Nederlandse Modelbouw en Luchtvaartsite

Dutch Modelling and Aviation

In Memoriam

Klaas Willem Jonker
† April 30, 2018

On Monday 30 April 2018, Wilko Jonker died after a long illness at the age of 58. He leaves behind a wife and two children. The Dutch military aviation and plastic modeling were his hobby and on this website he shared all the knowledge he has collected over the years. His hobby has been able to distract him from the persistent disease in his body until the last week of his life. The contacts with other hobbyists were a major support for him.

This website will be maintained by different people for as long as possible, so that other enthusiasts can continue to benefit from extensive content.

Curtiss P-40 Warhawk & Kittyhawk

Curtiss P-40E Warhawk

The Dutch Government was looking urgently for fighter aircraft to strengthen the NEIAF. Attempted was to buy Curtiss P-40 Warhawks. This was not possible because the US itself needed these aircraft urgently.Finally the Government managed to order 100 Hurricanes, which were not delivered in time. See the story about the NEIAF-Hurricanes.
During the Japanese attacks in Dutch East Indies a series of USAAF P-40E's were assigned to the NEIAF. Originally these Warhawks were meant to defend the British area in South-East Asia. Due to the speed of the Japanese attack, they were sent to Java, Dutch East Indies: 32 P-40E's on board of the aircraft tender Langley and 27 crated aircraft on board of freighter Seawitch. Both ships left Perth in Australia on February 22, 1942.

Threatened transport.

Japan conquered February 20, 1942 the isle of Bali and has landed on Timor. This was a thread to cut off the lines between Australia and Java. The islands were used for stops by the ferry flights of P-40's of the USAAC [several were lost because of the air attack on Bali and also because the US pilots could not find the air field Denpassar].
A limited number of US P-40E's was based on the eastern part of Java from early February 1942 and countered air fights over Ngoro and Soerabaja.
February 27 both transport ships approached the south coast of Java and were attacked. The Langley was lost. The same day the battle of the Java sea was fought.

Inconspicuous end.

The Seawitch arrived February 28, 1942 at Tjilatjap. Fifteen P-40E's were directed to the technical services at Bandoeng and twelve were sent to the Technical services at Tasikmalaja. The aircraft were assigned to no 605 squadron RAF and NEIAF group 1V1.G.IV (ex Curtiss Hawks).
Assembly of the aircraft was done by two groups, which changed every twelve hours. These groups of technical personnel consisted of NEIAF, KNILM and several technicians of the RNlNAS.
Very little is known about the Warhawks of the NEIAF. Pilot-officer Van de Vooren had received a check on the P-40 on March 1, shortly after the arrival of the unassembled P-40's.
The Japanese approached very quick and the Dutch started to destroy their own airfields, harbour- and oil-installations. Also the evacuations of civil and military personnel had started. The USAAC left Java March 4 with the remaining aircraft. March 7, just one day before the capitulation of Java, three Dutch Warhawks were finished and some pilots made some test flights.
The P-40's were destroyed the same day "without smoke and fire", meaning with hammers and axes.

In MIP (Modelbouw in Plastic) 1979/ nr.3 a short story of Jim Maas about the NEIAF P-40E's was published. In a Japanese magazine Koku-Asahi, released during the war, he had discovered a photo of a NEIAF P-40E This aircraft looked rather undamaged, no engine was mounted.

RNMFS at Jackson

During the Japanese attacks the flying schools of the NEIAF and RNLNAS were evacuated to Australia. Permission was acquired to start a combined flying school at air base Jackson.
In order to train fighter pilots, about twenty aircraft were sent to Jackson on loan. These were various version of the P-40, one P-40E, one P-40L and 18 P-40F’s. These types differed in engine type, armament and other equipment. Further more the aircraft were in poor condition and lot of overhaul was needed. Later ten new Lend-Lease P-40N’s were added. February 1944 the training of fighter pilots was finished and the aircraft were returned to the US. Eight of the delivered eighteen P-40F's were written off in the mean time.

Curtiss P-40N Warhawk 120 squadron NEI

This squadron was founded December 10, 1943, shortly after the first pilots arrived from Jackson. Between December 1943 and half of January 1944 the first P-40N's arrived at Canberra. These aircraft were delivered under lend-lease conditions.
here the crew received a further training from RAAF. Initially based at Batchelor, where no 18 squadron NEI was based, 120 squadron was based at Merauke, Dutch New Guinea.

But in the meantime the base was changed unexpectedly in Potshot, Australia. During the two weeks the squadron was based there, two pilots were lost with C3-524 and C3-527 due to a desert storm and had to bail out. April 10, 1944 the squadron could move to air base Mopah, Merauke. By the end of April the tasks of another P-40 squadron could be taken over. After a couple of months of training and a interception flight every now and than, the first operational action was flown, an attack of Japero, near Timaka.

Curtiss Kittyhawk van 120 Sqn in Nederlands-Indië.
Curtiss P-40N Kittyhawk J-301 of squadron 120 NEIAF.
[Enclosed photo from BeeldBank NIMH. Click on photo for ordering information]

The last months of 1944 and the first months of 1945 often patrols were based at Noemfoer or at Biak, as part of an Australian PP-40 squadron,. War flights were flown to "Vogelkop". Several losses occurred.
From may 1945 several succesful attacks of targets at Vogelkop, Ceram or the isles Banda were flown. Two pilots were lost in action and four aircraft were lost.
After the end of the war the squadron remained under RAAF command and based at Biak. At that time 34 of the 67 P-40's delivered, remained.
For political reasons no permission was given to move to Java.

After a while the crew were bored. They started searching the American army dumps looking for useful materials.
The RAAF personnel was demobilized and replaced with volunteers and repatriated and exhausted prisoners of war.
At the end of 1945 120 squadron was bound for Balikpapan, where 18 squadron was based already.
Ms Japara had arrived to transport the materials of the squadron to Balikpapan, but this ship didn't had enough room to hold all material. Shortly after MS Japara left for Batavia, the departure of personnel and aircraft was delayed. MS Japara was not allowed by the British authorities to debark at Batavia.
As no material was available the personnel started to collect material from the US dumps.

April 1946 the squadron could be moved to Perak near Soerabaja to relieve an English squadron. The British were in fight with Indonesian rebels, often supported by deserted Japanese military.
During the move two aircraft were lost, one because of an engine failure and the other crashed.
In order to support a NEI Army battalion, three aircraft were based on Bali.
The squadron was was relieved by 860 squadron RNlNAS, equipped with Fireflies and moved to Kalibanteng.
Several patrols were flown against the Indonesian rebels. Also the squadron joined the "Politionele Actie", summer 1947. The aircraft became very old and worn. January 1948 the task of 120 squadron was taken over by 322 squadron RNlAF, equipped with Spitfires.

Verblijf en optreden van het 1e Bataljon Regiment Stoottroepen in Nederlands-Indië. Militairen poseren bij Curtiss P40
Military in front of Curtiss P-40N "Kittyhawk" aircraft of squadron 120 of NEIAF.
[Enclosed photo from BeeldBank NIMH. Click on photo for ordering information]

During 1948 several P-40's were written off or cannibalized. November 1948 just nine aircraft were remaining, total nineteen P-40's were left.

During the second "Politionele Actie" (police action, but in fact it was a war) between December 19 and January 5 several flights were flown. Four machines were lost. Note that, despite the old aircraft 120 squadron flew most flying hours of all three fighter squadrons. between April and July 1949 the P-40's were finally replaced with the long expected Mustangs. Conversion training had started in January 1948. From July 1949 and later no P-40 can be found in the books as operational aircraft.

Military of the 1e Batallion "Regiment Stoottroepen in Nederlands-Indië" posing in front of Curtiss P40 "Kittyhawk" of NIEAF.
[Enclosed photo from BeeldBank NIMH. Click on photo for ordering information]
Curtiss P-40 Kittyhawk of 120 SQN NEIAF, left near Merauke
[Enclosed photo from BeeldBank NIMH. Click on photo for ordering information]
Fuelling a P-40 of 120 Squadron NEIAF at Merauke. .
[Enclosed photo from BeeldBank NIMH. Click on photo for ordering information]