Flight Lieutenant Paterson Clarence HughesPrint Page Print this page

Photographs supplied by Peter F Williams

The plaque commemorates Flight Lieutenant Paterson Clarence Hughes who was killed in action during the Battle of Britain in World War Two.

He was born on 19th September 1917 and attended Cooma Primary School to the age of 12 years - thence Fort Street High School joining the Royal Australian Air Force (R.A.A.F.) in 1936 at the age of 19 years and sailing to England in 1937 on a short term Royal Air Force (R.A.F.) commission.

After serving in 64 Fighter Squadron he was promoted to Acting Flight Lieutenant and posted to 234 Squadron as a Flight Commander where he demonstrated his extreme virtuosity as a leader and a pilot, being credited with 14 downed enemy aircraft plus other shared and unconfirmed planes making him the highest scoring non-British fighter pilot in the Battle of Britain.

His victims are said to include the flamboyant German Ace Oblt. Franz Von Wirra who safely landed his damaged aeroplane in England. Paterson Hughes' close-in and aggressive tactics led to his demise on 7th September, 1940 with his aeroplane being struck by debris from an exploding bomber which he was attacking. He was the driving force in the achievements of 234 Squadron RAF and he lies at rest in St. James Church Yard, Sutton in Holderness, Hull, England.

LONDON, Tuesday (A.A.P.). Flight-Lieut Paterson Clarence Hughes, an Australian member of the Royal Air Force, has been killed in action, just before his 23rd birthday, which would have occurred today. He was shot down after having brought down a German bomber. Altogether he destroyed 10 German planes. Born in New South Wales Flight Lieut Hughes was educated at State and high schools and joined the RAAF in January, 1936. He left Sydney for England just a year later for a short service commission with the RAF He was married His father lives at Haberfield, Sydney.
Barrier Miner (Broken Hill NSW), 19 September 1940. 

LONDON, Oct. 17.--The Air Ministry announces that Acting-Flight-Lieut. Paterson Clarence Hughes, of Sydney, has been awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal posthumously for leading his flight with skill and determination and displaying gallantry in combat. The citation states that he destroyed seven enemy planes. Flight-Lieut. Hughes joined the Royal Australian Air Force as a cadet in 1935 and two years later transferred to the Royal Air Force. [It was reported from London last month that Flight-Lieut. Hughes had been shot down and killed after destroying a Nazi bomber.] 
West Australian (Perth,), 19 October 1940.


Address:1 Terralong Street, Christ Church Anglican, Kiama, 2533
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -34.672557
Long: 150.857743
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:People
Actual Event Start Date:07-September-1940
Actual Event End Date:07-September-1940


Front Inscription

This panel is dedicated to the memory of Flt. Lt. P. C. Hughes, D.F.C.
Killed in action
Battle of Britain 
7th Sept. 1940
Aged 23


Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au