119 (NEI) SQUADRON
IN AUSTRALIA DURING WWII

 

No. 119 (N.E.I.) Squadron was formed to Establishment No. HD 181 at Canberra, A.C.T. on 1 September 1943, and was placed under the control of Headquarters Eastern Area RAAF in Sydney. The Squadron was a Netherlands East Indies Medium Bomber Squadron and was not an RAAF Unit. RAAF personnel were held on strength of the Unit and for purposes of command and discipline the RAAF personnel were constituted as a RAAF Unit known as No. 119 (NEI) Squadron under the command of Headquarters Eastern Area RAAF. The Unit was based on No. 2 Stores Depot for supplies.

Correspondence was addressed to:- Group 683, R.A.A.F. Canberra, A.C.T.

Signal address was:- No. 119 Squadron and Goods Consignment No. 2999.

Lieutenant Colonel M. van Haselen was the initial Commanding Officer.

Flight Lieutenant K. McCullough (3572) arrived on Posting for duties as Adjutant (R.A.A.F. Detachment on 13 September 1943. Flying Officer Thomas Raymond Blewett (286760) arrived for duties as Equipment Officer on 14 September 1943. Squadron Leader Edgerton Campbell Rutter (291643) arrived for duties as Officer Commanding R.A.A.F. personnel on 16 September 1943.

By the end of September 1943 statistics for the Unit were as follows:-

  Establishment Strength
Personnel    
Officers (R.A.A.F.) 13 3
Airmen 319 31
1 Airman A.W.L. on Posting   1

Total

332 35
     
Officers (N.E.I.) 36 11
Airmen (N.E.I.) 130 14

Total

166 25
     
Aircraft    
B-25 Mitchell 18 Nil
B-25 Mitchell (on loan)   2
Lodestar (on loan)   1

Total

18 3
     
Motor Transport    
Cars (Staff) 1 0
Ambulances 2 0
Trucks (Heavy) 12 0
Trucks (Light) 8 0
Trucks (Utility) 6 0
Tractors 6 0
Trailers 2 0
Motor Cycles 4 0

Total

41 0

Squadron Leader Edgerton Campbell Rutter (291643) departed for Batchelor Airfield on a duty visit to 18 (NEI-AF) Squadron on 7 October 1943 and returned on 14 October.

The Unit took delivery of a Plymouth Sedan Staff Car on 15 October 1943.

Pilot Officer Sidney Thomas James Salter (139818) arrived for duties as the Aerodrome Defence Officer on 16 October 1943 and Flight Lieutenant K. McCullogh was appointed as the Transport Officer.

The Unit took delivery of a Singer 10 Sedan on 18 October 1943.

Aerodrome Defence Training commenced for all personnel on 19 October 1943 under instruction by Pilot Officer Sidney Thomas James Salter (139818). Flight Lieutenant K. McCullough and party left for Sydney on 20 October 1943 to take delivery of a number of motor vehicles for the Unit from the Motor Pool at O.S.C. Enfield. They arrived back on 22 October 1943 with the following vehicles:-

5 M/C Cargo Trucks (2 1/2 tons)
1 Dodge Carryall (3/4 ton)
4 Willys Jeeps
2 Bantam Trailers
1 Lavine Gear Cargo Trailer
1 Harley Davidson Motor Cycle

The Unit took delivery of one Utility and one Bedford Truck from RAAF sources on 22 October 1943.

Flying Officer Alan Reeson Talbot (265264) arrived for duties as the Intelligence Officer on 23 October 1943.

The Unit took delivery of one Tractor Track Laying Medium Type M2 from O.P.O. 5 AFSC Depot No. 1 A.P.O. 923 on 26 October 1943.

By the end of October 1943 statistics for the Unit were as follows:-

  Establishment Strength
Personnel    
Officers (R.A.A.F.) 13 6
Airmen 319 78
1 Airman A.W.L. on Posting   1

Total

332 84
     
Officers (N.E.I.) 36 31
Airmen (N.E.I.) 130 33

Total

166 64
     
Aircraft    
B-25 Mitchell 18 Nil
B-25 Mitchell (on loan)   2
Lodestar (on loan)   1

Total

18 3
     
Motor Transport    
Cars (Staff) 1 2
Ambulances 2 0
Trucks (Heavy) 12 6
Trucks (Light) 8 0
Trucks (Utility) 6 1
Tractors 6 1
Trailers 2 3
Motor Cycles 4 1
Jeeps 0 4
Dodge Carryall (Passenger) 0 1

Total

41 19

Squadron Leader Edgerton Campbell Rutter (291643) departed on posting to No. 3 W.A.G.S. on 8 November 1943.

Lieutenant General van Oyen arrived on a visit to the Squadron on 11 November 1943 and departed the following day.

On 2 December 1943, Signal 0 606 dated 1 December 1943 was received from Eastern Area Headquarters RAAF advising the disbanding of No. 119 (NEI) Squadron (Medium Bomber) on 10 December 1943 and its replacement by No. 120 (NEI) Squadron (Fighter) which was to form at Canberra on the same day. This was just 3 months after it was established on 1 September 1943. This was due to the fact that after 3 months, 119 (NEI) Squadron had only achieved a strength of 84 personnel out of an establishment of 332 personnel. This was due to a shortage of Dutch personnel.

Pilot Officer Sidney Thomas James Salter (139818) proceeded on attachment to No. 2 I.T.S. at Bradfield Park to undergo No. 20 Aircraft Recognition Course.

On 10 December 1943 the following Officers transferred to No. 120 (NEI) Squadron:-

Squadron Leader Charles Benjamin Dolphin (271583) S.A.O.
Flight Lieutenant K. McCullough (3572) Adjutant
Flying Officer Alan Reeson Talbot (265264) Intelligence Officer
Flying Officer Thomas Raymond Blewett (286760) Equipment Officer
Pilot Officer Sidney Thomas James Salter (139818) Aerodrome Defence Officer

78 Airmen transferred to No. 120 (NEI) Squadron on 10 December 1943.

No. 120 (NEI) Squadron was disbanded on 10 December 1943 in accordance with Eastern Area Headquarters' Signal 0 606 dated 1 December 1943.

 

REFERENCES

No. 119 (NEI) Squadron ORB, NAA File

 

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This page first produced 24 July 2022

This page last updated 24 July 2022