Dutch Air Force Order of Battle
in the Dutch East Indies, 30 November 1941

by
James A. Broshot


The Sign of Dutch Naval Air Service


Militaire Luchtvaart van het Koninklijk Nederlands Indisch Leger (ML-KNIL)
["Military Aviation of the Royal Netherlands East Indies Army"]

Headquarters at Soerabaja - Java
Commander was Colonel E.T. Kengen, later replaced by Lt-General L. H. van Oyen


Ie Vliegtuiggroep (VLG-I) at Andir airfield, Bandoeng - Java
- 1e Afdeling (1-VLG-I) with 9 Martin 139 WH-3/3A (+2 reserve)
[Patrouille Butner deployed to Tarakan - Dutch Borneo]
- 2e Afdeling (2-VLG-I) with 9 Martin 139 WH-3/3A (+2 reserve)
[Patrouille Cooke deployed to Samarinda II - Dutch Borneo]

IIe Vliegtuiggroep (VLG-II) at Singosari airfield, Malang - Java
- 1e Afdeling (1-VLG-II) [four patrouille]
with 3 Martin 139 WH-2 and 9 Martin 139 WH-3/3A (+3 reserve)
attached: WH-1 Patrouille with 3 Martin 139 WH-1 (+1 reserve)

[mobilized at Kalidjati airfield from flight school personnel on 10 December 1941 - under command of MLD]

IIIe Vliegtuiggroep (VLG-III) at Tjililitan airfield, Batavia - Java
- 1e Afdeling (1-VLG-III) with 9 Martin 139 WH-3/3A (+2 reserve)
- 2e Afdeling (2-VLG-III) with 9 Martin 139 WH-2 (+2 reserve)
- 3e Afdeling (3-VLG-III) with 9 Martin 139 WH-3/3A (+2 reserve)
[formed 1 September 1939 by redesignation of 2-VLG-II]
attached: - 7e Afdeling Horizontale Bommenwerpers
with 1 Martin 139 WH-2, 2 Martin 139 WH-3, 6 Martin 139 WH-3A

[formed 1 August 1940 - mobilized 15 December 1941]

IVe Vliegtuiggroep (VLG-IV) at Maospati airfield, Madioen - Java
- 1e Afdeling (1-VLG-IV) at Maospati airfield, Madioen - Java with 12 Hawk 75A-7
- 2e Afdeling (2-VLG-IV) at Maospati airfield, Madioen - Java with 16 CB-21B
[with four Patrouilles]
- 3e Afdeling (3-VLG-IV) at Maospati airfield, Madioen - Java

[formed upon mobilization with Brewster 339D from school personnel]

Ve Vliegtuiggroep (VLG-V) based at Semplak airfield, Buitenzorg - Java
- 1e Afdeling (1-VLG-V) with Brewster 339D
- 1 and 2 Patrouilles at Samarinda II - Dutch Borneo
- 3 Patrouille at Singkawang II - Dutch Borneo
- 2e Afdeling (2-VLG-V) with Brewster 339D
- 3e Afdeling (3-VLG-V) with Brewster 339D

Ambon Patrouille with Brewster 339D (4)
[formed upon mobilization at Maospati airfield, Madieon - Java designated as 4e Patrouille, 2-VLG IV? considered as a detachment from 1-VLG IV? transferred to Laha airfield, Ambon on 3 December 1941]

- Verkenningsafdeling 1 (VkA-1) at Tjikembar airfield - Java
with 12 CW-22 and 1 C.X assigned to ML-KNIL headquarters
- Verkenningsafdeling 2 (VkA-2) at [Djokjakarta - Java]
with 11 CW-22 and 2 C.X assigned to ML-KNIL headquarters
- Verkenningsafdeling 3 (VkA-3) at Kalidjati airfield - Java
with 12 FK-51 attached to First Military Department - formed on mobilization
- Verkenningsafdeling 4 (VkA-4) at Kalidjati airfield - Java
with 12 Lockheed 212 attached to Second Military Department - formed on mobilization
- Verkenningsafdeling 5 (VkA-5) at Kalidjati airfield - Java
with 12 FK-51 attached to Third Military Department - activated on mobilization

ML-KNIL Depot at Maospati airfield, Madioen - Java
ML-KNIL Technical Training School at Andir airfield, Bandoeng - Java
ML-KNIL Flight School at Kalidjati airfield, near Soebang - Java
ML-KNIL Flight School at Singosari airfield, Malang - Java (Martin 139)
[schools closed upon mobilization, personnel (instructors and students) and aircraft assigned to combat units]


Dutch Hawk 75A-7 fighters

Hawk 75A-7s of the Royal Netherlands Indies Army Air Corps over Java mid-1941


  The map of the Dutch East Indies 1941-1942
The map is courtesy of Graham Donaldson

Marine Luchtvaartdienst (MLD)
["Royal Netherlands East Indies Naval Air Force"]

Headquarters at Soerabaja - Java

Do24K-2 (1) assigned to Commander MLD


Groepen Vliegtuigen ["Aircraft Groups"]

GVT-1 with 3 Do24K-1 in Pontianak - West Borneo
GVT-2 with 3 Do24K-1 in Sorong - New Guinea
GVT-3 with 3 Do24K-1 in Soerabaja - Java
GVT-4 with 3 Do24K-1 in Sambas - West Borneo
GVT-5 with 3 Do24K-1 in Ternate - Moluccas
GVT-6 with 3 Do24K-1 in Morokrembangan - Java
GVT-7 with 3 Do24K-1 in Tarakan - East Borneo
GVT-8 with 3 Do24K-1 in Paeloe Samboe - Sumatra
GVT-11 with 4 C-XIW - (shipboard - cruisers)
GVT-12 with 6 T-IVa in Morokrembangan - Java
GVT-13 with 4 C-XIW - (shipboard - destroyers)
GVT-14 with 5 T-IVa in Morokrembangan - Java
GVT-16 with 3 Catalina in Tanjong Priok - Java
GVT-17 with 3 Catalina in Halong - Ambon

MLD flying school at Soerabaja - Java
[includes aircraft in reserve or in transit]
- 6 Dornier Wal planes
- 10 Do 24K-1 planes
- 1 Fokker T-IVa plane
- 6 Fokker C-XIVW planes
- 40 Ryan STM planes
- 30 PBY Catalina planes

[includes aircraft in transit]




List of Dutch Aces during the Dutch East Indies Campaign, 1941-1942
Name
Air Force
Victories
Unit

  Cpt. Jacob P. van Helsdingen

ML-KNIL
3
2-VLG-V

  1st Lt. August G. Deibel

ML-KNIL
3
2-VLG-V

  Cpt. Andrias A.M. Van Rest

ML-KNIL
3 (one probably)
1-VLG-V

  Cpt. M.W. van der Poel

ML-KNIL
2
1-VLG-IV

  Lt. Gerardus M. Bruggink

ML-KNIL
2
2-VLG-V

  Lt. J. Kingma

ML-KNIL
2
2-VLG-IV

  Captain J.P. van Helsdingen, Hero of the Dutch East Indies, 1941-1942



Note Air Force Lieutenant Van Rest was credited with 2 confirmed victories during the Japanese assault on the Netherlands East Indies. This should be 3 confirmed victories, or at least 2 confirmed and 1 shared. On the December 19th 1941 Van Rest, together with his wingmen Kuijper and Dekeling, intercepted a formation of nine Mitsubishi G3M Navy 96 bombers. These bombers had just attacked the city of Pontianak. Van Rest and the other two pilots made a pass against the last bomber in this formation. When they tried to make a second attack they lost the Japanese formation in the clouds. No claims were made by the Dutch pilots. According to Japanese sources however, one of the bombers (from the Mihoro Kokutai) was lost during this engagement. It had to ditch 40 KM south of Saigon.
It's very difficult to obtain reliable information on this subject. According to a Dutch source for example, the Japanese themselves credited the Dutch and American pilots with the destruction of 22 (!!!) of their aircraft during the air-battles over Eastern Java on February 3rd 1942. When you read "Bloody Shambles" however, they only lost a few. There is a lot of contradiction
--- Bert Kossen, late 2000.

Note
Regiment = Wing
Groep = Group
Afdeling = Squadron
Patrouille = Flight

>Note
I am fully aware that an ace is a pilot credited with five or more confirmed kills. However, regarding the circumstances and the fact that the Dutch East Indies Campaign 1941-1942 lasted only four months, I decided to give the title "ace" to each Dutch pilot with two or more confirmed kills.

Note
Bibliography:
- Bowers, Peter M. ; The Curtiss Hawk 75 (Aircraft in Profile No. 80)
- "Brewster's Benighted Buffalo," AIR ENTHUSIAST QUARTERLY No 1 (undated)
- Casius, Gerard; "CW-21: The St. Louis Lightweight," AIR ENTHUSIAST SIXTEEN (Aug-Nov 1981)
- Casius, Gerard; "Batavia's Big Sticks," AIR ENTHUSIAST TWENTY-TWO (Aug-Nov 1983)
- "The Cosmopolitan Dornier, Last of the Sponson 'Boats," AIR ENTHUSIAST TWENTY-ONE (Apr-Jul 1983)
- Green, William; WAR PLANES OF THE SECOND WORLD WAR - VOLUME SIX - FLOATPLANES 1963
- Kirby, Major General S. Woodburn et al; THE WAR AGAINST JAPAN - VOLUME I THE LOSS OF SINGAPORE 1957
- "The Magnificat - Part Two," AIR ENTHUSIAST THIRTY-NINE (May-Aug 1989)
- Niehorster, Dr. Leo - WW2 orders of battle website
- Shores, Christopher and Brian Cull with Yasuho Izawa; Bloody Shambles-Volume One-The Drift To War To The Fall Of Singapore 1992
- Shores, Christopher and Brian Cull with Yasuho Izawa; Bloody Shambles-Volume Two-The Defence Of Sumatra To The Fall Of Burma 1993
- "The Ubiquitous Hawk - Part Two," AIR ENTHUSIAST Vol 2 No 1 (Jan 1972)


Bibliography . Article List . Geographic Names

Copyright James A. Broshot 1999-2000
Forgotten Campaign: The Dutch East Indies Campaign 1941-1942

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