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Aero_Shodanjo
06-03-2005, 12:22 AM
I have read that some of the late war Japanese warplane types were based in Dutch East Indies in 44-45. Machines like Ki-84 (from 24th Dai Shijugo Chutai - thanks to fooltrottel for the info) was based in Sumatra (my guess is to help Ki-44 to defend Palembang oil fields against allied air attacks).

But unfortunately, I dont know much about allied air attacks over Dutch East Indies other than a few occasions. One of these is an article about P-38 strikes against IJN seaplane base in Tondano lake.

So does anyone know more about this particular subject? Also about the squadrons that the IJA and IJN assigned to defend this archipelago?

Thanks in advance.

GerritJ9
06-03-2005, 02:27 AM
The Royal Navy's Eastern Fleet launched several carrier-based air strikes against the Palembang oil installations in 1944-45, and there were also one or two strikes against Sabang which included attack by surface forces including Hr.Ms. "Tromp" http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif. I am at work at present so I don't have the exact details handy, but will check this weekend.

Aero_Shodanjo
06-03-2005, 06:26 AM
Thanks Gerrit. I'm thinking of doing some more researchs about Dutch East Indies during Japanese occupation.

Oh, I havent contacted the e-mail address that you gave me yet. I thought that it will be better if I finish my previous project first before taking on another. I'll contact him ASAP.

Thanks again.

Aero_Shodanjo
06-03-2005, 06:33 AM
Originally posted by GerritJ9:
The Royal Navy's Eastern Fleet launched several carrier-based air strikes against the Palembang oil installations in 1944-45, and there were also one or two strikes against Sabang which included attack by surface forces including Hr.Ms. "Tromp" http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif. I am at work at present so I don't have the exact details handy, but will check this weekend.

I may be wrong but it seems that the Japanese enjoyed quite a "holiday" from 1942 to 1943 in Netherland Indies... I havent found any articles or anything about allied forces attacking Japan position there during those years.

About the RN attacks, I guess they launched the strike from Indian ocean. I'm looking forward for further details m8 http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

PS: Hr.Ms (pronounced?) Tromp,... was it a Dutch Navy's ship? Im curious to find out from the way you wrote it http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

FoolTrottel
06-03-2005, 10:45 AM
HrMs. Tromp
http://pictures.werkenbijdemarine.nl/gallerie/maritiem/marhist_powerp/Kruiser%20Tromp.jpg

Found it here (http://pictures.werkenbijdemarine.nl/gallerie/maritiem/marhist.html), but it's in Dutch http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-surprised.gif

darkhorizon11
06-03-2005, 09:21 PM
I'm not very familiar with this theater although I can look it up in some books when I get back home tommorrow.

I do know that US Navy submarines reduced the transport of raw materials and goods between mainland Japan and the SE Asian islands to essientially zero by February 1945. That combined with the Royal Navy efforts against the refineries there kept the IJA and IJN out of the sky.

I've seen stuff on the history channel and in books about the Japanese and how they were about to unleash hell onto the Allies in Singapore, mainland Japan and the Phillipines during the final assault planned for November 1945 with hundreds of jet and rocket planes. They failed to mention that they were out of fuel.

Ruy Horta
06-04-2005, 04:55 AM
The Japanese aerial forces were gradually pulled out of the East Indies as the focus shifted elsewhere.

The East Indies were a back water after 1943, most fighting in the area was around New Guinea and nearby islands to the east (in the Banda and Arafura seas).

The dutch AF (18 Sqn. NEI) flew a lot of anti-shipping ops in this general area, operating B-25s (with a high number of RAAF gunners).

In case you can read Dutch (well some Indonesians still do...) you could try and find:

De Militaire Luchtvaart van het KNIL in de jaren 1942-1945
O.G. Ward

If you like aircraft:

De Nederlandse "Mitchells"
De geschiedenis van de B-25-bommenwerper in Nederlandse dienst
G.J. Tornij

From a biographical p.o.v.

Het Vergeten Squadron
Het verhaal van de Nederlandse vliegers die tegen Japan hun vergeten strijd vochten
René Wittert

RAC_Pips
06-04-2005, 08:09 AM
On the whole things were fairly quiet over the Dutch East Indies from late '42 to September '44.

The only attacks were those launched from Australia by RAAF Beaufighters and Hudson's, Dutch B-25's and, later, RAAF B-24's. Although the raids were constant, the number of aircraft involved in any one raid was rarely more than 20.

Commencing in September '44 though Gen. Kenney's FEAF (combined 5th and 13th AF) launched a series of heavy bomber raids throughout the area, especially around Balikpapan (Borneo) and the Celebes. The goal being to protect the flank prior to going into the Philipines.

FEAF and RAAF continued to raid into the area for the remainder of the war, although nowhere near the scale of September/October '44 raids.

Platypus_1.JaVA
06-04-2005, 10:00 AM
Originally posted by Ruy Horta:
The Japanese aerial forces were gradually pulled out of the East Indies as the focus shifted elsewhere.

The East Indies were a back water after 1943, most fighting in the area was around New Guinea and nearby islands to the east (in the Banda and Arafura seas).

The dutch AF (18 Sqn. NEI) flew a lot of anti-shipping ops in this general area, operating B-25s (with a high number of RAAF gunners).

In case you can read Dutch (well some Indonesians still do...) you could try and find:

De Militaire Luchtvaart van het KNIL in de jaren 1942-1945
O.G. Ward

If you like aircraft:

De Nederlandse "Mitchells"
De geschiedenis van de B-25-bommenwerper in Nederlandse dienst
G.J. Tornij

From a biographical p.o.v.

Het Vergeten Squadron
Het verhaal van de Nederlandse vliegers die tegen Japan hun vergeten strijd vochten
René Wittert

I've got all of those books and I can highly recommend them to anyone who can read Dutch. However, these books contain the history of the NEIAF. They contain only small details about the airwar above the Dutch East Indies after the Dutch surrender.

Ruy Horta
06-04-2005, 10:31 AM
Originally posted by Platypus_1.JaVA:
I've got all of those books and I can highly recommend them to anyone who can read Dutch. However, these books contain the history of the NEIAF. They contain only small details about the airwar above the Dutch East Indies after the Dutch surrender.

Oh, absolutely correct. Although the original question did imply the air actions after the Allied defeat in '42, I should have made it more clear in my post.

Well I am sure you know other good titles for the '41-42 fight.

De Luchtstrijd rond Borneo
December 1941 - Februari 1942
P.C. Boer

De Luchtstrijd om Indi
Periode December 1941 - Maart 1942
P.C. Boer

These two titles deal extensively with the (dutch) operations over the East Indies, and they even include an Indonesian summery.

To end the series there is also a post war volume dealing with the Police actions.

De Militaire Luchtvaart van het KNIL in de jaren 1945-1950
O.G. Ward

If anyone is interested I currently have a copy of De Luchtstrijd rond Borneo that I am offering for sale.

This volume deals with the original strategy and planning of air defense in the East Indies and how it was applied over Borneo (where arguably it was most active and successfull).

Certainly not a collectors item, but a fair reading copy, which will be reflected in a very reasonable price.

Dutch offers are especially welcome.

GerritJ9
06-04-2005, 03:06 PM
"Tromp" took part in three operations against the Japanese-occupied NEI in 1944: two attacks by the Eastern Fleet on Sabang and one on Soerabaja. The first strike against Sabang was purely an air strike by carrier-based aeroplanes, as was the operation against Soerabaja; "Tromp" was part of the screening force for the carriers.
The second strike against Sabang was not only an air strike, but also a surface bombardment by the battleships of the Eastern Fleet and included a direct attack on Sabang harbour at close range by three British destroyers and the "Tromp".
I haven't found any direct information about the Eastern Fleet's air strikes against the Palembang refineries yet.
The British claimed that much damage had been done by the air strike against Soerabaja; however, when the "Tromp"s officers saw the aerial photos taken after the attack, they immediately realized that in reality very little damage had been done- after all, they knew Soerabaja very well indeed as it was the pre-war base of the Dutch fleet! Post-war examination of captured Japanese records confirmed that very little damage had been done.

Aero_Shodanjo
06-04-2005, 04:20 PM
Originally posted by Ruy Horta:

In case you can read Dutch (well some Indonesians still do...) you could try and find:

De Militaire Luchtvaart van het KNIL in de jaren 1942-1945
O.G. Ward



http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif That's just what I've been looking for. Guess nobody translated it in English yet http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/cry.gif

Speaking about books, the only book that Ive got about NEI is "Vaarwel, tot betere tijden" by J.C. Bijkerk (translated to bahasa). It's an interesting read although it doesnt mentioned much about the air war over NEI in 41-42.

Oh well, I guess sooner or later Ive got to learn Dutch and maybe Japanese too... http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif


Originally posted by Ruy Horta:
From a biographical p.o.v.

Het Vergeten Squadron
Het verhaal van de Nederlandse vliegers die tegen Japan hun vergeten strijd vochten
René Wittert

The forgotten squadron?

Sorry for being off topic but the title seems fitting for the future addon for PF especially if it will includes a map of NEI, well, a Java map atleast... lol http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/35.gif

Ruy Horta
06-04-2005, 04:28 PM
Originally posted by Aero_Shodanjo:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Het Vergeten Squadron

The forgotten squadron? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

See, you already know dutch! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Ruy Horta
06-04-2005, 04:35 PM
BTW, you once asked if the Dutch conducted any anti-shipping sorties at Java. Well judging by my reading the main dutch (yes, mainly dutch) success was in the early phase. Dutch bombers scored some good hits during the Borneo campaign, but losses over Borneo and Sumatra were heavy, so heavy that the main offensive punch had been spend by the time the Java invasion started.

Neither Dutch nor Allied bombers were very successfull during the latter phase of the campaign, although there was a lot of fighter action over Java.

Ironically the Dutch bombers (Glenn Martin Model 139) were more successfull in their role than the US B-17s (which performed disappointingly in what was supposed to be their original role of high altitude anti-shipping).

Aero_Shodanjo
06-04-2005, 04:43 PM
The reason why Im asking about allied air attacks over NEI is obviously because it happened here and that Ive been thinking to make this as my next book project. I would like to learn more about this region's history. Specifically about NEIAF, from its birth until the Dutch surrender, the IJA and IJN air forces that based here in 42-45 and afterwards, the NICA and allied air forces that stationed here from 45-49.

Sad to admit that informations about those subjects are very scarce and incomplete in here. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif.

Anyway, my first goal for now is to gather as much informations and reading materials as possible, that includes from Japanese sources as well.

Aero_Shodanjo
06-04-2005, 04:54 PM
Originally posted by Ruy Horta:
BTW, you once asked if the Dutch conducted any anti-shipping sorties at Java. Well judging by my reading the main dutch (yes, mainly dutch) success was in the early phase. Dutch bombers scored some good hits during the Borneo campaign, but losses over Borneo and Sumatra were heavy, so heavy that the main offensive punch had been spend by the time the Java invasion started.

Ic. Btw, what was the strength of NEIAF before the conflict started? AFAIK the main bomber used by the Dutch was Glenn Martin and several fighter types (CW-21, Brewster and Hurricane) but I dont know the total number of them all.


Neither Dutch nor Allied bombers were very successfull during the latter phase of the campaign, although there was a lot of fighter action over Java.

Do you mean the air battle over Surabaya? If Im not mistaken Saburo Sakai took part in it and that the Japanese was actually outnumbered.


Ironically the Dutch bombers (Glenn Martin Model 139) were more successfull in their role than the US B-17s (which performed disappointingly in what was supposed to be their original role of high altitude anti-shipping).

In the book that I mentioned before, there's a pic of a burning B-17 at Surabaya airfield. Im not really sure but I think the Japanese captured their first (and only?) B-17 in Java.

LEXX_Luthor
06-04-2005, 06:11 PM
grrrr I lost the link of interview with P~38 pilot who flew attack missions over the Celebes and surrounding areas.

WOLFMondo
06-04-2005, 07:02 PM
Originally posted by GerritJ9:
The Royal Navy's Eastern Fleet launched several carrier-based air strikes against the Palembang oil installations in 1944-45,

I think this primarly firefly's that were used though.

SkyChimp
06-04-2005, 07:34 PM
Peruse these USAAF Historical Studies. There may be something useful in here. They are all original historical reports in PDF format. Many are quite big - beware.

http://www.au.af.mil/au/afhra/wwwroot/numbered_studies/studiesintro.php

Saunders1953
06-04-2005, 10:31 PM
Hey Shodanjo:

The Chgristopher Shores, Brian Cull, Yasuho Izawa book "Bloody Shambles" has a pretty complete OB for the Allied and Japanese air units in SE Asia at the outbreak of war. The KNIL had about:

78 - Glenn Martin 139s (20 older models,in reserve);
20 Hawk 75As;
24 CW 21Bs (only 9 servicable);
18 CW 22s; and
40 Brewster 339s.

There were an unspecified number of 339s and CW 22s available in reserve.

The RNEI Naval Air Force had about 80 flying boats as well, Do 24Ks and Catalinas mostly.

Bloody Shambles is an excellent two volume set covering the aerial campaigns/battles (in great detail) from outbreak of war through the conquest of Malaysia, DEI, and Philippines. Many. many mission and campaign ideas.

LEXX_Luthor
06-04-2005, 10:34 PM
Thanks Chimps.

A good one...Night operations to 1941-1950. Good stuff about Korea nite bombing using Shoran and MPQ~2 over battlefield.

~ http://www.au.af.mil/au/afhra/wwwroot/numbered_studies/467678.pdf

who needs GPS? http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

LEXX_Luthor
06-04-2005, 10:38 PM
Okay, this will keep me busy for some time...

The Development of Continental Air Defense to 1 September 1954, by C.L. Grant (1957). 116 pages.

~ http://www.au.af.mil/au/afhra/wwwroot/numbered_studies/467710.pdf

Fliegeroffizier
06-05-2005, 01:27 PM
Go here for extremely Detailed information, daily actions, on ALL USAAF air combat operations in WWII.
Combat Chronology of the USAAF (http://www.usaaf.net/chron/)


Look under the sections for "Southwest Pacific Area" for Netherlands East Indies operations.


You'll find detailed information such as the following extracts:
9 Dec 1944:
SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA
(Far East Air Force): In Borneo, B-24s bomb the Lingkas tank farm, Dondang River bridge and Sanga Sanga oil installations, and 3 airfields in the Ambon Island-Ceram Island area. P-38s hit Old Namlea Airfield on Buru Island. B-25s attack the Wasile Bay area in the Moluccas Islands.

13Dec 1944:
SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA

(Far East Air Force): B-25s bomb San Roque Airfield on Mindanao Island; Haroekoe Airfield on Haroekoe Island, Moluccas Islands; Amahai Airfield on Ceram Island; Old Namlea Airfield on Buru Island; and Liang Airfield on Ambon Island. B-25s, P-38s, and P-47s on small raids hit shore positions at Galela Bay on Halmahera Island, while covering an attempted rescue of a downed pilot by a PT boat, and bomb the Goeroea supply area in the Moluccas Islands. Other B-25s and B-24s on reconnaissance hit targets of opportunity in the Sulu Archipelago



5 August 1944:
SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA

(Far East Air Force): B-25s hit villages and small boats near Seleman Bay, Celebes Islands and afterwards bomb Besar Island, Sunda Islands.

12 January 1944:
B-24's attack Balikpapan, Borneo; Makassar, Celebes Island; and Dili, Timor Island.

Here is a link to LOTS of information about Japanese bases and activities in Indonesia
Java (http://www.pacificwrecks.com/provinces/indonesia_java.html)
You'll find detailed info such as this:
Kalidjati (Kalijati, Karichagi ) Airfield [On Java]
Allied Defense
Built prior to the war by the Dutch. This airfield was defended by a mixed force of Royal Dutch Netherlands East Indies Army, 49 Battery of the 48 Light Antiaircraft Regiment R A, a detachment of RAF acting as ground troops, and a company of light tanks of the 3rd Kings Own Hussars, RAC. During the night prior to the Japanese attack, Dutch forces were withdrawn without notice from the airfield.

Occpuation by Japanese
On March 1, 1942 the remaining defenders unexpectedly discovered Japanese armoured vehicles advancing onto the edge of the field. They hastily assembled and flung up a remarkable defense, one in which almost all the defenders laid down their lives, 49 Bty losing over 50 of their men. The survivors were taken prisoner by the Japanese. When later that week the Allied commanders met with the Japanese in connection with the capitulation negotiations, the Japanese commanders congratulated the British on the courageous stand their men had made during the defense of the Kalijati airfield.

Japanese Use
To the Japanese, it was known as Karichagi, a phonetic pronunciation of Kalidjati. The JAAF began using the strip as a forward airfield, and afterwards for attacks on Darwin. Thank to **** Kesseling for additional information.

JAAF Units Based at Kalijati
7th Sentai (Ki-49s)

---------------
And..here on Celebes island....
Manado (Menado)
Lat 1? 28' 60N Long 124? 50' 60E There were three airfields in this area: Menado, Sidate and Mapenget. Menado Bay had shipping facilities.
American Missions against Menado, Sidate and Mapenget
January 17, 1942 - B-17's hit ships in Menado Bay
September 8, 1944 - (FEAF) B-25s hit Lembeh , Menado,
Septeber 10, 1944 - (FEAF) B-24s hit waterfront area of Menado.
Septeber 13 - B-24s pound 3 airfields in the Menado area
September 15 - B-25s pound Mapanget airstrip and Menado area.
Sept 19 - B-24s, B-25s, and P-38s hit Menado and shipping areas and AA guns at Mapanget
Sept 20 - Despite poor weather, the Menado area is again attacked and B-24s hit Mapanget
That night, a few B-24s again hit the Menado and Sidate area
Sept 22 - P-38s and B-25s hit Menado
Sept 27 - B-24s bomb Menado personnel and supply areas
October 1, 1944 - (FEAF) B-25s hit Lembeh , Menado
Jan 2, 1945 - B-24s strike Menado
Jan - B-25s bomb Menado

AND also on Celebes:
Mapenget Airfield
Wartime Japanese airfield located outside Menado.
"The CO of the 35th FS was killed strafing this strip in his P-38. Also, the 307th BG and the 22nd BG did suppression work."

Aero_Shodanjo
06-05-2005, 01:56 PM
Thanks folks. I've dowloaded some pdf files from skychimp's link and now I'm off to check fliegeroffizier's link.

All this reading stuff will keep me busy for a while lol. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

But ofcourse, more informations are always welcome http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

Nimits
06-06-2005, 12:20 AM
Originally posted by darkhorizon11:
I've seen stuff on the history channel and in books about the Japanese and how they were about to unleash hell onto the Allies in Singapore, mainland Japan and the Phillipines during the final assault planned for November 1945 with hundreds of jet and rocket planes. They failed to mention that they were out of fuel.

Well, the History Channel is, like Hollywood itself, interested most of all in sensationalizing its "history," especially when it comes to promoting Axis technical military ingenuity. The "Secret Japanese Aircraft of World War II" (or something similar to that) show is probably the most notorious of the bunch. It highlights several advanced Japanese propellor, rocket, and jet aircraft as if they are the ultimate in aircraft development, while ignoring or glossing over their advanced US counterparts such as the P-80, P-47M/N, F7F, F8F, F2G etc. What's even more outrageous though, is their touting several aircraft, including carrier-based jet bombers!, that were no where near entering production (and some not even yet off the drawing board) as workable designs with proven advanced performance and combat capabilities, aircraft that in reality would probably not have been ready until 1947-1948 unless severe design and production shortcuts and compromises were made, and in any event would have had few experiance pilots to fly them, practically no fuel to fly with, and no aircraft carriers left to fly from.

Granted, those were interesting shows. And granted, the invasion of Japan would have been an extremely costly endevour, but not because some Japanese jet carrier bomber magically entered serial production in time for it to equip several squadrons to fly off miraculously ressurected Japanese aircraft carriers and attack a US carrier still equipped with the exact same F4U Corsairs it had off Okinawa . .l .

GerritJ9
06-06-2005, 02:28 AM
It is interesting to note that, in a typical show of pre-war stinginess, not all of the KNIL's Glenn Martins were equipped with bomb sights!!!!! The ones that did have a bombsight were equipped with the excellent Goerz bombsight.
The idea was that two aeroplanes out of three in a flight would have a sight, and all three would release their bombs when the flight leader did so. Just in case the leader was shot down or had to return prematurely due to technical difficulties, a second aeroplane would also have a bombsight so that the remaining two could still drop their loads with accuracy. It would seem that it did not occur to the bright spark(s) who came up with this cost-cutting idea that a flight might break up due to bad weather en route to the target, or that both aeroplanes with bombsights might be shot down, making the third aeroplane's bomb load ineffective. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif

Ruy Horta
06-06-2005, 07:06 AM
The above is a little unfair.

Yes, it is true that the dutch were catching up in terms of pre-war cost cutting, however besides the bomb sight themselves, they had personnel problems - even if every a/c had a sight, it would not mean that every aircraft carried a qualified bombadier.

Also, even in the AAF it was custom to have a bombing leader and drop on his queue, the only way to get an exact bombing pattern.

Over the East Indies the bomber's main function was anti-shipping, which meant an emphasis on exact bombing patterns.

Of course it would have helped if all a/c had carried sights, but in the end it did not really impact operations.

The dutch achieved excellent results with their Goerz sights, especially iof compared against the B-17s equipped with the Norden.

Aero_Shodanjo
06-06-2005, 07:27 AM
Originally posted by fliegeroffizier:
You'll find detailed info such as this:
Kalidjati (Kalijati, Karichagi ) Airfield [On Java]

You've mentioned the magic word... Kalijati... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/cry.gif lol...

Anyway, seeing from what you've posted, it seems the allied attacks from the Australia were roughly divided between two fronts. The RN in the western part and the USAAF and RAAF in the mid and eastern parts of this archipelago. However, it still remains unclear to me what were the RAAF & FAA squadrons that involved, from what carriers (FAA) and whether the USAAF Far East air force didnt receive any number designation (like 8th AF in the europe and 15th (?) in the pacific).

What do I see now, apart from a very valuable history lesson, also about many great ideas and resources for my future paintschemes http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

I might be wrong but judging from the fact that there were no allied invasion forces that landed in any of Indonesian islands from the south/southwest (that is, AFAIK ofcourse), it also seems that they were pretty confident that the destruction of many oil facilities controlled by the Japanese was enough.

well, I would like to write more about this topic and also about the aerial warfares in 41-42 in the defense of NEI. Although I knew that there were several bitter fightings but Ive found some other new things that I'll put here later.

Nimits
06-06-2005, 11:42 AM
The part of the FEAF surviving in Australia, with some other units mixed in, was redisgnated 5th Air Force in 1942.

Fliegeroffizier
06-06-2005, 12:32 PM
Originally posted by Aero_Shodanjo:
....and whether the USAAF Far East air force didnt receive any number designation (like 8th AF in the europe and 15th (?) in the pacific).
...

Far East Air Force became 5th Air Force...Details here (http://home.st.net.au/~dunn/5thaf.htm)

Doug_Thompson
06-06-2005, 12:40 PM
Sorry I didn't check in over the weekend. Yes, I have a lot of info on the ships involved and the dates, although they will all be at home. As for squadrons and such -- may have them, may not.

Will check this evening.

I remember some of the details, mainly that the raids were very successful and that the Free French battleship "Richeleau" was one of the screening ships.

GerritJ9
06-07-2005, 02:18 AM
Fireflies may have taken part in later attacks, but Barracudas were certainly used in the earlier operations. Striking against the Palembang oil installations certainly made sense- oil was vital for Japan to continue fighting and Palembang could easily be attacked by carrier-borne aeroplanes, unlike Balikpapan and Tarakan which were both out of range of a carrier-based air strike.

Aero_Shodanjo
06-07-2005, 12:07 PM
@Doug_Thompson: Thank you, Im looking forward for your informations.

@Gerrit: Do you have any sources about the Japan defense of the oil fields? I still dont know anything whether there were any aerial engagements between IJA/IJN vs FAA/RAAF/USAAF warplanes.

As far as I know when speaking about ML-KNIL after March 1942, is that the ML-KNIL was based in Australian soil and flew B-25's under RAAF. It's interesting to know that the ML-KNIL crews, while mainly consisted of Dutchmen, also had several Javanese in it. Unfortunately, from the book that Ive read, it's unclear about how many of them that served with the ML-KNIL.

Anyway, I was going to start a new topic about the defense of the NEI between January and March '42 as Ive just finished reading a book about it, but I think it'll be appropriate if I write in here first.

In short, I started to have a more balanced view about the history of this region especially during the Dutch rule. I was also surprised to find that there were actually quite a lot of other aerial engagements over this region apart from the battle over Surabaya in 19th february 1942.

Suffice to say that the KNIL and the combined allied forces (ABDA) - although underarmed and poorly equipped compared to the Japanese - really has fought until the bitter end against an overwhelming enemy.

My salute for those bravemen.

GerritJ9
06-07-2005, 02:14 PM
The best sources about the ML-KNIL in the December 1941-March 1942 period are undoubtedly the two books written by P.C. Boer:
"De Luchtstrijd rond Borneo" (published 1987)
ISBN 90-269-4253-2

and

"De Luchtstrijd om Indi" (published 1989)
ISBN 90-269-4160-9

Both books are in Dutch, but contain summaries in English and Bahasa Indonesia. As far as I know they have never been fully translated into English. Furthermore, I don't think they can be ordered any more, though occasionally second-hand copies are offered for sale. Both books also deal with the pre-war build-up of the ML and the difficulties the ML faced in getting their hands on equipment and training personnel. Certainly many of the ground staff were recruited from Indonesians, but also some flying personnel- mainly gunners for the Glenn Martins, but also some Indonesian officers were being trained as observers-bomb aimers and pilots. These officers also attended the KNIL's Military Academy at Bandoeng.
The core of the 18th Squadron RAAF was formed by ex-Glenn Martin crew members who had been sent to Australia before Java's surrrender to pick up B-25s which were being flown over to Australia- these had been ordered pre-Pacific war to replace the Glenn Martins. Java surrendered before the B-25s arrived however. When they finally did arrive, a few were briefly in the hands of the ML personnel who immediately started to familiarize themselves with the (for them) unfamiliar aeroplanes. Unfortunately the USAAF confiscated them for their own use and the ML had to wait some time before replacements were allocated.

For the naval side, David Thomas wrote a book about the Battle of the Java Sea which was published in 1968 or 1969. Also long out of print, but at least it is in English. The Royal Netherlands Navy published a booklet about the Battle of the Java Sea on the 25th anniversary in 1967; this is in Dutch, but MAY still be available- I bought a copy at the Navy Museum in Den Helder that year!
Oliver Gordon, Captain of the "Exeter", wrote a book after the war titled "Fight it out". Sadly I have never been able to get my hands on a copy.

As for Japanese squadrons based in Sumatra, Java and elsewhere during the Japanese occupation, I have no information. However it is safe to assume that vital oil installations such as Palembang, Balikpapan and Tarakan would have had fighter protection- certainly Palembang, which could easily be attacked by carrier strikes from the Indian Ocean; because of their relatively safe location, Balikpapan and Tarakan may have been lower on the priority list for fighters.

Beaufort-RAF
06-07-2005, 07:41 PM
In March 44€ HMS Illustrious & the Saratoga met & joined forces for 2 months.

They launched two strikes together on the Japanese.

The first was against Sabang. (the Fleet Air Arm used Corsairs, Hellcats & Barracudas)

The second was against Surabaya and as has already been mentioned this also involved action by allied surface vessels.

Barracudas were not used on this op as Illustrious had embarked Avengers instead.

There were a string of other Fleet Air Arm strikes in the East Indies.

I€m quite well clued up on Palembang but haven€t got time at the moment to do a detailed post but will just mention that the aircraft involved were Corsairs, Hellcats, Avengers, Fireflies & Seafires.

I€ll come back later and do a proper post about the Indies and Palembang.

Beaufort-RAF
06-08-2005, 03:06 PM
Fleet Air Arm attacks on the East Indies 1944-45

19th April 1944 €" Sabang attacked by aircraft from Illustrious & Saratoga. (British Aircraft were Corsairs, Hellcats & Barracudas)

17th May 1944 €" Surabaya on Java attacked by Illustrious & Saratoga. (Corsairs, Hellcats & Avengers)

25th July €" Sabang attacked by Illustrious & Victorious, also action by surface vessels. (Corsairs, Hellcats, Barracudas)

25th August €" Operation Banquet:- Victorious & Indomitable attack cement factory at Indaroeng and the port of Emmahaven. (Corsairs, Hellcats, Barracudas)

18th September €" Victorious & Indomitable attack railway targets at Sigli. (Corsairs, Hellcats, Barracudas)

20th December - Operation Robson:- Illustrious & Indomitable attack port at Belawan Deli

4th Jan 1945 €" Operation Lentil:- Indomitable, Victorious & Indefatigable attack oil targets at Pangkalan Brandan. (Corsairs, Hellcats, Avengers, Seafires & Fireflies)

24th & 29th 1945 €" Large attacks on oil refineries at Palambang (Corsairs, Hellcats, Avengers, Seafires & Fireflies)


There were more attacks by British escort carriers against Sabang & Sumatra in 1945 but unfortunately as the large fleet carriers had left for the Pacific these operations are not well documented.

In 44€ & 45€ there was also plenty of action in other parts of the Indian Ocean like the Andaman & Nicobar Islands and the Burmese coast.

SgtWalt65
06-08-2005, 04:15 PM
I was fortunate enough to meet a RN Corsair pilot from WW2 back in 1995 and he told me a some what bitter sweet story about an attack in the area your interested in.
They were sent to attack an airfield near the primary oil targets to take out as many fighters on the ground as they could before the bombers arrived. He was #4 in a 4 plane attack flight for the assigned airfield. There were 4 groups that went out and 4 different airfields were to be attacked. Apperently the Japs ( no offense ment by that term ) were so used to not being attacked, that the first pass over the field resulted in no incoming AA fire what so ever. The flight lead then made the classic mistake of going around again. Still no AA came at them. He made the call for a 3rd pass over the same field. Up came a wall of lead, the lead. The lead plane and plane #2 were hit immediately and crashed into the ground. Not high enough to bailout. His longtime friend ( since the age of 8 or 9 he said ) in plane #3 and him ( #4 ) both pulled away and got out without a hit, or so he thought.
In route back to the carrier, they were in radio silence. They got on a heading to there carrier in the position it should be in to meet them. No contact was made between the carrier and planes 3 & 4. They were approaching the carrier from about 1k meters in altitude. He noticed his long time friend from there early school days, flew right past the carrier with no apparent response. He was low on fuel, but decided to wing his friends plane. Saw him in his cockpit and tried to make hand signals. No response, his friend just looked straight ahead. He fired in front of him, nothing. About this time the sun was getting very low and he saw a sudden flash in his friends plane that looked like a flash from a flare igniting ( might have been a flash fire from fluid leakage in cockpit ). It lit up his friends cockpit. His friends plane then rolled hard left went vertical and crashed into the water. They never found out what happened, but he thinks ground fire may have hit him, and with a trimmed out plane there is no telling how long he may have been unconsious or already dead. Nore did they ever figure out what made the bright flash in his cockpit.
I do not recall this pilots name now, but I was sadden about his story of his friend. Even he was a little teary eyed after he talked about it. Said he had not talked about that day in over 40 years.
Reason he told me about it was because I allowed him to sit in a F4U Corsair were I was working at. He told me the story while he set in the cockpit. You could see the change in the look on his face while he held the stick. It looked like it brought back memories, both good and bad.

Aero_Shodanjo
06-09-2005, 07:57 AM
Thanks all. I really appreciate the helps http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif . As I wrote earlier, I should've started with the 41-42 period first but I'm still compiling many interesting points that I found in the book that Ive read...

Will post that asap.