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Heliopause
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Heliopause

Some info regarding the events 80 years ago in and around the (then) colony:

 

 

ML-KNIL (Royal Netherlands East Indies Army Air Force):
Around 1936 the focus had been on bombers for defence and in the following years Glenn Martin B-10's had been ordered and received. With tension rising
at the end of the thirties the lack of fighter planes was felt and the search for these then started resulting first in the Curtiss 75 Hawk (20) and Curtiss Interceptor (24) fighters.
This was followed up by an order of 72 Brewsters. This proces had not been easy as other countries had also placed orders (e.g. Belgium/Britain).
For the first 24 Brewsters 31 Cyclone G-105A (1100Hp) engines where set aside from Dutch navy stock. Another 54 G-205A Cyclones (1200Hp) where
ordered for the remaining 48 Brewsters (former Trans World Airlines engines revised by the Brewster company). February '41 saw an additional order
for 20 Brewsters (simular to the F2A-3) but these will not be able to arrive on time.
For transport duties the Lockheed Lodestar (20) have been ordered and received.

 

Marine Vliegdienst (Netherlands Naval Aviation Service):
Around this time (november '41) 24 Dornier Do 24 Flying boats are used for maritime patrols. Others are used for training crews. With Holland itself being occupied since May 1940 more of these machines could no longer be delivered. As an alternative the Catalina PBY was ordered. September '41 saw the delivery of the first 2 Catalina's to the Dutch East Indies.

In oktober 3 Catalina's from the same order were delivered to the RAF at Singapore and used in Sqn 205 to bolster its defences.

 

The total number of planes still remained small considering the vast territory that had to be protected.

 

Glenn Martin B-10 bomber. The colorfull livery changed into camo in the second half of 1940.

B 10   WH3.png

 

B-10  cruising during overland flight.

B 10   544.png

 

With the spending in 1936 focussed on bombers the last of the Cutiss Hawk fighters soldiered on into 1938.

(8 had been ordered directly at Curtiss in 1929 the remaining 6 licenced built by Aviolanda, Holland).

Curtiss P 6.png

Edited by Heliopause
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Heliopause

Without fighter protection left for its Naval base at Soerabaya the Navy protests and new fighters are ordered by the ML-KNIL (the fighter protection of the Naval base being the responsibility of the army). May 1940 saw the first of 20 Curtiss H75A-7 Hawk's arrive.

Curtiss Hawk 75.png

An order of 24 Curtiss CW-21B Interceptors for Holland is taken over by the Dutch East Indies as Holland itself is by then occupied. The first of these delivered in June 1940.

Curtiss Interceptor.png

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cardboard_killer

[80 years ago yesterday] "• Alidius Warmoldus Lambertus Tjarda van Starkenborgh Stachouwer, the Governor General of The Netherlands East Indies, informs the United States that a Japanese expeditionary force has arrived in the vicinity of Palau. Should this force, strong enough to form a threat for The Netherlands Indies or Portuguese Timor, move beyond a line between Davao in the Philippines and Waigeo Island in the Netherlands East Indies, the Dutch will regard this as an act of aggression and will under those circumstances consider the hostilities opened and act accordingly. The information is passed to American commands in Hawaii and the Philippines.

 

• The Dutch dispatch two submarines from Soerabaja (Surabaya, Java) to the Makassar Strait east of Borneo."

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Heliopause

For training purposes the Koolhoven FK 51 was ordered in 1937. In the following year it replaced the AVRO 504.

Fk 51.png

 

AVRO 504's lined up at at flightschool. The first two batches (12 apiece) were ordered in 1919 and 1922 resp. A third batch of 15 machines was homebuild

from 1924. II differed in using plywood and improved fueltanks. Around 1931 some received the  Armstrong Siddeley Mongoose engine. These continued into 1938.

AVRO AM.png

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Both Army and Navy used Ryan STM trainers. The first ones ordered and received in 1940.

Ryan.png

 

The Navy also using it as a floatplane.

Ryan float.png

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cardboard_killer

[80 years ago today] "• The Dutch air station on Borneo reports that Japanese aircraft are overflying the island. The Dutch General Headquarters on Java activates six pre-prepared hidden airfields. Called the outer ring, these airfields provide concealed dispersal; repair, refuel, and rearm capabilities, radio communications, and housing for flight and ground crews."

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As a plus to that:

 

25 Nov '41 sees pre-mobilisation:
5 Brewsters are sent to the airfield of Singkawang II, west Borneo (staging through Banka). The airfield is in use as a landing ground since 1940 and some works are still being carried out to make it a fully operational airfield.

 

Another 8 Brewsters are sent to the airfield of Samarinda II, east Borneo (staging through Soerabaya en Bandjermassin). In the previous days unknown airplanes have been spotted over Pontianak, Tarakan en Balikpapan and the Brewsters are to intercept these when possible and if necessary force them out.

 

Both airfields also have a number of Glenn Martin B-10 bombers stationed for daily reconaissence over the areas of Kuching, Miri (west Borneo) and Makassar strait. 
Without a bombload they can fly for up to 5 hours at low alt. As a precaution 3 B-10's are always bombed up and ready at short notice.

 

 

Map of Borneo showing amongst others the Singkawang II and Samarinda II airfields.

Borneo map.png

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Lodestar on finals. The use of these transport planes became more frequent around this time carrying men and materials to the outer airfields

like Samarinda II and Singkawang II. Traditional transportation through jungle over roads and rivers could take days whereas the Lodestar

could do it in hours.

Lodestar.png

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The Brewsters at Singkawang II have started to fly local patrols along the westcoast e.g. when an unknown ship has been reported. These patrols are

mostly carried out in two's, sometimes with a four plane formation.

The Brewsters at Samarinda II are on standby dutie for intercepting reported planes. Boredom starts to set in as reports stay out or arrive to late to be effective.

 

The Brewsters had arrived in the early summer. This picture was taken around Juli '41 on Java when ML-KNIL was working up with the type.

Brewster 1941.png

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