944 (Friday)

Unit: No. 175 Squadron (motto: 'Stop At Nothing'). 121 Wing. 83 Group. 2nd Tactical Air Force

Type: Typhoon IB

Serial: MN376

Code: HH-S

Base: B.80 Volkel, Netherlands

Location: Sionsweg, Nijmegen, Netherlands

Pilot: W/O. 2. Ivan William Cain NZ/421674 RNZAF Age 20. Killed


Taking off at 11:35 hrs with 7 others from the squadron. During a rocket propelled attack on barges on the Waal at Emmerich, just inside the German border.

Streaming glycol, was escorted back to friendly territory, but passing over the Reichswald Forest continued to lose height as smoke from the engine rapidly increased. On nearing the southern outskirts of Nijmegen, MN376 fired off its rockets into some woods, apparently in preparation for a forced landing some 5 km from the city centre. This was thwarted, however, as the area was densely populated and the Typhoon crashed on a small plot of ground surrounded by houses, where it disintegrated. The pilot's body was found some 30 meters from the wreckage with his parachute unopened.

It was believed that he sacrificed his life by placing the lives of the inhabitants ahead of his own.

On the 6th October, 2012, a memorial plaque for 20-year old Typhoon pilot was unveiled by the Mayor of Nijmegen, Mr Hubert Bruls, and the New Zealand Ambassador HE George Troup, at the corner of the Heyendaalse Weg and the Pastoor Wichersstraat, Brakkenstein, Nijmegen. Relatives of Ivan William Cain were also in attendance.

Burial and personal details:

/O. 2. Ivan William Cain. Jonkerbos War Cemetery . Grave 17.C.3. Born on the 24th November 1923 at Auckland. Worked as a van driver for Renown Fish Shop prior to service. Enlisted at Rotorua on the 07th March 1942. Trained at No. 2 Elementary Flying Training School then to No. 2 Service Flying School on the 26th July 1942. Pilots badge awarded on the 19th October 1942 and promoted to sergeant on the 19th December 1942. Embarked for England on the 15th January 1943. After serving with various units including 59 Operational Training Unit on the 21st September 1943, joined 175 squadron on the 28th July 19444.

Son of William and Isabella Florence Cain (née Hoplloway - died September 1980, age 83), of Auckland. A total of 491 flying hours logged and completed 39 operational sorties.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to the extensive research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland Library Heritage Collection, Weekly News of New Zealand, other sources as quoted below:

KTY 09-09-2021

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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: 09 September 2021, 12:26

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