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Major John De Vos was General George H. Brett's personal aide while he was in Australia during WWII.

An article in the Cairns Post of 6 October 1942 discussed Mrs Beryl Stevenson of Hasley Court, Moray Street, New Farm appealing to the Fair Rents Court to have the fair rent of her flat determined. Mrs. Stevenson was the private Secretary for General George C. Kenney, Commanding General of the Allied Air Forces and the US Fifth Air Force. Her husband was in the British Army and had been taken prisoner by the Japanese in Singapore. She told the court that she did not know if her husband was dead or alive. She told the court that before she occupied the flat it had been taken out in the name of Captain John De Vos of the American Army. She denied that De Vos had spent most of his time at the flat. In fact De Vos had left Australia in early August 1942 as described below. Beryl told Mr. J. Leahy that De Vos had arranged the tenancy for her.

At daybreak on 4 August 1942, General Brett flew back to the USA in his B-17D, Flying Fortress "Swoose" piloted by Major Frank B. Kurtz. General Brett took Brigadier General Edwin S. Perrin back to the States with him. Others on board were Lt. Col. L. B. Kelly, Major John De Vos (Brett's Aide-de-camp), Lt. Marvin McAdams (co-pilot), Lt. Harry Schreiber (Navigator) and Sgts. Aubrey J. Fox and H.M. Varmer (crew members). They landed at San Francisco and broke the Australia - United States record of 51 hours 49 minutes set by the Sir Charles Kingsford-Smith. The B-17 was also known as "Alexander The Swoose".


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This page first produced 1 January 2015

This page last updated 03 February 2017