Flight Lieutenant Philip Edward CAWTHORNE DFC

Service No: 417049
Born: Millswood Estate SA, 4 January 1922
Enlisted in the RAAF: 6 December 1941
Unit: No. 635 Squadron (RAF), RAF Downham Market, Norfolk
Awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC), 22 May 1945 (Citation Title: No. 635 Squadron (RAF))
Died: Air Operations (No. 635 Squadron Lancaster aircraft PB949), Germany, 4 April 1945, Aged 23 Years
Buried: Becklingen War Cemetery, Soltau, Niedersachsen, Germany
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Leslie Edward and Kathleen Cawthorne, of Millswood, South Australia.
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 120, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide

DFC Citation: A General Citation for the DFC awarded to Flight Lieutenant Cawthorne was published in the London Gazette 22/5/1945, Page 2625

On the night of the 4/5th April 1945, Lancaster PB949 took off from RAF Downham Market at 2204 hours, detailed to mark the Rhenania Oil Plant at Harburg, Germany. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it failed to return to return to base. A Missing Research & Enquiry team later reported: “The aircraft crashed and became submerged in Peak Bog.”

The crew members of PB949 were:

Flight Lieutenant Philip Edward Cawthorne DFC (417049) (Pilot)
Warrant Officer II Irvine James Kinney (R/250856) (RCAF) (Rear Gunner)
Flight Sergeant B R McMaster (1320892) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer) PoW
Flight Sergeant Ronald Victor Moore (1587862) (RAFVR) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Warrant Officer Thomas Reid (429266) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Pilot Officer B G Roberts (101405) (RAFVR) (Navigator) PoW
Flying Officer F M Williams (164595) (RAFVR) (Visual) PoW
Pilot Officer G Wilson (191391) (RAFVR) (Navigator) Evaded capture

At the age of 18, Warrant Officer II Kinney was among the youngest of Canadians to be killed on Pathfinder duties in 1945.


Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records (RAAF Casualty Information compiled by Alan Storr (409804))
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/7/944

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