Paterson Clarence Hughes

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Paterson Clarence Hughes
Portrait of man in dark military uniform with pilot's wings
Pat Hughes, 1940
Born19 September 1917
Numeralla, New South Wales, Australia
Died7 September 1940(1940-09-07) (aged 22)
Sundridge, Kent, England
United Kingdom
Service/branchRoyal Australian Air Force (1936–37)
Royal Air Force (1937–40)
Years of service1936–40
RankFlight Lieutenant
Service number39461 (RAF)[1]
UnitNo. 64 Squadron RAF (1937–39)
No. 234 Squadron RAF (1939–40)
Battles/warsWorld War II
AwardsDistinguished Flying Cross

Paterson Clarence "Pat" Hughes, DFC (19 September 1917 – 7 September 1940) was an Australian fighter ace of World War II. He served with the Royal Air Force (RAF). During the Battle of Britain he shot down 17 enemy aircraft. This was the highest number of aircraft shot down by an Australian during the battle,[2] and the third highest by an Australian during World War II. Hughes was killed in action on 7 September 1940.

Hughes was born in Numeralla, New South Wales.[2] He joined the Royal Australian Air Force in 1936. After graduating as a pilot, he joined the RAF. In July 1937, he joined No. 64 Squadron, which operated Hawker Demon and, later, Bristol Blenheim fighters. Posted to No. 234 Squadron at the start of World War II, Hughes began flying Supermarine Spitfires. He shared in the squadron's first victory on 8 July 1940, when with two other Spitfires, he shot down a German Junkers Ju 88 attacking ships near Lands End.[2] Hughes was known for attacking his targets at extremely close range. He probably died after his Spitfire was struck by parts from a German Dornier Do 17 bomber that he had just shot down near London.[2] Hughes was able to get out of the plane, but his parachute did not open. After his death he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. Hughes was buried in England.

Twin-engined, twin-finned aircraft in flight with single-engined aircraft in lower background
Dornier Do 17 and Supermarine Spitfire, 1940

References[change | change source]

  1. "No. 34976". The London Gazette. 22 October 1940. p. 6134.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Newton, Dennis (1996). "Hughes, Paterson Clarence (1917–1940)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Melbourne University Press. ISSN 1833-7538. Retrieved 26 June 2018 – via National Centre of Biography, Australian National University.

Other websites[change | change source]