Only three months after finishing at Geelong Grammar, Jimmy Catanach had enlisted at 18 years old in the RAAF. At 20 he was a squadron leader, the youngest in the history of the service.
On September 6th, 1942 Catanach was detailed for Murmansk, Russia, to protect Arctic convoys with his Hampden. Near the Finnish/Norwegian border, anti-aircraft fire from an armed trawler forced him to crash land.
He was subsequently sent to Stalag Luft III.
On March 24th, 1944 Catanach took part in the Great Escape where 76 men tried to escape trough a tunnel. Catanach was recaptured at Flensburg and was one of the 50 men who was ordered by Hitler to be murdered. On March 29th, 1944 Catanach was executed by Sturmbannfurher Johannes Post who shot him trough the heart. Jimmy Catanach was cremated at Kiel.
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