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NETHERLANDS EAST INDIES AIR FORCE
          IN AUSTRALIA DURING WWII

 

The Japanese occupied the Netherlands East Indies (NEI) in early 1942. A number of Dutch airmen escaped to Australia after surviving the fierce fight with the Japanese. They mostly ended up at either Archerfield airfield in Brisbane or Melbourne. These airmen were formed into a number of operational groups under RAAF control. All of their stores and equipment were supplied by the United States of America.

The Netherlands East Indies Air Force (NEI-AF) had two combat squadrons and some Transport sections in Australia during WWII.

 

18 (NEI) SQUADRON

 

119 (NEI) SQUADRON

 

120 (NEI) SQUADRON

 

NEI TRANSPORT SQUADRONS
NEI-TSB, NEI-TSM, 1 NEI- Transport Squadron,
and 19 (NEI) Transport Squadron

 

NEI PERSONNEL AND EQUIPMENT POOL NEI PEP
previously NEI Aircraft and Personnel Pool NEI APP

 

SOME BUFFALOS THAT CAME TO AUSTRALIA
Seventeen Buffalos were transferred to the RAAF in 1942. They had earlier been part of the Netherlands East Indies Air Force. With the fall of Singapore twenty Model 439D's and one 339D were sent to Australia in March 1942. They initially were transferred to the USAAC. They still had their Dutch serial numbers and their original US "NX" test numbers. Once they arrived in Australia, most of them were allocated temporary numbers.

Seventeen of these aircraft were transferred to the RAAF and became A51-1 through to A51-17. The first six were sent in crates to Essendon where they were assembled at the Ansett Airways hangar. Cameras were installed and the aircraft were allocated to the newly formed PRU at Laverton in June 1942. The rest of the Buffalos were moved to the PRU at Darwin where they became operational in August 1942.

 

E-mails from Brian Coleman
of 18 (NEI) Squadron

 

E-mail from Els van de Coevering
regarding Sgt. W.F. van de Coevering

 

Netherlands East Indies Forces & Support Organisations in Australia during WWII

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
I would like to thank Bas Kreuger, the Curator of the Military Aviation Museum RNlAF, in Soesterberg, the Netherlands, for his assistance with information on the role of the Netherlands East Indies Air Force in Australia during World War 2.

I would also like to thank the late Lindsay Peet from Western Australia with his help, particularly with the list of Reference Books below.

I'd also like to thank John A. Deknatel, Sean Carwardine, Alby Anderson, Coert Munk, Zanette Crowden and David Hursthouse for their assistance with this home page.

I'd also like to thank Randell Summerville and his cousin Rod Brault (son of Ted Brault) for their assistance with this home page.

 

REFERENCE BOOKS

Alford, Bob (1992), "Darwin's air war 1942-1945: an illustrated history", Aviation Historical Society of the Northern Territory & Coleman's Printing, Darwin, NT.

Barnes, Norman (2000), "The RAAF and the flying squadrons", Allen & Unwin, St Leonards, NSW.

Eather, Steve (1995), "Flying squadrons of the Australian Defence Force", Aerospace Publications, Weston Creek, ACT.

Hurst, Doug , "The Fourth Ally - The Dutch forces in Australia in WWII" 

Odgers, George (1957), "Air war against Japan 1943-45", Australia in the War of 1939-1945, Series 3 (Air), Australian War Memorial, Canberra.

Parnell, N.M. & Lynch, C.A., "Australian Air Force since 1911"

Pentland, Geoffrey (1974), "The P-40 Kittyhawk in service", Kookaburra Technical Publications, Melbourne.

Powell, Alan (1988), "The shadow's edge: Australia's northern war", Melbourne University Press, Carlton, Victoria.

RAAF Historical (1995), "Fighter units", Units of the RAAF, vol. 2, AGPS, Canberra. [120 NEI Sqn)

RAAF Historical (1995), "Bomber units", Units of the RAAF, vol. 3, AGPS, Canberra. [18 NEI Sqn]

Wallace, Gordon (1983), "Are you there Don R?", The Author, Surrey Hills, Victoria. [later reprinted under the title "Up in Darwin with the Dutch"]

Wallace, Gordon (1986), "Those air force days", The Author, Surrey Hills, Victoria.

Wilson, Stewart (1988), " The Spitfire, Mustang and Kittyhawk in Australian service", Aerospace Publications, n.p. [?Weston Creek, ACT].

Wilson, Stewart (1992), "Boston, Mitchell & Liberator in Australian service", Aerospace Publications, Weston Creek, ACT.

 

Can anyone help me with more information?

 

"Australia @ War" WWII Research Products

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 Peter Dunn OAM 2020

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This page first produced 28 December 1999

This page last updated 24 July 2022