Author Archives: driwancybermuseum

KISI INFO INDONESIA 1942 (BERSAMBUNG)

KOLEKSI SEJARAH INDONESIA

1942

 

 

 

OLEH

Dr Iwan Suwandy , MHA

EDISI PRIBADI TERBATAS

KHUSUS UNTUK KOLEKTOR  DAN HISTORIAN SENIOR

Copyright @ 2013

INI ADALAH CUPLIKAN DAN CONTOH BUKU KOLEKSI SEJARAH INDONESIA HASIL PENELITIAN Dr  IWAN , HANYA DITAMPILKAN SEBAGIAN INFO DAN ILUSTRASI TAK LENGKAP.

BUKU YANG LENGKAP TERSEDIA BAGI YANG BERMINAT HUBUNGGI LIWAT KOMENTAR(COMMENT) DI WEB BLOG INI

sORRY FOR THE UNEDITED ARTICLES BELOW,I DID  TO PROTEC T AGAINST THE COPY WITHOUT PERMISSSION

 

Dr IWAN SUWANDY,MHA

PENEMU DAN PRESIDEN PERTAMA

PERHIMPUNAN

KISI

(KOLEKSTOR INFORMASI SEJARAH INDONESIA)

TAHUN 2013-2020

SEJEN KISI

LILI WIDJAJA,MM

DEWAN KEHORMATAN

KETUA

Dr IWAN SUWANDY,MHA

ANGGOTA

ALBERT SUWANDY DJOHAN OETAMA,ST,GEA

ANTON JIMMI SUWANDY ST.MECH.

 

ANNGOTA KEHORMATAN

GRACE SHANTY

ALICE SUWAMDY

ANNABELA PRINCESSA(CESSA(

JOCELIN SUWANDY(CELINE)

ANTONI WILLIAM SUWANDY

ANNGOTA

ARIS SIREGAR

HANS van SCHEIK

 

MASA JABATAN PREDIDEN DAN SEKJEN HANYA SATU KALI SELAMA TUJUH TAHUN, PENGANTINYA AKAN DIPILIH OLEH DEWAN KEHORMATAN

BAGI YANG BERMINAT MENJADI ANGGOTA KISI

MENDAFTAR LIWAT  EMAIL KISI

iwansuwandy@gmail.com

dengan syarat

mengirimkan foto kopi KTP(ID )terbaru dan melunasi sumbangan dana operasional KISI untuk seumur hidup sebanyak US50,-

HAK ANGGOTA

SETIAP BULAN AKAN DI,KIRIMKAN INFO LANGSUNG KE EMAILNYA

DAPAT MEMBELI BUKU TERBITAN KISI YANG CONTOHNYA SUDAH  DIUPLOAD DI

hhtp”//www. Driwancybermuseum.wordpress.com

dengan memberikan sumbangan biaya kopi dan biaya kirim

TERIMA KASIH SUDAH BERGABUNG DENGAN KISI

SEMOGA KISI TETAP JAYA

 

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Copyrught @ Dr Iwan suwandy,MHA 2013

Forbidden to copy without written permission by the author

PENGANTAR

Setelah melakukan penelitian selama kurun waktu empat puluh tahun  dari tahun 1973 ampai 2013 akhirnya saat ini telah ditemukan  informasi dengan ilustrasinya yang cukup lengkap yang berhubungan dengan sejarah Indonesia .

Saya telah berhasil mengumpulkan sebuah koleksi sejarah Indonesia yang merupakan salah satu koleksi terbaik dan terlengkap didunia,kendatipun sebagian ada yang telah dijual kepada kolektor lain tetapi ilustrasinya dan informasinya  ada dalam buku ini

 Penelitian ini dapat diselesaikan berrkat bantuan dari beberapa teman seperti  keluarga almarhum Soewil, Pak Cong , teman-teman di Sumatera barat yang banyak membantu saya dalam mengumpulkan koleksi dari Sumatera Barta, Herry Hutabarat , Aris siregar , teman di Medan,dan Jakarta  yang bnayak memberikan dorongan kepada saya untuk menyelesaikan penelitian ini  yang sangat penting bagi generasi mendatang . untuk itu saya ucapkan ribuan terima kasih

Untuk mereka dapat belajar dari sejarah, sehingga tidak mengulangi kesalahan yanm yang sma dan memanfaatkan hal yang benar dalam memecahkan maslah masa kini dan merupakan data awal dalam menyusun rencana masa depan/

Jakarta 2013

Dr Iwan Suwandy,MHA 

The Author Profile

.I starting stamps collection during 1955 very young boy. look my vintage photo with mother Diana lanny and father Djohan Oetama at Bukittingi West Sumatra 1955, my father passed away in 1985 and my mother just passed away in june 2011 at  91 years old.

b.Between 1960-1963, during study at Don Bosco high school I had started collected beside stamps all type of informations collections due to my Teacher Frater Servaas told me that I must collected the Informations due to the develping the satellite which made the globalizations which the growing of world cmmunications will became fast and no border between the nations countries, who have the Information he will became the leader and the King in communications, thank you Frater Servaas your info which made me could built the very best informations communications uniquecollection blog in the world.
Look at in memoriam Frater Servaas with my teacher at Frater middle school in memrian Frater Eric at my House during my Sister Erlita 17th years birthday in 1963.


also look my profile with my loving teacher who still alive and stay at Padang city west sumatra Pak Sofjanto at my house in the same time of the photo above


c.Between 1973-1983 many interesting history which related with the stamp and postal history and also with my life :
1. In 1972 I have graduated Medical Doctor(MD)

2.as the temporary assitenst at Pulmonology (Lung Disease) department in Medical faculty

3.In 1973 join the medical officer of Indonesia National Police


4.in September 1973 I was merried with Lily W.


5. in 1974 my first son Albert our photographer was born in November 1974, and later in January 1977 born my second son Anton our Editor .
a. Albert at Solok city west Sumatra 1978

b.Anton at Solok city 1978


6. Between 1975 until 1989 I have travelled around Indonesia myself or officially and I have found many uniquecollections that time.

7.In 1985 I have made a postal communications, I have send the aerogram to all Postal services in the capital city of all oin the world, 90 % send to me back the official cover,this could be done by the helping of Padang postmaster Ahmadsyah Soewil, his father collections I had bought in 1980.
The vintage photo of Soewil St.marajo ,during the chief of Painan West Sumatra Post office
look his photos

During Dai Nippon occupation he still at Painan and during Indonesia Independence war he was the Finance officer of Padang office and later in 1950-1959 the chief of TelukBayur Harbour west Sumatra post office, seme of the rare West sumatra during Dai Nippon occupation and Indonesia Inedependence war were his collectins,thankyou Family Soewil for that rare collections(complete infrmatins source Dai nippon occupatin sumatra under Malaya Singapore or Syonato Dai Nippon military Administrations and Indonesia Independence war collections.

8. Before between 1979-1985 I have joint the postal circuit club and I have found many covers from all over the world especially Latin America.This circuit as the help of my friend Frans,now he was in Bogor.

9.In 1990 I was graduate my Master Hospital Administration.


10.Between 1990-1994
I was n the duty at West Borneo and visit Sarwak,and i have fund some rare Sarawak stamps, revenue there and in Pontianak I have found rare sarawak coins

11.Between 1995 until 2000
I am seeking the postally used cover from the countries I havenot found especailly the new freedom countries.
All the postal stamps and covers I will arranged in the very exciting and unique collections, I will starting with Asia Countries, and later Africa, Australia, America and Euro.
This special collections were built dedicated to my Sons,especially the histrical fact from my vintage books collections as the rememberance what their father collected and I hope they will keep this beautiful and histric collections until put in speciale site in the CyberMuseum.
I hope all the collectors all over the world will help me to complete the collections, frm Asia I donnot have the cover from Bhutan,Mongol, Tibet, and SAfghanistan.but the stamps I have complete from that countries except my thematic bridge on the river kwai from Myanmar and Thailand.
12. In the years of 2000, I was retired from my job
this is my official profile just before retired.


13, Between 2000-2008
I am travelling around Asia,and starting to arranged my travelling unque collections.
14. December,25th 2008
I built the uniquecollection.wordpress.com Blog with articles :
(1). The Unique books collections
(2). The Unique Stamps collectins
(3). The rare Coins collections
(4). The rare ceramic collections
(5.) The Unique label collectins
(6.) The Travelling Unque collections (now changed as the Adventures of Dr iwan S.
(7). The Tionghoa Unique Collections
(8.) The Asia Unique Collections
(9.) The Africa Unique collections
(10). The Padang minangkabau CyberMuseum                                                              

15. In 2010

I built another web :

(1) hhtp://www.iwansuwandy.wordpress.com

(2)hhtp://www.Driwancybermuseum.wordpress.com

In this web the collectors will look the amizing collections:

(1) The Vietnam War 1965-1975, and another Vietnam Historic collections like Vienam during Indochina, Vienam Diem War 1955-1963,etc

(2) The Dai Nippon War 1942-1945, five part in homeland,pasific war,in Korea,in China, in south East Asia including Indonesia.

(3) The Indonesia Independence War  1945,1946,1947,1948,1949 and 1950.

(4) The Uniquecollections from all over the world.

(5) The Icon Cybermuseum, including Bung Karno,Bung Hatta,Sultan Hemangkubuwono, and also from foreign countries Iran,Iraq Sadam huseun ,Palestina jerusalam,turkey,afghanistan, libya Moamer Khadafi, Suriah , etc

(6) The Rare Ceramic Collections found In Indonesia, like China Imperial Tang,Yuan,Ming and Qing; also euro ceramic from delf,dutch maastrict ,etc

(7) The Indonesian History Collections  and many other collections

AT LEAST AFTER THE ALL OF MY COLLECTIONS ENTER THE CYBERMUSEUM AND OTHER WEB BLOG, I WILL ASKING TO GET  THE MURI CERTIFICATE.(INDONESIAN RECORD MUSEUM)

8. I also built a amizing collections due to my premium member prefered, like The Indonesia Revenue Collections from 19th to 20th century, the mysteri of the Indonesian vienna Printing Stamps, the China  Gold Coins, The Rare Chian imperial ceramic design foun in Indonesia, The Tionghoa (Indonesia Chinese Overseas collection), Penguasa Wanta di dunia(Women in Leaders) etc.

5. At Least thankyou verymuch to all the collectors who have visit my blog and support me, my last prestation in June 2011 (26 years from the first starting to built the e-antique or uniquecollections info in internet) :

(1) hhtp://www.Driwancybermuseum : visit 60.000, the highest per day 3200.

(2)hhtp://www.iwansuwandy.wordpress.com:visit 21.000,the highest per day 200.

(3)hhtp://www.uniquecollection.wordpress.com, visit 40.000,the highest per day 210.

Jakarta October 2013

Greatings from teh founder

Dr Iwan Suwandy,MHA

Indonesia History Collections 1943

The Dai Nippon

Occupation  java History Collections In 1942

 

Created By

Dr Iwan Suwandy,MHA

Private limited E-BOOK IN CD-ROM EDITION

Copyright @ 2013

The Dai Nippon occupation Indonesia

History Collections

Part One

1942

 Based On Dr Iwan’s Postal and Archives History Collections

 

Created By

 

Dr Iwan Suwandy,MHA

Private Limited E-BOOK IN CD-ROM Edition

Special For Senior  Collectors

Copyright @ 2012

 

Introduction

What caused the Japanese agression and what were the consequences?

Few people dwell on the fact that Holland in the 19th century gave an important contribution to the metamorphosis which happend to Japan, that is, from a from the outside world secluded country to an internationally important industrial power. Among other things Holland tought Japan a lot on shipbuilding and thus enabling Japan to become a formidable navel force.

By the strong industrialisation Japan was confronted with the fact it hardly had any essential commodoties. Looking at the western powers which supplied themselves around 1900 through their colonies (The Netherland was fighting in the Indonesian archipel for the rich oil supplies in Atjeh), Japan had an eye on Manchuria, where also Russia wanted an interest however. This resulted in the Japanese-Russian war which was mainly fought at sea and was won by Japan in 1905.
With this feat Japan put itself on the world map. But the western powers didn’t allow Japan to annex Manchuria; though they did agree for Japan to colonise Korea and Taiwan (Formosa).


Picture: http://www.sh15aug1945.nl

This belittleling of Japan by the west was an eyesore to the Japanese military. After the death in 1912 of the Japanese emperor Meiji, under who’s government Japan developed industrially, his physically and mentally weak son becampe emperor. During his weak governement, which is called the Taisho-period in Japanese era counting, the military arranged his son Hirohito, and grandson to the glorious Meiji-emperor, was raised and trained from child on in a strong military way. Though Hirohito didn’t have a martial appearence, he turned out to be intellectual military gifted.

When Hirohito in 1926, after his father’s death, became emperor – the Showa-period – the military seized the opportunity to gradually mold the Japanese state to their will. Eventually the result was a military dictatorship, under which the Japanese civilians, by means of indoctrination of self-sacrificing for the emperor, would groan until mid 1945. The indoctrination even went this far that everyone was expected to give ones life for the emperor. One of the results was that many military men didn’t repent for the acts of war and atrocities committed in name of their emperor.

In 1931 the Japanese army succeeded, by a provoked ‘incident’, to annex Manchuria and in this manner as yet obtain the ‘rightful prize’ of the Russian-Japanese war. After this happened, and the international community protested but stayed idle, their eyes were turned at China. Also the western powers were extanding their influence in China – in Shanghai there was a British, German and French enclave and the British tried with the import of opium to tackle the weak Chinese gouvernment. But Japan wanted to be ‘Asia for the Asians’.

In 1933

Japan deliberately left the Nations Union. In this way it withdrew itself from the international fleet treaties, by means of which the international community tried to block the expansion of the Japanese fleet. Japan now planned a very strong armed force, and executed this. It built the heavy cruisers which were 30% larger than their probable adverts, their super battleships even almost 50%. The new Japanese torpedo was almost twice as big, with a three times larger range and it had no visible bubble track. The army, in the mean time hardened in years of campaigns, specialised in jungle war fare; for which purpose an effective gun was developed. The Mitsubishi fighter plane, the ‘Zero’, was to be a great surprise in the first year of the war to the allies because of its manoeuvrability.

Despite this military superiority the advance started in 1936

 in China stagnated, a thrust inland and the moved capital Tsjoengking failed to occur. Despite more landings and mass-executions like the ‘Rape of Nanking’ – where hundreds of thousands of civilians were murdered in a horrific way – the army and navy had little successes to report to confirm their heroism.


To free themselves from this pressing situation the Japanese military decided, with the knowledge of emperor Hirohito, to control entire South-East Asia.

 The first step of this Nanjo-plan was the occupation of some strategical islands south of China in the spring of 1939.

Because of the alliance with Germany next free entry to French Indo-China in September could be exorted from the collaborating Vichy-government in France.

This led to negotiations with the United States, which threatened with an oil-boycot when China and Indo-China weren’t vacated. In the mean time Japan sent a delegation to Batavia to arrange the supply of oil from the Netherlands Indies.

1921

 

 Son of emperor Taiso

 

War Responsibility and Historical Memory: Hirohito’s Apparition

Herbert P. Bix

Since the appearance of Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan in 2000, the unearthing in Japan of new information on the Asia-Pacific war has proceeded apace. Historical war narratives using new documentary evidence and drawing on the insights of various disciplines continue to appear. Oral history, women’s history, studies of war prisoners and international law, even theories of postwar “reconciliation,” have widened the perspectives of Japanese historians.

Thanks to the work of many progressive historians the ethical dimensions of military history are being opened up and explored as never before. [1] But in no fundamental way have these scholarly efforts altered the picture of Hirohito as the activist, dynamic, politically empowered emperor who played a central role in Japan’s undeclared wars.

The following discussion recapitulates some of the arguments that I presented earlier when analyzing Hirohito’s leadership at the policy level, then goes beyond them to address problems of historical memory. [2] The same Nuremberg and Tokyo principles of individual and state responsibility for war crimes, however, inform this essay just as they did my book.

Introduction

Japan’s wars of the 1930s and early 1940s

 inflicted on the peoples of Asia and the Pacific tremendous human and material losses. Over ten million Chinese died from the effects of the war that began in 1937, with some estimates of actual deaths running twice as high.

 Within countries occupied after 1941 by Japanese forces

 and later fought over by the Allies, massive numbers of combatants and non-combatant civilians died, including over a million Filipinos. Tens of thousands of war prisoners fell into Japanese hands. Many of them died in captivity and many others from US “friendly fire.” Japanese forces detained 130,000 to more than 140,000 civilians for the duration of the war. [3]

At its end, Japan itself lay prostrate, its cities in ruins, its people demoralized. Official Japanese government underestimates say that 3.1 million Japanese died in the Asia-Pacific War. Of that number about 800,000 were non-combatant civilians, most of them victims of American fire bombing and atomic bombing in the war’s final months. [4] American combat deaths of about 123,000 in the Pacific pale in comparison. [5]

The individual who oversaw these wars and in whose name they were fought, Hirohito, was forty-one-years-old when Japan unconditionally surrendered its armed forces. Two decades earlier, upon ascending the throne, he had taken the auspicious reign-title “Showa” (“illustrious peace”). But for the emperor and his subjects, and especially for the people of Asia and the Pacific, there would be no peaceful times in the two decades that followed.

 

 

Hirohito: Japan’s Last Empowered Emperor

In the years between November 1921 and December 25, 1926, before the shy, taciturn Hirohito succeeded his ailing father, the Taisho emperor, he had been displayed to the Japanese nation as the dynamic representative of “young Japan,” the embodiment of Japanese morality, the person destined to invigorate the imperial house. Two years later the Showa emperor and his entourage strengthened the monarchy’s links to state Shinto through year-long enthronement ceremonies that mixed Western-style military reviews with nativistic religious rites while elevating Hirohito to the status of a living deity.

Hirohito’s enthronement portrait

Hirohito’s enthronement helped to move Japan in a more nationalistic direction. It was based on the theocratic myth of an imperial house whose destiny was defined by the emperor—a human in form but actually a deity ruling the country in an uninterrupted line of succession. No matter what project the emperor undertook, his “subjects” were presumed and required to be absolutely loyal in “assisting” him from below.

 In newspapers and on the radio the message echoed throughout the land that Japan had broken with its immediate past; it now had a monarch cast in the mold of his illustrious grandfather, Emperor Meiji, who (in the words of Hirohito’s first imperial rescript) had “enhanced the grandeur of our empire” and never allowed himself to be treated as a puppet.

For Hirohito, like most Western heads of state, empire, national defense, and national greatness were primary. Given his strongly opportunistic nature, he would extend Japan’s control over China when given the chance. In other words, as a traditional imperialist and nationalist, he was firmly committed to protecting Japan’s established rights and interests abroad even in the face of the rising world tide of anti-colonial nationalism. But he was also highly sensitive to the internal balance of political forces and even more totally dedicated to preserving the monarchy.

Hirohito differed from other contemporary rulers in the type of Machiavellianism that he practiced in order to maintain the monarchy and extend the reach of the Japanese state. Like successful Western imperialists, Hirohito was able to effectively deploy the rhetoric of ethics, virtue, and morality as means to mobilize his nation for war.

 He and the elites who protected him treated international law as a fetter on their freedom of action and they were not averse to using scheming and trickery for purposes of national defense. [6] Hirohito alone, however, could display leadership by using the technique of the substantive question that carried the force of a command.

 He was also unique in his view of Japan’s colonial and semi-colonial rights as his genealogical inheritance from his dead ancestors. Since childhood he had been taught that his ancestors, not his living “subjects,” were the source of his authority and the object of his responsibility—the sole entities to whom he was morally accountable. [7] Hirohito’s denial of responsibility for errors of policy and judgment pervaded the entire structure of Japanese collective decision-making.

The young Hirohito was neither bellicose nor intellectually shallow. He was serious, methodical, energetic, and intelligent; he was also physically slight and quite inarticulate. He had been carefully groomed to exercise imperial oversight through building and maintaining consensus so as to achieve unity in policy-making. Above all, he had been trained to make rational judgments as both head of state and supreme commander. [8]

Yet from the start occasions arose when passion and ideology intruded; on these occasions Hirohito, the unifier, blundered badly.

The Meiji constitution gave him great power and authority which could not be restricted by the political parties in the Diet. It positioned him at the intersection of politics and military affairs—allowing him on occasion to move the entire government.

 Eager to assert the prerogatives of imperial power that his own father had been unable to exercise, Hirohito, with the strong encouragement of his entourage, soon fired his first prime minister.

Their main grievance against prime minister General Tanaka Giichi, was that Tanaka wanted to punish two young officers who in June 1928 had assassinated the Chinese warlord Chang Tso-lin (Japan’s chief collaborator in China’s Manchuria), rather than hush up their crime as Tanaka’s cabinet ministers wanted. [9]

Hirohito persisted in influencing from behind the scenes the policies and conduct of the two prime ministers that followed. In 1930 his determination to achieve arms control in concert with the US and Britain led him and his close advisers to give inadequate attention to consensus-building among the elites.

They forced through Japan’s acceptance of the London Naval Treaty of 1930 over the objections of the navy’s minority faction, who believed that Japan had to be able to brandish naval power on a par with the Anglo-Americans if it was to achieve its national goals. The backlash from the minority factions in both services, and from politicians in the Diet who agreed with them, came swiftly.

By making the Court a new, institutionally independent player in an era of party cabinets, Hirohito and his Court Group undermined the tenuous system of party cabinet government that had begun to develop around the time of Meiji’s death. [10]

Meanwhile, out of public view, Hirohito was slowly forming his own political space within a complex system of institutions and processes, designed to protect him, so that he could exercise positive leadership at will, and not merely serve as a passive monarch sanctioning policies presented to him by the cabinet.

Hirohito tells us that over time he improved his modus operandi, becoming more adept at practicing self-restraint and avoiding actions and comments that could incur criticism.

After the eruption of the Manchurian Incident in September 1931, in the face of the global Great Depression, Japan’s domestic political situation became increasingly unstable.

 Hirohito and the men surrounding him then made a series of decisions with disastrous consequences for both China and Japan. Instead of demanding the punishment of insubordinate officers who had staged that incident, Hirohito accepted the army’s fait accompli, joined in the cover-up of the facts, and failed to back the efforts of the incumbent party cabinet to bring the Kwantung Army to heel.

Only by imputation may Hirohito (who was following his inner circle) be deemed criminally liable for these actions committed by senior and intermediate level officers in both Tokyo and Manchuria who, though under his command, were not yet under his actual control. But once he had learned the true facts, he not only failed to punish the wrongdoers, but actively joined in aiding and abetting the army’s seizure of Manchuria. In these ways, Hirohito allowed the military in general and army field commanders in particular to effectively take over Japan’s China policy and turn it openly aggressive. [11]

In spring 1932

, following the assassination of a prime minister by young naval officers, Hirohito and the Court Group abandoned their support for constitutional government conducted by party cabinets, thereby quickening the militaristic drift in Japanese politics. Cabinets of national unity headed by admirals moved to the fore.

 Japan was a signatory to the Kellogg-Briand Pact (1928), which obligated it to refrain from using force against other states, and the Nine-Power Treaty (1922), which stipulated respect for China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. When in the fall of 1932 Japan formally recognized the puppet state of “Manchukuo,” it violated both treaties. Hirohito was pleased that his army had expanded the empire and partially redressed Japan’s strategic weakness in natural resources such as coal and iron, but also agricultural land and its produce.

So rather than abandon this huge territorial gain in the face of vehement US and Chinese criticism, he sanctioned Japan’s withdrawal from the League of Nations in March 1933 and issued an imperial rescript announcing the move.

The rhetoric of “national emergency” and endangered “lifeline,” generated during the Manchurian crisis, continued to effect thinking about Japan’s domestic situation. Lethal conflicts involving military officers had shaken the country and Hirohito was uncertain how to proceed in the face of multiple pressures. Radical rightist politicians in the Diet called for the dissolution of political parties.

The army and navy, dissatisfied with their respective budgetary allocations, wanted a complete break with the Washington treaty system and an end to the court’s pro-Anglo-American line in diplomacy. Hirohito, keenly aware of Japan’s economic dependence on the West for resources, technology, and markets, hoped to be able to cooperate with Britain and the U. S., and simultaneously seek to isolate China diplomatically.

Over the next four years Hirohito groped for ways to restore discipline among alienated military officers impatient for domestic political reform, by which they meant mainly accelerated rearmament.

Although concerned about the army’s overreach on the continent, he worried even more about domestic disorder, which could undermine the monarchy. Then in 1935 army and civilian extremists tried to overcome all constitutional restraints preventing the emperor from ruling “directly” without relying on his advisers.

Their nationwide campaign attacked law professor Minobe Tatsukichi’s organ theory of the constitution that had been used to legitimize party government and lodge the monarchy more firmly within the constitutional order.

The cabinet that the extremists targeted for overthrow counter-attacked by launching its own campaign to repudiate the organ theory and emphasize the emperor’s “direct” personal rule, which had been the core concept of the Meiji Restoration. Hirohito lent his authority to both moves, partly to prevent his power from being dwarfed by groups acting from below, and partly to protect his closest advisers whom the radicals had singled out for attack. [12]

In late February 1936, a military insurrection in Tokyo took the life of Hirohito’s closest political adviser and many others.

Troops occupy Nagata-cho, Tokyo after the insurrection

Only after intervening forcefully to suppress the uprising and punish the rebel officers, did Hirohito sanction a large expansion of the military budget, a threefold increase in the size of the army’s small garrison force in north China, and national policies that “required Japan ‘to become the stabilizing force in East Asia.” [13]

Thereafter the army and navy played the guiding role in shaping domestic policy; and Hirohito, who still imagined himself to be a traditional “benevolent monarch,” threw off his earlier indecisiveness and slowly began to assert “direct” imperial rule in his capacity as uniformed commander-in-chief.

In July 1937,

Japanese and Chinese Nationalist troops clashed briefly at the Marco Polo Bridge south of Peking. The different army factions on the General Staff divided as to how to handle the fighting. One faction wanted to settle this minor provocation locally in order to concentrate resources on building Japan’s economic and military might; the other wanted to use the incident to resolve at a stroke all the outstanding issues with Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalist government. Hirohito, from the outset, supported the territorial expansionists.

 

When thousands of troops had been dispatched, he sanctioned a broad Japanese offensive in the Peking-Tientsin area. Shortly afterwards, on July 29-30, Chinese troops, students, and workers killed the remnants of the Japanese garrison force in the city of Tungchow, east of Peking, and also massacred 223 Japanese and Korean civilians, including many women and children. [14] Then, on August 13, Chiang suddenly spread the fighting in north China to Shanghai, in the lower Yangtze River region, where the interests of the foreign powers were most heavily concentrated. The conflict developed into an all-out, undeclared war. [15] Wanting to end it quickly, Hirohito urged major troop reinforcements and the strategic bombing of China’s cities. He also “endorsed the [army’s] decision to remove the constraints of international law on the treatment of Chinese prisoners of war.” [16]

In late November 1937,

having seized Shanghai after a bitter struggle, Japanese troops and naval and army air units began converging on China’s symbolically important capital of Nanking.

 Hirohito sanctioned the establishment of an Imperial Headquarters and the reorganization of the command structure so as to bring his constitutional command responsibilities and his real control into harmony.

Thereafter he was in a better position to assess intelligence, authorize and initiate field operations, and perform as an active supreme commander guiding from behind closed doors the actual conduct of the war. When Nanking fell, Nationalist soldiers failed to completely evacuate the city and many donned civilian clothes, giving the vengeful Japanese military an excuse to massacre Chinese war prisoners and civilians en masse.

Japanese forces enter Nanking

Hirohito, who must have learned about these events even if he did not grasp their seriousness, kept silent and appears never to have ordered an investigation into the criminal behavior of his armed forces. As the “China Incident” dragged on, with the military refusing to comply with international law to China, Japanese war atrocities increased. For these atrocities, Hirohito, as commander-in-chief, shares indirect, derivative responsibility. He bore more direct responsibility for sanctioning Japan’s use of poison gas. And he signed off on the order (Tairikumei 241) that led to the North China Area Army’s multiple, far more destructive and longer lasting, “annihilation campaigns,” that one Japanese scholar estimates to have killed over two and a half million Chinese noncombatants. [17]

In 1938

the China War stalemated. Even with thirty-eight divisions and 1.13 million troops in China by the end of that year, Japan’s leaders saw no way to end it quickly until Nazi Germany started World War II and occupied Western Europe. [18] By then, an intergovernmental liaison body, the Imperial Headquarters-Government Liaison Conference, in which Hirohito participated, had already resolved on a southern advance to complete China’s encirclement and position Japan to move into resource-rich areas of colonial Southeast Asia.

In September 1940

Hirohito ordered the army to begin its entry into French Indochina in preparation for striking further south. The US responded by applying economic sanctions. Hirohito then reluctantly assented to the Tripartite military alliance with the dictatorships in Germany and Italy. Three months later he ratified a treaty of friendship and peace with the independent, formally neutral state of Thailand, stipulating respect for Thai sovereignty. Having Thailand on Japan’s side would, it was felt, facilitate the advance southward by force.

By January 1941,

almost half a year before the German-Soviet war broke out, Hirohito was exercising the full prerogatives of his position. Then on December 8 (Tokyo time), Japan attacked the military forces and outposts of Britain and the United States, its major Western opponents, each of which was an imperialist state holding Asian peoples in colonial subjugation. Hirohito fussed over different drafts of his final memorandum to the US government in order to insure that not a single sentence in it hinted at a decision to declare war.

By issuing his war rescript without giving prior notification to the US or any other targeted country, he deliberately violated international law. As for the Netherlands, colonial master of the Netherlands East Indies, the main prize of the southern advance, Hirohito saw no need even to bother with a war declaration. And when plans called for Japanese armed forces to launch attacks from ships in the South China Sea on Singora in southern Thailand and  Kota Bharo in the northernmost Malay State, Hirohito did not hesitate to trample on the recently concluded Japan-Thai Friendship Treaty either.  [19]

To summarize: For war crimes committed by Japan’s military forces, which were the authorized servants of the emperor-state during the undeclared Japan-China War, Hirohito, as commander-in-chief, bore the strongest share of political, legal, and moral responsibility. He gave post-facto sanction to Japan’s take-over of Manchuria in violation of international treaties and agreements. He later participated actively in the planning and waging of Japan’s total war of aggression in China. As Japan’s sacred spiritual leader and symbol of national identity he (and his Court Group) framed the China conflict as a “holy war.”

 Working in close cooperation with the military, Hirohito brought emperor worship to fever pitch. He also ordered and monitored the bombing of Chinese cities, use of poison gas, and annihilation campaigns to wipe out the entire populations of contested areas in North and Central China. [20]

For the war crimes and other violations of international law committed by Japan’s military forces after December 7, 1941, the largest share of responsibility may again be attributed to Hirohito as both commander in chief and head of state.

At every stage on the road to Singora, Kota Bharo, and Pearl Harbor he was free to choose alternative courses of action rather than accept the thinking of his military chiefs. When, for example, Prime Minister Konoe Fumimaro, on September 5, 1941, gave him the chance to stop the rush to war against Britain and the US, he rejected it. [21] Over the next four years, until mid-1945, whenever confronted with the option of peace, he chose war.

Japanese historians have carefully documented Hirohito’s key role in war and postwar actions throughout the 1930s and ‘40s. It is now understood that he seldom allowed his generals and admirals to fight the war just as they wished, and that he delayed Japan’s surrender in order to preserve the imperial throne with himself on it.

This last point must be emphasized. According to the accounts of individuals close to Hirohito, the emperor recognized by summer 1944 that Japan would eventually have to seek a negotiated end to the losing war. But he insisted that his armed forces first had to achieve at least one substantial military result in order to improve the surrender terms.

He also rejected the idea of allowing the Allies to punish Japanese war criminals or abolish Japan’s armed forces, for they would be needed to check the Soviet Union and prevent the spread of communism at home.

A year later, in late June 1945,

Hirohito abandoned these preconditions: the battle of Okinawa had been lost; there would not be one-last-victory. Although he was not thinking of immediate capitulation, he was prepared to allow the Allies to punish war criminals; and even contemplated disarmament. But he (and other hardliners on the Supreme War Leadership Council) persisted in maneuvering for peace through the good offices of the still neutral Soviet Union, with the sole aim of preserving and protecting himself and the monarchy.

None of this means that Hirohito prescribed all policy, made all the decisions, or exercised unbounded influence. On the contrary, he had been taught never to perform as a Western-style dictator exercising power arbitrarily. [22]

The stereotyped Western understanding of this “system” as a military dictatorship in which the military always got its way, and the emperor was merely its powerless puppet, did not reflect reality. Whenever Hirohito chose to do so, he guided and made contributions to the conduct of the war in all four theaters: Manchuria (1931-45), China-within-the Great Wall (1937-45), colonial Southeast Asia (1941-45), and the Western Pacific (1941-45), where the US always focused its main military effort. He also mediated and acted as the final arbiter of conflicts among the high commanders; read the directives of both higher and lower level officers; and sent his aides to the front to investigate what the armies were doing. And long after military defeat and the massive destruction of Japanese cities stared him in the face—indeed, two full years after general staff studies showed that Japan had no prospect of achieving victory, Hirohito remained stubbornly committed to fighting on. He would delay surrender until his future as a politically-empowered sovereign was internationally guaranteed. The atomic bombing of Hiroshima and, perhaps even more, the Soviet entrance into the war, finally created a situation in which the ruling elites would risk acceptance of the Potsdam Declaration. [23]

After Japan’s surrender Hirohito did not abdicate as many expected, and as his own brothers and some members of the extended imperial family urged. Instead, he remained on the throne actively exercising political influence throughout the period of the first two post-surrender cabinets. Even after the new “Constitution of Japan” had stripped him of all political power and turned him into a ceremonial figurehead who was less than a “constitutional monarch,” he persisted in trying to influence events. As for the Japanese Foreign Ministry, it would always be quick to condemn the Soviet violation of its Neutrality Treaty with Japan but say nothing publicly about Japan’s violation of the Japan-Thai Friendship Treaty, which would have weakened the force of its charge and drawn Hirohito into the picture. [24]

Why Hirohito Was Not Tried

When the Allies put on trial for war crimes and crimes against peace a small, representative group of leading government and military officials of the Axis states, why was Japan’s commander-in-chief not indicted and tried, or, at the very least, questioned by US occupation officials about his responsibility for the war? Certainly the manner in which Westerners understood the monarchy and the political culture that supported the emperor had something to do with the failure of Americans to question him. [25] But more important factors were also at work, both within Japan and abroad, determining that Hirohito would not be tried or the monarchy abolished.

Of the internal factors, none was more important than Hirohito’s own actions and those of his entourage and high government officials between August 15, 1945 (when a recording of his voice announcing the end of the war was broadcast to the Japanese nation) and early September (when he told a special session of the 88th imperial Diet that Japan would strive to “build a peace state and contribute to the culture of mankind.”) [26] During the crucial first two weeks of transition to peace, before occupation forces took control and reforms commenced, Japan’s ruling elites astutely linked Hirohito to the idea of peace and enjoined the people to blame themselves rather than their leaders for the disaster. By closing ranks to conceal the emperor’s hands-on role in planning and waging war, they hoped to protect the throne, its occupant, and their own rule. For like no other event, the long war had impoverished the nation and produced a leveling of classes, giving new voice to individuals from the poorest social groups. Ruling elites feared that their relationship with the people could be torn asunder..

To protect their state and themselves, Japan’s decision-makers destroyed and hid massive amounts of documentary evidence. These materials pertained to war atrocities, massacres, sexual slavery, the treatment of war prisoners, and Yasukuni Shrine, as well as the emperor’s role in the complex bureaucratic process leading to war in 1941 and during the war itself. Another of their methods was to foist all blame for the war onto army leaders while pretending that the emperor and the people had done nothing wrongful because they had been “deceived” by “the military,” which in the minds of most Japanese meant the army. [27] In fact, at every important turning point on Japan’s road to wars in China, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific, senior naval leaders were equally at fault. Nevertheless, the myth persisted in postwar Japanese culture and memory that the senior officers of the imperial navy had been less militaristic and had a more rational perspective on the world than the army.

Additionally, in thinking about why Hirohito avoided all meaningful accountability, one cannot fail to note the powerful effect of his war termination rescript—the so-called “sacred decision” that brought peace. The drafters of this document never used the word “defeat,” affirmed the official war aims of self-defense and self-preservation, emphasized the future, and gave encouragement to rebuilding from the ruins. Determined to “protect the kokutai” in an unprecedented situation of military collapse, they skillfully concealed Hirohito’s delayed surrender. Hirohito and his chief political adviser, Kido Koichi then chose Prince Higashikuni Naruhiko to head the first “imperial family cabinet” formed right after the surrender.

Hirohito recording the surrender speech

Higashikuni followed up on the emperor’s rescript by urging the entire nation to repent and not seek justice for those who had ruined and disgraced the nation. His successor, former foreign minister Shidehara Kijuro, made denial of Hirohito’s war responsibility Japan’s official policy by defining the emperor under the Meiji Constitution as a normal, peace-minded constitutionalist, which he never was. The Shidehara cabinet’s decision on the emperor remained throughout the postwar Showa era, part of Japan’s dominant ideology of rule, fully supported by the US government. (Even today, arguments constructed to defend Hirohito still breathe the spirit of this decision.) For this and other reasons the war generation as a whole during the occupation years did not persist in clarifying the causes of defeat but instead channeled its energies into reconstructing and building a better Japan, so that the nation could regain its dignity and the trust of the world.

When assessing the external factors that contributed to Hirohito’s survival into the post-surrender period, one confronts a different set of facts, arguments, and assumptions. To begin with, the decision-makers in the Truman administration were divided over Hirohito, whereas General Douglas MacArthur, before he had even arrived on Japanese soil, assumed incorrectly that Hirohito had been a mere figurehead emperor and a virtually powerless puppet of Japan’s “militarists.” This helped the US military to use him just as Japan’s militarists had once done, to ease their rule, legitimize reforms, and insure their smooth implementation.

Joseph C. Grew—former ambassador to Japan and, at war’s end, the acting secretary of state—also tried to protect the emperor. His efforts and those of other influential American friends of Japan proved helpful to Japan’s rulers. In Washington Grew promoted the myth of the emperor’s innocence and the notion that the men who surrounded him were “moderates,” committed to peace. In Tokyo GHQ worked to save Hirohito from being held accountable for his actions. These American efforts promoted the fiction that the emperor had always been a peace-minded constitutionalist kept in the dark about the details of the war. But GHQ also ordered the remolding of Japanese opinion on the lost war through news articles serialized in the American-censored Japanese press and occasionally broadcast on the American-censored radio. These accounts placed the entire blame for the war and defeat on the “militarists.” Such occupation-sponsored myths strengthened Japanese victim consciousness and impede the search for truth.

The postwar trial of war criminals had been an Allied war aim, incorporated in the Potsdam Declaration. After Japan’s formal surrender (Sept. 2, 1945) the US military under Supreme Commander MacArthur began to rule indirectly, issuing orders to the Japanese government from GHQ offices in Tokyo while keeping in the background an American occupation force of over 100,000. Arrests of war criminal suspects soon began, and in spring 1946 the International Military Tribunal for the Far East (or Tokyo Trial) commenced. In the course of its lengthy proceedings, the Japanese people learned that the Chinese were not to blame for either the Chang Tso-lin assassination or the Manchurian Incident, and that their own armed forces had committed countless war crimes. Although the prosecution never presented a full picture of the Nanking atrocities, enough material was submitted in court to shock the Japanese nation. Similarly, the issue of forced sexual enslavement (“comfort women”) was aired in court with documents establishing that the army and navy had committed this war crime throughout the Japanese-occupied parts of Asia and the Pacific. What was never allowed, however, was any discussion of American war crimes, including Western colonialism.

Meanwhile, MacArthur had carefully removed from Article 6 of his charter for the Tokyo Trial, dealing with the official position of defendants, any explicit reference to “Head of State,” as stated in the Nuremberg charter. He and his subordinates preserved, in addition, the principle of head of state immunity for Hirohito’s premises and property. The latter included all of Hirohito’s official and private papers plus the papers of his military aides-de-camp that could have revealed valuable facts about his war role. [28] MacArthur then went to extraordinary lengths to shield Hirohito from every phase of the trial, including influencing the testimony of former wartime prime minister General Tojo Hideki, who was pressured to go to his death having assumed all responsibility for the lost war. [29]

Tojo at the Tokyo Trial

Hirohito too did not stand idle. At GHQ’s prodding he toured the country, intent on saving the monarchy, resuscitating what remained of its mystique, and establishing his bona fides as the “human” emperor, a “pacifist” in tune with the democratic values of his people. Hirohito participated with the “moderates” and others in the court milieu in a concerted campaign to shift all blame for war and atrocities onto subordinates. They entertained the Chief Prosecutor at the Tokyo Trial, Joseph B. Keenan; they gathered intelligence on what high officials of MacArthur’s General Headquarters thought about the emperor; and they influenced the lawyers on the International Prosecution Section who were preparing the case against “Class-A” war criminal suspects. Key members of Hirohito’s Court Group also served as “secret informants” for the prosecution, helping to select the men who would be indicted as “Class A” war criminal suspects, and in the process settling scores.

Hirohito’s famous “Monologue—the account of his role during the war years, which he dictated to five close aides starting March 1946—was a deliberate attempt to counter the Tokyo tribunal by placing the emperor’s version of events in MacArthur’s hands. [30] That Hirohito was given immunity from prosecution for his official acts and later protected from the trial proceedings indicates how far at odds Tokyo was from the letter and spirit of Nuremberg. The Hirohito case set a bad example by reestablishing the ancient tradition of immunity from prosecution for heads of state, which the Nuremberg charter had undermined.

But when some of the judges on the Tokyo tribunal felt compelled to call attention in their dissenting final judgments to the emperor’s total, unqualified political immunity from leadership crimes even though he had launched the aggressive war, they insured that the Hirohito case would be remembered.

War Remembrance: the Endless Search for Truth and Justice

One should not lay all blame for Japan’s war crimes at Hirohito’s feet any more than one should blame Hitler for all the war crimes of the Wehrmacht and the German people. Nor, for the same reason should one assign exclusive responsibility to President George W. Bush for all the war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by American forces in the illegal wars that he started in Iraq and Afghanistan. What the architects of the first international war crimes trials intended to prioritize was not blame per se but rather the principle that planning, preparing, initiating and waging an aggressive war is illegal. Apropos of this principle, Imperial Japan’s ministers of state, chiefs of staff, some of its Court Group officials and certainly most of its middle-echelon army and navy officers, were even more culpable for plunging Japan ever deeper into aggressive wars. So too were prominent war mongers at lesser levels of power in the bureaucracy and in the mass media. Journalists, their editors, radio script writers, and assorted opinion leaders dutifully propagandized the myth of the living deity. On matters of war they disseminated all the lies and propaganda that their government put out, just as the major American print, television, and radio news media do today with respect to US wars and occupations in the Middle East.

Many of Japan’s bureaucrats, business, religious, and educational leaders had also embraced the goal of ending by force Anglo-American domination of Asia and the Pacific, substituting in its place Japanese rule in China and Southeast Asia, though that did not make them equally blameworthy as war criminals. Hirohito, however, was at the very center of the policy-making process through every stage of war; he provided continuous oversight for wars that he knew were aggressive; and he incurred steadily mounting responsibility for those aggressions. He also figured centrally in the cultural process that nurtured the actual perpetrators of war crimes. In short, he made the system work and was the reason why it worked.

In November-December 1945, according to the US Strategic Bombing Survey, sixty-two percent of the Japanese people still wanted Hirohito to reign. [31] Rather than quickly distancing themselves from their emperor the way the Germans did from Hitler, in their effort to evade punishment and moral responsibility, Japan’s political elites drew closer and did all in their power to protect him. [32] This telling difference reflected not only the distinctive nature of leadership in Japan but also the ethos that informed decision-making. Furthermore, most Japanese people never reflected that since the end of the nineteenth century the monarchy as an institution had been the vital lynchpin to a class system that oppressed farmers, workers, and women. They did not understand—nor did the American occupation authorities help them to understand—that this institution was an agent of their prewar and wartime oppression. It had narrowed their intellectual horizons and encouraged many to see themselves as powerless vis-a-vis the state. Thus, as long as Hirohito remained on the throne, unaccountable to anyone for his official actions, most Japanese had little reason to question their support of him or feel responsibility for the war, let alone look beyond the narrow boundaries of victim-consciousness.

Through four decades of US-Soviet cold war conflict, the reformed Japanese state connived at the official version of the lost war as one of “self defense and self preservation,” which the emperor and his ministers had reaffirmed at the time of surrender. Historical researchers who attempted to pursue Hirohito’s wartime conduct found the vast resources of the government all but closed off. Only after Japan normalized diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China in 1972, in a vaguely worded “Japan-China Joint Communique,” was victim-consciousness increasingly challenged by those who came to recognize that Japan had also been a major perpetrator of war crimes.

During the 1970s, Japanese tourism to cities in Manchuria, to former colonial areas, and to Pacific war battlefields helped to widen intellectual horizons and foster the growth of perpetrator consciousness. But it was mainly in the 1980s and 1990s that major historical studies exploring the relationship between politics, the military, and the emperor began to appear. And many more years had to pass after Hirohito’s death in 1989 before the Japanese mass media ended its self-imposed taboo on judgments about the emperor’s faults and discussed his unacknowledged war responsibility. Even then, efforts by neonationalists and conservatives to obfuscate the emperor’s role in political and military affairs hampered public recognition of Hirohito’s enormous war responsibility. Just the same, Japanese citizens continued to question and to widen the boundaries of war responsibility.

The end of the Cold War, the abrupt breakup of the Soviet Union, and the concurrent rise of China hastened the development of new economic and financial ties, binding Japan and its Asian neighbors and spurring attempts at reconciliation. [33] Many Japanese, viewing these large-scale political and economic changes, wondered why their country remained militarily tied so tightly to the US, the world’s leading practitioner of state terror and militarism. Their perceptions of recent wars and the current balance of forces in the world have shaped the Japanese search for historical truth and justice. In addition, some American politicians have now added their voices to Asian movements pressing Japan to confront problems left unresolved from the Asia-Pacific War, even though the United States has not directly apologized to the Japanese people for its historic terror bombing of their cities; nor has it paid reparations to Vietnam, a nation that it once targeted for aggression just as it does in Iraq.

Looking closer, while bearing in mind global patterns of hypocrisy on issues of war responsibility, the first point to note is that Japanese public discussion of problems from the lost war has served multiple purposes. Sometimes debate over war remembrance advanced the political position of different civic organizations; at other times it camouflaged narrow institutional agendas, generating political capital for Diet members and their parties. [34] Such debate was relatively intense during the early years of foreign occupation (1945-52). This was the period when Japan advanced further than Germany did at any time while under Allied occupation and during the era of Chancellor Conrad Adenauer (1949-63). Throughout that period with few exceptions, little debate occurred on German war crimes. But when the US changed its occupation policy to building up Japan as a Cold War ally rather than pursuing war criminals, Japanese discussion waned, and along with it concern over Hirohito’s unacknowledged war responsibility. Interest did not rekindle until Hirohito traveled abroad in the early- and mid-1970s—first to Britain and West Germany where he was greeted with hostile public demonstrations. In 1975, after making his first and only state visit to the United States, Hirohito returned home and held press interviews with Japanese and foreign journalists. These events continued to shake loose memories of his wartime behavior and led a vanguard of Japanese historians to investigate the machinery of the wartime monarchy and the individuals of the Court Group who operated it, starting with its most important member, Hirohito. [35]

As the cold war moved to its sudden end, Japan entered an era in which issues of war responsibility could be openly debated on the basis of a trove of newly published documents, diaries, and other first-hand accounts of the emperor by his innermost circle of advisers, men who had served him in war and peace. Consequently, many more Japanese were able to free themselves from falsehoods about the lost war, the practices of the Japanese state, and the role of Hirohito.

Yet as historian Yoshida Yutaka and others have shown, every phase of Japan’s debates on war responsibility has also been a phase in the expression of nationalist sentiment. Discussions of textbook revision to eliminate references to war crimes, religious rites of remembrance for the war dead, or revising the Imperial Household Law to allow a female emperor, all revealed deep cracks in public opinion. For example, one of the most irreconcilable splits concerns how to mourn the national war dead. Over nearly fourteen years, about 435,600 Japanese combatants were killed in China (excluding Manchuria) and Hong Kong alone. [36] Japanese civilians in the home islands also died in huge numbers from US terror bombing. But it was the remembrance of the enormous number of soldiers who had died futilely on all fronts in the war of aggression that mainly revived the Yasukuni Shrine issue.

Yasukuni Shrine is a state-established site of collective war remembrance, connected to state-worship and dedicated to preserving both the emperor-centered view of the past and the official interpretation of the “War of Greater East Asia.” The Army and Navy Ministries once administered this Shinto religious institution and its attached center for disseminating war propaganda (the Yushukan), and made it an integral part of Japanese state worship and militarism. There the spirits of 2.47 million people, including a small number of Taiwanese and Koreans, who died fighting for the emperor, are enshrined. [37] Before, during, and soon after the war Emperor Hirohito expressed his gratitude and respect for the war dead by visiting or sending emissaries to participate in the annual national memorial rites to assuage their spirits.

Hirohito visits Yasukuni Shrine, 1935

MacArthur’s Headquarters, determined to de-legitimize official state worship, disestablished Shinto, closed the Yushukan building, and ordered the emperor to stop visiting the shrine, saying that GHQ’s intention was to protect the monarchy from criticism. Naturally, Hirohito complied. [38] Not until the occupation ended did the “symbol emperor” resume his visits.

Meanwhile, despite the new constitution’s separation of politics from religion, Yasukuni Shrine had reestablished its symbiotic relationship with the Japanese government through the Welfare Ministry, which granted pensions and sorted out those qualified for enshrinement. In 1978, three years after Hirohito’s eighth postwar visit, Yasukuni collectively enshrined the spirits of fourteen convicted war criminals, igniting foreign and domestic criticism. Hirohito, reportedly upset that some men whom he blamed for perpetrating the war had been enshrined, abruptly ended his visits. Government officials and cabinet ministers continued visiting in their private capacity, though not without provoking criticism.

In August 1985, on the fortieth anniversary of the war’s end, Prime Minister Nakasone Yasuhiro, who since 1983 had made more private visits to Yasukuni than any previous prime minister, announced that this time he was going to worship at Yasukuni in his official capacity. Almost immediately, the shrine became embroiled in Japan’s international affairs. Nakasone pulled back. The next year, however, the Yushukan reopened and began disseminating its anachronistic view of the lost war.

During the 1990s and early 2000s, as conservative politicians looked for ways to generate public support for abandoning Japan’s official anti-war stance, they contemplated using this anachronistic but hallowed place of war memory to create a new nationalism. Liberal Democratic Party Prime Minister Koizumi Junichiro is remembered for, among other things, having dispatched Japan’s Self Defense Force’s overseas in blind support of the US war and occupation in Iraq. He also made four official visits to Yasukuni, starting in 2001, which led to a series of diplomatic protests from China and Korea, as well as strong criticism at home. Ever since, Yasukuni has served as a tool for politicians seeking to heighten nationalism among the young. Private pressure groups such as the Association of Shinto Shrines and the Bereaved Families Association also use Yasukuni as a tool, dreaming to restore further elements of state Shinto. What the political dynamics of this symbol of collective war remembrance distorts, however, is the natural human need of people, especially family members, to remember their dead.

When neonationalist politician Abe Shinzo succeeded Koizumi in 2006, he promised to mend relations with Japan’s neighbors. Instead, his own remarks denying that the Japanese military had systematically coerced women into sexual slavery again disappointed Japan’s Asian trade partners—above all China and Korea. Abe also turned back the clock on issues of educational reform and constitutional revision. During his short, scandal-plagued tenure, he made compulsory the teaching of patriotism in schools and raised the status of Japan’s Defense Agency to a full ministry. But when, during the sixtieth anniversary of Japan’s peace constitution (May 3, 2007), Abe announced that the Constitution had “become incapable of adapting to the great changes” in the world, the public took alarm. In an Upper House election two months later he was soundly repudiated for, among other reasons, seeking to draw Japan closer to a bellicose United States.

As this election showed, it is not only the deepening economic and cultural relations between Japan and China, South Korea, and the nations of Southeast Asia that are keeping transnational conflicts over war issues and memories from the past within manageable bounds. So too is the good sense of the majority of the Japanese people, who continue to support the “peace” Constitution because they feel more secure with Article Nine intact. Nevertheless, the parliamentary balance of power remains fraught. The LDP’s agenda for constitutional revision has been postponed, but neither current Prime Minister Fukuda Yasuo nor the powerful business federations which support revision have given up the fight.

Japanese historians, journalists, and concerned citizens continue to rethink the historical issues that the post-World War II tribunals failed to adequately confront. The best histories not only show how diverse the Japanese responses to war actually were, but also cast an ever-widening net of responsibility for the Asia-Pacific War—a net in which Hirohito is invariably captured. Through books, journal articles, and documentary films they help Japan to understand where it went wrong, who committed war crimes and why, and what should be done to maintain peace in Asia and the Pacific. Yet Japan’s conservative political elites and bureaucrats remain an obstacle. The repeated apologies that they make for the damage caused by the imperial armed forces are undermined by the Yasukuni question, the whitewashing of history textbooks, and their stubborn refusal to acknowledge the Japanese state’s responsibility to pay reparations to war victims.

The Japanese government, and the district courts that usually mirror its policies, failed to give satisfaction to former Allied prisoners of Japan who sought reparations and official apology. Veteran soldiers, who were recruited from Japan’s colonies but later denied pensions, sued and lost in Japanese domestic courts. Chinese and Korean laborers, seeking economic compensation and official apology for having been kidnapped from their homes and forcibly brought to work in wartime Japan, fared no better. Women coerced into sexual slavery have been even more dismissively treated. Japanese courts failed not only the war victims in Asian countries. They were also unable to provide justice to the bereaved families of Japanese civilians murdered by the army and navy during the battles of Saipan and Okinawa, and to the Japanese victims of the imperial military’s illegal (pre- and post-surrender) courts martial of soldiers and officers who had been forced to surrender on the battle field, and were later tried and punished for desertion. [39]

In April 2007, Japan’s Supreme Court foreclosed all pending and future lawsuits arising from actions taken by Japan in the course of prosecuting its lost war. The judges cited as a main ground the relevant provisions of the US-imposed San Francisco Peace Treaty, drafted at the height of the US-Soviet cold war, which has never brought justice to the victims of Japan’s wartime aggression. Ignoring the treaty’s contested legal provisions, the judges claimed that the signatories had settled these problems by waiving reparations claims at the state level. [40]

On the issue of paying reparations to all war victims, Germany’s practice since 2000, when the Bundestag established a reparations mechanism, euphemistically labeled a “Fund for Remembrance, Responsibility, and the Future,” contrasts vividly with Japan’s continued intransigence. There is no doubt, however, that throughout the cold war German progress was slow. The initiative came in the late 1990s  from German industries, concerned that lawsuits brought by victims of Nazism would harm their reputations and profits; class action lawsuits lodged in US courts also played an important role. Equally important are the different political dynamics and ideologies that inform politics in post-Cold War Germany and Japan.

One of the characteristics of this difference is precisely the historical Hirohito and the many meanings that he carries for Japan and the Japanese people. The war dead cannot be officially remembered without him; the full truth of the war cannot be known in his absence. As long as the record of imperial Japan’s misdeeds is aired and issues of leadership and war responsibility are debated, the apparition of Hirohito will linger and he will have an eternal place in Japanese politics.

Herbert P. Bix, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan, writes on problems of war and empire. A Japan Focus associate, he prepared this article for Japan Focus. Posted May 6, 2008.

Notes

[1] For representative recent works on problems of war and postwar, see the essays in the eight-volume Iwanami Koza Ajia Taiheiyo senso (Iwanami Shoten, 2005-7); and Kosuge Nobuko, Sengo wakai: Nihon wa ‘kako’ kara tokihanatareru no ka (Chuko Shinsho, 2005).

[2] Herbert P. Bix, Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan (HarperCollins Perennial Edition, 2001) contains 688 pages of text. More than 350 of these pages treat the Asia-Pacific War and the Tokyo trial. But the remaining half addresses the prewar emperor, the nature of the empire, and problems of postwar remembrance and accountability. See Kawashima Takane, “Haabaato Bikkusu, ‘Showa Tenno’ no yomarekata,” in Kikan senso sekinin kenkyu, No. 41 (Fall 2003), pp. 2-10.

[3] For the “over 130,000” figure see Bernice Archer, The Internment of Western Civilians Under the Japanese 1941-1945 (Routledge Curzon, 2004), p. 5. Gavan Daws, Prisoners of the Japanese: POWS of World War II in the Pacific (William Morrow & Co., 1996), p. 96, gives the higher estimate.

[4] Eguchi Keiichi, Taikei Nihon no rekishi 14, Futatsu no taisen (Tokyo: Shogakukan, 1989), p. 372.

[5] In the European and Pacific War theaters, total American deaths did not exceed 293,000, according to Vladislav M. Zubok, A Failed Empire: The Soviet Union in the Cold War From Stalin to Gorbachev (Univ. of North Carolina Press, 2007), p. 2; Yui Daizaburo, “Sekaishi no naka no Ajia Taiheiyo senso,” in Iwanami koza: Ajia Taiheiyo senso 1, Naze, ima Ajia, Taiheiyo senso ka (Iwanami Shoten, 2005), p. 261, citing Robert Goralski, World War II Almanac: 1931-1945 (Hamish Hamilton, 1981), pp. 421-28.

[6] See the comments of Yoshida Yutaka, “Kanshusha atogaki,” pp. 336-7, quoting from the work of Masumi Junnosuke, in Showa tenno, ge: Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan (Kodansha 2002). Translated by Okabe Makio, Kawashima Takane, and Nagai Hitoshi.

[7] Bix, Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan, p. 39.

[8] For evidence, see Bix, chapters 1 through 4.

[9] Bix, pp. 184-6, 198, 208-9, 211-12, 217-19.

[10] From the start of his reign, Hirohito and his Court Group, with the aid of the last Genro, became the appointers of the prime minister, taking into account, though only when it served their purposes, the preferences of the majority conservative party in the Lower House of the imperial Diet. At such moments they clarified their policy preferences to the prime minister designate. If he later failed to take them into account he would lose their confidence and be unable to govern. In Meiji’s time the system was less complex: the Genro chose the prime minister and political parties were at a nascent stage. See Bix, p. 700, endnote 52.

[11] Mori Shigeki, “The ‘Washington System’ and Its Aftermath: Reevaluating After Imperialism From the Perspective of Japanese Historiography,” International Journal of Asian Studies, 3.2 (2006), p. 265.

[12] Bix, pp. 288-9.

[13] Bix, pp. 359, 307.

[14] Bix, p. 322.

[15] Bix, p. 323.

[16] Bix, p. 359.

[17] Bix, pp. 361-2, 365, 367.

[18] Yamada Akira, “Heishitachi no NitChu senso,” in Iwanami koza: Ajia Taiheiyo senso 5, Senjo no shoso (Iwanami Shoten, 2006), p. 35.

[19] Bix, pp. 434-5; Yoshida Yutaka, Ajia Taiheiyou senso (Iwanami Shinsho, 2007), pp. 20-21; Takashima Nobuyoshi, “Rekishikan—Medeia Watching,” Kikan senso sekinin kenkyu, dai 58 go (Winter 2007), pp. 94-95. As Takashima notes, ever since Japan’s surrender the Foreign Ministry has avoided public mention of the Japan-Thai Friendship Treaty while condemning the Soviet Union for its violation of the Japan-Soviet Neutrality Treaty.

[20] Bix, pp. 362-367.

[21] Bix, pp. 409-10.

[22] In contrast to the authoritarian political order in the United States under the Bush administration, where the “commander-in-chief” and his subordinates publicly defend torture, contempt for the rule of law was never the governing principle of the imperial state.

[23] Bix, Ch. 13, esp. pp. 506-519.

[24] Takashima, “Rekishikan—Media Watching,” pp. 94-95.

[25] Akazawa Shiro, “Tenno no senso sekininron e no shatei” [The Trajectory of the Emperor’s War Responsibility] in Iwanami Koza: Ajia-Taiheiyo senso, dai nikan, Senso no seijigaku (Iwanami Shoten, 2005), pp. 235-6.

[26] Cited in Yoshida Yutaka, “Senso sekininron no genzai,” in Iwanami Koza: Ajia-Taiheiyo senso, dai ikkan, Naze, ima Ajia-Taiheiyo senso ka (Iwanami Shoten, 2006), p. 94.

[27] Yoshida, “Senso sekininron no genzai,” p. 96.

[28] Arthur Watts, “The Legal Position in International Law of Heads of State, Heads of Government and Foreign Minister,” Recueil des cours, Vo. 247, No. 9 (1994), pp. 82-83.

[29] Bix, pp. 585-6.

[30] Bix, “The Showa Emperor’s ‘Monologue’ and the Problem of War Responsibility” in Journal of Japanese Studies, Vol. 18, No. 2 (Summer 1992), 295-363.

[31] Yoshimi Yoshiaki, Kusa no ne fuashizumu: Nihon minshu no senso taiken (Tokyo Daigaku Shuppankai, 1991), p. 273.

[32] On early postwar attitudes toward Hitler, see Tony Judt, Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945 (The Penguin Press, 2005), p. 809.

[33] On the disintegration of the Soviet Union, see Zubok, pp. 303-35.

[34] See Franziska Seraphim, War Memory and Social Politics in Japan, 1945-2005 (Harvard Univ. Press, 2006, esp. chapters 8, 9, 10, and Conclusion.

[35] For detailed periodization and discussion see Akazawa, pp. 226, 237ff; Bix, pp. 674-77.

[36] Yamada Akira, “Heishitachi no NitChu sensou,” in Iwanami Koza Ajia-Taiheiyou sensou, Dai 5 kan, Senjou no shosou (Iwanami Shoten, 2006), p.33, citing Kuwata Zei and Maehara Toshie, Nihon no senso zukai to deeta (Hara Shobo, 1982).

[37] Yoshida Yutaka, “Yasukuni jinja, gokoku jinja,” in Hara Takeshi, Yoshida Yutaka, hen, Iwanami Tenno, koshitsu jiten (Iwanami Shoten, 2005), p. 322; Yasumaru Yoshio, “Kokkashugi to musubu tokui na sonzai subete no rei no hifun ni kenmoku o” in Asahi shinbun (Aug. 9, 2001). Yasumaro calls attention to the medieval Buddhist tradition of no discrimination between enemy and ally (onshin byodo) and contrasts it to the Yasukuni practice of sorting out the war dead.

[38] On protecting the monarchy by refraining from visiting Yasukuni, see Takamatsu Nomiya nikki 8 (Chuo Koronsha, 1997), p. 346, entry of April 30, 1946.

[39] Yoshida Yutaka, “Sengoshi no naka no gunkeiho,” in Kikan senso sekinin kenkyu, No. 25 (Fall 1999), pp. 24-29.

[40] Mark A. Levin, “Nishimatsu Construction Co. v. Song Jixiao et al; Ko Hanako et al. v. Japan,” in American Journal of International Law, Vol. 102, No. 1 (Jan. 2008), pp. 148-9. The San Francisco Peace treaty, signed in September 1951, has been in force since April 1952. The largely American mishandling of its reparations clauses, which were cursory in nature and lacked explicit detail, was a cause of acute disagreements at the ti

 

 

 

 

Use mdy dates|date=January 2013
royalty|monarch
name : Hirohito / Emperor Shōwa
裕仁 / 昭和天皇
succession : Emperor of Japan+

reign : December 25, 1926 –
January 7, 1989
coronation : November 10, 1928
cor-type : Japan
personalname : Hirohito
predecessor : Taishō+
successor : Akihito+
reg-type : Prime Ministers+
regent :
spouse : Empress Kōjun+
issue : Princess Teru+
Princess Hisa+
Princess Taka+
Princess Yori+
Emperor Akihito+
Prince Hitachi+
Princess Suga+
full name :
house : Imperial House of Japan+
anthem : ”Kimi ga Yo+
father : Taishō+
|mother =Teimei+
|era =Shōwa+
|birth_place =Aoyama+ Palace, Tokyo, Japan
|death_place =Fukiage Palace, Tokyo+, Japan
|date of burial =February 24, 1989
|place of burial =Hachiōji, Tokyo+, Japan

X | Mute

 

 

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name of the era that corresponded with the Emperor’s reign, and was made the Emperor’s own name upon his death. The name 裕仁 means “abundant benevolence”.

At the start of his reign, Japan was already one of the great power+s — the ninth-largest economy in the world+ after Italy+, the third-largest naval power+, and one of the four permanent members of the council of the League of Nations+. He was the head of state+ under the limitation of the Constitution of the Empire of Japan+ during Japan’s imperial expansion, militarization, and involvement in World War II+. After the war, he was not prosecuted for war crimes+ as many other leading government figures were, despite his involvement.Y. Yoshimi and S. Matsuno, ”Dokugasusen Kankei Shiryô II, Kaisetsu, Jugonen Sensô Gokuhi Shiryoshu”, 1997, p. 27–29 During the postwar period+, he became the symbol of the new state and Japan’s recovery, and by the end of his reign, Japan had emerged as the world’s second largest economy+.

Born in Tokyo’s Aoyama Palace+, Hirohito was the first son of Crown Prince+ Yoshihito (the future Emperor Taishō+) and Crown Princess Sadako (the future Empress Teimei+). His childhood title was . In 1908, he began elementary studies at the Gakushūin+ (Peers School).


When his grandfather, Emperor Meiji+, died on July 30, 1912, Hirohito’s father, Yoshihito, assumed the throne; Hirohito became the heir apparent. At the same time, he was formally commissioned in both the army and navy as a second lieutenant and ensign, respectively, and was also decorated with the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Chrysanthemum+. In 1914, he was promoted to the ranks of lieutenant in the army and sub-lieutenant in the navy, then to captain and lieutenant in 1916. He was formally proclaimed Crown Prince and heir apparent+ on November 2, 1916; but an investiture ceremony was not strictly necessary to confirm this status as heir to the throne.

Hirohito attended the Y.M.C.A. of Gakushūin+ Peers’ School from 1908 to 1914 and then a special institute for the crown prince (Tōgū-gogakumonsho) from 1914 to 1921.
In 1920, Hirohito was promoted to the rank of Major in the army and Lieutenant Commander in the navy. In 1921, Hirohito took a six-month tour of Europe+, including the United Kingdom+, France+, Italy, the Netherlands+, and Belgium+, becoming the first Japanese crown prince to travel abroad. After his return to Japan, he became Regent+ of Japan (Sesshō+) on November 29, 1921, in place of his ailing father who was affected by a mental illness.

During Hirohito’s regency, a number of important events occurred:

In the Four-Power Treaty+ on Insular Possessions signed on December 13, 1921, Japan, the United States, Britain, and France agreed to recognize the status quo in the Pacific, and Japan and Britain agreed to terminate formally the Anglo-Japanese Alliance+. The Washington Naval Treaty+ was signed on February 6, 1922. Japan withdrew troops from the Siberian Intervention+ on August 28, 1922. The Great Kantō earthquake+ devastated Tokyo on September 1, 1923. On December 27, 1923, communist+ Daisuke Namba+ attempted to assassinate Hirohito in the Toranomon Incident+ but his attempt failed. The General Election Law+ was passed on May 5, 1925, giving all men above age 25 the right to vote.

In 1923, he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel in the army and Commander in the navy, and to army Colonel and Navy Captain in 1925.

Prince Hirohito married his distant cousin Princess Nagako Kuni (the future Empress Kōjun+), the eldest daughter of Prince Kuni Kuniyoshi+, on January 26, 1924. They had two sons and five daughters. (see Issue+)

The daughters who lived to adulthood left the imperial family as a result of the American reforms of the Japanese imperial household in October 1947 (in the case of Princess Higashikuni) or under the terms of the Imperial Household Law+ at the moment of their subsequent marriages (in the cases of Princesses Kazuko, Atsuko, and Takako).

! Name !! Birth !! Marriage !! Issue

| Princess Teru+ | December 6, 1925
died, July 23, 1961 | October 10, 1943 | Prince Morihiro Higashikuni+ | Prince Nobuhiko Higashikuni
Princess Fumiko Higashikuni
Naohiko Higashikuni
Hidehiko Higashikuni
Yuko Higashikuni

| Princess Hisa+ | September 10, 1927
died, March 6, 1928 | | |

| Princess Taka+ | September 30, 1929
died, May 28, 1989 | May 21, 1950 | Toshimichi Takatsukasa+ | Naotake Takatsukasa (adopted)

| Princess Yori+ | March 7, 1931 | October 10, 1952 | Takamasa Ikeda |

| Emperor Akihito+ | December 23, 1933 | April 10, 1959 | Michiko Shōda+ | Crown Prince Naruhito+
Prince Akishino+
Princess Nori+

| Prince Hitachi+ | November 28, 1935 | September 30, 1964 | Hanako Tsugaru+ |

| Princess Suga+ | March 2, 1939 | March 3, 1960 | Hisanga Shimazu | Yoshihisa Shimazu
|

On December 25, 1926, Hirohito assumed the throne upon his father, Yoshihito+‘s, death. The Crown Prince was said to have received the succession (”senso”).Varley, H. Paul, ed. (1980). ”Jinnō Shōtōki+ (“A Chronicle of Gods and Sovereigns: Jinnō Shōtōki of Kitabatake Chikafusa” translated by H. Paul Varley)”, p. 44. [A distinct act of ''senso'' is unrecognized prior to Emperor Tenji+; and all sovereigns except Jitō+, Yōzei+, Go-Toba+, and Fushimi+ have ''senso'' and ''sokui'' in the same year until the reign of Go-Murakami+;] Ponsonby-Fane, p. 350. The Taishō era+‘s end and the Shōwa era+‘s beginning (Enlightened Peace) were proclaimed. The deceased Emperor was posthumously renamed Emperor Taishō+ within days. Following Japanese custom, the new Emperor was never referred+ to by his given name, but rather was referred to simply as , which may be shortened to . In writing, the Emperor was also referred to formally as .

In November 1928, the Emperor’s ascension was confirmed in ceremonies+ (”sokui”) which are conventionally identified as “enthronement” and “coronation” (”Shōwa no tairei-shiki”); but this formal event would have been more accurately described as a public confirmation that his Imperial Majesty possesses the Japanese Imperial Regalia+, also called the Three Sacred Treasures+, which have been handed down through the centuries.

The first part of Hirohito’s reign took place against a background of financial crisis+ and increasing military power within the government, through both legal and extralegal means. The Imperial Japanese Army+ and Imperial Japanese Navy+ had held veto+ power over the formation of cabinets since 1900, and between 1921 and 1944 there were no fewer than 64 incidents of political violence.

Hirohito narrowly missed assassination by a hand grenade+ thrown by a Korean independence activist+, Lee Bong-chang+ in Tokyo on January 9, 1932, in the Sakuradamon Incident+.

Another notable case was the assassination of moderate Prime Minister+ Inukai Tsuyoshi+ in 1932, which marked the end of civilian control of the military+. This was followed by an attempted military coup+ in February 1936, the February 26 incident+, mounted by junior Army officers of the ”Kōdōha+” faction who had the sympathy of many high-ranking officers including Prince Chichibu+ (Yasuhito), one of the Emperor’s brothers. This revolt was occasioned by a loss of political support by the militarist faction in Diet+ elections. The coup resulted in the murders of a number of high government and Army officials.

When Chief Aide-de-camp+ Shigeru Honjō+ informed him of the revolt, the Emperor immediately ordered that it be put down and referred to the officers as “rebels” (”bōto”). Shortly thereafter, he ordered Army Minister+ Yoshiyuki Kawashima+ to suppress the rebellion within the hour, and he asked reports from Honjō every thirty minutes. The next day, when told by Honjō that little progress was being made by the high command in quashing the rebels, the Emperor told him “I Myself, will lead the Konoe Division+ and subdue them.” The rebellion was suppressed following his orders on February 29+.

Japan invaded Manchuria+ in 1931 and parts of China in 1937 (the Second Sino-Japanese War+). Hirohito never really objected to China’s invasion. It had been recommended to him by his chiefs of staff and prime minister Fumimaro Konoe+. His main concern seems to have been the possibility of an attack by the Soviet Union in the north. His questions to his chief of staff, Prince Kan’in+, and minister of the army, Hajime Sugiyama+, were mostly about the time it could take to crush Chinese resistance.

According to Akira Fujiwara, Hirohito personally ratified the Japanese Army’s proposal to remove the constraints of international law on the treatment of Chinese prisoners on August 5. And the works of Yoshiaki Yoshimi+ and Seiya Matsuno show that the Emperor authorized, by specific orders (rinsanmei), the use of chemical weapons against the Chinese. During the invasion of Wuhan+, from August to October 1938, the Emperor authorized the use of toxic gas on 375 separate occasions, despite the resolution adopted by the League of Nations+ on May 14 condemning Japanese use of toxic gas.

On September 27, 1940, ostensibly under Hirohito’s leadership, Japan formed Tripartite Pact+ with Nazi Germany+ and Fascist Italy+, forming the Axis Powers+. Before that, in July 1939, the Emperor quarreled with his brother, Prince Chichibu+, who was visiting him three times a week to support the treaty, and reprimanded the army minister Seishirō Itagaki+. But after the success of the Wehrmacht+ in Europe, the Emperor consented to the alliance.

On September 4, 1941, the Japanese Cabinet met to consider war plans prepared by Imperial General Headquarters, and decided that:

quote
|Our Empire, for the purpose of self-defense and self-preservation, will complete preparations for war … [and is] … resolved to go to war with the United States, Great Britain, and the French if necessary. Our Empire will concurrently take all possible diplomatic measures vis-à-vis the United States and Great Britain, and thereby endeavor to obtain our objectives … In the event that there is no prospect of our demands being met by the first ten days of October through the diplomatic negotiations mentioned above, we will immediately decide to commence hostilities against the United States, Britain and the French.

The objectives to be obtained were clearly defined: a free hand to continue with the conquest of China and Southeast Asia, no increase in US or British military forces in the region, and cooperation by the West “in the acquisition of goods needed by our Empire.”

On September 5, Prime Minister Konoe informally submitted a draft of the decision to the Emperor, just one day in advance of the Imperial Conference at which it would be formally implemented. On this evening, the Emperor had a meeting with the chief of staff of the army, Sugiyama, chief of staff of the navy, Osami Nagano+, and Prime Minister Konoe. The Emperor questioned Sugiyama about the chances of success of an open war with the Occident+. As Sugiyama answered positively, the Emperor scolded him:

quote
|—At the time of the China incident+, the army told me that we could make Chiang+ surrender after three months but you still can’t beat him even today! Sugiyama, you were minister at the time.
—China is a vast area with many ways in and ways out, and we met unexpectedly big difficulties.
—You say the interior of China is huge; isn’t the Pacific Ocean even bigger than China? Didn’t I caution you each time about those matters? Sugiyama, are you lying to me?

Chief of Naval General Staff Admiral Nagano, a former Navy Minister and vastly experienced, later told a trusted colleague, “I have never seen the Emperor reprimand us in such a manner, his face turning red and raising his voice.”
According to the traditional view, Hirohito was deeply concerned by the decision to place “war preparations first and diplomatic negotiations second”, and he announced his intention to break with tradition. At the Imperial Conference on the following day, the Emperor directly questioned the chiefs of the Army and Navy general staffs, which was quite an unprecedented action.

Nevertheless, all speakers at the Imperial Conference were united in favor of war rather than diplomacy. Baron Yoshimichi Hara+, President of the Imperial Council and the Emperor’s representative, then questioned them closely, producing replies to the effect that war would only be considered as a last resort from some, and silence from others.

At this point, the Emperor astonished all present by addressing the conference personally, and in breaking the tradition of Imperial silence left his advisors “struck with awe.” (Prime Minister Konoe’s description of the event.) Hirohito stressed the need for peaceful resolution of international problems, expressed regret at his ministers’ failure to respond to Baron Hara’s probings, and re

Recovering from their shock, the ministers hastened to express their profound wish to explore all possible peaceful avenues. The Emperor’s presentation was in line with his practical role as leader of the Shinto+ religion.

At this time, Army Imperial Headquarters was continually communicating with the Imperial household in detail about the military situation. On October 8, Sugiyama signed a 47-page report to the Emperor (sōjōan) outlining in minute detail plans for the advance into Southeast Asia. During the third week of October, Sugiyama gave the Emperor a 51-page document, “Materials in Reply to the Throne”, about the operational outlook for the war.

As war preparations continued, Prime Minister Konoe found himself more and more isolated and gave his resignation on October 16. He justified himself to his chief cabinet secretary, Kenji Tomita :

Of course His Majesty is a pacifist, and there is no doubt he wished to avoid war. When I told him that to initiate war was a mistake, he agreed. But the next day, he would tell me: “You were worried about it yesterday, but you do not have to worry so much.” Thus, gradually, he began to lean toward war. And the next time I met him, he leaned even more toward. In short, I felt the Emperor was telling me: my prime minister does not understand military matters, I know much more. In short, the Emperor had absorbed the view of the army and navy high commands.

The army and the navy recommended the candidacy of Prince Higashikuni+, one of the Emperor’s uncles. According to the Shōwa “Monologue”, written after the war, the Emperor then said that if the war were to begin while a member of the imperial house was prime minister, the imperial house would have to carry the responsibility and he was opposed to this.

Instead, the Emperor chose the hard-line General Hideki Tōjō+, who was known for his devotion to the imperial institution, and asked him to make a policy review of what had been sanctioned by the Imperial Conferences. On November 2, Tōjō, Sugiyama and Nagano reported to the Emperor that the review of eleven points had been in vain. Emperor Hirohito gave his consent to the war and then asked: “Are you going to provide justification for the war?” The decision for war (against United States) was presented for approval to Hirohito by General Tōjō, Naval Minister Admiral Shigetarō Shimada+, and Japanese Foreign Minister Shigenori Tōgō+.

On November 3, Nagano explained in detail the plan of the attack on Pearl Harbor+ to the Emperor. On November 5, Emperor Hirohito approved in imperial conference the operations plan for a war against the Occident+ and had many meetings with the military and Tōjō until the end of the month. On November 25 Henry L. Stimson, United States Secretary of War noted in his diary that he had discussed with US President Franklin D. Roosevelt the severe likelihood that Japan was about to launch a surprise attack, and that the question had been “how we should maneuver them [the Japanese] into the position of firing the first shot without allowing too much danger to ourselves.'”

On the following day, November 26, 1941, Hull presented the Japanese ambassador with the Hull note+,which as one of its conditions demanded the complete withdrawal of all Japanese troops from French Indochina and China. It did not refer to Manchukuo, in which hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilians were already living. At the time, The United States did not officially approve of the Japanese occupation of and claim to Manchukuo, so Japan assumed that “China” included Manchukuo. Japanese Prime Minister Tojo Hideki said to his cabinet, “this is an ultimatum.”

On December 1, an Imperial Conference sanctioned the “War against the United States, United Kingdom and the Kingdom of the Netherlands.” On December 8 (December 7 in Hawaii) 1941, in simultaneous attacks, Japanese forces struck at the US Fleet in Pearl Harbor+ and in the Philippines+ and began the invasion of Malaya+.

With the nation fully committed to the war, the Emperor took a keen interest in military progress and sought to boost morale. According to Akira Yamada and Akira Fujiwara, the Emperor made major interventions in some military operations. For example, he pressed Sugiyama four times, on January 13 and 21 and February 9 and 26, to increase troop strength and launch an attack on Bataan+. On February 9, March 19 and May 29, the Emperor ordered the Army Chief of staff to examine the possibilities for an attack on Chungking+, which led to Operation Gogo+.

As the tide of war began to turn (around late 1942 and early 1943), some people argue that the flow of information to the palace gradually began to bear less and less relation to reality, while others suggest that the Emperor worked closely with Prime Minister Tōjō, continued to be well and accurately briefed by the military, and knew Japan’s military position precisely right up to the point of surrender. The chief of staff of the General Affairs section of the Prime Minister’s office, Shuichi Inada, remarked to Tōjō’s private secretary, Sadao Akamatsu:
There has never been a cabinet in which the prime minister, and all the ministers, reported so often to the throne. In order to effect the essence of genuine direct imperial rule and to relieve the concerns of the Emperor, the ministers reported to the throne matters within the scope of their responsibilities as per the prime minister’s directives… In times of intense activities, typed drafts were presented to the Emperor with corrections in red. First draft, second draft, final draft and so forth, came as deliberations progressed one after the other and were sanctioned accordingly by the Emperor.

In the first six months of war, all the major engagements had been victories. As the tide turned in the summer of 1942 with the battle of Midway+ and the landing of the American forces on Guadalcanal+ and Tulagi+ in August, the Emperor recognized the potential danger and pushed the navy and the army for greater efforts. In September 1942, Emperor Hirohito signed the Imperial Rescript condemning to death American Fliers: Lieutenants Dean E. Hallmark and William G. Farrow and Corporal Harold A. Spatz and commuting to life sentences: Lieutenants Robert J. Meder+, Chase Nielsen+, Robert L. Hite and George Barr and Corporal Jacob DeShazer+. When informed in August 1943 by Sugiyama+ that the American advance through the Solomon Islands+ could not be stopped, the Emperor asked his chief of staff to consider other places to attack : “When and where on are you ever going to put up a good fight? And when are you ever going to fight a decisive battle?” On August 24, the Emperor reprimanded Nagano and on September 11, he ordered Sugiyama to work with the Navy to implement better military preparation and give adequate supply to soldiers fighting in Rabaul+.

Throughout the following years, the sequence of drawn and then decisively lost engagements was reported to the public as a series of great victories. Only gradually did it become apparent to the people in the home islands that the situation was very grim. U.S. air raids on the cities of Japan starting in 1944 made a mockery of the unending tales of victory. Later that year, with the downfall of Hideki Tōjō’s government, two other prime ministers were appointed to continue the war effort, Kuniaki Koiso+ and Kantarō Suzuki+—each with the formal approval of the Emperor. Both were unsuccessful and Japan was nearing defeat.

As the war turned against the Japanese, Hirohito personally found the threat of defection of Japanese civilians disturbing because there was a risk that live civilians would be surprised by generous U.S. treatment. Native Japanese sympathizers would hand the Americans a powerful propaganda weapon to subvert the “fighting spirit” of Japan in radio broadcasts. At the end of June 1944 during the Battle of Saipan+, Hirohito sent out the first imperial order encouraging all Japanese civilians to commit suicide rather than be taken prisoner.

The Imperial order authorized Lieutenant General Yoshitsugu Saito+, the commander of Saipan+, to promise civilians who died there an equal spiritual status in the afterlife with those of soldiers perishing in combat. General Tojo+ intercepted the order on June 30 and delayed its sending, but it was issued anyway the next day. By the time the Marines+ advanced on the north tip of the island, from 8–12 July, most of the damage had been done. Over 1,000 Japanese civilians committed suicide in the last days of the battle to take the offered privileged place in the afterlife, some jumping from “Suicide Cliff” and “Banzai Cliff”.

Japan was doing basic research on the atomic bomb. However, according to one Japanese source, Hirohito was opposed to the atomic bomb plan from the beginning. The Emperor thought that use of an atomic bomb would bring about the extermination of mankind. The Navy (F-go) and Army (Ni-go) atomic bomb research projects were in operation until the end of World War II.

On August 15, 1945, after the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, he made apparent reference to the atomic bomb in his Imperial Rescript on the Termination of the War+: “Moreover, the enemy has begun to employ a new and most cruel bomb, the power of which to do damage is, indeed, incalculable, taking the toll of many innocent lives. Should We continue to fight, not only would it result in an ultimate collapse and obliteration of the Japanese nation, but also it would lead to the total extinction of human civilization.” However, in his first ever press conference given in Tokyo in 1975, when he was asked what he thought of the bombing of Hiroshima, the Emperor answered: “It’s very regrettable that nuclear bombs were dropped and I feel sorry for the citizens of Hiroshima but it couldn’t be helped (Shikata ga nai+) because that happened in wartime.”

Surrender of Japan
In early 1945, in the wake of the losses in Battle of Leyte+, Emperor Hirohito began a series of individual meetings with senior government officials to consider the progress of the war. All but ex-Prime Minister Fumimaro Konoe advised continuing the war. Konoe feared a communist revolution even more than defeat in war and urged a negotiated surrender. In February 1945, during the first private audience with the Emperor which he had been allowed in three years, Konoe advised Hirohito to begin negotiations to end the war. According to Grand Chamberlain Hisanori Fujita+, the Emperor, still looking for a ”tennozan” (a great victory) in order to provide a stronger bargaining position, firmly rejected Konoe’s recommendation.

 

With each passing week a great victory became less likely. In April the Soviet Union issued notice that it would not renew its neutrality agreement. Japan’s ally Germany surrendered in early May 1945. In June, the cabinet reassessed the war strategy, only to decide more firmly than ever on a fight to the last man. This strategy was officially affirmed at a brief Imperial Council meeting, at which, as was normal, the Emperor did not speak.

The following day, Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal+ Kōichi Kido+ prepared a draft document which summarized the hopeless military situation and proposed a negotiated settlement. According to some commentators, the Emperor privately approved of it and authorized Kido to circulate it discreetly amongst less hawkish cabinet members; others suggest that the Emperor was indecisive, and that the delay cost many tens of thousands of lives. Extremists in Japan were also calling for a death-before-dishonor mass suicide, modeled on the “47 Ronin+” incident. By mid-June 1945, the cabinet had agreed to approach the Soviet Union to act as a mediator for a negotiated surrender, but not before Japan’s bargaining position had been improved by repulse of the anticipated Allied invasion of mainland Japan.

On June 22, the Emperor met with his ministers, saying “I desire that concrete plans to end the war, unhampered by existing policy, be speedily studied and that efforts be made to implement them.” The attempt to negotiate a peace via the Soviet Union came to nothing. There was always the threat that extremists would carry out a coup or foment other violence. On July 26, 1945, the Allies issued the Potsdam Declaration+ demanding unconditional surrender+. The Japanese government council, the Big Six, considered that option and recommended to the Emperor that it be accepted only if one to four conditions were agreed, including a guarantee of the Emperor’s continued position in Japanese society+. The Emperor decided not to surrender.

On August 9, 1945, following the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki+ and the Soviet declaration of war, Emperor Hirohito told Kido to “quickly control the situation” because “the Soviet Union has declared war and today began hostilities against us.” On August 10, the cabinet drafted an “Imperial Rescript ending the War+” following the Emperor’s indications that the declaration did not compromise any demand which prejudiced the prerogatives of His Majesty as a Sovereign Ruler.

On August 12, 1945, the Emperor informed the imperial family of his decision to surrender. One of his uncles, Prince Asaka+, asked whether the war would be continued if the ”kokutai+” (national polity) could not be preserved. The Emperor simply replied “of course.” On August 14, the Suzuki government notified the Allies that it had accepted the Potsdam Declaration+. On August 15, a recording of the Emperor’s surrender speech+ was broadcast over the radio (the first time the Emperor was heard on the radio by the Japanese people) signifying the unconditional surrender of Japan’s military forces. The historic broadcast is known as the ”Gyokuon-hōsō+” (“Jewel Voice Broadcast”).

Objecting to the surrender, die-hard army fanatics attempted a coup d’état+ by conducting a full military assault and takeover of the Imperial Palace. Known as the Kyūjō Incident+, the physical recording of the surrender speech was hidden and preserved overnight, and the coup was quickly crushed on the Emperor’s order.

 


The surrender speech noted that “the war situation has developed not necessarily to Japan’s advantage” and ordered the Japanese to “endure the unendurable” in surrender. It was the first time the public had heard the Emperor’s voice. The speech, using formal, archaic Japanese was not readily understood by many commoners. According to historian Richard Storry in ”A History of Modern Japan”, the Emperor typically used “a form of language familiar only to the well-educated” and to the more traditional samurai+ families.

Many historians see Emperor Hirohito as responsible for the atrocities committed by the imperial forces+ in the Second Sino-Japanese War and in World War II and feel that he, some members of the imperial family such as his brother Prince Chichibu+, his cousins Prince Takeda+ and Prince Fushimi+, and his uncles Prince Kan’in+, Prince Asaka+, and Prince Higashikuni+, should have been tried for war crime+s.Bix

The issue of Hirohito’s responsibility for war crimes is a debate regarding how much real control the Emperor had over the Japanese military during the two wars. Officially, the imperial constitution, adopted under Emperor Meiji+, gave full power to the Emperor. Article 4 prescribed that, “The Emperor is the head of the Empire, combining in Himself the rights of sovereignty, and exercises them, according to the provisions of the present Constitution,” while, according to article 6, “The Emperor gives sanction to laws and orders them to be promulgated and executed,” and article 11, “The Emperor has the supreme command of the Army and the Navy.” The Emperor was thus the leader of the Imperial General Headquarters+.

Poison gas weapons, such as phosgene+, were produced by Unit 731+ and authorized by specific orders given by Hirohito himself, transmitted by the chief of staff of the army. For example, Hirohito authorised the use of toxic gas 375 times during the battle of Wuhan+ from August to October 1938.

In 1971, David Bergamini showed how primary sources, such as the “Sugiyama+ memo” and the diaries of Kido+ and Konoe+, describe in detail the informal meetings Emperor Hirohito had with his chiefs of staff and ministers. Bergamini concluded that the Emperor was kept informed of all main military operations and that he frequently questioned his senior staff and asked for changes.

Historians such as Herbert Bix+, Akira Fujiwara+, Peter Wetzler+, and Akira Yamada+ assert that the post-war view focusing on imperial conferences misses the importance of numerous “behind the chrysanthemum curtain” meetings where the real decisions were made between the Emperor, his chiefs of staff, and the cabinet. Historians such as Fujiwara and Wetzler, based on the primary sources and the monumental work of Shirō Hara+, have produced evidence suggesting that the Emperor worked through intermediaries to exercise a great deal of control over the military and was neither bellicose nor a pacifist, but an opportunist who governed in a pluralistic decision-making process. American historian Herbert P. Bix+ argues that Emperor Hirohito might have been the prime mover of most of the events of the two wars.

The view promoted by both the Japanese Imperial Palace and the American occupation forces immediately after World War II portrayed Emperor Hirohito as a powerless figurehead+ behaving strictly according to protocol, while remaining at a distance from the decision-making processes. This view was endorsed by Prime Minister Noboru Takeshita+ in a speech on the day of Hirohito’s death, in which Takeshita asserted that the war “had broken out against (Hirohito’s) wishes.” Takeshita’s statement provoked outrage in nations in East Asia and Commonwealth nations such as the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. For historian Fujiwara, however, “the thesis that the Emperor, as an organ of responsibility, could not reverse cabinet decision, is a myth+ fabricated after the war.”

In Japan, debate over the Emperor’s responsibility was taboo while he was still alive. After his death, however, debate began to surface over the extent of his involvement and thus his culpability.

In the years immediately after Hirohito’s death, the debate in Japan was fierce. Susan Chira reported that, “Scholars who have spoken out against the late Emperor have received threatening phone calls from Japan’s extremist right wing.” One example of actual violence occurred in 1990 when the mayor of Nagasaki, Hitoshi Motoshima+, was shot and critically wounded by a member of the ultranationalist group, Seikijuku+; Motoshima managed to recover from the attack. In 1989, Motoshima had broken what was characterized as “one of (Japan’s) most sensitive taboos” by asserting that Emperor Hirohito bore responsibility for World War II.

Kentaro Awaya argues that post-war Japanese public opinion supporting protection of the Emperor was influenced by U.S. propaganda promoting the view that the Emperor together with the Japanese people had been fooled by the military.

As the Emperor chose his uncle Prince Higashikuni+ as prime minister to assist the occupation, there were attempts by numerous leaders to have him put on trial for alleged war crimes+. Many members of the imperial family, such as Princes Chichibu, Takamatsu and Higashikuni, pressured the Emperor to abdicate so that one of the Princes could serve as regent until Crown Prince Akihito+ came of age. On February 27, 1946, the emperor’s youngest brother, Prince Mikasa+ (Takahito), even stood up in the privy council and indirectly urged the emperor to step down and accept responsibility for Japan’s defeat. According to Minister of Welfare Ashida’s diary, “Everyone seemed to ponder Mikasa’s words. Never have I seen His Majesty’s face so pale.”

U.S. General Douglas MacArthur+ insisted that Emperor Hirohito retain the throne. MacArthur saw the emperor as a symbol of the continuity and cohesion of the Japanese people. Some historians criticize the decision to exonerate the Emperor and all members of the imperial family who were implicated in the war, such as Prince Chichibu+, Prince Asaka+, Prince Higashikuni and Prince Hiroyasu Fushimi+, from criminal prosecutions.

Before the war crime trials actually convened, the SCAP+, the IPS+, and Japanese officials worked behind the scenes not only to prevent the Imperial family from being indicted, but also to slant the testimony of the defendants to ensure that no one implicated the emperor. High officials in court circles and the Japanese government collaborated with Allied GHQ in compiling lists of prospective war criminals, while the individuals arrested as ”Class A” suspects and incarcerated solemnly vowed to protect their sovereign against any possible taint of war responsibility. Thus, “months before the Tokyo tribunal+ commenced, MacArthur’s highest subordinates were working to attribute ultimate responsibility for Pearl Harbor+ to Hideki Tōjō+” by allowing “the major criminal suspects to coordinate their stories so that the Emperor would be spared from indictment.” According to John W. Dower+, “This successful campaign to absolve the Emperor of war responsibility knew no bounds. Hirohito was not merely presented as being innocent of any formal acts that might make him culpable to indictment as a war criminal, he was turned into an almost saintly figure who did not even bear moral responsibility for the war.” According to Bix, “MacArthur’s truly extraordinary measures to save Hirohito from trial as a war criminal had a lasting and profoundly distorting impact on Japanese understanding of the lost war.”

The Emperor was not put on trial, but he was forced to explicitly reject (in the ) the State Shinto+ claim that the Emperor of Japan was an ”arahitogami+”, i.e., an incarnate divinity. This was motivated by the fact that, according to the Japanese constitution of 1889+, the Emperor had a divine power over his country, which was derived from the shinto+ belief that the Japanese Imperial Family was the offspring of the sun goddess Amaterasu+. Hirohito was however persistent in the idea that the emperor of Japan should be considered a descendant of the gods. In December 1945 he told his vice-grand chamberlain Michio Kinoshita: “It is permissible to say that the idea that the Japanese are descendants of the gods is a false conception; but it is absolutely impermissible to call chimerical the idea that the emperor is a descendant of the gods.” In any case, the “renunciation of divinity” was noted more by foreigners than by Japanese, and seems to have been intended for the consumption of the former. The theory of a constitutional monarchy had already had some proponents in Japan. In 1935, when Tatsukichi Minobe advocated the theory that sovereignty resides in the states, of which the emperor is just an organ (the ”tennō kikan setsu”), it caused a furor. He was forced to resign from the House of Peers and his post at the Tokyo Imperial University, his books were banned and an attempt was made on his life. Not until 1946 was the tremendous step made to alter the Emperor’s title from “imperial sovereign” to “constitutional monarch+“.

Although the Emperor had supposedly repudiated claims to divine status, his public position was deliberately left vague, partly because General MacArthur thought him likely to be a useful partner to get the Japanese to accept the occupation, and partly due to behind-the-scenes maneuverings by Shigeru Yoshida+ to thwart attempts to cast him as a European-style monarch.

While Emperor Hirohito was usually seen abroad as a head of state+, there is still a broad dispute about whether he became a common citizen or retained special status related to his religious offices and participations in Shinto and Buddhist calendar rituals.

For the rest of his life, Emperor Hirohito was an active figure in Japanese life, and performed many of the duties commonly associated with a constitutional head of state+. The emperor and his family maintained a strong public presence, often holding public walkabouts, and making public appearances on special events and ceremonies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What really Happened Read below

1942

 

January,14th.1942

The conference scored one other major achievement before its close on 14 January. Last on the agenda the British had submitted before the meeting was an item calling for the establishment of “joint machinery” for collaboration.

Just what the British had in mind was not clear, but in preparation for the coming discussion the Americans studied the matter and decided they would seek as their solution to the problem of collaboration the establishment of a Supreme Allied War Council, patterned on the World War I model, and of two committees to support the council — a Military Joint Planning Committee and a Joint Supply Committee.23

 

 

 

 

 

GENERAL TER POORTEN Greets General Wavell (left) on his arrival at Batavia.

 Now, in the first week of January, the 16th

 Army, which had been given the 38th Division to accelerate its drive into the Indies, completed its preparations for the advance. At Davao in the southern Philippines it organized two task forces, one to take the important oil center of Tarakan in northern Borneo, and the other Menado in the Celebes.

 Both left Davao at the same time, 9 January 1942.

The first landed at Tarakan on 11 January and, after overcoming slight resistance from the Dutch defenders aided by American B-17’s based near Surabaya, took that town the same day.

 The second force, reinforced by about 330 naval paratroopers and supported by the seaplane tenders Chitose and Mizuho and three heavy cruisers, took Menado at the same time.

The seizure of these two points completed the Japanese control of

 

 the Celebes Sea

 

And

 the northern approaches to Makassar Strait.

 Through that strait lay one of the routes to Java.30

 

 

 

JANUARY 1942

amazing story of Louis Rapmund.

 

Louis Rapmund

During one of my many late night internet searches I found his name in two obscure articles published in a New Guinea journal in the late 1940s. Rapmund was a Dutch NEI (Netherlands East Indies) officer who worked in western New Guinea facilitating the recovery of Indian, Papuan, and Dutch nationals who had been held by the Japanese. Rapmund assisted Nellist and Rounsaville Teams (of the Alamo Scouts) on their famous mission to liberate a Dutch governor and his family, along with 40 Javanese and twelve French civilians from an internee camp at Cape Oransbari

 

 

Last photo of the Rapmund Family – Madang 1940

“The last time I saw my father was in 1942 in Java,” said Louise. “He was literally running out the back door of our house as the Japanese were coming in the front door.

They were looking for him. This has helped heal a wound in my soul that festered for over sixty years. I loved my father. He was a wonderful man.”

Over the next week Louise gathered what photos she could find of her father and sent them to me for the ASA Photo Archive.

As the photos attest, Louis Rapmund was a striking figure; a handsome young man struck down in the prime of his life in a brutal war. But now thanks to modern technology, the undying love of a daughter, and the generosity of a total stranger, the words he penned a lifetime ago have helped bring others a little closer.

 

 

Louise & husband

 

in the first week of January 1942

Japanese Forces  opened the second phase.

 

The objectives of this phase of the plan included the seizure of the Bismarck Archipelago and Malay Peninsula; the capture of Singapore; and, in preparation for the final assault on Java, heart of the Indies, the acquisition of air and naval bases in southern Sumatra, Dutch Borneo, the Celebes, Amboina, and Timor.

 

 The occupation of Java itself and of northern Sumatra was scheduled for the third phase, after which the Japanese would complete their operations in Burma and consolidate their position in the conquered area.

 

 

 

 

 

 

So rapidly had their forces moved and so light had been resistance that even before the end of the year Japanese commanders in the field were urging their superiors in Tokyo to speed the timetable of conquest

 

 

January,1st.1942

 

JAPANESE PRISONERS,

 captured on Bataan, being led blindfolded to headquarters for questioning. On 1 January 1942 the Japanese entered Manila and the U.S, troops withdrew toward Bataan. Army supplies were either moved to Bataan and Corregidor or destroyed. The remaining forces on Bataan, including some 15,000 U.S. troops, totaled about 80,000 men. The food, housing, and sanitation problems were greatly increased by the presence of over 20,000 civilian refugees. All troops were placed on half-rations

On January 2th, 1942

 

, the Philippine capital of Manila was occupied by the japanese

January,5th,1942

The postal used cover with DEI Kon 10 cent stamps send from CDS Madioen 5.1.42 to Batavia center

 

 had sencored red Chop and the c0ver open by sencored ,closed with DEI Official geopend door censor flap

 

It was at this juncture, on 10 January,

 that General Wavell reached Batavia, capital of the Netherlands Indies, located on the northwest coast of Java. Already there or soon to arrive were his deputy, General Brett, and the commanders of his ground and naval force, Lt. Gen. H. ter Poorten and Admiral Hart. In the absence of Air Marshal Sir Richard E. C. Peirse, General Brereton was appointed deputy commander of the air forces. On the 15th, General Wavell formally assumed command of the ABDA area (ABDACOM) with headquarters at Lembang, inland from the capital and about ten miles north of Bandoeng.31 (Chart 2)

From the start it was apparent that the defense of the ABDA area, even in the unlikely event that the promised reinforcements arrived in time, had little chance of success. Already the Japanese had taken Hong Kong, isolated the Philippines, landed in Borneo and the Celebes, and were making rapid progress down the Malay Peninsula.

 To oppose their advance Wavell had, in addition to the British forces fighting a losing battle in Malaya and the American forces in the Philippines, two Dutch divisions in Java and small Dutch garrisons elsewhere in the Indies; a naval force — including the U.S. Asiatic Fleet — of heavy and 8 light cruisers, 23 destroyers, and 36 submarines; and an air force of 4 fighter and 6 bomber squadrons, including the remnants of the Far East Air Force, plus 250 more planes in Burma and Malaya. With these meager forces General Wavell could only try to hold back the Japanese tide while waiting for reinforcements which never came.32

The urgent need for reinforcements was only one of Wavell’s problems. Keeping the peace within his own small international headquarters, unraveling the confused command relationships between his forces, and reconciling conflicting national interests and strategic concepts were others almost as serious. Even so minor a matter as the location of the headquarters could not be settled amicably and it was only after he had overridden the strong objections of his naval commanders that Wavell established his headquarters at Lembang.33

The relationship between Wavell and MacArthur, though it created no difficulties, illustrated the confused situation in ABDACOM. In addition to the task of holding the Malay Barrier, Wavell had also been instructed to re-establish communications with Luzon and to support the Philippine garrison. Before assuming command, he objected to this assignment and proposed that the islands be excluded from the ABDA area. President Roosevelt, without consulting his military advisers, approved this suggestion to avoid any delay in Wavell’s assumption of command. When General Marshall learned of this action he saw

 

 

 

CHART 2–ORGANIZATION OF ABDACOM, JANUARY-FEBRUARY 1942

 


ABDA COMMAND
meeting with General Wavell for the first time. Seated around the table, from left: Admirals Layton, Helfrich, and Hart, General ter Poorten, Colonel Kengen, Royal Netherlands Army (at head of table), and Generals Wavell, Brett, and Brereton.

that it might well have an adverse effect upon morale in the Philippines and was contrary to the ABDA agreement. An important reason for the establishment of Wavell’s command had been the desire to co-ordinate the efforts of the Allies in the Far East, and the United States had allocated to the defense of ABDA aircraft which had been under MacArthur’s command or sent out originally for his use. With King’s support, therefore, Marshall recommended to the President that he rescind his earlier message. The President saw the point immediately, and Wavell was told the day after he assumed command that the Philippines would remain in his area.34

The establishment of the ABDA area made necessary also a reshuffling of the U.S. Army commands already in existence in the Southwest Pacific and Southeast Asia. Although MacArthur was assured by the War Department that the establishment of ABDACOM would not alter his position or affect his forces, he actually lost a part of his command. The U.S. Army Forces in Australia were then a part of USAFFE (U.S. Army Forces, Far East) and under MacArthur’s direction. Now he was told that these forces would be formed into a separate command on a level with USAFFE and placed under General Brereton, who had been selected because of his “intimate knowledge of your situation and needs.” The reason for this move was that the Japanese advance into the Indies had made control by MacArthur of the forces in Australia and the Netherlands

Indies impractical. But, he was assured, “when satisfactory communications with the Philippines have once been reestablished your resumption of actual command of all American Army forces in the Far East will be easily accomplished.”35

Other than the paper changes in command, the establishment of ABDACOM had no effect on operations in the Philippines. MacArthur reported formally by radio to his new superior and sent representatives from Mindanao to Java to solicit what aid they could, but the relationship between the two headquarters was never more than nominal.

General Brereton’s assignment as air commander in the ABDA area, pending the arrival of Air Marshal Pierse, complicated an already confusing situation. Brereton was also commander of U.S. Army Forces in Australia (USAFIA), a post General Brett had held before him, and in this capacity also came under Wavell’s control. But this control was only partial, for, as the War Department explained to Brereton, “U.S. troops in Australian territory come under the control of General Wavell only when specifically allotted for service in the ABDA area.”36

The physical difficulties of exercising command simultaneously over USAFIA, a logistical and administrative headquarters in Australia, and over ABDAIR, an operational headquarters in Java, as well as the conflicting missions of the two, made it imperative to clarify Brereton’s status. On the 16th, therefore, a day after he assumed command, General Wavell, at Brereton’s request, asked Marshall to relieve Brereton of his responsibilities in Australia so that he could concentrate on the full-time job of directing his air forces. This was quickly done, and General Barnes, who had in effect been directing the activities of USAFIA since the 12th, was authorized to assume command of base facilities in Australia.37

Barnes himself seems to have been somewhat confused about his status and responsibilities for he was never formally designated as a commander of USAFIA and Brereton continued to receive messages addressed to him with that title. Moreover, when Brereton had difficulty getting logistical support from Australia that he wanted, he complained to the War Department, which promptly informed Barnes that he was to provide that support as best he could. At the same time, the War Department made it clear to Barnes that he was not under Brereton’s but Wavell’s command, and that General Brett, as Wavell’s deputy, could issue orders to him. So far as the War Department was concerned this ended the matter, but General Barnes, even at the end of January, was apparently not clear on his relationship to ABDACOM “in general” and to General Brett “in particular regarding troops and supplies in Australia.”38

Not only was there confusion over command in the ABDA area, but national commanders differed with one another and with the Supreme Commander over the conduct of operations and the allocation of resources. To the American, Dutch, and Australian officers, it seemed that General Wavell was devoting far too much attention, as well as a disproportionate share of Allied resources, to the defense of Malaya, Singapore, and Burma, an attitude that seemed to them to reflect British rather than Allied interests. The American commanders, Admiral Hart and General Brereton, free from any territorial interest in the area, wished to protect the lines of communication and air and naval bases along the Malay Barrier, which they believed essential links in defensive structure of the Southwest Pacific and the starting points for offensive operations. The Dutch desired above all else to concentrate Allied resources on the defense of their territories. And the Australians, concerned over the defense of the homeland, continually pressed for a greater share of the theater’s resources on the east. If General Wavell made any effort to reconcile these views, the records do not show it. Despite the representations of the national commanders to their governments — in Washington Brett’s were refuted by the Army planners, as was his proposal to break up the new theater — Wavell continued to act on the assumption that the security of the Netherlands Indies and Australia depended on the defense of Malaya and Singapore.39

These difficulties were brought out sharply in the discussion of naval reinforcements. Most of the British and Dutch vessels in the area were assigned to convoy duty, leaving only the U.S. Asiatic Fleet, based on Surabaya, free for operations. The Dutch, whose naval forces were under the operational control of the British, were none too happy over this assignment, preferring to employ their vessels in the defense of Dutch territory. Their irritation was further increased by the British announcement of the transfer of some of their cruisers and destroyers to the Indian Ocean and American refusal to provide naval reinforcements for convoy duty. Ultimately the Australians were persuaded to send additional vessels into the area, but the damage had been done and the Dutch resentment persisted.40

The Dutch were displeased also with the way naval operations were being conducted. Admiral Hart, they felt, had his forces too far back and was showing more concern over Darwin and the supply routes to Australia than over the progress of the enemy through Makassar Strait and the Molucca Sea. They were disappointed, too, over their failure to gain command of the naval elements in ABDA. Their interests, they felt, were predominant and their knowledge of the area greater than that of the Americans. This attitude, which Dutch naval officers made little effort to conceal, added to Hart’s already considerable burdens and complicated his task enormously.

By the end of January, relations between Admiral Hart and the Dutch naval commander had become so strained that they could no longer be ignored. It was then that General Wavell suggested to the Prime Minister that Hart

 

be relieved on account of his age and that a Dutch officer, or, if the United States would send naval reinforcements to the ABDA area, a younger American be given command. The suggestion was passed on to Washington and finally to Hart himself who replied that he did not consider himself too old to discharge his duties and did not wish to be relieved. Though both Admirals King and Stark supported the Asiatic Fleet commander, the President decided to adopt Wavell’s suggestion. His decision was influenced largely by the fact that the United States had refused to send naval reinforcements to the area and by the hope that the Dutch would assume a more active role in the naval defense of ABDA. There was never any feeling, Admirals King and Stark later recalled, that Hart had proved unfit or that he was too old to exercise command. After the President had made his decision Hart had no recourse but to step down, which he did on the 5th by asking to be relieved on account of ill health, a course Admiral Stark had recommended to him. Six days later the Secretary of the Navy ordered him home.41 His place was taken by Vice Adm. Conrad E. L. Helfrich, Dutch naval commander.


ADMIRALS HELFRICH AND HART

With the relief of Admiral Hart, ABDACOM lost its last American force commander. Air Marshall Pierse had taken over from General Brereton on 28 January, as originally intended, and the Dutch continued to command the ground forces. The U.S. Chiefs, anxious to secure direction of one of the major elements in ABDACOM in the interests of “homeland support,” put forward Brett’s name as commander of the Allied air forces. Both the President and the Prime Minister supported the nomination, but Brett seems to have had larger ambitions and argued that such a “drastic change” would be unsettling. The matter was dropped.42

While the Allies sought to solve the problem of command and bring reinforcements into the area, the Japanese continued to advance almost without interruption. In Malaya General Yamashita forced the British back from line after line until on 27 January Lt. Gen. A. E. Percival, the British commander in Malaya, withdrew his forces to Singapore. The causeway connecting the fortress to the mainland was blown on 31 January. Only the waters of Johore Strait lay between Yamashita and his goal. For a week, while the Singapore garrison

desperately prepared its defenses, Japanese aircraft and artillery paved the way for the final assault.

The loss of Singapore was a major blow to the Allied cause in the Far East and a disaster of the first magnitude for the British who had long regarded it as an impregnable fortress and the key to the defense of Australia, New Zealand, and India. Fortunately, the British estimate of the importance of Singapore to the security of the Dominions proved incorrect, but that did not lessen the immediate shock or minimize the seriousness of the blow to the British Far Eastern Fleet, which had already suffered the loss of the Prince of Wales and Repulse.

With its base gone, the British Navy now had to retire to Sydney in Australia and to Ceylon, and when Ceylon was threatened briefly in April, to the east coast of Africa.

For ABDACOM, which had been established only a month before, the fall of Singapore was a crushing blow. In anticipation of this disaster, General Wavell had warned the Chiefs of Staff on the 13th that a drastic change in plans might soon be necessary. It was doubtful, he wrote, that Sumatra, obviously the next Japanese objective, could be held, and if it were not, then Java would fall. Though he told the Chiefs he intended to continue his present plans for the defense of Java “until situation enforces changes,” it was apparent by the 15th that he had no real hope for success, a view that was reinforced by his recommendation to divert reinforcements, two Australian divisions, already en route from the Middle East to Java, to Australia or Burma, preferably the latter.44

The Dutch took violent exception to Wavell’s estimate. They insisted that Java must be defended, regardless of the fate of Sumatra. To them and to the Netherlands Government-in-exile Java had an even greater political, moral, and sentimental significance than Singapore had for the British. Wavell’s proposal seemed to them an abandonment by their Allies and confirmed their worst fears that ABDACOM was a device to use Allied resources for the defense of Singapore and of British interests in the Far East.

Unpalatable as it was to the Dutch, Wavell’s estimate had to be accepted for not only was Singapore about to fall into Japanese hands, but Java was clearly threatened from three directions — the South China Sea, Makassar Strait, and Molucca Sea. Following up the Borneo

landings of late December and early January, the Japanese, moving by water through Makassar Strait, had landed at Balikpapan

.

. Only a day before, another Japanese force had sailed through the Molucca Sea to land at Makassar on the southwest tip of Celebes Island, facing Makassar Strait. By 10 February that strait and the north shore of the Java Sea were under Japanese control.

The Molucca Sea approach to the Malay Barrier fell into Japanese hands as a result of amphibious hops and naval-air engagements in which the Allies fought a desperate but losing battle. From Menado, which they had taken

 on 11 January,

 the Japanese moved on to Kendari

 

the bulk of the American army in the Philippines was bottled up on the Bataan Peninsula

 

 

 

 

 

and the Japanese had taken Palembang in southern Sumatra.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Likely this was one of the Hurricanes flown by the 64th Sentai. Photo was taken at Palembang in 1942, after the airfield was occupied by Kato’s group; those are Japanese ground crews lounging beneath the captured plane. The type is Hurricane IIB

The group was under the command of then-Major Kato Tateo, probably the most famous of the Japanese army’s fighter pilots.

On January 16,

on 23rd January

an attack on Palembang by twenty-seven Japanese bombers showed that the main airfield in Sumatra, P.I, could not be adequately protected.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. 1.   Click to enlarge the picture  
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Since the outbreak of the Pacific War in 1941,

Japan and then trying to control natural resources, especially petroleum by attacking and controlling the occupied Dutch East Indies, including Indonesia, which was then known as the best producer of petroleum (Sumatra) where the oil produced can be directly used as fuel ships without having to go through the distillation process first.

 

 

 

January,23th.1942

Jauh sebelum Indonesia merdeka, nan jauh di pelosok terpencil di semanjung utara pulau Sulawesi,  seorang pria yang memiliki semangat beroktan tinggi untuk membebaskan belenggu penindasan penjajah, melakukan tindakan heroik.

Saat negeri ini masih berada dalam cengkraman kolonial Belanda, Wartabone dan pengikutnya lainnya memiliki kreatifitas perjuangan yang unik dan langka. Pagi hari tepat pukul 10, setelah mengepung kota Gorontalo dan menaklukkannya dengan mudah pada pagi buta di hari Jumat tanggal 23 Januari 1942.

 

Hari itu di halaman Kantor Pos, Nani Wartabone mengumumkan kemerdekaan Indonesia, dengan menyanyikan lagu ‘Indonesia Raya’ dan mengibarkan bendera Merah Putih, dia dengan lantang mengumandangkan teriakan kebebasan kemerdekaan. Inilah tindakan yang sangat lancang bagaikan masuk ke kamar tidur kolonial. Di mata penguasa kolonial Hindia Belanda,  setiap gerak gerik bahkan gagasan sekalipun dari setiap individu tertindas kaum terjajah, diganjar dengan hukuman berat. Tindakan Wartabone adalah ‘heroik di atas heroik’ yang bayarannya sangat mahal.

“Pada hari ini, tanggal 23 Januari 1942, kita bangsa Indonesia yang berada di sini sudah merdeka bebas, lepas dari penjajahan bangsa mana pun juga. Bendera kita yaitu Merah Putih, lagu kebangsaan kita adalah Indonesia Raya”, pekik Wartabone yang kala itu berusia 35 tahun.(baltyr web blog)

Proklamasi kemerdekaan Indonesia pada tanggal 23 Januari  1942 oleh Wartabone memang tidak diakui sebagai hari kemerdekaan Republik Indonesia. Namun setidaknya Wartabone sudah mengawinkan sebuah keinginan dengan sebuah kenyataan menjadi sebuah visi kuat yang di dalamnya dia bela sampai mati.

 

Presiden Soeharto memandang tindakan patriotik Wartabone dengan menganugerahkan Bintang Maha Putera Utama pada Hari Pahlawan tahun 1991 kepadanya, yang diwakili oleh putranya, Fauzi. Dan 12 tahun kemudian, Presiden Megawati Soekarnoputri menghargai visinya itu dengan memberi gelar pahlawan nasional kepadanya pada Hari Pahlawan 2003. (*)

 

 

FEBRUARY 1942

 

 

 

Beginning in February 1942,

 

Japan started to invade the territory of Sumatra and began putting his patrol boats around the Java Sea, having previously managed to control some areas in Kalimantan and Sulawesi.

 

Then the Japanese overran the oil city of Palembang as a very valuable time

  • on February 13, 1942.

 

The next day, February 14, 1942

 

 history records the sinking British ship HMS Li Wo by the Japanese navy when the ship was evacuating troops from Java (another source notes that the ship HMS Li Wo was on his way from Singapore to Batavia when ditengeelamkan).

 

February 1942 closed with the outbreak of War of the Java Sea, where the Allied navy joined in ABDACOM (American-British-Dutch-Australian Command) was defeated by the Japanese navy. Dutch East Indies government surrendered unconditionally and surrender its colonies of Indonesia to Japan through Kalijati Agreement on March 8, 1942.

 

 

14th February 1942,

HMS Li-Wo in action 14 Feb 1942 North of Banka Straits

 

 

 

HMS Li-Wo in action 14 Feb 1942 North of Banka Straits

The Sinking of HMS ‘Li-Wo’

Introduction

On Wednesday 6th March 2002 I visited my niece in Cardiff. Quite casually, she handed me an A4 brown envelope saying that her grandfather (and my father) had given it to her a few years before he died. Inside, I found a 24 page photocopied letter, penned by my father, to the Imperial War Museum about the sinking of HMS ‘Li Wo’.

I have reproduced the letter below exactly as it was written.

Moyra Jones 7th March 2002


The Director

Imperial War Museum

Lambeth Rd

London S.E.1

Sunday 30/8/64

 

Dear Sir,

On the 14th August, this year, I visited London with my Daughter and Nephew, and took them to The Imperial War Museum.

It was a surprise, and a proud moment, and a sad one, when I saw the scale Model of H.M.S. “Li-Woo” (sic), as I am one of the few survivors of the short but epic action, North of the Banka Straits, on Sat 14th February 1942.

I feel that I must write to you, correcting much of the information about the Ship and the action that took place, between H.M.S “Li-Woo”, and a Japanese convoy and Japanese Naval Escorts.

I commented to one of the Attendants on duty, that the facts were wrong, and was advised by him, to see the Records in the Records Department, of which I did.

Which of course, after seeing them, decided to write to you, hoping most sincerely, that you will investigate most fully, the facts I intend to give.

Before I give any account, I wish to make it perfectly clear, that I seek no glory, I seek no financial gain, and I seek no publicity.

My object and reason is purely and simply this.

Ever since 5-30 P.M. Saturday 14th 1942. I have honoured and admired the memory of the Bravest Man I ever knew.

Lt. Wilkinson V.C. R.N.

This is the first time I have written to anyone about this action, as until that visit to the Imperial War Museum, I was always under the impression that the true real facts were fully known.

I wonder how many of the gun’s crew, who composed of “Prince of Wales”, and “Repulse” survivors were interviewed? Or interrogated over this action? I also wish to add, that I was never asked for an account of the action after the war had ended, and the reason why I was unable to give an account during my 3 1/2 years as a Japanese P.O.W. was simply this:-

When I was first taken P.O.W. the survivors of the “Li-Woo” were in a tempory P.O.W. Camp at Muntok, in Banka Island, with Army, Navy, R.A.F. personel, and with many civilians, of which there were many children.

I was only at that Camp, which had no real British Military Administration for a week at the most, when I escaped with Lt. Col. Daly of Dal Force Malaya, Lt. Eno, Army, Sgt. Ken Wharton, Australian Army, only to be eventually betrayed by Natives, and handed over to the Japanese, when we landed at Java.

During my captivity, the Japs never knew that we were recaptured P.O.W.s.

I deemed that discretion was the better of Valour.

I could not mention the “Li-Woo” action North of the Banka Straits, without giving myself away that I was an escaped P.O.W.

The punishment was death.

Also we were mixed with many Dutch, and Dutch Eurasians, many of the Eurasians were Pro-Jap, and would give away their own Mother.

Here now is the facts as I know them, nothing added, nothing exaggerated.

After being sunk on the “Prince of Wales” I was sent up into Malaya with:-

C.P.O. Rogers “Repulse”

Ldg/Smn Adly(sic) “Repulse”

Ldg/Smn Bennett “Repulse”

Ldg Smn Countant “Prince of Wales”.

I need not bother you about details, as it is non revelant to the “Li-Woo”, except this.

After returning to Singapore from Malaya, we were detailed to patrol the Jahore Straits in small boats. We operated from a small village opposite Paula Ubin Island.

We were recalled from there to the Orange Hotel, Thursday afternoon 12th Feb 1942.

We were then detailed to go aboard the “Li-Woo” to sail for Java.

On arrival aboard, we were detailed as Guns Crew, being that the others were Torpedo ratings, and C.P.O Rogers, a Rangetaker, I was appointed Gun Layer.

My Guns crew consisted of C.P.O Rogers, Ldg/Smn Adley, Bennett Countant, and two stoker ratings who were with us in the Jahore Straits Patrol.

We left Singapore Harbour late Thursday night Feb 12th 1942 only to drop anchor outside the Harbour.

On Friday 13th Feb 1942 we sailed for Java with the “Fu Woo” a sister ship. We were attacked many times by aircraft, and came through.

On Sat 14th Feb 1942 we dropped anchor close inshore, we were informed that we were anchoring for a while, trusting to luck that we would not be spotted by enemy aircraft, as the Captain intended to go through the 80 miles of the Banka Straits in darkness.

We were spotted by a Jap seaplane just had we got under way again.

Between 4-30. 5-0 P.M we sighted smoke on the horizon off the Port Bow. It was a convoy.

Lt Wilkingson (sic) asked if anyone could recognise if any of the warships were Jap.

Informed him that I had served two years on the China Station, 1936-1938 and was familiar with Jap warships.

He told me to come to the bridge, and then handed me his telescope.

I saw one Jap light cruiser and two Jap destroyers, without looking for any more, I told him they were Japanese.

He then asked me if I had any doubt, I told him “none whatever”.

The convoy was about 10 mile away, and I was told to report back to the gun.

Captain Wilkingson’s words to us was this:-

“A Jap convoy is ahead, I am going to attack it, we will take as many of those Jap Bastards, as possible, with us.

Those words I will never forget, they have always been fixed clearly in my mind.

I returned to the gun, AND I CHECKED THE AMMUNITION, AND REPORTED IT FROM THE GUN, TO CAPTAIN WILKINGSON.

My report to him was this.

SIX SEM-ARMOUR PIERCING SHELLS.

FOUR GRAZE FUSE SHELLS.

THREE A.A. SHELLS.

He replied :- “Gunlayer, is that all the ammunition you have”?

I answered :- “Yes Sir”, thirteen shells in all, plus three practice shell.”

How or why 13 practice shells came into it, I don’t know, all I can assume is this.

Possibly, it was because for most of the crew, it was their first taste of action, and I know the effect it has on many.

Admitted there was thrteen shells, but they were 6. S.A.P. 4 GRAZE FUSE and 3. A.A.

I do not class a practice shell as shell for action.

Do you think that I can ever forget that moment.

The hopelessness of knowing that I had only six shells that could do any damage, and realising that two shells would probably be wasted before we found the range and target.

The “Li Woo’s” Gunnery Officer joined us, Captain Wilkinson’s name is the only one I remember.

The Gunnery Officer was Ginger headed, I believe he was a New Zealander.

I had a hurried conference with him, and said to him :-

“Look Sir, I have only six shells that can do any damage, four that can do harm if we fire at the super structure as anti personel shells, then our last hope is to set the A.A. shells at Fuse 2 and hope for the best.”

I also pointed out, that unless we were lucky with our first shot, as all we had was “Gunlayers Control”, “Gunlayers Firing”, with no range Finder and no Inclanometre to help, we might waste two shells at least, before we were on target, should we use the practice shells as our ranging shots?”

He paused for a moment, then replied: “it might be a good idea, but then again it might not, as if we can get in close enough, and we find our target, it is a wasted effort.” I received the order to load with S.A.P.

Approx. half an hour later we engaged the enemy.

Our selected target was a transport of between four to five thousand tons.

At an estimated range of four thousand yards, deflection six left, we opened fire.

The first shell was over target.

I ordered, “Fixed Sight, Rapid Salvos.” I know that at least three of our remaining five S.A.P. shells, were bang on target, as fire broke out on her immediately.

Soon she was blazing furiously. In less than two minutes our ammunition was expended.

Captain Wilkinson selected another target, the ship nearest to him, about 800 tons and deliberately rammed and sank it.

We were now among the Jap convoy, helpless, drifting, and no ammo.

I will never forget another hero of this action, a man unknown, unsung, unpraised.

An R.A.F. sargeant who manned the Vickers Lewis Gun, from the time the ship left Singapore, to when the “Li Woo” sank.

It was his deadly accurate fire, that wipe (sic) out the four man gun’s crew aboard the Jap transport we rammed.

The enemy’s gun was about 30 to 40 M.Metre. It was this gun that caused our first casualties.

I myself was wounded in the chest. The R.A.F. Sargent then swept the bridge and decks with his deadly fire, killing many.

He then opened up on another transport about 200 yards away.

The Jap convoy cleared away from us, and we came under fire from the Jap warships.

It was a fearful experience as it took the Japs five to ten minutes to find our range, their gunnery was lousy, and the noise of their shells whistling overhead, always expecting the next one to land inboard, knowing that we had to just sit there and take it, and and the helplessness of not being able to do anything about it.

When they eventually found our range, it was all over.

The “Li-Woo” listed to Starboard and sank stern first.

When we survivors were swimming in the water, the Japs transports closed in. I myself was on one of two rafts which for safety we had tied together. The transports came towards us, and picked up their own survivors, we were then under the impression when they came slowly at us that they were going to pick us up as well.

But we were in for a shock. They came right at us and deliberately rammed us but we realise just before, what their intentions were, and hastily dived into the sea.

With my own eyes, and there are times when the memory of it is most vivid, I saw that transport go among a group of survivors, and mamouver amongst them with churning screws, killing at least a dozen.

It was only the sudden darkness that saved us.

We succeeded in regaining the rafts, and all night we could see the transport we set on fire blazing fiercely.

The following afternoon,

Sunday 15th Feb

 we were picked up by other survivors who were in a boat, with a sail and oars.

It was badly holed, and the gunwales was four inches above the water.

It was only its buoyancy tanks keeping it afloat.

Just after sunrise on Monday

16th Feb, 1942,

we were washed ashore.

My shipmate C.P.O Rogers was in the sailing boat.

We seemed to separate in groups, just aimlessly walking around the Island, there were four of us in the group I was in, C.P.O Rogers was one of them.

Late that afternoon we ran into a Jap patrol and was taken prisioner.

A few days later I met L/Smn Adley, and Bennett, they also had run into a Jap patrol, but were not so fortunate as we were.

The Jap patrol opened fire on them, L/Smn Adley was shot in the arm, and Ldg/ Smn Bennett was bayonetted.

That is my story, nothing added, nothing exaggerated.

My one intention, and the only reason why I have written this down, is that the facts should be known, in fact must be known to all, the courage and bravery, and the great achievement accomplished by Lt. Wilkingson V.C. of H.M.S Li-Woo, on Saturday 14th February 1942, against tremendous odds.

I was on the gun deck, during the short journey from Singapore to the end of the “Li-Woo”.

I was the Gunlayer. I will state most emphatically, that to the best of my knowledge, there was no member of the “Li-Woo s” original crew, a member of that gun’s crew.

How can a practise shell cause a transport vessel to burst into flames?

Sunday afternoon we could see her, an abandoned, floating, blackened wreck, smoking slightly.

Do you think it possible?

I will willingly travel to London and undergo any interrogation you wish to put me through. But please, I beg of you, please see that “Lt. Wilkingson V.C. gets the credit that is due to him.

Is this too much to ask, for a man who made the Supreme Sacrifice, and who won the Highest Award that his Country could bestow upon him?

It was my intention after seeing the model of the “Li-Woo” to get in touch with C.P.O. Rogers. I believe that he resides at Bristol, but for the time being, I have decided against it, so that you can have the opportunity to check my story, without any collusion between C.P.O. Rogers or any one else, with me.

I swear to you on oath, that since the war ended, I have not seen or communicated with any of the “Li-Woo” survivors.

There is a lot more details, small ones, that I can give you, but, my aim is, as I have stated previously, Let “Lt Wilkingson V.C. have the just credit due to him, and the facts put right.

Yours sincerely,

T.H. Parsons

E/34 Room

Chace Guildhouse

London Rd

Coventry.

Late Leading Seaman T.H.PARSONS

D/JX.143539

P.S AFTER READING MY STORY WOULD YOU PLEASE PASS ON TO NAVAL RECORDS.


Follow up

HOUSE OF COMMONS

LONDON SWLA 0AA

01-219 4166

From:

The Rt Hon. James Callaghan, MP. 8th January 1986

 

Dear Mr Parsons,

Thank you for your letter with the account of your service in the Far East during the last war. First, allow me to congratulate you on the determination and courage you showed throughout the period.

I will readily take up the matter up with the Ministry of Defence in order to secure a statement from the Admiralty that you took part in the “Li-Wo” action but will not do so until you have been to see me in Cardiff on 18th January, at the offices of the GMBATU, 17 Newport Road, between 10.00 and 11.00 a.m.

I shall look forward to seeing you then, when we can discuss any additional points that need to be put forward.

Yours sincerely,

(Signed Jim Callaghan)


 

This is to certify

that

LEADING SEAMAN THOMAS HENRY PARSONS D/JX 143539

On the 14th February 1942

took part in the action when his Majesty’s Patrol Ship

LI-WO whilst on patrol duty off Singapore, gallantly

engaged the superior forces of the enemy, inflicting

significant damage on a convoy of troopships before being

sunk by a Japanese cruiser. The heroism and self sacrifice

of the many who died and the few who survived were in the

highest traditions of the Royal Navy.

 

George Younger

20th February 1986 SECRETARY OF STATE FOR DEFENCE

 

February 15, 1942.

Battle of Singapore, British Surrender. Lt.-Gen. Yamashita (seated, centre) thumps the table with his fist to emphasize his terms — unconditional surrender. Lt.-Gen. Percival sits between his officers, his clenched hand to his mouth. (Photo from Imperial War Museum)

“World War II: Battle of Singapore”

Lt. Gen. Arthur Percival marches to surrender to the Japanese, February 1942
Photograph Source: Public Domain
Battle of Singapore – Conflict & Dates:

The Battle of Singapore was fought January 31 to February 15, 1942, during World War II (1939-1945).
Armies & Commanders

British

Lieutenant General Arthur Percival
85,000 men

Japanese

Lieutenant General Tomoyuki Yamashita
36,000 men

Battle of Singapore – Background:

On December 8, 1941,

Lieutenant General Tomoyuki Yamashita’s Japanese 25th Army began invading British Malaya from Indochina and later from Thailand. Though outnumbered by the British defenders, the Japanese concentrated their forces and utilized combined arms skills learned in earlier campaigns to repeatedly flank and drive back the enemy. Quickly gaining air superiority, they inflicted a demoralizing blow on December 10 when Japanese aircraft sank the British battleships HMS Repulse and HMS Prince of Wales. Utilizing light tanks and bicycles, the Japanese swiftly moved through the peninsula’s jungles.

Defending Singapore:

Though reinforced, Lieutenant General Arthur Percival’s command was unable to halt the Japanese and on January 31 withdrew from the peninsula to the island of Singapore. Destroying the causeway between the island and Johore, he prepared to repel the anticipated Japanese landings.

 

Considered a bastion of British strength in the Far East, it was anticipated that Singapore could hold or at least offer protracted resistance to the Japanese. To defend Singapore, Percival deployed three brigades of

 

Major General Gordon Bennett’s 8th Australian division to hold the western part of the island.

 

Lieutenant General Sir Lewis Heath’s Indian III Corps was assigned to cover the northeastern part of the island while the southern areas were defended by a mixed force of local troops led by

Major General Frank K. Simmons (Map).

 

 

Advancing to Johore, Yamashita established his headquarters at the Sultan of Johore’s palace. Though a prominent target, he correctly anticipated that the British would not attack it for fear of angering the sultan. Utilizing aerial reconnaissance and intelligence gathered from agents that infiltrated the island, he began to form a clear picture of Percival’s defensive positions.

by Air Commodore Vincent. It was made up partly of the Hurricanes and Buffalos withdrawn from Singapore, and partly of Hurricanes flown direct from H.M.S. Indomitable,

which had arrived off Sumatra on 26th January.

 Forty-eight Hurricanes left her flight deck and, of these, fifteen went on to Singapore and the remainder to P.I, where five crashed on landing. The guns of all of them were choked with anti-corrosion grease, put on as a protection during the long voyage, and they were not able therefore to go into action for some time.

Nevertheless, the enemy did not reach Sumatra unscathed. His convoy coming from Banka Island, already once mauled, was again fiercely attacked on 15th February by the Hudsons and Blenheims of No. 225 Group.

 This time the Hurricanes, though their strength had by then been seriously depleted in attacks made upon them when on the ground at Palembang, were with the bombers.

 The results achieved were even more successful than those of the day before. The bombers and fighters, operating from the secret airfield P.II to which they had hastily repaired, attacked twenty Japanese transports and their escort of warships either in the Banka Strait or at the mouth of the Palembang River. Between 6.30 in the morning and 3:30 in the afternoon, a series of assaults were delivered, their number being conditioned only by the speed with which the aircraft making them could be refuelled and rearmed.

 At first, opposition was strong, but the indefatigable Blenheims of Nos. 84 and 211 Squadrons and the Hudsons of No. 62 Squadron returned again and again until it weakened and eventually died away.

 Before the sun went down, all movement in the river had ceased and such barges and landing craft as survived had pulled beneath the tangled shade of the trees lining its banks.

The Hurricanes, too, though flown by pilots most of whom were fresh from operational training units and had just completed a long sea voyage, took their full share in this heartening affair.

Their newly cleaned guns did great execution and, as a finale, they destroyed a number of Japanese Navy Zero fighters caught on the ground on Banka Island. These were part of a force thought to have flown off from a Japanese aircraft carrier which had been attacked and sunk by a Dutch submarine

 

On 30th January, 1942,

Air Commodore H. J. F. Hunter took command of the improvised Bomber Group, No. 225, in Sumatra, with Group Captain A. G. Bishop as his Senior Air Staff Officer.

Their task was not easy. Sumatra is an island about 1,000 miles long, running parallel to the west coast of Malaya, but extending far to the southward. Its roads are few; so are its railways and the telephone system was primitive.

For defence from air attack, seven airfields, including a secret strip in the heart of the jungle, known as P.II, twenty miles south of Palembang with its oilfield and refinery, had been constructed and were more or less in operation.

 There were no anti-aircraft defences, and the northern airfields were within range of Japanese fighters.

While the much depleted bomber and reconnaissance forces, which had been withdrawn from Malaya, were being reorganized in Sumatra, the belated air reinforcements originally destined for Singapore began to arrive.

They did so in the worst possible conditions. Equipment of all kinds was woefully short. There was a notable lack of tents, and this, since the north-east monsoon was then at its height, was a great handicap to efficiency.

At the secret airfield, P.II, for example, accommodation for 1,500 ground staff was required, but provision had been made for only 250. Transport hardly existed— most of it had been lost in Singapore—and even when every bus and lorry which could be found had been requisitioned, remained scarce and inadequate.

In the hurried preparations for defence, the local Dutch authorities played a conspicuous part.They gave every help that they could,

 

 

On 31st January, 1942,

 a fortnight before the fall of Singapore, statements appeared in the London Press pointing out that now that our forces had retired into the island of that name, they would be provided with ‘an air umbrella’ and would thus no longer have to endure the dive-bombing and machine-gun attacks of a dominant enemy air force. This umbrella would be furnished by fighter squadrons operating from Sumatra and from the islands south and south-west of Singapore, some of them less than fifty miles away.

Those who provided the British public with such glib assurances were ignorant of one major fact. Once the army had been driven out of Malaya, there was no permanent airfield from which fighters could operate nearer than 130 miles, and this distance was far beyond their radius.

The airstrips on Singapore Island could be used only as advanced landing grounds. Islands, such as Rangsang and Rempang were useless, for no airfields could be, or had been, built upon them.

 At no time, therefore, was the umbrella of fighters more than a shadow, a fiction created by commentators 8,000 miles from the scene of events and possessed of no local knowledge. In point of fact, the few airfields available in Sumatra itself were already congested and became more so as reinforcements arrived.

 

 

On 18 January 1942,

 using small fishing boats, the Japanese landed at Sandakan, the seat of government of British North Borneo.

The North Borneo Armed Constabulary, with only 650 men, hardly provided any resistance to slow down the Japanese invasion



SS Van Imhoff (picture: photoship.co.uk)

Because of the Japanese threat early 1942,

 together with probably 477 other German prisoners, he was transported on the ss Van Imhoff (KPM) to the British Indies.

On 19 January 1942

, a day after departure,

 the ship was attacked by a Japanese bomber aircraft, not far from the island of Nias near West Sumatra.

 The captain didn’t want to free the interned just like that. Together with the crew, the soldiers and guards, about 140 men, they left the vessel in the available rescue boats and abandoned the prisoners who were in an enclosure with barbed wire in the hold.

 Only in the very end they were handed out a few wire-cutters. About half of them were able to rescue themselves from the slowly sinking vessel. A surviver, J. Grashoff, saw the boats waiting at a distance of about 500 metres, with a lot of space left in them.

 A Dutch ship which had responded to the distress signal of the Van Imhoff didn’t offer any help when they found out they were German. Of the interned who were able to flee from the ship, a group of 67 arrived after five days on the island of Nas. Walter Spies belonged to the approximately 411 Germans who died with the sinking of the Van Imhoff or in the days afterwards.

 A Dutch crime of war?
Works by Walter Spies can be seen on Bali in the Agung Rai Museum of Art (ARMA) and the Rautenstrauch-Joest Museum in Cologne, Where also the Walter Spies Society is established

January,18th.1942

On January 18, 1942

 

set out three weighing 3000 ton ship carrying prisoners. The last ship left the ship Van Imhoff of Sibolga, Sumatra. This ship did not use the red cross mark. So the next day

on January 19, 1942

van Imhoff had an attack of two planes owned by Japanese hunters. The objec panic, Dutch troops assigned to guard prisoners escaped by cargo boat drawn by a motor boat towing.

Dutch troops have been previously damaged sloop boat, water pumps as well as a communication tool. Luckily there was one boat that had not been tampered or not tampered with, then the German prisoners boarded the small boat. 411 of 477 prisoners died and who survived as many as 64 people can survive and reach Nias while 2 others died just when reaching Nias.
In 1942 was the year that determines whether in Europe or the Pacific war.

On the morning of the 19th January,

 

 the Governor Robert Smith surrendered the State

 

handed to him by the Governor of North Borneo

and, refusing to carry on the administration under Japanese control, was interned with his staff.

This unit then captured

 

Tawau and

 

Lahad Datu

On January 22th.1942


Gen.-Maj. H. ter Poorten (rechts) met General Sir Archibald P. Wavell (midden), opperbevelhebber van Abdacom, te Batavia, 22 jan.1942

 

the Balikpapan ‘s Dai Nippon invasion force was sighted heading south through the Makassar Strait.

The Dutch air force attacked the convoy continuously during daylight, but its antiquated Martin B-10 bombers inflicted little damage.

In the predawn hours of the 24th

the Japanese landed 5,500 soldiers in two separate groups. The bulk of Sakaguchi’s 56th Regimental Group came ashore north of town. A detached battalion,

the Surprise Attack Unit commanded by Major Kaneuchi,

 

landed south of Balikpapan.

 Guided by Indonesian fifth columnists,

 the latter force proceeded to the village of Banubaru, cutting off the Dutch line of retreat. Having learned from hard experience at Tarakan, where Dutch coastal artillery had sunk two warships, the Japanese were avoiding the big guns defending Balikpapan.

In the event, the Dutch did not attempt to hold their positions. Hoogenband had received orders to withdraw inland after completing sabotage operations. He led an infantry column out of town, along the road to Banubaru. The Dutch ran into the advancing main body of Kaneuchi’s Surprise Attack Unit, and the Japanese promptly gave battle. Han fought as part of a machine gun crew, feeding the ammunition belt into the weapon as the gunner mowed down the leading edge of the oncoming enemy. The KNIL troops were defeated and the Dutch force broke up. With no other alternatives but death or capture, Samethini joined a group of survivors heading north into the jungle towards their only hope of escape, the airfield at Samarinda. [3]

on the January, 24th,1942

The landings had been made only after a battle with U.S. naval forces — their first of the war — in which the American destroyers won a tactical victory but failed to stop the enemy. The Japanese took Balikpapan easily but failed to capture the oil refineries there. These, the Dutch had already gutted

 the same day they landed at Balikpapan. Amboina Island was occupied a week later by a strong force which overcame the small Dutch and Australian garrison with little difficulty. By the end of the month the Japanese controlled the Molucca Sea and were in position to cut the line between Java and Australia and to breach the east flank of the Malay Barrier.

On the western flank of the barrier, the Japanese had early secured the South China Sea approaches and

 

Offshore it had been a different story.

At approximately 20.00 hours (8 pm) on the 24th,

 American destroyers of Des Div 59 attacked the invasion convoy, sinking four troop transports and an escort vessel. The next day two more transports were claimed, one by Dutch and American bombers, the other by a Dutch submarine. This was the largest naval action since the start of the Pacific War, but the brief Allied tactical victory could not change the outcome of events on land.

Over the next several days, Han and his companions hacked their way through a tangled wilderness teeming with malarial mosquitoes. Pursued and repeatedly attacked, they reached Samarinda and boarded a plane for Java. As the transport winged over Borneo’s deep green forests and muddy brown rivers, Han might have gazed out the window and reflected on this land of opportunity that had so suddenly become a place of death and defeat. But he was not a man to dwell on regrets. Surely Anna and Margie were alive and waiting for him in Surabaya. That mattered more than anything. [4]

On that day, they took their captives to the nearby sea shore:

Even eight patients from the local hospital were among the group of 78 victims marched to a beach near the old Klandasan Fortress. Two of the victims were then beheaded on the beach, the other 76 forced into the sea…all were shot one by one, their bodies left to drift with the tide. [5]

 

 

The only way out: Samarinda II airfield, Borneo
(Allied air recce photo taken in 1944)

 

 



Australian troops of 2/3 Machine Gun Battalion
at Arinem (Western Java) in January 1942

 

 

a group of american tanks captured by the japanese army in the phillipines and used by the japanese during the battle of corregidor and in the invasion of Burma

Burma was to have been seized in two phases and its occupation completed only after operations to the south were over.

But early in January

the schedule had been speeded up and before the end of the month the 15th Army had pushed across the Thai-Burma border and seized

 

Dai Nippon in  Moulmein 1942

Look

 

dutvh POW at Moulmein camp

 

japanese infantry using a type 89 Grenade Discharger against british troops in burma 1942

 

 

officer of the japanese army 56th infantry Division carrying the regimental flag (burma 1944)

read more

 

                                 The Sword and the Cross

                               Two of the dramatic photographs in Pacific Fury illustrating

                                   the cruelty and the compassion of the Pacific conflict

 

Eyewitnesses in Pacific Fury: Alexander Roberts as an RAAF pilot and, bearded, as air liaison officer with the Chindits in Burma; Catherine ‘Kay’ Cotterman, prisoner of the Japanese in Manila; and William ‘Bill’ Macauley, prisoner of the Japanese in Hong Kong

 

On the 20th January 1942

came messages from the President and Chief of Staff, addressing Wainwright as commander in the Philippines and telling him of his promotion to lieutenant general.

No confusion was possible. “Upon the departure of General MacArthur,” wrote Marshall, “you become commander of U.S. forces in the Philippines.”55

Beebe had no choice but to turn over the messages to Wainwright, who, next morning, formally assumed command of U.S. Forces in the Philippines (USFIP), the name of his new headquarters, and designated Beebe his chief of staff. Like MacArthur, he commanded the naval forces as well as those of the Army, and was therefore a joint commander.56

 

 

 

 

January,21st,.1942

It was only when MacArthur learned of Wainwright’s assumption of command on the 21st that he informed the War Department of his own arrangements.

 

japanese officers interrogating american general Jonathan Mayhew Wainwright IV (bataan 1942)

january,22th.1942

 

Prewar, oil fields and an oil refinery were built at this location. During the middle of December 1941, USN Patrol Wing 10 briefly operated from Balikpapan after retreating from Cavite.

On January 22, 1942

 occupied by the Japanese for the oil fields and refinery

To Marshall these seemed unsatisfactory for a variety of reasons, and he told the President so. Wainwright, he felt, should continue in command.

 The President accepted this advice and MacArthur was advised that unless he had strenuous objections, Wainwright would retain his new post.57 MacArthur made no objections.

 He understood thoroughly Marshall’s difficulties; he said, and would accommodate himself to the arrangements already made. “Heartily in accord with Wainwright’s promotion to lieutenant general,” he radioed, “His assignment to Philippine command is appropriate.”58

 

 

 

american POWs being searchead by japanese guard (bataan 1942)

 

Thus ended the uncertainty and confusion. Wainwright was now confirmed as the commander of all forces in the Philippine Islands with the large authority and heavy responsibilities formerly possessed by General MacArthur. But he was not independent of his former commander, for MacArthur, though not yet officially appointed to his new office, had acquired even greater responsibilities than before and command over an area stretching from Melbourne to Manila

group shotunder fire

 

japanese soldiers advancing under heavy fire of british troops during the invasion of burma (1942)

 

type 92 heavy machine gun crew in the mountains of burma

 

January,23th 1942

 

OFFICERS OF THE WAR PLANS DIVISION, 23 January 1942.

on the 25th January

 

The women and children were sent on by road to Pontianak on the coast, whence they escaped by ship on the 25th January,

only four days before the Japanese occupied the town. Lane placed his battalion under Dutch command for the defence of the airfield and the surrounding area.

There followed a breathing space while the Japanese prepared for their next advance, though clashes took place between patrols near the border.

 

 

 

 

Dai Nippon troops occupied Pemangkat

 

The Japanese troops in Singkawang, 1942.
The man with the moustache on the right is Major-General Kiyotake Kawaguchi.

 

Pontianak sultane keraton during Japanese occupation

Han arrived in Java at the end of January.

Making his way to Surabaya, he searched at once for Anna and Margie. To his great worry, they were not at his mother’s house and he was unable to find them. He then fell ill with malaria contracted during the forced march in Borneo. The disease evolved the dangerous complication called blackwater fever, and he was sent to a hospital. [6]

The report of Balikpapan’s loss added to the litany of woes announced by the radio broadcasts on Java. Frank Samethini heard the news at Fort Menari, near Surabaya, where he’d been posted since the outbreak of the war:

Weeks pass without a shot being fired by us at the fort. But the radio tells of defeat, of bitter defeat by the ridiculed little men, the former smiling, bowing and hissing barbers, merchants of inferior goods made in Japan. There are also numerous reports of bravery from other sectors of our forces, but the closing message of the bulletin is always the same: battle lost, we retreat before the swarming ants….[7]

 

The day before

Balikpapan’s fall the Japanese

 

overran

 

Kendari

 on the island of Celebes, capturing the finest air base in the East Indies.

I am reading a letter from Lisa while on duty in the listening post (“Darling, do you want it to be a boy or a girl?”), when suddenly a sound from a great distance enters the earphones.

Growing louder and louder, it seems to come from every direction. No, wait, from high in the invisible vault above the cloud banks it comes! In a flash I recognise it with a sudden, racing heart: approaching aircraft. Can’t be ours, we haven’t got that many!

 My thumb sinks the alarm button while I reach for her letter fluttering to the floor. My field glasses show the Jap airplanes up as silver-winged, transparent dragonflies, three flights of five bombers in each squadron, moving slowly across the sky, too high for the black and white popping blossoms of our ack-ack.

 What little is left of our fighter planes whiningly soar upwards to meet their fate. The dragonflies move on southwards – southwards! But that is Surabaya! Fear clutches my throat. My God! Almost immediately I hear the dull boom of exploding bombs in a muffled staccato that pierces through my heart. Where, oh God, have they fallen? [8]

 

(ibid Hans Semethini)

The Japanese planned to attack the airfield from the north, and also from the west by a force landed on the coast. This attack was held up by bad weather for nearly a week, but on the 24th January five companies advanced along the road from the Dutch border, and

 

 by the 25th had reached a village two and a half miles north-east of the airfield. Having destroyed the stores and barracks, the defenders launched an attack

Meanwhile three Japanese companies had left Kuching in small craft during the night of the 25th

 

on the 26th which was repulsed.

That evening a counter-attack succeeded in turning their flank and

early on the 27th

 the order was given to evacuate the airfield. A Dutch tank was used to hold a crossroads for a while. During the withdrawal two Punjabi platoons were surrounded but, refusing to surrender, they fought on under their Indian officer until late in the afternoon.

 It was only when their ammunition was expended and the enemy was attacking in overwhelming numbers that the gallant little party laid down its arms. Japanese reports have since given their casualties at the hands of these two platoons as between 400 and 500 killed or wounded.

Of the seventy Punjabis engaged only three escaped. The remainder were never seen again; there is evidence to show that they were brutally put to death by the infuriated Japanese.

On the evening of the 27th January

the remnants of the Punjabis crossed the Sungei Sambas and took up a position on the high ground at Ledo, fifteen miles south-west of the airfield.

and by daybreak on the 27th

 had landed at Pemangkat due west of the airfield. Striking north-east and south and meeting with little opposition, they quickly captured the coastal villages and moved towards Bengkajang, thus threatening to surround the Allied force at Ledo.

After the fighting at Singkawang II airfield the British-Dutch forces retreated to Sanggau. There this force was split and the Dutch troops went to Sintang, while the British-Indian troops went to Nanga Pinoh.

On the 29th,

after a series of rearguard actions, the Punjabis withdrew to Ngabang and two days later to Nanga Pinoh.

 By this time further resistance was useless,

. The Japanese attack on Ambon, January–February 1942.

The Japanese landed on the island of Ambon on 30 January 1942. After just four days of bitter fighting the under- equipped and poorly prepared Australian and Dutch forces on the island surrendered.

The Australian battalion group of about 1100 men known as ‘Gull Force’ had arrived in Ambon on 17 December 1941 after a three-day trip from Darwin. The group comprised the 2/21st Battalion, which was part of the 23rd Brigade, 8th Australian Division, together with anti-tank, engineer, medical and other detachments. Their task was to join Netherlands East Indies troops – about 2500 men – to help defend the Bay of Ambon and two airfields at Laha and Liang. The Dutch commander, Lieutenant-Colonel J R L Kapitz, was senior to the Australian commander, Lieutenant- Colonel L N Roach, and took control of both forces, dispersing them into two groups. One group was sent to defend the airfield at Laha on the west side of Ambon Bay and the others were deployed to the east of the bay, south of the town of Ambon. Both the Australian and the Dutch forces were inadequately prepared and under-equipped. Lieutenant-Colonel Roach, aware of the futility of their task, made repeated requests for reinforcements of both men and equipment from Australia, even suggesting that Gull Force should be evacuated from the island if it could not be reinforced. Instead, he was recalled to Australia and Lieutenant-Colonel John Scott, a 53-year-old Army Headquarters staff officer from Melbourne, replaced Roach as commanding officer of Gull Force in the middle of January.

The first Japanese air attack on Ambon was on 6 January and by 24 January the Japanese were less than 1000 kilometres from the island. The last of the Allied aircraft were withdrawn on 30 January.

The Japanese landed three battalions on Ambon

during the night of 30-31 January.

 

The Australians lost contact with the Dutch who capitulated

the next day on 1 February.

Scott, the Australian commander, surrendered two days later

on 3 February.

 

The Japanese attack on Ambon, January–February 1942.

The Japanese landed on the island of Ambon

on 30 January 1942.

 After just four days of bitter fighting the under- equipped and poorly prepared Australian and Dutch forces on the island surrendered.

The Australian battalion group of about 1100 men known as ‘Gull Force’ had arrived in Ambon on 17 December 1941 after a three-day trip from Darwin. The group comprised the 2/21st Battalion, which was part of the 23rd Brigade, 8th Australian Division, together with anti-tank, engineer, medical and other detachments.

 

Their task was to join Netherlands East Indies troops – about 2500 men – to help defend the Bay of Ambon and two airfields at Laha and Liang.

 

 The Dutch commander, Lieutenant-Colonel J R L Kapitz, was senior to the Australian commander, Lieutenant- Colonel L N Roach, and took control of both forces, dispersing them into two groups.

 

One group was sent to defend

 

the airfield at Laha

 

 

 

on the west side of Ambon Bay

 

 and the others were deployed to

 

 

 the east of the bay, south of the town of Ambon.

 

Both the Australian and the Dutch forces were inadequately prepared and under-equipped. Lieutenant-Colonel Roach, aware of the futility of their task, made repeated requests for reinforcements of both men and equipment from Australia, even suggesting that Gull Force should be evacuated from the island if it could not be reinforced.

Instead, he was recalled to Australia and Lieutenant-Colonel John Scott, a 53-year-old Army Headquarters staff officer from Melbourne, replaced Roach as commanding officer of Gull Force in the middle of January.

The first Japanese air attack on Ambon was

on 6 January and by 24 January

 the Japanese were less than 1000 kilometres from the island. The last of the Allied aircraft were withdrawn on 30 January.

The Japanese landed three battalions on Ambon during the night of 30-31 January. The Australians lost contact with the Dutch who capitulated the next day on 1 February. Scott, the Australian commander, surrendered two days later on 3 February. Some small groups of men escaped and made their way back to Australia but almost 800 surviving Australians became prisoners of war. The Australians together with about 300 Dutch prisoners of war were put back into their barracks at Tan Tui, north of Ambon town.

On 25 October 1942,

about 500 of the Australian and Dutch prisoners were sent to Hainan, an island in the South China Sea off the coast of mainland China. Led by Lieutenant-Colonel Scott, they left Ambon in the Taiko Maru and arrived in the Bay of Sama on Hainan Island on 4 November. The next day they sailed up the coast to a camp at Bakli Bay.

The Japanese government had recognised Hainan Island’s potential and planned to use the POWs to build roads and viaducts in order to develop agriculture and industry on the island. The prisoners were forced to do hard manual labour under difficult and brutal conditions with a completely inadequate diet. By 1945 the survivors were all starving. Worse still, Scott was an unpopular senior officer who was unable to command the respect of his troops. His unpopularity increased when he organised Japanese rather than Australian discipline for men who violated Australian army regulations.

Early in 1944, 40 of the Australians were sent to work at the Japanese garrison at Hoban, north of Bakli Bay on Hainan. While out on a work party one morning, they were fired on by Chinese guerrillas, some of several thousand nationalist and communist guerillas still operating against the Japanese on the island. Nine Australian POWs were killed, three were wounded and ten others were captured by the guerillas but were never recovered.

At the end of August 1945,

Americans liberated the POWs from Hainan. On Ambon the surviving Australian POWs waited another four weeks to be rescued by the Royal Australian Navy corvettes, HMAS Cootamundra, Glenelg, Latrobe and Junee. The very high (over 75%) death rate on Ambon had been exacerbated when an American bomber dropped six bombs on the Japanese bomb dump right next to the Tan Tui POW camp. The dump ignited and exploded, killing six Australian officers, including the doctor, four other ranks and 27 Dutch women and children. A number of Dutch and Australian casualties died later.

After the Japanese surrender it was discovered that about 300 servicemen who had surrendered at Laha airfield had been killed in four separate massacres between 6 and 20 February 1942. Not one had survived. The prisoners on Ambon and Hainan were subjected to some of the most brutal treatment experienced by POWs anywhere during World War II. Over three-quarters of the Australian prisoners there died in captivity.

 

 

Tan Tui Barracks: on the shores of Ambon Bay, where the Australians were billeted with the Dutch and also where the Japanese kept them as POWs.

  

 

 

 

 

A Japanese landing on the north of the island eventuated

on 30 January 1942,

 then a second landing at Baguala Bay the following day outflanked Dutch defences there, so the AASC element and its stocks from Galala, under Capt S.A. Rose, were moved to Kudamati to join the B Echelon of 2/21 Bn.

those elements in the Kudimati position had no alternative but to follow suit.

At Laha, attacks had begun

on 31 January,

 with the force holding out until 2 February.

 The AASC element there was more actively engaged in the defensive fight – a tribute to one Dvr Doolan who was reputed to have successfully ambushed three truckloads of Japanese appears in Chapter 20; Capt Burns and other members were missing at the end of it. After the surrender in both areas, half of the AASC detachment was taken prisoner, the remainder being battle casualties or beheaded by the Japanese after capture 34

Following intensive air attacks in late January 1942, the Hudsons were withdrawn, leaving the troops without support. The Japanese invasion on 29–30 January, supported by heavy air and sea bombardments, quickly overwhelmed the defenders, who surrendered on 3 February. The small force of about 300 men defending the airfield at Laha were summarily executed by their captors, and buried in mass graves. The fate of these men was not discovered until after the war, while the remainder of Gull Force endured a captivity so harsh that nearly 75 percent of them died before liberation.

 

Most of the men captured at Laha had their hands bound before execution. This signal wire was recovered from one of the bodies exhumed after the war. The enamel plate from the same site appears to have suffered bullet damage, although it is believed that most of the victims were either bayoneted or clubbed to death.

 

Officers of the 2/21st Battalion take a break in Darwin before embarking for Ambon in December 1941. Many of these men later died in captivity.

 

One of the four mass graves in which victims of the Laha massacre were buried. After the war, the bodies were moved to the Ambon War Cemetery

 

Under Australian supervision, Japanese prisoners exhume the bodies of Australian and Dutch soldiers killed in the Laha massacre in February 1942.

31-01-1942,

Djokja Bert, Maudy en René

 

February 1942

The Battle of Singapore Begins:

On February 3,

Japanese artillery began hammering targets on Singapore and air attacks against the garrison intensified. British guns, including the city’s heavy coastal guns, responded but in the latter case their armor-piercing rounds proved largely ineffective.

by 7th February,

 though the Air Force units were still badly intermingled, some kind of order out of chaos had been established.

 

By then, however, most of the reinforcements dribbling in from the Middle East had had to be diverted to Java, for

 

This was confirmed when on 14th February

a successful Japanese paratroop descent was carried out on the airfield: henceforward bomber operations were conducted from the secret airfield at P.II.

The general policy was to send as many Air Force ground staff as possible to Java and to keep in Sumatra only those required to service such aircraft as remained. The main bombing force was No. 225 (Bomber) Group which was also responsible for reconnaissance northwards from the Sunda Strait, and for the protection of convoys. These tasks were performed with the greatest difficulty. By the end of January only forty-eight aircraft remained and most of these ‘required inspection and minor repairs’, or were ‘in particularly poor condition’. In keeping them serviceable the efforts of two Flight Sergeants, Slee and Barker, deserve mention.

For twelve days in February the squadrons continued to act as escorts to convoys and to bomb airfields in Malaya, such as Alor Star and Penang, held a few short weeks before by the Royal Air Force.

To do so they used the northern airfields of Sumatra as advanced landing grounds. Here aircraft could be refuelled but could not remain for any length of time because of Japanese bombers. The long flights involved in these operations imposed a great strain on the crews, who had to fly through torrential thunderstorms which transformed the tropic night into a darkness so intense that many of the recently arrived pilots, whose standard of night flying was, for lack of training, not high, found very great difficulty in finding their way.

At that time the skill and determination of Wing Commander Jeudwine, commanding No. 84 Squadron, was outstanding.

 It was largely owing to his efforts that the force was able to maintain even a modest scale of attack.

Throughout this period, the Malayan Volunteer Air Force, by then evacuated to Sumatra, proved invaluable in maintaining communications between P.I and the secret P.II in their Tiger Moths and other unarmed light civil aircraft.

On February 8,

the first Japanese landings began on Singapore’s northwest coast. Elements of the Japanese 5th and 18th Divisions came ashore

 

 at Sarimbun Beach

and met fierce resistance from Australian troops. By midnight, they had overwhelmed the Australians and forced them to retreat.

Believing that future Japanese landings would come in the northeast, Percival elected not to reinforce the battered Australians.

1942 – Sarimbun Beach Battle

 
     


.
By: Germaine Foo-Tan

 

A plaque depicting the Sarimbun Battle Site at Jalan Bahtera

 

 

 

A view of the Johore Strait taken from the Singapore side. Japanese troops crossed the Strait and landed at Sarimbun around midnight on 8 February 1942.

February 1942 was a dark time for Singapore. After the conquest of Malaya, the Japanese under General Yamashita were poised to attack Singapore and prepared to invade the island from across the Causeway. The assault itself was an exercise of deception and trickery.

The British assumed that any attack by the Japanese army would be by sea. General Percival himself judged that the Japanese would attack on the north-east sector and prepared to defend it aggressively. As it turned out, the Japanese had other plans. General Yamashita devised a tactical cover and deception plan to launch a feint landing on Pulau Ubin and then spring a surprise attack on the eight kilometre wide coastline near Sarimbun. The aim was to achieve a surprise break-in, establish an initial bridgehead line-up to Tengah Airbase and subsequently capture the Sungei Jurong and Bukit Mandai line. All forces were then to reconstitute along that line in preparation for the city attack.

On 8 February 1942, the Japanese artillery east of Johore Bharu continuously fired towards Changi. As planned, this successfully diverted British attention to north-east Singapore so that their intended target, the north-west would be weakly defended when Japanese troops eventually landed. The guns were scattered about in groups of one or two to give the impression that each gun position might be a battery. This led the British to estimate that there were no less than six Japanese artillery regiments present. So successful was Japanese deception that British artillery in north Singapore engaged in fierce counter-battery work.

Meanwhile, the true location of the impending Japanese assault, the north-west coast of Singapore, remained weakly defended.

 Throughout the day, the Japanese fired heavy barrages. Starting at about 1000hrs, they pounded the area around Bukit Mandai, Seletar Pier, Sembawang Airbase and Tengah Airbase with some 25,000 rounds of ammunition, effectively severing the British communication lines. Following this, they fired onto key strongholds along the coast. The artillery barrages were intensified as the Japanese army prepared to land at Sarimbun. Protected by heavy artillery fire, Japanese soldiers from the 5th and 18th Division crossed the Johore Strait in a fleet of small boats and successfully landed at Sarimbun around midnight on 8 February 1942.

In the battle that ensued at Sarimbun, the British were ill-equipped to deal with the assault force. The defended posts were widely separated and there were insufficient local reserves available for immediate counter-attack. The 22nd Australian Brigade entrusted with the defence of the front where the landing took place was given an impossible task. By 9 February, the Japanese had overrun this brigade and made their way to Tengah airfield.

The invasion of Singapore exposed the weaknesses of the defending British forces and serves as a reminder that we must, ourselves, be responsible for Singapore’s security and well-being.

The article written by this writer can be found in the book, “Fortress Singapore – The Battlefield Guide” which was researched and written by the Centre for Heritage Services.

 

 


Figure 8: USS
Benham (DD-397) off the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, 6 February 1942. Courtesy of Rear Admiral Joseph M. Worthington, USN (Retired), 1980. US Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph. Click on photograph for larger image.

Widening the battle,

 

Yamashita conducted landings in the southwest

 on February 9.

Encountering the 44th Indian Brigade, the Japanese were able to drive them back. Retreating east, Bennett formed a defensive line just east of

Tengah airfield at Belim.

To the north,

 

Brigadier Duncan Maxwell’s 27th Australian Brigade inflicted heavy losses on Japanese forces as they attempted to land west of the causeway. Maintaining control of the situation, they held the enemy to a small beachhead.

The End Nears:

Unable to communicate with the Australian 22nd Brigade on his left and concerned about encirclement, Maxwell ordered his troops to fall back from their defensive positions on the coast. This withdrawal allowed the Japanese to begin landing armored units on the island.

Pressing south, they outflanked Bennett’s “Jurong Line” and pushed towards the city. Aware of the deteriorating situation, but knowing that the defenders outnumbered the attackers,

Prime Minister Winston Churchill cabled General Archibald Wavell, Commander-in-Chief, India, that Singapore was to hold out at all costs and should not surrender.

This message was forwarded to Percival with orders that the latter should fight to the end.

On February 11,

 

Japanese forces captured the area around Bukit Timah as well as much of Percival’s ammunition and fuel reserves.

The area also gave Yamashita control of the bulk of the island’s water supply. Though his campaign had been successful to date, the Japanese commander was desperately short of supplies and sought to bluff Percival into ending “this meaningless and desperate resistance.” Refusing, Percival was able to stabilize his lines in southeast part of the island and repelled Japanese attacks on February 12.

 

Battle for Bukit Timah

HISTORY

The Battle of Bukit Timah was a battle fought during World War II on 11 February 1942 in Singapore between the Allied forces and the Japanese forces.


By the 10th of February,

the Japanese had landed in full force on Singapore Island. They controlled the entire western part of the island, and much of the north.

Their next objective was Bukit Timah and the capture of vital water, food, ammunition, and vehicles, machine parts and other supplies. Now, flushed with success, the Japanese again advanced in full force.

Preparations:

The defending soldiers of the 12th and 15th Indian Brigades, the 27th Australian Brigade, and the Special Reserves Battalion; Tomforce, Merrett Force, Dalforce, and the Plymouth Argylls; Jind State Infantry and the X Battalion — all faced the Japanese onslaught. They fought at various points along Bukit Timah Road.[

 

Battle:

On that night,

 the Japanese 5th Division, supported by tanks, advanced down

 

Choa Chu Kang Road.

 

 The 12th Indian Brigade and some

British troops under Major Angus MacDonald and Captain Mike Blackwood (both were officers from the Argylls who would both later die on

 

 the steamship Rooseboom while escaping Singapore) blocked the road and opened fire with an anti-tank gun, destroying the first Japanese tank. But this was merely the first of a force of 50 tanks.[1]

There followed some hand-to-hand combat, as well as bayonet charges from both sides. The poorly trained and equipped men of Dalforce, armed only with parangs, grenades, rifles and shotguns normally used for hunting, suffered heavy casualties.

By midnight,

the Japanese had overwhelmed the defenders and captured Bukit Timah.[1]

The British launched a counter-attack the following morning with two brigades. But by midday, faced with strong Japanese resistance, the counter-attack failed.[1]

The next day,

 the Japanese Imperial Guard advanced from the North, outflanking the British defenders and forcing their retreat. In the ensuing battle, the Chinese soldiers fought bravely, some to their deaths. Japanese suffered their heaviest casualties in the campaign to occupy Singapore.

 In revenge, they massacred Chinese men, women and children living in a nearby village.

Sources From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Bukit_Timah

 

By 13th February,

 the headquarters of the Group decided that a reconnaissance must be made to discover whether or not the Japanese intended to land on Sumatra.

The position in Singapore was known to be desperate, and it was felt that the enemy would assuredly attempt to extend the range of their conquests.

 A single Hudson from No. 1 Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force, accordingly took off in the afternoon and presently returned with the report that there was a concentration of Japanese shipping north of Banka Island.

 This seemed to show that an invasion of Sumatra was imminent. An unsuccessful night attack by Blenheims in darkness and rain was succeeded at first light on 14th February

by an offensive reconnaissance carried out by five Hudsons. They discovered between twenty-five and thirty transports, heavily escorted by naval vessels and fighter aircraft. The suspected invasion was on the way.

 

The five Hudsons, subsequently reinforced by all available bomber aircraft, delivered a series of attacks upon the convoy and achieved conspicuous success. Six transports were sunk or badly damaged for the loss of seven aircraft.

The squadrons engaged, Nos. 1 and 8 of the Royal Australian Air Force and Nos. 27, 62, 84 and 211 of the Royal air Force, fulfilled their tasks without fighter protection, for the Japanese had staged an attack by parachute troops on P.I, the fighter airfield at Palembang.

The attackers were able to cut the road to the south and west of the airfield and to overpower the meagre ground defences. Wing Commander Maguire, the Station Commander, at the head of twenty men, hastily collected, delivered a counterattack which held off the enemy long enough to make possible the evacuation of the wounded and the unarmed.

He was presently driven back into the area of the control tower, where he held out for some time, short of ammunition and with no food and water, until compelled to withdraw after destroying stocks of petrol and such aircraft as remained.

 

.

The fighters which should have accompanied the bomber force attacking the convoy belonged to No. 226 (Fighter) Group, formed

on 1st February

 

The Surrender:

Slowly being pushed back on February 13,

Percival was asked by his senior officers about surrendering. Rebuffing their request, he continued the fight.

The next day,

 

Japanese troops secured Alexandra Hospital

 

 

and massacred around 200 patients and staff.

Early on the morning of February 15,

the Japanese succeeded in breaking through Percival’s lines. This coupled with the exhaustion of the garrison’s anti-aircraft ammunition led

 

Percival to meet with his commanders

 

at Fort Canning. During the meeting, Percival proposed two options: an immediate strike at Bukit Timah to regain the supplies and water or surrendering.

Informed by his senior officers that no counterattack was possible, Percival saw little choice other than surrender.

Dispatching a messenger to Yamashita, Percival met with the Japanese commander at

 

the Ford Motor Factory later that day to discuss terms. T

 

 

he formal surrender was completed shortly after 5:15 that evening.

 

Source: http://www.defence.pk/forums/military-history-strategy/178963-battle-singapore-80-000-british-soldiers-surrender-japan.html#ixzz1zQQFZ74K

 

Thus, when the sun set

DEI troops survivors of the battle of Palembang (Sumatra) 15 Feb 1942 this troops would cease to exist after Battle of Java (march 1942)

they’re known as a KNIL in indonesia, people who try to get a better luck by joining the army rather than live as a poor farmer

on 15th February,

 the day on which the fortress of Singapore surrendered unconditionally, the greatest success up till then scored in the Far Eastern War had been achieved, and achieved by the Royal Air Force and the Royal Australian Air Force. The landing of the enemy at the mouth of the Palembang River had been completely arrested, thousands of his men had been killed or wounded, and his plan of invasion brought temporarily to naught. The action fought that day on the coast of Sumatra shows only too plainly what might have been accomplished on the coasts of Siam and Malaya had an adequate Air Force been available

Sad to say, this highly successful counter-measure had no sequel.

There were no troops or naval craft available to exploit the victory and the reaction of the Japanese was immediate and violent.

They made another parachute troop landing on Palembang airfield and in the neighbourhood of the town. It was successful and its success jeopardized the situation at P.II, the secret airfield, where stocks of food, ammunition and bombs were running very low. Orders were reluctantly given for a retreat to Java.

All aircraft were to fly; their ground staff were to go by ship and to embark at Oesthaven.

 Here occurred an administrative blunder which added to the difficulties of the Air Force and considerably reduced its further capacity for fighting.

The Dutch authorities at the port had already set on fire the bazaar and destroyed all equipment of a military kind.

A dark pall of smoke lay over the town, and beneath it the airmen striving to carry out their orders and to reach Java as quickly as possible found themselves faced with an obstacle created not by the enemy, but by the British Military Embarkation Officer.

He was one of those men to whom an order is as sacred and inflexible as are the Commandments of Sinai. All officers and men of the ground staff were to be clear of the port by midnight, but they were to leave, so he ordained, without their motor transport or their equipment.

 In other words, they were to reach Java in a condition in which they would be quite unable to take any further part in operations.

To every remonstrance he returned the same answer: those were the orders. It says something for his personality that they were obeyed. No. 41 Air Stores Park left behind them spare Hurricane engines and other urgent stores; so did the Repair and Salvage Unit of No. 266 (Fighter) Wing, and the anti-aircraft guns and ammunition brought away with such difficulty from P.I and P.II were also abandoned.

This departure, in an atmosphere which can only be described as that of panic, was quite unnecessary, for two days later Group Captain Nicholetts at the head of fifty volunteers from No. 605 (Fighter) Squadron, returned to Oesthaven by sea from Batavia in H.M.S. Ballarat of the Royal Australian Navy and spent twelve hours loading the ship to the gunwales with such air force equipment as could by then still be salvaged.

 

On 15 Feb,1942

 

Japanese troops landing at the british territory singapore

on 15 February 1942

In the campaign, which concluded with the fall of Singapore on 15 February 1942, Yamashita’s 30,000 front-line soldiers and 200 tanks fought against a poorly equiped force with no armored force, Yamashita’s force captured 130,000 British, Indian and Australian troops, the largest surrender of British-led personnel in history

 

 

 

 

officer of the 5th infantry division sergeant saito leading his man (singapore, 1942)

 

 

The Japanese Campaign and Victory 8 December 1941 – 15 February 1942: Lieutenant-General Percival and his party carry the Union Jack on their way to surrender Singapore to the Japanese

On the February. 15th

 

Lt.-Gen. Percival sits between his officers, his clenched hand to his mouth.

 General Percival, with his water, food, and ammunition gone, decided that further resistance was impossible. That afternoon, he met Yamashita at the Ford Motor Factory and formally surrendered his command, an act which symbolized the end of British imperial power in the Far East.43

By 18th February,

 the evacuation from Sumatra to Java of air force pilots and ground staff had been completed and more than 10,000 men belonging to different units, and in a great state of confusion, had arrived in the island.

To add to the difficulties of the situation, the civilians in Java, who up till the landing of the Japanese on Singapore Island had shown calmness and confidence, now began to give way to despair and were soon crowding on to any vessel they could find which would take them away from a country they regarded as lost.

The confusion brought about by the mass of outgoing refugees and incoming reinforcements is more easily imagined than described, and the scenes enacted a few days before in Singapore were reproduced on an even larger scale in Batavia. Equipment, motor transport, abandoned cars, goods of every size, description and quality, littered its choked quays, and still troops and air force ground staff poured in, hungry, disorganized and, for the moment, useless. Inevitably their spirits and discipline suffered, and the climax was reached when it became necessary to disband one half-trained unit.

These few were the only men for whom the burden proved insupportable. The rest rose gallantly to their hopeless task and under the stimulus of Air Vice-Marshal Maltby and Air Commodore W. E. Staton, overcame the chaotic circumstances of their lot and in less than twelve days were ready to renew a hopeless contest.

The fighter strength available had, by the 18th, been reduced to twenty-five Hurricanes, of which eighteen were serviceable.

The bomber and reconnaissance squadrons were in equally desperate case. At Semplak airfield, twelve Hudsons, and at Kalidjati, six Blenheims, sought to sustain the war. Behind them, No. 153 Maintenance Unit and No. 81 Repair and Salvage Unit, together with No. 41 Air Stores Park, did what they could to provide and maintain a ground organization. On 19th February all the Blenheims available, to the number of five, attacked Japanese shipping at Palembang in Sumatra, and this attack was repeated

 on the 20th and 21st,

a 10,000 ton ship being set on fire.

 

On the 19th and 22ndFebruary 1942

 the Japanese delivered two ripostes at Semplak which proved fatal. Of the dwindling force of bomber aircraft, fifteen were destroyed. Yet even after this crushing blow the Air Force still had some sting

 left. On 23rd February,

 three Blenheims claimed to have sunk a Japanese submarine off the coast.

By then the hopes originally entertained by Wavell and the Chiefs of Staff in London of building up the strength of the Allies in Java had been abandoned; Supreme Allied Headquarters had left the island and handed over to the Dutch Command, to which henceforward the remains of the Air Force looked for guidance and orders.

They came from General ter Poorten, who had as his Chief of Air Staff, Major General van Oyen. Under the swiftly developing menace of invasion, these officers, with Maltby and General H. D. W. Sitwell, made what preparations they could to maintain the defence. Despite the encouraging messages which they received about this time from the Prime Minister, the Secretary of State for Air and the Chief of the Air Staff, Maltby and Sitwell knew that no help from the outside could be expected for a long time.

General ter Poorten had under him some 25,000 regular troops backed up by a poorly armed militia numbering 40,000. Sitwell could count only upon a small number of British troops, two Australian infantry battalions, four squadrons of light tanks and three antiaircraft regiments, of which the 21st Light accounted for some thirty Japanese aircraft before the end came. On the sea, Admiral Dorman commanded a small mixed force of which the main units were a British, an Australian, an American and two Dutch cruisers.

No breathing space for the organization of these inadequate and ill-armed forces was afforded by the enemy.

 

On 26th February,

 a Japanese convoy, numbering more than fifty transports with a strong naval escort, was discovered by air reconnaissance to be moving through the Macassar Strait southwards towards the Java Sea.

On the next day, Admiral Dorman put out to meet it. Hopelessly outgunned and outnumbered he fought a most gallant action and lost his entire fleet, a sacrifice which secured a respite of twenty-four hours. Subsequent to the naval battle the Air Force attacked twenty-eight ships of the convoy eventually found north of Rembang

by No. 1 Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force,

 being close to the runway, were taken off under fire and reached a nearby airfield at Andir. Kalidjati had fallen; a small ground defence party composed of Army and Air Force officers and men, ably supported by the local Dutch defence force, fought with great gallantry to defend it and died to the last man.

Their efforts were, however, of no avail, for they had been surprised by the swift move of the Japanese who, after landing at Eretanwetan in the early hours of that morning, had encountered no opposition on the ground either on the beaches or at the various strong points covering the river crossings.

The fact was that by then conditions in Java were too confused and desperate to make further defence anything but local and spasmodic.

Nevertheless the Air Force struggled on for a few more days. Nos. 232 and 605 (Fighter) Squadrons had remained in action from

the 17th to 27th February

 doing their utmost to conduct the air defence of Batavia. The normal odds which they were required to meet were about ten to one and they had little warning of the approach of enemy aircraft.

Their task would have been eased and might, perhaps, have been successfully accomplished had they received as reinforcements the P.40 fighters carried on the U.S. aircraft carrier Langley.

 After considerable delays this ship had been ordered to sail for the Javanese port of Tjilitjap. She set out on what was a forlorn hope and as soon as she came within range of Japanese bomber and torpedo aircraft based on Kendari in the Celebes, she was attacked and sunk.

By noon on 28th February

the total strength of the fighters was less than that of a single squadron, but still the hopeless fight continued. It was decided to retain No. 232 Squadron, under the command of Squadron Leader Brooker, since all its pilots and ground staff had volunteered to remain in Java. Vacancies were filled by volunteers from No. 605 and on 1st March the reconstructed squadron, in the company of ten Dutch Kittyhawks and six Dutch Buffalos, all that remained of a most gallant and skilled Air Force which had been in constant action

on the night of the 28th February.

 It was in this action, in which a small force of American Fortresses took part, that Squadron Leader Wilkins, the outstanding commander of No. 36 Squadron, was killed. The squadron claimed to have sunk eight ships; the Americans, seven.

 

 

Feb-March 1942

HMAS Burnie

 last sgip to leave Sumatra,second last to leave java

(courtecy photostream aequasition)

4238. Built at Mort’s Dock, Balmain [Sydney] on the British Admiralty’s account, and commissioned

on April 10, 1941, HMAS BURNIE

had been one of the small and gallant band of RAN corvettes that remained behind to pick up rearguards and stragglers as the Dutch East Indies fell to the advancing might of Japan in early 1942.

With powerful Japanese units all around them, they and a group of Dutch ships, including the minesweeper ABRAHAM CRIJNSSEN see pic Nos 985-6], had run the gauntlet of the circling enemy to safely reach Australia, an escape that the sloop HMAS YARRA and two her convoy charges [see preceding entry] had tragically failed to make. Pic NO. 985, showing ABRAHAM CRIJNSSEN disguising herself with vegeatation as an island,

 

 

From Feb. 18-20, 1942

during the evacuation of Sumatra,

 

 HMAS BURNIE

had stood off Oosthaven where, after laying demolition charges, she had embarked the rearguards and taken them to Tanjong Priok. She was the last Allied ship to leave Sumatra. On the way out at Java Head she and HMAS BENDIGO rescued survivors from the torpedoed Dutch ship BOERO and carried them to Tjilatjap.

Subsequently, with Commodore John Collins, RAN, and the former captain of HMS PRINCE OF WALES, Captain Leonard Bell, RN, embarked, BURNIE was also, with HMAS BALLARAT, one of the last two ships to get out of Java [see preceding entries]. BALLARAT had turned back to scuttle the small and unserviceable British minesweeper HMS GEMAS that had turned up just as they were leaving Harbour, and embarked her crew. Thus BALLARAT became to last ship to leave Java.

BURNIE was later with the British pacific Fleet at Okinawa. After the war, moving to Royal Navy control in 1946, she was sold to the Royal Netherlands Navy, and was re-named CERAM. She was finally decommissioned in 1958.

a Dutch ship called the SS Rooseboom that sailed from Padang on the island of Java 

 

 

on 26th February 1942,

 bound for Columbo in what was then Ceylon. Padang was, at that time, the last port on the official escape route for Allied troops and civilians from Singapore and Malaya. 

 

Dai Nippon Syonanto(Singapore) Postalhistory

including Sumatra area(1942-1943)

Singapore Postal History(Sumatra under Dai Nippon center Singapore)

 

 

 

 

 

 

In February 1942

 the Japanese were still marching South, ready to invade

During the frequent Japanese air raids of February 1942,

they took refuge in a bomb shelter in the front yard. This was a dugout reinforced with sandbags, built by Emma’s neighbors from across the street. At times they had to remain in the shelter for up to eight hours.

February,1st.1942

 

01-02-1942,

 Djokja

Bert, Pap, Mam en René Op

 

 

the Japanese occupied the Pontianak town

February,2nd.1942

 

 

Surabaya  Starting boombardement in February 1942

In Surabaya, Elisabeth was visiting a friend of her mother’s. She recalls:

The sirens started with a horrible noise and we thought they were just practicing, but then the bombs started to fall and the aeroplanes were fighting in the air. We were so afraid and we all dived under the bed.

 

After what seemed like hours, the all clear came. We were all dazed and didn’t know what to think about it all. There was chaos everywhere…. [9]

 

on February 3th.1942,

the Japanese launched their first major air attacks on the Surabaya                city. Frank was on anti-aircraft observation duty that day:

I am reading a letter from Lisa while on duty in the listening post (“Darling, do you want it to be a boy or a girl?”), when suddenly a sound from a great distance enters the earphones. Growing louder and louder, it seems to come from every direction.

 

No, wait, from high in the invisible vault above the cloud banks it comes! In a flash I recognise it with a sudden, racing heart: approaching aircraft. Can’t be ours, we haven’t got that many! My thumb sinks the alarm button while I reach for her letter fluttering to the floor. My field glasses show the Jap airplanes up as silver-winged, transparent dragonflies, three flights of five bombers in each squadron, moving slowly across the sky, too high for the black and white popping blossoms of our ack-ack.

 

What little is left of our fighter planes whiningly soar upwards to meet their fate. The dragonflies move on southwards – southwards! But that is Surabaya! Fear clutches my throat.

 

My God! Almost immediately I hear the dull boom of exploding bombs in a muffled staccato that pierces through my heart. Where, oh God, have they fallen? [8]


In Surabaya, Elisabeth was visiting a friend of her mother’s. She recalls:

The sirens started with a horrible noise and we thought they were just practicing, but then the bombs started to fall and the aeroplanes were fighting in the air. We were so afraid and we all dived under the bed.

 

After what seemed like hours, the all clear came. We were all dazed and didn’t know what to think about it all. There was chaos everywhere…. [9]

 

 

 

A formation of Mitsubishi G4M “Betty” Japanese medium bombers.
This type flew missions against Surabaya from Kendari, Celebes.

 

 

“There was chaos everywhere….”
Japanese bombs fall on Surabaya (February 1942)

Photo Source: The Dutch East Indies Campaign

 

In the following Japanese attack the position held out and was bypassed, but as the rest of the battalion on

 

 

the Laitimor Peninsula surrendered

 on 3 February,

Laha airfield, Ambon (as seen in 1945). The Bay of Ambon and the Laitimor Peninsula are in the background. (Photographer: Staff Sergeant R. L. Stewart.)

.

The Battle of Ambon (30 January – 3 February 1942) occurred on the island of Ambon in the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia), during World War II. A Japanese invasion was resisted by Dutch and Australian forces. The chaotic and sometimes bloody fighting was followed by a series of major Japanese war crimes

February,3rd.1942

The Javanese Etnic group:KRIDO REKSO WIROTOMO: BRANCH DJAKARTA p/a M.L.Joedokoesoemo  Kesehatan II/2 Street Batavia centrum circulAir stencil letter to Mr L.Ch.Damais Java street 72 pavilliun  Batavia centrum,Postalkly used with DEI Karbouw  2 cent CDS Batavia Centrum 3.2.42

 

 The letter :

By means of this letter KRW Jakarta branch officials to declare all the members of his attitude in the current war as follows:


a.Perkumpulan Krido Rekso wirotomo Djakarta  branch remained standing.
b.The Meeting this year  postponed until  at a good time.
c.All the lessons (Beksan and Gamelan) and other works such as “Cipto Ening” and others dismissed.
d.Starting from  February 1942 all members exempt from payment of contributions.

To the members who are delinquent (not paid) contributions are kindly requested to pay arrears until January 1942. This outstanding money (cut at the cost of shipping) continue to be sent to you let bendahari R.Soebari Pasar Minggoe.Djakarta Post Office (f 70)
 

 Apart from the above that if something about the proposal and make associations in this war, the board asked the committee also requested the committee get forgivenes of  any errors
  for its obligations,

yours respectfully
Board-Rekso Krido-Wirotomo
Djakarta branch

(old spelling has been adapted to the current to be easily translated)

 

Original info

Dengan perantaraan  surat ini pengurus KRW cabang Djakarta mempermaklumkan kepada sekalian anggota tentang sikapnya dalam masa perang saat ini seperti berikut:

a.Perkumpulan Krido Rekso wirotomo cabang Djakarta tetap berdiri.

b.Rapat tahun ini ditunda sampai pada saat yang baik.

c.Semua pelajaran (Beksan dan Gamelan) dan pekerjaan-pekerjaan lainnya seperti “Cipto Ening” dan lain-lainnya diberhentikan.

d.Mulai bulan Pebruari 1942 semua anggota dibebaskan dari pembayaran kontribusi.

Kepada Angggota yang masih menunggak(belum membayar) Kontribusi  diminta dengan hormat supaya membayar tunggakan itu sampai bulan januari 1942. Uang tunggakan ini(dipotong dengan ongkos pengiriman)hendaklah terus dikirimkan kepada saudara bendahari  R.Soebari di Kantor Post Pasar Minggoe.Djakarta( f 70)

 Selain dari pada yang tersebut diatas jika sesuatu usul tentang dan buat perkumpulan dalam masa perang ini, maka pengurus meminta kepada penguruds dan juga pengurus meminta dipermaafkan segala kekeliruan

 selama menjalankan kewajibannya,

Wassalam

Pengurus Krido-Rekso-Wirotomo

Cabang Djakarta

(ejaan lama telah disesuaikan dengan yang berlaku saat ini agar mudah diterjemahkan)

 

 

 

Japanese bombing raids against East Java began on 3 February, 1942.

 

and on the 4th February 1942

the Punjabis with Dutch agreement set out in two columns for Sampit and Pangkalanboeoen on the south coast. The British tried to get out of Borneo by going south. Their aim was to find a radio station at Sampit (or if that failed at Pangkalanboen) in order to get contact with Java Island or to reach one of the harbours in the south of Borneo.

The force at Nanga Pinoh was split in three parts: A (Sikh), B (PM) Company and part of Staff (Hindu) Company under command of Major Milligan formed the western column, which took the shorter route, C (Khattack), D (Jat) and part of Staff (Hindu) Company under command of Lieutenant Colonel Ross-Thompson formed the eastern column, which took the longer route and the blitzparty. The blitzparty consisted of 2 officers and 4 men and it was their task to go as fast as possible to Sampit in order to get contact with Java Island

February. 6th, 1942

 

Sydney Morning Herald (February 6, 1942)
National Library of Australia


Japan’s fearsome Zero fighter planes inflicted heavy casualties on the Dutch and Allied interceptors, and the city was soon without effective air defense:

The following week a few more air raids are directed on fortifications outside Surabaya, but the scattered pillboxes and gun emplacements are perfectly camouflaged and no direct hit is suffered.

 

The enemy aircraft, unchallenged since the last Dutch plane was downed, fly low over the dense swamp vegetation in an effort to draw fire and so pinpoint our gun positions.

 

 But the order by the fort commander is clear: repulse enemy landings on the beaches and nothing else. Do not shoot at aircraft, do not even shake a fist at them lest they spot you. Keep your head low and swear if you must, but all all events stay out of sight. What kind of war is this? [10]

 

The enemy was now on Java’s doorstep. Getting 24 hours’ leave, Frank entered Surabaya to find the town “swarming with British and Australian soldiers.” There were also American air and artillery units on Java.

 

 These hastily collected reinforcements, belatedly shipped to the East Indies without adequate arms or supplies, were too little, too late

 

The following week a few more air raids are directed on fortifications outside Surabaya,

but the scattered pillboxes and gun emplacements are perfectly camouflaged and no direct hit is suffered.

The enemy aircraft, unchallenged since the last Dutch plane was downed, fly low over the dense swamp vegetation in an effort to draw fire and so pinpoint our gun positions.

 But the order by the fort commander is clear: repulse enemy landings on the beaches and nothing else. Do not shoot at aircraft, do not even shake a fist at them lest they spot you. Keep your head low and swear if you must, but all all events stay out of sight. What kind of war is this? [10]

(ibid Frank semethini)

 

USS Houston at Tjilatjap central Java in Feb 6th 1942

An Tjilatjap, Java, 6 February 1942,

seen from USS Marblehead (CL-12), which was passing close aboard.
Houston‘s colors are half-masted pending return of her funeral party, ashore for burial of men lost when a bomb hit near her after eight-inch gun turret two days earlier during a Japanese air attack in Banka Strait.

The disabled turret is visible in the center of the view, being trained to port.

The original photograph came from Rear Admiral Samuel Eliot Morison’s World War II history project working

on 8th February 1942,

 without waiting for the fall of Singapore, launched their attack on southern Sumatra. From Camranh Bay in Indochina came a strong naval force to support the transports headed for Palembang with its airfield and oil refinery. On the 14th about 700 paratroopers were dropped in the Palembang area, but achieved only a limited success against the Dutch and British defenders. At the end of the day Allied troops were still in control, but next morning, when the main Japanese force landed upshore and began to move toward Palembang, they withdrew. Two days later, the Japanese were in control of southern Sumatra, leaving the northern part of the island to the conquerors of Singapore. Only the Straits of Sunda now separated the Japanese from their main objective, Java.45

Shortly before midnight of 8 February,

 under cover of an extremely heavy artillery bombardment, the Japanese began to cross the straits.

By the morning of the February. 9th,

they had established a firm position on the island and were pouring reinforcements into the lodgment area. From there the Japanese spread over the island, infiltrating the defender’s lines and isolating them into small pockets of resistance.

 

 

From Balikpapan, the Japanese moved on to Bandjermasin, along the southeast coast of Borneo, which they took on

On 9 Feb 1942,

The day before the Japanese entered the island, he reported he could leave immediately on a cargo ship; however he was instructed to stay at his post as Australia’s most senior civilian official otherwise Canberra “would be deprived of independent information and effect on morale would be bad’. 

 

 

10 February 1942

February,11th.1942

Adriani, Paulus Lambertus Grimmius.

Born in Makasser on 17 January 1914.

 Died on board of the Hr.Ms. Hydroplane ‘X29′ near Soerabaia

on 11 February 1942.

Flyers Cross. Officer-pilot 2nd class Navy Aviation Service, on board of the Hr.Ms. Hydroplane ‘X29′

Return to sender Postal used cover during WW II because not communication exist sent from CDS Malan 11.5.42 to Breda Netherland

With pmk RETOUR AFZENDER POSTVERBINDING OPGEHEVEN MEANS

RETURN MAIL SENDER LINK REMOVED

NO POSTAL COMMUNICATIONS

MAY BE THIS LETTER SENT BEFORE THE Japanese occupation java in March 2012 including Malang by Dutch KNIL Soldier or their family to the Cadet in Military academy at Breda hollands to J.E.Spanjaard cadet Infantrie 2nd company

(2)February,12th.1942.

The Battle Of Palembang

 

Teishin Shudan (Raiding Group) paratroopers landing during the battle of Palembang, February 1942

The Dai Nippon  paratroops army  by parachute landed at Palembang and the oil area at plaju near Palembang were attack and occupied ,look the pictures.dai Nippon capture the oil field

 

japanese troops in a captured oil field (dutch east indies 1942)

 

 

japanese army paratrooper (Teishin Shudan) using a Type 99 light machine gun during the Battle of Palembang (february 1942)

Kato and his men were diverted to the pending attack on Sumatra in the Dutch Indies (now Indonesia). (The long-ranged Hayabusas were still based at the former British airfield at Ipoh in southern Malaya.)

 

On February 14,

the group supported an airborne landing on Palembang, which succeeded in capturing the airfield and the nearby Dutch oil refineries.

At Palembang airfield, the 64th Sentai took found two comparatively undamaged Hurricane fighters and put them in shape for flying. Major Kato himself piloted one of the British planes, and the other was assigned to squadron leader Capt. Anma Katsumi of the group’s 3rd Chutai. Predictably, the two Japanese officers found themselves under attack by friendly aircraft, as a 64th Sentai veteran recalled. Neither was damaged, evidently, and to prevent another occurrence the tails of both Hurricanes were painted white.

(2)FEBRUARY,14TH,1942

On Saturday the 14th of February 1942,my father came to fetch Henny (my younger sister) and I from our boarding-school for the weekend. We went into town where we did some shopping for my mother and next we went to the Javasche Bank.

When my father came out of the bank, we heard and then saw Japanese planes coming over. This time they machine-gunned Malang. I saw two working men, who were hit, falling from the roof where they were busy.

They were dead, we saw them lying in their blood on the street. I had never seen dead people before; Henny and I were deeply shocked. Henny started crying, my father took us both quickly away from this very sad sight.

(Elizabeth Van Kampen, Memories of the Dutch East Indies: From Plantation Society to Prisoner of Japan,web blog,2011)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Saturday the 14th of February 1942,

 

 my father came to fetch Henny (my younger sister) and I from our boarding-school for the weekend.

 We went into town where we did some shopping for my mother and next we went to the Javasche Bank.

 When my father came out of the bank, we heard and then saw Japanese planes coming over.

This time they machine-gunned Malang. I saw two working men, who were hit, falling from the roof where they were busy.

They were dead, we saw them lying in their blood on the street. I had never seen dead people before; Henny and I were deeply shocked. Henny started crying, my father took us both quickly away from this very sad sight

(ibid Elizabeth Van Kampen)

Of the adventures of the two columns on their long journey through the almost unexplored jungles and swamps of southern Borneo much might be written. Travelling by forest track and by raft and boat on treacherous rivers, short of food and clothing, and constantly exposed to tropical heat and rain they finally reached the coast. The blitzparty arrived at Sampit on

 14th February 1942,

 

 

 

 

 

HMS Li-Wo in action 14 Feb 1942 North of Banka Straits

 

 

 

HMS Li-Wo in action 14 Feb 1942 North of Banka Straits

The Sinking of HMS ‘Li-Wo’

Introduction

On Wednesday 6th March 2002 I visited my niece in Cardiff. Quite casually, she handed me an A4 brown envelope saying that her grandfather (and my father) had given it to her a few years before he died. Inside, I found a 24 page photocopied letter, penned by my father, to the Imperial War Museum about the sinking of HMS ‘Li Wo’.

I have reproduced the letter below exactly as it was written.

Moyra Jones 7th March 2002


 

The Director

Imperial War Museum

Lambeth Rd

London S.E.1

Sunday 30/8/64

 

Dear Sir,

On the 14th August, this year, I visited London with my Daughter and Nephew, and took them to The Imperial War Museum.

It was a surprise, and a proud moment, and a sad one, when I saw the scale Model of H.M.S. “Li-Woo” (sic), as I am one of the few survivors of the short but epic action, North of the Banka Straits, on Sat 14th February 1942.

I feel that I must write to you, correcting much of the information about the Ship and the action that took place, between H.M.S “Li-Woo”, and a Japanese convoy and Japanese Naval Escorts.

I commented to one of the Attendants on duty, that the facts were wrong, and was advised by him, to see the Records in the Records Department, of which I did.

Which of course, after seeing them, decided to write to you, hoping most sincerely, that you will investigate most fully, the facts I intend to give.

Before I give any account, I wish to make it perfectly clear, that I seek no glory, I seek no financial gain, and I seek no publicity.

My object and reason is purely and simply this.

Ever since 5-30 P.M. Saturday 14th 1942. I have honoured and admired the memory of the Bravest Man I ever knew.

Lt. Wilkinson V.C. R.N.

This is the first time I have written to anyone about this action, as until that visit to the Imperial War Museum, I was always under the impression that the true real facts were fully known.

I wonder how many of the gun’s crew, who composed of “Prince of Wales”, and “Repulse” survivors were interviewed? Or interrogated over this action? I also wish to add, that I was never asked for an account of the action after the war had ended, and the reason why I was unable to give an account during my 3 1/2 years as a Japanese P.O.W. was simply this:-

When I was first taken P.O.W. the survivors of the “Li-Woo” were in a tempory P.O.W. Camp at Muntok, in Banka Island, with Army, Navy, R.A.F. personel, and with many civilians, of which there were many children.

I was only at that Camp, which had no real British Military Administration for a week at the most, when I escaped with Lt. Col. Daly of Dal Force Malaya, Lt. Eno, Army, Sgt. Ken Wharton, Australian Army, only to be eventually betrayed by Natives, and handed over to the Japanese, when we landed at Java.

During my captivity, the Japs never knew that we were recaptured P.O.W.s.

I deemed that discretion was the better of Valour.

I could not mention the “Li-Woo” action North of the Banka Straits, without giving myself away that I was an escaped P.O.W.

The punishment was death.

Also we were mixed with many Dutch, and Dutch Eurasians, many of the Eurasians were Pro-Jap, and would give away their own Mother.

Here now is the facts as I know them, nothing added, nothing exaggerated.

After being sunk on the “Prince of Wales” I was sent up into Malaya with:-

C.P.O. Rogers “Repulse”

Ldg/Smn Adly(sic) “Repulse”

Ldg/Smn Bennett “Repulse”

Ldg Smn Countant “Prince of Wales”.

I need not bother you about details, as it is non revelant to the “Li-Woo”, except this.

After returning to Singapore from Malaya, we were detailed to patrol the Jahore Straits in small boats. We operated from a small village opposite Paula Ubin Island.

We were recalled from there to the Orange Hotel, Thursday afternoon 12th Feb 1942.

We were then detailed to go aboard the “Li-Woo” to sail for Java.

On arrival aboard, we were detailed as Guns Crew, being that the others were Torpedo ratings, and C.P.O Rogers, a Rangetaker, I was appointed Gun Layer.

My Guns crew consisted of C.P.O Rogers, Ldg/Smn Adley, Bennett Countant, and two stoker ratings who were with us in the Jahore Straits Patrol.

We left Singapore Harbour late Thursday night Feb 12th 1942 only to drop anchor outside the Harbour.

On Friday 13th Feb 1942 we sailed for Java with the “Fu Woo” a sister ship. We were attacked many times by aircraft, and came through.

On Sat 14th Feb 1942 we dropped anchor close inshore, we were informed that we were anchoring for a while, trusting to luck that we would not be spotted by enemy aircraft, as the Captain intended to go through the 80 miles of the Banka Straits in darkness.

We were spotted by a Jap seaplane just had we got under way again.

Between 4-30. 5-0 P.M we sighted smoke on the horizon off the Port Bow. It was a convoy.

Lt Wilkingson (sic) asked if anyone could recognise if any of the warships were Jap.

Informed him that I had served two years on the China Station, 1936-1938 and was familiar with Jap warships.

He told me to come to the bridge, and then handed me his telescope.

I saw one Jap light cruiser and two Jap destroyers, without looking for any more, I told him they were Japanese.

He then asked me if I had any doubt, I told him “none whatever”.

The convoy was about 10 mile away, and I was told to report back to the gun.

Captain Wilkingson’s words to us was this:-

“A Jap convoy is ahead, I am going to attack it, we will take as many of those Jap Bastards, as possible, with us.

Those words I will never forget, they have always been fixed clearly in my mind.

I returned to the gun, AND I CHECKED THE AMMUNITION, AND REPORTED IT FROM THE GUN, TO CAPTAIN WILKINGSON.

My report to him was this.

SIX SEM-ARMOUR PIERCING SHELLS.

FOUR GRAZE FUSE SHELLS.

THREE A.A. SHELLS.

He replied :- “Gunlayer, is that all the ammunition you have”?

I answered :- “Yes Sir”, thirteen shells in all, plus three practice shell.”

How or why 13 practice shells came into it, I don’t know, all I can assume is this.

Possibly, it was because for most of the crew, it was their first taste of action, and I know the effect it has on many.

Admitted there was thrteen shells, but they were 6. S.A.P. 4 GRAZE FUSE and 3. A.A.

I do not class a practice shell as shell for action.

Do you think that I can ever forget that moment.

The hopelessness of knowing that I had only six shells that could do any damage, and realising that two shells would probably be wasted before we found the range and target.

The “Li Woo’s” Gunnery Officer joined us, Captain Wilkinson’s name is the only one I remember.

The Gunnery Officer was Ginger headed, I believe he was a New Zealander.

I had a hurried conference with him, and said to him :-

“Look Sir, I have only six shells that can do any damage, four that can do harm if we fire at the super structure as anti personel shells, then our last hope is to set the A.A. shells at Fuse 2 and hope for the best.”

I also pointed out, that unless we were lucky with our first shot, as all we had was “Gunlayers Control”, “Gunlayers Firing”, with no range Finder and no Inclanometre to help, we might waste two shells at least, before we were on target, should we use the practice shells as our ranging shots?”

He paused for a moment, then replied: “it might be a good idea, but then again it might not, as if we can get in close enough, and we find our target, it is a wasted effort.” I received the order to load with S.A.P.

Approx. half an hour later we engaged the enemy.

Our selected target was a transport of between four to five thousand tons.

At an estimated range of four thousand yards, deflection six left, we opened fire.

The first shell was over target.

I ordered, “Fixed Sight, Rapid Salvos.” I know that at least three of our remaining five S.A.P. shells, were bang on target, as fire broke out on her immediately.

Soon she was blazing furiously. In less than two minutes our ammunition was expended.

Captain Wilkinson selected another target, the ship nearest to him, about 800 tons and deliberately rammed and sank it.

We were now among the Jap convoy, helpless, drifting, and no ammo.

I will never forget another hero of this action, a man unknown, unsung, unpraised.

An R.A.F. sargeant who manned the Vickers Lewis Gun, from the time the ship left Singapore, to when the “Li Woo” sank.

It was his deadly accurate fire, that wipe (sic) out the four man gun’s crew aboard the Jap transport we rammed.

The enemy’s gun was about 30 to 40 M.Metre. It was this gun that caused our first casualties.

I myself was wounded in the chest. The R.A.F. Sargent then swept the bridge and decks with his deadly fire, killing many.

He then opened up on another transport about 200 yards away.

The Jap convoy cleared away from us, and we came under fire from the Jap warships.

It was a fearful experience as it took the Japs five to ten minutes to find our range, their gunnery was lousy, and the noise of their shells whistling overhead, always expecting the next one to land inboard, knowing that we had to just sit there and take it, and and the helplessness of not being able to do anything about it.

When they eventually found our range, it was all over.

The “Li-Woo” listed to Starboard and sank stern first.

When we survivors were swimming in the water, the Japs transports closed in. I myself was on one of two rafts which for safety we had tied together. The transports came towards us, and picked up their own survivors, we were then under the impression when they came slowly at us that they were going to pick us up as well.

But we were in for a shock. They came right at us and deliberately rammed us but we realise just before, what their intentions were, and hastily dived into the sea.

With my own eyes, and there are times when the memory of it is most vivid, I saw that transport go among a group of survivors, and mamouver amongst them with churning screws, killing at least a dozen.

It was only the sudden darkness that saved us.

We succeeded in regaining the rafts, and all night we could see the transport we set on fire blazing fiercely.

The following afternoon,

Sunday 15th Feb

 we were picked up by other survivors who were in a boat, with a sail and oars.

It was badly holed, and the gunwales was four inches above the water.

It was only its buoyancy tanks keeping it afloat.

Just after sunrise on Monday

16th Feb, 1942,

we were washed ashore.

My shipmate C.P.O Rogers was in the sailing boat.

We seemed to separate in groups, just aimlessly walking around the Island, there were four of us in the group I was in, C.P.O Rogers was one of them.

Late that afternoon we ran into a Jap patrol and was taken prisioner.

A few days later I met L/Smn Adley, and Bennett, they also had run into a Jap patrol, but were not so fortunate as we were.

The Jap patrol opened fire on them, L/Smn Adley was shot in the arm, and Ldg/ Smn Bennett was bayonetted.

That is my story, nothing added, nothing exaggerated.

My one intention, and the only reason why I have written this down, is that the facts should be known, in fact must be known to all, the courage and bravery, and the great achievement accomplished by Lt. Wilkingson V.C. of H.M.S Li-Woo, on Saturday 14th February 1942, against tremendous odds.

I was on the gun deck, during the short journey from Singapore to the end of the “Li-Woo”.

I was the Gunlayer. I will state most emphatically, that to the best of my knowledge, there was no member of the “Li-Woo s” original crew, a member of that gun’s crew.

How can a practise shell cause a transport vessel to burst into flames?

Sunday afternoon we could see her, an abandoned, floating, blackened wreck, smoking slightly.

Do you think it possible?

I will willingly travel to London and undergo any interrogation you wish to put me through. But please, I beg of you, please see that “Lt. Wilkingson V.C. gets the credit that is due to him.

Is this too much to ask, for a man who made the Supreme Sacrifice, and who won the Highest Award that his Country could bestow upon him?

It was my intention after seeing the model of the “Li-Woo” to get in touch with C.P.O. Rogers. I believe that he resides at Bristol, but for the time being, I have decided against it, so that you can have the opportunity to check my story, without any collusion between C.P.O. Rogers or any one else, with me.

I swear to you on oath, that since the war ended, I have not seen or communicated with any of the “Li-Woo” survivors.

There is a lot more details, small ones, that I can give you, but, my aim is, as I have stated previously, Let “Lt Wilkingson V.C. have the just credit due to him, and the facts put right.

Yours sincerely,

T.H. Parsons

E/34 Room

Chace Guildhouse

London Rd

Coventry.

Late Leading Seaman T.H.PARSONS

D/JX.143539

P.S AFTER READING MY STORY WOULD YOU PLEASE PASS ON TO NAVAL RECORDS.


Follow up

HOUSE OF COMMONS

LONDON SWLA 0AA

01-219 4166

From:

The Rt Hon. James Callaghan, MP. 8th January 1986

 

Dear Mr Parsons,

Thank you for your letter with the account of your service in the Far East during the last war. First, allow me to congratulate you on the determination and courage you showed throughout the period.

I will readily take up the matter up with the Ministry of Defence in order to secure a statement from the Admiralty that you took part in the “Li-Wo” action but will not do so until you have been to see me in Cardiff on 18th January, at the offices of the GMBATU, 17 Newport Road, between 10.00 and 11.00 a.m.

I shall look forward to seeing you then, when we can discuss any additional points that need to be put forward.

Yours sincerely,

(Signed Jim Callaghan)


 

This is to certify

that

LEADING SEAMAN THOMAS HENRY PARSONS D/JX 143539

On the 14th February 1942

took part in the action when his Majesty’s Patrol Ship

LI-WO whilst on patrol duty off Singapore, gallantly

engaged the superior forces of the enemy, inflicting

significant damage on a convoy of troopships before being

sunk by a Japanese cruiser. The heroism and self sacrifice

of the many who died and the few who survived were in the

highest traditions of the Royal Navy.

 

George Younger

20th February 1986 SECRETARY OF STATE FOR DEFENCE

 

On the February. 15th

 

Lt.-Gen. Percival sits between his officers, his clenched hand to his mouth.

 General Percival, with his water, food, and ammunition gone, decided that further resistance was impossible. That afternoon, he met Yamashita at the Ford Motor Factory and formally surrendered his command, an act which symbolized the end of British imperial power in the Far East.43

Read more info

February 15, 1942.

Battle of Singapore, British Surrender. Lt.-Gen. Yamashita (seated, centre) thumps the table with his fist to emphasize his terms — unconditional surrender. Lt.-Gen. Percival sits between his officers, his clenched hand to his mouth. (Photo from Imperial War Museum)

“World War II: Battle of Singapore”

Lt. Gen. Arthur Percival marches to surrender to the Japanese, February 1942
Photograph Source: Public Domain
Battle of Singapore – Conflict & Dates:

The Battle of Singapore was fought January 31 to February 15, 1942, during World War II (1939-1945).
Armies & Commanders

British

Lieutenant General Arthur Percival
85,000 men

Japanese

Lieutenant General Tomoyuki Yamashita
36,000 men

Battle of Singapore – Background:

On December 8, 1941,

Lieutenant General Tomoyuki Yamashita’s Japanese 25th Army began invading British Malaya from Indochina and later from Thailand. Though outnumbered by the British defenders, the Japanese concentrated their forces and utilized combined arms skills learned in earlier campaigns to repeatedly flank and drive back the enemy. Quickly gaining air superiority, they inflicted a demoralizing blow on December 10 when Japanese aircraft sank the British battleships HMS Repulse and HMS Prince of Wales. Utilizing light tanks and bicycles, the Japanese swiftly moved through the peninsula’s jungles.

Defending Singapore:

Though reinforced, Lieutenant General Arthur Percival’s command was unable to halt the Japanese and on January 31 withdrew from the peninsula to the island of Singapore. Destroying the causeway between the island and Johore, he prepared to repel the anticipated Japanese landings.

 

Considered a bastion of British strength in the Far East, it was anticipated that Singapore could hold or at least offer protracted resistance to the Japanese. To defend Singapore, Percival deployed three brigades of

 

Major General Gordon Bennett’s 8th Australian division to hold the western part of the island.

 

Lieutenant General Sir Lewis Heath’s Indian III Corps was assigned to cover the northeastern part of the island while the southern areas were defended by a mixed force of local troops led by

Major General Frank K. Simmons (Map).

 

 

Advancing to Johore, Yamashita established his headquarters at the Sultan of Johore’s palace. Though a prominent target, he correctly anticipated that the British would not attack it for fear of angering the sultan. Utilizing aerial reconnaissance and intelligence gathered from agents that infiltrated the island, he began to form a clear picture of Percival’s defensive positions.

The Battle of Singapore Begins:

On February 3,

Japanese artillery began hammering targets on Singapore and air attacks against the garrison intensified. British guns, including the city’s heavy coastal guns, responded but in the latter case their armor-piercing rounds proved largely ineffective.

On February 8,

the first Japanese landings began on Singapore’s northwest coast. Elements of the Japanese 5th and 18th Divisions came ashore

 

 at Sarimbun Beach

and met fierce resistance from Australian troops. By midnight, they had overwhelmed the Australians and forced them to retreat.

Believing that future Japanese landings would come in the northeast, Percival elected not to reinforce the battered Australians.

1942 – Sarimbun Beach Battle

 
     


.
By: Germaine Foo-Tan

 

A plaque depicting the Sarimbun Battle Site at Jalan Bahtera

 

 

 

A view of the Johore Strait taken from the Singapore side. Japanese troops crossed the Strait and landed at Sarimbun around midnight on 8 February 1942.

February 1942 was a dark time for Singapore. After the conquest of Malaya, the Japanese under General Yamashita were poised to attack Singapore and prepared to invade the island from across the Causeway. The assault itself was an exercise of deception and trickery.

The British assumed that any attack by the Japanese army would be by sea. General Percival himself judged that the Japanese would attack on the north-east sector and prepared to defend it aggressively. As it turned out, the Japanese had other plans. General Yamashita devised a tactical cover and deception plan to launch a feint landing on Pulau Ubin and then spring a surprise attack on the eight kilometre wide coastline near Sarimbun. The aim was to achieve a surprise break-in, establish an initial bridgehead line-up to Tengah Airbase and subsequently capture the Sungei Jurong and Bukit Mandai line. All forces were then to reconstitute along that line in preparation for the city attack.

On 8 February 1942, the Japanese artillery east of Johore Bharu continuously fired towards Changi. As planned, this successfully diverted British attention to north-east Singapore so that their intended target, the north-west would be weakly defended when Japanese troops eventually landed. The guns were scattered about in groups of one or two to give the impression that each gun position might be a battery. This led the British to estimate that there were no less than six Japanese artillery regiments present. So successful was Japanese deception that British artillery in north Singapore engaged in fierce counter-battery work.

Meanwhile, the true location of the impending Japanese assault, the north-west coast of Singapore, remained weakly defended.

 Throughout the day, the Japanese fired heavy barrages. Starting at about 1000hrs, they pounded the area around Bukit Mandai, Seletar Pier, Sembawang Airbase and Tengah Airbase with some 25,000 rounds of ammunition, effectively severing the British communication lines. Following this, they fired onto key strongholds along the coast. The artillery barrages were intensified as the Japanese army prepared to land at Sarimbun. Protected by heavy artillery fire, Japanese soldiers from the 5th and 18th Division crossed the Johore Strait in a fleet of small boats and successfully landed at Sarimbun around midnight on 8 February 1942.

In the battle that ensued at Sarimbun, the British were ill-equipped to deal with the assault force. The defended posts were widely separated and there were insufficient local reserves available for immediate counter-attack. The 22nd Australian Brigade entrusted with the defence of the front where the landing took place was given an impossible task. By 9 February, the Japanese had overrun this brigade and made their way to Tengah airfield.

The invasion of Singapore exposed the weaknesses of the defending British forces and serves as a reminder that we must, ourselves, be responsible for Singapore’s security and well-being.

The article written by this writer can be found in the book, “Fortress Singapore – The Battlefield Guide” which was researched and written by the Centre for Heritage Services.

 

 


Figure 8: USS
Benham (DD-397) off the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, 6 February 1942. Courtesy of Rear Admiral Joseph M. Worthington, USN (Retired), 1980. US Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph. Click on photograph for larger image.

Widening the battle,

 

Yamashita conducted landings in the southwest

 on February 9.

Encountering the 44th Indian Brigade, the Japanese were able to drive them back. Retreating east, Bennett formed a defensive line just east of

Tengah airfield at Belim.

To the north,

 

Brigadier Duncan Maxwell’s 27th Australian Brigade inflicted heavy losses on Japanese forces as they attempted to land west of the causeway. Maintaining control of the situation, they held the enemy to a small beachhead.

The End Nears:

Unable to communicate with the Australian 22nd Brigade on his left and concerned about encirclement, Maxwell ordered his troops to fall back from their defensive positions on the coast. This withdrawal allowed the Japanese to begin landing armored units on the island.

Pressing south, they outflanked Bennett’s “Jurong Line” and pushed towards the city. Aware of the deteriorating situation, but knowing that the defenders outnumbered the attackers,

Prime Minister Winston Churchill cabled General Archibald Wavell, Commander-in-Chief, India, that Singapore was to hold out at all costs and should not surrender.

This message was forwarded to Percival with orders that the latter should fight to the end.

On February 11,

 

Japanese forces captured the area around Bukit Timah as well as much of Percival’s ammunition and fuel reserves.

The area also gave Yamashita control of the bulk of the island’s water supply. Though his campaign had been successful to date, the Japanese commander was desperately short of supplies and sought to bluff Percival into ending “this meaningless and desperate resistance.” Refusing, Percival was able to stabilize his lines in southeast part of the island and repelled Japanese attacks on February 12.

 

Battle for Bukit Timah

HISTORY

The Battle of Bukit Timah was a battle fought during World War II on 11 February 1942 in Singapore between the Allied forces and the Japanese forces.


By the 10th of February,

the Japanese had landed in full force on Singapore Island. They controlled the entire western part of the island, and much of the north.

Their next objective was Bukit Timah and the capture of vital water, food, ammunition, and vehicles, machine parts and other supplies. Now, flushed with success, the Japanese again advanced in full force.

Preparations:

The defending soldiers of the 12th and 15th Indian Brigades, the 27th Australian Brigade, and the Special Reserves Battalion; Tomforce, Merrett Force, Dalforce, and the Plymouth Argylls; Jind State Infantry and the X Battalion — all faced the Japanese onslaught. They fought at various points along Bukit Timah Road.[

 

Battle:

On that night,

 the Japanese 5th Division, supported by tanks, advanced down

 

Choa Chu Kang Road.

 

 The 12th Indian Brigade and some

British troops under Major Angus MacDonald and Captain Mike Blackwood (both were officers from the Argylls who would both later die on

 

 the steamship Rooseboom while escaping Singapore) blocked the road and opened fire with an anti-tank gun, destroying the first Japanese tank. But this was merely the first of a force of 50 tanks.[1]

There followed some hand-to-hand combat, as well as bayonet charges from both sides. The poorly trained and equipped men of Dalforce, armed only with parangs, grenades, rifles and shotguns normally used for hunting, suffered heavy casualties.

By midnight,

the Japanese had overwhelmed the defenders and captured Bukit Timah.[1]

The British launched a counter-attack the following morning with two brigades. But by midday, faced with strong Japanese resistance, the counter-attack failed.[1]

The next day,

 the Japanese Imperial Guard advanced from the North, outflanking the British defenders and forcing their retreat. In the ensuing battle, the Chinese soldiers fought bravely, some to their deaths. Japanese suffered their heaviest casualties in the campaign to occupy Singapore.

 In revenge, they massacred Chinese men, women and children living in a nearby village.

Sources From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Bukit_Timah

 

The Surrender:

Slowly being pushed back on February 13,

Percival was asked by his senior officers about surrendering. Rebuffing their request, he continued the fight.

The next day,

 

Japanese troops secured Alexandra Hospital

 

 

and massacred around 200 patients and staff.

Early on the morning of February 15,

the Japanese succeeded in breaking through Percival’s lines. This coupled with the exhaustion of the garrison’s anti-aircraft ammunition led

 

Percival to meet with his commanders

 

at Fort Canning. During the meeting, Percival proposed two options: an immediate strike at Bukit Timah to regain the supplies and water or surrendering.

Informed by his senior officers that no counterattack was possible, Percival saw little choice other than surrender.

Dispatching a messenger to Yamashita, Percival met with the Japanese commander at

 

the Ford Motor Factory later that day to discuss terms. T

 

 

he formal surrender was completed shortly after 5:15 that evening.

 

Source: http://www.defence.pk/forums/military-history-strategy/178963-battle-singapore-80-000-british-soldiers-surrender-japan.html#ixzz1zQQFZ74K

 

On 15 Feb,1942

 

Japanese troops landing at the british territory singapore

on 15 February 1942

In the campaign, which concluded with the fall of Singapore on 15 February 1942, Yamashita’s 30,000 front-line soldiers and 200 tanks fought against a poorly equiped force with no armored force, Yamashita’s force captured 130,000 British, Indian and Australian troops, the largest surrender of British-led personnel in history

 

officer of the 5th infantry division sergeant saito leading his man (singapore, 1942)

 

 

The Japanese Campaign and Victory 8 December 1941 – 15 February 1942: Lieutenant-General Percival and his party carry the Union Jack on their way to surrender Singapore to the Japanese.

 

 

 

 

The Japanese landing off the west coast of British North Borneo, 1942

 

west borneo

 

Singkawang

Read more info


By the middle of February, Singapore had surrendered,

Read more

THE BATTLE FOR SINGAPORE 

The True Story of Britain’s Greatest Military Disaster 

 

Gen Yamashita landed at singapore

 

General Percival with white flag in Singapore

Read more-book in CD-ROM

Created By dr Iwan suwandy,MHA

“The dai Nippon War In Singapore”

.

 

 

General Arthur Percival, ill-fated British commanding officer in Singapore, Olga and Maisie Prout, the brave sisters who defied the Japanese during the occupation of the island colony and Captain William ‘Bill’ Drower, the man the Japanese couldn’t kill. Their dramatic stories are told in The Battle for Singapore

After the British surrender(in Singapore),

 he and two colleagues escaped on a small boat to Sumatra where they were intercepted and forced to land on Bangka island. 

 At Muntock, Bowden tried to explain his diplomatic status but was then beaten by Japanese guards and taken outside. According to later reports, was shot after being forced to dig his own grave.

 

MEANTIME ON JAVA, AUSTRALIA’S TRADE COMMISSIONER to the Dutch-controlled East Indies, Herbert Anton Peterson, moved his office from Batavia (now Jakarta) to Bandung as the Japanese navy won sea battles in the Sunda Straits and Java Sea.

His wife was safely back in Australia but he had already lost one son in airborne operations and another was a POW in Italy.

 

(3)FEBRUARY,15TH. 1942

On Sunday the 15th of February we received the bad news over the radio that Singapore had fallen into Japanese hands.

Indeed, that was a very sad Sunday. Who had ever thought that Singapore could fall? Were the Japanese so much stronger than the Allies? And then there was the Battle of the Java Sea from 27 February to 1 March 1942.

 

 The Dutch warships Ruyter and

 

 

 Java were hit by Japanese torpedoes; they sunk with a huge loss of life. The Allies lost this battle..

.Jungle and Indian Ocean

Soon it was the New Year.

 We had no more Japanese visitors. There were not many Dutch or other Europeans outside of camps.

 

 In Malang

 

Maurits Joachim en Caroline met hun kleinkinderen, Malang, N.O.I., 1942

 

 

“The last time I saw my father was in 1942 in Java,”

 

Louis Rapmund

 said Louise. “He was literally running out the back door of our house as the Japanese were coming in the front door. They were looking for him. This has helped heal a wound in my soul that festered for over sixty years. I loved my father. He was a wonderful man.”

Rapmund was a Dutch NEI (Netherlands East Indies) officer who worked in western New Guinea facilitating the recovery of Indian, Papuan, and Dutch nationals who had been held by the Japanese.

Rapmund assisted Nellist and Rounsaville Teams (of the Alamo Scouts) on their famous mission to liberate a Dutch governor and his family, along with 40 Javanese and twelve French civilians from an internee camp at Cape Oransbari in October 1944.

He also worked with Littlefield Team in the recovery of displaced Indians in the Geelvink Bay area. For years I had attempted to find Rapmund to interview him, but every trail ran cold. And for good reason.

 

Rapmund (standing far right) with guerrillas – 1944

Margaret Jacobs, claiming to be the niece of Louis Rapmund. She said that her uncle had been murdered in Java by Indonesian extremists in October 1945. But that didn’t correspond with what I had discovered through the Dutch Archives—that Rapmund had died in 1947.

Furthermore, the articles were attributed to Rapmund sometime between 1947-1950, which further muddied the waters. But as a historian accustomed to dealing with emotional family members, faulty memories, incomplete stories, and lack of original documentation, I held something back to test the strength of her claim. Louis Rapmund had a unique middle name: Bernardus-Jan, and the article was written by one L.B.J. Rapmund, clearly a match. But I did not tell Margaret that. Instead, I asked if she knew her uncle’s middle name. She did. And the plot grew thicker.

Source:lance zedric

there was already a camp for men called Marine Camp. And another camp, we were told, called

De Wijk,

‘De Wijk’ in Malang

Town: Malang

District: East Java

Region: Java

Location: Malang is in East Java. The Bergen neighborhood was in the northwest of the city.

 

From November 1942 to 04 April 1944 this location served as a civilian camp

Other name: Bergenbuurt, De Wijk, Goentoerbuurt

Internees: working men; women and children

Number of internees: 7.000

Information: The large camp for women and children in the Bergen neighborhood started in

November-December 1942 as a “protected neighborhood” near Merbaboe Park.

 

 In mid-1943,

the camp was expanded, in a southerly direction to Welirang Street and in a northerly direction to Ringgit Road.

The camp was encircled by barbed wire and gedek. The extreme north section of the camp was intended for men who had to work through the Japanese occupation, alongwith their families.

 

Those men who had been discarded by the Japanese concerns were takento the marine camp, elsewhere in Malang. Their wives and children were sent, along with theother women and children of De Wijk, to camps in central Java.

 

Commendant: Kato

Guards: Native police personnel, heihos

Camp leaders: dhr. Prins; dhr. Lakeman

 

Literature: Liesker, H.A.M. e.a., Je denk, ken niet, maar kèn!! (Waddinxveen 1997)

Alt, M.A., Ons kampleven gedurende de Japansche en republikeinsche bezetting (Soerabaja

[ca. 1947])

Zuster van Onze Lieve Vrouw van Amersfoort, Onder de gevreesde vloedgolf. Onze missie in

oorlogstijd [1948])

Koblitz, F., Die Frauen von Lampersari. Im japanischen KZ auf Java (Wenen 2000)

Moscou-de Ruyter, M., Vogelvrij. Het leven buiten de kampen op Java 1942-1945 (Weesp

 prepared to house women and children. Taking a long, last walk through the rubber plantations and jungle, my father and I beheld the Indian Ocean. My father looked at me and said, “I have to ask you something, you are almost 16 so you are old enough. I want you to look after Mama and your sisters when I have to leave Sumber Sewa. Will you promise me that?” I remonstrated, but he insisted and I agreed.

And so, at the beginning of February 1942, my father received a phone call ordering him to leave our home in Sumber Sewu within six days and report to the Marine Camp in Malang. This would be a fateful separation. By now, most Dutch men were internees.

A Japanese visitor

.

 

On Sunday the 15th of February

we received the bad news over the radio that Singapore had fallen into Japanese hands. Indeed, that was a very sad Sunday. Who had ever thought that Singapore could fall?

 

Were the Japanese so much stronger than the Allies?

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, 15 February

 

 

Australian light cruiser PERTH

relieved

 

 

light cruiser ADELAIDE

which departed

 

 

Fremantle harbor Australia

 with convoy MS.4 of four tankers and two cargo ships.

 

On the 15th,

convoy MS.4 was ordered back to Fremantle, except for PERTH and Dutch steamer ‘S JACOB (note: name as shown in reports, but does not appear in Lloyds) (2839grt).

 En route they were joined by

 

 

Dutch steamers SWARTENHONDT (5084grt) and

 

 

 KARSIK (3057grt)ex soneck.

 

On the 21st, three ship convoy was ordered back to Fremantle and PERTH escorted it to within 700 miles of Fremantle before proceeding Tanjong Priok arriving on the 24th.

_____

 

 

American heavy cruiser HOUSTON,

 

 

destroyer PEARY

 

 

and Australian sloops SWAN

 

 

and WARREGO

 

 departed

 

 

Darwin

 

 

 escorting US Army transports MEIGS, MAUNA LOA, PORT MAR

 

 

 

and Australian coaster TULAGI, carrying 1800 troops to reinforce Timor.

 

 

 

Shortly after sailing, the convoy came under air attack, all four transports suffered damage from near misses, and it returned to Darwin.

_____

 

 

 

Auxiliary anti-submarine ship MATA HARI (Temporary Lt G A Brignall RNR) was sunk by Japanese gunfire

 

at Banka. straits

 

 

 

 

 

S/Lt I Ellis MRNVR, Temporary Acting S/Lt (E) W MacCrorie RNVR, Temporary S/Lt (E) T R Gordon MRNVR, Lt V A Burton MRNVR, Lt J R Pickhall MRNVR, Lt Cdr B Scott MRNVR, Temporary S/Lt A H Hogge RNR, S/Lt G Lyons MRNVR,Temporary S/Lt (E) H M MacGregor RNVR, Temporary Acting S/Lt (E) F J Lumley RNR, Temporary S/Lt F W Matthews RNVR, Paymaster S/Lt R W Cornell MRNVR and Temporary Lt A C Carton RNR, were taken prisoners by the Japanese.

_____

 

Steamer RHU (254grt) was seized by Japanese forces at Singapore.

_____

 

Auxiliary patrol boat DYMAS, which had departed Singapore on the 13th, was captured by a Japanese cruiser nine miles north of Muntok Light. S/Lt R. G. Banks MRNVR and rest of the crew were made prisoners of war and DYMAS was taken to Muntok.

 

Tug YIN PING (191grt) was sunk by Japanese surface craft 20 miles 225° from Muntok. Of a crew of ten and 65 passengers, 50 were lost, including Capt T K W Atkinson of Singapore Dockyard and Cdr B M Douglas Rtd of SULTAN.

_____

 

Steamers SIUSHAN (296grt), MERSING (65grt) and requisitioned yacht SILVIA were lost at Singapore.

_____

 

Auxiliary patrol boats JERANTUT (217grt) and KLIAS (207grt) were scuttled at Palembang.

_____

 

Steamer HONG CHUAN (67grt) was lost at Djambi when she caught fire from burning shore installations and a drifing barge.

_____

 

Cdr (E) G. H. Craven-Phillips of NASAR (RNAS Sembawang) was lost in ML.433.

_____

 

Japanese submarine I.65 sank steamer JOHANNE JUSTESEN (4681grt) in 9-04N, 75-58E. Of a crew of 59, one was lost.

 

 

 

 

A light tank of 3rd Hussars disembarks at Sumatra on 14 February 1942.

 

.

 

 February,15th.1942

New information and photos on ML-KNIL Lodestar flights from Max Schep

Dutch researcher Max Schep has some valuable detailed information on ML-KNIL Lodestar flights in February and March 1942 via the logbooks of pilots Lt Jansen and Olt Oonincx.

This shows that the very first foreign military aircraft to arrive in Broome was possibly not Lt Lamade’s SOC-3 floatplane, as noted in Zero Hour in Broome, but Lodestar LT 919. Olt (“under lieutenant”) Oonincx flew this aircraft from Malang to Broome on 15th February, after a flight time of 330 minutes. LT919 continued on to Brisbane and subsequently remained in Australia.

Just hours after LT919 departed Broome, Lt Jansen arrived in Lodestar LT909 at 11.06am on 16th February 1942 (the SOC-3 also arrived on this same day). Jansen was flying a full plane, comprising himself, three crewmen and twelve passengers. The passengers were ML-KNIL aircrews, travelling to meet expected B-25s in Brisbane. They had departed Andir, Java mid-afternoon on 15th February, arriving at Denpassar, Bali a couple of hours later, where they stayed overnight. Soon after 5am the next morning they took off for Broome, arriving after a flight time of 349 minutes, or almost six hours. The newly arrived Dutchmen spent the day in Broome. To celebrate the occasion some of the men were photographed on Broome airfield in front of LT909. The same photographer also took a picture of some men posing in front of Lamade’s SOC-3 on the tidal flats with the long jetty in the background. These are wonderful photos – thank you for sharing them Max.

 

When several machines were destroyed on the ground, bombed by the Japs near Batavia, it became obvious that to go on flying unarmed machines from unarmed civilian bases would mean the destruction of the entire fleet.

The service from Batavia was terminated

on 15 February 1942

 and it was agreed to transfer the KLM base to Australia.

 

 

American B-17 Flying Fortress bombed at
Andir Airfield, Bandoeng, 17 Feb 1942


Ivan, who had watched from his verandah a heavy Jap air attack on Bandoeng while Margot and the servants sheltered in the cellar, decided it was time his wife was moved to safety. He put her name on the evacuee list next day. A week later the servants were serving supper when an urgent message reached the bungalow:
Captain and Mrs. Smirnoff report to the airfield in one hour. Bring warm clothing.

Six planes were to go from Andir Airfield, Bandoeng, that night, Ivan’s would be the last. It was frightening, sitting in the darkened airport, listening for the drone of a Jap bomber, bitten by mosquitoes – and remembering that he had not had time to eat his own supper. But he managed. Long before the mechanics had completed their check on Ivan’s machine, he was sitting comfortable in a corner, scoffing down sandwiches and caviare, regretfully refusing a bottle of champagne.

He climbed into the machine relaxed and refreshed, and made the eight-hour journey to Broome, Northern Australia, easily and uneventfully.

From Broome he took off for Alice Springs, right in the middle of the bare desert; it was not marked on his map, no passenger airline had landed there before. After lunch they were off for a direct flight to the new headquarters in Sydney. Ivan flew his planeload of evacuees safely to Sydney and made sure that his wife was settled, with other wives, in a comfortable hotel.

Then he left for the northern coast and flew, night after night, back and forth over the long, lonely stretch of sea from North Australia to Java, bringing out the last evacuees, the office staffs, and ground personnel as airfields in Netherlands Indies territories were gradually worked to a standstill. He flew with no weather forecasts, no radio link to help him. It was a matter of weeks, days, maybe, before the Japs overran the whole archipelago. Every flight might be his last.

In the end a total of eleven aircraft owned by KLM/KNILM were saved from the Japanese and flown to Australia (two DC2, two DC3, three DC5 and four Lockheed-14 Super Electra). Those aircraft possessed a significant component to Australia’s meagre air transport fleet. All machines arrived in Australia without passenger seats and the sole means of passenger restraint was a length of rope tied down the centre of the cabin!

The Douglas DC-5 was a beautifully looking high-wing machine first flown in 1939. For different reasons only 12 machines ever left the Douglas factories. It was also known as ‘the forgotten Douglas’.

 

 

The new DC5 undercarriage has afterwards been copied on e.g. the modern
ATR-42 from Avions de Transport Regional consortium, shown below.

 

 

 

 

Monday, 16 February

 

 

Auxiliary minesweeper FUH WO (Temporary Lt B Shaw RNVR) was lost on Banka Island, after being beached and blown up by her crew. No officers or ratings were lost.

_____

 

Lt Cdr C A Smith Rtd of SULTAN, Temporary Acting Boatswain C Harding of the Singapore Dockyard, Temporary Lt Cdr T W Moore RNR of SULTAN III, Temporary Lt J F Adams RNR of SULTAN III (Examination Service, Penang), Temporary Lt R H Williams RNR of SULTAN III (Examination Service, Penang), Temporary Lt G R Wiseman RNR of SULTAN, Temporary Lt J S Whyte RNR of Examination Service, Singapore and Temporary Paymaster Lt R H Douglas RNVR at Batavia were lost, presumed missing on the 16th (posted July 1946).

 

Lt R C Beckwith and S/Lt R C Ripley RCNVR, both formerly of battleship PRINCE OF WALES, in SULTAN and FANLING respectively and Temporary Lt A J Martin RNVR in PULO SOEGI, were lost on the 16th (posted January 1946, also Halifax list for Canadian officer)

_____

 

 

Ferry BAGAN (244grt) was scuttled at Palembang.

_____

 

Auxiliary patrol vessel ELIZABETH with 15 crew and 11 passengers was sunk by Japanese gunfire in the Banka Strait. Twenty four were missing

_____

 

Steamer TAYLTHYRIUS (10,254grt), which had been damaged on the 3rd, was seized by Japanese forces at Singapore.

.

 

.

_____

 

Convoy SJ.2 departed Batavia with steamers EMPIRE STAR (13,479grt) and PLANCIOUS (5955grt), escorted by light cruiser DURBAN and destroyer JUPITER, the latter detaching the same day.

 

From the Sunda Strait, the ships proceeded independently, PLANCIUS proceeding to Colombo escorted by DURBAN and arriving on the 22nd, while EMPIRE STAR, with US Admiral Hart embarked, proceeded to Fremantle on her own.

 

By 16 February,

three days after Wavell had told the Combined Chiefs in Washington that he might not be able to hold Sumatra,

the situation in the ABDA area had rapidly worsened. There was no longer any chance of holding Java, Wavell now told the Chiefs. Its loss would be serious, he asserted, and would deprive the Allies of their only base in the South China Sea. But, he pointed out, the fall of Java would not be fatal to the Allied cause. Burma and Australia, not Java, he declared, were the “absolutely vital” positions in the war against Japan. He therefore recommended again that the two Australian divisions be diverted to Burma,

 

special naval landing force paratroopers commander Toyoaki Horiuchi on a monument tributed to japanese army and navy paratroopers killed during the invasion of the dutch east indies

 

On 16 February 1942,

The Dutch Royal Air forve use Hurricane MK II B  were flown to Kalidjati and formed into two makeshift oprerational squadrons.

 

 

 

The following day, 17th February,

LT909 flew out at dawn, and subsequently arrived at Brisbane the next day, after stops at Daly Waters and Cloncurry.

The aircraft was back at Broome on 20th February, and then made the long flight back to Java, arriving in Malang after a relatively fast flight time of just over five hours. These aircraft were very hard worked at this time. By the end of February Jansen had flown far to the west, taking passengers to Bangalore, via Colombo and Sumatra: despite the latter island being rapidly occupied by the Japanese at this time. Indeed on the return flight the pilot notes picking up women and children evacuees from Lho Nga and returning to Medan on 3rd March. LT-909 was one of the Lodestars taken to a hidden airstrip outside Andir. At 2.05am on 7th March it departed for the mammoth evacuation flight to Port Hedland. Jansen lists two crew and seven passengers onboard. He landed safely at Port Hedland at 10.20am, after a flight time of over eight hours.

Max Schep is involved with the “Dutch Profiles” series of books which looks into great detail at a selected aircraft type and its Dutch service history. Some of these types are relevant for Australia, such as the P-40s operated by 120 Squadron. An interesting edition on the subject of refugee aircraft and their markings is currently being prepared – a note will be posted when it is available.


Tuesday, 17 February

 

.



American bomber B-17 on fire after Japanese bombardment,
Bandoeng airfield on Java, February 17th 1942

 

 

 

American B-17 Flying Fortress bombed at
Andir Airfield, Bandoeng, 17 Feb 1942

 

Convoy WS.16 escort from Oversay

 

joined

detached

17th

battleship Malaya, aircraft carrier Eagle, cruiser Hermione, destroyers Active, Anthony, Blankney, Croome, Duncan, Firedrake, Laforey, Lightning

destroyers Verity, Walker, Witherington

 
     
     
     
     
 

 

 

The combined convoy was steamers AWATEA, BERGENSFJORD, BRISBANE STAR, DELFTDIJK, DENBIGHSHIRE, DUCHESS OF RICHMOND, DUCHESS OF YORK, EMPIRE PRIDE, NEA HELLAS, PORT JACKSON, POTARO, SIBAJAK, STRATHEDEN and VOLENDAM. Commodore ships remained as previously.

 

Convoy WS.16A with BERGENSFJORD, NEA HELLAS and VOLENDAM formed the Aden convoy escorted by COLOMBO from the splitting position on 3 April until dispersed off Aden on the 6th after which the ships went to Suez as independents.

 

Convoy WS.16B was the Bombay detachment steaming in the following order from 3 April – AWATEA, BRISBANE STAR, DELFTDIJK, DENBIGHSHIRE, DUCHESS OF RICHMOND, DUCHESS OF YORK, EMPIRE PRIDE, PORT JACKSON, POTARO, SIBAJAK and STRATHEDEN, escorted by ALAUNIA and WORCESTERSHIRE (which joined at the splitting position) and arrived at Bombay 8 April.

 

.

_____

 

Dutch destroyer VAN NES and escorted Dutch steamer SLOET VAN DER BEELE (2977grt), carrying evacutees from Billiton, were sunk by Japanese bombing south of Banka. There were no survivors from either ship.

_____

 

Auxiliary patrol vessel TANDJONG PINANG (133grt) with 17 crew and 150 passengers (survivors from steamer KUALA lost on the 14th), was sunk by Japanese surface craft 30 miles south of Pulo Ubar. There were only three survivors and Temporary Lt B Shaw NZRNVR, Temporary Lt E G Gerard NZRNVR and Temporary Lt G Studholme NZRNVR were lost. Commissioned Gunner A Rafferty, who also had been rescued from KUALA was also lost.

.

 

_____

 

Dutch light cruiser HEEMSKERK arrived at the Seychilles, and carried on, arriving at Colombo on the 21st.

_____

 

Convoy SJ.3 departed Tandjong Priok with steamers KRIAN (857grt), ORISKANY (1644grt) and RESANG (252grt) for Colombo and GIANG ANN (1063grt), auxiliary patrol ships DARVEL and PING WO (3105grt), the latter towing disabled destroyer VENDETTA, for Fremantle.

 

VENDETTA left Tanjong Priok harbour in tow of two tugs and was met outside the harbour by PING WO, which took over the tow before they joined SJ.3 escorted by destroyer ELECTRA and sloop YARRA. On the 22nd off Christmas Island, light cruiser ADELAIDE relieved YARRA in the escort.

_____

 

Convoy SR.6 of steamers WINGSANG, CHILKA, and ELLENGA departed Calcutta for Rangoon, escorted by Indian sloop INDUS, while convoy MR.4 with steamers KUTSANG, NEURALIA and PRESIDENT DOUMER had departed Madras on the 16th for Rangoon, escorted by light cruiser EMERALD. On the 19th, the two convoys merged as SR.6. Due to the situation around Rangoon only troopships ELLENGA (5196grt) and NEURALIA (9182grt) were to proceed there. The rest of the convoy was ordered to Calcutta and arrived on the 22nd.

_____

 

Steamer TATUNG (1560grt), which had been immobilised, was seized by Japanese forces at Tanjong Batoe.

 

 

February 18th 1942

A Small Group Army and Air Force aircraft ABDACOM (American British Dutch Australian Command) operation with

 

British aircraft  Huricane at Tjililitan in Batavia.


Ten Aircraft

 

Brewsters

at the Airport Assistant Tjisaoek and 10 Huricane aircraft in the second part of Branch IV in Kalidjati

 

Wednesday, 18 February

 

 

 

Destroyer ENCOUNTER was sent from Batavia to evacuate RAF and service personnel from Padang.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Light cruiser DANAE and

 

 

ENCOUNTER evacuated 877 evacuees from

 

Padang.

 

Japanese military delivering speech at the padang in 1942

 

 

Muara Padang

 

 

PANGKOR also brought out 244 from

Benculen.

 

 

 

Bung Karno at Benculen 1942

now

 

 

 

 

_____

 

Japanese submarine I.55 reported sinking a transport north of Sunda Strait.

_____

 

Auxiliary patrol vessel MALACCA (210grt) was scuttled in the Tjemake River, Sumatra.

 

 

De Zeven Provincien Surabaya 18/2/1942.

In time of WWII ship served as floating battery at Surabaya. was sunk by Japanese aircraft at Surabaya 18/2/1942. She was raised by Japanese, used as a hulk and subsequently scuttled again.

 

Thursday, 19 February

 

 

In Japanese carrier based air attacks on Port Darwin, American destroyer PEARY (LCDR J M Bermingham), British tanker BRITISH MOTORIST (6891grt), steamers ZEALANDIA (6683grt), NEPTUNIA (5952grt), American steamer MAUNA LOA (5436grt) and Army Transport MEIGS (7358grt) were sunk, and British steamers BAROSSA (4239grt) and MANUNDA (9115grt) damaged.

 

PEARY lost LCDR Bermingham, LT A F Gustafson, LT M M Koivisto, Ensign P M Joyce and seventy six enlisted men, with LT R L Johnson and thirteen enlisted men wounded. BRITISH MOTORIST with a crew of 60 and one gunner, lost two crew. ZEALANDIA had three crew killed. NEPTUNIA’s cargo, which included depth charges, exploded and 45 crew were killed. MAUNA LOA had five crew killed. MEIGS lost two crew.

_____

 

American steamer DON ISIDRO (3261grt) was badly damaged by Japanese bombing NW of Bathurst Island, near Darwin in 11S, 130E, beached and considered a total loss. Four crew died, seven missing and 73 rescued by Australian minesweeper WARRNAMBOOL. Two of the survivors died after reaching Darwin.

 

American steamer FLORENCE D (2638grt), in company, was sunk by Japanese bombing at 10-56S, 130-07E. Three crew were lost and the 34 survivors rescued by WARRNAMBOOL and lugger ST FRANCIS.

_____

 

American destroyer EDSALL, in operations in the Dutch East Indies, was damaged by the explosion of one of her own depth charges close aboard.

_____

 

Convoy SJ.4 departed Tandjong Priok with British steamers LEE SANG (1655grt), MODASA (9070grt), STANMORE (4970grt), Norwegian ERLING BROVIG (9970grt) and Dutch GENERAAL MICHIELS (1282grt), GENERAAL VAN GEEN (1290grt) and GENERAAL VAN SWIETEN (1300grt) for Colombo, escorted by light cruiser DRAGON until the 21st February. The ships arrived at Colombo independently between 28 February and 3 March.

_____

 

Convoy SM.2 departed Tandjong Priok with steamers WHANG PU (3204grt) and CABLE ENTERPRISE (943grt) for Fremantle, escorted by light cruiser DRAGON until later in the day.

_____

 

Australian heavy cruiser AUSTRALIA lost her Walrus when it hit the ship during landing and caught fire. Pilot Flight Officer E J Rowan RAAF was killed, but S/Lt G H Jackson RAN and the TAG were rescued.

 

 

 

Lieutenant Walker’s P40E Kittyhawk after the air raid on 19 February 1942

 

Read more info

TWO JAPANESE AIR RAIDS
AT DARWIN, NT
ON 19 FEBRUARY 1942

THE LEAD UP TO THE RAIDS

Although the Australian mainland was not invaded it was, of course, attacked by air and sea forces. By far the heaviest attack was the air raids on Darwin on 19 February 1942. Various estimates regarding the loss of life in this devastating series of attacks on 19 February 1942 have been put forward but these days, the “official” number seems to be 243 killed and about 350 injured or missing. The Brisbane Courier Mail” of the 20 February 1942 reported the large Japanese attack on Darwin and reported that “Damage to property was considerable. There were some casualties. Details not yet available”

As part of the leadup to this attack the Japanese carried out some reconnaissance flights. On 10 February 1942 a Japanese Mitsubishi C5M reconnaissance aircraft of the 3rd Kokutai which was based at Ambon flew over Darwin. They spotted 27 ships in the harbour and approximately 30 aircraft at the Darwin Civil and RAAF airfields.

There was a lot of confusion regarding the number of Japanese aircraft involved in these raids. The Brisbane Courier Mail reported the two raids on Darwin stating that 93 bombers were involved in the first raid. It indicated that four Japanese bombers were shot down. It also made mention that a Japanese “spy plane” had flown over Darwin the previous week. This would have been the Japanese reconnaissance flight on 10 February 1942.

NOTE:-   The book “Protect & Revenge” indicates that 54 Mitsubishi G4M heavy bombers had flown from their bases at Ambon and Kendari to bomb Darwin on 19 February 1942. In addition there were 18 dive bombers and 36 escorting Zeros from Japanese aircraft carriers. Perhaps this referring to the second raid that day.

Ten Kittyhawks (Warhawks) of the 33rd Pursuit Squadron (Provisional), led by Major Floyd Pell, had originally been on their way to Perth to be partially disassembled and placed on ships for Java. When they reached Port Pirie, they were diverted to Darwin for escort duty with the USS Houston convoy to Timor and then ferry to Koepang in Java. One of the aircraft crashed at Port Pirie killing the pilot and 4 more had become unserviceable.

When they arrived in Darwin on 15 February 1942 they had found that the USS Houston convoy had already departed. On arrival Major Pell met up with Lt. Robert G. Oestreicher of the 3rd Pursuit Squadron and his P-40E which then gave Pell command of 11 aircraft. Oestreicher and Lt. Robert J. Buel had been left behind with their 2 unserviceable aircraft when the rest of the 3rd Pursuit Squadron left for Java on 10 February 1942.

On 15 February 1942, The USS Houston broke radio silence to advise that the convoy was being followed by a Japanese Kawanishi H6K “Mavis” flying boat of the 21st Air Flotilla based at Ceram. It followed the convoy for about 3 hours before it eventually dropped a number of 60 kg bombs from 3,000 metres. Lt. Buel and Lt. Oestreicher were both on patrol at the time, but only Lt. Buel could be contacted by radio. He was ordered to intercept the Japanese flying boat. Buel attacked the Flying Boat from the rear but was shot down by the rear gunner in the flying boat. Buel’s smoking aircraft crashed into the sea. Buel however was also successful in hitting the Japanese flying Boat. It crashed into the sea.

After this incident, Major Pell led one of two patrols of 3 Kitthyhawks later that same afternoon, to give aerial cover for the Houston convoy. A flight of Japanese bombers attacked the Houston convoy on the 16 February 1942. The convoy threw up a firece anti-aircraft barrage which drove off the Japanese bombers. The ABDA Command ordered the convoy back to Darwin. They arrived back in Darwin harbour on the evening of the 18 February, the day before the major Japanese bombing raid on Darwin.

USS Houston and USS Peary both refuelled and left immediately bound for Tjilatjap. USS Peary was involved in an encounter with a possible Japanese submarine and after burning up a lot of fuel it returned to Darwin on 19 February 1942.

 

THE FIRST RAID

Japanese Vice-Admiral Chu’ichi Nagumo ordered a weather reconnaissance aircraft to fly over Darwin. It arrived over Darwin at about 7.30am. As its radio was unserviceable, Nagumo received no intelligence information back from the aircraft.

Nagumo ordered the attack on Darwin. The day turned out to be a fine day (weatherwise). There were about 46 ships packed into Darwin Harbour of that fateful day.

By the early hours of the 19 February 1942 the Japanese naval force was located about 350 kms north west of Darwin. The Japanese aircraft carriers Akagi, Kaga, Soryu and Hiryu were arming their aircraft and warming up their engines.

By 8:45am the force of 188 aircraft led by Commander Mitsuo Fuchida had been launched. It comprised:-

36    A6M2 Type “O” fighter aircraft
71    D3A “Val” dive bombers
81    B5N “Kate” high level bombers

A US Navy Catalina of the Patrol Wing 22 was unfortunate to be the first victim of the large Japanese force. It was attacked by nine Japanese “O” Type fighters near the northern tip of Bathurst Island. The pilot, Lt. Thomas Moorer was forced to crash land the Catalina into the sea. The crew, including 4 wounded men, were then rescued by the merchant ship “Florence D”.

Some early warning of the Japanese raid was given by two sources but they were lost in the system and not acted on before the attack began. Lt. John Gribble (Navy Reserve) transmitted his sighting to the Naval Communications Station at HMAS Coonawarra at about 9:15 am. Father John McGrath at the Bathurst Island Mission radioed his sighting to the Area Combined Headquarters (ACH) at Darwin a few minutes later. While he was sending his message six Japanese fighters strafed the area where he was damaging some buildings and destroying a Douglas C-53 aircraft of the 22nd Transport Squadron.

Mc Grath’s message was received at the Coastal Radio Station V.I.D. Darwin at 9:37am and passed to the Area Combined Headquarters at the Darwin RAAF airfield. The message did not get through to the appropriate commanding officer, ensuring that the Japanese attack was a complete surprise as was the case with Pearl Harbor.

Commander Fuchida’s attack force crossed the Northern Territory coast east of Darwin near Koolpinyah. They then turned to the north west and headed over the Noonamah area headed for Darwin. The surprise attack on Darwin began at 9:58am on 19 February 1942.

 

THE DEFENCE BY THE US KITTYHAWKS

Ten aircraft of the 33 Pursuit Squadron (Provisonal) led by Major Pell’s and had tried to follow the lead B-17 to Timor at 9.15am that morning but had to turn back due to fog. One unserviceable aircraft had been left behind in Darwin. On their return to Darwin, Pell and four others headed for the Darwin RAAF airfield to refuel while five others were kept in the air on patrol duties.

Lt. Oestreicher was the first pilot to spot the attacking Japanese force. Lt. Jack Peres was immediately shot down near Gunn Point, east of Darwin. Personnel from the 2/14th Australian Field Regiment witnessed this crash and took some time to convince their commanders that its had been shot down by a Japanese aircraft.

Lt. Elton S. Perry was also killed when his Kittyhawk was shot down. After being badly wounded in the left shoulder Lt. William R. Walker landed his aircraft at the Darwin RAAF airfield only to then see it strafed and burn to the ground on the runway.

 

Lieutenant Walker’s P40E Kittyhawk after the air raid on 19 February 1942

Major Pell attempted to take off from the Darwin RAAF airfield but his aircraft was hit by a strafing Japanese fighter aircraft and  was killed when he then parachuted out of the aircraft at about 24 metres. The fourth pilot killed was Lt. Charles Hughes whose aircraft was hit by gunfire as it raced down the runway to takeoff.

 

Remains of a P-40 Kittyhawk of 33 Pursuit Squadron
after the bombing raid at Darwin on 19 February 1942

Lt. Robert McMahon took off and was immediately attacked by a Japanese aircraft. He bailed out of his P-40 over Darwin Harbour and was rescued by some US Navy personnel from Patwing 10 who had just evacuated their strafed and now burning Catalinas.

Lt. Burt H. Rice took off and also parachuted from his damaged Kittyhawk over Darwin Harbour and spent the night in mangroves. He was rescued the next day.

Lt. Bert Glover took off and his aircraft entered a flat spin and crashed on the Darwin RAAF airfield. Glover received minor injuries and watched as his aircraft was destroyed by strafing Japanese aircraft.

Nine Kittyhawks (Warhawks) were destroyed and four pilots, Major Pell, Jack Peres, Lt. Charles Hughes and Lt. Elton S. Perry were killed by strafing Japanese aircraft. Only the aircraft of Lieutenant Bob Oestricher survived the raid. Eleven RAAF aircraft were also destroyed.

 

ANTI-AIRCRAFT BATTERIES AND SEARCHLIGHT STATIONS DEFEND DARWIN

The Japanese were targeted by a number of anti-aircraft batteries as follows:-

2nd Anti-aircraft Battery
14th Anti-aircraft Battery

There were A-A Batteries at Darwin Oval, Fannie Bay, and other strategic locations around the town. After the high level bombers had completed their mission, the dive-bombers and fighter aircraft took over.

The 14th Anti-aircraft Battery put their guns onto independent control. One of the guns manned by Jack Mulholland was assigned a 90 degree field of fire over Darwin Harbour.

The dive-bombers were attacking the larger ships and the fighter aircraft were strafing the smaller vessels. The 14th’s guns was too slow to engage the Japanese aircraft at such short range.

The only strategy they could adopt was to put up a shield of fire above the ships in the harbour. The shortest recommended fuse setting was 2 seconds. They selected 1.5 seconds as the fuse setting to reduce the range before the shell would explode.

Eventually one of the shells exploded near the nose of one of the dive-bombers. The damaged Japanese dive-bomber side slipped into the harbour.

The 19th Light Horse Machine Regiment had machine guns located on the oil tanks near the harbour. HMAS Katoomba, which was located in the floating dock at the time of the attack, put up an intense barrage of anti-aircraft fire.

Most of the Searchlight Stations in Darwin were machine-gunned during the first raid. Lance Corporal F. Terone (N103222) assisted by Sapper Dick Spedding at Ironstone Searchlight Station managed to shoot one Japanese fighter aircraft down with their machine gun. This was the first Japanese aircraft brought down by ground fire ov

er Australian soil during WW2. Jack Mulholland told me that this searchlight battery would only have had one Lewis Gun.

 

US NAVY CATALINAS ATTACKED

Three Catalinas of the US Navy’s Patwing 10 were destroyed in the harbour as follows:-

#4 (BUAERO Number: 1214, ex- 102-P-27, ex- 102-P-12, ex- 1-P-12)
#8 (BUAERO Number: 1233, ex- 101-P-8,  ex- 18-P-8)
#41 (ex- Y-41)

Darwin based scuba divers working for a Japanese gas company Inpex found the wreckage of one of the above US Navy Catalinas in the East Arm area in the last week of May 2008. It was the last of six US Navy Catalinas wrecks to be found in Darwin Harbour.  Inpex is surveying the seabed in Darwin Harbour for a proposed gas plant. Diver Sue Sultana was the first to see the Catalina wreckage, in some 18 metres of water. The Northern Territory government is now considering the site for heritage listing.

 

PARAP CIVIL AIRFIELD ATTACKED

The Civil Airfield at Parap was also bombed. A de Havilland Puss Moth VH-UPN owned by Roy Edwards was destroyed in the attack. RAAF Wirraway A20-232 was damaged by shrapnel. At one stage there was reported to be 10 Zero’s strafing the Civilian airfield at Parap. The first bomb was a direct hit on 13 Squadron RAAF‘s hangar. 13 Squadron RAAF suffered damage to their Headquarters area, their stores and spares. They had not long returned to Darwin after being based at Laha and Namlea in Ceram.

The hangar for 12 Squadron RAAF also suffered a direct hit. It was accommodating a number of US aircraft at the time of the air raid.

A “Val” dive bomber crashed in the sea, north of East Point after it was hit by a cone of gunfire from the town’s defences. The gunner in the “Val” was killed.

 

 

Darwin Air Raids, Feb 1942. Wrecked Lockheed Hudson.

Charles Eaton Photographic Collection via Mitch Williamson

 

SHIPS ATTACKED IN DARWIN HARBOUR AND NEAR BATHURST ISLAND

There were some 46 ships in Darwin Harbour at the time of the attack. 21 of these ships were sunk or were badly damaged. Two others, the Don Isidro and the merchant ship “Florence D” were destroyed near Bathurst Island. The freighter Don Isidro was beached near Bathurst Island.

The wreck of the “Florence D” was located located in late 2008. This was first reported on 30 December 2008. It was located by fisherman Wayne Keeping and diver Jim Miles lying in 10 metres of murky water on its starboard side off Bathurst Island. The ship was apparently carrying 500,000 anti-aircraft rounds. The bow of the ship had been extensively damaged. Wayne Keeping, located the ship by accident in 2006 using his depth sounder. He attempted to dive on the wreck twice in the following two years but had to battle numerous jellyfish and very strong tides. Former chief minister Marshall Perron put diver Jim Miles in touch with Wayne Keeping and within a few weeks they had located and dived on the wreck.

 

 

 

SHIP

KILLED

WOUNDED

DETAILS

SS Admiral Halstead

-

-

Damaged

SS Barossa

   

Damaged and sunk

SS Benjamin Franklin

-

-

Norwegian tanker, Damaged (see Note below)

SS British Motorist

2

-

 

HMAS Deloraine

-

-

 

Don Isidro

11 survivors died on beach of Bathurst Island

-

73 rescued by HMAS Warnambool on 20 February 1942. During the rescue they were bombed by a Japanese float plane. HMAS Patricia Cam was involved in salvage work on the Don Isidro on Bathurst Island in May 1942.

Florence D

4 (3 ship’s crew, 1 US Navy aircrew)

-

2,600-tonne cargo vessel. 30 survivors made it to Bathurst Island in a lifeboat and camped on the beach for 3 days before they were rescued.

HMAS Gunbar – RAN Minesweeper

1

8

First ship to be attacked.

HMAS Kangaroo

1

-

Norman R. Moore (cook) killed

HMAS Kara Kara

2

-

Emms and PO. Moore died after the attack on the boom ship HMAS Kara Kara. Emms died from his wounds on Hospital Ship Manunda.

HMAS Katoomba

-

-

 

Kelat

-

?

Coal Hulk, sunk on 24 Feb 42 as a result of damage. HMAS Tambar attempted unsuccessfully to salvage Kelat in 1943.

HMAS Kirra

-

-

 

Manunda – Hospital Ship

11

18 seriously wounded

40+ minor wounds

 

SS Mauna Loa

5

-

Sunk

HMAS Mavie

-

-

 

USAT Meigs

   

Sunk

MV Tulagi

2

-

The Captain of the Tulagi pulled up anchor and moved across the other side of the harbour and avoided being hit. It was apparently beached at that location. 2 US soldiers were killed on MV Tulagi.

Neptuna

45

?

 

USS Peary

91

?

 

HMAS Platypus

-

-

Damaged

SS Port Mar – US Transport

1

-

Beached

HMAS Southern Cross

-

-

 

HMAS Swan – RAN Sloop

3

19

Breen, Purdon, and Sault killed

HMAS Warrego

-

-

 

HMAS Warnambool

   

Escaped damage and no casualties

USS William B. Preston

10

-

Damaged

Zealandia

2 died from wounds

-

 

TOTAL

191

107

 

NOTE:- Sometimes there is some confusion between the above mentioned S.S. Benjamin Franklin, a US Liberty ship launched on 16 November 1941 which was attacked in Darwin Harbour on 19 February 1942 and the M.V. Benjamin Franklin launched in 1926 which was sunk exactly one year earlier on 19 February 1941 in the North Atlantic.

 

 

OTHER CASUALTIES

The Post Office, the Telegraph Office, the Cable Office and the Postmaster’s residence all suffered either a direct hit or blast and were a complete loss. All the staff of the Post Office and Telegraph Office were killed which included the Postmaster and his family.

 

War Correspondent Robert Sherrod, od Time magazine, in front
of the remains of the Darwin Post Office in June 1942

There were many injuries as a result of the raids and the Darwin Hospital and the Berrimah Australian General Hospital were both very busy treating the seriously injured.

The Police Barracks were hit and were a total loss, together with the Police Station. Constable McNab was one of the wounded.

The “All Clear” was eventually sounded at about 10:40 am.

 

DARWIN WHARF

There were about 22 wharfies killed during the Japanese attack on the 19 February 1942.

Colwell Burleigh Giles was one of the 22 wharfies killed on the 19 February. His brother, Toby Giles was working along side him when the attack started. They were loading a ship when the Japanese air raid started. Toby remembered that he and his brother were running back along the wharf when something happened and Toby ended up in the water. Toby lost his leg in this incident and no trace of his brother Colwell was ever found. It is assumed that a Japanese bomb landed right on top of their location. Colwell Giles’ name is on a Memorial in Darwin.

 

THE JAPANESE CASUALTIES IN THE FIRST RAID

From a variety of sources I have found information that suggests that at least 4 Japanese aircraft were shot down in the first air raid on Darwin on 19 February 1942.

- A “Val” dive bomber crashed in the sea, north of East Point after it was hit by a cone of gunfire from the town’s defences. The gunner in the “Val” was killed.

- An Imperial Japanese Navy A6M2 “Zero”, was hit in the oil tank by a single .303″ rifle bullet over Darwin Harbour and crashed on Melville Island

- Two D3A “Vals” were shot down by Lieutenant Bob Oestricher.

Harry Gordon’s book “Voyage from Shame” indicates that only two Japanese aircraft were shot down in the first air raid on Darwin. So could there be some confusion about who shot down one of the Val’s. Was it Darwin’s anti-aircraft guns or Oestricher’s P-40?

 

Can anyone confirm how many Japanese aircraft were shot down
in the first and second air raids on Darwin on 19 February 1942?

 

Terry and Yoshiko Gusterson have a copy of a letter dated 30 April 1942, written by Japanese pilot Shoichi Ogawa, who was flying beside Wt. Off. Katsuyoshi Tsuru in his “Val” dive bomber during the first Japanese air raid on Darwin. Katsuyoshi Tsuru was Yoshiko Gusterson’s grandfather.

Shoichi states in the letter that he was not allowed to write any details until the Government approved everything. The letter stated, that on the 19th February 1942, Tsuru and others left the aircraft carrier Kaga at 7am in the morning and headed towards Darwin.

Their target was the West Point base in the first bombing raid. He reached there at about 8.30am and bombed a military shed (airplane hanger) north east of Darwin.

 His mission was a success and then on the way back to the ship, he was hit in the gasoline tank and the airplane caught on fire. He crashed into the water at 8.46am, 2000meters east of the military airport.

Ogawa received a radio message that one  plane had blown itself up in the ocean. It appears that Tsuru could have ejected from his plane as he wasn’t injured at the time but it would be a disgrace to himself and his country to remain alive. They believed that they should die for their Emperor.

When Shoichi looked back he saw flames 40metres high from Tsuru’s plane. Pilots reported that the plane was still burning when they were returning to the Kaga after the 2nd raid. The other crew member in Tsuru’s “Val” was NAP 1/C Musashi Uchikado.

Shoichi Ogawa knew Katsuyoshi Tsuru since Hawaii – Pearl Harbor and he mentioned also a Bismarck plan.

Some research by Robert Piper indicated that there are 19 bodies in the POW Camp at Cowra in New South Wales, who were from the Darwin air raids and that Katsuyoshi Tsuru was one of those.

 It is believed that Katsuyoshi Tsuru was originally buried at Darwin and then transferred to Cowra. Terry Gusterson’ told me on 9 September 2002 that his Japanese father-in-law is very excited about possibly finding and visiting his father’s gravesite (if it still exists).

Terry and Yoshiko Gusterson visited Darwin with Yoshiko’s father in about 1997 and attended the museum at West Point.

 

THE SECOND AIR RAID

As Fuchida’s force had approached Darwin, Japanese aircraft were already taking off for a second air raid on Darwin for the 19 February 1942. Twenty seven G4M1 “Betty” bombers of the Tokao Kokutai, 23rd Koku Sentai took off from Kandari in the Celebes, while another twenty seven G3M1 “Nell” aircraft took off from their new base at Ambon. Their target was the airfields in Darwin.

 

“Betty” bomber

 

HOW MANY WERE KILLED IN DARWIN ON 19 FEBRUARY 1942?

Modern history seems to record that there were 243 deaths in Darwin on the 19 February 1942 after two major air raids by Japanese aircraft. Anecdotal evidence would seem to suggest there were many more deaths than this. Many of the servicemen that were in Darwin that day believe that more than 243 were killed.

The Australian Government initially announced that 15 people had been killed and 24 wounded. It took many weeks before the public in the other main cities of Australia became aware that hundreds had actually died.

One soldier based in Darwin at the time of these major Japanese raids says the he saw barges of tangled bodies towed out to sea after the attacks. The Mayor of Darwin at the time said that about 900 people had been killed.

Rex Ruwoldt who had been based at Lee Point, received their news bulletin over the filed telephone from their field Headquarters a few days after the raid. It mentioned an estimate of 1100 deaths which had been based on estimates from Army Intelligence. Rex believes that a large number of those killed were part of the 2,000 or so itinerant works in Darwin at the time of the attacks. They would have been caught by surprise and would not have had access to slit trenches.

Darwin Historian Peter Forrest believe the death toll was somewhere between 400 to 500. At the time of the attacks, there would have been significant numbers of evacuees from Java and Ambon. How many of these people were killed?

Adelaide Historian John Bradford believes the figure is about 250 killed. He had been told a story by one person that he had been a member of burial party that had buried 1,500 people on a Darwin beach.

Ross Dack was a member of a burial team at Mindil Beach. He said that there were lots of bodies which were shoved in a large hole dug by a bulldozer. Nobody counted the bodies. They were all black, covered in oil. Ross believes that the bodies were later exhumed and relocated to Adelaide River War Cemetery.

Unfortunately there is no documentary evidence to support these memories from many years ago. If there were that many, who were they all? The Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour database shows only 18 deaths for Military personnel killed in Darwin on 19 February 1942.

Directly after the bombing the bodies of the dead were buried as close as possible to where they were found. This could be many number of places including the many of the beaches around Darwin. They were exhumed as soon as possible and re-interred at the Berrimah War Cemetery and then at a much later date they were once again exhumed and re-interred at the Adelaide River War Cemetery.

 

 

 

LIST OF THOSE KILLED ON 19 FEBRUARY 1942

Killed on ships

187

33rd Pursuit Squadron pilots

4

Australian Army

?

148th F.A., US Army

3

RAAF – at RAAF airfield

?

Catalina aircrew (#2306)

1

Post Office

10?

Darwin Wharf

22?

Civilians killed

4?

TOTAL

229?

I need your assistance to build up the details for this list.
I would like to start a list of the names of all those killed
so that they will always be remembered.

 

Details of those killed in Darwin on 19 February 1942 

 

US Army Personnel Wounded at Darwin on 19 February 1942

 

 

COMMISSION OF INQUIRY

The raid, was Japan’s biggest single air attack since the attack on Pearl Harbour in December 1941. During the Darwin raid some of the defenders displayed great courage. Others did not, and many, including servicemen, fled south. The conduct of the Australians after the raid was so disturbing that the government appointed Mr. Justice Lowe of the Supreme Court of Victoria to conduct an inquiry. Our extracts from his report to Curtin deal with the raid itself, not the aftermath.

 

Document 224

Lowe to Curtin

27 March 1942

Report

FINDINGS OF COMMISSION OF INQUIRY


The first raid commenced just before 10 a.m. … A number of high altitude bombers came in from the south-east of the town, flying in a ‘V’ formation and at a height which was variously estimated by witnesses but was probably not less than 15,000 feet. One formation consisted of 27 bombers. The bombing was that which is known as pattern bombing in which the individual machines drop their bombs at a signal from the Squadron Leader.

The first bombs fell over the harbour. Having completed their run this group of bombers after a circuit returned and dropped bombs again in pattern over the town. Much difference of opinion was expressed by witnesses as to the number of machines engaged in this attack. I am inclined to think that the view of Air Marshall Williams is correct and that the number of high altitude bombers did not much (if at all) exceed 27.

After the high altitude bombers there came a number of dive bombers escorted by fighters, and these attacked the shipping in the harbour.

The number of dive bombers and fighters is uncertain, but I think it probable that Air Marshall Williams is correct in his view that the total number of high altitude dive bombers and fighters did not exceed 50. The cause of confusion lies I think in the impression conveyed to witnesses that the same squadron returning for another run was an added group of enemy planes. An attack was also made about the same time by enemy machines on the R.A.A.F. aerodrome and on the civil aerodrome, and by machine-gun fire on the hospital at Berrima some 9 miles from the town, and in each case a good deal of damage was done which I shall presently particularise. The “All-clear”: was sounded about 10.40 a.m.

THE DAMAGE

(a) On Water: The attack upon the harbour caused great damage to installations and shipping.  … Alongside the inner limb of the pier when the  raid started were berthed the “Neptuna” and the “Barossa”. The “Neptuna” had among her cargo a quantity of explosives. She was set on fire by enemy bombs, as was also the “Barossa” on the opposite side of the pier. After the enemy planes had departed the “Neptuna” blew up and caused the destruction of a large section of the inner limb of the pier, and it is probable, too, that the “Barossa” was injured by this explosion.


    Other ships lost in addition to the “
Neptuna” were the “Zealandia”, the “Meigs”, the “Maunaloa”, the “British Motorist” and the U.S.S. Destroyer “Peary”. Ships damaged were the “Barossa”, the “Port Mar” (U.S.) and the hospital ship “Manunda“.  …

© on the Land

On land the Administrator’s office was hit by an enemy bomb and is a total loss.   …   The Police Barracks are a total loss, together with the Police Station and the Government Offices attached. The Post Office, the Telegraph Office, the Cable Office and the Postmaster’s residence all suffered either by a direct hit or blast and are a complete loss. The Civil Hospital was much damaged.   …  There was some damage done to two or three private residences which are probably also to be counted a complete loss.

A second raid occurred about 11.55 a.m. and lasted for about 20-25 minutes. This raid was upwards of 27 heavy bombers which flew at a great height and indulged in pattern bombing, more than 200 bombs being dropped according to one observer. These bombers were unescorted by fighters. This raid caused much damage to the surface of the RAAF Station and to the Hospital thereon. No attempt was made in the second raid to bomb the town or the port.

(d) The Aerodrome: I have not sought to discriminate between the damage done on the RAAF Station by these two raids. The hangars and repairs shops were destroyed, the hospital damaged, and damage was also done to the hutments. The losses in aircraft were as follow:-

Australian

6 Hudsons destroyed on the ground
1 Hudson in hangar badly damaged
1 Wirraway badly damaged

American

8 P.40’s [Kittyhawks] destroyed in the air
2 P.40’s destroyed on the ground
1 B.24 [Liberator] destroyed on the ground (sic – This was an LB-30A)
1 P.40 damaged in the air

LOSS OF LIFE

…  It is impossible to spea[k] with certainty of the number of people who lost their lives, but I am satisfied that the number is approximately 250, and I doubt whether any further investigation will result in ascertaining a more precise figure ….

ACCURACY OF BOMBING

All the evidence given before me concurred in the view that the bombing of the Japanese, especially the dive bombing, was extremely accurate. The high level bombing did not achieve the same degree of accuracy, but was moderately accurate and caused a great deal of damage. Air Force officers, however, expressed the view that there were no novel tactics displayed and that the performance of the Japanese aircraft was not beyond their expectations. All these officers insisted that the accuracy was due to lack of  effective opposition by our own Forces, rather than to any specially high qualities displayed by the Japanese.  …

WARNING OF THE RAID

There was a general con[s]ensus of opinion that the general alarm sounded [preceded] the falling of the first bomb by a very short space of time, probably seconds.

A warning that a large number of aircraft had been observed passing overhead at a great height over Bathurst Island and were proceeding southward, was received by the officer-in-charge of the Amalgamated Wireless Postal Radio Station at Darwin at 9.35 on the morning of the 19th February. That officer repeated the message to RAAF Operations at 9.37. No general alarm was given in the town until just before 10 o’clock.

Evidence was given before me that according to the routine usually observed, RAAF Operations would communicate a message to A.C.H. (Area Command Headquarters) and that A.C.H. would communicate to Navy and Army Headquarters. RAAF Operations would also, in the normal routine, communicate a message to A.R.P. (Air Raid Precautions) Headquarters.

On full consideration of the evidence, I find that the failure by RAAF Operations to communicate with A.R.P. Headquarters is inexplicable. The excuse given in evidence for the delay was based upon the fact that earlier that morning a number of U.S. planes – P.40’s – had set out for Koepang and, meeting with adverse weather, had returned. Some discussion, it is said, ensued as to whether the planes referred to in the above message were the American planes returning or enemy planes, and that this discussion accounted for the greater part of the delay which ensued.

I find it difficult to accept this explanation. The evidence now shows almost conclusively that most of the American P.40’s had actually landed on the RAAF station when this message was received, and that the remainder – two or possibly three machines – had remained on patrol at some height.

Moreover, the direction from which the planes were reported was not that in which the P-40’s would normally be returning. In any event the Station Commander, Wing Commander Griffith, stated expressly that he did not consider that the planes flying over Bathurst Island southward might be American planes returning. Another significant fact was the jamming by the enemy of the radio telephone from Bathurst Island after the sending of the above message.

The delay in giving the general warning was fraught with disaster. It is impossible to say with certainty what would have happened if the warning had been promptly given when received by RAAF Operations at 9.37, but it is at least probable that a number of men who lost their lives while working on ships at the pier might have escaped to a place of safety.

There is much in evidence, too, which suggests that a warning of 20 minutes or even of 15 minutes might have enabled vessels in the harbour to get under way and move, and to have had a far better opportunity of avoiding the enemy attack than that which in fact they had. A twenty minutes warning might also have enabled the officials at the Post Office who were killed to have gone to a place of safety.

The warning received by way of Bathurst Island was not the only warning received. Military Headquarters received a separate warning through an observation post at 9.50, and there is evidence that Navy Headquarters were notified, possibly from A.C.H., at 9.45.

Much evidence was given in an attempt to fix the precise responsibility for the delay in giving the general alarm, and in tracing the actual communications which passed from R.A.A.F. Operations to other quarters. I have felt that time cannot usefully be spent in the circumstances in determining this matter, but it is plain that the Station Commander must take some responsibility for the failure of action on the part of R.A.A.F. Operations.

There is other evidence to indicate that this particular Service was conducted with some laxity. No log book was kept before 6th February, 1942 and the log book kept after that date discloses a gap in the entries between 16th and 20th February, 1942.  ….

[AA: A 2670, 116/1942]

 


 

Miss Daisy Martin was a part-Aboriginal girl who had been brought up at Kahlin Compound and was employed as a maid at Government House in Darwin. On 19 February 1942, during the Japanese bombing raids, she sheltered with the Abbott family and other staff at Government House.

Daisy was killed beneath falling masonry and concrete when the office received an almost direct hit from a 1,000-pound high explosive bomb. She was buried in a temporary grave at Kahlin Beach the next day, but was exhumed and reburied at Berrimah War Cemetery on 30 June 1942. Her body was later transferred to the Adelaide River War Cemetery.

A plaque in memory of Miss Daisy Martin was installed near the spot where she was killed on 19 February 1942.

 


 

Wing Commander A.R. Tindal, the Commanding Officer of No. 24 Squadron RAAF was killed during the first Japanese air raid on Darwin on 19 February 1942. Carson’s Field in the Northern Territory was renamed Tindal Airfield in honour of Wing Commander Tindal.

Some pictures from the Photo Album
of
Frank Ellis, of 24 Squadron 

   
   
   
   

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I’d like to thank Silvano Jung, John Bradford and Terry Gusterson for their assistance with this home page.

I’d like to thank Tony Derksen, the nephew of Colwell Burleigh Giles, one of the wharfies killed on the wharves in Darwin Harbour.

I’d like to thank Cameron Alexander for helping me to sort out the confusion between the two ships called Benjamin Franklin.

 

REFERENCE BOOKS

“Darwin Bombed”
“The Unit History of 14 Heavy Anti-aircraft Battery”
by Jack Mulholland

“Australian War Strategy 1939 – 1945″
“A Documentary History”
By John Robertson & John McCarthy

“Protect & Revenge” (Page 21)
“The
49th Fighter Group in World War II”
by S.W. Ferguson & William K. Pascalis

“Darwin’s Air War – 1942-1945. An Illustrated History”
By the Aviation Historical Society of the Northern Territory (Bob Alford)

“The Weekend Australian” 
9 – 10 Feb 2002

“Hospital Ships – Manunda, Wanganella, Centaur, Oranje”
by Rupert Goodman

“Wrecks in Darwin Waters”
by Tom Lewis

“For Those in Peril – A comprehensive listing of the Ships and Men of the RAN who have paid the Supreme Sacrifice in the Wars of the 20th Century”
by Vic Cassells

“In the Highest Traditions … RAN heroism Darwin 19 February 1942″
by John Bradford

“Bloody Shamble 2″
by ?

 

February 19th.1942

The Japanense boombardement Buitenzorg(Bogor) semplak  airfield and in the midday attack  Bandung Andir airfield

Gubernor General Tjarda vsn Stoukerborough with his  Chief of Staf Ter Porten moved from Batavia to Bandung and they stayed at

 

Mei Ling Villa which owned by  the Tionghoa Volkraad (house of representative)’s member H.H. Kan

 

February ,19th.1942

In a major engagement above Semplak on 19 February 1942

,

eight Dutch Brewster fighters

intercepted a formation of about

 

 35 Japanese bombers with an escort of about

 

 

 

20 Zeros.

The Brewster pilots destroyed 11 Japanese aircraft and lost four Brewsters; two Dutch pilots died.[33]

The Militaire Luchtvaart van het Koninklijk Nederlands-Indisch Leger

(“Military Air Service of the Royal Netherlands East Indian Army”, ML-KNIL)

had ordered

 

 144 Brewster B-339C

 

and 339D models,

 the former with rebuilt Wright G-105 engines supplied by the Dutch and the latter with new 1,200 hp (895 kW) Wright R-1820-40 engines Brewster purchased from Wright.

At the outbreak of war, only 71 had arrived in the Dutch East Indies, and not all were in service.

 A small number served briefly at Singapore before being withdrawn for the defense of Java.

As the Brewster B-339 aircraft used by the ML-KNIL were lighter than the modified B-339E Brewster Mark Is used by British, Australian, and New Zealand air forces, they were able at times to successfully engage

 

 the Japanese Army Nakayama  Ki-43 “Oscar”, although both the “Oscar” and

 

the Japanese Navy’s A6M Zero

 still out-climbed and out-turned the B-339 at combat altitudes (the Zero was faster as well).[32]

 

 

Brewster Buffalos of the ML-KNIL

Apart from their role as fighters, the Brewster fighters were also used as dive bombers against Japanese troopships.

Although reinforced by British Commonwealth Brewster Mk I (B-339E) aircraft retreating from Malaya, the Dutch squadrons faced superior numbers in the air, and were too few in number to stem the advance of Japanese ground forces.

In a major engagement above Semplak

Wednesday, 18 February.1942

Destroyer ENCOUNTER was sent from Batavia to evacuate RAF and service personnel from Padang.

Light cruiser DANAE and

ENCOUNTER evacuated 877 evacuees from

Padang.

on 19 February 1942,

eight Dutch Brewster fighters intercepted a formation of about 35 Japanese bombers with an escort of about 20 Zeros. The Brewster pilots destroyed 11 Japanese aircraft and lost four Brewsters; two Dutch pilots died.[33]

on February 19th and on February 27th

the Japanese annihilated the bulk of the American, British, Dutch and Australian naval forces opposing them at the Battle of the Java Sea. American forces in the Philippines surrendered on May 8th while the British in Singapore surrendered on February 15th.

In only one place had a Japanese Naval task force been prevented from its goal and that was at the Battle of the Coral Sea. 

Between 4-8 May the US Navy’s Task Force 11 and Task Force 17 centered on the Carriers USS Lexington and USS Yorktown prevented a Japanese invasion force from taking Port Moresby. Their aircraft sank the light carrier Shoho, damaged the modern carrier Shokaku and decimated the air groups of the Japanese task force.

But it was the unexpected raid by US Army Air Corps B-25 Bombers launched from the USS Hornet under command of Colonel Jimmy Doolittle

February 20th.1942.

This put Surabaya within range of enemy bombers. From Kendari,

 

Friday, 20 February

 

 

 

BATTLE OF BADOENG STRAIT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Allied ships were in two groups.

 

The first were Dutch cruisers DE RUYTER, JAVA, Dutch destroyers PIET HEIN and the American JOHN D FORD, and POPE. Dutch destroyer BANCKERT was part of the force, but ran aground at the mouth of Tjilatjap harbour and could not proceed.

 

The second group was Dutch cruiser TROMP from Surabaya and American destroyers STEWART, PARROTT, JOHN D EDWARDS and PILLSBURY from Ratai Bay.

 

STEWART was damaged by Japanese gunfire, with one enlisted man killed and the executive officer LT C B Smiley and one enlisted man wounded. JOHN D EDWARDS had one enlisted man wounded. PIET HEIN (Lt Cdr J M L I Chompff) was lost with all but 33 of her crew and TROMP was badly damaged.

 

_____

 

Convoy SM.3 departed Batavia unescorted with British steamers ADRASTUS (7905grt), CITY OF MANCHESTER (8917grt), MARELLA (7475grt), Dutch PHRONTIS (6181grt) and Norwegian PROMINENT (2282grt). Steamers CITY OF MANCHESTER and PROMINENT proceeded to Tjilatjap and the rest of the convoy to Fremantle.

_____

 

Convoy SJ.5 departed Batavia with British steamers ANGBY (786grt), FILLEIGH (4856grt), JALAKRISHNA (4991grt), LULWORTH HILL (7628grt), SILVERLARCH (5064grt), YOMA (8131grt) and Norwegian HAI LEE (3616grt). Escort at the start was by heavy cruiser EXETER, destroyer STRONGHOLD and Indian sloop JUMNA. The ships proceeded to Colombo, arriving independently between 28 February and 6 March.

_____

 

Battleship WARSPITE arrived at Sydney, NSW, after refitting in the United States.

 

_____

 

Destroyer NIZAM departed Colombo for the west coast of Sumatra to evacuate personnel. Patrol vessel PANGKOR of the China Force was also sent to evacuate personnel. NIZAM was recalled on the 21st for escort duties.

_____

 

Australian minesweeper BALLARAT evacuated important stores and completed the destruction of port facilities and abandoned equipment at Oosthaven on the 20th.

_____

 

Japanese submarine I.65 sank steamer BHIMA (5280grt) in 7-47N, 73-31E. Crew of 68, two passengers, all rescued.

_____

 

Steamer KOOLAMA (4068grt) was sunk by Japanese bombing off Wyndham, West Australia.

_____

 

Dutch steamer TOBELO (983grt) was sunk by Japanese bombing at Kupang.

_____

 

Steamer JALAKRISHNA (4991grt) was damaged by Japanese bombing in the Dutch East Indies.

Following their quick success at Ambon,

 the Japanese moved on to Timor, landing at Koepang and Dili

 on 20 February 1942.

 While 2/2 Indep Coy extricated itself inland, the landing force in the south trapped 2/40 Inf Bn against a blocking force of paratroops and, cut off from its supply base and short of ammunition, it was forced to surrender.

 

 

 

Saturday, 21 February

 

 

Convoy SJ.6 departed Tandjong PrioK with steamers MANGOLA and THEPASTRIN NAWA (3260grt) for Fremantle and KIANG (1451grt), JALAVIHAR, ELSA, STRAAT SOENDA (6439grt) and GENERAAL VAN DE HEYDEN (1213grt) for Colombo.

_____

 

Convoy SJ.7 departed Tandjong Priok with troopship ORCADES (23,456grt), carrying 3768 troops and refugees, escorted by destroyer ELECTRA to the 22nd and Australian light cruiser HOBART to the 23rd, when the convoy dispersed and the escorts detached. ORCADES arrived at Colombo on the 27th.

 

Americans providing reinforcements for Australia.46

Washington agreed with Wavell’s estimate of the probable loss of Java. Reinforcement was evidently futile and the wisest course, the Combined Chiefs thought, would be to send at least one of the Australian divisions to Burma and the other to Australia. It was clear also that the fall of Java would split the ABDA area and make a co-ordinated defense of its eastern and western extremities impossible. The British therefore suggested that Burma be taken out of ABDACOM and transferred to their command in India, a proposal that the U.S. Chiefs and General Wavell, who had always believed Burma was an integral part of the Indian command, readily accepted. This was accomplished formally

on 21 February.47

 

Sunday 22, February

 

 

LANGLEY and SEA WITCH, carrying crated aircraft, were detached to Java. LANGLEY was lost and SEA WITCH was able to escape after delivering her cargo at Tjilatjap.

 

LANGLEY was sunk by Japanese bombing. Only sixteen crew and passengers were lost. The survivors were picked up by WHIPPLE and EDSALL. WHIPPLE then scuttled LANGLEY.

 

The convoy arrived at Colombo on 5 March.

_____

 

Patrol vessel PANGKOR departed Batavia to evacuate personnel from Sibolga and Ongha, then proceeded to Colombo.

_____

 

Boom defence vessels BARRIER, BARLANE and BARRICADE departed Batavia for Colombo and patrol vessels CIRCE and MEDUSA for Fremantle, via Tjilatjap.

_____

 

Convoy SJ.8 departed Tandjong Priok with EDENDALE (1659grt) for Fremantle and FU KWANG (1559grt), TINOMBO (872grt) and ROOSEBOOM (1035grt) for Colombo.

_____

 

Japanese submarine I.58 sank Dutch steamer PIJNACKER HORDIKJ (2982grt) south of Tjilatjap.

 

 

Monday, 23 February

 

 

Norwegian steamer BELITA and Norwegian collier WOOLGAR departed Colombo for Batavia, escorted until the 25th by destroyer NIZAM and minesweeper BATHURST. The merchantmen proceeded independently for Batavia until recalled.

_____

 

Convoy SM.4 departed Tandjong Priok with steamer SPRINGDALE (1579grt) for Fremantle and SEIRSTAD and PERAK (1188grt) for Colombo. The ships proceeded independently after Sunda Strait.

 

The plan for sending the Australian divisions to Burma, however, came to naught. Concerned over the defense of their own country, the Australians persistently refused, despite strong appeals from Churchill and Roosevelt, to permit the diversion of these divisions to Burma, and finally,

on 23 February, they were ordered home.48

Though the loss of Java was conceded by all except the Dutch, there was a reluctance to act on this assumption. To do so would create the impression that the Americans and British were deserting their Dutch allies. On the 20th, therefore, the Combined Chiefs, asserting that “every day gained is of importance,” directed Wavell to defend Java “with the utmost resolution” and not to withdraw or surrender any of the troops there. To minimize the loss of Allied troops in Java, the Chiefs specifically prohibited Wavell from reinforcing that island further, but did give him discretion to use his naval forces and American planes in Australia as he thought best.49

Even as these fresh instructions were being received at ABDACOM, the Japanese were making their execution impossible. On the 19th, they landed on the southern tip of Bali, immediately to the east of Java. Next day they landed on Timor, half of which was Dutch and half Portuguese. Control of these islands, lying between Java and northwest Australia, completed the isolation of Java, placed Japanese land-based fighters within bombing range of the Dutch base at Surabaya, and made further reinforcements from Australia impossible.

 

 

 

 

. on 23 February

had been ordered to Tjilatjap, on the south coast of Java,

 

with its cargo of thirty-two assembled P-40’s and their pilots. On the 27th, almost within sight of Java, it was spotted by Japanese patrol planes and sunk. The freighter Seawitch with 27 P-40’s in her hold had left Fremantle at the same time, but sailed separately and made its way successfully to Java. It arrived there on the eve of invasion and the P-40’s, still crated, were dumped into the sea to prevent their capture.55

Meanwhile the Japanese had completed their preparations for the invasion of Java. D-day was set for

 air reconnaissance confirmed that the airfield was unfit for use. Thereupon Air Headquarters made arrangements for supplies to be dropped and the following day three Blenheims from Singapore, modified to carry containers, successfully dropped 900 pounds of supplies on the airfield.

the 23rd February

 at Kenamboi, where they were re-united with C and D Company.


February,24th,1942

Japanese filght attacked and bombardement Kemajoran Batavia, Semplak Buitenzorg and Kalijati airfield.

Tuesday, 24 February

 

 

Steamers INDRAGIRI (592grt), NAM YONG (1345grt), and BOERO (7135grt) departed Tandjong Priok for Colombo.

_____

 

Dutch steamer KOTA RADJA (7117grt) was sunk by Japanese bombing at Surabaya.

 

Dutch light cruiser HEEMSKERK departed Colombo for Trincomalee to embark ammunition and proceed to the Dutch East Indies. She then left Trincomalee the next day for Sunda Strait with all despatch, but was diverted to Tjilatjap on the 26th. On 1 March, both she and destroyer ISAAC SWEERS were ordered to return to Colombo.

 

 

Krakatau (right) at anchor in Soerabaja, February 24 1942

 

 

 

Wednesday, 25 February

 

British heavy cruiser EXETER, Australian light cruiser PERTH and British destroyers ENCOUNTER, ELECTRA and JUPITER departed Tanjong Priok to join Dutch Admiral Doorman’s force at Surabaya. Australian light cruiser HOBART was also ordered to sail, but had not completed refuelling. Instead she joined a Western Striking Force with light cruisers DANAE, DRAGON and destroyers TENEDOS and SCOUT. The EXETER group arrived at Surabaya at 0330/26th and sailed at 1900 that day.

_____

 

Japanese submarine I.58 sank Dutch steamer BOERO (7135grt) south of Sunda Strait. Crew of 70, with no casualties.

.

_____

 

. With the Japanese making ready for the final assault on Java,

General Wavell turned to his superiors for new instructions. Their orders were to transfer command of Java to the Dutch and withdraw, but to maintain ABDACOM and keep his headquarters intact. When and where he would go was left to him. Ground forces “for whom there are arms” were to remain and continue the fight, but air forces that could operate from bases outside Java and other troops “who cannot contribute to defense” were to be withdrawn, the Americans and Australians to go to Australia. General Brett was to return to Australia, when released by Wavell, to command the U.S. forces there.50

The ABDA commander did not agree with the program. What he wanted was the dissolution of ABDACOM, all reason for its existence having disappeared. Burma, he pointed out, had already been separated from the ABDA theater and Java’s defense was a local problem, best handled by the Dutch themselves. If the Philippines, which had never really been under his control, were taken over by the Americans again and northwest Australia by the Australians, he told the Chiefs, he could turn over his remaining forces to the Dutch and leave the area by

25 February.51

This recommendation was in line with the solution being proposed by the British Chiefs of Staff for the establishment of two areas in the Far East, one to be under American control and to include Australia; the other a British area encompassing India and the Indian Ocean. The Dutch opposed such a solution for fear it would mean the end of Allied assistance in the Netherlands Indies. ‘For God’s sake,’ wrote the Dutch governor-general to Marshall, “take the strong and active decisions and don’t stop sending materials and men.”52

Still anxious to avoid the appearance of abandoning their allies, the U.S. Chiefs continued to oppose the dissolution of ABDACOM. But in recognition of the fact that Wavell had lost the confidence of the Dutch and obviously wanted to pull out, they agreed to the dissolution of his headquarters and his transfer to India, leaving control of the ABDA area to the Dutch. And lest the Dutch should think that the Americans had made this arrangement to shirk their commitments, Marshall assured the Dutch governor that the forces then assembling in Australia were “seeking opportunity to enter the ABDA battle” and would “continue their full support of the Dutch commanders in their magnificent fight.”53

On the 25th

General Wavell turned over command to the Dutch and left for India where General Brereton had already gone to organize an American air force. This move placed MacArthur technically under the Dutch, but he had already been told that “because of your special situation all procedures in your case remain as heretofore.”54 The burden of defending Java was now squarely on the Dutch. Their forces, with the exception of minor ground units (including an American artillery battalion), American and British naval units, and a small U.S.-Australian fighter force, composed the entire command.

There was still a chance that fighters could be brought in by sea, though the air ferry route had been closed by the Japanese seizure of Timor. To this task was assigned the aircraft tender Langley,

 

 

 

 

Thursday, 26 February

 

 

Convoy MR.5 departed Madras with steamers ERINPURA (5143grt), ETHIOPIA (5574grt), KAROA (7009grt) and VARSOVA (4701grt) escorted by heavy cruiser DORSETSHIRE, which departed Trincomalee on the 26th. The convoy and escort arrived at Rangoon on 3 March.

_____

 

Steamer ASHRIDGE was the last steamer to departed Tandjong Priok, escorted through the Sunda Strait by destroyer STRONGHOLD

Back in Balikpapan, the Japanese rounded up civilians and the newly captured prisoners of war. They delayed their promised vengeance until

 

 

 

Alstede, Paulus Simon.

Born in Buitenzorg (Bogor, Java) on 20 June 1906.

Died on board of the Hr.Ms. Cruiser ‘Java’ in the Java Sea

 on 27 February 1942.

(also see Jan Frederik Haayen at The Netherlands Antilles). Bronze Cross, War Commemorating Cross, Officers Cross XV. Lieutenant-at-sea 1st class, navigation-officer on board of Hr.Ms. Cruiser ‘Java’

 

On February 27th,1942,

And then there was the Battle of the Java Sea from 27 February to 1 March 1942. The Dutch warships Ruyter and Java were hit by Japanese torpedoes; they sunk with a huge loss of life. The Allies lost this battle.

 

 

japanese destroyer Inazuma launching a type 93 long lance torpedo against allied ships in the Second Battle of the Java Sea

 

Frank looked out from Fort Menari to see a small fleet of Allied cruisers and destroyers – American, British, Dutch, and Australian – steaming through the Western Fairway:

…the binoculars pick up the sleek outlines in camouflage grey, stealing through the mist of dawn out into the open sea. Our gallant Navy sailing to their last engagement with the enemy, to bear the brunt of the great onslaught. [11]


In the Java Sea the ABDA fleet boldly attacked the more powerful Japanese warships escorting the East Java invasion force, hoping to break through and sink the troop transports.

The Japanese, with their heavier guns and advanced “Long Lance” torpedoes, drove them off after inflicting severe losses.

Among the vessels sunk was

 the Dutch flagship, the light cruiser De Ruyter.

She went down with 345 of her crew, including Warrant Officer Frans Anton Boerman, Frank’s father-in-law.

Read more

 

Dutch cruiser De Ruyter
Laid down: 1933. Launched: 1935. Commissioned: 1936
Seven 150-mm guns on a 6442-ton displacement
Crew: 435

In the Battle of the Java Sea on 27 February 1942, De Ruyter was the flagship of the Dutch rear-admiral Karel Doorman, with his flag captain Eugène Lacomblé (who had previously served on board the ship as a lieutenant). Off the north coast off Java the ABDA fleet was surprised at night by a Japanese squadron consisting of the heavy cruisers Nachi and Haguro supported by 14 destroyers.

De Ruyter was supposedly hit by a single Japanese Long Lance torpedo at about 23:30 and sank at 02:30 the next day with the loss of 345 men, including Admiral Doorman and Captain Lacomblé. Her wreck was found after the war and declared a war grave, with only the ship’s bell (now in the Kloosterkerk in the Hague) being recovered.

 

Battle of the Java Sea

In February 1942, the Allies established a naval “Combined Striking Force” for the protection of Java.

 The “Eastern Striking Force”, comprising the Dutch cruisers Java and De Ruyter, the US heavy cruiser Houston, the British cruiser Exeter, and the Australian cruiser Perth , was placed under the command of Dutch Rear Admiral Karel Doorman. “Eastern Striking Force” also included the destroyers Witte de With and Kortenaer (RNN), J.D. Edwards, Alden, John Ford and Paul Jones (USN), and Jupiter, Electra and Encounter (RN).

On February 27,

 Doorman’s force sailed from Surabaya to intercept the Japanese “Eastern Invasion Force”, which comprised four cruisers and 14 destroyers, escorting 41 transport vessels. At about 4 pm, the two forces met in a battle which lasted much of the night. Outgunned, Doorman’s force was unable to engage the invasion fleet, which escaped to the north while the escort vessels were pressing their attack.

Allied casualties were heavy.

 

Admiral Doorman

was lost along with both of the Dutch cruisers and almost all of their crews.

The Exeter was badly damaged by shell-fire, and was sunk along with its escorting destroyer Encounter two days later. Among the other destroyers engaged, Kortenaer, Jupiter and Electra were all sunk, with considerable loss of life. The Japanese invasion fleet was delayed, but not prevented from making a landing on Java on 28 February. The surviving cruisers, Houston and Perth, were sunk on the evening of the same day as they attempted to withdraw to Ceylon, having encountered the Japanese “Western Invasion Force” in the Sunda Strait.

 

Admiral Doorman’s flagship De Ruyter at anchor shortly before the battle of the Java Sea.

Read more about Admiral Karel dorman

Rear-Admiral K.W.F.M. Doorman, RNN

 

Karel Willem Frederik Marie Doorman

Born Utrecht April 23, 1889 – Died on board light cruiser De Ruyter February 28, 1942

 

Although Karel Doorman was the son of an army officer, he joined the officer’s course at the Naval Institute in 1906, which he completed successfully four years later. After some years in the Netherlands East Indies, he returned to Holland to become one of the pioneers in Dutch naval aviation. He earned his wings in 1915, and what followed was a turbulent period at the naval airfield De Kooy until 1921, during which he survived 33 emergency landings. Then, he went to the High Naval Academy to study the art of naval warfare. He was sent out to the NEI for the last time in 1937, where he became the Commanding Officer of the Naval Air Service during the last prewar years. Being an aviator himself, he understood the value of a well-trained and well-equipped Naval Air Service (the correct Dutch term is Marine Luchtvaartdienst, or MLD) and under his command, the MLD became just that.

In June 1940, he was given command of the Netherlands East Indies Seagoing Squadron, which normally included the bulk of the Dutch surface fleet. Although a neglected dysentery started to play up shortly before the start of the Pacific War, he retained command and was also given command of the Combined Striking Force on February 3, 1942. The idea was to use this scratch-collection of Dutch, American, British and Australian warships to attack and destroy Japanese invasion convoys. During the month of February, the force made a number of sorties, which were usually unsuccessful due to Japanese aerial intervention. It only came to blows during the Battle of Badung Strait, when a numerically superior Allied Force attacked four Japanese destroyers and a transport, unfortunately without much success. In return, the Japanese managed to sink the destroyer Piet Hein and damage several other ships.

After this battle, it was clear that the next step would be the invasion of Java island. In compliance with Admiral Helfrich’s orders, Doorman continued to sweep the Java sea with his force, until the Japanese invasion fleet was finally sighted on February 27. Although the two forces were more or less equal in terms of strength, the Allied were handicapped by the lack of a good communication system, aerial reconnaissance and rest during the past few months. Both the light cruisers Java and Doorman’s flagship, De Ruyter were hit and sunk by torpedoes, taking a heavy toll among the exhausted crews. It is believed Doorman, his staff and De Ruyter’s commanding officer, Commander E.E.B. Lacomblé chose to remain on board as the cruiser sank.

In honor of Admiral Doorman, the only two Dutch aircraft carriers and lastly, a new frigate were named after him. In addition, he was one of only persons who were made Knights in the Military Order of William 3rd class. [1]

Ranks
Midshipman 1st class [2] August 24, 1910
Lieutenant August 24, 1912
Lieutenant-Commander November 1, 1920
Commander February 1, 1933
Captain September 6, 1937
Rear-Admiral May 16, 1940

 

Postings [3]
Coastal defence ship Hr.Ms. Tromp and Hr.Ms. De Ruyter 1910 - 1913
Light cruiser Hr.Ms. Noord Brabant April, 1914 - 1915
Pilot Instructor 1916 - 1917
Commanding Officer, Naval Airbase De Mok August 18, 1917 -  
First Officer, Naval Airfield De Kooy   - 1920
Commanding Officer, Naval Airfield De Kooy 1920 - 1921
Student Netherlands Naval War College November 2, 1921 - 1923
Staff Officer, Ministry of Navy, Weltevreden (Java) 1923 - 1926
Gunnery Officer, coastal defence ship Hr.Ms. Zeven Provinciën May 14, 1926 - January, 1928
Head MLD Technical Department, The Hague March 12, 1928 - July 14, 1928
First Officer, Naval Airfield De Kooy July 14, 1928 - November 2, 1931
Commanding Officer, minelayer Hr.Ms. Prins van Oranje 1932 - 1932
Commanding Officer, destroyer Hr.Ms. Witte de With 1933 - 1933
Commanding Officer, destroyer Hr.Ms. Evertsen and Group Destroyers 1 1934 - 1934
Chief of Staff, Den Helder naval base June, 1934 - September 4, 1937
Commanding Officer, light cruiser Hr.Ms. Sumatra October 25, 1937 - June 15, 1938
Commanding Officer, light cruiser Hr.Ms. Java June 15, 1938 - August 13, 1938
Commanding Officer, Naval Air Service NEI August 17 1938 - May 5, 1940
Commanding Officer, NEI Squadron June 17, 1940 - February 27, 1942
Commanding Officer, Combined Striking Force February 3, 1942 - February 27, 1942

 

Awards
Dutch Knight in the Military Order of William (MWO.3)
Knight in the Order of the Dutch Lion (NL)
Officer in the Order of Orange Nassau (ON.4)
Service Medal for naval officers, for 30 years’ of service (XXX)
Mobilization Cross 1914-1918 (Mk)
Foreign Silver Cross 5th class, Order Virtuti Militairi (Poland)

 


[1]: The other was Captain J.P. van Helsdingen, a fighter pilot of the KNIL airforce. He was killed in action on March 5, 1942.
[2]: The rank of sublieutenant had not yet been introduced at this time.
[3]: For a more thorough, albeit romanticized, description of Doorman’s career, the book
“Ik val aan, volg mij”  by Anthony van Kampen (Published by C.V. Uitgeverij, Amsterdam, 1947), is recommended reading.

 

 De Ruyter was lost in the battle along with Doorman and 344 of its crew.

The Dutch cruiser Java under attack from Japanese aircraft in February 1942.


Read more info

The mysterious fate of Cornelius Blaak and PK-AFZ

Some months ago we received a query from a relative of Dutch KNILM pilot Cornelius Blaak. His only son is now 80 years old and knew very little about his father’s death in February 1942.

 Blaak was the pilot of KNILM DC-3 PK-AFZ, which crash-landed in Sumatra after getting lost at the end of a flight from Broome to Batavia. Although they survived the crash landing, Blaak and three crew members were killed soon afterwards. The family had received some information from the excellent Pacific Wrecks organisation as per:
http://www.pacificwrecks.com/aircraft/dc-3/ph-afz.html

Dutch airline history specialist Richard Pflug was asked if he could shed any further light on this incident. He replied with the following in November 2011:

According to what I read,

in the night of 26/27th of February 1942

 PK-ALT, PK-ALO and PK-AFZ left Broome with destination Bandung.

That night there were very strong winds making the planes drift. Only PK-ALO made it to Bandung. PK-ALT and -AFZ drifted of course.

The radio operator on board PK-ALT remembered a technique from training called “impulse bearing” to get a tie line on Bandung. Despite heavy static he was able to get some bearing on Bandung, but was unable to determine if the were NE or SW of Bandung.

They decided to fly 15 minutes due South. With no land in sight the turned 180 degrees and found Prinsen Island and Krakatau. The radio operator of PK-ALT tried to transmit this information to his colleague Pieter Pronk on PK-AFZ.

Although the mechanic of PK-ALT loaded 400 litres of fuel over the allowed take-off weight of the DC-3, the result of the drifting and searching for land is that they have insufficient fuel to make it to Andir and around 2.00 AM, some 9 and a half hours after the left Broome, they touch down at Kamajoran with almost empty tanks.

PK-AFZ never arrived…..

After the war the fate of PK-AFZ and its crew was investigated by the Dutch government. The tail section was found near Tandjung Batoe. According to interviews with locals the crew survived the emergency landing almost unscathed. At a nearby village they tried to organise a boat to get to Palembang. They were betrayed to Japanese forces and on March 1st soldiers attacked their hideout. In the following shoot-out two crew members were killed. A third crew member was hit in the shoulder, escaped to the river and presumably drowned. Radio operator Pieter Pronk managed to escape and made it back to the village, but later was delivered to a passing Japanese patrol and beheaded on March 4th.

There seems to be a copy of the full investigation in a Dutch archive. This document might be very useful; if you are interested I will try to get hold of a copy of this document.

Richard was kind enough to visit the Dutch archives, and replied with this on 23rd December 2011:

Last Monday I visited the Dutch Institute for War Documentation (NIOD) and copied their file on PK-AFZ, containing letters to Plesman (CEO of KLM), De Bruijn (Manager Operations of KNILM) the widow of pilot Nieuwdorp, the death certificates of the crew members, etc. One letter is largely written in English.

According to the reports the crew was able to get the plane on the ground largely intact. A local offered his services to help them, but instead organized a mob to rob them as they were in possession of money. Allegedly two crew members were killed; one was wounded but drowned in a swamp while trying to flee. Pronk was captured wounded and treated well by his Japanese captures. But the battalion had to move on, they decided he was a burden and beheaded him. So it’s a pretty dramatic and sad story!

The family of Blaak was very happy to receive the documents. They didn’t know these letters and documents existed.

As Richard mentions, the Blaak family was very happy to receive this information. Here is the wording of the English section of the report in the Dutch archives, referred to above:

Amsterdam, 7th November 1946

On February 26th, 1942, the aircraft PK-AFZ carried out a regular ammunition transport from Broome, Australia to Batavia as its point of destination. There was therefore no question of a diversion to another airfield. Atmospheric conditions were bad. There was the ordinary monsoon headwind from (the) Western direction. Thunderstorms in the Batavia region made radio contact with the ground impossible, either from Bandoeng or Batavia.

Besides, total black-out made it impossible to make out Batavia, lights could only be turned on when immediately above the airfield, so that captain te Roller, doing the same flight under the same atmospheric conditions, also passed the Batavia airfield, but by incident was able to check his position (in the neighbourhood of the Isle of Krakatou and – having 1200L more fuel onboard – could return safely. Mr Blaak’s aircraft had no cabin tanks as Mr te Roller had and seems to have made a forced landing on the South East coast of Sumatra, near Palembang at Kajoe Agoung, apparently in the estuary of the river.

Batavia’s wireless operator seems to have heard weak S.O.S. signals sent by wireless operator Pronk on board of the aircraft and later it was reported that the crew landed safely. Suggestions for a rescue flight with an amphibious aircraft could at that time not be followed up. The ill fate of the crew became known afterwards and nothing about the aircraft itself has been heard ever since. No debris were found afterwards or reported to have been found.

This was dated 1946. The death certificates were dated September 1947, so presumably some further information was eventually received, as summarised by Richard above

February.28th,1942

The battle in Java sea, 

 

the battle ship “de Ruyter”,

 

”Java”

 

”Kortenaer”

 

HMS Electra

And

 

destroyer HMS “Jupiter” were burned  and

HMS “Evertsen” from Dutch Navy  broken during boarding to Australia at Sunda straits.

At the night the dai Nippon  army landing at Java Island with 18 thousand of  with 100 light pantser with basic at Merak.XVI th army division

Read more info the battle of java sea

 

BATTLE OF THE JAVA SEA

27TH FEBRUARY 1942

 

       

 

 

 

 

 

IJN Haguro April 1936
(Courtesy of Irootoko Digital Color Photos)

 

PERTH left Batavia on the 24th for Surabaya to join the combined American-British-Dutch -Australian fleet ( ABDA ) under the command of Dutch Admiral Karel Doorman.   The ships had not exercised together before and communications and signalling between ships was very awkward.   The fleet left Surabaya on the night of 26th February to search for the Japanese Invasion Fleet but were unable to locate them.

The next day Japanese ships were reported  to the north and at 4.12pm contact was made.The battle was fought in two stages

AFTERNOON.
                             For the early part of the battle the Japanese were out of range of PERTH’s guns  but at 4.25pm she opened fire on Jap destroyers off her starboad bow.  At 4.37pm she came under intense and accurate fire from the Japanese 8″ cruisers NACHI and HAGURO.   

 HMS EXETER

was hit at 5.14pm and immediately lost speed and  PERTH was forced to swerve quickly to avoid a collision.

  PERTH immediately circled EXETER laying a protective smokescreen.

 At 5.40pm HMS ELECTRA

was hit by gunfire and sank soon after. At 5.45pm the NACHI and HAGURO appeared through the smokescreen.  The light  cruiser NAKA and destroyers  were even closer.  

 In the exchange of fire, PERTH  appeared to have scored hits on HAGURO

but this was incorrect.  At 6.30pm the Japanese retired and were lost from view.

 

 

IJN Nachi

 

NIGHT
                  At 7.15pm

a Japanese aircraft dropped flares illuminating PERTH

and the other ships and fifteen minutes later PERTH

opened fire on destroyers delivering a torpedo attack on her port side. 

 The destroyer HMS JUPITER hit

what was thought to have been a Dutch mine and exploded and sank at 9.25pm. 

 PERTH passed by survivors from HMS ELECTRA at 10.15pm

 but was under orders not to stop and attempt rescue. 

 At 10.30pm

 PERTH and HOUSTON once again began an exchange of fire

With

 NACHI and HAGURO and at the same time the IJN destroyers delivered another torpedo attack.

The allied cruisers were steaming in line ahead led by De RUYTER,

Then

 PERTH, HOUSTON, JAVA.

Just after 11pm

 NACHI and HAGURO fired torpedoes hitting both JAVA and De RUYTER.

  JAVA blew up

an with appalling explosion. Her stern broke off and she sank in fifteen minutes with

 the loss of of over 500 men.

 PERTH had to swerve violently to avoid colliding with De RUYTER. De RUYTER stayed afloat

for nearly another two hours before sinking.

Admiral Doorman and 344 of his crew were lost in the sinking.

PERTH and HOUSTON now broke off the action and headed for Tanjong Priok, the port of Batavia.

 

 

IJN Naka 1942

 

 

 

De Ruyter

 

 

 

Java

 

 

 

Kortenaer

 

 

WWII Cruiser HMS Exeter Found

The Heavy Cruiser that fought like a Lion in World War Two

 

The HMS Exeter – public domain

The Royal Navy’s Heavy cruiser HMS Exeter had a brief but legendary war service. In her 18-months of War she helped kill the Graf Spee and fought the Japanese.

It can be argued Battleships really started World War One. The Anglo-German naval arms race was the kindling to the fire that erupted all of the Europe in that Great War. At Versailles, Germany, vanquished in combat, was to rid herself of most of her Great High Seas Fleet, keeping only a few old tubs. In the inter-war period she was allowed to build a class of 16,000-ton ‘pocket-battleships’ -essentially very large cruisers with a battleship’s guns. The pocket battleships were to be the scourge of the sea in the event of war, ranging the globe sinking merchantmen by the dozens. One of these, the Admiral Graf Spee, engaged in the legendary Battle of the River Plate with three British cruisers and eventually scuttled herself on a bluff. In this battle the cruiser HMS Exeter, with her 8-inch guns, was the only ship that could make effective hits on the German battleship’s armor. One of these hits by the Exeter effectively wrecked the Graf Spee’s boiler room and caused her to withdraw and seek repairs.

These cruisers, the Ajax, Exeter and Achilles earned everlasting naval fame in this running battle in 1939.

All went onto very different fates. The HMS Ajax, a 7000-ton Leander class light cruiser, went on to fight in the Pacific and then in the Battle of Normandy before being broken up and scrapped in 1949. The HMS Achilles, a sister ship of the Ajax also finished the war and, in the service of the Royal New Zealand Navy, was eventually scrapped in 1976 after decades of peacetime service. The HMS Exeter, a 10,000-ton heavy cruiser of the York class, was severely damaged in the battle with the Graf Spee but was repaired in time to see combat in the Pacific.

As a member of the ABDA “Fleet that God Forgot” that fought the Imperial Japanese Navy under impossible odds in 1942, HMS Exeter was lost. She was heavily damaged in the Battle of the Java Sea and was ordered away to limp home. Finding herself just days later in combat with four Japanese cruisers and five destroyers and only supported by a pair of destroyers herself she was sunk 90 miles off Bawean Island in what is now Indonesia on March 1st, 1942 after a terrific gunfight. She has just been found after being lost at sea for over sixty years. Her wreck shows signs of the battle and it remains as a final testament to her short wartime service. Her last commander, RN Captain Oliver Loudon Gordon MVO, survived the war in a Japanese POW camp in published a memoir entitled “Fight It Out” published in 1957

 

 

Battle of the Java Sea

In February 1942,

 the Allies established a naval “Combined Striking Force” for the protection of Java. The “Eastern Striking Force”, comprising the Dutch cruisers Java and De Ruyter, the US heavy cruiser Houston, the British cruiser Exeter, and the Australian cruiser Perth , was placed under the command of Dutch Rear Admiral Karel Doorman. “Eastern Striking Force” also included the destroyers Witte de With and Kortenaer (RNN), J.D. Edwards, Alden, John Ford and Paul Jones (USN), and Jupiter, Electra and Encounter (RN).

 

 

On February 27,

 Doorman’s force sailed from Surabaya to intercept the Japanese “Eastern Invasion Force”, which comprised four cruisers and 14 destroyers, escorting 41 transport vessels.

At about 4 pm,

 the two forces met in a battle which lasted much of the night. Outgunned, Doorman’s force was unable to engage the invasion fleet, which escaped to the north while the escort vessels were pressing their attack.

Allied casualties were heavy.

Admiral Doorman was lost along with both of the Dutch cruisers and almost all of their crews.

 The Exeter was badly damaged by shell-fire, and was sunk along with its escorting destroyer Encounter two days later. Among the other destroyers engaged, Kortenaer, Jupiter and Electra were all sunk, with considerable loss of life.

The Japanese invasion fleet was delayed, but not prevented from making a landing on Java on 28 February.

The surviving cruisers, Houston and Perth, were sunk on the evening of the same day as they attempted to withdraw to Ceylon, having encountered the Japanese “Western Invasion Force” in the Sunda Strait.

 

Admiral Doorman’s flagship De Ruyter at anchor shortly before the battle of the Java Sea.

 De Ruyter was lost in the battle along with Doorman and 344 of its crew.

 

The Dutch cruiser Java under attack from Japanese aircraft in February 1942.

Friday 27, February.1942

BATTLE OF THE JAVA SEA

Destroyer JUPITER (Lt Cdr N V J T Thew) was sunk by Japanese destroyers.

Five ratings were killed and one died of wounds while Temporary S/Lt A L Cato RNZNVR, Lt (E) V D Hodge OBE, Midshipman M G Rivington RNR, Lt J W R Spedding DSC and eighty six ratings were missing. Cdr Thew, Gunner (T) E D Furneaux and 45 ratings survived, but 27 of the ratings died while prisoners of war.

 

Destroyer ELECTRA (Cdr C W May) was sunk by Japanese destroyers. Cdr May, Lt R Jenner-Fust OBE, Lt E A Coale, Lt (E) F McLeod, S/Lt R Price RNR, Temporary Lt H W Davies RNVR and 102 ratings were lost.

 

 Of the survivors, S/Lt S H Cruden RNVR and four ratings were taken prisoner by the Japanese from the water, and Gunner (T) T J Cain, Surgeon Lt W R D Seymour and forty three ratings were picked up by American submarine S.38 at 0315/28th.

 

On arriving on the scene, S.38 was attacked by destroyer ENCOUNTER, but not damaged. One rating died of wounds after arriving in Java, and 10 wounded ratings were left at Surabaya and later captured. Seven died while prisoners of war.

 

Forty survivors from JUPITER and 42 from ELECTRA departed Tjilatjap in early March on Dutch steamer VERSPECK and arrived in Australia

 

on 10 March.

 

Dutch destroyer KORTENAER was sunk by Japanese warships. ENCOUNTER picked up 113 survivors and took them to Surabaya.

 

Dutch light cruisers DE RUYTER and JAVA were sunk by Japanese warships. British Temporary Lt W A. Jackson RNVR and Temporary Acting S/Lt W G Jenkins RNVR, on board DE RUYTER were rescued and made prisoners of war.

_____

 

Australian light cruiser HOBART, British light cruisers DANAE and DRAGON, British destroyers TENEDOS, SCOUT and the Dutch EVERTSEN departed Tanjong Priok at 2330, with the orders that if no enemy were sighted, they would retire through the Sunda Strait to Ceylon. Early on the 28th, EVERTSEN became separated and returned to Tanjong Priok. On 1 March, the force arrived at Padang to embark evacuatees, with HOBART and DANAE taking on board 648 and 319 evacuees, respectively. These ships, less DRAGON, arrived at Colombo on 5 March. DRAGON arrived on the 6th.

_____

 

Dutch light cruiser TROMP, after being damages by Japanese ships on the 20th/21st, departed Surabaya for repairs at Fremantle.

_____

 

American seaplane tender LANGLEY (CDR R P McConnell) was sunk by Japanese bombing 75miles SSE of Tjilatjap. Sixteen crew and passengers were lost – LT W C Bailey, Warrant Officer R . Curtis, five enlisted men and nine passengers, and 11 enlisted men wounded. The 308 survivors were picked up by US destroyers WHIPPLE and EDSALL, after which WHIPPLE scuttled LANGLEY.

_____

 

_____

 

Japanese submarine I.53 sank Dutch steamer MOESIE (913grt) 25 miles from Banjoewangi.

_____

 

Steamer NAM YONG (1345grt) was sunk by Japanese submarine in the Indian Ocean in 15-55S, 108-05E. Master and four crew made prisoners of war.

28 February, Saturday

Lt Cdr A H Terry DSC, command unknown and Acting Surgeon Cdr T . Stevenson OBE, MB, BCH, formerly of SULTAN II, were lost on the 28th (posted April 1946).

_____

Japanese submarine I.53 sank steamer CITY OF MANCHESTER (8917grt) in 8-16S, 108-52E. Crew of 115, 21 gunners and one passenger, with three crew lost and six presumed captured. I.53 also sank Dutch steamer PARIGI (1172grt) in 8S, 109E.

_____

 

Japanese submarine I.58 damaged tanker BRITISH JUDGE (6735grt) ten miles south of Princess Island, Sunda Strait, and escorting sloop JUMNA and minesweeper WOOLLONGONG counter-attacked. Oiler WAR SIRDAR, also with this convoy, was bombed and set afire. She was beached on Agenielien Island, northwest of Batavia in 5-31S, 106-36E, and declared a total loss on 1 March.

_____

 

Japanese submarine I.4 sank Dutch steamer BAN HO GUAN (1693grt), which was en route from Padang to Tjilatjap, south of Bali.

_____

 

Dutch steamer TOMOHON (983grt) was sunk by Japanese surface craft off Tjilatjap. Crew of 30 rescued.

On 28 February ,1942

Dutch-led forces, supported by about 5500 British, 3000 Australians (the lightly equipped Blackforce infantry brigade), and 750 Americans (a Texas National Guard unit attached to Blackforce), met the Japanese invasion of the island at Bantam Bay/Merak and Eretan Wetan (West Java) and at Kragan (East Java).

 

That day the last two Qantas flying boats moored at Chilacap (Central Java) made their final flight, full of civilian refugees, to Broome in Western Australia.

In Bandung, Peterson visited Australian women who had decided to remain with their families and distributed cash to those who needed it. Austrade’s local staff hid Trade Commission documents, closed the office and disbursed until the end of the Japanese occupation

estimated that the convoys would reach Javanese waters early

on the 27th.

Hurriedly he made his plans to meet the attack with a woefully inferior naval force led by

 

Rear Adm. K. W. F. M. Doorman.

 All Doorman had were 2 heavy cruisers, one of them the USS Houston, 3 light cruisers, and 11 destroyers.

Contact between the opposing forces came shortly after 1500 of the 27th, and the fight that began then raged throughout the afternoon and into the night. By the time the battle of the Java Sea was over the Allies had lost half their ships, including the flagship and Admiral Doorman. The Japanese had not lost a single vessel.56

28 February.

 Supporting the invasion was the largest force of warships the Japanese had yet assembled for an amphibious operation. In it were four battleships, led by

 

Admiral Nobutake Kondo,

a carrier group led by Admiral Nagumo of Pearl Harbor fame, and the two attack forces, each now considerably reinforced.

The approach of the Japanese was carefully traced by the Allies, and

 

 Admiral Helfrich, Hart’s successor as Allied naval commander,

 

During the next few days

 the Japanese completed their control of the air and sea approaches to Java. From their circle of bases surrounding the island patrol planes kept constant watch while bombers completed the destruction of Allied airfields and military installations.

At the same time

 the powerful battle fleet ranged the waters of the Java Sea to hunt down the remnants of the Allied fleet which were split between Surabaya and Batavia, seeking some way to make their escape into the Indian Ocean.

The last fight began on the night of 28 February

When

 the heavy cruisers USS Houston

and

 

H.M.S. Exeter,

 

accompanied by

 

 the light cruisers H.M.A.S. Perth

and two destroyers,

 tried to slip through Sunda Strait, between Java and Sumatra.

 The Japanese had already closed the strait and the Allied warships sailed into a trap.

That night, in a vigorous battle which lasted past midnight,

the Houston

 

and

 

 Perth

went down.

On 28 Feb 1942

Dutch-led forces, supported by about 5500 British, 3000 Australians (the lightly equipped Blackforce infantry brigade), and 750 Americans (a Texas National Guard unit attached to Blackforce), met

 

the Japanese invasion of the island at Bantam Bay/

 

Merak

and Eretan Wetan (West Java) and at Kragan (East Java).

 

During the Battle of the Java Sea on 28 February 1942

The battle in the Pacific was taken up by the Americans, and the Allies, consisting of troops from NZ, Australia and Great Britain. Also the KNIL military who escaped from the Japanese to Australia played a part. In a painful struggle which cost many lives, island by island was conquered. The Dutch East Indies however was skipped because the target was Japan

 

Little boats used in the Battle of the Java Sea

That day the last two Qantas flying boats moored at Chilacap (Central Java) made their final flight, full of civilian refugees, to Broome in Western Australia.

 

Though the Dutch had concentrated their remaining ground forces in Java, mostly in the western portion of the island, the issue was never in doubt. The Japanese moved inland rapidly, splitting the Dutch Army on the island and isolating the defenders into small groups.

For the Allies the fall of Java marked the loss of the Malay Barrier,

 “the basic defensive position”

 in the Far East. The strategic significance of this loss was enormous. Not only did the Allies lose the resources of the Indies and their lines of communications northward, but they found themselves in a perilous position, split into two areas and threatened by invasion.

The gateway to the Indian Ocean lay open and Australia and India were in dire danger. And the Allies could ill afford to lose the ships, planes, and men that went down in the heroic defense of Malaya, Singapore, and the Indies.

The defeat of ABDACOM was, in a sense,

 the inevitable outcome of Allied weakness.

There was no time to assemble in an area so remote from the sources of supply sufficient aircraft to contest Japanese domination of the air.

Although reinforcements adequate for this task were allocated by the Combined Chiefs of Staff, only a trickle, barely enough to replace losses, reached its destination.

The warships that might have challenged the invaders were engaged in other tasks, and when they were finally organized into a combined striking force it was already too late.

 In the six weeks of its existence

ABDACOM never had a chance to test the validity of General Marshall’s contention that a unified command would “solve nine-tenths of our troubles.”

But important lessons about Allied command could be learned from the disagreements and differences which marked the brief existence of ABDACOM and these were not lost when the time came to establish other commands later in the war.

While the campaign for Java was in progress,

 the Japanese had pushed on to take northern Sumatra and central Burma, thus consolidating their control of the southern area and cutting China off from its Allies.

 From Singapore, ten days after that fortress had fallen,

 came the troops to take northern Sumatra.

With their arrival the defenders of the island fled to Java in time to join the fight there, and eventually to surrender.

Read more

 

                

Amazing Australian: Beryl Stevenson (nee Beryl Spiers and later Beryl Daley) was a young shorthand writer from New South Wales who served as secretary to two British generals in Singapore and Java and later worked for General George Brett in Melbourne and General George Kenney in Brisbane, Port Moresby, Hollandia and the Philippines. She was commissioned as a lieutenant in the United States Army and rose to the rank of major

 

Burma Railway hero Major James ‘Jake’ Jacobs of the 2nd AIF; Lieutenant-Commander Mackenzie Gregory of the RAN (who was on the bridge of HMAS Canberra when she was attacked by the Japanese in the Battle of Savo Island), and Flight Lieutenant Rex T. Barber of the USAAF (the pilot who killed Admiral Yamamoto in mid-air)… just three of the dozens of vivid stories told in Pacific Fury

Next day, March,

 the Exeter was sunk off the coast of Borneo.

Meanwhile the Japanese convoys had come in for the landing. On the way the convoy was attacked by three submarines and the remaining planes of the Allied air force, about ten light bombers and fifteen fighters, and suffered some damage. But the landing was accomplished without serious difficulty, and by morning of the 1st the Japanese were consolidating their positions and rapidly expanding the beachheads

In the meantime were C and D Company split into three marching groups. The Staff Company arrived as first in Sampit on 1st March 1942.

 

March 1942

1942

 

March,1st.1942

On 1 March 1942 at 11.35pm

the Rooseboom was steaming west of Sumatra(Teluk Bayur tahun 1942 masa sebelum pendudukan Jepang)

read the story on next page

On 1 March 1942 at 11.35pm

 the Rooseboom was steaming west of Sumatra when it was spotted by the Japanese submarine I-59 and torpedoed. It capsized and sank rapidly leaving one life boat (designed to hold 28) and 135 people in the water. 80 people were in the lifeboat the rest clung to flotsam or floated in the sea.

Two of these survivors, one of whom was a Corporal Walter Gibson, were picked up nine days later by the Dutch freighter Palopo.

Until the end of the Second World War they were assumed to be the only survivors.

Sadly, Robert Kingshott did not survive and his body was never recovered. The reason that I mention Walter Gibson, is that he wrote an account of his survival which demonstrates the conditions he, and others, endured in the days following the sinking.

 

According to Gibson in and around the lifeboat were an estimated 135 survivors, many with injuries, including Gibson himself who was in the lifeboat due to those injuries. 

 

By the time the boat had drifted for more than 1,000 miles, to ground on a coral reef, less than 100 miles from Padang, Rooseboom’s starting point, only five of its 80 passengers remained alive, and one of those drowned in the surf while trying to land.

 

In Gibson’s account the ordeal that followed the sinking showed the worst of human nature under some of the most extreme conditions. On the first night many of those in the water drowned or gave up. Some twenty men built a raft from flotsam and towed it behind the boat. The raft slowly sank and all twenty perished three days later. In the first few days discipline collapsed men and women went mad with thirst, some drinking sea water which sent them into hallucinations.

Many threw themselves overboard rather than face further suffering, and a gang of five renegade soldiers positioned themselves in the bows and at night systematically pushed the weaker survivors overboard to make the meagre rations go further.

 

 Gibson claims to have organized an attack on the renegades with a group of others who rushed them and pushed them en masse into the sea. Brigadier Paris died, hallucinating before he fell into his final coma.

 

The Dutch captain was killed by one of his own engineers. Towards the end Gibson realized that all who remained alive were himself, another white man, a Chinese girl named Doris Lin (who turned out to be a secret agent for the British) and four Javanese seamen.

 

That night the Javanese attacked the other white man and started to eat him alive. Later the oldest Javanese died.

 

The lifeboat eventually landed on Sipora, an island off Sumatra and only 100 miles from Padang, where the Rooseboom started its journey 30 days earlier.

 

One of the Javanese seaman drowned in the surf whilst the other two disappeared into the jungle and have never been found.

 

After a period of being treated by some of the local population Doris Lin and Gibson were discovered by a Japanese patrol.

 

 Gibson was returned to Padang as a prisoner of war while Lin was shot as a spy soon afterwards. 

 

It is not clear at what point Robert died, but I would hope that his death was quick and as painless as possible.

 

Robert was my 5th cousin once removed

Source:

 Jan Brian Kingshot

Intro Dutch version

 

Netherlands Indies during Japanese occupation


Map: stuwww.uvt.nl

The capitulation of Japan on 15 August 1945 makes an end to what is called the Second World War. This capitulatie was officially commemorated in Holland only in 1970, and only once. Up til then the attention had mostly been aimed at the events in the home country. Only an urn with soil from Indonesia was added in 1950 to the other urns in the monument at the Dam. From 1980 the 15-August commemoration has been held every year and since 1988 there is monument for the Dutch victims of the world war in Asia, the Indies monument in The Hague. The money for it was raised by the victims themselves. Also in other places, like Arnhem-Bronbeek, Roermond, Amstelveen and Den helder monumenten were erected or commemorations held. Finally in 1999 the date of 15 August was recognised as a historical day: the ende of the Second World War. The last erected monument (Bronbeek, 17 August 2004) commemorates the thousands of victims from the Japanese prisoner transports at sea.

Occupation
The Japanese capitulation also made an end to the Japanese occupation of the former Netherlands Indies. After the attack of Japan at the American Navy Basis Pearl Harbor (Hawai) and the American declaration of war (8 December 1941) afterwards, the Japanese warfare extended from China to the Asian areas of British, Americans, Dutch and their allies. Parts of the Indonesian islands were already attacked in January and February 1942. On 27 February the battle of the Java Sea took place: under leadership of the Dutch admiral Karel Doorman the allied fought a desperate battle against the much better equipped and prepared Japanese (see also Surinam, KNIL). On 1 March 1942 the conquest of Java started, on 8 March the colonial authorities capitulated.

The occupation of the Netherlands Indies (by some 300,000 Japanese and Korean military men and civil servants) was welcomed by a part of the native population. The nationalistic part of the elite cooperated with Japan: it would bring independence from the Dutch yoke. Indeed the foundation for an independant country and army (‘Peta’) was layed. Others mistrusted the motives and methods of the Japanese occupation and were less enthousiastic. Especially Moluccans, Manadonese (Sulawesi) and Timorese actively resisted (see story Litamahaputty).


A talisman given by family, friends and acquaintances to a Japanese soldier. It is full of the names, with our without wishes and encouragements, from these people. The large text on the right hand side of the flag says: “In honour of Mr. Tirasaki Hiroharu” and next to it “Keep courage”. Wished to him by Narita Kinjuro, who probably was the initiator. It is very likely Tirasaki Hiroharu has been a camp guard because the flag was taken by an ex-prisoner to Holland – http://www.museumverbindingsdienst.nl/leven3.html

Oppression
The major part of the 70 million inhabitants, ‘the people’, ‘rakyat’, was illiterate, and suffered increasingly under the occupation. Almost all men were put to work, usually a ‘force labourer’, ‘romusha’, or as aid soldier, ‘heiho’. Hundreds of thousands were deported to other parts of the archipel, to New Guinea, Birma, Siam, the Philippines or Japan. Many women were forced to become prostitutes, ‘consolation girls’ (‘yugun ianfu’) for the Japanese soldiers. Farmers were forced to deliver rice. The military police, ‘kempetai’, led a reign of terror in some places. The economic situation worsened. From 1945 there was a acute shortage of food and textiles.

Indonesian consolation girls
During the Japanese occupation of the Netherlands Indies about 20,000 Indonesian, Indo-European and also Dutch women were forced to act as prostitutes (‘Consolation girls’) for the Japanese soldiers. After the war their stories had to be kept secret for too long. Out of shame, out of the sexual charge. Or, in the case of Indonesian women, out of respect, because Japan helped the country to free itself and the independence fighters did not want to face the Japanese atrocities. Photographer Jan Banning (made ‘Sporen van oorlog: overlevenden van de Birma- en de Pakanbaroe-spoorweg’ ['Traces from the war: survivors of the Burma and the Pakanbaroe Railway']) and journalist Hilde Janssen therefore started in 2008 the project ‘Troostmeisjes in Indonesië’ (‘Consolation girls in Indonesia’), a series of portrets, in pictures and in text, of the former forced prostitutes. In Indonesia twenty women are being interviewed extensively (oral history) and photographed. The portraits are recorded in a book and a traveling exposition (source: http://www.v-fonds.nl/pagina_202.html).


Wainem (picture: Jan Banning, text: Hilde Janssen)

Wainem, 1925, Mojogedang – Middle-Java, was taken from her home and forced to prostitution, first a year in Solo and afterwards in Yogyakarta. Together with other women in a hangar she was forced to weave mats and cook food during daytime. Sometimes they were raped on site, but usually soldiers took them to their room at the barracks. “Every week an Indonesian surgeon examinated us for pregnancy, while a Japanese soldier was watching. I never got pregnant during that time.” After the war, together with a group of women, she walked about a hundred kilometers home. “Our people chased the Japanese out with bamboo spears. They grabbed everything we had: our rice, our money, our gold. In the evening when the air-raid alarm went off and we hid ourselves, the Japanese went into our houses and ransacked the place.” She would rather not be reminded of what happened in that hangar. “That is such a long time ago. My son, who wasn’t born yet, already has grandchildren.” (source: http://nos.nl/artikel/152957-niet-mijn-bedoeling-deze-troostmeisjes-als-zielepoten-te-fotograferen.html).

Internment

The majority of the 300,000 Dutch and other Europeans in the colony, whites (‘totoks’) and coloured (‘Indo’s’), saw the Japanese occupation comparable to what the Germans had done in Holland. Some saw though that the colonial was nearing its end or sympathised with the Indonesian strive for independence.

Like the Germans in Surinam and the Netherlands Antilles – often anti-nazi’s and jewish refugees – were imprisoned from May 1940 in internment camps (see there), and like Japanese civilians in the United States from 9 December 1941 were interned, this also happened to a part of the highly educated European top in the western colonies of Asia. Their fate was much worse though. About 16,800 of the 100,000 interned didn’t live to see the end of the Japanese occupation, which is about a sixth of the camps population (see also article Liesker and Slors).

Compared tot the occupied British and French colonies the largest number of civilians were interned in the Netherlands Indies: about 100,000. 35,000 of them were younger than seventeen years. There were separate camps for women, where also the younger children stayed; and there were also boy camps.

Sub-camps for religious

Less known perhaps is there were also sub-camps for religious, as for instance the camp Blitar on East-Java and in camp Kuching in the Maleisian part (Serawak) of Borneo. Below is informatie which concerns camp Kuching.

The attack from the Japanese at Java starts on 1 March 1942. Other islands, like Borneo, are attacked much sooner, in some regions just after the bombing of 8 December 1941 on Pearl Harbour.

From the diary, written in stenography, of friar Bernulfus Bosman from Broeders van Huijbergen:
“19 December 1941. The war starts here (Pontianak (Kalimantan, S.-Borneo)) devestating. While walking on the gallery of the school, we here planes. There’s no air-raid alarm. A bombardment on the Chinese quarters follows. The Dutch-Chinese school receives a direct-hit: the schoolrooms of the youngest are in ruins (the children were already sent home) and among the older students there are 15 dead. In town there are hundreds of victims and big fires. All friars work day and night to offer help. Pontianak becomes a dead town. On 27 January 1943 the Japanese occupy Singkawang (about 100 km north of Pontianak). Two days later it’s Pontianak turn. The friars get house arrest and barbed wire prikkeldraad straight next to the house. We can’t even get into the garden. All the time about four men are on guard. The friars house in Pontianak becomes more and more crowded, because all arrested inland civil servants are brought here. After a couple of months there are over 100 occupants in a friars house that used to be too small to accomodate 15 men.”

Kuching (at that time British Borneo, Serawak)


Camp Kuching (drawing: Broeders van Huijbergen)

In July 1943 the friars from Singkawang and Pontianak (Kalimantan) are housed in a internment camp near Kuching (about 200 km north-east of Singkawang). The camp has almost 3,000 inhabitants, half of them die during the following years. The camp is devided into 10 sections, one of them a section of about 100 religious (also missionaries). The sisters and nuns are, not seperately, housed in the womens section. The camp inhabitants have to work hard: they have to enlarge the airfield and build roads, during which there’s more and more shortage of food. Especially in 1945 many of the prisoners die of exhaustion, dysentery and hunger oedema.


Camp Kuching with waving men just before the liberation (picture: Broeders van Huijbergen)

On 25 March 1945 a first sign of hope: during mass high up in the air two shining American bombers fly over the camp. Everyone runs for the trenches but the bombers drop pamphlets. But camp life in Kuching still continues for almost half a year. On 11 September 1945 the survivors are liberated. Next the survivors can recover for some months on the island of Labuan at the coast of Brunei. The friars camp on the beach, 10 meters from the sea. The ones who suffered most, are in a field hospital to regain strength.
Already in December 1945 the School of Economics in Pontianak reopens (thanks to the help of many ex-students) and in January primary school starts again.

The story of friar Angelus van der Zanden about his experiences during the war in the prison in Kediri, the men’s camp Tjimahi and the camp Blitar (Java) is elsewhere on this website.

1 dead, 1 damaged
Eventually in 1946 friar Claudius Sommen still dies of dysentery because of the hardships in the camp. Friar Ireneus van de Avoird had a hard time during the rest of his life as resulte of the inhuman treatments he was given because he always stood out for his fellow-friars in the camp.

After 15 August 1945
After the liberation from the Japanese occupation the colonial Netherlands Indies heads for its down fall. The battle for independence is mainly fought on Java. The Broeders van Huijbergen on southern Borneo hardly notice anything. After the transfer of sovereignty in 1949 new rules apply. The official language becomes Bahasa Indonesia and other school books arrive. Finally the friars have to choose in December 1951 whether they want to have the Indonesian nationality. The ones who want to stay Dutch citizens, won’t formally be able to teach after 1960. The bishop of Pontianak advises all religious to ‘adapt to the people’, but gives everyone freedom of choice. Eventually half of the Broeders van Huijbergen accept Indonesian citizenship.

 

 

Note: The congregation of the Broeders van Huijbergen
The congregation of the ‘De Broeders van Huijbergen’ was founded in 1854 in the Brabant village of Huijbergen (Netherlands). From 1888 the emphasis was on ‘good education’ and within a few years friar primary and secondary schools appeared. Already in 1892 a private teacher college was founded.
In 1921 the first friars left for the Netherlands-Indies, the emphasis of the mission again with education. In Indonesië there are still (2006) friars in 8 towns: Singkawang (Serawak), Pontianak (Serawak), Pati (Java), Yogyakarta (2 – Java), Kuala Dua (Kalimantan), Sekadau (Kalimantan) and Putussibau (Kalimantan). Closed are: Bandjarmasin (Kalimantan), Blitar (Java), Kudus (Java), Njarumkop (Serawak) and Sanggau (Kalimantan).

Sources

  • ·  Huijbergen and the far ends on earth – The Broeders van Huijbergen 1854-2004, Rob Wolf, private publishing by the Broeders van Huijbergen 2004
  • ·  The Broeders van Huijbergen working for half a century in Indonesia – 1920-1970, private publication by the Broeders van Huijbergen 1970.
    Marja Eijkhoudt

 

 

Continuation Internment

In the beginning the camps were enclosed town parts. Also about 160,000 civilians from Holland or elsewhere in Europe stayed outside the internment camps. Their life also wasn’t free of hunger, humiliation and oppression. European women also were forced to work as ‘consolation girls’ for the Japanese and Korean troops. Men usually were, as prisoner of war, interned.

Thousands of men were forced to work in Sumatra (‘Pakan Baroe’) and Birma/Siam (‘River Kwai’) to build the railways through the jungle. 3,000 Dutch lost their lives during this forced labour at the Birmese railway, 1,000 in Sumatra. Many thousands romusha’s also lost their lives.

42,000 colonial military men and women, white and coloured Dutch, Surinams, Moluccans and others were imprisoned as prisoners of war in the Netherlands Indies (20,000 British civilians and 50,000 prisoners of war on the Maleisian peninsula, 27,000 French in Indochina). From the occupied regions in East-Asia in total 68,000 prisoners of war and civilians were transported by ships to other parts of the Japanese Imperium, to China, Taiwan and Japan, some to Nagasaki (see speech Han Bawits and memories by Ronald Scholte in Stories). During the transports at sea thousands lost their lives by lack of air and food, and especially by attacks from the allies. The ships also carried weapons and couldn’t be recognised from the air as prisoner transports. An notorious transport was that of the Junyo Maru. All fifteen ‘hell ships’ had a name ending on Maru.

On 16 September 1944 the Japanese ship Junyo Maru with over 6,000 passengers left Tandung Priok, Java. 4,200 of them were Javan forced labourers, ‘romusha’. The others were Dutch, Surinam, British, Australian and American prisoners of war. On 18 September British submarine HMS Tradewind torpedoed the ship. It sunk and only 880 persons survived. It would turn out to be the third biggest shipping disaster ever. Among the drowned were about 1,000 KNIL-men, four of them from Surinam. The major part of the survivors were put to work at the ‘death railway’ on Sumatra.

Most memories of the Japanese occupation of the Netherlands Indies have been written down by civilians from the internment camps. There were kept, despite the prohibition, many diaries, as for instance the camp notes of prof. dr. I.J. Brugmans.

Sources:
Images of the Japanese occupation of Indonesia. Personal testimonies and public conceptualizing in Indonesia, Japan and the Netherlands. Editor: Remco Raben Waanders-NIOD 1999.

Information Broeders van Huijbergen, prior friar Eduard Quint

Data private collection John T.S. Brouwer de Koning version 5.3

http://www.go2war2.nl
http://www.cofepow.org.uk/remembrance

Pictures: http://www.museumverbindingsdienst.nl/leven3


15 August and the war in South-East Asia
 Commemoration 15 August 1945 FoundationWhy commemoration on 15 August?

The 5th of May is the day for the annual official commemoration of the liberation from the German oppression. But when the Germans capitulated on 5 May 1945, the Japanese oppression in the former Netherlands Indies still weighed heavily upon all the people living there. To the Dutch from this former Indies therefore the date of capitulation of Japan, the 15th of August 1945, and with it the actual end of the Second World War, is the turning point in their history.

Unlike in Holland, the date on which the oppressor capitulated brought no liberation. When Japan surrendered, no allied forces were in the Netherlands Indies yet. The Japanese soldiers weren’t allowed to strive for the Japanese goals anymore, but were ordered to keep rest and peace until the allied forces could take over.
But two days after the capitulation of Japan, an influential group of Indonesians decided to declare the independace of the Republic of Indonesia, independence from Holland and independance from Japan. As a result of this the Indonesian forces tried to do everything possible to lay their hands on the weapons of the Japanese army, in order to prevent the Dutch to return to their former power over the colony; the start of the independance war was a fact and went hand in hand with terrible violence.

So, for the Dutch in the former Indies the 15th of August 1945 didn’t bring liberation, in fact it marks the date of the beginning of the definitive end of the Netherlands Indies they’d grown up in, lived in, worked in and suffered in during the war. Many of them blamed – and still sometimes blamed – the Japanese for the loss of their home country.
Every day the 15th of August is the day on which all these far-reaching events for the Dutch in South-East Asia and the people who died because of this, is commemorated.

With the capitulation on 8 March 1942 the Japanese army on Java made almost 90,000 prisoners of war: 67,000 KNIL-military men and women and almost 22,000 British, Australians and Americans. From the KNIL-men 9,200 escaped and 15,000 local people were recruited al Heiho aid-soldier to the Japanese army. Eventually almost 43,000 men were imprisoned, among them almost 5,000 local military men who stayed loyal to the Netherlands Indies.
The circumstances under which thes prisoners of war were put to work were, as well as for the housing in the camps as for food and health care appalling. There also was a reign of terror in the camps, where a persons life didn’t count as much. From 8 March 1942 until 15 August 1945 about 8,500 KNIL prisoners from the Netherlands Indies died (3,100 at the Birma-railway; 1,000 at the Pakan Baroe-railway; 3,100 at the torpedoeing of the prisoner ships – just only the sinking of the Junyo Maru cost 1,600 prisoners their lives plus about 4,000 Indonesische romusha’s – , 600 at the building of airfields etc. and 700 in the camps in Japan). From the Dutch, Britisch and American prisoners of war one in four or five didn’t live to see the end of the war.

Between mid 1942 and the end of 1943 gradually also all Dutch civilians were interned. Also the Indo-Europeans, who’s ancestors were whites for more than 50%, had to share this fate. In fact the Japanese wanted to make the Dutch ‘invisable’ for the native population by interning them. In total they were about 100,000 people, 33,000 men and boys, 67,000 women and children. The age limit for internment of boys in men or boys camps gradually sunk from 15 years to 10 years (see also poem of Govert Huyser – it didn’t happen everywhere because in some camps mothers successfully resisted. Also the transport from girls to brothels was successfully blocked in some cases by mothers. Still in early 1944 girls were transported to brothels).

In the beginning many internments camps were only strictly shielded parts in town; in 1944 the occupants of a few hundred areas were concentrated and crammed into some crowded barrack-camps. During the years of war also food supplies and hygiene worsened. Also the brute attitude of the Japanese and their accomplices (Koreans and Indonesian aid soldiers or Heiho’s) provided an atmosphere of constant fear.
At the end of the war it turned out about 16,800 civilians died, comparatively more men than women and children.

For those with Indonesian blood who could stay outside the camps, the situation often was evenly precarious. Because of the breadwinner usually being interned as prisoner of war, many families were deprived of an income and the women had to find out for themselves how to make a living. Also they were subject to the arbitrariness of the Japanese masters, among it forced prostitution.

The mutual misunderstanding of each others cultures had in many situations devestating effects. The compulsary bowing equalled the compulsary greating in the army and wasn’t meant as nagging. In the Japanse army hitting, heavy physical punishment and even putting to death, were normal rules of discipline. In the eyes of the occupier beating up was a humane punishment, and jailing a bigger disgrace because it caused more loss of face. When you had to be put to death decapitation was more honourable than a bullet which was more honourable than bayonetting.

The ‘humane’ punisment of beating and flogging could happen to anyone, any Japanese could do this to someone. It could also happen to an innocent person: if the ‘guilty’ person wasn’t found, soon someone else was caught or an entire group was punished. For the prisoners of war these punishments were already hard to swallow, but for the women, young boys and girls and old men this was almost even more horrific. Many of them suffered from psychological damage. The recovery from it – if possible – still went on many years after the war.

A systematical resistance was almost out of the question. But there have been small groups everywhere who manly tried manhaftig to give the Japanese a hard time. Because the Japanese were convinced – wrongly – that behind the resistance was a strict organisation with a strategic plan, they tried everything to eliminate this resistance. Many of these groups have been rounded up by the Japanese military police, the Kempei Tai, and the persons involved had, during their ‘interrogation’, endure the most gruesome torturing.
Almost none survived. Also many innocent lost their lives this way, especially on Sumatra and Borneo. One of the reasons why the resistance and guerilla units often didn’t stand a chance, was the passive attitude from the native popluation. Part of this population welcomed the new authority, especially in the beginning. The sympathie of the population for the Japanese gradually declined though, especially from 1944, but the Kempei Tai had established a cunning ‘blabbing’ systeem which left the population no way to go.

Political developments outside the camps

Shortly after the capitulation of the KNIL here and there an Indonesian flag waved and the national anthem was sung. But already on 20 March 1942 these expressions were prohibited by the occupier. The striving for autonomy for Indonesia was smothered professionally. The recruiting and training of Indonesians for the Heiho aid-army and the PETA volunteer-corps was, as seen by the Japanese, exclusively meant to support the Japanese war efforts.
It wasn’t anymore ‘Asia for the Asians’, but ‘Japan the light, the protector and the leader of Asia’. The founding of many sorts of federations was ordered: for all Moslems, all Chinese, Arabs, and also for the (yet) free Indo-Europeans. Also there were federations for all sugar factories, shop owners, merchants, journalists, doctors and chemists.

Rice distribution was introduced and the exclusive sale of agricultural products to Japan. Private estates were expropriated and controlled. Prices, salaries and rents were lowered and frozen. All schools were requisited.

In 1942 the Keibodan (aid police)was established, the Barisan Pemoeda Asia Raya (great-Asian youth corps), which later fused into the Seinendan (military youth movement). Als the Tonarikumi system was introduced for sectioning the kampongs and dessa’s in an Aza (or neighbourhood). This way the Japanese influence could penetrate deep into society.

Prominent Indonesians were ordered in December 1942 to design an umbrella organisation the ‘Poetera’ (Poesat Tenaga Rakjat, or center of the peoples strength) to bundle to peoples activities and cooperate with Japan. This umbrella organisation at first was exclusively meant for Indonesians and had an Indonesian signature; a year later it would be transformed in an organisation of Japanese design: the Djawa Hokukai (National Peoples Movement).
Many odd jobs for Japan were carried out by the organisation. Recruitment for PETA, Heiho, Keibodan and Seinendan (army, aid militia, aid police and youth) were forced by the Tonarikumi system; indicating for romusha forced labour was intensified, actions against non-loyal Indonesion Dutch started. Also compulsary rice supplies were enforced, harvesting and forced cultivation were supervised; the Seinendan searched for hidden food supplies. The cultivation of Djarak-plants (an oily ricine-plant) was compulsary for the production of motor oil for the Japanese planes. In 1944 a compulsary saving action started, Indonesians with a saving account book had to hand over their credits.
The recruitment of romusha’s took place at an unprecedented scale. Most of them were forced to work on Java and Sumatra for the building of airfields and railways. Also for the cole mines in Borneo, the nickel production in Celebes and for airfields in New-Guinea. The romusha’s had to work under appalling circumstances (even worse than the prisoners of war who were forced labourers) and died by the sackful. According to Indonesian estimates from 1951 during the war some millions of romusha’s have been deported and many hundreds of thousands died.

Despite the many meetings from a large number of organisations from the Djawa Hokukai economy worsened. After the internment of the Europeans and the increasing Japanese forced regulations cultures dwindled, and public health worsened. The prices in 1944 during the Japanese occupation were a sixfold of the prices in 1938 under the Netherlands Indies Gouvernement. Rice rations already were lowered and food riots started. There was no more clothing available. Gold, silver and jewelry had to be handed over. Car tires and oil were only available to the army and the authorities.
In July 1944 48 Heiho’s were shot because of objection to labour, and also at the end of 1944 still some executions were carried out. In January 1945 a revolt started in Blitar among the PETA; during the fights 68 Indonesian military died. The population of rich Indonesia were weighed down during the last year of war by an enormous shortage of rice and other necessities, like textile and fuel. There was openly criticism on the tyranny of the occupator, its inhuman treatment of the romusha’s. This could happen most of all because more and more information seeped through which indicated a lost war.
Early 1945 Japan proposed to replace the Hokukai by the organisation Angkatan Baroe: the New Conscription; in May 1945 the first serious actions were undertaken with a promise of premier Koiso of September 1944 (eight months before!) for more independence. The red-white flag was allowed, the name Indonesia was introduced, commissions made proposals and organisations prepared for the national cause.

The war scene, the capitulation, but no peace

While the Japanese were lord and master of the Indies Archipel, the fights with the allies, and specifically with the Americans, happened on the edges of the archipel. Because the advance of the Japanese to the south in May and June 1942 already stagnated by respectively the lost battle in the Coral Sea and the battel of Midway, and this news was known in the internment camps through illegal radio’s, the prisoners had the idea the war would soon be over. They couldn’t be wrong more.
The Japanese defended the conquered territories with everything possible at the cost of enormous losses, also on American side. Therefore the American supreme command decided not to liberate the Indies first, but to push through via two attack routes as quickly as possible to Japan itself. The western route went along the Phippines, the eastern route along the islands in the Pacific. Small islands became of enormous strategical importance because they could produce airfields from which bombers could shell the next target and finally Japan.

One of these islands, the notorious island of Iwo Jima (from the picture where 5 marines planted the American flag) was conquered in four weeks on the Japanese occupiers, during which the entire Japanese forces of 22,000 men fought till their death and the Americans mourned for almost 7,000 dead and 19,000 wounded. These incredible huge losses, which also happened during the conquering of New Guinea and the Philippines made the American supreme command realize that an invasion of Japan itself would be a massacre never seen before. When at that moment the first atomic bombs were operationally available, it was decided to deplore the weapon. Thus on 6 and 9 August 1945 the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were razed to the ground. The number of victims at that time (and also later as a result of radiation) is many times less than the number of victims that would have fallen during an invasion. Also Dutch prisoners of war fell victim. Ronald Scholte (1924) survived the attack on Nagasaki (see Verhalen).
The shockeffect was so that the Japanese emperor, against the will of the army, decided on 15 August 1945 to capitulate.

 

For many people in the internment camps, but also for those who weren’t interned, the capitulation was just in time. The health situation was that bad (dysenty, malaria, hunger-oedema), the number of dead would have been considerably larger if the war had continued for a couple of months.

Because of the interned being cut off from the outside world during the years of war, they weren’t able to observe nationalism in Indonesia had taken root in large parts of the population. When the Dutch, after the capitulation of Japan, believed to continue their lives frome before the war, they were confronted with the fact that on 17 August 1945 the Indonesian nationalists Soekarno and Hatta had proclaimed the independant republic of Indonesia.

Thereupon Indonesian forces (‘Pelopors’ or front fighters) came into action, who set out to murder the Dutch and their Indo-European ‘followers’, in such a way the colonial gouvernment couldn’t be restored. In this bitter, confusing and bloddy period, the ‘bersiap’ (‘bersiap’ is the Indonesian command ‘attention’), meanwhile the here and there landed English and Ghurka’s tried – together with the Japanese – to protect the Dutch and evacuate them. In the cities Bandoeng and Semarang it even were the local Japanese commandanders (respectively general Mabuchi and major Kido) who effectively protected the Dutch against the Indonesian forces, despite the fact they were in favour of independance.
Many Indo-Europeans and Chinese, who stayed during the war outside the camps, were now interned by the Indonesian police to protect them against those forces who wanted to butcher them together with the Dutch.

Though the Dutch gouvernment end 1945 had returned to Batavia (Jakarta) and some parts of the country were functioning under Dutch administration again, the Indonesian ‘gouvernment to be’ was in command in many regions.
Holland didn’t as yet want to face reality, that Indonesia had become an independant state. Despite the fact the Dutch had just been going through many years of war and oppression, a force of 100,000 men was sent to the Netherlands Indies. [Ed.: At the moment the number is considered to have been 150,000, also mentioned in the tv documentary ‘Nederland valt aan!’ (The Netherlands charge), of 21 July 2012.
After many failed negotiations and two military actions (the so-called ‘Policing Actions’ of July 1947 and December 1948), which were forced to stop within ten days because of external international pressure, Holland recognized in 1949 the legitimate existence of the Republiek of Indonesia. In December of the same year authority was handed over, and came an end to 350 years of Dutch involvement in the Indonesian archipel.

A huge stream of repatriants from Indonesia to Holland was the result. The at that time common word ‘repatriant’ though passed over the fact that many of them never had set foot on Dutch soil and that the arrival in Holland and the ‘loss of the Indies’ brought about emotional shocks, from which many of them never completely recovered. Many of the repatriated had to overcome many problems in finding a new way of living, for their stories about what they had went through was no attention and when applying for job they often met explicit, unreasonable distrust.
And than there were the Moluccans and the Indo’s who, after fifteen years of uncertainty about their existance, still had to take refuge in a cold country which they knew only from stories.

And finally the youngest, who felt lost for years in an incomprehensible and indistinct whirlpool; who didn’t know safety in their youth, but only uncertainty and fear and who often carried this shortage for many years with them.
In another way such shock awaited also the military men and women of the KNIL and the Royal Forces, who did their duty for Gouvernment and Queen, and were treated during the following years many times on emotional and often injust criticism on their ‘dirty’ war.

Therefore the commemoration on the 15th of August has its own comprehensive meaning to the Dutch-Indies community in Holland, a meaning which never can be replaced by the commemoration on 4 and 5 May.

Text: Hans Liesker and Peter Slors
Commemoration 15 August 1945 Foundation

Netherlands Indies (gays)A still fairly unknown chapter is the position of gays in the Netherlands Indies in the thirties and fourties of the 20th century. Marieke Bloembergen published about them in ‘De geschiedenis van de politie in Nederlands-Indië. Uit zorg en angst.’ (The history of the police in the Netherlands Indies. By concern and fear. (Boom/KITLV, November 2009). A black period was the raid on gays of the colonial elite between November 1938 and January 1939. The raid was hatched by the Javabode, the main editor being a sympathizer of the NSB (Dutch national socialist movement), and the Christelijke Staatspartij (Christian State Party). Also the Resident of Batavia and the Head of Police, Fievez de Mailines van Ginkel, was a victim. The most famous of the 223 arrested lived on Bali. He was the renowned German artist Walter Spies.Walter Spies
After his arrival on Bali (1927), the Russian born, versatile German painter and artist Walter Spies (1895-1942) became the center of a ‘Artisten Coöperatie’ (artists cooperative) named Pita Maha. The cooperative comprised Balinese artists. Spies had international fame and was visitied on Bali by celebrities like Charley Chaplin, the cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead, the writer Vicky Baum and the film-maker Von Lessen. The last three produced important works on Bali.

Walter Spies (picture: adhidharma.net)

In December 1938 Spies was arrested because of the ‘unbridled sensuality’ in the group he was the center of. His arrest was part of a witch hunt against gays (or suspected gays) in the Netherlands Indies. The Resident of Batavia and Head of Police, Feviez de Malines van Ginkel and many other leading figures were run in. The hunt was an echo of the Ries-affair in the Netherlands. The Jewish senior executive L.A. Ries, was in 1936 falsely accused of sexual acts with a minor (under 21) and had to resign. The affair fitted within the political conservative climate of the depression, during which time nazi Germany was a threat and inspiration. Also in the Indies there was a depression and a threat of war from vanuit Japan.
In his prison cell Walter Spies was allowed to continue painting and compared his emprisonment with the shaking of fluids ‘before use’. Balinese friends organised a gamelan concert near the prison. In his cell in Surabaya he painted one of his best works: ‘The landscape and its children’. After eight months he was released. A second arrest followed in May 1940, but for other reasons. Spies was a German and, from the occupation of the colonial motherland on, belonged to a enemy nation. He was interned in camp Ngawi on East Java and in camp Kotatjane on Sumatra. This time he wasn’t released. Also he wasn’t allowed to have his painting gear brought over from Bali.

SS Van Imhoff (picture: photoship.co.uk)

Because of the Japanese threat early 1942, together with probably 477 other German prisoners, he was transported on the ss Van Imhoff (KPM) to the British Indies. On 19 January, a day after departure, the ship was attacked by a Japanese bomber aircraft, not far from the island of Nias near West Sumatra. The captain didn’t want to free the interned just like that. Together with the crew, the soldiers and guards, about 140 men, they left the vessel in the available rescue boats and abandoned the prisoners who were in an enclosure with barbed wire in the hold. Only in the very end they were handed out a few wire-cutters. About half of them were able to rescue themselves from the slowly sinking vessel. A surviver, J. Grashoff, saw the boats waiting at a distance of about 500 metres, with a lot of space left in them. A Dutch ship which had responded to the distress signal of the Van Imhoff didn’t offer any help when they found out they were German. Of the interned who were able to flee from the ship, a group of 67 arrived after five days on the island of Nas. Walter Spies belonged to the approximately 411 Germans who died with the sinking of the Van Imhoff or in the days afterwards. A Dutch crime of war?
Works by Walter Spies can be seen on Bali in the Agung Rai Museum of Art (ARMA) and the Rautenstrauch-Joest Museum in Cologne, Where also the Walter Spies Society is established.

Sources:
http://www.nos.nl/nosjournaal/artikelen/2009/11/14/141109_jacht_op_homos_indie.html
– NOS-documentaire uit 1981 over Walter Spies: Schoonheid en Rijkdom
http://www.walterspies.com/walter_spies_biography.html
http://www.adidharma.net/features/walterspies.jpg
– en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Spies
– users.skynet.be/network.indonesia/bart003.htm
http://www.nrcboeken.nl/recensie/rederij-koninklijke-paketvaart-maatschappij-wel-en-wee-van-een-indische-rederij-door-a-j-j-
http://www.volkskrant.nl/archief_gratis/article624087.ece/Wie_was_mr_L.A._Ries
http://www.nieuwsdossier.nl/dossier/1941-01-19 [wrong year]
– Ad van Liempt, De Oorlog. Drama’s in de Indische archipel. Volkskrant 5 dec. 2009

Speech by dr. Bernard Bot,
minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of The Netherlands15 August commemoration at the Indies Monument, The Hague, 15 August 2005Picture: http://www.minbuza.nl

Dear attendance, ladies and gentlemen,

I’m grateful to have been given the opportunity by the Foundation Commemoration 15 August 1945 for making today this memorial speech. To me, as the minister of Foreign Affairs en representative of the gouvernement, it’s a honourable task. But, like many of you, I’m also here as a child of the Indies. Just as with you this commemoration brings to me feelings and emotions, surface today positive as well as negative memories to Indonesia, 5 time zones and 14,000 kilometers away from this place, but emotionally so near. They are the memories you’ll carry the rest of your life, but who don’t have to interfer with an optimistic and forward looking attitude to life. After all, commemorating is, besides remembring, also looking forward.

First the past: with the capitulation of Japan, exactly 60 years ago, there also came an end to the Japanese occupation of the Netherlands Indies, an occupation which brought grief to so many of us. We remember the members in our families and our friends who gave their lives of died during the Japanese occupation. We also remember the countless forced labourers, the Romusha’s, who often died nameless.

After the capitulation the suffering, contrary to what was so dearly hoped for, wasn’t over yet. Right after the capitulation a vacuum of power existed which could only partially be filled by the British. During this so-called Bersiap period many thousands of innocent Dutch-Indies and Indonesian civilians, mostly women and children, lost their lives.

In the years after a painful, lenghty and violent separation of roads between Indonesia and Holland followed. For a great part of the Dutch-Indies community we thus speak about many years of physical and psychological suffering.

For myself, I look back on my time in the camp Tjideng with mixed feelings. Perhaps as a child you’re less quickly touched by the sorrow and the hardships around you, perhaps you take things more easily. But you also grow up very fast. A stay in an orphanage, when my mother was hospitalized, made me streetwise very early.

Probably that’s why this period is still so sharp and vivid in my memory. I vividly remember the internment, the departure of my father to Birma, the koempoelans in the morning and in the evening, the hours of waiting and afterwards the bow for camp commander Soni. I also know you died a thousand deaths when you couldn’t attend the koempoelan because you were ill, because the Japanese could find out with a check. The memory of the hunger is something that, I believe, with my generation lives on strongly in the sense that you won’t throw away easily anything that is still a bit edible.

A small anecdote. We were forced to maintain some allotments supposedly to grow some vegetables. I was ordered to help in a tomato bed. I was very dissapointed when some morning almost ripe tomatoes had dissapeared.

I suspected the boy next door of this evil deed and decided to retalliate. Only, his tomatoes were all still unripe and green. I still ate them which I repented afterwards. It’s wasn’t for long when I felt sick to death and had to confess to my mother what I had done. “Boy”, she said, “you’ll always get what you deserve”.

A lot is written again about the Japanese capitulation. Ofcourse it’s terrible what happened in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. But I also know that war couldn’t have gone on for a bit longer, otherwise we wouldn’t have survived this camp. And for sure my father wouldn’t have returned from Birma and Siam. To me therefor, 15 August is a day with a special meaning.

The liberation, the return of my father, who I didn’t recognise ofcourse when we first met again, the return to Hoalland, are likewise uneraseble memories I’d like to share with you today. The welcome in Holland was something of a cold shower. And I don’t say this because of the cold climate I went to. It was hard to explain what we had gone through. The regular reaction was, that with us in the Indies, at least the sun had been shining, while they suffered from cold during the hunger winter. In shor, nobody in Holland was waiting for that group of Dutch from the Indies. Soon you learned not to talk to much about your experiences, but listen with sympathy to the stories about the war in Holand, the Germans and the destruction camps.
Maybe that’s the reason why we were able to integrate so well and so quickly in Dutch society. Maybe therefore we quickly stuck plasters on all those wounds and picked up our lives. And ofcourse there also were reasons to be grateful. We had survived and at least found a new home. Personally therefore, I’m grateful to stand in front of you, that I like so many of you endured this period well, and have shown you can come out of this ordeal even stronger.

(Living history)
Sixty years, ladies and gentlemen. The distance in time between today and the events in the past is growing all the time. And doesn’t this bring the risk of oblivion, like Mr. Boekholt pointed out two years ago on this occasion? I hope and trust this won’t happen. I think future generations will stay interested in the common past ot The Netherlands and Indonesia. I think our youth is willing to adopt this history, like the students from the Liberal Christian High School adopted the Indies monument and like so many other schools for instance maintain the militairy cemetaries. But to convincingly cherish the history, the past and the knowledge about that past also must be relevant today and in the future for our youngsters.

Winston Churchill once said it like this: the further one is able to look back, the further one is able to see in the future. Indeed: historical knowledge isn’t a superfluous luxury, but the condition for a clear view on the future. And this certainly meant for the relation between Holland and Indonesia. When the Dutch will come in contact with Indonesia and Indonesians, in whatever way, they’ll have to know something about the history of this country, and therefore also about centuries of shared Indonesian-Dutch history. Dutch people, who think they can succesfully go into business or diplomatic channels in Indonesia, without knowing anything about the history, usually come away with a flea in their ear.

When a society wants to meet the future with faith and optimism, it must be prepared to be honoust about the less favourable sides of its own history. Certainly in a time when we in Holland – at work, in the sports cantine and at school – want to bridge the diverse ethnic an religious communities in our country. In the context of this commemoration it means that we dare admit that even after the introduction of the so-called ethical politics the interests of the Indonesian population for most Dutch was at best a second degree item.

Working on a mutual future. That shouldn’t only be the motto within our own society, but als in the relation between Holland and Indonesia. The challenges we have to take up are manyfold, like the battle against intolerance, extremism and terrorism.

Indonesia is important. It’s a driving force behind regional cooperation in South-East Asia. As a secular state Indonesia houses more moslims than any other country in the world, but it’s also the guard of centuries of budhist, hinduist and christian traditions. As such Indonesia has a say in the dialogue between the cultures. During the Dutch chairmanship of the European Union last year therefore, we’ve payed a lot of attention to intensifying the connections with Indonesia.

(Message to Jakarta)
Ladies and gentlemen, to further intensify the relation between Indonesia and Holland, it’s helpful to remove whatever is left of old sores, as far as it’s within our power. Therefore, as representative of our country and as representative of the generation who experienced the pain of the separation, I’ll take a plain today, travel through those five time zones and cover these 28,000 kilometers. On the 17th of August then, I will represent our country at the Indonesian celebration of the proclamation of independence on the 17th of August 1945. I will explain to the Indonesian people that my presence can be seen as a political and moral acceptation of that date.

But what really matters now is that we clearly show the Indonesians our opinion. Already for decades Dutch representatives join the celebrations of the Indonesian independence on 17 August. With the support of the Cabinet I’ll clearly explain to the Indonesians that Holland realizes the independence of the Republic of Indonesia already started on 17 August 1945 and that we – sixty years to date – genrously accept this fact in a political and moral sense.

Acceptance in a moral sense also means that I will join the former expressions of regret about the painful and violent separation of Indonesia and The Netherlands. Almost sixthousand Dutch militairy lost their lives in this battle, many lost limbs, or became victim of psychological traumas, for which, again, was only little interest in Holland.

By the large scale deployment of militairy resources, our country ended up on the wrong side of history so to speak. This is especially wry for all people involved: for the Dutch-Indies community, for the Dutch militairy, but first of all for the Indonesian population.

Ladies and gentlemen, only when we stand on the top of the mountain, we’re able to see the simplest and shortest way up. This also goes for the people who were involved in taking decisions in the fourties.

Only in hindsight it’s clear the separation between Indonesian and Holland took far too long and was achieved by much more militairy force than needed.

This is the message I’ll take with me to. I also fiercely hope for the understanding and the support of the Indonesian community, the Moluccan community in Holland and the veterans of the policing actions.

After all, to keep our mutual history alive, we also need a mutual perspective on our future. Working together for a healthy and safe futer, and for the good relation with Indonesia, will help us to bear even the most painful aspects of our past.

I thank you for you attention.

Sources: http://www.pelita.nl, http://www.sh15aug1945.nl and Ministery of Foreign Affairs

Commemoration speech by prof. dr. B. Smalhout
The Hague, 15 August 2004Picture: http://www.meervrijheid.beToday it’s exactly 59 years ago the Japanese empire surrendered to the allies. Only at that day came an eind to the Second World War. This war had been so terrible that even today some generations still suffer from the physical but especially also psychological damage they sustained between 1942 and 1945.

In our country there are two groups of people were the sorrow never wears off. That is the relatively small group of jewish civilians who survived the holocaust. They are less than ± 30,000. Over 80% of our jewish population has been murdered by the Germans.
The second group comprises of you, the Dutch-Indies people. You spent an important part of your lives in our former Netherlands East Indies. By much of the progressive media you have been blamed for almost 60 years, having cooperated with a colonial system which, seen in the light of todays views, would be objectionable.
But they forget most of you loved the former Indies as their second homeland. What Holland achieved in that tropical archipal over 300 years, can still be named with honour. Holland led the foundation, in that giant country which embraces over 1/8 of the earths circomference, for what is now the republic of Indonesia.

It is amazing at that time we governed that huge area which already had ± 70 million inhabitants, and developed with a comparatively smaal group of Dutch working there. A group which was seldom larger than 300,000 people! Schools were established, education was stimulated and hospitals were built. An excellent legal system was introduced, in which specific Indies traditions were considered, the so-called ‘Adat’.
In Holland at universities there were professorships for Indies law, tropical medicine, tropical agriculture and Indology. Scientists and doctors managed to fight diseases as smallpox, cholera, pest, typhus, beri-beri, dysentery, malaria andn lepra in that enormous archipel. They saved the lives of millions. Even nowadays, almost 60 years after Holland left Indonesia for good, Indonesion law is still partly founded on the work of Dutch jurists. And prominent Indonesians still send their children for a higher education to Dutch universities.

Ofcourse in todays light a colonial system can’t be justified anymore. But it is something we never can blame the Dutch for who worked in the Indies. Not even a hundred years ago opinions about this were completely different. Still after-war left-progressive views led to a taboo on the concept of ‘Netherlands Indies’. And this is one of the causes the Dutch-Indies community is continuously frustrated by. The reception in Holland at your repatriation after the war was very cool, almost hostile. For many of the completely broke old-Indies people there was hardly human relief. After years in Japanese camps or horrible forced labour in the entire Far East, there was no money for you, no pay of back salary, hardly any clothes, hardly any housing en hardly any compensation.

And also with it is many of you hadn’t been terrorised solely by the Japanese, but after the liberation on 15 August 1945 as wel by the so-called ‘freedom fighters’, the pemoeda’s of Soekarno. That was the notorious bersiap-period. The frustration stayed. Because you as an Indies community bore a different culture. Achievements like discipline, good manners, courtesy, politeness, traditions, loyality, respect for and loyalty to the royal house can be found more with you than with the Dutch who don’t have an Indies past. This all led to a feeling of not always being exepted. Or in the worst case pure discrimination. In our strongly devaluated education nothing is told anymore about the 300 years of Netherlands-Indies history. Even the word ‘national history’ is banned. That was, according to our pink-red education experts too nationalistic, too authoritarian and therefore objectionable.

It was also very frustrating the Indies community had to wait over 55 years before our governement allowed to commemorate the 14th and 15th of August as official remembrance days. The same left policy is also the cause why the old KNIL military men and women never received their back salary from the years they were imprisoned. And also that one of the greatest heroes of war, the KNIL-officer Jack Boer never received consideration for a fitting Military Willems Order. In November 1945 he liberated from the Werfstreet prison in Surabaja 2,384 Dutch civilians who were imprisoned by the pemoeda’s from Soekarno to be murdered massively. Jack Boer conquered the heavily guarded prison with the help of only 10 British-Indies Gurka’s and one old Stuart tank. He saved with it almost two and a half thousand Dutch lives. Jack Boer died in 1993, but his widow is still alive. But until now not even a posthumous decoration can be given.

This is why many of you aren’t able to share your experiences with your children and grandchildren. They often hardly know what it’s all about. And they even often don’t want to hear it. They think it’s moaning about what used to be. Because your stories are about a time and a country they can’t imagine, because of seriously lacking any historical insight. In my archives are heartbreaking letters from old-Indies people who have, already only because of this, a disturbed relation with their offspring. The consequence is these people often timidly block their past and never want to talk about it again. The same phenomenon can be seen with jewish people who survived the holocaust. They feel their experiences arte too terrible to speak about or they are afraid others might not believe them.

Also there’s in Holland the completely wrongly belief that the past should be left alone by now. That one can’t live with what’s gone. That one should only keep an eye on the future and forget about the rest. That is the most stupid thing to do. Because we’re all products from history. One can’t build a meaningful future without knowing about the past and taking lessons from it. Therefore knowingly disregarding the subject historiy on schools, what has happen for almost thirty years, is a crime to our younger generation.
Only by knowing what has happened, one can learn to think critical. For example about the sociological riddle that highly developed cultures, nations, like the Germans and the Japanese, could descend to such a low moral level during the war. Only thinking about this, makes it possible to unmask lifethreatening political psychopaths at an early stage and by that preventing large scale calamities. The deliberate oppression by the state of that knowledge seems to suspect the gouvernement is aiming for a young electorate who don’t know a thing. People being kept ignorant are ideal for ambitious politics with dangerous ideas.

Therefore I want to impress on you not to conceal your experiences. Tell about them. Publish them or just write them down for yourself, so they won’t go lost. You can be proud of what you’ve done and about what you’ve survived. You are an indispensible cornerstone in the building of our national history. Like all survivers, both from the Japanese as from the German terror. Only if we’ve come to terms with those experiences and sublimated them into our self-consciousness, than we can raise the subject of mutual approach, understanding and perhaps even a cautious form of forgiving our former enemies. It is the painful process of growing up from peoples and nations.

In a minute we’ll leave for the Indies monument. There we will commemorate in respect the ones who didn’t live to experience the joy of the liberation on 15 August 1945. But also you’ve to proudly realise you’re an unerasable part of Dutch history. A history indeed of sorrow and misery. But worth to be told a thousand times over.

Source: www.sh15aug1945.nl

A dark page in the 400 year history of relations between the Netherlands and Japan
(Japanese emperor in The Netherlands)Experiences of victims during the Japanese occupation of the Dutch East Indies 1942-1945Japanese version 1 2 3 4

Introduction

On December 8, 1941 the American base Pearl Harbor was attacked by the Japanese after which the United States and The Netherlands declared war on Japan. In March 1942 the Japanese landed on Java and after a three month’s battele, the Dutch East Indies were forced to surrender.
Of the approximately 350,000 Dutch the Japanese first interned the men and later on the women and children followed. Cruelty and violence were often typical for the behaviour of the Japanese guards. Especially in the last year of the occupation the internees in the overcrowded and insanitary camps suffered from chronic malnutrition, hunger oedema, dysentery and malaria. Many thousands have died as a result of these diseases.
Although the majority of the Eurasian men were interned as prisoners of war, many Eurasian women and children were able to remain out of the camps. Because of loss of income many of these families got into difficult situations. Forced labour, forced prostitution, torture, chronic malnutrition and diseases took their toll. The Indonesians’ behaviour was also increasingly hostile, which culminated in the so-called Bersiap-period (battle of independence) after the Japanese occupation had ended.
After Indonesia’s independence, approximately 300,000 Dutch citizens out of sheer necessity left for The Netherlands, a country still recovering from the war with Germany. They left behind over 42,000 deceased.

A survey

Even after 55 years the impending visit by the Japanese emperor appears to evoke fierce emotions among the Dutch who fell victim to the Japanese war. ‘The Vereniging van Kinderen uit de Japanse Bezetting en de Bersiap 1941-1949 (Association of Children from the Japanese Occupation and the Bersiap 1941 -1949) also known as the KJBB has, in co-operation with the Province of North-Holland, asked Mr F.A. Begemann to conduct a survey among those who lived in the fonner Dutch East Indies as children during the war.
Thirteen members of this Society were interviewed at length. A report of these interviews was presented to 80 members of the KJBB during their meeting of March 25, 2000. The report was discussed extensively and commented on by those present. These comments have been incorporated in the final report, which is considered to be representative of the opinions of all KJBB members.
During these interviews the participants were not just asked about their views on the coming visit of the emperor, but they were also asked about their personal backgrounds and especially their experiences during the war were discussed at length.

What did they experience as children during that period?

All children, whether interned or outside the camps have suffered hunger during the Japanese occupation. For many of them this has resulted in physical illness but in many cases it has also affected their mental strength. This in part explains why decades later so many of these children are still troubled by their traumatic experiences during the Japanese occupation.
Besides hunger these former children have also frequently experienced violence. In and outside of the camps children were beaten and abused. Frequently children were made to watch others being abused, for instance their parents.
During the Japanese occupation most children were separated from one or both of their parents. Nearly all fathers were interned, including those of Eurasian children. In many cases the children also lost their mothers: temporarily, because of illnes or malnutrition or permanently when they died as a result of the war. In many cases the separation from their parents appears to have seriously affected the development of these children.
Because of the Japanese occupation children were torn from their normal lives. Besides being separated from one or both of their parents most of them also lost their family homes, their schools and their schoolmates. The children who were interned had to adapt to completely new living conditions. Life outside of the camps also changed dramatically, even when just taking into account the loss of regular income.
In as well as outside of the camps the children had to learn how to survive, for instance by trading or stealing food. In war conditions children are often forced to adapt in ways they are not yet capable of in terms of their development. This has resulted in both psychological and physical damage. Many of these children continue to suffer the effects in later life, such as recurring insomnia, nightmares and anxieties. As a result many have had to give up their career prematurely.
After the capitulation of Japan many families were reunited but this was a difficult process. The men returning from the camps often found it difficult to share their experiences with their wives, who had also gone through a lot themselves. The children noticed the change in their parents and how it affected the atmosphere at home. In many cases the parents were unable to help their children deal with their war experiences.
After the Japanese capitulation in August 1945 the struggle for independence in the former Dutch East Indies broke out. This conflict not only resulted in many casualties but it also caused a great number of people to flee the country. The reception of the victims from the Indies was difficult since the Netherlands had also suffered severely as a result of the war in Europe. Their experiences and problems generally fell on deaf ears. This resulted in social isolation for this group of people which in turn has aggravated their problems.

How do the KJBB members feel about the impending visit of the Japanese emperor?

Although opinions on the visit of the emperor among KJBB members differ there is consensus on one point:

It is important that during his visit of the Netherlands emperor Akihito apologises to the victims for what was done to them by Japan during the war. These apologies are required from the emperor himself because the acts of violence have been committed in the name of his father, Hirohito.

Why is this so important to the KJBB members? The arguments turn out to be connected with the years of war:

  1. The demand for apologies does not stem from feelings of hatred, but from a need for justice
    The reason for this demand for apologies is best illustrated by an analogy. A society can only continue to exist if it is based on a system of law, which provides a foundation for social rules. A person who commits a crime denies this system of law and places himself outside of society. He can only be admitted back into society if he recognises his mistake. For by apologising the system of law is reconfirmed.
    Mutatis mutandis the same is true for the emperor of Japan. The victims of the Japanese war can only receive the emperor if he acknowledges that Japan has made mistakes in the past and apologises for these mistakes.
    There is a second reason why this is important to the victims. The majority of the victims has had to end their career prematurely because of physical and psychological problems. For many of them this has resulted in feelings of guilt and shame. People who can no longer conform to social expectations usually suffer from feelings of guilt even if they cannot be held responsible. The explicit assessment that the blame for the problems of these victims lies not with the victims themselves but with Japan’s aggression is therefore very important.
  2. The war has not yet become part of the past
    The war in South-East Asia is more than fifty years ago. Then why is this war still not a thing of the past for the victims?
    First of all because they are still haunted by their traumatic memories and suffering from various health problems caused by the war. Think for example of a woman who is unable to sleep because of the backpains she suffers as a result of life in the camps. For her the war is still very much a thing of the present.
    The past also remains a part of the present because many victims continue to experience Japan as a hostile and menacing nation. By apologising the emperor would distance himself from the past. In doing so he would make it easier for Japan’s victims to achieve a sense of closure.
  3. Giving meaning to being a victim
    Because of the war with Japan a lot has gone wrong in the lives of its victims. How does one live with the sorrow over what has happened?
    For many victims it proved to be important to give a sense of meaning to being a victim. Many use the Jews as a model because they not only commemorate their dead but also warn against new forms of fascism. Driven by similar motives many victims of the war in Southeast Asia try to support forces within Japanese society who try to prevent new Japanese aggression.
    Viewed from this perspective it is essential that Japan recognises the fact that in the past things have happened which are unacceptable. By apologising the Japanese emperor will express Japan’s desire to distance itself from the past.
    This in turn will support the attempts of the victims to give meaning to their war sufferings.
  4. Special attention for children in war situations
    In many places in the world armed conflicts are still taking place. In these situations many of the victims are children. This is tragic, because children especially deserve to be protected from violence by adults.
    It would therefore be commendable if in his apologies the emperor would explicitly mention the people who were children during the war. It would first of all mean recognition for those who experienced the war as a child, but it would also draw attention to the fate of those children who still today fall victim to violence caused by war.

This is a summary of the publication:
‘Vanuit een behoefte aan rechtvaardigheid – Reacties binnen de KJBB op het voorgenomen bezoek van de keizer van Japan aan Nederland’
(‘From a need for justice – Reactions within the KJBB to the intended visit of the emperor of Japan to The Netherlands’)
NPI/KJBB, April 2000

 

 

Read Wjat really Happened

 

 

In March 1942

 the commander of the United States Army Forces in the Far East was ordered to move to Australia by the President of the United States. Troops from the United States began arriving in Australia

 

 


 

\

The invasion of Java
(Click map to enlarge)

 


On March 1st,1942

the Japanese landed at four points on the north coast of Java: Merak, Bantam Bay, Eretenwetan, and Kragan.

The invaders encountered occasionally heavy resistance as they advanced across the island, but wherever the Allies stood, the enemy smashed them, drove them back, or simply outflanked them. The colonial government fled the capital, Batavia, for the relative safety of Bandung. On March 8 the Dutch leadership, demoralized and fearful of possible Japanese reprisals against civilians, ordered the military forces to surrender. [12]

 

Soldiers of the Japanese 2nd Division celebrate their landing at Merak

Photo Source: The Dutch East Indies Campaign

 

 

48th Division landing trucks at Kragan

Photo Source: The Dutch East Indies Campaign

 

 

The Japanese Army enters Surabaya

Photo Source: Netherlands Institute for War Documentation

 

 

Dutch soldiers surrender on Java

Photo Source: The Dutch East Indies Campaign

 

Read more

The Battle of Java (Invasion of Java, Operation J)

 was a battle of the Pacific theatre of World War II. It occurred on the island of Java from 28 February-12 March 1942.

It involved forces from the Empire of Japan, which invaded on 28 February 1942, and Allied personnel. Allied commanders signed a formal surrender at Japanese headquarters at Bandung on 12 March.

ABDA Order of battle

Koninklijk Nederlands Indisch Leger (KNIL Army): Lieutenant-General Hein Ter Poorten

  • 1st KNIL Infantry Division: Major-General Wijbrandus Schilling[2]
  • 2nd KNIL Infantry Division: Major-General Pierre A. Cox
  • 3rd KNIL Infantry Division: Major-General Gustav A. Ilgen
  • British troops (ca. 5,500 men): Major-General Sir Hervey D.W. Sitwell[3]
  • US troops (ca. 750 men:) Major-General J.F. Barnes
  • Australian troops (ca. 3000 men): Brigadier Arthur S. Blackburn.[4]

Forces

The Japanese forces were split into two groups:

 the Eastern Force,

with its headquarters at Jolo Island in the Sulu Archipelago, included the 48th Division and the 56th Regimental Group.

The Western Force,

 based at Cam Ranh Bay, French Indochina included the 2nd Division and the 230th Regiment (detached from the 38th Division).

The Allied forces were commanded by the Royal Netherlands East Indies Army (KNIL) commander, General Hein ter Poorten.[5]

Although the KNIL forces had, on paper, 25,000 (mostly Indonesian) well-armed troops, many were poorly trained. The KNIL forces were deployed in four sub-commands: Batavia (Jakarta) area (two regiments); north central Java (one regiment); south Java (one regiment) and; east Java, one regiment.

The British, Australian and United States units were commanded by British Major General H. D. W. Sitwell.[3]

The British forces were predominantly anti-aircraft units: the 77th Heavy AA Regiment, 21st Light AA Regiment and 48th Light AA Regiment. The only British armoured unit on Java was a squadron of light tanks from the British 3rd Hussars.[6] Two British AA regiments without guns, the 6th Heavy AA Regt and the 35th Light AA Regiment were equipped as infantry to defend airfields. The British also had transport and administrative units.

The Australian formation — named “Blackforce” after its commander, Brigadier Arthur Blackburn V.C.[7]

 included the Australian 2/3rd Machine Gun Battalion, the Australian 2/2nd Pioneer Battalion, a company from the Royal Australian Engineers, a platoon from the 2/1st Headquarters Guard Battalion,[8]

about 100 reinforcements diverted on route to Singapore, a handful of soldiers who had escaped from Singapore following its fall to the Japanese, two transport companies, a casualty clearing station, and a company headquarters unit. Blackburn decided to re-organise his troops as an infantry brigade. They were well-equipped in terms of Bren guns, light armoured cars, and trucks, but they had few rifles, submachineguns, anti-tank rifles, mortars, grenades, radio equipment or Bren gun carriers. Blackburn managed to assemble an HQ staff and three infantry battalions based on the 2/3rd Machine Gun, the 2/2nd Pioneers, and a mixed “Reserve Group”. The only U.S. ground forces in Java, the 2nd Battalion of the 131st Field Artillery (a Texas National Guard unit) was also attached to Black Force.[9]

 

 

 

West Java Campaign

West Java Campaign from Merak and Bantam Bay

After discussing the war preparation on 21 January with the commander of the 3rd Fleet and inspected the 48th Division at Manila, Lieutenant General Hitoshi Imamura received an order to attack Java on 30 January.

The convoy consisted of 56 transport ships with troops aboard from 16th Army Headquarters, 2nd Division and 230th Infantry Regiment. The convoy left Cam Ranh Bay at 10:00 on 18 February, and the commander-in-chief Lieutenant General Hitoshi Imamura was aboard on the transport ship Ryujo Maru. The convoy escort was under the command of Rear Admiral Kenzaburo Hara.[12]

At 23:20 on 28 February, the transport ships carrying the Nasu and Fukushima detachments commenced landing operations at Merak. Ten minutes later they were joined by the other transport ships; the one carrying the Sato detachment dropped anchor at Bantam Bay. By 02:00 on 1 March, all ships had reached their designated positions. The KNIL Merak Coastal Detachment, made up of a section from the Captain F.A.M. Harterink’s 12th KNIL Infantry Battalion, machine-gunned the invaders but was quickly defeated.

On 1 March, the invaders set up new headquarters at Serang. The troops of the 2nd Division led by Lieutenant-General Masao Maruyama were divided into the following detachments:

  • Nasu Detachment: Major-General Yumio Nasu
  • Fukushima Detachment: Colonel Kyusaku Fukushima
  • Sato Detachment: Colonel Hanshichi Sato

The Nasu detachment was ordered to capture Buitenzorg to cut the escape route from Batavia to Bandoeng. The Fukushima and Sato Detachments would in the meanwhile head for Batavia through Balaradja and Tangerang.

On 2 March, the Nasu detachment arrived at Rangkasbitung and continued to Leuwiliang, 15 mi (24 km) west of Buitenzorg. The Australian 2/2nd Pioneer and 2/3rd Machine Gun Battalions were positioned along a riverbank at Leuwiliang and put up a vigorous defence. Highly accurate volleys from “D” Battery, U.S. 2/131st Field Artillery, destroyed many Japanese tanks and trucks. Blackforce managed to hold up the Japanese advance for two full days before being forced to withdraw to Soekabumi, lest it become trapped by Japanese flanking manoeuvres, and was ordered to retreat to Soekabumi. Around the same time, the Fukushima and Sato units headed westwards to Madja (Maja) and Balaradja (Balaraja). They found many of the bridges already destroyed by the retreating Dutch and were forced to find other routes; some units took the opportunity to make for Buitenzorg.

On 4 March, Ter Poorten decided to withdraw his forces from Batavia and Buitenzorg to reinforce the defence of Bandoeng. The following evening Dutch troops in Batavia surrendered to the Sato Detachment. By dawn of 6 March, the Japanese troops had attacked Buitenzorg, which was guarded by the 10th Company, KNIL 2nd Infantry Regiment; 10th Company, 1st Infantry Regiment; Landstorm troops and a howitzer unit. In the morning Buitenzorg was occupied, while a large number of Allied soldiers had retreated to Bandoeng. The Nasu Detachment pursued them through Tjiandjoer and (Tjimahi), entering the city on 9 March. The Shoji Detachment also entered Bandoeng on the same day, arriving from the north, having travelled via Lembang.

West Java Campaign from Eretan Wetan

On 27 February, the unit 230th Infantry Regiment, led by Colonel Toshishige Shoji, separated from the main convoy and landed on 1 March, at Eretan Wetan, near Soebang on the northern coast of West Java. The unit’s objectives were to capture the important Kalidjati airfield and weaken the Allied air arm, while the 2nd Division attacked Batavia.

At dawn on 1 March, nine Brewster and three Glenn Martins from the KNIL Air Force, together with 12 Hurricanes from the 242nd and 605th RAF Squadrons, carried out attacks on Japanese troops at Eretan Wetan. Using motor vehicles, the Japanese rapidly advanced to Soebang. At noon, the Kalidjati airfield was finally occupied following a tenacious defence carried out by 350 British troops. Meanwhile, other Japanese units led by Major Masaru Egashira bypassed Allied defences and headed for Pamanoekan (Pamanukan), and from then on to (Tjikampek), where they were able to cut the road link between Batavia and Kalidjati.

The fall of Kalidjati airfield greatly alarmed the Dutch, who set about planning hasty and ill-prepared counterattacks. On 2 March, a KNIL armoured unit (the Mobiele Eenheid), commanded by Captain G.J. Wulfhorst with approximately 20 tanks, and supported by the 250 men of Major C.G.J. Teerink’s 5th KNIL Infantry Battalion, launched a counterattack against the Shoji unit outside Soebang. The attempt initially went well, but in the afternoon the attack was repulsed. Afterwards, the main force of the Japanese 3rd Air Brigade arrived at Kalidjati airfield.

By the night of 7 March, Japanese troops had arrived at the plateau of Lembang, which is only 5 mi (8.0 km) north from Bandoeng. At 10:00 on 8 March, Major-General Jacob J. Pesman, the commander of Stafgroep Bandoeng,[13] met Colonel Toshishige Shoji at the Isola Hotel in Lembang and surrendered.

Japenese Order of battle

2nd Division: Lt. Gen. Masao Maruyama[14]

  • Nasu Detachment: Maj. Gen. Yumio Nasu
    • 16th Infantry Regiment
    • 1st Battalion of 2nd Field Artillery Regiment
    • 1st Company of 2nd Engineer Regiment
    • Two motor transport companies
  • Fukushima Detachment: Col. Kyusaku Fukushima
    • 4th Infantry Regiment
    • 2nd Battalion of 2nd Field Artillery Regiment
    • 5th Anti-Tank Battalion
    • 2nd Company of 2nd Engineer Regiment
  • Sato Detachment: Col. Hanshichi Sato
    • 29th Infantry Regiment
    • 2nd Tank Regiment
    • 1st Company of 2nd Field Artillery Regiment
    • 2nd Engineer Regiment
  • Shoji Detachment: Col. Toshishige Shoji[15]
    • 230th Infantry Regiment
    • One mountain artillery battalion
    • One engineer company
    • One anti-tank battalion
    • One light tank company
    • One anti-aircraft battery
    • Two independent engineer companies
    • One platoon of the Bridge Material Company
    • One motor Transport Company
    • Part of the 40th Anchorage Headquarters
    • Part of the Airfield Battalion

East Java Campaign

Moving eastward

The East Java campaign was composed of the 48th Division from the Philippines. On 8 February, the 48th Division departed from Lingayen Gulf, Luzon Island (Philippines) protected by the 4th Destroyer Squadron. On 22 February, the convoy arrived at Balikpapan and the Sakaguchi Detachment joined the 48th Division aboard the ships.

On 25 February, the convoy left Balikpapan, and sailed southward to Java. On 27 February, the ABDA fleet under command of Rear-Admiral Karel Doorman was detected and attacked by the 5th Destroyer Squadron and other units of the 3rd Fleet in the Battle of the Java Sea. The Japanese won the battle and at 00:15 on 1 March, the fleet landed in Kragan, a small village in East Java, approximately 100 mi (160 km) west of Surabaya.

The 3rd (Motorised) Cavalry Squadron of the 1st Dutch KNIL Cavalry Regiment, under the command of Ritmeester C.W. de Iongh, resisted the landing force but was quickly subdued.[16]

Meanwhile, the flying boat Dornier X-28 of the 6th GVT (Groep Vliegtuigen or Aircraft Group) from MLD, B-17 bombers of the U.S. 7th Bomber Group, A-24 dive bombers of the U.S. 27th Bomb Group and Vildebeest torpedo-bombers from the 36th RAF Squadron worked round the clock to harass the invaders.

After landing, the 48th Division was divided into:

  • Imai Unit (Right Wing): Colonel Hifumi Imai
  • Abe Unit (Left Wing): Major-General Koichi Abe
  • Tanaka Unit (Tjepoe Raiding Unit): Colonel Tohru Tanaka
  • Kitamura Unit (Bodjonegoro Raiding Unit): Lieutenant Colonel Kuro Kitamura

Moving southward

The Sakaguchi Detachment from Balikpapan joined the East Java Invasion fleet as well. After landing, they were divided into three units with one battalion each: Kaneuji Unit, Major Kaneuji commanding; Yamamoto Unit: Colonel Yamamoto commanding; and Matsumoto Unit, Lieutenant Colonel Matsumoto commanding; these units moved south with the objective to occupy Tjilatjap in order to capture the harbour and block the retreat to Australia. In one week, they advanced rapidly and overcame all Dutch army defence found in Blora, Soerakarta, Bojolali, Jogjakarta, Magelang, Salatiga, Ambarawa and Poerworedjo. The Kaneuji and Matsumoto Detachments moved through the mainland, captured Keboemen and Purwokerto, north of Tjilatjap on 8 March. The Yamamoto Unit fanned out along the beach and mounted a two-pronged attack, entering Tjilatjap on 8 March. By then, however, the Dutch had withdrawn to Wangon, a small town located between Purwokerto and Tjilatjap. On the following day, Major-General Pierre A. Cox — the Dutch Central Army District commander — surrendered his troops to the Japanese.

Any expectation of reinforcement from America was dashed

 on March 1

 by the news of Japanese landings on Java.

 

 

 

Japanese Order of battle

48th Division: Major-General Yuitsu Tsuchihashi[17]

  • Imai Unit (Right Wing): Colonel Hifumi Imai, commander of the 1st Formosan Infantry Regiment
    • 1st Formosan Infantry Regiment
    • One mountain artillery battalion
    • One engineer company
  • Abe Unit (Left Wing): Major-General Koichi Abe
    • 48th Infantry Group Headquarters
    • 47th Infantry Regiment
    • One mountain artillery battalion
    • One engineer company
  • Tanaka Unit (Tjepoe Raiding Unit): Colonel Tohru Tanaka
    • 2nd Formosan Infantry Regiment
    • One mountain artillery battalion
    • One engineer company
  • Kitamura Unit (Bodjonegoro Raiding Unit): Lieutenant Colonel Kuro Kitamura
    • 48th Reconnaissance Regiment

Sakaguchi Detachment: Major-General Shizuo Sakaguchi[18]

  • Yamamoto Unit: Colonel Yamamoto
    • 1st Battalion of the 124th Infantry Regiment
  • Kaneuji Unit: Major Kaneuji
    • 2nd Battalion of the 124th Infantry Regiment
  • Matsumoto Unit: Lieutenant Colonel Matsumoto
    • 3rd Battalion of the 124th Infantry Regim

 

THE DAI NIPPON MILITARY OCCUPATION JAVA ISLAND

 1942

COLLECTION

 

officer of the special naval landing force, Major Uroku Hashimoto using his binoculars during the invasion of the dutch east indies (january 1942)

 

Japanese landings

 

 

The Japanese 2nd Division landed at Merak, 1 March 1942

 

 

Japanese bicycle infantry moving through Java.

The Japanese troops landed at three points on Java on 1 March. The West Java invasion convoy landed on Bantam Bay near Merak and Eretan Wetan. The West Java convoy had previously fought in the Battle of Sunda Strait, a few hours prior to the landings.[10]

Meanwhile, the East Java invasion convoy landed on Kragan after having successfully defeated the ABDA fleet in the Battle of the Java Sea.[11]

(1)March,1th,1942

March 1st’1942 :”Dai Nippon Occupation Indonesia This Day”

 

1.MARCH. 1st, 1942

(1) Early in the morning this day,

 

 

Dai Nippon forces landing in Java and succeeded without any struggle by DEI forces(KNIL) and Indonesia Native people accepted DN Frces with up the DN and Indnesian national flag because Dai Nippon propaganda before the war that Indonesia will Independent when they occupied Indonesia,

 

Soldiers of the Japanese 2nd Division celebrate their landing at Merak

Photo Source: The Dutch East Indies Campaign

 

 

 


At the same time, Three Dai Nippon Forces Landing  area in Java:

 

japanese destroyer bombarding allied forces during the invasion of the Dutch East Indies.


(a) Banten Beach at Merak

 

Type 96 25mm Gun crew observing the naval bombardment on the beach during the invasion of the dutch east indies

 

 

daihatsu landing craft transporting soldiers of the special naval landing force during the invasion of the ducht east indies

 

japanese navy troops firing inside a landing craft against dutch troops during the invasion od the dutch eats indies

 

type 95 ha-go light tanks in Merak

 

with route

 

 

Banten attack Map 1942

Merak-Serang-Rangkasbitung-Leuwiliang-Buitenzorg(Bogor)-Kragilan-Tanggerang-Batavia

 

special naval landing force infantryman marching (dutch east indies, december 1941)

 

 

soldiers of the SNLF landing in the dutch east indies (1942)

 



Japanese troops crossing a bridge during
their advance towards Batavia, March 1942

 

under the command of

 

the commander-in-chief 16th Dai Nippon forces Lt.Gen.Hitoshi Immamura,

with

 

the 2nd Division under Commander May.Gen. Maruyama,

and

the 49th Division under Commander May.Gen Tsuchi Hashi ,

 also Brigade under commander

May. gen.Sakaguchi

and one Resiment under commander

 

Col, Shoji.

 

Let.Col. Noguchi

tank commander

 

 

Description

tank commander Lieutenant Colonel Noguchi of the 2nd Recon Regiment equipped with 16 Type 97 Tankettes during the Java Island Campaign, March 1942

 

 

 

 

 

tank crew

 

 

Description

japanese tank crew with their type 94 tankette

tankette

 

a japanese tank commander receiving his type 94 tankettes (dutch east indies 1942)

 

Commander of the japanese marines paratroopers colonel Toyoaki Horiuchi (dutch east indies, 1942)

 

 

 

japanese army officer Genjirou Inui, he fought in java, phillipines and guadalcanal, then he returned to japan for the rest of the war

 

 

 

Description

tyep 94 tankette passing through river

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(b) Eretan Wetan near Indramajoe

 


(ill 4) The Vintage Dutch Map of Eretan Wetan near Indramajoe Dai Nippon landing area 1942,caption Indramajoe map 1942

(c) Krangan Rembang middle Java,

 

48th Division landing trucks at Kragan

Photo Source: The Dutch East Indies Campaign


The fleet of Dai Nippon Naval Forces reach the Krangan coast ,a village between Rembang and Lasem, about 160 km west of Soerabaja.


The Sakaguchi detachment from Balikpapan joined this invasion fleet. After landing divided into 3 units with 1 battalion of 124th Infantry Regiment :
(c.1) Col.Yamamoto,1st Battalion unit.
(c.2) Mayor Kaneuji, 2nd Battalion unit.
(c.3) Let.Col.Matsimoto,3rd battalion unit.
In one week ,they advanced rapidly and overcome all Dutch army defended in Blora ,Solo ,Bojolali-Yogja ,Magelang and Ambarawa
the Map will illustrated

After this surrender, newly arrived Sparrow Force commander

Brig W.C.D. Veale

 moved his headquarters north towards Portuguese Timor with a guard of AASC members and walking casualties.

On 1 March 1942

 

The very first day there was a panic in Semarang and by the Internal Administration, and Police took to their heels. A traffic jam of cars arrived in the afternoon in Solo, and onstelde faces were told, that the entire port complex was on fire, warehouses companion were open and the people were plundered, and almost all Europeans had fled to safety .Peters Brothers and Sisters were among the few survivors.

  And the journey took Japanese troops landed at Rembang not the road to Semarang, but to solo

Here is our demolition corps stocks in the central fire and the work behind our house. It was perfectly calm; flames and columns of smoke went straight up. “It’s not inconceivable that otherwise our monastery also a proof of the flames would have become
We wondered what that had utility for destruction, the one critiseer. Unaware of where one is the hero berlep gunslige army communiques

(122)

By 1st March 1942,

 

 the position became clear enough after the confusion of the previous two days. The convoy which No. 36 Squadron had attacked was one of three all making for Java.

 What remained of the Blenheims and Hudsons after the bombing of Semplak, took off from Kalidjati whither they had been transferred, an d did their best to interfere with the Japanese landing at Eretanwetan, some eighty miles from Batavia.

They went in again and again, some pilots being able to make three sorties, and accounted for at least three and possibly eight ships, but they could not prevent the landing.

By dawn on 1st March

the bomber crews, who had operated almost without a break for thirty-six hours, were approaching the limit of endurance.

 Hardly had they dispersed, however, to seek the rest which had at last been given them, when the Dutch squadrons sharing their airfield left without notice.

The Dutch aircraft had just disappeared into the clear morning air when a squadron of Japanese light tanks, supported by lorry-borne infantry, made their appearance.

 The exhausted pilots of No. 84 Squadron, who had by then reached their billets eight miles away, had no time to return to their aircraft, which were in consequence all destroyed or captured; but the last four Hudsons possessed



THE CAMPAIGN IN JAVA AND SUMATRA, FEBRUARY – MARCH 1942

 

beside the Royal Air Force, attacked the Japanese, who were engaged on two new landings begun that night at Eretanwetan.

 Despite intense anti-aircraft fire, twelve Hurricanes went in low and inflicted heavy losses on Japanese troops in barges and set on fire six small sloops and three tanks. They also caused a certain number of casualties and a certain amount of damage to the Japanese troops going ashore at another point on the west coast of Java.

Though the Royal Air Force could hamper the landings and increase their cost in terms of casualties, they could not prevent them, and the next day saw the Hurricanes pinned to their airfield at Tjililitan, whence they were withdrawn with some difficulty to Andir, near Bandoeng. During the withdrawal they maintained a running fight with Japanese fighters.

The last remnants of the Air Force maintained the fight for another three days, attacking the newly captured airfield at Kalidjati

 

 

 

 

THE CAMPAIGN IN JAVA AND SUMATRA, FEBRUARY – MARCH 1942

 

On 1 March 1942 at 11.35pm the Rooseboom was steaming west of Sumatra

 

On 1 March 1942 at 11.35pm

 the Rooseboom was steaming west of Sumatra when it was spotted by the Japanese submarine I-59 and torpedoed. It capsized and sank rapidly leaving one life boat (designed to hold 28) and 135 people in the water. 80 people were in the lifeboat the rest clung to flotsam or floated in the sea. Two of these survivors, one of whom was a Corporal Walter Gibson, were picked up nine days later by the Dutch freighter Palopo. Until the end of the Second World War they were assumed to be the only survivors. Sadly, Robert Kingshott did not survive and his body was never recovered. The reason that I mention Walter Gibson, is that he wrote an account of his survival which demonstrates the conditions he, and others, endured in the days following the sinking.

 

According to Gibson in and around the lifeboat were an estimated 135 survivors, many with injuries, including Gibson himself who was in the lifeboat due to those injuries. By the time the boat had drifted for more than 1,000 miles, to ground on a coral reef, less than 100 miles from Padang, Rooseboom’s starting point, only five of its 80 passengers remained alive, and one of those drowned in the surf while trying to land.

 

In Gibson’s account the ordeal that followed the sinking showed the worst of human nature under some of the most extreme conditions. On the first night many of those in the water drowned or gave up. Some twenty men built a raft from flotsam and towed it behind the boat. The raft slowly sank and all twenty perished three days later. In the first few days discipline collapsed men and women went mad with thirst, some drinking sea water which sent them into hallucinations. Many threw themselves overboard rather than face further suffering, and a gang of five renegade soldiers positioned themselves in the bows and at night systematically pushed the weaker survivors overboard to make the meagre rations go further. Gibson claims to have organized an attack on the renegades with a group of others who rushed them and pushed them en masse into the sea. Brigadier Paris died, hallucinating before he fell into his final coma. The Dutch captain was killed by one of his own engineers. Towards the end Gibson realized that all who remained alive were himself, another white man, a Chinese girl named Doris Lin (who turned out to be a secret agent for the British) and four Javanese seamen. That night the Javanese attacked the other white man and started to eat him alive. Later the oldest Javanese died.

 

The lifeboat eventually landed on Sipora, an island off Sumatra and only 100 miles from Padang, where the Rooseboom started its journey 30 days earlier. One of the Javanese seaman drowned in the surf whilst the other two disappeared into the jungle and have never been found. After a period of being treated by some of the local population Doris Lin and Gibson were discovered by a Japanese patrol. Gibson was returned to Padang as a prisoner of war while Lin was shot as a spy soon afterwards. 

 

It is not clear at what point Robert died, but I would hope that his death was quick and as painless as possible.

 

Robert was my 5th cousin once removed

Soyrce: Jan Brian Kingshot

 

On the 1st March 1942 she was scuttled on the coast of Madura oppositeon march ist at the coast madura

By 1st March 1942,

 

 the position became clear enough after the confusion of the previous two days. The convoy which No. 36 Squadron had attacked was one of three all making for Java. What remained of the Blenheims and Hudsons after the bombing of Semplak, took off from Kalidjati whither they had been transferred, and did their best to interfere with the Japanese landing at Eretanwetan, some eighty miles from Batavia.

They went in again and again, some pilots being able to make three sorties, and accounted for at least three and possibly eight ships, but they could not prevent the landing.

By dawn on 1st March

the bomber crews, who had operated almost without a break for thirty-six hours, were approaching the limit of endurance.

 Hardly had they dispersed, however, to seek the rest which had at last been given them, when the Dutch squadrons sharing their airfield left without notice.

The Dutch aircraft had just disappeared into the clear morning air when a squadron of Japanese light tanks, supported by lorry-borne infantry, made their appearance.

 The exhausted pilots of No. 84 Squadron, who had by then reached their billets eight miles away, had no time to return to their aircraft, which were in consequence all destroyed or captured; but the last four Hudsons possessed


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE CAMPAIGN IN JAVA AND SUMATRA, FEBRUARY – MARCH 1942

 

beside the Royal Air Force, attacked the Japanese, who were engaged on two new landings begun that night at Eretanwetan.

Dr Iwan Note

Dr Iwan just visit Eretan beach near Losarang village and Indramjoe at Sunday 21 september 2012, eretan beacch now became

 

the Tourist bwach(Pantai wisata), no obe know that in march 1st 1942 The Dai Nippon forces landed there and one day the Japanese will praying for their ancestor who ever landing there, and from these villiage visit the route to Subang and Kalidjati.

 read more info from dutch researches

invasion Eretan Kulon

The editors of The War visited the site of the Japanese invasion of Java twice, once to researching in 2008 and once to film in 2009. Below two fragments thereof from the Blog of War.
Jakarta, December 20, 2008

[Research] morning by car from Bandung straight north. Journey through mountains and tea plantations. The aim is the beach where the Japanese landed in late February 1942. That happened in various places on the north coast of Java.

I chose Eretan Wetan. It is a fishing village, it is in any tourist guide and there is a nice story about the Dutch official Van der Plas.

I hope it’s a bit like when, with beautiful flat sandy beach and palm trees. So it looks at least on the Japanese newsreel from 1942. As we approached the shore, the clouds hang lower. A tropical downpour during lunch, overlooking a shelter.

Eretan Wetan is muddy after all the rain. Looking for old people. Preferably above 70 years – the invasion 64 years ago. We’ll go to Mr. Agus Salim, then 6 years, now almost blind and a bit deaf.

He remembers the Japanese very well. They came in the middle of the night. When morning he dared go outside, he saw a stream of Japanese soldiers with swords. They were just down come ashore.

No, not in Eretan Wetan, but in the neighboring village. It’s called Eretan Kulon. It is confirmed by others. Why in the standard of Lou de Jong is wrong, no idea. Usually, this kind of facts with him entirely correct.

Eretan Kulon is a collection of scattered houses. While we beside the car to doubt, is Ms. Wan Li approached. Ado, a shrill voice, but very helpful. She guides us along dirt paths to the sea.

From afar I see all that there is working on a dike. Workers lay basalt boulders, the sea is choppy and saves almost over. I’m desperately wondering about my dream tropical beach.

Mr. Karsam comes over, introduces himself as the neighborhood representative. He keeps a watchful eye on the dike. He is 65 and yes, when he was young, was still a wide beach. He points to Atik, “See you there later that rig? The beach was halfway. And the Japanese came ashore. “

The rig is located about 5 km from the coast. This time is the historical place swallowed by the sea. Oh, that is perhaps better than a sandy beach. I come back here, with Rob Trip.

Jakarta, March 19, 2009

[Filming] From Linggadjati we drive north to capture where the Japanese invasion force landed in Java. It is near the village Eretan Kulon.

Last time I talked with Mr. Atik and Karsam, the chairman of the village council. Then it was an enthusiastic talker. Now he is somewhat nervous by the camera and all formal responses to the questions of Rob.

After a while talk is a little looser. Fortunately, because the environment here remains beautiful. Jacko films except the sea the village. Include the itinerant barber.

Text: Gerda Jansen Hendriks

 

 Despite intense anti-aircraft fire, twelve Hurricanes went in low and inflicted heavy losses on Japanese troops in barges and set on fire six small sloops and three tanks. They also caused a certain number of casualties and a certain amount of damage to the Japanese troops going ashore at another point on the west coast of Java.

Though the Royal Air Force could hamper the landings and increase their cost in terms of casualties, they could not prevent them, and the next day saw the Hurricanes pinned to their airfield at Tjililitan, whence they were withdrawn with some difficulty to Andir, near Bandoeng. During the withdrawal they maintained a running fight with Japanese fighters.

The last remnants of the Air Force maintained the fight for another three days, attacking the newly captured airfield at Kalidjati

Robert is recorded as dying “at sea”

 on 2nd March 1942.

Robert William George Kingshott was a Warrant Officer Class II with 7 Coast Regiment, Royal Artillery. His service number was 840146.

 

 

on the nights of the 3rd, 4th and 5th March.

These assaults were made by the remaining Vildebeests of No. 36 (Torpedo Bomber) Squadron, of which only two were serviceable when the end came. On the morning of the 6th, they were ordered to seek the dubious safety of Burma, but both crashed in Sumatra and were lost. At the same time the gallant remnant of No. 1 Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force, took its three remaining Hudsons to Australia.

In Java, as in Malaya, the attitude of the local white population contributed in no small measure to the swift and overwhelming disaster. The feelings of the Dutch in Java can best be described as those of confused despair.

The island on which they lived and from which they drew the source of their great wealth had been at peace for many generations.

Now, the prospect of the destruction by fire and high explosive of all that had been built up and handed on to them from the past stared them in the face and their hearts misgave them. If any great show of resistance were to be made, Surabaya and Bandoeng would burn.

Why then make it, when the chances of success were infinitesimal? When it is remembered that the chief Far Eastern bastion of an ally far stronger than they were had fallen after a bare fortnight’s siege, their attitude is understandable.

 It was, however, responsible for the grim scenes which were enacted during the last few hours of resistance. ‘I was in command that morning’, records an officer of the Royal Air Force writing of the events of the last day, ‘of a big convoy with all the remaining spare arms, ammunition and such-like equipment of the Royal Air Force in Java. We practically had to fight our way through the mess to prevent the lorries being forcibly stopped, and get them, according to our orders, up on to the hill roads where we understood—poor mutts—that at last we would have another go at the Nips’.

The surrender of Java was thus a foregone conclusion as soon as the Japanese had set firm foot upon the island.

Nevertheless it took place in circumstances which, to say the least of it, showed little consideration towards the armed forces, ill-armed and ill-prepared though they were.

The Tanaka Unit occupied Tjepoe on 2 March,

 

the 2nd March 1942

Information on KNILM evacuation flights via Broome & Derby from Richard Pflug

The following was sent some months ago by Richard Pflug, summarising information in Dutch language sources.

There is some good detail on the KNILM evacuation flights which took place

around 2nd March 1942.

This was at the peak of the USAAF evacuation and the Broome aerodrome was crowded to capacity, mainly with huge B-17s.

Some of the Dutch aircraft arrived right at this time, and were directed north to the small field at Derby. This was the only known use of Derby during the evacuations.

According to what I read the KNILM/KLM management was well prepared for the evacuation. For instance they asked Shell to direct an oil tanker with aviation fuel to the port of Broome.

They also ordered spare parts to be delivered in Australia (but these were impounded by the US Army).

Although the government was in charge of making the passenger lists some crew members were able to “smuggle” colleagues on board.

Captain Evert van Dijk for instance took KLM chief radio engineering C.R. Klooster on his second round trip with him as his “co-pilot”, while the man was not on the official evacuation list.

On the second group of planes, radio operator Hans Pool gets his friend Dick Sweitser (who got wounded when DC-3 PK-AFW was shot down over East Borneo on January 24th) on board DC-5 PK-ADC.

When Captain Van Messel arrives in Broome on March 2nd 1942 with DC-5 PK-ADB he asks if Japanese reconnaissance planes have been sighted over Broome recently.

 It is confirmed that an unidentified plane has passed at high altitude.

Based on earlier experiences with airfields on Java, he is pretty sure this means a Japanese attack is eminent within 48 hours and decides to leave Broome as soon as possible.

 B17s from the 7th and 19th group however get priority with refuelling. With much persuasion Van Messel and his colleague Reyers with the L14 PK- AFP manage to get refuelled and leave.

Captain Deenik with DC-5 PK-ADD has less luck. He is advised to go on to Derby and get refuelled there for the further flight to Daly Waters.

According to the book “De Douglas DC-5 – een kort maar bewogen bestaan” (translation: The Douglas DC-5 – a short but moving history) by Pieter C. Kok, Captain Dirk Rab with DC-5 PK-ADC, nearing the Australian coast heads for a course just few degrees more south of Broome, just after dawn on the morning of March 2nd he locates the small coral reefs “Rowley Shoals” and turns east to Broome.

When he arrives he also gets the advice to go on to Derby for refuelling for the flight to Daly Waters.

 Flying time will be some 40 to 45 minutes. The tanks of the DC-5 are nearly empty, but fearing a Japanese attack they decide to take the risk. About 30 minutes out, with Derby in sight, both engines begin to sputter and eventually stop.

Captain Rab manages to land the plane safely in a field with long alang-alang grass. They are stranded without fuel, water and food. And without power from the generators from the engines they are also unable to send an S.O.S.

According to the story mechanic John Gijzemijter thinks up a creative way to get out an S.O.S.

When they get the tail of DC-5 down, the last bit of remaining fuel flows to the lowest point in the tank. And with this they might be able to start up an engine for a few seconds, power up the radio equipment and send an S.O.S. The passengers and crew manage to carefully pull down the tail with their weight and muscle power. Gijzemijter manages to get an engine running and radio operator Lambrechtsen sends the S.O.S. and position of the plane. The signal is picked up in Broome.

DC-2 PK-AFL with Gerrit Jan Schippers arrives in Broome at about 10.00 AM, after a flying time of 7 hours 5 minutes.

They hear PK-ADC is missing but the radio transmission has been received. It takes 2 and half hours to get the plane checked and refuelled. With food and an open drum of water held in place by an American soldier, PK-AFL takes off to look for the stranded DC-5.

Seeing a DC-5 at Derby Schippers thinks PK-ADC managed to reach the destination and touches down at 13.35. He learns that the DC-5 is PK-ADD. 8 minutes later he is back in the air, sees a flare and then is able to spot the camouflaged PK-ADC.

He touches down gently not to spill the water in the open drum, but while taxiing he makes a sharp turn, the soldier loses his balance and the drum tips over.

After transferring fuel both planes head back to Broome. PK-AFL reaches Broome at 15.40 and the crew is instructed to go on to Port Hedland.

Schippers takes off again at 18.00 hours. PK-ADC stays at Broome for the night.

An article in the “Knickerbocker Weekly – Free Netherlands-‘of 21 February 1944 the flight of Captain Smirnoff, March 3, 1942.
For general information about the “Knickerbocker Weekly ‘, read the introduction to the thesis of Charlotte Cook,”

The Knickerbocker Weekly and the Netherlands Information Bureau

 

Een artikel uit de ‘Knickerbocker Weekly – Free Netherlands-‘ van 21 february 1944 over de vlucht van Captain Smirnoff van 3 maart 1942.
Voor algemene informatie over de ‘Knickerbocker Weekly’ ; lees de inleiding van het proefschrift van Charlotte Kok :

 ‘The Knickerbocker Weekly and the Netherlands Information Bureau …’

 

Wikipedia : Het neerschieten van KNILM Douglas DC-3 ‘PK-AFV’
Wikipedia :
Iwan Smirnoff

 

 

 


Right-click on the following page, then click in the window ‘open link’. Now you can open the page once more increase as with the left mouse button, so the “+ magnifying glass icon ‘mode. Click again to zoom out and then back-page (upper left arrow in the browser) to return to the article.

 

Klik met de rechtermuisknop op de onderstaande pagina ; klik daarna in het geopende venster op ‘open link’. Nu kun je de geopende pagina nog éénmaal vergroten als je met de linkermuisknop klikt, om zo het ‘+ vergrootglas-ikoontje’ te activeren. Klik nogmaals om te verkleinen en daarna op page-back (pijltje linksboven in de browser) om terug te keren naar het artikel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Capt Smirnoff in U.S.

Capt Ivan Smiroff of The netherland East Indies Air Forces in the U.S. to haved bullet removed from his body in order to be sure of being able to find his way while flying, he told the newsman at press conference in San Fransisco Last week

Captain Smiroff said the steel bullet recieved when shot by the Japanese in March 1942 threw off his plane compass.

His plane was carrying a load of evacuoes from Java when the enemy fifghter shot it down near Broome in Nothern Australia.

On Board were diamonds valued in the neighborhood $21.000.000.which were lost but later discovered.

Since then Smiroff has flown 600 hours with The American Air Transport Command based in Australia.

He praised the work of the work transport planes in war operations, saying without them the Pacific war would not been successfully carried out.

He pointed out the jungle and the lack of roads permitted only transport plane to convey material and troops.

He remarked that unfortunately the transport pilot had no glory , only work.

“The Japs know they are Hecked”he declared Captain Smirnoff . who was famed as an airlined pilot and air racer before the war,pointed out that where as at the time of the Pearl Harbor. The allies were completely unorganized , they now were on offensive

CAPTAIN IVAN SMIRNOFF
RUSSIA’S 4TH HIGHEST ACE IN WWI
NATURALISED DUTCH CITIZEN
CAPTAIN OF A CRASHED DC-3 DAKOTA

 

Captain Ivan Vasielivich “Turc” Smirnoff was born at dawn on 30 January 1895 on a small farm near Vladimir, about 120 miles west of Moscow.

Ivan Smirnoff was Russia’s fourth highest Ace in World War I. He was credited with shooting down 11 German aircraft. He was highly decorated as follows:-

- Croix de Guerre
– Cross of St. George (when he was foot soldier)
– White Eagle of Siberia
– Order of St. Anna
– Order of St. George (equivalent to our Victoria Cross)
– Order of St. Stanislaus

Ivan was naturalised as a Dutch citizen. In early 1942, Captain Smirnoff had flown his DC-3 Dakota transport aircraft between Java and Australia evacuating Royal Netherlands Indies Airlines office and ground staff, along with civilians and service personnel.

On 3 March 1942, Dutch Dakota DC-3 PK-AFV of the KNILM (Netherlands East Indies KLM) piloted by Captain Ivan Smirnoff, left Bandung in Java headed for Australia with a plane load of evacuees and a box of diamonds worth approximately £300,000. They managed to escape Java just 3 days before the Japanese took the Bandung area. They were attacked by three Japanese Zeros about 80 kms north of Broome. Captain Smirnoff was wounded several times in his arms and hip. Smirnoff managed to put the Dakota into a steep spiral dive with the Zeros in pursuit and made a forced landing on the beach. The box of diamonds went missing after the crash.

Full details of the above crash
and the loss of the diamonds

 

Ivan Smirnoff eventually died in a Catholic clinic on the Spanish Island of Majorca on 23 October 1959.

The National Archives’ ANGAM Database shows the following records held regarding Smirnoff:-

SMIRNOFF Tivan – Nationality: Dutch – Arrived Perth per Dutch Air Force Plane 13 March 19421942 to
1942PP246/4DUTCH/SMIRNOFF T

 

LINKS TO OTHER INTERNET SITES

Ivan Smirnov
The Aerodrome Home Page

LINKS TO OTHER INTERNET SITES

Ivan Smirnov
The Aerodrome Home Page

 

Ivan Smirnoff eventually died in a Catholic clinic on the Spanish Island of Majorca on 23 October 1959.

The National Archives’ ANGAM Database shows the following records held regarding Smirnoff:-

SMIRNOFF Tivan – Nationality: Dutch – Arrived Perth per Dutch Air Force Plane 13 March 19421942 to
1942PP246/4DUTCH/SMIRNOFF T

Captain in the US 317th Troop Carrier Group

For the first few months the aircraft and crews belonging to KLM/KNILM were busy ferrying supplies from Archerfield, Brisbane, Queensland to US bases in Northern Australia.

 

The crew members were Te Roller, Hulsebos, Dirk Rap, Peter Deenik, Van Dijk, Jan Van Balkom, Iwan Smirnoff, Van Messel, Dunlop, Frans Van Breemen and Rijers.

 

But, in May 1942

came the end. Their aircraft (two DC2, two DC3, three DC5 and four Lockheed-14) needed maintenance and spare parts which only the Americans could supply.

 

One day when Ivan drove to the airfield he found all the machines in their hangars and the director waiting for the pilots. He told that it was no longer possible for a civil company (KLM/KNILM) to get a licence to bring out spares from the USA.

 

The director explained that although KNILM operated their aircraft under charter to the U.S. military, General MacArthur had been reluctant to allow so many valuable aircraft to remain in civilian hands. As a result, KNILM were coerced into selling their aircraft to the USAAF.

 

This coercion took the form of a suspension of logistical support such as the impounding of one hundred cases of spare parts. To prevent the fleet being grounded KNILM had now arranged for its sale to the American Army Command.

 

Surviving documents suggest that all of the KNILM aircraft were to have been sold to the Australian government for a token £5 each, but the transaction was apparently overruled in favour of a sale to the USAAF. This purchase is reputed to have cost Uncle Sam $530,000.00 for ten aircraft (one Lockheed-14 had been written off).

 

Nicholas Dijkstra, a friend of Ivan Smirnoff, explains:

 

“KNILM management negotiated a handover of the aircraft to the US Air Force. Our crews, based in Sydney and Brisbane, were very upset about this decision. It meant that a useful service came to a sudden end, whilst the future of the crew members remained uncertain. Still, in my opinion this was not the reason that five(*)aircraft of KLM/KNILM flew a few days later under the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

 

 

 

On a beautiful Sunday in the month of May 1942, two US ‘Kittyhawks’ had flown under the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

 

I was in Elizabeth Bay at the time, or near there, and saw them. Traffic on the bridge came to a full stop and people were excited. The following day it was the main item of conversation – everybody thought that it was a great stunt. Nobody had done that before!

 

A couple of days later on 14 May, when the aircraft of KLM and KNILM were being prepared for the final flight to Wagga Wagga, we were also talking about the ‘Kittyhawk Stunt’.

 

We were to make a short flight over Sydney for a final check of the aircraft. Some people of the ground staff suggested that it would be nice to come along for the short flight, so at the end close to fifty people, ground staff personnel, waiters and waitresses from the restaurant at the airport as well as kitchenstaff, were taken on board ready for take off.

 

Then one of the pilots suggested that we could do better than the two US Kittyhawks and fly some of the aircraft in formation under the Sydney Harbour Bridge. A KLM radio-operator, Joe Muller (he had previously been shot down at Carnot Bay, WA, with KLM Captain Ivan Smirnoff in the DC3 PK-AFV) was asked to go to the control tower to ask permission to fly under the bridge. Watching from the tarmac we could see Joe Muller talking to the personnel in the control tower

 

. After a few minutes he came out to the walkway alongside the tower, Joe Muller looked in our direction and then raised his thumb in what we took to be the ‘OK’ signal. And off we went…

 

The five(*)aircraft took off and eventually took up formation approaching the bridge from the Sydney Heads.

 

Still in formation we flew under the bridge, pulled up, made a wide turn and then flew in single line again under the bridge and then returned to Kingsford Smith Airport.

 

After we landed and taxied to the ramp, there was hell to pay! Anybody with some kind of authority was there. It then became clear that Joe Muller had not asked for permission to fly under the bridge.

 

He explained to us that his thumbs-up signal only meant that the aircraft looked fine! The authorities did not have much to nail us down with, but we heard later that an order had been issued, forbidding to fly under the bridge and that anyone doing so, would be fined one hundred pounds ($200) for every person aboard.”

 

(*) According to Nicholas Dijkstra there were five machines and he flew with Captain Jan van Bal

At least (according to other sources) the machines flying under the bridge were:

 

DC2, PK-AFK, piloted by Captain Frans Van Breemen
DC3, PK-ALW “Wielewaal” piloted by Captain Peter Deenik
DC5, PK-ADC, piloted by Captain Dirk Rab with John Gyzemyteras Flight Engineer

 

 

….”What about us?” growled Ivan. “You selling us, too?”
Ivan persisted: “I am with you to build things up, not to knock them down. Can you suggest some other way?”
The director was sorry, but he couldn’t.

 

It was dreadful to think of KLM machines in the hands of the Yanks. It was dreadful to contemplate the prospect of sitting idle, month after month, waiting for the war to end. The Yanks were in dire need of pilots but when Ivan asked for a job the young captain in charge took one look at him and said, dryly: “Thanks, Pop, I guess we’ll get by and not trouble you.”

 

Ivan lived well now, he had grown ‘fat and flourishing’. In fact he had grown so much that he burst out of all his clothes and had to search the Sydney shops to find seventeen-and-a-half-inch collars.

 

During most of 1942 the Japanese still thought they were going to win the whole Pacific region, and they found Port Moresby on New Guineato be vital to fulfil that goal. The Allied, on the other hand, had not yet understood how important it really was to defend the very same area.

 

The first real victory against the Japs in the Pacific Ocean was carried out mostly by Australian troops. From 25 August to 7 September 1942 the Australians defeated the Japanese at Milne Bay about 350 km south-east of Port Moresby. This victorybecame an important turnpoint in WWII, it showed to everyone that the Japs could be beaten, and therefore the morale was now extensively increasing everywhere.

 

General MacArthur had had his HQ well of the way in Melbourne, but when things eventually started to look better, he moved his HQ to Brisbane. And when the Japs were defeated on New Guinea, he moved his HQ further on, to Port Moresby.

 

….Finally, on 20 January 1943 Ivan was gazetted Captain (First Pilot) in the 39th Troop Carrier Squadron, 317th Troop Carrier Group(which later that year (30 September) moved their headquarters from Townsville to Port Moresby) for operational flying duty. His appointment was made by General Kenny, Chief of Staff. It was an honour – there were only four First Pilots named. Now Ivan had joined the Americans.

 

 

 

 

But Ivan had to learn about some US flight rules that appeared silly to him. One of the regulations laid down, that unless the weather (In Opinion Of Ground Control) were 100% good, the trip was cancelled. The experienced pilots went wild over this too-cautious rule.

 

Ivan just refused to accept it and soon after was preparing to leave when ground control signalled:
“Trip off, weather tricky.”
“Nonsense!” he roared down the airfield intercom. “Put me on to the fellah in charge here.”
When he was put through he blew up the airfield commander good and proper.
The commander listened patiently then said:
“I get your point, Captain; just the same, you can’t fly.”
“Like hell I can’t!” bellowed Ivan. “Who is the guy that gives you your orders?”
“Senior Colonel, Divisional Command.” He was given the name of a base a hundred miles away.

 

To the switchboard operator Ivan roared: “Get me Divisional Command,” and when, an hour later, the call came through, insisted on getting on to the senior colonel and putting a politer version of his case.

 

“I sure admire your spirit,” said the colonel, “all the same, you can’t fly.”
“Colonel,” growled Ivan, almost crushing the receiver in his hands,
“I know that an order is an order. All the same I am now obliged to send a report to the General in charge of your Air Force.”
“You do just that,” said the colonel, and hung up.

 

Ivan composed a blistering report and organized a girl typist to “English” it for him.

 

He never got an answer but in 3 days’ time a directive “from the Old Man himself” went out to all airport commands. “This man Smirnoff,” it said, “he’s Dutch. Let him fly whenever he says, disregard regulation in his case.”

 

So Ivan was becoming a legend in yet another country, and the ground staffs, at every base, turned out cheerfully in all weathers to give him the best servicing the could. They knew that if Captain Smirnoff said he was going up, he damn’ well would.

 

Months later Ivan was told that his letter had been circulating in “the highest circles” and that MacArthur had yelled with laughter and said: “Get me some more of those damn’ Dutch, I could do with them.”

 

 

 

The corner of Annerley Road and Laurier Street in Brisbane, Queensland.

 

….Margot was now living in Brisbane, close to the Brisbane River, in another furnished flat at the corner of Annerley Road and Laurier Street, so that Ivan could sleep at home between his arduous journeys to Port Moresby on New Guinea. There were only 5 kilometres to drive from Archerfield Airport to Annerley Road and Margot.

 

She had never worked harder in her life – the younger Dutch pilots, unhappy in the local “hotels”, looked upon the Smirnoff home as Netherlands territory. The Australian climate agreed with her, she felt better, and there were experienced doctors at hand who saw to it she suffered no more pain than was absolutely unavoidable.

 

 

 

 

 

When Ivan first flew to Port Moresby there was nothing there at all – not a hut, not a yard of tarmac, not a telephone.

 

MacArthur fixed that. He had the complete airfield – stores, canteens, sick bays, offices, landing strips and all – built in just 3 days. “Those Yanks, they do an amazing job,” said Ivan. Only a month after the first airfield was completed Port Moresby was surrounded by not less than 7 airfields.

 

Ivan ferried tools, building materials, jeeps, ammunition, bacon and eggs, and medical stores from Brisbane to Port Moresby in a series of bewildering priorities that he could never fathom. On one of his very earliest flights he took a complete plant for making Coca-Cola!

 

On the return flights to Brisbane Ivan took sick and wounded. Once he evacuated the whole hospital, all down with malaria – patients, doctors, nurses, everybody.

 

He also carried back Japanese prisoners for interrogation. This was a horrible task; nearly all the prisoners were sick, suffering from dysentery.

 

En route to Port Moresby Ivan gladly took on additional observation and spotting duties, mostly reporting movements of Jap destroyers and submarines. They soon learned that the Great Barrier Reef was favourite ‘parking lots’ for captains of the enemy submarines. They were easy to spot from high altitudes, and easy to destroy afterwards.

 

There were 2100 kilometres to fly between Brisbane and Port Moresby, and they normally made an intermediate stop at Townsville both ways. This service was maintained every 24 hours. After a 24 hour round trip to Port Moresby each crew member had a day off.

 

 

 

 

 

 

To the right you see a detail from Ivan’s personal briefcase, which he carried on his missions to Port Moresby on New Guinea. Below in the ID-window the following can be read:

 

This case and contents are the property of the U.S. Army Air Corps. Click on the picture to enlarge…

 

At the same time, when Ivan was busy at the US 317th Troop Carrier Group, KLM had managed to build up new activities. In August 1942 they had opened a service to Ciudad Trujillo in Peru and now, one year later, by August 1943, they were running a service of Lockheed-14’s from Miami in USA. The Dutch Air Force had been given a base at Jackson, Mississippi, where the Netherlands flag flew supreme – the only foreign flag, other than those flown at embassies – with permission to wave over United States territory. Ivan now realized that by hook or by crook he must get himself to America.

 

the transport of the diamonds from Java to WA during WWII, the bombing of Broome, the Dakota crash and survival of half the passengers. Fascinating history. The second part deals with the court case, when three men were charged with stealing the diamonds. Fascinating depiction of the life led by those men in outback Australia in the 1940s

 

REFERENCE BOOKS

“The Hidden Chapters – Untold Stories of Australians at War in the Pacific”
by Robert Piper

 

Please look another info from magazine below

“As The third Year Begin”

And try to read the small words, the complete info exist in CD-ROM

 

 

 

 

(2) All of the West Java Postal office were closed not opretated inculding Tjiandjoer.

 

Front Capitulation cover 1942

 

 

Back Capitulation cover 1942

(1ll.5) Postally free postally used Geadvisers (Registered) cover with Commander of the forces and the Departmen of War’s chief (Commandant Leger en hoofd departement van Oorlog ) official Headquaters Stamped send from The Dutch East Indie Forces Head Quaters Bandoeng CDS Bandoeng Riaow Str 27.2.42, arrival Cds Tjiandjoer 28.2.42 and after that the post office closed, open after capitulaition CDS Tjiandjoer 4.4.42 Onafgeh. and ret.afzd handwritten postmark (Cann’t delivered and return to sender) , arrived back CDS Bandoeng 6.4.42 (during dai nippon occupation0 to Dai Nippon Forces Headquaters in java .(The very rare Dai Nippon capitulation Postal History collection from the DEI forces headquaters back to Dai nippon forces Bandoeng Headquaters only one ever seen, if the collecters have the same collectins please send information via comment-Dr iwan S.)
Caption : capitulation cover 1942

 

Dai Nippon Army Landed at Merak, and other area

 

(3)March,3th.192

The latest used of DEI Imprint revenue 1942 on the document of money storting 2500 guiler at DEI Bank Wscompto Buitenzorg(now bogor), the owner told that after storting the money he left his house and all his belonging nothing left when he back in  May 1942 ,all his belonging were robbery . In the document there written at may ,5th 1942 the money get back from the vabk and keep in his house, Same with postal service in May 1942 did not operated,sarting agai at May 1942. This collections belonging to my friend Mr Gunawan from Bogor,thank you Mr Gunawa for your informations

The same imprint DEI revenue 1942 used  in september 1942 used by the Japanese school look below.

 

while

the Kitamura Unit occupied Bodjonegoro on 3 March.

 The Japanese proceeded further and overwhelmed the Dutch defences at the Ngawi Regency, Tjaroeban (Caruban), Ngandjoek, Kertosono, Kediri and Djombang.

At Porong, near Surabaya, the Dutch infantry from 8th, 13th Battalion, 3rd Cavalry Unit and the American 131st (Texas) “E” Field Artillery Regiment gave fierce resistance to the incoming Japanese.

 Eventually the Allied troops under Major-General Gustav A. Ilgen had to retreat to the island of Madura upon the completion of demolition of the city’s infrastructure.

.

 

Wyndham raid photo received via WA historian Kevin Gomm

WA author / historian Kevin Gomm sent this fascinating photo of the burnt out DH-84 Dragon at Wyndham aerodrome.

 The damaged civil hangar is visible in the background.

This was all a result of the 3rd March strafing by a squadron of Zeroes, mirroring the attack on Broome.

Indeed a more well known series of photos was taken of the Broome raid wreckage and can be viewed via the Australian War Memorial online collection.

However this particular photo is not from that same series, although it must have been taken at a similar time, very soon after the raid and before the wreckage was cleared up. It actually appeared in a Sydney newspaper (The Daily Telegraph), just after Wyndham was raided for a second time, on 24th March 1942. Strangely the photo never featured in the West Australian newspaper, which would seem the obvious candidate.

Kevin Gomm has extensively researched all of the WWII attacks on WA, as well as maritime events.

He has visited all of the attack sites and has a detailed knowledge of anything surviving from the wartime years.

 His book Red Sun on the Kangaroo Paw documents each of the Japanese raids and attacks on WA during WWII.

 It is currently being re-released as a 70th Anniversary 1942-2012 Commemorative Edition.

The book is available from http://www.helveticapublishing.com – indeed the site is well worth a visit, concentrating solely on WA military history.

March.2nd.1942.

 

At midnight March 3rd

the positions of the planes of the second group are:

  • Lockheed L14 – PK-AFP – Captain A. Reyers – Alice Springs
  • Douglas DC-5 PK-ADB – Captain G. van Messel – Alice Springs
  • Douglas DC-5 PK-ADC – Captain M.S. Rab – Broome
  • Douglas DC-5 PK-ADD – Captain P.A. Deenik – Daly Waters
  • Douglas DC-2 PK-AFL – Captain G.J. Schippers – Port Hedland
  • Douglas DC-2 PK-AFK – Captain F. van Breemen – emergency strip near Daly Waters (he can’t find Daly Waters after sunset. Using his landing lights and finds this strip with two crossed “runways” of mowed grass some 600 metres long. And after three attempts manages to make a precautionary landing)

In the early morning of March 3rd the crew and passengers of PK-ADC have breakfast on the airfield (where according to the story there are no more non-alcoholic drinks available. Just beer). Just before the attack begins PK-ADC is the first plane of the day to get take-off clearance. As they receive the air raid warning on the radio, they go down to treetop level, to escape attention

 

(3)March,4th.1942

On 4 March,

 MacArthur split this command and created a separate Visayan Force under Brig. Gen. Bradford C. Chynoweth.

 

japanese soldiers observing smoke coming from a american position during the battle of bataan

 

Sharp remained in command of Mindanao, the only island south of Luzon on which a major Japanese force had landed.53 This move was probably designed to permit General Sharp to devote all his energies to the defense of Mindanao, the base from which MacArthur still hoped to mount a counteroffensive against the Japanese.

But careful as he had been in making

these arrangements (to go into effect the day after his departure), and briefing the force commanders and new deputy chief of staff, MacArthur neglected one thing — to inform the War Department. Whatever the reasons, the result was utter confusion.

 

type 95 ha-go tank of the japanese army 7th tank regiment using fouliage for camouflage (phillipines 1942)

 

The War Department assumed that Wainwright, the senior officer in the islands, was in command of all forces in the Philippines as MacArthur had been, and addressed him as such.

 

japanese tank crew man posing with a knock out american tank (phillipines 1942)

 

But the messages, intended for Wainwright and marked for the commander in the Philippines came to Beebe who had no recourse but to refer them to MacArthur, then en route to Australia. Beebe’s position was an embarrassing one and he urged his chief repeatedly to clear up the matter with Washington. But to no avail. MacArthur remained silent and the War Department uninformed.54.

Batavia have declared as the open city

The Dutch government at London ordered DEI Governor Tjarda military handed over power to General ter  Porten and DEI Govenor General Dr van Mook domiciled in Australia

on the nights of the 3rd, 4th and 5th March.

These assaults were made by the remaining Vildebeests of No. 36 (Torpedo Bomber) Squadron, of which only two were serviceable when the end came. On the morning of the 6th, they were ordered to seek the dubious safety of Burma, but both crashed in Sumatra and were lost. At the same time the gallant remnant of No. 1 Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force, took its three remaining Hudsons to Australia.

In Java,

as in Malaya, the attitude of the local white population contributed in no small measure to the swift and overwhelming disaster. The feelings of the Dutch in Java can best be described as those of confused despair.

The island on which they lived and from which they drew the source of their great wealth had been at peace for many generations.

Now, the prospect of the destruction by fire and high explosive of all that had been built up and handed on to them from the past stared them in the face and their hearts misgave them.

If any great show of resistance were to be made, Surabaya and Bandoeng would burn.

Why then make it, when the chances of success were infinitesimal?

When it is remembered that the chief Far Eastern bastion of an ally far stronger than they were had fallen after a bare fortnight’s siege, their attitude is understandable.

It was, however, responsible for the grim scenes which were enacted during the last few hours of resistance. ‘I was in command that morning’, records an officer of the Royal Air Force writing of the events of the last day, ‘of a big convoy with all the remaining spare arms, ammunition and such-like equipment of the Royal Air Force in Java.

We practically had to fight our way through the mess to prevent the lorries being forcibly stopped, and get them, according to our orders, up on to the hill roads where we understood—poor mutts—that at last we would have another go at the Nips’.

The surrender of Java was thus a foregone conclusion as soon as the Japanese had set firm foot upon the island.

Nevertheless it took place in circumstances which, to say the least of it, showed little consideration towards the armed forces, ill-armed and ill-prepared though they were.

On 5th March,

ter Poorten convened a conference in Bandoeng

which was attended, amongst others, by Maltby and the Army Commander, Sitwell. At this meeting, the Dutch Commander-in-Chief painted a picture of the situation which could not  have been more gloomy. Bandoeng, he said, might fall at any moment, and if its outer defences were pierced, he did not propose to defend the town.

The native Indonesians were very hostile to the Dutch and this hostility made it quite impossible to retire to the hills and there carry on a guerilla war.

Nevertheless, though he himself was prepared to surrender, he would, he said, issue orders to the local Dutch commanders to maintain the fight.

He had, he averred, instructed his troops not only to do so, but also to disregard any order which he might be compelled to issue calling upon them to lay down their arms.

In the event,

when discussing the final terms of surrender with

 

GeneralMasao  Maruyama, the Japanese Commander-in-Chief,

the Dutch Commander subsequently withdrew this order to disobey orders.

The attitude of ter Poorten does not seem to have been shared by

General Schilling, commanding at Batavia,

who was prepared to emulate the selfless gallantry of Admiral Dorman, but who did not possess enough weight to influence the general situation.

After some discussion, the Dutch Commander-in-Chief was induced to name an area north of Santosa as the spot where British forces should concentrate for a final stand, but he made no secret of his opinion that to do so would be folly or worse.

That grim evening, therefore, Maltby and Sitwell were brought face to face with the imminence of disaster. One slender hope remained. General Schilling, who had not been present at the conference, was understood to favour a retreat to the hills in south-west Java whither, it was said, he had already been able to transfer a certain quantity of stores and ammunition with the courageous intention of prolonging resistance.

Hardly had this faint flame been kindled, when it expired. Ter Poorten made any such move impossible by making Schilling responsible for the defence of Bandoeng while at the same time issuing orders that it was not to be defended, and forbidding any further fighting.

The two British officers took what counsel they could together. The surrender of some of those under their command, those for example at the airfield of Andir, was inevitable.

 

Andir was part of Bandoeng

which had been declared an open town, and the officers and other ranks at Poerwokerta had neither rations nor arms. Their position was, in the circumstances, hopeless. For the rest, Santosa seemed to offer the only chance but, when reconnoitred, it was found to be quite unsuitable for defence and to be inhabited by Dutchmen who had obviously no intention of continuing the struggle.

Throughout this confused period, matters were further complicated by the efforts made to evacuate as many men of the Royal Air Force as could be got away. They left from Poerwokerta, priority of passage being accorded to aircrews and technical staff.

 

By 5th March

seven out of twelve thousand had been taken off, but by then no more ships were available for they had all been sunk and about 2,500 of the air force awaiting evacuation were therefore left stranded in the transit camp.

In these attempts to send away as many skilled men as possible the Dutch gave but little help.

They could not be brought to realize that our airmen were quite unpractised as soldiers and would be of far greater value playing their part as trained members of an aircrew or as technicians on the ground, in some other theatre of war, than they would be trying, without arms or food, to stage a last stand.

Santosa being unsuitable, about 8,000 mixed English and Australian forces, of whom some 1,300 belonged to the Royal Air Force, were concentrated at Garoet; here, too, the Dutch District Civil Administrator, Koffman, proved unsympathetic.

He feared what he described as ‘a massacre of the whites’ if any guerrilla warfare were attempted, and made no effort to collect supplies or to give any aid to the British forces which had so inconveniently arrived in his district. They were by then in a sorry plight and by then, too, the last embers of resistance in the air had expired.

 

 

 

(4)March,5th.1942

Batavia(Jakarta) occupied by dai Nippon Army

lead by Let.General Immamura

 

 

A Japanese soldier outside oil tanks near Jakarta destroyed by Dutch forces in March,5th. 1942

 

Dai Nippon tanl entering Batavia(Jakarta) march.5th.1942



Japanese tanks with infantry entering Batavia, March 1942

The other was Captain J.P. van Helsdingen, a fighter pilot of the KNIL airforce. He was killed in action on March 5, 1942

Batavia fell on the March,5th 1942

without a struggle, after the government moved inland to Bandoeng. It was not safe even there, for the Japanese closed in on this mountain retreat and by the 8th were in position to attack the remnants of the Dutch Army defending it. The next morning the Dutch surrendered and the fight for Java was over.57

For the Japanese, the conquest of the Indies was the crowning achievement of the war. It realized their long-cherished dream of empire. The rich resources of Southeast Asia, the oil, rubber, and manganese needed for war and for the control of Asia, were now in their possession. And all this had been won in three months.

On this day Ciater and the north area of Subang occupied by the Dai Nippon military army.

 

Read more

The Last day Of Batavia

(Setyawati Soelaiman,the private notes during Dai nippon Occupation)

Alpha

 

We will be very sorry if he would fall, he was a young adept, I still see it last time when batavia  would have been invaded by the armies of Dai Nippon d I still to  RH building (hoogeschool Recht, High School of Law)

 

I saw some friends who are still busy studying, in a room that has been a faculty library literature “How Optimik” I thought, when I see my future keruang Prof.Soepomo dressed in cloth and blankon . He was assigned to lead the Faculty of Law and is to be received stamps of the Japanese at the time the building was occupied,

On the road a truck stop, look Prof Kemperts Bernet, Professor Werthiem and several other professors. they are held hands up has regards . Jakarta City Fall afternoon (8-3.42 not right, the right day 5-3.48).


All of the Netherlands, Britain and Australia are uniformed prison. The first days are still a lot of unrest so that we do not dare go home kerumahkarena we heard that when the army occupied Shanghai dai nippon been many robberies and rapes,

 

in Batavia was not so.
When some soldiers looted warehouses Dai nippon act strongly against the leader of a robbery. Rape does not sound happen but the hosts dai nippon bring the Korean people as the troops advanced, they were assigned to take the vehicles to the invasion of Bandung.Mobil of my  father was also taken.

When the situation had died down, I dare to ride bicycles to visit Ida ross who lived not far from the factory Salemba Amfiun near the college of Medicine.

 

We talked about the situation at that time and we asked what would happen next before the surrender by the Japanese army, the head of the family have bought and keeping  rice at home, because there is no yangtahu whether the father will still be retained in office and whether his family and still be able to eat later .
On another day I saw a long line of white people. There is already a beard and did not seem clean. The legend says that the prisoners were told to walk away from Glodok  prison to prison struiswijk  (now Salemba prison)
I think that the professor and professor Bernet Kempers = other professors in the row.

Women of Europe and Australia was soon taken prisoner j8uga and finally put into special camps for their camp.
They are still able to prove themselves that they were Indo, so the descent was a native ditangkap.Karena not overrun the state archives of people who find evidence of it.
Mrs. Bernet Kempert and two sons captured as well, with the other ladies, they stay away from her husband.
Professor Bernet Kempert living in camps in Java, but there are some other scholars anaara Bok van de Casparis Neckeren and taken to Burma and Thailand to work to make a fire road Railway
. Thankfully they survived in captivity so that Prof. Bernet Kempert can gather with his family. They are still embedded in the Lord and perhaps prof Bernet Kampert, Bob van de Casparis Heekeren and retained this earth to be a teacher kita.karena archaeologists have not time for them to go and they who teach us how to protect and have our own cultural heritage.

We are very disappointed that the Government of Japan’s occupation would not hold the school to humanoris. Which may be passed is the school of law, medicine and dentistry and engineering,
At the Museum held courses in Javanese and Sanskrit and several other lectures by Professor Poerbatjeraka and some other figures. I heard from friends that read the room museum that is not a nice thing because it is often heard cries of people being tortured by Professor Kempetei dibekas room because of the high School of Law has become the headquarters Kenpetei.
I heard that when the building was occupied by some Japanese soldiers throwing a book from our library kempert prof sought out the window.
Mrs Dr de Jong our lecturers in Dutch seventeenth century to the present menyelamatkannya.Pak Prijono also said: “Lady, lady’s life remembered”

Original info

Kami akan sangat menyesal kalau ia akan gugur , ia masih muda cakap, Saya masih melihatnya terakhir kali m ketika batavia sudah akan diserbu oleh Balatentara dai Nippon . saya masih kegedung R.H(Recht hoogeschool,Sekolah tinggi Hukum) saya melihat beberapa  teman yang masih sibuk belajar , dalam ruangan yang telah menjadi Perpustakaan Fakultas sastra”Betapa Optimik”  pikir saya, ketika saya keruang depan saya melihat Prof.Soepomo  yang berpakaian  kain dan blankon.  Ia ditugaskan untuk memimpin Fakultas Hukum dan ialah yang akan menerima prang-orang Jepang pada saat gedung tersebut diduduki,

Di jalan sebuah truk berhenti ,nampak Prof Bernet Kemperts,Professor Werthiem  dan beberapa professor lainnya . mereka mengacungkan tanggan  sebagai salam . Sore itu Kota Jakarta Jatuh(8-3.42 not right,the right day 5-3.48) .

Semua orang belanda ,Inggris dan australia yang berseragam dipenjarakan. Hari-hari pertama masih banyak kerusuhan sehingga kami tidak berani pulang kerumahkarena kami dengar bahwa ketika Shanghai diduduki tentara dai nippon  terjadi banyak perampokan  dan perkosaan, ternyata di Batavia tidak begitu.

Ketika beberapa gudang dirampok tentara Dai nippon bertindak dengan keras terhadap pemimpin perampokan .Perkosaan tidak terdengar terjadi/ tetapi Balatentara dai nippon membawa orang Korea sebagai  pasukan terdepan , mereka ditugaskan mengambil kendaraan-kendaraan untuk penyerbuan ke Bandung.Mobil ayah juga dibawa.

Ketika keadaan sudah mereda , saya berani naik sepeda untuk mengunjungi Ida nasution yang tinggal di salemba tidak jauh dari pabrik  Amfiun dekat perguruan tinggi Kedokteran. Kami mengobrol tentang keadaan pada saat itu dan  kami bertanya apakah yang akan terjadi  nanti sebelum penyerahan oleh tentara Jepang , para kepala keluarga sudah membeli  dan menyoimpan  beras dirumah,karena tidak ada  yangtahu apakah  Ayah masih akan dipertahankan dalam jabatannya dan  dan apakah keluarganya masih dapat makan nanti.

Pada hari yang lain saya melihat suatu barisan panjang orang kulit putih,. Ada yang sudah berjenggot dan kelihatannya tidak bersih. Konon kabarnya  para tahanan  disuruh berjalan kaki dari penjara Glodok ke penjara struiswijk(sekarang Penjara salemba)

Saya pikir bahwa professor Bernet Kempers dan profesor=profesor lain berada dalam barisan itu.

Wanita-wanita eropa dan Australia tidak lama kemudian ditawan j8uga dan akhirnya dimasukkan kedalam Kamp kamp khusus untuk mereka .

Mereka yang masih dapat membuktikan dirinya  bahwa mereka orang Indo, jadi keturunan seorang pribumi tidak ditangkap.Karena itu arsip negara  diserbu orang-orang yang mencari bukti itu.

Nyonya Bernet Kempert  dan kedua putranya ditawan juga, dengan nyonya-nyonya lainnya ,mereka tinggal jauh dari suaminya.

Prof Bernet Kempert tinggal dalam kamp di Jawa tetapi ada beberapa orang sarjana  anaara lain Bok van Neckeren  dan de Casparis yang dibawa ke Burma dan Thailand untuk bekerja membuat jalan Kerata api

.Syukurlah mereka bertahan  dalam tawanan sehingga Prof Bernet Kempert dapat berkumpul lagi dengan keluarganya. Mereka masih dipayungi oleh Tuhan  dan mungkin prof Bernet Kampert, Bob van heekeren dan de Casparis  masih dipertahankan dibumi  ini untuk menjadi guru para arkeolog kita.karena belum waktunya mereka pergi dan merekalah yang mengajar kita bagaimana melindungi dan memiliki warisan budaya kita sendiri.

Kami sangat kecewa bahwa Pemerintah Pendudukan Jepang  tidak mau mengadakan sekolah untuk humanoris. Yang boleh diteruskan adalah sekolah hokum,Kedokteran dan kedokteran gigi serta tehnik,

Di Museum diadakan kursus-kursus dalam bahasa Jawa dan sansekerta dan beberapa kuliah lain oleh Profesor Poerbatjeraka dan beberapa tokoh lainnya. Saya dengar dari teman-teman bahwa bahwa membaca diruangan Museum bukan merupakan hal yang menyenangkan karena seringkali terdengar  teriakan orang yang sedang disiksa  oleh Kempetei dibekas ruangan Profesor karena Gedung Sekolah tinggi Hukum sudah menjadi  markas Kenpetei.

Saya dengar ketika gedung itu diduduki beberapa serdadu jepang melempar-lemparkan buku  dari perpustakaan kami  yang diusahakan prof kempert keluar jendela.

Ny Dr de Jong dosen kami dalam bahasa Belanda abad ke XVII ingin menyelamatkannya.Pak Prijono yang hadir juga mengatakan;”Nyonya, ingat nyawa nyonya”.

Until that on Thursday, March 5

in the afternoon times an our-student of Br Marcellin panting and trembling they had him three times to say before they understood it said that the Europeans from their homes were and the mob have invaded to loot, and that we “Our Lord” would bring.
It turned out that half the city was already plundered by Javanese and Japanese shock troops, without the Brothers there iels of knew. On board were the Pastor Versteegh H.Hoslies by Br.Ov.Justus reach out. The H.Vaten were hidden in a basket with charcoal.
One gentle encouragement in those anxious hours in each other’s proximity and silently praying it will be around the long table in the recreation room, listening on possible from above certain orders or directions should be given. In vain were heard in the distance, only the jeers of the marauding crowd.
Thank God came after the onset of dusk one of our boys home with the comforting news that the Japanese had ordered, the disaster axes at six o’clock to strike.

New shock when the next morning relapse werd.De gangs were now approaching our house. The Juliana Hotel on the corner of the street. Was totally empty up. The blinds go relen of the Brothers saw a stream Javanese pass, laden with mattresses, blankets, linens, table etc saved.
At the other end of the long street of houses some retired military. Even this did not escape the rapacity. But it is striking – let me rather say an order of God’s good-hero that the buildings of both the Mission Fathers, Brothers and Sisters spared.

the surrender

(121)

 

 

Netherlands East Indies

 

 

Lt. August Deibel of 2-VLG-V with his Buffalo (serial B-3110) at RAF Kallang, early 1942. He shot down two Nakajima Ki-27 fighters on 12 January before being wounded and having to bail out himself.[N 8][23]

(

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Fall of Java Island, March 1942

 

 

 

Bombardment of Soerabaja by the Japanese planes.
The naval establishment is seen on the left of the canalised
River Mas on the right is the Royal Dutch Naval Air Station Perak

 

Destruction of ammo stacks in Soerabaja, March 1942

 

 

 

Personnel of 211th Squadron RAF, most probably at Tjilatjap, possibly on the railway station platform, in March 1942

 

 

Personnel of 211th Squadron RAF, most probably at Tjilatjap, possibly on the railway station platform, in March 1942The Fall of Java Island



 


Bombardment of Soerabaja by the Japanese planes.
The naval establishment is seen on the left of the canalised
River Mas on the right is the Royal Dutch Naval Air Station Perak


Australian troops of 2/3 Machine Gun Battalion
at Arinem (Western Java) in January 1942

 

 




Personnel of 211th Squadron RAF, most probably at Tjilatjap, possibly on the railway station platform, in March 1942
Copyright © Jim Fryatt and Don Clark


Cadets and instructors of the ML-KNIL at Andir, Java Island

 




Dutch KNIL soldiers with their AA guns,
Dutch East Indies 1941-1942


As soon as capitulation on Java became evident, destruction parties began their work.
Here is a part of the naval yard in Soerabaja

 




In 1940, the so-called Stadswacht was erected to act against enemy paratroopers and “Vijdfe Colonne” (enemy spies) in areas
unprotected by regular KNIL forces. These were normally old
draftees and volunteers, including foreigners like British


Dutch soldiers of the 10th KNIL Battalion
Palembang, February 14th, 1942

 




American bomber B-17 on fire after Japanese bombardment,
Bandoeng airfield on Java, February 17th 1942


Japanese troops between Buitenzorg and Bandoeng, Java 1942

 




Japanese troops landing trucks at Kragan, Eastern Java 1942


Dutch Marines during an exercise, Java Island

 




HMS cruiser Exeter sinking in the Java Sea, March 1942


Japanese troops crossing a bridge during
their advance towards Batavia, March 1942

 




Japanese bicycle troops entering in Batavia, March 8th 1942


Japanese troops entering Soerabaja, March 1942

 




Japanese tanks with infantry entering Batavia, March 1942


Japanese bicycle troops entering Batavia, March 1942

 

 

 


Recording of the signing of the capitulation agreement.
On the left is Lt-General H. Ter Poorten.
The man scratching his nose is Lt-Col P.G. Mantel
Java, March 1942


After the signing of the capitulation.
In the centre Lt-General Imamura,
right Major-General Bakker and Lt-General Ter Poorten.

 




Japanese soldiers with a group of Dutch POWs, Java 1942


Japanese soldiers captured a group of Dutch soldiers, Java 1942

 




Allied POWs on their way to POW camps, Java Island 1942


1st Lieutenant J.G.M. Nass (Korps Mariniers) in conversation
with an Indonesian native, Java Island, late 1941
Courtecy © Mariniers Museum Rotterdam & Felix Bakker

   

 

 

On 5th March,

ter Poorten convened a conference in Bandoeng which was attended, amongst others, by Maltby and the Army Commander, Sitwell. At this meeting, the Dutch Commander-in-Chief painted a picture of the situation which could not  have been more gloomy.

Bandoeng, he said, might fall at any moment, and if its outer defences were pierced, he did not propose to defend the town.

The native Indonesians were very hostile to the Dutch and this hostility made it quite impossible to retire to the hills and there carry on a guerilla war. Nevertheless, though he himself was prepared to surrender, he would, he said, issue orders to the local Dutch commanders to maintain the fight.

He had, he averred, instructed his troops not only to do so, but also to disregard any order which he might be compelled to issue calling upon them to lay down their arms.

In the event, when discussing the final terms of surrender with General Maruyama, the Japanese Commander-in-Chief, the Dutch Commander subsequently withdrew this order to disobey orders.

The attitude of ter Poorten does not seem to have been shared by General Schilling, commanding at Batavia, who was prepared to emulate the selfless gallantry of Admiral Dorman, but who did not possess enough weight to influence the general situation.

After some discussion, the Dutch Commander-in-Chief was induced to name an area north of Santosa as the spot where British forces should concentrate for a final stand, but he made no secret of his opinion that to do so would be folly or worse.

That grim evening, therefore, Maltby and Sitwell were brought face to face with the imminence of disaster. One slender hope remained. General Schilling, who had not been present at the conference, was understood to favour a retreat to the hills in south-west Java whither, it was said, he had already been able to transfer a certain quantity of stores and ammunition with the courageous intention of prolonging resistance.

Hardly had this faint flame been kindled, when it expired. Ter Poorten made any such move impossible by making Schilling responsible for the defence of Bandoeng while at the same time issuing orders that it was not to be defended, and forbidding any further fighting.

The two British officers took what counsel they could together. The surrender of some of those under their command, those for example at the airfield of Andir, was inevitable.

Andir was part of Bandoeng which had been declared an open town, and the officers and other ranks at Poerwokerta had neither rations nor arms. Their position was, in the circumstances, hopeless. For the rest, Santosa seemed to offer the only chance but, when reconnoitred, it was found to be quite unsuitable for defence and to be inhabited by Dutchmen who had obviously no intention of continuing the struggle.

Throughout this confused period, matters were further complicated by the efforts made to evacuate as many men of the Royal Air Force as could be got away. They left from Poerwokerta, priority of passage being accorded to aircrews and technical staff.

 

 

 By 5th March

seven out of twelve thousand had been taken off, but by then no more ships were available for they had all been sunk and about 2,500 of the air force awaiting evacuation were therefore left stranded in the transit camp.

In these attempts to send away as many skilled men as possible the Dutch gave but little help.

They could not be brought to realize that our airmen were quite unpractised as soldiers and would be of far greater value playing their part as trained members of an aircrew or as technicians on the ground, in some other theatre of war, than they would be trying, without arms or food, to stage a last stand.

Santosa being unsuitable, about 8,000 mixed English and Australian forces, of whom some 1,300 belonged to the Royal Air Force, were concentrated at Garoet; here, too, the Dutch District Civil Administrator, Koffman, proved unsympathetic.

 He feared what he described as ‘a massacre of the whites’ if any guerrilla warfare were attempted, and made no effort to collect supplies or to give any aid to the British forces which had so inconveniently arrived in his district. They were by then in a sorry plight and by then, too, the last embers of resistance in the air had expired.

March,6th.1942

Batavia(Djakarta) Occupied by Dai Miltary Army

 

Japanese bicycle troops entering Batavia, March 1942

 

Enemy troops reached Surabaya

 on the March, 6th.1942 ,

(hans semethini)

fighting their way into the suburbs in the Wonokromo district and advancing along the Surabaya River towards the Gunungsari golf course.

The Samethinis must have heard the artillery fire from American defensive positions, but this ceased on the 7th as Allied resistance crumbled.

 From the direction of the port and naval base came the sound of heavy explosions. Black smoke clouds billowed from burning oil stocks and war material, set ablaze to deny them to the invaders.

 

 

Japanese enter Surabaya

 

This picture (taken from Jacob Zwaan, Gouvernementeel Intermezzo) shows an ex-K.N.I.L. Chevrolet truck loaded with Japanese troops entering Soerabaja in March 1942.


The truck must have been taken over by the Imperial Japanese Army on its way to the city,  a practice not uncommon to invading armies in a hurry that are short of transport.

 

 By 7th March,

 only two undamaged Hurricanes were left and on that day these, the last representatives of a fighter force which, during the campaign in Sumatra and Java, had accounted for about forty aircraft, their own losses amounting to half as much again, were destroyed.

On the next day, 8th, March 1942

came the inevitable climax. About 9 a.m., to their great astonishment, the British commanders received a translation of a broadcast, made an hour previously by ter Poorten, in which he said that all organized resistance in Java had ceased, and that the troops under his command were no longer to continue the fight.

The Dutch land forces, in striking contrast to their Navy and Air Force, had capitulated almost without a struggle. They felt themselves to be no match for the Japanese.

This broadcast revoked all previous decisions and was ter Poorten’s final word. Maltby and Sitwell were placed in an impossible position.

 A decision of decisive import had been taken and promulgated without reference to them.

If, however, they decided to disregard it, their troops, should they continue the struggle, would, under international law, be subject to summary execution when captured. They had few arms, and what there were, were in the hands of men untrained to them; they were surrounded by a hostile native populace, with little food and, for drinking, they had nothing but contaminated water.

 In such conditions and with medicine-chests empty, they were in no state to carry on the fight. Moreover their whereabouts and intentions were well known to the enemy.

 In these circumstances, the two commanders had no alternative but to comply with the Dutch Commander-in-Chief’s order to surrender. Four days later they negotiated terms with the Japanese commander in Bandoeng, Lieutenant General Maruyama. He undertook to treat all prisoners in accordance with the terms of the Geneva Convention of 1929.

How they subsequently fared can be gathered from a description of the arrival in Batavia two years later of a contingent which had been sent to one of the numerous islands of the Malayan archipelago, there to work on airfields.

 It has been set down by a squadron leader, once a Member of Parliament, who survived the horrors of Java, horrors which were repeated in Malaya, in Siam, in Korea, in Japan—anywhere where the Japanese were in control of unarmed and defenceless men—and is one of the few printable pages of a diary kept intermittently during his captivity and hidden from his gaolers:

Of all the sights thatI would like to forget [he writes]I think I would put first some of these returning island drafts being driven into Batavia . . . Imagine a series of barbed wire compounds in the dark with ourselves a gathering furtive stream of all races East and West, in every kind of clothing or none; here an old tunic in rags with a pair of cut down pyjama trousers, there a blanketed shivering malaria case or someone with night-blindness groping along with a stick, blundering over gypsy bundles of still sleeping prisoners.

 At the side runs a camp road with one high floodlight and all of us waiting to see if any of our friends have made the grade and returned.

At last a long procession of stooping figures creeps down the road with jabbering Nips cracking at their shins with a rifle or the flat of a sword. Most of them half naked, and they leading those going blind with pellagra.

Others shambling along with their feet bound up in lousy rags over tropical sores (not our little things an inch across but real horrors), legs swollen up or half paralysed with beri-beri, enormous eyes fallen into yellow crumpled faces like aged gnomes.

 And then a search—God knows what for after months in a desert and weeks at sea. Some Jap would rush up and down hurling anything any of them still possessed all over the place, while as sure as the clock, the dreadful hopeless rain would begin again like a lunatic helplessly fouling his bed.

 Everything swilling into the filthy racing storm gutters; men trying to reach out and rescue a bit of kit and being picked up and hurled bodily back into the ranks; others clutching hold of a wife’s photo or suchlike souvenir of home, small hope for the Nips always liked pinching and being obscene about a woman’s picture.

And at last after two or three hours when everyone was soaking and shivering with cold, the dreary, hunted column would crawl down the road out of the patch of light where the great atlas moths disputed with the bats, away into an isolation compound, with no light, no food, no knowledge of where to find a tap or latrine, with wet bedding or none at all.

The Nips would disappear laughing and cackling back to bed, we faded away to our floor space and all was quiet again; and the evening or the morning was the eight or nine hundredth day and God no doubt saw that it was good.

In few respects does a nation show itself in its true colours more clearly than in its treatment of enemies who have the misfortune to fall into its hands.

 To describe as bestial the behaviour of the Japanese towards their prisoners of war of whatever race or rank is an insult to the animal world.

Of the thousands of Royal Air Force and Royal Australian Air Force officers and airmen who fell into Japanese hands in Malaya, Sumatra, Java and later Burma, 3,462 only were found alive, after due retribution had fallen from the skies above Hiroshima upon the sons of Nippon.

Not by any means all the Air Force was captured in Java. Some, as has been related, were successfully taken by ship to Australia, and a small number to Ceylon. By a combination of good fortune and stern courage a still smaller number escaped.

 Of these, the most remarkable was Wing Commander J. R. Jeudwine, commanding No. 84 Squadron, which it will be recalled lost the last of its Blenheims at the capture of Kalidjati.

Such pilots and ground staff as remained had been sent to the port of Tjilitjap, there to be taken by ship to Australia.

 No ship, however, was forthcoming; the port was in flames, and the ‘Scorpion’, the only seaworthy vessel to be found, was a ship’s lifeboat capable of holding at most twelve.

To try to avoid capture by taking to the woods and jungles near the shore there to await rescue by submarine offered a slender chance.

To seek that help in an open boat seemed certain death. Jeudwine and ten others chose this course and boarded the ‘Scorpion’. Flying Officer C. P. L. Streatfield alone knew the elements of sailing; Pilot Officer S. G. Turner could handle a sextant and was chosen as navigator; the remainder of the crew was made up of another officer and seven Australian sergeants.

On the evening of 7th March,

they put to sea, bound for Australia which the navigator calculated would take sixteen days. It took forty-seven. Through all that time they never lost heart, though as day after day passed in blazing sun or torrential rain, the chances of reaching land grew smaller and smaller.

They played games, held competitions, but found ‘that the mental exercise made us very hungry and that talking and arguing brought on thirst’. Saturday night at sea was kept religiously, a ration of liquor being issued, which was found on closer investigation to be a patent cough cure.

 Their worst experience was the visit paid to them by a young whale, about twice the size of the ‘Scorpion’, who came to rest lying in a curve with its tail under the boat.

 ‘Eventually it made off, and when we had regained the power of movement, we passed round a bottle of Australian “3 Star” Brandy . . . after which we did not care if we saw elephants, pink or otherwise, flying over us in tight formation’. At long last, they sighted land near Frazer Islet, were found by a Catalina flying boat of the United States Navy, and taken to Perth. An American submarine sent at once to Java found no sign of their comrades.

Such men as these typify the spirit of the less fortunate who had fought to the end in circumstances which, from the very beginning, made victory impossible, and even prolonged defence out of the question. It was through no fault of theirs that they did not accomplish more.

The straits to which they were reduced, flying unsuitable aircraft in the worst conditions, were soon reproduced on the same scale farther north. How the Air Force fared in the first campaign of Burma must now be told

 

 

Japanese Period

The fall of Singapore to the Japanese, making the position of the island of Java as the center of the Dutch East Indies government threatened. When about to attack Indonesia, Japan, earlier ruled the oil-producing regions such as the Tarakan in East Kalimantan, Bunyu Island and Balikpapan. Mastery of these areas is essential to support the interests of war by Japanese forces in the Pacific.

 After Borneo, Sumatra, Japan then attacked the Dumai, New Feed and Palembang. Last new Japanese attacked the island of Java by landing troops in Banten, Indramayu and Banyuwangi.

 

In a short time managed to occupy a strategic place on the island of Java. Until finally, on March 8, 1942, the Dutch surrendered unconditionally to the Japanese in kalijati, West Java. So since that’s the Japanese power in Indonesia.

The period of Japanese occupation in Yogyakarta held from

March 6, 1942.

 They immediately occupied the government buildings originally occupied by the Dutch government. The Japanese occupation of the city of Yogyakarta is running very smoothly without any resistance. With the motto of the Three A (Nipon Light of Asia, Asian Leaders and Nipon Nipon Protector Asia), they do the parade by walking and biking to move toward the center of the city of Yogyakarta. This is done to attract the sympathy of the people of Yogyakarta.

 

From Sampit boats were sent to pick up C Company, while D Company was ordered to halt at Kotabesi. C and Staff Company marched from Sampit south but on March 7th 1942

they got word that the Japanese troops had landed 14 km south of them. A platoon of C Company was sent on a reconaissance mission but very soon they came under fire. As the British soldiers had very little ammunition, they broke off contact and returned back to Sampit.

The Brewsters flew their last sortie

on 7 March.

 Altogether, 17 ML-KNIL pilots were killed, and 30 aircraft shot down; 15 were destroyed on the ground, and several were lost to misadventure. Dutch pilots claimed 55 enemy aircraft destroyed.[30]

March 7, 1942,

the Japanese government imposed the Law No. 1 of 1942 that the position of regional leaders still recognized but is under the supervision Kooti Zium Tjokan Kyoku (Japan Governor) who is based in Kantai Tjokan Building (Great House). Center for Army forces stationed in Japan in addition to Kotabaru also in focus at Fort Vredeburg. Japanese troops stationed in Fort Vredeburg is Kempeitei the army’s famous choice of hard and cruel.

In addition Vredeburg fort was also used as a place of detention for prisoners of the Dutch and the Indo Dutch who were arrested. Indonesian politicians also were arrested for holding a successful campaign against Japan.

In order to meet the need of weapons, the Japanese army to bring weapons from Semarang.

Before distribution to the posts which require a first in the store in Fort Vredeburg. Gunpowder warehouse located in every corner of the fort except in the northeast corner. It was the consideration that the security in the region more secure. Placement of gunpowder warehouse in every corner of the fort is intended to ease when the war abruptly.

Japanese mastery over Vredeburg lasted from 1942 until 1945, when the proclamation has been resounding and the nationalization of the buildings which occupied Japan began to be implemented. During that although the de facto controlled by Japan but formal judicial status of the land still belongs Sultanate.

From the description it can be said that during the Japanese occupation (1942-1945) building functioned as a fortress Vredeburg Kempeitei army headquarters, ammunition storehouse and home detention for the Dutch and the Indo RI Netherlands as well as the politicians who oppose the Japanese.

 

 

 

On March,7th.1942

Thhe Dai Nippon Miltary Order no 1 

Undang-undang balatentara Dai Nippon tentang Menjalankan Pemerintahan  di tetapkan di Djakarta (Alamsjah,1987)

On this day, the Dai Nippon army occupied Lembang and at this city there were a meeting between Dai Nippon army led

 

by Toshinari Shoji

 with the DEI army

 

 

 

at Isola Hotel(three photos)

The JDai Nippon ultimate Dutch east Indie Army, If they don’t surrender without condition ,in 24 housr, Bandung will attacked to dawn.

 

Cadets and instructors of the ML-KNIL at Andir, Java Island

At the same time, the last filght from Andir flight Field Buah Batu North Bandung city  to Australia by KNIL flight DC 3 Widevaal  DEI Governor General

 

 

Dr van Mook ,

Dr van der Plass  and commandant KNIL Maj.Gen.l.H.van Oyen.

the first Kalidjati Capitulations’s  meeting in 7th at night night

 was also attended by

 

Tjarda van Starkenborgh Stachouwer

 the Governor-General Tjarda van Starkenborg , the official starting date of March 4, 1942 no longer served as the highest pamnglima Armed Forces (also has awarded the Dutch East Indie  General governorship

 

 Dr. van Mook to

 and gave the position

 

 General Hein ter Poorten

the commander of the Koninklijk Nederlands Indisch Leger

at that meeting were considered by the Dutch as a mere military surrender,

It is increasingly becoming important due to  so many people think and believe that the events of the Dutch capitulation to the Japanese surrender were total military both civil and after March 8th, 1942 that is no longer the Government of the Netherlands East Indies and indeed  the fact like that

History thus shows that there is  Dutch East Indies government  in exile 

 

 March.7th.1942

Capitulation Dai nippon at Kalidjati military airport, The Dutch Armed Forces surrender

(1) The House of capitulation’s Meeting now

 

 

 

(a) Interior still same meubeleur

 

(b)Exterior

 

(2)The Position of the capitulations meeting participant.

Painted by DR R.Hoesein,given to Dr Iwan.

 

Photographs from different angles on the Dutch capitulation to the Japanese in the House Kalidjati dated March 8, 1942 at 15,99-16.00 this picture without the governor present Tjarda9Tjarda General dated March 7, 1942 evening, no pictures, no paintings of the Japanese officer who looks light light-DrIwan notes)

A. Army Gen. Dai Nippon Edo
B. General Hitosi Immamura

 

C. Chief of staff Seikagura Okazari
D. Translator one
E. Translator  two
F. Army Chief of Staff of the Netherlands bekkers

G. Gen. H.T er Poorten
H. Colonel P.C.Manel
X Japan’s officers

 

 

 

 

  1. Army Gen. Dai Nippon Edo
    B. Jenderasl Immamura

C. Chief of staff Seikagura Okazari
D. Translator one
E. Translator  two

X Japan’s officers

 

Original info

Foto dari sudut yang berbeda tentang kapitulasi Belanda kepada jepang  di Gedung Kalidjati  tanggal 8 Maret 1942 jam 15,99-16.00 gambar ini tanpa gubernur Jendral Tjarda9Tjarda hadir tanggal 7 Maret 1942 malam,tak ada foto,yang ada lukisan dari opsir Jepang yang kelihatan lampu yang menyala-DrIwan notes)

 

 

 

 

  1. B.   Jenderal Edo Angkatan darat Dai Nippon
  2. C.   Jenderal Immamura

 

  1. D.    Kepala staf  Seikagura Okazari
  2. E.    Penterjemah satu
  3. F.    Pertejemah dua
  4. G.   Kepala Staf Tentara Belanda Bekkers

F.Jenderal H.Ter Poorten

G.Colonel P.C.Manel

H.Perwira-perwira Jepang

 

 

(c)The Original Photos

Let General Hitoshi Immamura the command of Dai nippon Army

 

 

had the cpitulation Meeting at kalidjati army port March 7th at night ,Immamura didnot want to meet with the ex DEI Govenorgeneral Tjarda

 

But the meeting was cancancelled because Gen. Yamashita did not want to tolk with ex Governor General who did not have the Military  power anymore. Let Gen Ter Poorten surrender without notice to Dai Nippon Army at Kalijati in first meeting 7th 1942 and they went back and Let Gen Immamura asked Ter Poorten to announce about surrender in the morning 8th 1942 and will back at 10.00 am to Kalidjati with bring the list of DEI army power

 By 7th March,

 only two undamaged Hurricanes were left and on that day these, the last representatives of a fighter force which, during the campaign in Sumatra and Java, had accounted for about forty aircraft, their own losses amounting to half as much again, were destroyed.

 

On the next day,

 8th, Match 1942

came the inevitable climax. About 9 a.m., to their great astonishment, the British commanders received a translation of a broadcast, made an hour previously by ter Poorten, in which he said that all organized resistance in Java had ceased, and that the troops under his command were no longer to continue the fight.

The Dutch land forces, in striking contrast to their Navy and Air Force, had capitulated almost without a struggle. They felt themselves to be no match for the Japanese.

This broadcast revoked all previous decisions and was ter Poorten’s final word. Maltby and Sitwell were placed in an impossible position.

A decision of decisive import had been taken and promulgated without reference to them.

If, however, they decided to disregard it, their troops, should they continue the struggle, would, under international law, be subject to summary execution when captured. They had few arms, and what there were, were in the hands of men untrained to them; they were surrounded by a hostile native populace, with little food and, for drinking, they had nothing but contaminated water.

In such conditions and with medicine-chests empty, they were in no state to carry on the fight. Moreover their whereabouts and intentions were well known to the enemy.

In these circumstances, the two commanders had no alternative but to comply with the Dutch Commander-in-Chief’s order to surrender. Four days later they negotiated terms with the Japanese commander in Bandoeng, Lieutenant General Maruyama. He undertook to treat all prisoners in accordance with the terms of the Geneva Convention of 1929.

How they subsequently fared can be gathered from a description of the arrival in Batavia two years later of a contingent which had been sent to one of the numerous islands of the Malayan archipelago, there to work on airfields.

It has been set down by a squadron leader, once a Member of Parliament, who survived the horrors of Java, horrors which were repeated in Malaya, in Siam, in Korea, in Japan—anywhere where the Japanese were in control of unarmed and defenceless men—and is one of the few printable pages of a diary kept intermittently during his captivity and hidden from his gaolers:

Of all the sights thatI would like to forget [he writes]I think I would put first some of these returning island drafts being driven into Batavia . . . Imagine a series of barbed wire compounds in the dark with ourselves a gathering furtive stream of all races East and West, in every kind of clothing or none; here an old tunic in rags with a pair of cut down pyjama trousers, there a blanketed shivering malaria case or someone with night-blindness groping along with a stick, blundering over gypsy bundles of still sleeping prisoners.

At the side runs a camp road with one high floodlight and all of us waiting to see if any of our friends have made the grade and returned.

At last a long procession of stooping figures creeps down the road with jabbering Nips cracking at their shins with a rifle or the flat of a sword. Most of them half naked, and they leading those going blind with pellagra.

Others shambling along with their feet bound up in lousy rags over tropical sores (not our little things an inch across but real horrors), legs swollen up or half paralysed with beri-beri, enormous eyes fallen into yellow crumpled faces like aged gnomes.

And then a search—God knows what for after months in a desert and weeks at sea. Some Jap would rush up and down hurling anything any of them still possessed all over the place, while as sure as the clock, the dreadful hopeless rain would begin again like a lunatic helplessly fouling his bed.

Everything swilling into the filthy racing storm gutters; men trying to reach out and rescue a bit of kit and being picked up and hurled bodily back into the ranks; others clutching hold of a wife’s photo or suchlike souvenir of home, small hope for the Nips always liked pinching and being obscene about a woman’s picture.

And at last after two or three hours when everyone was soaking and shivering with cold, the dreary, hunted column would crawl down the road out of the patch of light where the great atlas moths disputed with the bats, away into an isolation compound, with no light, no food, no knowledge of where to find a tap or latrine, with wet bedding or none at all.

The Nips would disappear laughing and cackling back to bed, we faded away to our floor space and all was quiet again; and the evening or the morning was the eight or nine hundredth day and God no doubt saw that it was good.

In few respects does a nation show itself in its true colours more clearly than in its treatment of enemies who have the misfortune to fall into its hands.

To describe as bestial the behaviour of the Japanese towards their prisoners of war of whatever race or rank is an insult to the animal world.

Of the thousands of Royal Air Force and Royal Australian Air Force officers and airmen who fell into Japanese hands in Malaya, Sumatra, Java and later Burma, 3,462 only were found alive, after due retribution had fallen from the skies above Hiroshima upon the sons of Nippon.

Not by any means all the Air Force was captured in Java. Some, as has been related, were successfully taken by ship to Australia, and a small number to Ceylon. By a combination of good fortune and stern courage a still smaller number escaped.

Of these, the most remarkable was Wing Commander J. R. Jeudwine, commanding No. 84 Squadron, which it will be recalled lost the last of its Blenheims at the capture of Kalidjati.

Such pilots and ground staff as remained had been sent to the port of Tjilitjap, there to be taken by ship to Australia.

No ship, however, was forthcoming; the port was in flames, and the ‘Scorpion’, the only seaworthy vessel to be found, was a ship’s lifeboat capable of holding at most twelve.

To try to avoid capture by taking to the woods and jungles near the shore there to await rescue by submarine offered a slender chance.

To seek that help in an open boat seemed certain death. Jeudwine and ten others chose this course and boarded the ‘Scorpion’. Flying Officer C. P. L. Streatfield alone knew the elements of sailing; Pilot Officer S. G. Turner could handle a sextant and was chosen as navigator; the remainder of the crew was made up of another officer and seven Australian sergeants.

On the evening of 7th March,

they put to sea, bound for Australia which the navigator calculated would take sixteen days. It took forty-seven. Through all that time they never lost heart, though as day after day passed in blazing sun or torrential rain, the chances of reaching land grew smaller and smaller.

They played games, held competitions, but found ‘that the mental exercise made us very hungry and that talking and arguing brought on thirst’. Saturday night at sea was kept religiously, a ration of liquor being issued, which was found on closer investigation to be a patent cough cure.

Their worst experience was the visit paid to them by a young whale, about twice the size of the ‘Scorpion’, who came to rest lying in a curve with its tail under the boat.

‘Eventually it made off, and when we had regained the power of movement, we passed round a bottle of Australian “3 Star” Brandy . . . after which we did not care if we saw elephants, pink or otherwise, flying over us in tight formation’. At long last, they sighted land near Frazer Islet, were found by a Catalina flying boat of the United States Navy, and taken to Perth. An American submarine sent at once to Java found no sign of their comrades.

Such men as these typify the spirit of the less fortunate who had fought to the end in circumstances which, from the very beginning, made victory impossible, and even prolonged defence out of the question. It was through no fault of theirs that they did not accomplish more.

The straits to which they were reduced, flying unsuitable aircraft in the worst conditions, were soon reproduced on the same scale farther north. How the Air Force fared in the first campaign of Burma must now be told

8th March 1942

 

 

 

 

Status of land still owned Sultanate fortress, but the de facto held by the Dutch government. Because of the strong Dutch influence the Sultanate party can not do much in overcoming the problem of possession of the fort. Until finally the Japanese Army troops occupied the fort in 1942 after the Dutch surrendered to the Japanese with marked with kalijati Agreement in March 1942 in West Java.

On the March, 8th 1942

(hans semethini),

at 9:00 a.m.,

General Ter Poorten, commander-in-chief of Dutch forces, surrendered all of Java to the Japanese.

(correction this info not true,please more info below-Driwan note)

At 11:00 p.m.,

(this was in surabaya and  in bandung 6.30 am Driwan note )

NIROM, the radio network of the Netherlands East Indies, concluded its final broadcast:

“We are closing now. Farewell until better times. Long live the Queen!”

The night deepened and Surabaya passed into a shadow that was to prevail, even under the brightest noonday sun, for the next three and a half years.

 

Oil stocks torched by retreating Dutch forces in Surabaya
Source: The Dutch East Indies Campaign

Read the study about this situation by DR Ong Hok Ham below.

DEI Army surrender which announced at the newpaper morning

Two Dutch pilots, Jacob van Helsdingen and August Deibel, scored highest with the Buffalo with three victories each.

Following the surrender of the Netherlands East Indies

 

March,8th,1942

 

AT 09:00 ON 8 MAR,

THE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF of the Allied forces,

 

Ter Poorten, announced the surrender of the Royal Netherlands East Indies Army in Java. In news paper and radio.

and

the second meeting at Kalidjati 10,00 am

with bring the list of DEI army powers. Immamura write in his memoir that they have sign the capitulation acta which never seen anymore (lost),

and at March 8th 1941 at 13.00 am at Kalidjati airfield there was the second meeting t only with the command od DEI Army General Ter Porten and Kastaf Col Bakkers

 

 

after meeting they made a photo in the front of the meeting house which still exist now with the same meubelueur. look the photos below.

(c1) Interior

 

 

 



Recording of the signing of the capitulation agreement.
On the left is Lt-General H. Ter Poorten.
The man scratching his nose is Lt-Col P.G. Mantel
Java, March 1942

 

 

 

Situation now

 

 

 

 

 

(c2) exterior

 

 



After the signing of the capitulation.
In the centre Lt-General Imamura,
right Major-General Bakker and Lt-General Ter Poorten.

 

very difficult to find the original clear photos of the kalidjati capitulation meeting, all the pictures were taken by Dr Huesein at the location now which given to me not so clear, who have the original clear photos please show us. I just found more clear picture above

 

situation now

 

 

 

Read more about Kalidjati Capitulation

(DR,Dr  Roesdy Hoesein, and DR Ong Hok Ham,thesis,)

8 March 1942 is the day of the Dutch East Indies government nai gray because it was the day the determination of the fate of who will rule later in Indonesia.
Housed in a non-commissioned at one home environment Kalidjati airfield (near the West Java Earring) has held a historic meeting between the Netherlands and Japan where it was agreed that the Dutch royal army led by Lieutenant General Hein ter Poorten Surrender unconditionally to the Dai Nippon army 16th  under the leadership

 

 

Let. Gen. Hitoshi Immamura.

March 8 meeting

(corrections the first meeting in 7th night-Dr iwan notes)

was also attended by

 

Tjarda van Starkenborgh Stachouwer

the Governor-General Tjarda van Starkenborg , the official starting date of March 4, 1942 no longer served as the highest pamnglima Armed Forces (also has awarded the Dutch East Indie  General governorship

 

Dr. van Mook to-note Dr. Iwan)

and gave the position

 

General Hein ter Poorten

the commander of the Koninklijk Nederlands Indisch Leger

at that meeting were considered by the Dutch as a mere military surrender,

It is increasingly becoming important menginggat so many people think and believe that the events of the Dutch capitulation to the Japanese surrender adlah total meliter both civil and after March 6, 1942 that is no longer the Government of the Netherlands East Indies and indeed  the fact like that

History thus shows that there is  Dutch East Indies government  in exile  .

(Dr Iwan has a collection of letters, documents KNIL troops from Java flee  to Australia through the following Hollandia, now Jayapura in Papua west to Brisbane Australia and settled in camp Casino, is one the evidence of the Dutch East Indies government in exile and also the commander of the KNIL also be in Australia when the military hand over power, notes Dr. Iwan)


How to actually sit up the issue of events, many experts who studied up to now but still can not answer completely, the problem is the lack of documents about the events ini.Berbeda owned by British capitulation to the Japanese in Singapore, where there are documents and photographs complete.

Events do not get caught missing Kalijati rimbanya documents and photographs of these events is very little left.

Many authors have revealed this incident from both the Dutch and the Japanese. For example, General Immamura never written much in the memory of this event. Of the Netherlands has recently written a book called “tot Vaarwel Tijden Battery” by JE Bijkerk, then the book “Indie Onder Japanasche” by WHdEllias Indonesia as well as from the DR Ong Hok Ham write a dissertation for the degree requirements of the 1968 literature, ie a book titled “The collapse of the Dutch East Indies”

However the summary it remains to clarify whether the event was just a military penuerahan or delivery of the Dutch East Indies government both de facto and de Jure.

This becomes important because one of the reasons why the Dutch are still felt to stay in power and returned by the Allies to re-colonize Indonesia.
From the writings of the chroniclers as an example of such can be described as follows:
Dr Ong Hok Ham Thesi
Page 264

 

Capitulasi meeting room now still same


General Imamura

 

Commander (Immamura) addressed: “What Toean surrender unconditionally”

Governor-General mengelengkan head to answer: “No.”

Immamura: “If the Lord does not speak as the Supreme Commander of the master dating why here”

(Since negotiations stalled Immamura considered leaving the Netherlands for 10 minutes)

 

(page 266)
After 10 minutes of finished Immamura told the governor General (EX) Tjarda: “I do not want to talk about civil government, the host did not seem to have the ultimate power to answer (my claims), I now forbid the master speak a word of the moment and I just speaking to  the Commander of the army “

When Immamura repeated his demand once again,

 

Ter Poorten

accept to give up on behalf of all the Dutch East Indies.

Governor-General (ex) and then said: “Because of this decision (which is the submission Army), not including my power, then I will leave the room and go” and he stood

SOURCE
J.E. Bijkers
(The bridge has been translated by the publishers see page 316)

Ten minutes had passed, when Immamura with his entourage had to go back once more spatial GB (Governor General) tries to give the city of Bandung, but now looks at all the Japanese generals had lost his temper, although he remains respectful: ‘It seems the better I do not spoke again with diplomats and legal experts, but the next will deal with the military masters “.
(This is the fault of General Immamura, he just wanted to talk and seek military matters and submission of the Armed Forces. So he has achieved what he wanted. Immamura sejogyanya must survive on the surrender of the Indian total belanda.Jadi including “Country”, yet perhaps the time he did not realize, this is not de facto mean a lot, but in so doing the Governor General has received what the government desired in London / Prime Minister Gerbrandy)


 
Pieter Sjoerds Gerbrandy
(Ex governor general) Tjada van Stockenborogh feel so yugasmya has ended. She calmly said: “Because here will be dealt with purely military matters, I want to leave this chair. But if you still want to talk about the interests of Mr. People, I am willing for it “

Told later that, in principle, Ter Poorten took delivery of the Dutch East Indies Army unconditionally to Japan and will be broadcast via Nirom (Nederlansch Omroep Maatschapij Indie Radio) Radio Dutch East Indies on the news about the date of delivery of the next day 9 (correction dated 8) in March 1942. And then at 13:30 Ter Poorten have to come back to bring dafter Kalidjati Dutch East Indies Army forces, after which he signed a statement.

The next day’s broadcast at 6:30 Nirom what prompted the Japanese and at (h) one afternoon Ter Poorten and his staff were in Kalidjati back.


 
Recording of the signing of the capitulation agreement.
On the left is Lt-General H. Ter Poorten.
The man scratching his nose is Lt-Col P.G. Mantle
Java, March 8th 1942

In his memoirs General Immamura states that both parties signed the surrender documents are composed of two g-one in Japanese and Dutch about 13:20 hours time Java, from the Dutch Present-General and Chief of Staff H.Ter Poorten Maj.Jen. Bakkers, Let.Kol. Mantle and Captain JDThijn as an interpreter. Still not clear whether the date of 9 (correction  8) in March 1942 in Kalidjati dditanda indeed have such a protocol signed surrender of the Dutch to the Japanese?


A source of scientific history in the Netherlands believe that it never happened. Immamura own generals later (later) insisted that the document existed. Maybe when the recapitulation of Japan to the Netherlands in 1946, many documents were destroyed and burned so that the Japanese side can not prove it now.
(See photo outside the building after  th the signing of the capitulation agreement  from the Netherlands to Japan during the day, Dr Iwan Notes)

 

After the signing of the capitulation.
In the center Lt-General Imamura,
Major-General right Bakker and Lt-General Ter Poorten.

 


The historic building (in Kalidjati) still stand tall, well groomed with a neat (and tidy). This building was once used but now the Air Force Air Force and local government initiatives (local government) as a museum of local dimnfaatkan Dutch capitulation to the Japanese.

According to the Base Commander (Air) Mat. Let.Kol aviator Sadjad Hasan, now has many visitors who come there especially foreigners, especially the Japanese Veteran Kalidjati every year each perinagtan Kai Japanese invasion of Java ang bring their children and grandchildren. Merka will reminisce and tell to the generation of the event below. It seems that the Netherlands is less use of it.

There is a local government’s plans for more mengalang Local tourism potential of this sort of warning about the Second World War as Santosa Island of Singapore (English to Japanese capitulation of Bataan and Corregidor or in the Philippines)

 

 

 

Dr. Iwan’s Note
In the Books “Bandoeng”, I read that the incident was on March 7, 1942 night, Immamura ban photo taken, fortunately there is a painting made ​​by a Japanese officer where the evening meeting looks a lamp lighting

Thank You Dr Roesjdi Hasan for your amazing Info of Kalidjati Capitu;lation and I hope the more info will informed you,also for another collectors and scholar historian please comment and send more info

Original info

8 maret 1942

adalah  hari kelabu bagi pemerintah Hindia belanda karena hari itu adalah hari penentuan tentang nasib siapa yang akan berkuasa kemudian di Indonesia.

Bertempat disebuah rumah bintara dalam lingkungan lapangan terbang Kalidjati(dekat subang Jawa barat)  telah diadakan pertemuan bersejarah antara pihak Belanda dan Jepang dimana telah disepakati bahwa tentara kerajaan belanda yang dipimpin oleh Letnan Jendral Hein ter Poorten Menyerah tanpa syarat kepada Balatentara dai Nippon ke 16 dibawah pimpinan Letenan Jenderal Hitoshi Immamura.

 

Tjarda van Starkenborgh Stachouwer

Pertemuan tanggal 8 Maret ini juga dihadiri oleh gubernur Jenderal Tjarda van starkenborgh yang resminya terhitung tanggal 4 Maret 1942 tidak lagi menjabat sebagai pamnglima tertinggi Angkatan Perang(juga telah menyerahkan jabatan gubernur Jenderal Hindia bdelanda kepada Dr van Mook-catatan dr Iwan)  dan telah menyerahkan jabatan tersebut pada Jendral ter Poorten  sehingga pertemuan ini dianggap oleh pihak belanda sebagai penyerahan militer semata,

Hal ini semakin menjadi begitu penting menginggat banyak orang menganggap  dan meyakini bahwa peristiwa kapitulasi belanda kepada jepang adlah penyerahan total baik meliter maupun sipil artinya setelah 6 Maret 1942 tidak ada lagi Pemerintah Hindia Belanda (di Indonesia yang ada pemerintahan pengasingan di australia)dan memang  kenyataannya.demikian.

Sejarah kemudian menunjukkan yang ada adalah Pemerintihan hindia belanda dalam pengansinga dibawan gubernur General Dr van Mook di Australia.(Dr Iwan memiliki koleksi dokumen surat jalan tentara KNIL menuju Brisbane Australia liwat Hollandia,sekarang Jayapura Papua barat menuju Australia dan bermukim di camp Casino, ini salah satu bukti adanya pemerintahan Hindia belanda dalam pengasingan dan juga komandan KNIl juga berada di Australia saat penyerah kekuasaan militer ini-catatan Dr Iwan)

Bagaimana sebenarnya duduk pesoalan kejadian, banyak ahli yang meneliti sampai sekarang namun tetap tidak dapat menjawab  dengan tuntas, masalahnya adalah kurangnya dokumen-dokumen dimiliki tentang peristiwa ini.Berbeda dengan kapitulasi Inggris kepada jepang di singapura ,dimana ada dokumen dan foto-foto lengkap .

Peristiwa kalijati dokumennya hilang tidak ketahuan rimbanya dan foto-foto peristiwa tersebut sangat sedikit yang tersisa.

Banyak penulis telah membeberkan peristiwa ini baik dari pihak Belanda maupun pihak Jepang. Misalnya Jenderal Immamura pernah menulis memorinya  dan banyak menyebut peristiwa ini . Dari pihak Belanda  baru-baru ini ditulis sebuah buku berjudul “Vaarwel tot Batere Tijden” oleh J.E. Bijkerk , kemudian buku “Indie Onder Japanasche” oleh W.H.d.Ellias demikian juga dari pihak Indonesia DR Ong Hok Ham menulis sebagai disertasinya untuk persyaratan gelar sarjana sastra tahun 1968, Yaitu buku berjudul “Runtuhnya Hindia Belanda”

Namum semuanya tetap sumir untuk menjelaskan apakah  peristiwa itu hanya sekedar penuerahan militer  atau penyerahan Pemerintah hindia Belanda baik de fakto dan de Jure.

Hal ini menjadi menjadi penting karena menjadi salah satu alas an kenapa pihak Belanda masih merasa tetap berkuasa dan kembali dengan pihak sekutu untuk menjajah kembali Indonesia.

Dari tulisan para penulis  sejarah sebagai contoh misalnya dapat diuraikan sebagai berikut :

Thesi DR Ong Hok Ham

Halaman 264


General Imamura

Panglima(Immamura) menyapa:”Apa toean menyerah tanpa syarat”

Gubernur Jenderal mengelengkan kepala untuk menjawab:”Tidak”

Immamura:”Jika Tuan tidak bicara selaku Panglima tertinggi mengapa tuan datang kesini”

(Karena perundingan dianggap macet Immamura meninggalkan pihak Belanda selama 10 menit)

(halaman 266)

Setelah 10 menit selesai Immamura mengatakan kepada gubernur Jendral(EX) Tjarda :” Saya tidak mau berbicara tentang pemerintahan sipil ,tuan rupanya tidak memiliki kekuasaan tertinggi untuk menjawab(tuntutan saya), Saya sekarang melarang tuan berbicara satu katapun dari saat ini dan saya hanya berbicara dengan Panglima tentara”

Ketika Immamura mengulangi tuntutannya sekali lagi, Ter Poorten menerima untuk menyerah atas nama seluruh Hindia Belanda.

Gubernur Jenderal(ex)  lalu mengatakan :” Karena pengambilan keputusan demikian(yang dimaksud penyerahan Tentara), tidak termasuk kekuasaan saya,maka saya akan meninggalkan ruangan dan pergi” lalu ia berdiri

SUMBER

J.E. Bijkers

(sudah diterjemahkan oleh penerbit Jembatan lihat halaman 316)

Sepuluh menit baru saja berlalu ,ketika Immamura dengan para pengiringnya telah masuk lagi keruangan  sekali lagi GB(Gubernur General)  mencoba untuk menyerahkan kota Bandung , tetapi sekarang tampak sekali jendral Jepang  itu telah kehilangan kesabarannya, walaupun ia tetap hormat:’ Tampaknya lebih baik saya tidak  berbicara  lagi dengan diplomat dan ahli hokum, tetapi selanjutnya akan berhubungan dengan pihak militer tuan-tuan”.

(ini merupakan kesalahan  dari Jenderal Immamura , dia hanya mau berbicara  dan mengusahakan soal –soal militer  dan penyerahan Angkatan Perang. Jadi dia telah mencapai apa yang diinginkannya . Immamura sejogyanya harus bertahan pada penyerahan total Hindia belanda.Jadi termasuk”Negeri” , namum mungkin pada saat itu dia tidak menyadari , Defacto hal ini tidak berarti banyak,tetapi dengan demikian Gubernur General telah mendapatkan apa yang dikehendaki pemerintah di London/Perdana Menteri Gerbrandy)

 

Pieter Sjoerds Gerbrandy

(Ex Gubernur general)Tjada van Stockenborogh  merasa dengan demikian yugasmya telah berakhir .Dengan tenang ia berkata:” Karena disini akan ditangani soal-soal militer murni , saya ingin meninggalkan  Kursi ini,. Namun jika Tuan masih ingin membicarakan kepentingan Penduduk , saya bersedia untuk itu”

 

Diceritakan kemudian  bahwa pada prinsipnya  Ter Poorten menerima penyerahan Tentara Hindia belanda tanpa syarat  kepada Jepang  dan akan menyiarkannya melalui NIROM(  Nederlansch Indie Radio Omroep Maatschapij) Radio hindia belanda tentang  berita tentang Penyerahan tersebut besok hari tanggal 9 (koreksi tanggal 8)  Maret 1942. Dan selanjutnya  pada pukul 13.30  Ter Poorten harus datang kembali  ke Kalidjati membawa dafter kekuatan Tentara Hindia Belanda , setelah itu ia menanda tangani  suatu keterangan.

 

Esok harinya  NIROM jam 6.30  memang menyiarkan  apa yang diminta  pihak Jepang dan pukul(jam) satu  siang Ter Poorten  beserta staf  sudah berada di Kalidjati kembali.

 

Recording of the signing of the capitulation agreement.
On the left is Lt-General H. Ter Poorten.
The man scratching his nose is Lt-Col P.G. Mantel
Java, March 8th  1942

 

Dalam memoirnya Jenderal Immamura menyatakan bahwa kedua pihak menanda tangani dua dokumen  penyerahan yang disusun g-masing  dalam bahasa Jepang dan Belanda kurang lebih jam 13.20  waktu Jawa, Dari pihak Belanda Hadir  Jenderal H.Ter Poorten dan  Kepala Staf Maj.Jen. Bakkers, Let.Kol. Mantle  dan Kapten  J.D.Thijn  selaku penterjemah . Masih tidak  dapat dipastikan  apakah tanggal 9 (koresksi 8)  Maret 1942  di Kalidjati memang  benar telah dditanda tangani semacam protocol  penyerahan dari  Belanda kepada jepang ?

Suatu  sumber sejarah Ilmiah  di Negeri Belanda  yakin bahwa hal itu tidak pernah terjadi . Jenderal Immamura sendiri  belakangan (kemudian) bersikeras bahwa  dokumen itu pernah ada . Mungkin ketika  rekapitulasi Jepang  kepada belanda  pada tahun 1946  banyak dokumen  yang dihancurkan  dan dibakar  sehingga pihak  Jepang tidak  dapat membuktikannya sekarang.

( Lihat foto di luar gedung setelah enanda tanganan kalitulasi dari Belanda kepada jepang disiang hari-Dr Iwan Notes)



After the signing of the capitulation.
In the centre Lt-General Imamura,
right Major-General Bakker and Lt-General Ter Poorten.

 

Gedung bersejarah tersebut( di Kalidjati) masih berdiri tegak, terawat  dengan apik(baik dan rapi) . Gedung ini pernah dipakai  AURI  tetapi sekarang atas prakarsa AURI dan PEMDA(pemerintah daerah)  setempat dimnfaatkan sebagai museum kapitulasi belanda kepada Jepang.

 

 

 

Menurut komandan Pangkalan (Udara) Kalijati .Let.Kol penerbang Hasan Sadjad, sekarang sudah banyak pengunjung  yang dating kesana terutama orang asing , pihak Veteran Jepang  terutama Kalidjati Kai setiap tahun  tiap perinagtan invasi Jepang  ke Jawa ang membawa anak  dan cucu mereka . Merka akan bernostalgia  dan bercerita  pada generasi dibawahnya  tentang peristiwa tersebut .Nampaknya pihak Belanda kurang memanfaatkannya.

Ada rencana  pihak Pemerintah daerah Setempat  untuk lebih  mengalang potensi turisme ini kurang lebih  semacam tempat peringatan Perang dunia Kedua seperti dipulau santosa Singapore (kapitulasi Inggris  kepada jepang atau Bataan  dan Corregidor di Filipina)

 

Catatan dr Iwan

Dari Buku Bandung, saya membaca bahwa kejadian ini pada tanggal 7 Maret 1942 malam hari,Immamura melarang diambil photo, untung ada sebuah lukisan yang dibuat oleh opsir Jepang dimana rapat malam hari terlihat adanya penerangan  lampu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dai Nippon Bicycle army troops  entering Batavia(now Jakarta)

Japanese bicycle troops entering Batavia, Java Island, Dutch East Indies, March 8th 1942



Japanese bicycle troops entering Batavia, March.8th, 1942

Bandung and Surabaya and all Java occupied by Dai Nippon army

on 8 March 1942,

17 ML-KNIL Buffalos

were transferred to the USAAF and RAAF in Australia

(3).March,9th.1942

After capitulation Kalijati, General h.Ter Porten became POW

Look his Identity Card below

 

The 9th of March,

when we were in the recreation-room from our boarding-school while all the girls were looking through the windows into the streets,

the Japanese entered Malang.

Henny and I stood there together.

They came on bicycles or were just walking. They looked terrible, all with some cloth attached at the back of their caps, they looked very strange to us. This was a type of Japanese we had never seen before. Much later I learnt that many Koreans also served as shock-troops in the Japanese Army.

The nuns went to the chapel to pray for all those living in the Dutch East Indies.  But the Dutch East Indies is lost forever.

Dutch a forbidden language

My father found it too dangerous for my mother and youngest sister Jansje to stay with him at Sumber Sewu, because there were still small groups of Australian, English and Dutch military fighting in the mountains in East Java against the Japanese troops, notwithstanding the fact that the Dutch East Indies government and Army had surrendered.

My mother and Jansje came to stay at our boarding school [at Malang], where there were small guest rooms. We all stayed inside the building, only the Indonesians working for the nuns went outside to do the shopping.

A few days later we received the order that all Dutch schools had to be closed down, so several parents came to take their daughters. The school looked empty and abandoned. We all felt very sad, our happy schooldays were over.

Dutch became a strictly forbidden language. Luckily we had a huge library at school so I had lots of books to read in those days.

A few weeks later my father phoned my mother and said that the four of us should return to Sumber Sewu as he had heard that Malang was no longer a safe place for us to stay.

I was really very happy to be back home. Rasmina, our cook, and Pa Min, our gardener, were happy to have my mother back again. There was absolutely nothing to fear on the plantation, the “Indonesians” (actually Javanese and Madurese) on the plantation were nice as ever and we didn’t see any Japanese soldiers around.

Indeed we were safer at Sumber Sewu. Life began to feel like a vacation,

I started walking with my father again and visited the local kampung (village) and since we had no more newspapers to read, I started reading several of my parent’s books.

We received a Japanese flag, together with the order that the flag had to be respected and had to hang in the garden in front of our house.

My father no longer received his salary, just like all the other Dutch, British, Americans and Australians, living in Indonesia. All our bank accounts were blocked; no one was even allowed to touch their own money.

We still had rabbits and eggs to eat, and several vegetables my mother and Pa Min had planted long before the war in the kitchen garden, and we had many fruit trees.

The thought that we might have to leave Sumber Sewu made me feel very sad. To me this plantation was a real paradise on earth, with its pond in front of the house with the two proud banyan trees, the lovely garden my mother and Pa Min had made, the kitchen where Rasmina made so many delicious meals. The sounds early in the morning, and the sounds in the evening were also very special, I can still remember them so well.

Of course we hoped that this Japanese occupation would soon be over. My father had broken the seal of the radio, hoping that he could get some more news from outside Java.

 

 

My mother and her three daughters.

The 8th of March 1942, the Dutch Army on Java surrendered to the Japanese Army

(info from Elizabeth Van Kampen)

In March 1942

the Japanese landed on Java and after a three month’s battele, the Dutch East Indies were forced to surrender.

Of the approximately 350,000 Dutch the Japanese first interned the men and later on the women and children followed.

Cruelty and violence were often typical for the behaviour of the Japanese guards. Especially in the last year of the occupation the internees in the overcrowded and insanitary camps suffered from chronic malnutrition, hunger oedema, dysentery and malaria. Many thousands have died as a result of these diseases.

Although the majority of the Eurasian men were interned as prisoners of war, many Eurasian women and children were able to remain out of the camps. Because of loss of income many of these families got into difficult situations. Forced labour, forced prostitution, torture, chronic malnutrition and diseases took their toll.

The Indonesians’ behaviour was also increasingly hostile, which culminated in the so-called Bersiap-period (battle of independence) after the Japanese occupation had ended.
After Indonesia’s independence, approximately 300,000 Dutch citizens out of sheer necessity left for The Netherlands, a country still recovering from the war with Germany. They left behind over 42,000 deceased

Soon after Rangoon fell to the Japanese

 

  • on March 8,

 

the 64th Sentai

 

returned to the mainland. Its new base was at Chiang Mai in northern Thailand, due east of the AVG’s former airbase at Toungoo.

 

The Hurricanes came along, evidently still flown by Major Kato and Capt. Anma. (The reinforcements would have been welcome: although it had received new aircraft at intervals during January and February, the group had only 15 Hayabusas in service when it made the move the Malaya.)

 

The intention was to use the Hurricanes in “werwolf” attacks on British airfields where similar aircraft were based, notably Magwe and Akyab. However, that would have to wait until the group was based nearer to the action. When the 64th Sentai took part in the big raid on Magwe

Destination Railroad

 

Photo Source: The Dutch East Indies Campaign 1941-1942


Shortly afterwards the downtrodden, defeated and humiliated remnants of the Royal Netherlands Indies Army and Allied Forces are bundled off to Batavia,

for all we know to work in a large camp. A hastily scribbled note to Lisa, telling her of our moving and not to worry, is taken by a friendly Indonesian, bless him, who promises to deliver it. How am I to know that shortly after our departure, Lisa too will put put into a concentration camp with our little baby Mary-Em!

After arrival at Batavia,

our heads are shaved and a number pinned on our uniforms. Sonei, the Jap commander, is confronted with a man who has refused to be shaved.

Calmly he takes this man by the hand and leads him to a chair under a glaring electric globe. Guards pin the arms down.

Then Sonei himself winds some hair locks round and between the scissor blades, their points resting on the scalp, and forcibly jerks them up.

A scream of pain from the wriggling victim, a bloody patch where a bunch of hair is torn out by the roots.

The operation is repeated until the head turns into a red pulp and the unconscious man is carried away. Naturally we all have to witness it.

A creature like Sonei must have an audience watching, as a final touch to heighten the pleasure of inflicting pain.

The most horrifying part of the ghastly performance is that Sonei’s face had not for a moment lost its expression of loving care while manipulating the instrument.

How sweet it would be to slowly kill this gentleman, with similar meticulous care. But would we? Would we lower ourselves to his level?

 

Capt. Kenichi Sonei (postwar photo)

Photo Source: Netherlands Institute for War Documentation


After everyone is shaven we fall in for roll-call.

It is then that we finally hear what our lot is to be: transport to Singapore, then to Thailand to work on the construction of a railroad from Bangkok right through the jungle of Thailand to Moulmein in Burma. As work-slaves no doubt.

The fall down the hill has truly begun.

We may have lost our hair, dignity, self-respect, but there is one thing we stubbornly hang on to – a firm belief in the ultimate superiority of the Allied Forces.

They will win in the end, come what may. The Jap knows, feels this, and how he hates it. How he loathes this undefeatable belief which he reads in our eyes looking down on him.

Most of us are taller than him, whatever his rank in the Imperial Army. Standing upright, we have to lower our eyes to look at the enemy when addressed by him. It stirs up an inferiority complex than can manifest itself only in a frenzy of kicking and punching.

But all the time those eyes keep looking down on him, until they become glazed with pain and the victim of the day is brought down. To break that hated spirit, shatter that incredible, white man’s morale, is their daily aim.

Very little is left untried by the cowards to achieve that end. Yes, cowards, no matter what has been said about the high fighting morale of the Japanese forces. Anyone among them who is capable of doing this to defenseless people is of the same base quality of which cowards are made.

False rumours about landings or victorious operations by the Americans are spread among our men by the Japs themselves, by dropping a hint or casual remark. The object, of course, is to stimulate optimism, only to cut it down again by contrary evidence. A system adopted from the German Gestapo to drive us to frustration.

 

Image Source: eenlevenverloren.nl


There is the black day when two escapees, mere boys, are captured and brought before the closed ranks to die. Tied up to the barbed wire fence, they are blindfolded and then butchered with bayonets. Their pitiful groans are blotted out by the hoarse shrieks from the thrusting, lunging robots who do their work according to some weird ritual: two thrusts in the throat, two in the belly and finally two in the heart. At another time a captured soldier is tied to a post, condemned to perish at the hand of a one-man firing squad. The bespectacled Nip is unable to do his job properly whilst the doomed man possesses a horrifyingly strong constitution. Time after time the shots ring out, sending wood splinters flying through the air from the post he is strapped to. All the time the victim remains standing on his feet, crying for water, until suddenly his legs fold and he sags forward in the ropes, into merciful death.

Two days later, in the middle of the night, there is the sound of a rifle being fired. A shouting of men, lights are switched on and doors flung open. From the barbed wire fence between two sheds hangs a prisoner, dead, shot between the eyes. Nearby stands a Nip guard, rifle in the crook of his arm. He explains that he found the prisoner trying to escape over the wire, ignoring an order to stand back. We do not believe that. We think that the man, on his way to the latrines, had been forced at gunpoint to step close to the fence on the pretext of something or other, and then shot in cold blood. But who is to know? Even Sonei seems to have doubts, for he orders the guard to disarm himself and step into the office. Sonei closes the door with one hand, unbuckling his belt with the other. The sound of leather on skin and the moans are music to our ears. Sonei seems a man of principles. One may torture or kill a prisoner of war for a little or big thing he is guilty of, but first there must be legal proof of his “crime.”

 

The C.I.C.
Photo of Lt. General Hein ter Poorten in Japanese captivity
Image Source: Tropenmuseum Collection, via Wikipedia


On the day of departure to Singapore our former Governor-General and also our Chief-in-Command of the Dutch Forces, both with heads shaven, are placed on top of our gear piled in the lorry. The message of this reads, that’s all they are good for, only to look after the rank-and-files’ baggage. But we know that these top-ranking men had been offered a place in the last airplane to Australia, and that both had declined. That is good enough for us to regard them still as G.G. and C.I.C. [1]

 

Image Source: Geheugen van Nederland / The Museon


Like cattle for the meat market, we are loaded into the ‘ tween decks and the lower holds of a former Dutch freighter moored alongside the customs wharf of Batavia’s harbour. Packed like peas in a pod, with hardly room to turn around. The odour of sweating bodies is sickening. Fortunately when we are out on the open sea a number of our men are sent to the upper deck, bringing some relief to the others down below. The situation worsens when the vessel starts to roll and many become seasick, splattering vomit on their fellow prisoners.

Then, look, a man gets out an old, battered accordion and begins to play. Holy cow, can he play! Many turn to look at him and listen to evergreen tunes and airs known all over the world. First a few start to sing, faltering at the beginning. But then they catch on and others join in. The voices take on the beat of the accordion, feeling one another out. More follow, and more, into a massive choir of prisoners singing with heart and soul. Angry orders are yelled down from the bridge but for once they are ignored. To the men this is the one way to fight the fear of the unknown future, to hit back at the enemy. Hundreds of voices sing in praise of the green hills of England and Ireland, the white beaches of Australia, the fair dunes of Holland and the bonnie lads of Scotland. And this choir, this multiplied scream of hope and longing, this prayer rises from the bottom of the cattle ship, soaring upwards, high above the upper deck where bullet-heads gaze down in amazement. Rising higher yet, above the masts and gliding seagulls and the drifting clouds, into the blue sky. Is there Someone to hear us?

After two days we disembark at Singapore and are taken to the A.I.F. and Changi camps. Our group is assigned to the A.I.F. sector, mainly populated by Australian prisoners of war, in whose hands the entire management rests. The only time a Nip is seen is on a work detail outside the camp’s perimeter. Food, of course, is scarce but at least orders in hated Japanese are not being screamed at us. Instead there is the calm, friendly Australian tongue telling us the rules and do-nots of the camp. One may even ask questions. There is also a clean place to eat and sleep. There are benches under palm trees on the lawn where one may watch a game of cricket. A man strolls up to me, offering his hand to shake, a man wiry and deeply tanned, in his middle thirties with firm features and blue eyes. Jack, of the Australian Engineers Corps, welcomes me into the workshop to become a carpenter’s hand. No experience in the trade is required. Cutting axe-handles is all there is to be done. On the first day I am observed and assessed. The verdict seems favourable and, in typical Australian manner, I am taken into their midst with good humoured profanity. One of Jack’s mates is a short man with big hands, hands enormously strong, they say. In the months that follow Jack becomes a close friend. Evenings after supper we play cards in the workshop compound or listen to stories, tall and short, about the Outback, the fishing, the drinking and of course the horse races. It’s good to be with them, hearing them talk of their great love, Australia.

Christmas Eve, 1942. The garrison church, a weather-beaten shed with holes in the roof, is packed. The small, well-kept lawn in front is crowded with listeners. Visible through the open windows is the tree, adorned with tin stars and a few candles. “Silent Night, Holy Night” brings a knife through my heart. I want to run away from it all.

The name “Lisa” tattooed on my right arm brings me fully awake early on Christmas morning. What happened? I remember that we had a little celebration with my Aussie mates in the workshop after church, that each of us got a pint of fair dinkum Amontilado sherry, well matured all these months hidden in the soil under the flooring. I must have got drunk. Jack confirms it, adding that they felt that each of the guests should have a little memento of the gathering. Anyway I didn’t seem to have objections; I had already passed out when they started on me.

My brother Han is reported seen in the hospital area of Changi. On my way there, good care is taken to salute the Sikh guards in the correct manner. Calling themselves “Free Indians,” they have gone over to the enemy. A mean lot they are, worse than the Japs when it comes to finding an excuse for bashing us up. A chapel stands further down the road, its door open. Inside, an Aussie on a step ladder repairing the stained-glass window says “Howdy” without looking up from his work. On an impulse, I take a seat before the small altar and bow my head. But words will not come. Do I still believe? Then it all wells up, gushing forth into violent prayer. A moment later I am outside again, feeling much relieved. Han is not in the hospital and, thanks to the Lord, not in the ever growing plot of mounds of freshly dug soil. Back in my camp Han runs to meet me at the gate, and all is well.

 

“The wizard on the accordion”
Han Samethini (circa 1941)

Photo Source: Han Samethini Collection


Han, the wizard on the accordion as he is known, is craving to try his hand again on the keyboard of a piano. He hasn’t touched one in donkey years. We find the officer in charge of entertainment, sporting a fierce martial moustache, supervising a Shakespeare play performed in the open air theatre. First he attempts to ignore us, but we plant ourselves right in front of him.

“Yes?” with contempt in his eyes for the two foreigners who dare to interrupt his listening. We tell him.

“Yes, of course that’s a piano there on the stage – but not for amateurs, thank you. However, there’s another one in the church which could be made available at some time or other. But mind, none of this swing music. We do not permit jazz in church.”

The chappie is pathetic. Not wishing to waste another word on the empire builder, we return to our section, which happens to border on the entertainment grounds. Han takes the old “squeeze box” from the hook, accepting a tailor-made cigarette from one of the boys who anticipates what is coming. Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond is followed by When Irish Eyes Are Smiling and Beautiful Dreamer. When he gets to Tipperary, everyone in the open air theatre has walked out on the Bard to join us in the great sing-song, led by the amateur.

A few days later Han is gone again, up north. Then, at bed time, the news is circulated about an American landing on Java, with not only the exact date also the details of the number of warships and aircraft. Could this be the real thing? The boys of the work shop have access to certain channels. A clandestine radio has been mentioned in a very roundabout way by Jack himself. Let’s check with him. It is pitch dark now, but I know the way blindfolded.

First, down the steps leading to the rear of the barracks. Here is the foot path to the latrines – yes, here they are, no need to see, they smell fitfully. And here now are the clotheslines. Careful, don’t bump your head on the posts (ouch! – here’s one). A few more strides, now turn sharply to the right to get by the garbage incinerators (a feeble glow of burning cinders, that’s it). Circle and up the hill path screened by a bamboo hedge. Yes, that’s the foliage, more darkly outlined in the night. From the summit of the hillock the silhouette of the workshop is easily made out in the distance against the brighter night sky. Going down, one is quickly absorbed in the blanket of darkness. Here is the foot of the hill. Now across the “little meadow”, as it’s called by the boys, where bullfrogs have their domain. Quickly sliding down, I step carefully through wet grass – goodness, what a racket the frogs are making tonight. Another hundred yards or so and the plank over the ditch should be reached, right in front of the workshop. Good grief, the grass in the darkness is so slippery….Blast it! A soft, clammy thing moves under my foot sole – damn frogs. My breathing goes too fast. Calm down. Wait, that plank must be here, or here. Let me feel with my foot. The ditch is pretty deep, Jack had said. Nothing. Must have gone in the wrong direction. Damn it, how to get back in such darkness?

A hand is pressed with great force on my mouth, the other pinning my arms down. My heart skips a beat or two before enough senses are recovered to throw my body weight over on one leg, kicking high with the other, backwards and upwards. A whispered four-letter word, and the hand is taken away from my hurting lips. Quickly I call his name, recognizing the big, strong hands. There is a pause. Then, bringing his mouth to my ear, he whispers, “Get the hell out of here. Go back to the Dutch sector as fast and as quiet as possible. Forget what happened tonight. Piss off, but for cripesake, don’t let anyone see you!” Without a sound he is swallowed up in the night. The frogs are clanging like gongs.

It is late when finally, after sneaking back to my sector, I slip under the blanket. For Pete’s sake, what has happened?

The following morning the Dutch section is put into trucks and we are on our way to Singapore. Passing Changi gaol, we notice numerous handkerchiefs waving through the barred window slots. They are white women and children. Women whose lot will be more hazardous because of their sex, but who still can find the time to bid us farewell and good luck.

After several hours waiting at the railway station in Singapore we are loaded, no, pressed, with force and rifle butt into a steel cargo van. So many that I feel every bone and knuckle of bodies pressed hard on my chest, face and back. Unbelief and then fear is taking possession of my mind. In a matter of seconds I am boxed in a great mass of damp, hot flesh. Perspiration bursting from all my pores trickles down my back and stomach in long rivulets. Beneath my feet the wheels start to roll: ding-dong, ding-dong, then faster, ding-dang, ding-dang, ding-dang. It is pitch dark save for a pinpoint of light through a nail hole in the roof. A am completely drenched in my own sweat and theirs. Pressed like sardines a can, it is utterly impossible to move an inch away from wide open mouths blowing stale air into my face. Oh my God, we’ll suffocate. My throat is parched and burning. All about me the stertorous breathing of men fighting for air. And the wheels clang and hammer their ding-dang, ding-dang. Somebody yells, “Open the door, you bloody bastards, murderers!”, his scream vibrating against the hot tin roof. It sets off a general pushing, twisting and kicking. My shoulder is bitten. Howling, loud cursing, blasphemous and foul. Beasts, beset with all the possessive drive to get out at any cost. But nobody can move an inch. The compressed mass of our bodies is our own straight-jacket, keeping us pinned down on the spot where we are. Ding-dang, ding-dang. At last the uncontrolled screaming wears itself out into a hoarse groaning and gasping. The sharp odour of urine and dung of stark fear fills the air. Instinct for self-preservation has silenced us while we try to breathe slowly and sparingly in an attempt to stay alive as long as possible.

Oh God, Lisa, is this the end? With my heart pumping like mad, a cold anger is rising inside me against the rancid smelling, tacky skin of others glued on my face and back. Ding-dang, ding-dang. A little later the pounding of the wheels seems to become slower, and then the train pulls to a halt. An eternity later the bolts rattle and the doors of our oven are pushed aside.

Out we tumble and fall, throwing ourselves into a wonderful wide world filled with sweet, delicious air, as much as we want, in long drawn, panting gulps. A Jap officer has us fall in for numbering. Afterwards he expresses his regrets for the hardship suffered by our group as a result of a misinterpretation of his instructions to use three vans for our group, not just one. He is oh so sorry, but from now on there will be enough room for us and, in the same breath – will four men step forward for a burial? One of our men has been found dead, probably through suffocation or heart failure, take your pick. He must have died standing, shored up by the men jammed in the van. His could have been the body pressed against mine. After the burial our group is divided into three wagon loads with buckets of food and water. First class treatment we call that, putting us in better spirits in spite of what has passed. We have grown hard. Death has become an everyday occurrence, and has lost its awe. The cynical thought crosses my mind that the dead man has followed up on that slogan of the courageous days before the invasion, that one about “better to die standing on our feet than to live further on our knees.”

For days more, all that we hear is the pounding of the wheels, blotting out conversation and even the mind. Only at night the wheels grow silent for an hour or so, while we step down for exercise and victualling. Most of the time is passed in sleeping, which is just as well, with a view of what is in store for us.

We awake to a loud silence. The train is stationary. A moment later the order to alight is given, then we are counted over and over again without giving us any reason for it. The word circulates among us that one of our men has jumped the train. Good luck to him, whoever he may be. He’ll need every bit of that

 

On 8 March,

after the battle of Sittang Bridge where the Japanese destroyed two Indian brigades, they captured Rangoon, southern terminus of the supply line to China and the port of entry for lend-lease supplies.

Pushing on to the north, they had by mid-March reached the Toungoo-Prome line in central Burma, and though they did not finally gain victory there until early in May they had effectively blockaded China by the time the Indies had fallen.58

 

 

 

Read More About DEI General

1940-1945

 Info

Nederlandse opper- en hoofdofficieren
van het
Koninklijke Nederlandsch-Indische Leger (KNIL)
1940-1945



Opperofficieren

 



Generaal-Majoor R. (Rudolph) Bakkers
16.07.1894  Panteh Perak  -

(1940) Luitenant-Kolonel, VIIe Afdeeling A (Hoofdkantoor van de Generale Staf), Departement van Oorlog, Bandoeng
(1941) tevens lid van de Permanente Militaire Spoorwegcommissie, Bandoeng
13.10.1941-09.03.1942 Chef van de Generale Staf, Koninklijk Nederlandsch-Indisch Leger

 

Gen.-Maj. (13.10.1941?); Kol. (?); Lt.-Kol. (30.6.1937); Maj. (31.7.1935); Kapt. (28.8.1927); 1e Lt. (5.4.1917); 2e Lt. (28.7.1914)  [Infanterie]

 

Luitenant-Generaal der Infanterie G.J. (Gerardus Johannes) Berenschot
24.07.1887  (Solok, Sumatra)  –  13.10.1941  (Batavia; vliegtuigongeluk)

HBS, Winterswijk; Cadettenschool, Alkmaar; Koninklijke Militaire Academie, Breda; Hogere Krijgsschool, ‘s-Gravenhage (1919-1922)

19.07.1907 aangesteld bij het Wapen der Infanterie
1908-1919 Indië (Magelang, 1910-1915 Atjeh)
1925-1931 leraar, Hogere Krijgsschool, ‘s-Gravenhage
1931-1934 Commandant, 6e Regiment Infanterie (Indië)
07.06.1934-26.07.1939 Chef van de Generale Staf, Koninklijk Nederlandsch-Indisch Leger
00.07.1939-13.10.1941 Commandant van het Koninklijk Nederlandsch-Indisch Leger en Hoofd van het Departement van Oorlog in Nederlandsch-Indië

 

Lt.-Gen. (26.7.1939); Gen.-Maj. (11.6.1935); Kol. (28.12.1932); Lt.-Kol. (3.2.1931); Maj. (17.9.1928); Kapt. (19.8.1919); 1e Lt. (19.6.1911); 2e Lt. (19.7.1907)  [Infanterie]

BWN; Pers


 

Generaal-Majoor der Infanterie P.A. (Pierre Antoine) Cox
03.10.1888  (Arnhem)  –  ?

   
   
(1940) Hoofd, IIe Afdeeling (Hoofdkantoor der Infanterie) van het Kabinet, Departement van Oorlog, NOI; tevens Inspecteur van het Wapen der Infanterie, KNIL
-00.03.1942 Commandant, [IIIe?] Divisie (Midden-Java)
   

 

Gen.-Maj. (23.2.1938); Kol. (31.5.1936); Lt.-Kol. (26.12.1933); Maj. (12.12.1931); Kapt. (10.1.1921); 1e Lt. (4.4.1913); 2e Lt. (6.8.1910)  [Infanterie]

 

Generaal-Majoor der Infanterie G.A. (Gustav Adolf) Ilgen
03.07.1887 (Wiesbaden)  –  ?

   
   
1932 Commandant, Luchtvaartafdeling, Bandoeng
00.06.1936-00.03.1942 Commandant, 2e Militaire Afdeeling (tevens IIe Divisie) op Java (Magelang)
   

 

Gen.-Maj. (27.5.1936); Kol. (3.10.1934); Lt.-Kol. (28.2.1933); Maj. (2.6.1931); Kapt. (22.7.1920); 1e Lt. (21.6.1912); 2e Lt. (24.7.1909)  [Infanterie]

Pers


 

Generaal-Majoor der Infanterie R.Th. (Roelof Theodorus) Overakker
09.01.1890  (Haarlem)  –  09.01.1945 (Fort de Kock)

Koninklijke Militaire Academie, Breda

20.07.1912 aangesteld bij het Wapen der Infanterie, KNIL
09.02.1942 Territoriaal Commandant Midden-Sumatra
09.01.1945 gefusilleerd door de Japanners

 

Gen.-Maj. (19.2.1942); Kol. (21.9.1938); Lt.-Kol. (25.11.1935); Maj. (16.9.1933); Kapt. (24.6.1926); 1e Lt. (8.4.1916); 2e Lt. (20.7.1912)  [Infanterie]

Ridder Militaire Willemsorde 4e Klasse (25.7.1951)

MWO



18 mei 1942,Ottawa, Canada

Luitenant-Generaal der Militaire Luchtvaart L.H. (Ludolph Hendrik) van Oyen
25.4.1889  (‘s-Gravenhage)  –  28.7.1953  (‘s-Gravenhage)

Koninklijke Militaire Academie, Breda; Kogere Krijgsschool, Den Haag

  Adjudant in buitengewone dienst van HM de Koningin
-1942 Commandant & Inspecteur der Militaire Luchtvaart, KNIL; wnd. cdt. KNIL
22.2.1942-1942 Commandant, Geallieerde luchtstrijdkrachten Java
1942-1943 Commandant, Koninklijke Nederlandse Militaire Vliegschool, Jackson, Miss. (USA)
1943 Commandant, Koninklijk Nederlandsch-Indisch Leger in Australië
1945-1946 Commandant, Koninklijk Nederlandsch-Indisch Leger in Batavia

Ridder, Orde van de Nederlandse Leeuw; Officier, Orde van Oranje-Nassau; Companion of the Order of the Bath; Commander, Legion of Merit
 

Lt.-Gen. (?); Gen.-Maj. (1941?); Kol. (23.2.1938); Lt.-Kol. (31.7.1935); Maj. (29.7.1933); Kapt. (8.7.1921); 1e Lt. (12.8.1914); 2e Lt. (29.7.1911)  [Militaire Luchtvaart]

BWN; WB48


 

Generaal-Majoor der Infanterie J.J. (Jacob Jan) Pesman
4.1.1888  (Thesinge)  –  2.1.1950 (Groningen, wonende te Rijswijk)

   
   
   
-00.00.1941 Commandant, 1e Militaire Afdeeling (tevens Ie Divisie) op Java (West-Java)
   

 

Gen.-Maj. (29.7.1939); Kol. (31.5.1936); Lt.-Kol. (25.5.1934); Maj. (6.8.1932); Kapt. (4.3.1921); 1e Lt. (10.5.1913); 2e Lt. (6.8.1910)  [Infanterie]

 

Generaal-Majoor der Artillerie H. (Hein) ter Poorten
21.11.1887  (Buitenzorg)  – 15.01.1968

1911 aangesteld bij het Wapen der Artillerie, KNIL
1926-1931 bij de Generale Staf, Koninklijk Nederlandsch-Indisch Leger
1933-1936 bij de Generale Staf, Koninklijk Nederlandsch-Indisch Leger
1936-1939 Hoofd IIIe Afdeeling (Hoofdkantoor der Artillerie), tevens Inspecteur van het wapen, Koninklijk Nederlandsch-Indisch Leger
26.07.1939-13.10.1941 Chef van de Generale Staf, Koninklijk Nederlandsch-Indisch Leger
14.10.1941-09.03.1942 Commandant van het Koninklijk Nederlandsch-Indisch Leger en Hoofd van het Departement van Oorlog in Nederlandsch-Indië
09.03.1942-00.00.1945 in Japanse krijgsgevangenschap

 

Gen.-Maj. (13.9.1937); Kol. (29.4.1936); Lt.-Kol. (28.7.1935); Maj. (25.7.1930); Kapt. (26.8.1919); 1e Lt. (29.4.1911); 2e Lt. (25.7.1908)  [Artillerie]

BWN


Generaal-Majoor J. (Jacob) van Rees
09.12.1888  (Utrecht)  –  ?

in Japanse krijgsgevangenschap

Gen.-Maj. (12.3.1939); Kol. (12.3.1935); Dir.O.v.G. 1e kl. (31.10.1932); Dir.O.v.G. 2e kl. (20.11.1929); O.v.G. 1e kl. (9.9.1920); O.v.G. 2e kl. (15.7.1913)

Generaal-Majoor der Infanterie W. (Wijbrandus) Schilling
26.01.1890  (Enschede)  –  1958
 

   
   
   
00.00.1941-00.03.1942 Commandant, 1e Militaire Afdeeling (tevens Ie Divisie) op Java (West-Java)
00.03.1942-15.08.1945 in Japanse krijgsgevangenschap

 

Gen.-Maj. (); Kol. (21.9.1938); Lt.-Kol. (25.11.1935); Maj. (13.9.1933); Kapt. (9.9.1921); 1e Lt. (13.9.1915); 2e Lt. (13.9.1911)  [Infanterie]

BWN


 

Generaal-Majoor der Genie G.J.F. (Gustave Jacques Frederik) Statius Muller
23.04.1889  (Meester Cornelis)  –  26.10.1962  (‘s-Gravenhage)

   
   
   
   
03.1935-(1940) Hoofd, IVe Afdeeling (Hoofdkantoor der Genie) van het Kabinet, Departement van Oorlog, NOI; tevens Inspecteur van het Wapen der Genie, KNIL

 

Gen.-Maj. (13.9.1937); Kol. (30.3.1935); Lt.-Kol. (27.12.1933); Maj. (13.8.1931); Kapt. (8.12.1919); 1e Lt. (27.7.1912); 2e Lt. (29.7.1911)

Pers



Generaal-Majoor der Infanterie J.H. (Johan Hendrik) Uhl
08.10.1889  Nijmegen -
 

   
   
(1940)-? Kolonel, IIe Afdeeling (Hoofdkantoor der Infanterie) van het Kabinet, Departement van Oorlog, Ned.-Indië
00.03.1942-00.08.1945 in Japanse krijgsgevangenschap
01.10.1945-31.01.1946 Chef van de Generale Staf, Koninklijk Nederlandsch-Indisch Leger

 

Gen.Maj. (1945?); Kol. (23.2.1938); Lt.-Kol. (31.7.1935); Maj. (29.7.1933); Kapt. (12.7.1921); 1e Lt. (18.9.1914); 2e Lt. (29.7.1911)  [Infanterie]

Buiten dienst


Luitenant-Generaal  b.d. Tj. (Tjalling) Bakker
07.10.1885  Menado  -
 

   
   
(1940) Voorzitter Staatsmobilisatieraad te Bandoeng
1942-19.8.1945 in Japanse krijgsgevangenschap
   

 

Gen.-Maj. (); Kol. (); Lt.-Kol. (); Maj. (); Kapt. (); 1e Lt. (); 2e Lt. ()


Groepsfoto’s


Links Gen.-Maj. P.A. Cox, rechts Gen.-Maj. J.J. Pesman. Bandoeng, juli 1939.


Gen.-Maj. H. ter Poorten en Luit.-Kol. P.G. Mantel bij de capitulatie te Kalidjati, 8 maart 1942.


Gen.-Maj. H. ter Poorten (rechts) met General Sir Archibald P. Wavell (midden), opperbevelhebber van Abdacom, te Batavia, 22 jan.1942

 

The 8th of March 1942,

the Dutch Army on Java surrendered to the Japanese Army

Exhaustion took its toll and 104 men had to be left during the retreat. From Sampit the remaining men went up to Kotabesi where they joined up with D Company and together they went to Pandau, where they were informed that the

Dutch East Indies Army had capitulated on Java Island. By boat they went to Kenamboi.

In the meantime a Japanese broadcast was calling on all Allied forces in the Netherlands East Indies to lay down their arms.

The broadcast was accompanied by a threat of reprisals if resistance continued.

The A and B Company tried to reach Kotawaringin airfield. They didn’t meet any Japanese soldiers and they arrived about

March,9th.1942

 

On the evening of 9 March,

 

Major-General Ilgen, commander of the KNIL in East Java,

signed the instrument of surrender

read more info about Maj.Gen.Ilgen

Generaal-Majoor der Infanterie G.A. (Gustav Adolf) Ilgen
03.07.1887 (Wiesbaden)  –  ?

   
   

1932

Commandant, Luchtvaartafdeling, Bandoeng

00.06.1936-00.03.1942

Commandant, 2e Militaire Afdeeling (tevens IIe Divisie) op Java (Magelang

 

In the following campaign 18 were lost and on 9 March 1942 (surrender of Java), the last 6 remaining Hurricanes were set on fire by their crews at Ngoro. These Dutch Hurricanes are (unofficially) credited with destroying or damaging thirty Japanese aircraft.

* Jong A.P. de, Vlucht door de tijd; 75 jaar Nederlandse Luchtmacht, Unieboek B.V., 1988
* Hurricane, E. Bishop, Airlife Publishing Limited, 1986.

Read more info
Now I bet everyone can feel the question comming… where are they?? Seeing we can´t upgrade the Dutch untill july 1942 (*sniff*) having a few huricanes available in feb. wouldn´t be all that bad and I haven´t run into them yet… have I ´misplaced´ them?

And yes i know i am whining… and grasping for straws… (hey… I am Dutch and trying to defend the DEI, so what do you all expect… lol), but we are trying to get it as historically accurate as possible right?

Do you have the squadrons involved – were they existing squadrons getting new aircraft or special units – newly formed???

As far as a quick look at my sources shows (minimal) I can connect 6 pilot names with flying Hawker Hurricane IIB´s in feb/march 1942, and with some qiuck cross referencing got their original assignments:

Ensign Hamming, A.W. (2-VLG-IV)
Sergeant Hermans, R.M.H, (1-VGL-IV)
Sergeant Jacobs, J.C. (1-VLG-IV)
Lieutenant Bruinier, J.B.H (2-VLG-IV)
Lieutenant Marinus, A.J. (1-VLG-IV)
Vaandrig Vink, N. (2-VLG-IV)

1-VLG-IV flying the Curtiss Hawk 75A and 2-VLG-IV flying the Curtiss CW21 (originally)

Now i don´t know if VLG IV just had a surplus of pilots and added the hurricanes and were the only ones flying them (which i guess would make these two squadrons 4-VLG-IV and 5-VGL-IV as 3-VLG-IV was flying the buffallo 339D), or if they drew surplus pilots from wherever available and these 6 names all being from VLG IV is just a coincidence. After all it´s only 6 out of 24, but it´s a start.

Btw: Hamming and Hermans are both mentioned for crashing their Hurricanes during training (presumably between uncrating them and becomming operational on feb 16th) and as 1-VLG- IV and 2-VLG-IV still seem to be flying with their original aircraft at that time these 2 hurricane groups seem to be ´new´ groups… either that or everyone switched planes (which I hardly believe at that stage of the conflict).

These are the two original squadrons of the 4th Fighter Group. They are already in the game and, as you say, Dutch units can not upgrade until way too late. I don’t see a reasonable way to work them into the OOB

One way to upgrade to more modern aircraft is to disband some air units into others. The squadron returns with upgraded aircraft if the original aircraft assigned to it are no longer available in the pool. Hav e a number of

 

 

Dutch East Indie ‘s Beaufort

and

 

PBY squadrons training in May 42.

Need lots of training though…mid to high 20s for exp.

In order to get Hurricanes (and early in 42), the unit needs to have Hurricane as it’s upgrade (think they all upgrade to Kittyhawk…not sure) and no more of the original fighter (339D, Hawk or Demon) in the pool

I am shocked!!

I started up the game just to check… and the whole dutch airforce is a mess!! Actually the whole VLG-IV isn´t even it it!!… there´s VLG-III acting as a fighter group that VLG-IV should be… VLG-I has to many bomber groups… VLG-II has to many bomber groups… and I guess those would be the bombers of what VLG-III should be. And on a first glance I am sure the numbers are wrong too… dear oh dear how ever did I miss that for so long. *sigh* Starting to think a few missing hurricanes is peanuts now.

I am shocked!! I started up the game just to check… and the whole dutch airforce is a mess!!

 Actually the whole VLG-IV isn´t even it it!!… there´s VLG-III acting as a fighter group that VLG-IV should be… VLG-I has to many bomber groups… VLG-II has to many bomber groups… and i guess those would be the bombers of what VLG-III should be. And on a first glance I am sure the numbers are wrong too… dear oh dear how ever did I miss that for so long. *sigh* Starting to think a few missing hurricanes is peanuts now.

Our business in the field of fight, Is not to question, but to prove our might.

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

 

ML-KNIL Martin 166 bombers over Malaya in January 1942


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

 

Air Vice-Marshal Conway Pulford

greeting pilots of the ML-KNIL in Singapore, January 1942.

 

• 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)

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]

This is a little OT, but I’m 2/3rd of the way done with 1/72nd scale model of a Hurricane and am now intrigured by this and I am now contemplating finishing the model as an NEIAF example. Does anyone know if they were Mk Is or Mk IIAs or Bs, did they have the trop filter and did they have the orange triangle or tricolor national markings?

BTW, in my mod to Scen 15, and prior to reading this thread, I had already tweaked the data base editor and changed the upgrade path for a couple of the NEIAF Buffalo Squadrons to convert to Hurricanes, if they survive until 07/42.

WAR IN THE PACIFIC: Admiral’s Edition – Air Team Lead

IN PERPETUUM SINGULARIS SEDES

 

I think alot of this has been addressed in the CHS. When I have time tomorrow I’ll check

I see Mogami already came up with en extensive list closer to reality then is in the game now, but anyway… here´s my 5 cents worth:

As it is now:

B1-VIG-I 10 martin 139 (12) Batavia (Java)
B1-VIG-I 10 martin 139 (12) Batavia (Java)
B3-VIG-I 9 martin 139 (12) Batavia (Java)

B1-VIG-II 9 martin 139 (12) Singkawang (Borneo)
B2-VIG-II 6 martin 139 (12) Samarinda (Borneo)
B3-VIG-II 6 martin 139 (12) Madioen (Java)
B4-VIG-II 4 martin 139 (12) Tarakan (Borneo)
B5-VIG-II 4 martin 139 (12) Malang (Java)

F1-VIG-III 12 75A Hawk (12) Tjilitjap (Java)
F2-VIG-III 6 75A Hawk (8) Bandoeng (Java)
F3-VIG-III 12 CW-21B Demon (16) Bandoeng (Java)
F4-VIG-III 6 CW-21B Demon (8) Soerabaja (Java)
F5-VIG-III 6 Brewster 339D (16) Amboina (Ambon)

VIG-IV does not exist!!

F1-VIG-V 6 Brewster 339D (16) Batavia (Java)
F2-VIG-V 6 Brewster 339D (8) Singkawang (Borneo)
F3-VIG-V 6 Brewster 339D (8) Samarinda (Borneo)
F4-VIG-V 6 Brewster 339D (8) Tarakan (Borneo)

F1-VIG-V 6 Brewster 339D (16) Batavia (Java)
F2-VIG-V 6 Brewster 339D (8) Sinkawang (Borneo)
F3-VIG-V 6 Brewster 339D (8) Samarinda (Borneo)
F4-VIG-V 6 Brewster 339D (8) Tarakan (Borneo)

R1-VIG-VI 9 CW-22 (12) Bandoeng (Java)
R2-VIG-VI 9 CW-22 (12) Djokjakarta (Java)
R3-VIG-VI 10 FK-51 (12) Bandoeng (Java)
R4-VIG-VI 5 FK-51 (8) Tjilitjap (Java)
R5-VIG-VI 8 FK-51 (8) Malang (Java)
R6-VIG-VI 4 FK-51 (8) Djokjakarta (Java)
T7-VIG-VI 8 Locheed 212 (8) Malang (Java)
T8-VIG-VI 8 C60 Loadstar (8) Djokjakarta (Java)

Should be:

B1-VLG-I 11 martin 139 (12) Samarinda (Borneo)
B2-VLG-I 11 martin 139 (12) Singkawan (Borneo)

B1-VLG-II 19 martin 139 (12?) Malang (Java) *7 older models so 12 would be ok
B2-VLG-II 11 martin 139 (8?) Malang (Java) *3 older models so 8 would be ok
B3-VLG-II does not exist
B4-VLG-II does not exist
B5-VLG-II does not exist

B1-VLG-III 11 martin 139 (12?) Singapore (Malay)
B2-VLG-III 11 martin 139 (12?) Bandoeng (Java)
B3-VLG-III 11 martin 139 (12?) Singapore (Malay)
B7(attached)-VLG-III 9 martin 139 (8) Madioeng (Java) *1 older model so 8 would be ok

F1-VLG-IV 12 75A Hawk (12) Batavia (Java)
F2-VLG-IV 16 CW-21B Demon (16?) Bandoeng (Java)
F3-VLG-IV 4 Brewster 339D (8?) Amboina (Ambon)

F1-VLG-V 12 Brewster 339D (12) Samarinda (Borneo)
F2-VLG-V 5 Brewster 339D (8?) Sinkawang (Borneo)
F3-VLG-V 12 Brewster 339D (12) Singapore (Malay)

R1-VLG-VI should be VKA-1 12 CW-22 (12) Djokjakarta (Java)
R2-VLG-VI should be VKA-2 11 CW-22 (12) Djokjakarta (Java)
R3-VLG-VI should be VKA-3 12 FK-51 (12) Bandoeng (Java)
R4-VLG-VI should be VKA-4 12 Lockheed 212 (12) Bandoeng (Java) (Transport in the game)
R5-VLG-VI should be VKA-5 10 FK-51 (12) Bandoeng (Java)
R6-VLG-VI does not exist

T7-VLG-VI should be D-VI-A 19 Lockheed L18-40 (18?) Madioen (Java)
T8-VLG-VI does not exist

Oh.. and might as well add the original point that started this:

F4-VLG-IV (??) 12 Hawker Hurricane II (12) Bandoeng (Java) … arriving 16 Feb. 1942
F5-VLG-IV (??) 12 Hawker Hurricane II (12) Bandoeng (Java) … arriving 16 Feb. 1942

I can see now why the pilots came from VLG-IV, All other fighter pilots were either in Borneo or Malay so it stands to reason these planes were attached to this flightgroup.

(I am assuming they put the ´experienced´ pilots in these planes and gave any other relacement pilots from flightschool or hanging around for whatever other reasons a seat in planes they might actually be fermilliar with)

Mk IIb´s without radio and oxygen equipment. No pictures seem to have been taken, but according to discriptions they were left painted in their original RAf colours, RAF markings painted over with camouflage paint and a handpainted Dutch (red, white, blue) flag added on the tail. Might have been numbered 1 to 24 on the fuselage but thats not completely clear.

Our business in the field of fight, Is not to question, but to prove our might.

Oh and to make it all really nice and confusing… here´s one for the MLD that doesn´t really square up with Mogami´s one:

Dec 1941-Jan 1942:

GVT 1 with 3 Do24 at Pontianak
GVT 2 with 3 Do24 at Sorong
GVT 3 with 3 Do24 at Ambon (later Soerabaja)
GVT 4 with 3 Do24 at Ambon (later Sambas)
GVT 5 with 3 Do24 at Tandjong Priok (later Tondano)
GVT 6 with 3 Do24 at Sedanau (later Morokrembangan)
GVT 7 with 3 Do24 at Morokrembangan
GVT 8 with 3 Do24 at Morokrembangan
GVT 11 with 3 Fokker T.IVa at Kwam (later Morokrembangan)
GVT 12 with 3 Fokker T.IVa at Tarakan (later Morokrembangan)
GVT 13 with 4 Fokker C.XI at Morokrembangan and ships
GVT 14 with 4 Fokker C.XI at Morokrembangan and ships
GVT 16 with 3 PBY at Tandjong Priok
GVT 17 with 3 PBY at Ambon
GVT 18 with 3 PBY at Soerabaja

Flying School at Soerabaja with 10 Dornier Wal, 1 Fokker T.IV, 6 Fokker C.VII-W, 10 Fokker C.XIV-W, 40 Ryan ST, 5 Tiger Moth.
Yes it has been addressed by CHS. We have one more squadron (of transports). We also considered but decided against the MLD Recon Flight with three WH-1.

Also the Flying schools closed on mobilization – personnel used to form the additional squadrons (3rd fighter squadron of each group, 7e Afdeling, some others).

There is a post in the OOB issues thread with the CHS Dutch Air OOB

Forgive me for questioning this – as I do not speak Dutch (and have more than my share of problems with English).

I have noted the two different abbreviations for “Vliegtuiggroep” (Airplane Group):
VIG is used by several references, including Dr. Niehorster’s site and the “Bloody Shambles” series of books
VLG is used by The Dutch East Indies Campaign Website.

I used VIG simply because it was used in the original Scenario 15 OOB.

Please do see the post in Scenario Design / Game Editor, 1.40 OOB Issues, Page 4

Thanks, must have missed that.

To answer the question. Originally the abbreviation would be Vl.G. (Capital V small l for Vliegtuig and G for Group. I think the plroblem arrises because in some print Vl.G (Capital v, small l) looks the same as VI.G (Capital V, capital I).

There is no rule in the Dutch language that would ever abbreviate vliegtuig as vig. instead of vlg.

Not completely true:

There was only one official Transport group (D-VL-A) with the Lockheed L18-40.
The Lockheed 212 was classified as reckon (and as a secundary task transport) and made up VKA-4, am I to understand now that there will be yet another Tranpost group making it 3 while there only was 1 or did I misuderstand?.

VLG I (bomber) and II (bomber) had 2 groups.
VLG III (bomber) had 4 groups of which only the 4th (7th attached) was an additional ad-hoc squadron formed from flightschool personell. (Because 2 groups were send to Singapore making it 2 available groups for Java again)
VLG-IV (fighter) had 3 groups, the 3rd in the proces of being formed as planned but not up to strenght, different then being added ad-hoc.
VLG-V (fighter) had 3 groups, the 3rd in the proces of being formed as planned, not added ad-hoc.

So these 3rd groups were not ´formed from personell from the flying schools when they closed´, these groups were already planned official groups with planes ordered and personell attached in the organisational charts. They were brought up to strenght by adding extra personell (and in the case of VLG-V stripping other brewster squadrons of their spare planes to fill up to strenght because their own ordered planes hadn´t all arrived yet).

Only bringing this up because I would hate to fly groups just formed as a stop gap measure for the next 4 years of the war without them ever being disbanded. (just as I would hate to fly seperate 4 plane ´flights´ for 4 years while irl they would have reunited with their parent squadrons.

I have seen a number of contradictory sources on the squadrons of 2 and 3 Group. Several specifically mention the movement of one of 2nd Group’s squadrons to 3rd Group for the purpose of building a three-squadron group for use in Singapore.

I note that the extra squadron formed at the outbreak of the war is named “7th Squadron” and have decided to go with a total of seven squadrons:
2 in 1st Group
1 in 2nd Group
3 in 3rd Group
7th Squadron

In addition to the Lockheed 212s of VkAfdeling-4 the Dutch operated a number of Lockheed Lodestar L18-40 pure transports. I do not know the source of these aircraft but they are in addition to the force of DC-3s taken over from the civilian air company (KNLM?). These are usually listed as being in “Depot Vliegtuig Afdeling of the ML-KNIL” but I have seen at least one reference placing them in a “6th” squadron and have used VkAfdeling-6 in our OOB. I would appreciate any suggestions for a better name for this unit. The Depot Vliegtuig Afdeling transferred to Australia in February, 1942 and many of these Lodestars ended up with US or Australian forces in Australia:

LT9-07 (c/n 18-2102), radio call sign VHCAA, went to the USAAF as 42-68347 and was operated by Qantas. It served in Australia and New Zealand after the war before going to the USA where it was current in 2004 as N796G.

LT9-08 (c/n 18-2103), radio call sign VHCAB, went to the USAAF as 42-68348 and was operated by Qantas. It was written off on 26 November 1943 at Port Moresby.

LT9-09 (c/n 18-2104), radio call sign VHCAC, went to the USAAF as 42-68349 and was operated by Guinea Airways. It served in Australia and New Zealand after the war and was written off on 10 February 1947 at Palmerston, New Zealand.

LT9-14 (c/n 18-2109), radio call sign VHCAD, went to the USAAF as 42-68350. It was written off either on 14 July 1942 or in January 1944 at Tennant Creek.

LT9-15 (c/n 18-2110) was withdrawn from use in Darwin in March 1942 whilst still in ML-KNIL service.

LT9-16 (c/n 18-2120), radio call sign VHCAE, went to the USAAF as 42-68351 and was operated by Ansett. It was written off on 11 October 1942 at Archerfield.

LT9-17 (c/n 18-2121), radio call sign VHCAF, went to the USAAF as 42-68352 and was operated by ANA. It was written off on 23 February 1944 at Archerfield.

LT9-18 (c/n 18-2122) was written off on 3 March 1942 at Broome whilst still in ML-KNIL service.

LT9-19 (c/n 18-2123), radio call sign VHCAG, went to the USAAF as 42-68353 and was operated by ANA (?). It was written off on 18 August 1942 at Maple.

LT9-21 (c/n 18-2125), radio call sign VHCAH, went to the USAAF as 42-68354 and was operated by ANA. It was written off on 30 November 1942 at Dobodura, New Guinea.

LT9-22 (c/n 18-2126) was written off on 15 February 1942 at Brisbane whilst still in ML-KNIL service.

LT9-23 (c/n 18-2127), radio call sign VHCAI, went to USAAF as 42-68355. It was written off on 18 August 1942 at Maple. Sometimes reported as current as N7001 but that aircraft is c/n 2427.

LT9-24 (c/n 18-2128), radio call sign VHCAJ, went to the USAAF as 42-68356 and was operated by ANA. It was written off on 26 February 1943 at Garbutt.

LT9-25 (c/n 18-2129), radio call sign VHCAK, went to the USAAF as 42-68357 and was operated by Qantas. It was written off on 15 May 1944 at Bundaberg.

Also, the 212s are usually listed as “light transport – used for recon” and Matrix has listed them as transports (with an upgrade to Dakotas). I feel this is appropriate.

So yes, there were three transport groups in the NEI:
Light Transport/Recon 212s of VkAfdeling-4
Lockheed Lodestars of Depot Vliegtuig Afdeling
Impressed DC-3 Civilian aircraft (assignment not known).

Only the first two are included in our OOB.

There is no method to split groups in the scenario editor so the options are:
several small flights
ignore history and only use full squadrons

Matrix has chosen the former and I agree.

Although you did not mention it in your reply, I assume from the data in your post that I should rename the squadrons “VLG” without a period (NOT VL.G) – and I will do so.

I have seen a number of contradictory sources on the squadrons of 2 and 3 Group. Several specifically mention the movement of one of 2nd Group’s squadrons to 3rd Group for the purpose of building a three-squadron group for use in Singapore.

As far as I know there were indeed 3 squadrons send to Singapore: 1-VLG-III (bombers), 3-VLG-III (bombers) and 3-VLG-V (fighters).

3-VLG-III was originally the tranfered and renamed 2-VLG-II but that happened way before and had nothing to do with singapore, 2-VLG-II being rebuilt in the meantime to fill VLG-II as a 2 suadron group again.

I note that the extra squadron formed at the outbreak of the war is named “7th Squadron” and have decided to go with a total of seven squadrons:
2 in 1st Group
1 in 2nd Group
3 in 3rd Group
7th Squadron

In my opinion (but i might be wrong here) I, II and II were bombers, IV and V were fighters, VI was your later mentioned transport and that´s why the newly formed bomber ´squadron´ was named 7th (VII) before it was attached/merged with VLG-III to make up a 2 squadron group again.

In addition to the Lockheed 212s of VkAfdeling-4 the Dutch operated a number of Lockheed Lodestar L18-40 pure transports. I do not know the source of these aircraft but they are in addition to the force of DC-3s taken over from the civilian air company (KNLM?). These are usually listed as being in “Depot Vliegtuig Afdeling of the ML-KNIL” but I have seen at least one reference placing them in a “6th” squadron and have used VkAfdeling-6 in our OOB. I would appreciate any suggestions for a better name for this unit. The Depot Vliegtuig Afdeling transferred to Australia in February, 1942 and many of these Lodestars ended up with US or Australian forces in Australia:

The Lockheed L18-40´s were formed in D-VL-A (Depot Vliegtuig Afdeling), my guess would be the DC-3´s were added to these and thats why the number is sometimes given as 12 till as high as 19. According to ´official´ listings there were only 12 L18-40´s in depot and maybe another 2 pure training/flightschool which would leave some Dc-3´s to make up the numbers)

LT9-07 (c/n 18-2102), radio call sign VHCAA, went to the USAAF as 42-68347 and was operated by Qantas. It served in Australia and New Zealand after the war before going to the USA where it was current in 2004 as N796G.

LT9-08 (c/n 18-2103), radio call sign VHCAB, went to the USAAF as 42-68348 and was operated by Qantas. It was written off on 26 November 1943 at Port Moresby.

LT9-09 (c/n 18-2104), radio call sign VHCAC, went to the USAAF as 42-68349 and was operated by Guinea Airways. It served in Australia and New Zealand after the war and was written off on 10 February 1947 at Palmerston, New Zealand.

LT9-14 (c/n 18-2109), radio call sign VHCAD, went to the USAAF as 42-68350. It was written off either on 14 July 1942 or in January 1944 at Tennant Creek.

LT9-15 (c/n 18-2110) was withdrawn from use in Darwin in March 1942 whilst still in ML-KNIL service.

LT9-16 (c/n 18-2120), radio call sign VHCAE, went to the USAAF as 42-68351 and was operated by Ansett. It was written off on 11 October 1942 at Archerfield.

LT9-17 (c/n 18-2121), radio call sign VHCAF, went to the USAAF as 42-68352 and was operated by ANA. It was written off on 23 February 1944 at Archerfield.

LT9-18 (c/n 18-2122) was written off on 3 March 1942 at Broome whilst still in ML-KNIL service.

LT9-19 (c/n 18-2123), radio call sign VHCAG, went to the USAAF as 42-68353 and was operated by ANA (?). It was written off on 18 August 1942 at Maple.

LT9-21 (c/n 18-2125), radio call sign VHCAH, went to the USAAF as 42-68354 and was operated by ANA. It was written off on 30 November 1942 at Dobodura, New Guinea.

LT9-22 (c/n 18-2126) was written off on 15 February 1942 at Brisbane whilst still in ML-KNIL service.

LT9-23 (c/n 18-2127), radio call sign VHCAI, went to USAAF as 42-68355. It was written off on 18 August 1942 at Maple. Sometimes reported as current as N7001 but that aircraft is c/n 2427.

LT9-24 (c/n 18-2128), radio call sign VHCAJ, went to the USAAF as 42-68356 and was operated by ANA. It was written off on 26 February 1943 at Garbutt.

LT9-25 (c/n 18-2129), radio call sign VHCAK, went to the USAAF as 42-68357 and was operated by Qantas. It was written off on 15 May 1944 at Bundaberg.

Also, the 212s are usually listed as “light transport – used for recon” and Matrix has listed them as transports (with an upgrade to Dakotas). I feel this is appropriate.

Well in my Dutch sources they are usually listed as recon flight (VKA-4) but i aggree with their designation as transports and eventual upgrade.

So yes, there were three transport groups in the NEI:
Light Transport/Recon 212s of VkAfdeling-4
Lockheed Lodestars of Depot Vliegtuig Afdeling
Impressed DC-3 Civilian aircraft (assignment not known).

Well that´s a matter of symantics, officially VKA-4 is a recon flight and I still assume the DC-3´s and L18-40 together form D-VL-A so that would make it one transport group in name total.

Only the first two are included in our OOB.

There is no method to split groups in the scenario editor so the options are:
several small flights
ignore history and only use full squadrons

Matrix has chosen the former and I agree.

We will have to aggree to dissagree on this one then, the only detached flights I know of were meanth as a ´token´ resistance (show of force) and assumed to return to their squadrons as soon as hostillities broke out. So just for that we now have to fly useless 4 plane groups till 1945 while irl they would have returned to their parent squadrons and made up 12 plane groups again. (And don´t tell me people don´t bunch them together again anyway instead of leaving out 4 plane groups out in the cold alone). So as they were only inteneded to show token resistance, run and reform I would much prefer full strenght squadrons for the rest of the war (come on.. it´s 12 full strenght planes at most!)

Btw, technical question, why can´t they start out as /a /b parts that just reform later?

Although you did not mention it in your reply, I assume from the data in your post that I should rename the squadrons “VLG” without a period (NOT VL.G) – and I will do so.

Yes I think that might be most clear 1-VLG-IV for examle looks better to me then 1.Vl.G IV. which is still confusing as it looks like VI or a Roman numeral.

Thanks

 

edit:

oops.. forgot my usual whine and the reason this tread started..so here we go again:

quote:

Oh.. and might as well add the original point that started this:

F4-VLG-IV (??) 12 Hawker Hurricane II (12) Bandoeng (Java) … arriving 16 Feb. 1942
F5-VLG-IV (??) 12 Hawker Hurricane II (12) Bandoeng (Java) … arriving 16 Feb. 1942

I can see now why the pilots came from VLG-IV, All other fighter pilots were either in Borneo or Malay so it stands to reason these planes were attached to this flightgroup.

If we have those squadrons we can hold the DEI at last

B.t.w. I think in patch 1.5 the update path for the Dutch should include the Hurricanes. Somehow I think this is already the case.

Oh yeah, they will really really really (not!) make the difference! lol, will add some flavour though. In aircombat reports instead of own losses 100%, Japanese losses nil, I might actually see, own losses 99%, Japanese losses: 1 damaged (lightly)

True about the updates, I am sure they would have gotten some… eventually… if we held on to some more of the DEI, if we had a few more escaped pilots, if we weren´t incorporated into the RAF or RAAF, and if we had beggedddddd for it long enough.. lol.. if… if… if. (hmm… we might even have gotten 320th squadron transfereed to the pacific… should i ask if they can……. naww… better not

Well then here is my wish list..

Fokker G1
Fokker Fokker DXXI

With these two we can start making plans to invade Japan

 I believe that a total of four squadrons were sent to Singapore/Malaya. An agreement had been reached pre-war between the Dutch and the British in Singapore under which Dutch units were to reinforce the defenses of Singapore (and Malaya). This agreement provided for the assignment of three squadrons of bombers and 1 squadron of fighters to British command, as well as the deployment of Dutch submarines along the coast of Malaya. The Dutch air units sent to Singapore/Malaya included all three squadrons of III-Group and the Brewster Fighters of 2-VLG-V. However, 2-VLG-III (with Martins) was withdrawn quite early for additional training in night bombing (about the 15th of December) and was not present when the remaining air units were withdrawn from the Malayan peninsula to Singapore.

Your statement on 2-VLG-II is very interesting. I have seen several comments on the conversion of 2-VLG-II into 3-VLG-III and also a few references to a 2-VLG-II during the war. This is the first direct statement that I have seen to a rebuilding of 2-VLG-II. Somewhat intrigued I decided to approach the question from a different angle.

The total “WH” strength of the ML-KNIL at the outbreak of the war was:
11 WH-1
16 WH-2
28 WH-3
40 WH-3A
Total: 95. I have no data for the operational status of these aircraft and some were undoubtably out of service.

In reviewing the initial strengths of our new scenario, I find:
1-VLG-I – 11 aircraft (9 operational and 2 damaged) in 2 formations
2-VLG-I – 11 aircraft (9 and 2) in 2 formations
1-VLG-II – 15 aircraft (12 and 3) in 1 formation
1-VLG-III – 11 aircraft (10 and 1) in 1 formation
2-VLG-III – 11 aircraft (10 and 1) in 1 formation
3-VLG-III – 11 aircraft (9 and 2) in 1 formation
7e Afdeling – 9 aircraft (all damaged) in 1 formation
Aircraft pool for aircraft Martin-139: 22
Total 92 aircraft

We previously had the WH-1 Patrouille with 3 additional WH-1 but removed it as “too small”. This accounts for the three missing aircraft and I will adjust the pool to 25 to compensate.

The total aircraft allocation in the scenario is correct and the remaining question is the existance of an additiion squadron (2-VLG-II). I have no conclusive data to support the existance or non-existance of this unit as of December 8, 1941. I can find statements that make me suspect that it is, including your reference above, but I can also find statements that make me think it is not. The one source I have that specifically states that it is in existance is Dr. Niehorster’s site at: http://www.orbat.com/site/ww2/drleo/016_netherlands/41-12-08/army_air.html – which places it at Malang with 1-VLG-II.

This leaves me with two options and no conclusive evidence to select between them:
1: Include 2-VLG-II with 11 aircraft and reduce the pool to 14.
2: Exclude 2-VLG-II and leave the pool at 25.

Speaking purely from the perspective of game mechanics – losses will very quickly use up the aircraft in the pool and I doubt the value of an additional squadron. Squadrons will very soon have to be combined in order to maintain reasonable strength on surviving units.

This combination of conflicting data sources and questionable game mechanics leads me to leave out 2-VLG-II. I would welcome any additional data that would cause me to reconsider this decision.

quote:

In my opinion (but i might be wrong here) I, II and II were bombers, IV and V were fighters, VI was your later mentioned transport and that´s why the newly formed bomber ´squadron´ was named 7th (VII) before it was attached/merged with VLG-III to make up a 2 squadron group again.


I think there is some confusion between squadrons and groups. The ML-KNIL had five combat GROUPS:
I, II, and III were bomber groups
IV, and V were fighter groups.

Within the three bomber groups there were (I believe) six squadrons:
1-VLG-I
2-VLG-I
1-VLG-II
1-VLG-III
2-VLG-III
3-VLG-III

Thus, I believe, when an additional squadron was formed from reserve aircraft it was named 7th Squadron.

Agreed, I was going a bit quick around the bend I guess but that´s what i meanth. 3 in Singapore and 2-VLG-III back with the added 7th.

Interesting, several Dutch sources mention a number between 116 and 120, the best break up I can give is:
13 WH-1
26 WH-2
39 WH-3
39 WH-3A
Making it a total of 117, which seems exactly the difference to make up a second ´squadron´ for II group

I find it confusing that a 3 plane bomber patrol is to small, but in your previous posts you do aggree with independent 4 plane fighter patrols.

Dissagree (see above) that that is a correct total, think it should be 117 (Casius & Postma-40 jaar luchtvaart in Indie / P.C. Boer-De Luchtstrijd om Indie: Operaties van de Militaire Luchtvaart KNIL in de periode Dec. 1941-Mar. 1942 / J.W.T. Bosch-De Militaire Luchtvaart van het Koninklijk Nederlands-Indisch Leger in oorlog 8 Dec. 1941-10 Mar. 1942 etc. etc.)

As I also come across different accounts I find it hard to believe all of them would be mistaken and mention a non existing unit.

I don´t really see the problem with withdrawing/combining, pretty much the same result as taking from the pool and much closer to what happened irl. (and atleast with the advantage that later in the war you might get the unit back upgraded and up to strenght.
The way it is now 25 planes will appear out of nowhere, it´s not like they had a bunch of them standing ready to fill up loses. And if they had, there would definately be a 2-VLG-II thereby avouding this whole discussion)

Well yes, that always gives some reason for confusion because of the differnce in language and oranisation. But in this case I think the confusion lies with you (if you don´t mind me saying). Aggree with your statement above, but then we get into the misunderstanding part. The basic unit in the KNIL (as opposed to in the MLD) was the GROEP, not the afdeling/squadron (notice the recon ´adelingen are all especially mentioned as ´

 independent c.q. ´not belonging to a group´, something ya wouldn´t need to add if it was the basic unit) Now I aggree you can name the parts (afdelingen) of the group squadrons for clarity. This indeed means 3 bomber with you say 6 (I say 7) squadrons and 2 fighter groups with 6 squadrons. But then it get´s interesting… there is D-VI-A, what you call the (independent) transport squadron. But in Dutch sources it is the transportGROEP making it the 6th GROEP (Depot-Vliegtuiggroep VI-Adeling). However because this group is made up of one afdeling/squadron the names groep and afdeling are interchangeable. Now we come to the 7th ´afdeling´. As this is a ´thrown together´ bomber formation of one afdeling not attached to anything else, again the names are interchangable. So what in english you could call 7th squadron in Dutch would be the 7th afdeling/groep, making it GROEP VIII.
Now what has happened I summise however is that because it had no administrative organisation, and Groep III was only one afdeling, VII was atached to III making up a group with 2 afdelingen again. This however did not mean that a unit called 7th ´squadron´was added to goup III, but that VII was attached to II to form one unit.

lol… Iknow I made a mess of that explenation, so in short.. yes you are right, there were 5 COMBAT groups, but then add the 6th TRANSPORT group, which makes the 7th added bomber ´squadron´ actually the 7th GROUP seeing that it was unattached to any other group and the GROEP is the basic unit (notice it says it was attached to III group, not incorporated into it).

Wish i could explain it better but in Dutch there are different words for different situations which in English I only know how to discribe with one and the same word.

edit:

Just an adition about the B-10 Series “Martin Bombers”:

´The Dutch were the best customers, buying 120 planes in four different versions for the defense of their rich Indonesian colonie´s.´

*The Glenn L. Martin Maryland Aviation Museum*

< Message edited by Dutchgy2000 — 3/7/2005 4:52:38 AM >

The total Dutch purchase of Martin Model-139 was 120 units (in 4 sub-models). Of these 95 are reported operational as of December 8, 1942. You are very correct that my total of the operational units and the pool is incorrect. The difference is the 9 aircraft of 7e Afdeling that are apparently still in the “pool” at this time. I will reduce the pool to 16.

Yes, I do feel the 4-aircraft detachments on Borneo are worth including and I do not feel the 3 aircraft WH-1 Patrouille is worth including.

There are many good points in this discussion but I am not convinced that another bomber squadron named 2-VLG-II should be added. I remain convinced by the statement at http://www.geocities.com/dutcheastindies/Dutch_OOB.html that 2-VLG-II was redesignated 3-VLG-III.

Source

Matrix Games Forums Dutch hurricanes

__________

 Japanese Capitulation Java Postal history Cover

Sent  from Bandung February 17th, 1942 to Tjiandjoer arrived in february,28th cannot bring to the address because situation one month this cover still in Tjiandjoer  and send to sender but cannot found  and the letter send back to sender April, 4th 1942 . this  very rare potal history cover , postally used cover from DEI Armed forces Headquater Bandung official free stamp covers and return back to Dai Nippon Occupation Military Headquater Bandung

In this month all the post office in Java not operational the letter send from Bandung February 17 1942 to Tjiandjoer arrived in february,28th, but cannot bring to sender because of the Dai nippon landed at Merak and marching to Jakarta (batavia) March,5th and capitulation Kalidjati Armyport March,8th 1942. this letter send to sender but cannot found  and the sletter send back to sender April, 4th 1942 .

Please look carefully this  very rare historic postal used cover from DEI Armed forces Headquater Bandung official free stamp covers and return back to Dai Nippon Occupation Military Headquater Bandung below

front

 

back

 

 

March 9th,1942

 

At Fort Menari,

Frank Samethini and his comrades obeyed the command with heavy hearts:

In bitter silence they come, from the firing positions, from the big guns so perfectly camouflaged against air attack.

 

They come to pile arms and ammunition in one big heap before the commander’s bunker.

 

This has been ordered by the Imperial Japanese Army, which will arrive to take over tomorrow.

 

 We all go to the canteen to drink, and drink. “Here’s to victory, blast the Japs!” sounding hollow and desperate. [13]

 

 

forced to retreat back along the Track to the village of Menari


Han heard the report of capitulation at

 a hospital in Malang in 1942

 

 

 

Look more picture of Malang

Malang Tempo Doeloe

This the old picture of Malang City like Balai Kota Malang, Pasar Besar Malang bigger market ,  Ijen street Malang, old are of  Malang, Kayu Tangan Malang,  Claket hospital ,  Lavalette hospital ,  train station of Malang old side city etc.

Balai Kota th.1947

Boulevard Ijen th.1938:

BUS Jurusan Batu-Malang th.1930

Pecinan / Kota Lama (Chinese overseas area)

th.1930:

 

 th.1940

 

 Ijen  bouleveard 1950

Kayu Tangan 1940

Post Office Kayu Tangan th.1910

Train station  th.1879

Soekarno di Malang th.1953

Kereta Api jurusan Malang-Blitar th.1896

 

 

Alun-Alun Malang

 Bigger market of Malang in 1948

Pedagang kaki lima

 

 Claket Hospital

 Lavallete Hospital

 

 

 Rhouse and building at  Sukun area, Malang.1948

 

By this time

he’d recovered sufficiently from the malaria to get back on his feet.

He surrendered to the local Japanese occupation troops

on March 9.

In his own words,

 

 “I marched straight from the hospital to the POW camp.”

 

Reflecting on the lopsided struggle that was the NEI Campaign over 40 years later, he commented sadly, “We had rifles, some machine guns, some artillery, and a few tanks.

They gave us a little bit of training. But we were not really an army. We were just a police force.” [14]

After more than three centuries of proud mastery in the East Indies, the Dutch had been overthrown in just three months

(ibid Elizabeth Van Kampen)

10 March.1942

Forty survivors from JUPITER and 42 from ELECTRA

departed Tjilatjap in early March 1942  on Dutch steamer VERSPECK and arrived in Australia on 10 March.1942

 

On 12 March 1942

 the senior British, Australian and American commanders were summoned to Bandung where the formal instrument of surrender was signed in the presence of the Japanese commander in the area,

 

 

 Lieutenant-General Masao Maruyama,

 

 who promised them the rights of the Geneva Convention for the protection of prisoners of war.

 

Other Australians captured on Timor

 

(from 2/40th Infantry Battalion, a component of Sparrow Force)

 

were transferred to Java and Singapore, and then to Thailand, Japan and elsewhere. Australian troops were imprisoned in several camps in Java, particularly Bandung camp, under Lieutenant Colonel E. E. “Weary” Dunlop. In October 1942 this group and others were moved to Makasura, near Batavia. In January 1943, as part of the 900-strong Dunlop Force (under Lieutenant Colonel Dunlop) the prisoners were transported from Java to Konyu, Thailand

Source

Wellacia

 

 

 

 

 

 

ANZAC Day in Indonesia 70 years after the Battle of Java

 

 


THERE IS AN EXTRA EFFORT

 this year to inform Australian residents in Indonesia of commemorations marking ANZAC Day –

 the memorial day shared by Australia and New Zealand. In Jakarta, the capital city, the Dawn Service is traditionally held in the picturesque Allied War Cemetery in Menteng Pulo.

Unlike Dawn Services in Australia conducted by the RSL, Jakarta’s for some reason continues a specific Christian reference; perhaps this is due to the sharing of management with the New Zealand Embassy. Regardless, as in the cities and towns in Australia and New Zealand, the event continues to grow in numbers, including, over recent years, a delegation from the Indonesian Legion. 


In East Kalimantan on Borneo island, the Indonesia Australia Business Council is publicising the Balikpapan Dawn Service alongside its special networking event the evening before.

 

 



This year’s commemoration should have special significance to Australians; it marking the 70th anniversary of the Japanese Army’s occupation of Malaya and Singapore (and capture of six Australian battalions), their invasion of the Netherlands East Indies (Indonesia), their bombing of northern Australia and the Australian militia’s resistance to their attack along the Kokoda Track in New Guinea until relieved by regular army units.

 

IT WAS THE END OF A TIME WHEN AUSTRALIA

relied on British embassies and missions for its diplomatic representation – the first two embassies only being opened in Tokyo and Washington in 1940 – and when the Australian government’s only independent sources of economic and military intelligence in the region was from private business executives and the thin network of federal and state trade commissioners.

 

One such contributor was Gordon Bowden, an experienced Shanghai-based trader, who was recruited to establish an Australian Trade Office in that city in 1935, just 18 months before Japan’s declaration of war on China.

 Japan’s invasion caused the closure of the office in 1940 and Bowden was relocated to Singapore as Australian Commissioner. From there he warned the Australian government of the worsening military situation and the inadequacy of Singapore’s defences.

On 9 Feb 1942,

the day before the Japanese entered the island, he reported he could leave immediately on a cargo ship; however he was instructed to stay at his post as Australia’s most senior civilian official otherwise Canberra “would be deprived of independent information and effect on morale would be bad’. 

 



On 15 Feb,

after the British surrender, he and two colleagues escaped on a small boat to Sumatra where they were intercepted and forced to land on Bangka island.  At Muntock, Bowden tried to explain his diplomatic status but was then beaten by Japanese guards and taken outside. According to later reports, was shot after being forced to dig his own grave.

MEANTIME ON JAVA, AUSTRALIA’S TRADE COMMISSIONER to the Dutch-controlled East Indies, Herbert Anton Peterson, moved his office from Batavia (now Jakarta) to Bandung as the Japanese navy won sea battles in the Sunda Straits and Java Sea.

His wife was safely back in Australia but he had already lost one son in airborne operations and another was a POW in Italy.

In Bandung, Peterson visited Australian women who had decided to remain with their families and distributed cash to those who needed it. Austrade’s local staff hid Trade Commission documents, closed the office and disbursed until the end of the Japanese occupation.

On 3 Mar,

Paterson drove all-night from Bandung to Chilacap where he boarded a small, 1,200 t Dutch freighter with other diplomats (including the British Consul-General, staff and families) and 2,000 others. HMAS Ballarat was the very last vessel to leave Chilacap that day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March,7th.1942

 


Eerst is hij gewoon kok bij de Marine; daar was hij voor opgeleid. Maar in 1942

moet ook hij opgeroepen zijn om zijn dienstplicht te vervullen. Alle weerbare mannen werden gemobiliseerd immers nadat Nederland op 8 december 1941, nog voor de Verenigde Staten en het Verendigd Koninkrijk, de oorlog verklaarde aan Japan. In elk geval wordt aan P. Meulenbroek nr 21201/D,

op 7 maart 1942,

de dag van de capitulatie van Nederland, ‘groot verlof’ verleend. Daarmee wordt hij in feite gedemilitariseerd, zoals het Departemt van Marine in Bandoeng (P.molenbroek)

AT 09:00 ON 8 MAR,

THE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF of the Allied forces, Ter Poorten, announced the surrender of the Royal Netherlands East Indies Army in Java.

 

On 12 Mar,

the senior British, Australian and American commanders were summoned to Bandung where the formal instrument of surrender was signed in the presence of the Japanese commander in the area, Lieutenant-General Masao Maruyama, who promised them the rights of the Geneva Convention for the protection of prisoners of war.

 

Other Australians captured on Timor (from 2/40th Infantry Battalion, a component of Sparrow Force) were transferred to Java and Singapore, and then to Thailand, Japan and elsewhere. Australian troops were imprisoned in several camps in Java, particularly Bandung camp, under Lieutenant Colonel E. E. “Weary” Dunlop.

In October 1942

this group and others were moved to Makasura, near Batavia. In January 1943, as part of the 900-strong Dunlop Force (under Lieutenant Colonel Dunlop) the prisoners were transported from Java to Konyu, Thailand

 

16th March 1942

 

The postal service in Singapore re-opened on 16th March 1942, …

Japanese Occupation of Malaya

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

a display by Susan McEwen  17th January 2009

Susan’s display comprised three rounds, with a great deal of interest during the viewing. Some pictures of the display below are followed by some notes from Susan with scans and notes about five items.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introduction.

A display of this subject needs to start with an expression of our respect to those who endured the occupation, and lived through that difficult time.  Philatelically it was a time of Overprints, provisional postmarks and a lack of documentation which means we have to rely on the material for information.  Work by previous collectors is much appreciated and acknowledged.

Approach for the display:

Topics of interest to me, which hopefully hang together to tell the story of the Occupation.  Covering the stamp, postal history, postal stationery and Revenues of the occupation.

A full report will appear in the May edition of the Newsletter.

Meanwhile here are a few scans and notes relating to them.

 

1.      The postal service in Singapore re-opened on 16th March 1942, this card shows Double frame chops to convert it to Occupation use, posted 17th March  2nd day.

 

2.      Cover to show issued Single frame chop stamps and a ‘Request’ stamp, the 6c red. The Japanese would convert on request some, but not all, pre-occupation stamps to Japanese use by handstamping them with SFC, at a charge of the face value of the stamp.  Surely only philatelists would bother to have stamps converted in this way, someone just wanting to post a letter could buy a stamp at face value, rather than take his own stamps for converting.

 

3.      Photo postcard, endorsed on the back ‘Parade through Market Street Bentong, Pahang’  can anyone confirm the location ?

 

 

  1. 1.    Straits stamps converted to Occupation use with Single frame chops, in red, used at Medan in the  Japanese Occupied East Indies.

Initially the Sumatra part of DEI was administered from Singapore,  later  when Sumatra had its own postal administration Japanese-Malayan stamps were still accepted.

 

5.      Most of the post during the occupation was within the peninsular of Malaya.  This cover is from Singapore (CDS SYONAN 17.5.17)to Sarawak.  The note ‘In Romanise’ means the letter is written in Romanised Malay, not Jawi, and is information for the censor.

 

. Digest of operations

17th – 19th March 1942

Preparations for the assault on Batavia continue. Several BB taskforces have bombarded the port, causing widespread damage on military facilities. Collateral damage is minimal, due to selective targeting. The worlds leading battleship – the Yamato – has joined in the attacks.

Teloekbetoeng on nearby Sumatra was also bombarded by several taskforces. CA’s Mogami and Chokai report excellent gunnery and considerable damage to the colonial defenders.

Pomala in the Celebes fell on the 18th. A starving Dutch occupying force readily laid down their arms.

On the Kokoda track near Port Moresby, a large detachment of Australian troops surrendered early in the afternoon on March 19th. The remainder of the Port Moresby brigade have been located nearby and are likely to be rounded up shortly.

Headline Japan Times:-

YAMATO PREPARES FOR SEA TRIALS AT KURE! DESTINATION RESTRICTED BUT CHURCHILL AND ROOSEVELT BEWARE!

March,22th 1942

  • on March 21-22,

the Hurricanes didn’t take part, since they would have been unable to make the 550-mile round-trip flight.

So it was that the “werwolf”

 

Hurricanes were sitting on the ground at Chiang Mai

 

 

 

In 1942,

Chiang Kai-shek (standing, foreground) fetes the AVG

22 March 1942

A military spokesman for Southeast Asia Command announced this evening that Batavia, last significant Allied stronghold in the Dutch East Indies, has fallen to the Japanese.

Under constant air, sea and land bombardment for the last two weeks the postition of the defenders had been adjudged all but hopeless and had been anticipated as likely to occur at any time. “The troops fought on inspite of having no reasonable expectation of relief or rescue and thereby imposed a decisive delay in the enemy’s timetable of conquest.”

The garrison of slightly under 20,000 was composed of mostly Dutch forces but contained small contingents of British and Australian troops. Well over 100,000 enemy troops were involved in the final assault.

A small taste of what is to come saw Allied heavy bombers based in India smashing at a Japanese column advancing in North Burma and at their main supply base in Mandalay.

At Mandalay several enemy aircraft were destroyed on the ground and numerous supply dumps were seen to explode and burn furiously.

The enemy column hit the previous day lost a large number of tanks to the bombers. Neither attack was seriously opposed in the air by Japanese aircraft.

At sea two days ago, Allied ships damaged a Japanese submarine approxiamately 100 miles WSW of Ceylon. A large oil slick was observed before contact was broken off.

 

 

Operations between 20th to 22nd March 1942

BATAVIA FALLS! JAVA JOINS THE GREATER EAST ASIA CO-PROSPERITY SPHERE!

Java

After several further BB bombardments, elements from a numer of elite infantry divisions stormed Batavia

on the morning of the 22nd.

Facing only light resistance, first the Chinese then the European districts were taken within several hours. By early afternoon, the Dutch high command signalled a request for cessation of hostilities. It is estimated that well over twenty thousand prisoners of war have been taken. However it is understood that leading members of ABDA had alreadly fled the beleaguered enclave.

Kokoda trial

All remaining Port Moresby garrison units have been rounded up, after only minor skirmishes.

China

Several Chinese divisions were routed

on the 21st March.

These units were thought to be fleeing Nanning, however after a short battle some 60 miles to the NW of the city, they were last observed retreating back to the city, in some disorder.

Announcements

With the fall of Java, Batavia is to be renamed Jakarta
Furthermore Singapore is to be renamed Syonan (Light of the South)

Heavy armour enters Jakarta (formerly Batavia)

 

This was the last known photo of him before taken prison March 1942!

 

 

Gerrit Hendrik Schuppers

 


I am trying to reconstruct the war history of my father. My father is Dutch, was a KNIL-soldier/gunner, Koninklijk Nederlands Indisch Leger (= Royal Netherlands Indies Army), 2nd Bat. Field Artillery. Before the Japs came, he rotated from Tjimahi/Bandung, to many other places at Java and Sumatra before taken POW
His name: Schuppers, Gerrit Hendrik, born 6th September 1921. He died last 12th December 2004 and took most of the secrets with. His KNIL (army) number that time: 96406.

Thanks to Wes Injerd and Henk Beekhuis for their translations to my fathers camp-card, in short here-after my fathers ‘war-history’ for sure known now.



Below is a picture of my father taken before leaving Holland 1940. The other one, taken at Pangkalansusu/Sumatra, New Years Day 1941. This was the last known photo of him before taken prison March 1942!

1) 11th March 1942 taken POW at Java (presumably Madura) at Camp C or III (administration no: 8480)
2) Date unknown: to POW Darmo at Surabaya/Java (administration no: ?)
3) April 6th , 1943: transported to POW-camp Djengi (Also spelled as Changi or Chengi) at Singapore (administration no.?)
4) April 14th , 1943: transport by train from Singapore to Thailand
5) April 21st , 1943: Arrived at Thailand Camp 6 Burma Railroad (administration no: 8329)
6) Date unknown: back to Djengi at Singapore again (administration no: ?)
7) June 5th , 1944: embarked MV TEIA MARU (ex Aramis) for Moji / Japan
8) June 18th , 1944 arrival at Fukuoka #12 Miyata; the Dutch group for this camp represented 100 men of which one officer, the 1st Lt. Horstman.
9) August 15th , 1945 renamed to #F-9B), administration no: 31500 and released
10) September 20th , 1945: turned over to Capt. Griffin at Nagasaki-Port and repatriated by USNS ??? (Aircraft Carrier?) to Okinawa (medical checks)
11) September ??, 1945: left for Manila by USNS or HMS ?? to the 5th Replacement Camp
12) November 29th , 1945: 5600 KNIL-troops reunited and ordered by the Dutch Government to leave Manila for Balikpapan / Borneo by HMS ?? (British Aircraft Carrier?) and a battalion of Marines left Manilla for Makassar.

Is there anyone who can tell me more at the notices #1, 2, 6, 10, 11 and 12?



Manila Replacement Camp 11 Nov 1945

Click for larger picture

Click for larger picture

       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March,23th 1942

 

 

Maru was the ex-Van Waerwijck, scutlled in March 1942 at Tandjong Priok …

 

 

March,26th 1942

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Malayan inspection– Lieutenant Colonel Shizuo Saeki (left of officer with walking stick) takes questions from the observation group with inquires about the breakthrough.

 

South front inspection schedule—March 9th Tokyo,March 13th Hong Kong,March 19th Bangkok,March 20th Kuala Lumpur,March 21st Singapore,March 24th Sumatra,March 26th Singapore,April 1st Manila,April 4th Clark Airfield,April 7th Tokyo

 

.

  • on the morning of March 24,

when the AVG Tomahawks swept across in their vengeance raid, ordered by Chennault to pay back for the Allied air disaster at Magwe. When the AVG pilots claimed fifteen Japanese aircraft destroyed at Magwe–more about that later–two of them were the former RAF Hurricanes. No more was heard of the werwolves, so evidently they never flew again.

By the end of March,

the vast area of sea and land from New Guinea and northwest Australia to central Burma, which had formed ABDACOM, was under Japanese control. Only to the north, in the Philippines, where American and Filipino troops still stood fast, had the Japanese failed to meet their timetable of conquest.

On 31st March 1942

a Japanese ship arrived at Pangkalanboen (or Koemai).

Retreat into the jungle-covered mountains was considered, but the bitter experience of the past few weeks had made it clear that troops could not long survive the trying climatic conditions. The order to surrender was therefore given

 

Capt. Atholl Duncan, Argyll & Sunderland Highlanders, was taken prisoner in Jav

in March 1942,

aged 23.

His fiance, Elizabeth Glassey was a medical student at St. Andrews university. For three and a half years he was held first in Tandjong Priok in Java then Motoyama, Zentsuji and Miyata prison camps in Japan.

Covering the three years 1941-43,

it tells of his arrival in peacetime Singapore and events as they unfolded.

Written by Meg Parkes using Atholl’s secret diaries and their correspondence, she lets them tell their story in their own words. The book contains dozens of illustrations – photographs, maps, drawings, cards, letters, documents and even lists of names and addresses of fellow prisoners.

“Notify Alec Rattray…”

will be invaluable to those who are searching for information about their relatives who were prisoners of war in the Far East.

Fully indexed with a foreword is written by Major (Retd) Alastair Campbell A&SH. To order, visit

 

April  1942

1) April,1st 1942

a) on 1st April 1942

all arms were surrendered. At Kotawaringin airfield was stationed a small Dutch force (ca. 250 men).

This garrison was never engaged in any fighting and they probably laid down their arms on the same day the British did.

In the ten weeks since leaving Kuching 2/15th Punjab had fought many actions, inflicting heavy casualties on the enemy, and had traveled under most adverse conditions over 800 miles through extremely difficult country.

They had carried with them their light automatics, rifles and ammunition. As

 

General Percival

has said, it was ‘a feat of endurance which assuredly will rank high in the annals of warfare. It says much for the morale of this fine battalion that it remained a formed and disciplined body to the end.’

Read more

 

 

General Arthur Percival, ill-fated British commanding officer in Singapore, Olga and Maisie Prout, the brave sisters who defied the Japanese during the occupation of the island colony and Captain William ‘Bill’ Drower, the man the Japanese couldn’t kill. Their dramatic stories are told in The Battle for Singapore

 

 

Japanese military delivering speech at the padang in 1942(my father told me that every body from padang must take bigger stone to protect the beach in 1942 and in 1943 my father dan mother backhome to pajacomboeh to delivery my sister Gho soei Kim there in my grandfather house at lubuksilang pajakoemboeh)

Muara Padang

 

b) April,1st 1942

DEI Marine Defendwork Offive Letter during DN landing at west and Central Java.

DEI Marines 1942


Very rare Letter from Marine Defensiewerk (Defense Worl office) sign by the chief van Schooninveld.

the conduete latter of B Kasiman who work as opzichert (civilian official) at the Soerabaya Marine office from August 1941 to March 1942,

the letter date April 1st 1942.
(Ill.6) The DEI Marine Soerabaya letter during DN landing west java, caption DEI Marine letter 1942

except Surabaya the DEI Govement still operation :

(a)The DEI marine still issued the recomendations letter

 

(b)the PTT  still issued the telephone  bill for april 1942.look below at April collections

Soerabaia April.1st 1942 .(Surabaja.)

Ned.indie. 15 cent Revenue stamp .PTT Phone Bill.

a.Front

 

 

 

 

b. back

 

 

At back handwittten

The man had gone,later he pay himself

Original info

orangnya masih pergi nanti dibayar sendiri

 

(2) Soerabaia .April, 3rd.1942,

The Chinese overseas shop  Oei Khong Hwa Surabaya Recieved Of Buying Breadpaper, DEI 15 cent Revenue stamped

 

April,8th.1942

 

In 1940

he attended the University of California at Berkeley for one semester before being mobilized with the California National Guard.

He was transferred to Ft. Lewis, WA in the spring of 1941 where he attended Officer’s Training School, and graduated as a second lieutenant in the Salinas 194th Tank Battalion. The battalion was sent to Ft. Stotsenberg, Philippine Islands,in September 1941.

Ted served in the combat infantry from December 1941 through

April 8, 1942

when the U.S.-Philippine forces were ordered to surrender to Japan.

He was on the infamous “Death March” after which he spent three and one half years in Japanese prisoner of war camps O’Donnell, Cabanatuan #1 and #3 and Bilibid. He was on three of the Japanese “Hell Ships” traveling to Japan.

The prisoners were transported to work in Japanese labor camps. They were in Inchon, Korea at the time they were liberated.

Malang April,14th 1942,

the DEI overtoon document (Surat hutang) handwritten surcharge to Indonesia Language ,the DEI change to Pemerintah Balatentara Dai Nippon(DN army Government) with DEI Revenue 15 cent

 

 

 

 

 

 

Netherlands East Indies (change to Indonesia)
OPVERTOON (On Presenttation)
At any time asking for money to the collection dating my undersigned named Adam
Merchant in Pandaan (Patjenan) kampong Wajak
Must then pay to Reptp Tjoen Gwan
in Malang
Fifty Roepiah  Much Money

The money that sell well in the Dutch East Indies (change to Indonesia) the price of the merchandise that I’ve received very well.
I like this debt over billed according to the wet (law) in force in the Indian Ollanda dutch (Changed to  Dai Nippon Army)
What is this letter in my debt has been understood very well

Wretched den 14/4 1942

Original info

Besarannya f 50,- Oewang

Hindia Nederland(change to Indonesia)

OPVERTOON(On Presenttation)

Pada waktu apa saja datang  penagih minta uang kepada saya yang bertanda tangan dibawah ini  bernama Adam

Saudagar di Pandaan(Patjenan) kampong wajak

Musti lantas bayar kepada Reptp Tjoen Gwan

Di Malang

Banyak Uang  Lima puluh rupiah

Uang yang laku di Hindia Belanda(change to Indonesia) harga dari barang dagangan yang saya sudah terima betul.

Atas ini utang saya suka ditagih menurut  wet(hukum) Ollanda  jang berlaku di hindia belanda (Changed to Balatentara dai Nippon)

Apa yang tersebut  dalam ini surat utang saya sudah mengerti betul

Malang den 14/4 1942

18 april 1942

on April 18th 1942

which embarrassed Yamamoto so badly that he ordered the attack to take Midway and destroy the remaining US Naval power in the Pacific.

 

 


An Army B–25 takes off from the USS Hornet to participate in the Doolittle Raid on Japan, April 1942

The Americans were able to launch only a few carrier and submarine attacks on the Japanese, including

the Doolittle bomber raid on Tokyo on April 18.

These operations, while having a major impact on American morale, were militarily insignificant and failed to slow the Japanese. Only the stubborn defense of the Philippines had significantly disrupted Japanese plans.

Bandung,27 april 1942

.source Dai Nippon club netherland

Off cover DEI Koninjnenberg 10 cent used CDS 27.4,42

Unusual used because the DEI Queen stamp forbidden to used in Java and never seen this stamps with Dai Nippon overprint(different from simatra and eastern area all the qoueeen stamps were overprint with different type of every area,looki e-book The Dai Nippon occupation Sumatra and eastre area)

All the Japanese second phase operations were to be completed by

the end of April,

in time to meet possible attack from the Soviet Union, which, the Japanese believed, would come in the spring, if it came at all that year.

By the end of April 1942

the Japanese had thus gained control of Burma, Malaya, Thailand, French Indochina, the Netherlands Indies, and the Malay Archipelago; farther to the east, they had won strong lodgments on the islands of New Guinea, New Britain, and in the Solomons. They were in a position to flank the approaches to Australia and New Zealand and cut them off from the United States.

The Japanese had won this immense empire at remarkably little cost through an effective combination of superior air and sea power and only a handful of well-trained ground divisions.

The Japanese had seized and held the initiative while keeping their opponents off balance. They had concentrated their strength for the capture of key objectives such as airfields and road junctions and for the destruction of major enemy forces, while diverting only minimum forces on secondary missions, thus giving an impression of overwhelming numerical strength.

They had frequently gained the advantage of surprise and had baffled their enemies by their speed and skill in maneuver.

The whole whirlwind campaign, in short, had provided Japan’s enemies with a capsule course of instruction in the principles of war

 

 

May 1942

 

 

 

The war scene, the capitulation, but no peace

While the Japanese were lord and master of the Indies Archipel, the fights with the allies, and specifically with the Americans, happened on the edges of the archipel. Because the advance of the Japanese to the south

in May and June 1942

already stagnated by respectively the lost battle in the Coral Sea and the battel of Midway, and this news was known in the internment camps through illegal radio’s, the prisoners had the idea the war would soon be over. They couldn’t be wrong more.
The Japanese defended the conquered territories with everything possible at the cost of enormous losses, also on American side. Therefore the American supreme command decided not to liberate the Indies first, but to push through via two attack routes as quickly as possible to Japan itself. The western route went along the Phippines, the eastern route along the islands in the Pacific. Small islands became of enormous strategical importance because they could produce airfields from which bombers could shell the next target and finally Japan.

.

 

Rice distribution was introduced and the exclusive sale of agricultural products to Japan. Private estates were expropriated and controlled. Prices, salaries and rents were lowered and frozen. All schools were requisited.

In 1942

the Keibodan (aid police)was established, the Barisan Pemoeda Asia Raya (great-Asian youth corps), which later fused into the Seinendan (military youth movement). Als the Tonarikumi system was introduced for sectioning the kampongs and dessa’s in an Aza (or neighbourhood). This way the Japanese influence could penetrate deep into society.

Prominent Indonesians were ordered

in December 1942

to design an umbrella organisation the ‘Poetera’ (Poesat Tenaga Rakjat, or center of the peoples strength) to bundle to peoples activities and cooperate with Japan. This umbrella organisation at first was exclusively meant for Indonesians and had an Indonesian signature;

 

 

In May 1942

US Navy code breakers discovered the next move of the Imperial Navy an attack on Midway Island and the Aleutian islands.

Since the occupation of Midway by Japanese forces would give them an operational base less than 1000 miles from Pearl Harbor Admiral Chester Nimitz committed the bulk of his naval power, the carriers USS Enterprise CV-6, USS Yorktown CV-5 and USS Hornet CV-8 and their 8 escorting cruisers and 15 destroyers.  His force of 26 ships with 233 aircraft embarked to defend Midway while a force of 5 cruisers and 4 destroyers was dispatched to cover the Aleutians.

Midway itself had a mixed Marine, Navy and Army air group of 115 aircraft which included many obsolete aircraft, 32 PBY Catalina Flying Boats and 83 fighters, dive bombers, torpedo planes and Army Air Force bombers piloted by a host of inexperienced but resolute airmen.

 

 

The Japanese Fleet was led by Admiral Isoroku Yamamato and was built around the elite First Carrier Striking Group composed of the Pearl Harbor attackers Akagi, Kaga, Soryu and Hiryu.

Led by Vice Admiral Chuichi Nagumo its highly trained and combat experienced air groups composed of 273 aircraft.

This force was escorted by 2 Battleships, 3 Cruisers 12 Destroyers. Yamamoto commanded a force of  2 light carriers, 5 Battleships, 11 cruisers and 27 destroyers.

Meanwhile a  force of 4 battleships, 12 destroyers assigned screen to the Aleutian invasion force which was accompanied by 2 carriers 6 cruisers and 10 destroyers.

The other carriers embarked a further 114 aircraft.  The Japanese plan was ambitious but it was so ambitious that the Japanese Task forces were scattered over thousands of square miles of the Northern Pacific Ocean from which they could not rapidly come to the support of each other.

 

With the foreknowledge provided by the code breakers the US forces hurried to an intercept position northeast of Midway.

They eluded the Japanese submarine scout line which the Japanese Commander

 

Admiral Yamamoto presumed would find them when they sailed to respond to the Japanese attack on Midway.

Task Force 16 with the Enterprise and Hornet sailed first under the command of

 

Rear Admiral Raymond A Spruance

in place of the ailing William “Bull” Halsey. Task Force 17 under Rear Admiral Frank “Jack” Fletcher was built around the Yorktown which had been miraculously brought into fighting condition after suffering heavy damage at Coral Sea.

Fletcher assumed overall command by virtue of seniority and Admiral Nimitz instructed his commanders to apply the principle of “calculated risk” when engaging the Japanese as the loss of the US carriers would place the entire Pacific at the mercy of the Japanese Navy.

 

 

In late spring of 1942,

the Allied war effort in the Pacific was in a precarious state. The combined elements of the Japanese Empire’s armed forces had moved from victory to victory.

The Pacific fleet, save for several aircraft carriers, had been left in ruins. It appeared that Japan’s plans for reducing American and Western hegemony in the Pacific would become a reality.

Admiral Yamamoto, the leader of Japan’s naval efforts in the early days of the Pacific campaign, had promised that at the outbreak of hostilities he would “run wild for a year,” but that he had ” utterly no confidence for the second or third year.” As a young naval officer, Yamamoto had traveled extensively in the United States and was well aware of America’s industrial capabilities.

His goal was to force the U.S. to sue for peace before this industrial might could be directed against Japan. With this goal in mind, he sought to lure the American Navy into a decisive battle, in which it would be forced to deploy its remaining assets, thus providing his forces an opportunity to administer one final knockout blow.

While Yamamoto plotted to bring a quick end to war in the Pacific Theater, the United States Navy in the Pacific, led by

 

Admiral Chester Nimitz,

was desperately trying to anticipate Japan’s next move. Nimitz, unlike his counterpart, had little room for error. At the time of the battle, his 3 aircraft carriers, 45 fighting ships, and 25 submarines were all that lay between Hawaii and the West Coast and a large Japanese Fleet that had yet to suffer a significant defeat.

It appeared that Nimitz would have one shot at the enemy. A miscalculation by Nimitz on where Yamamoto would strike next would not only be disastrous, but also possibly fatal to the Allied war effort in the Pacific.

 

Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz

In order to prevail, Nimitz had to have some sense of Japan’s intentions. The task of obtaining the critical information required to turn the tide in the Pacific fell to OP-20–G, the Navy radio intelligence organization tasked with providing communications intelligence on the Japanese Navy. Established in the early 1920s by Laurence F. Safford, the ” Father of Navy Cryptology,” OP-20 –G was key to Nimitz’s planning. In addition to his earlier cryptologic efforts, Safford had played a major role in placing Commander Joseph Rochefort in command of Station Hypo, the Navy’s codebreaking organization at Pearl Harbor. Over a period of 18 years, OP-20-G had developed a highly skilled group of officers and enlisted men.

In 1942 Rochefort and his staff began to slowly make progress against JN-25, one of the many Japanese command codes that had proven so challenging to the Station Hypo team. JN-25 was the Japanese Navy’s operational code. If it could be broken, Rochefort would be able to provide Nimitz the information he needed to make wise and prudent decisions concerning the dispersal of his precious naval assets

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Koedeos May,3th.1942,

Koedoes,Recieved of Dai Nippon Postal saving bank(Chokin kyoku ) with the chokin  label and book

 

 

 

May,9th.1942

 

Surrender of U.S. Troops at Corregidor, May 1942

 

 

shelter for all Fil-American Prisoners on Corregidor –

9 May 1942.

 

In early May 1942,

Japan initiated operations to capture Port Moresby

by amphibious assault and thus sever communications and supply lines between the United States and Australia.

43

Situbondo May,14th 1942 ,

Sitoebondo,Legalization of Radio Permit of DEI 1941 document with DEI revenue that time,no Dai Nippon special revenue (all the radio band were closed only open for Dai nippon channel only)

Inside

 

Frontside

 

Legalized DEI C7 Adress card with Kon stamp 10 cent issued at Batoe Malang east java CDS Batoe 25.2.42  , latter by Dai nippon post office the Dutch char change to  Indonesian language with handwritten

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beside the road in jakarta,dai nippon put their  propaganda radio on the pole,look the book illustration from magazine july 2602

 

 

Semarang, May 1942. A Japanese commander honors

his troops during a (victory?) parade in the occupied city.
The trucks look quite smart and may have been brand new.
Picture from Semarang: Beeld van een stad.

 

 

Mar 1942:

ABRAHAM CRIJNSSEN escapes Java posing as an islet – NIMH, Holland.

. This is a reprise to the story told with the ABRAHAM CRIJNSSEN photo at Pic No. 2, and mentioned again with the HMAS WHYALLA disguise photo several entries back.

Having safely reached Australia, the 525-ton Dutch minesweeper was briefly commissioned into the RAN some time after her arrival in Fremantle [RAN Sept 28, 1942-May 5, 1943] she reverted to the Royal Netherlands Navy, but continued to operate with RAN ships around New Guinea and Timor.

The little ship still exists, preserved at the Dutch Naval Museum at Den Helder.

Photo: Nederlands Instituut voor Militaire Historie, it appears on the Dutch Naval Museum, Den Helder website. The photo is also held in the Naval Historical Collection at the Australian War Memorial

 

 

May 17th 1942

 

CDS SYONAN 17.5.17)

 

Most of the post during the occupation was within the peninsular of Malaya.  This cover is from Singapore (CDS SYONAN 17.5.17)to Sarawak.  The note ‘In Romanise’ means the letter is written in Romanised Malay, not Jawi, and is information for the censor.

June 1942

By June of 1942,

however, Rochefort’s staff was able to make educated guesses regarding the Japanese Navy’s crucial next move.

AF Is Short of Water

 

Captain Rochefort

In the spring of 1942, Japanese intercepts began to make references to a pending operation in which the objective was designated as “AF.” Rochefort and Captain Edwin Layton, Nimitz’s Fleet Intelligence Officer, believed “AF” might be Midway since they had seen “A” designators assigned to locations in the Hawaiian Islands. Based on the information available, logic dictated that Midway would be the most probable place for the Japanese Navy to make its next move. Nimitz however, could not rely on educated guesses.

In an effort to alleviate any doubt, in mid-May the commanding officer of the Midway installation was instructed to send a message in the clear indicating that the installation’s water distillation plant had suffered serious damage and that fresh water was needed immediately.

Shortly after the transmission, an intercepted Japanese intelligence report indicated that “AF is short of water.” Armed with this information, Nimitz began to draw up plans to move his carriers to a point northeast of Midway where they would lie in wait.

Once positioned, they could stage a potentially decisive nautical ambush of Yamamoto’s massive armada.

Due to the cryptologic achievements of Rochefort and his staff,

Nimitz knew that the attack on Midway would commence on 3 June.

Armed with this crucial information, he was able to get his outgunned but determined force in position in time. On 4 June the battle was finally joined.

The early stages of the conflict consisted of several courageous but ineffective attacks by assorted Navy, Marine, and Army Air Corps units.

The tide turned however, at 10:20 a.m. when Lt. Commander Wayne McClusky’s Dauntless dive bombers from the USS Enterprise

 

VF-6 on board the USS Enterprise, January 1942

appeared over the main body of the Japanese invasion force. After a brief but effective attack, three of the four Japanese carriers, the Akagi, Soryu, and Kaga were on fire and about to sink. Later that day, Navy dive bombers located and attacked the Hiryu, the fourth and last major carrier in the invasion force, sending her, like the previous three, to the bottom.

Final Thoughts

As in any great endeavor, luck did indeed play a role, but Nimitz’s “Incredible Victory” was no miracle.

Gordon Prange, the distinguished historian, noted that “Midway was a positive American victory not merely the avoidance of defeat.”

General George Marshall,

 

the U.S. Army Chief of Staff, in his comments on the victory, perhaps said it best, ” as a result of Cryptanalysis we were able to concentrate our limited forces to meet their naval advance on Midway when we otherwise would have been 3,000 miles out of place.”

In the end,

Yamamoto’s worst fears had become a reality. Due to an impressive mix of leadership, determination and skill on the part of Admiral Nimitz, the officers and men of Station Hypo, and the pilots soldiers, sailors and marines who carried the fight to the enemy, Japan would be on the defensive for the rest of the war.

The Rising Sun of Dai Nippon, which had shone so brightly for so many months, was beginning to set.

– Patrick D. Weadon

 

 

 

The Allies, however, intercepted and turned back Japanese naval forces, successfully preventing the invasion. Japan’s next plan, motivated by the earlier bombing on Tokyo, was to seize Midway Atoll and lure American carriers into battle to be eliminated; as a diversion, Japan would also send forces to occupy the Aleutian Islands in Alaska.

In early June 1942

Japan put its operations into action but the Americans, having broken Japanese naval codes in late May, were fully aware of the plans and force dispositions and used this knowledge to achieve a decisive victory at Midway over the Imperial Japanese Navy.

With its capacity for aggressive action greatly diminished as a result of the Midway battle, Japan chose to focus on a belated attempt to capture Port Moresby by an overland campaign in the Territory of Papua.

 

in the standing row) with the officers of VMSB-241 on Midway, May 1942.

Ward flew in Major Henderson’s Third Section, with Captain Armond DeLalio as his leader and wingman.

On June 3, 1942,

he was excused from flying operations as the day’s duty officer; the following morning, he was relieved by Lt. Elmer Thompson, and went out to the flight line to warm up his bomber.

Date Of Loss:
Ward was soon joined in the Dauntless’ cockpit by Harry Radford; the two ran through their preflight checks in the still-unfamiliar bomber before being called to action by reports of a Japanese fleet within range of Midway – the bombers needed to be off the ground soon, as much to evade the incoming enemy fighters as to hit the carriers.

Because of insufficient time to train with the Dauntless bombers, Major Henderson decided to go with the tactic his pilots knew best – glide bombing – which meant a shallower dive and slower approach on the attack run. (1) This put the Americans at even more of a disadvantage; without the speed and accuracy of a dive, and lacking fighter cover, the neat formation of bombers was easy prey for the Japanese fighters defending the carrier Hiryu.

The moment that Maurice Ward’s Dauntless fell from the sky was not recorded; the squadron was already in their glide, with pilots focused on the enemy carrier and gunners shooting at any Zero they could see. When the shaken squadron regrouped in a nearby cloud formation for the return flight, they could find no trace of the Dauntless with fuselage number 9. Neither Ward nor Radford would ever be seen again.

Maurice Ward was awarded a posthumous Navy Cross for his actions in the battle:

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Second Lieutenant Maurice Andrew Ward (MCSN: 0-7993), United States Marine Corps (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism and distinguished service in the line of his profession while serving as a Pilot in Marine Scout-Bombing Squadron TWO HUNDRED FORTY-ONE (VMSB-241), Marine Air Group TWENTY-TWO (MAG-22), Naval Air Station, Midway, during operations of the U.S. Naval and Marine Forces against the invading Japanese Fleet during the Battle of Midway

on 4 June 1942.

During the initial attack upon an enemy aircraft carrier, Second Lieutenant Ward, in the face of withering fire from Japanese fighter guns and anti-aircraft batteries, dived his plane to a perilously low altitude before releasing his bomb. Since he failed to return to his base and is mission in action, there can be no doubt, under conditions attendant to the Battle of Midway, that he gave up his life in the defense of his country. His cool courage and conscientious devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

 

June 4th 2602

 

 

the Japanese carrier Soryu during the Battle of Midway, on June 4, 1942.

 

during the attack on the Japanese fleet off Midway, in June of 1942

 


Figure 9: Destroyers stand by to pick up survivors as the carrier USS
Yorktown (CV-5) is being abandoned during the Battle of Midway, 4 June 1942, following Japanese torpedo plane attacks. Destroyers at left are (left to right): Benham (DD-397), Russell (DD-414), and Balch (DD-363). Destroyer at right is Anderson (DD-411). This picture was photographed from USS Pensacola (CA-24). Official US Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the US National Archives. Click on photograph for larger image.


Figure 10: USS
Benham (DD-397) during the Battle of Midway with 720 survivors from the carrier USS Yorktown on board. She is nearing USS Portland (CA-33) at about 1900 hrs on 4 June 1942. A report of unidentified aircraft caused Benham to break away before transferring any of the survivors to the cruiser and they remained on board her until the following morning. Note Benham‘s oil-stained sides. The abandoned Yorktown is in the right distance. US Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph. Click on photograph for larger image.

 

 

June 6th 2602

 

 

 

 


Figure 11: Survivors from the destroyer USS
Hammann (DD-412) are brought ashore at Pearl Harbor from USS Benham (DD-397), a few days after their ship was sunk on 6 June 1942, towards the end of the Battle of Midway. Note Navy ambulance in left foreground, many onlookers, depth-charge racks on Benham‘s stern, and open sights on her after 5-inch gun mount. Official US Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives. Click on photograph for larger image.

 

 

 

 

 

 

June,9th.1942

 

 

Lyndon Baines Johnson (on right) shaking hands with Brigadier-General Martin Scanlon

on the morning of 9 June 1942 at 7 Mile airfield in Port Moresby prior to him taking off for a bombing raid on Lae

June,9th.1942

 

 

op 9 juni 2602

 

nog eens bevestigt via een Verklaring van ‘het Hoofd van het voormalig Kantoor voor Dienstplicht en Werving’, S. de Waal. Toch wordt hij in oktober van datzelfde jaar geïnterneerd, onder nummer 1434, in het L.O.G. Bandoeng. Het L.O.G. is een jeugdgevangenis, ‘s Lands Opvoedingsgesticht, heet het officieel. Het ligt in het oosten van Bandoeng aan de Daendelsweg en bestaat uit een groot gebouw omgeven door een muur met glasscherven. Wat er met de jeugdgedetineerden gebeurde is niet duidelijk, maar van maart tot juni 1942 worden er krijgsgevangenen in het gebouwencomplex ondergebracht. Nadat de krijgsgevangenen naar elders werden getransporteerd, worden er burgergeïnterneerden in opgesloten, mannen en jongens. Dat ook P. Meulenkamp daar ‘knijp zit’, weet zelfs het Rode Kruis tot maart 1944 niet.(P.Molenbroek)

 

June 11th 2602

DEI Postal stationer CDS Bandoeng send to Semarang.(all DEI postal issued without Queen Wilhelmina picture permit to used without overprint in Java.This is the earliest postal stationer card used during Dai Nippon Occupation Java.send to the the famous person Oei tiong Ham Sugar Fabric semarang from Bandung

 

Send from J Straatman Posterestante Bandoeng CDS Bandoeng 11-6-02 of DEI Karbout 2 ½ cent Postal stationer card to NV Algemeine Sbd tot Explotatie dor Oei Tiong Ham Suikerfabriek te(Sugar Fabric) Samarang

The letter

On this day I can only come again at Tegal waroe where I had a house there. – In Bandung.

Because current TW (Tegal waroe) 11 there is good and the road again as usual, I asked the gentlemen what the Board could work again in Tegal waroe Pangkalam blind live in a house with a payment of f 150, -
I now have a passport for the road everywhere. I’ve talked with Mr. Liem who say (say) there is good for writing to the host. Of Liem I have heard also that say Salaries (salary) months from March to April there is the tusn Gimbers.
Also Salaries (salary) in February has not been received and address (address) Mr gumbers no one knows, also bestuur (employees) mTuan wesang Krawang also do not know the address (address) Mr Gimbers

I hope Mr. Love give (give) a little news.
I’ve sent a letter dated 16 May 2602 but not yet heard back

(the amizing historic letter,Dr Iwan Collecttions)

Original info

Pada hari ini saya baru bisa datang lagi di Tegal waroe  tempat saya punya rumah tinggal masih ada .- di Bandung.

Lantaran sekarang  TW (Tegal waroe) 11 ada baik dan jalan lagi seperti biasa , saya minta pada Tuan-Tuan Direksi apa bisa kerja lagi di Tegal waroe buta rumah tinggal di Pangkalam  dengan pembayaran f 150,-

Saya sekarang ada passport buat jalan kemana-mana . Saya sudah bicara dengan tuan Liem yang bilang(mengatakan) ada baik buat tulis kepada tuan . Dari Liem saya dengar juga yang say punya salaries(gaji) bulan Maret-April ada pada tusn Gimbers.

Juga salaries(gaji) bulan pebruari belum diterima  dan address(alamat) Tuan gumbers tidak ada yang tahu ,juga bestuur(pegawai)mTuan wesang Krawang juga tidak tahu alamat(address) Tuan Gimbers

Saya harap Tuan Suka kasi(memberikan) sedikit kabar.

Saya sudah kirim surat tanggal 16 mei 2602 tetapi belum dapat kabar kembali.

 

June,14th.1942

 

U.S. Marines march down Queen Street, Auckland 14 June 1942.

This morning a National Commemoration ceremony was held at the National War Memorial on Buckle Street to mark the 70th anniversary of the arrival of U.S. Marines in New Zealand during World War II. At the proceedings the Governor-General, His Excellency Lieutenant General The Right Honorable Sir Jerry Mateparae, read an entry from the diary of U.S. Marine Private Bob Hatch. Penned 70 years ago today, the entry recounts young Private Hatch’s his first day in Wellington after stepping off the USS Wakefield :

*  *  *

“Most of us had heard the scuttlebutt and had a fair idea where we were going … New Zealand.  Of course we weren’t sure until we actually tied up to the wharf.  Tying up didn’t take long but there was no liberty.  In fact, we could not even get off the ship.  So there we were as usual, just standing around.

“We were awful sick of the sea so dry land was sure good to look at.  It reminded me of southern California with the mountains meeting the sea.  It made some of us a little bit homesick too.  It looked like a friendly country; there was a band down on the dock to meet us.  We’d seen their blue uniforms around some of our flying fields in the States so we knew it was the band of the Royal New Zealand Air Force.

 

USS Wakefield arrives at King’s Wharf on June 14, 1942.

“At last we got a break – ‘all shore’.  Boy did real solid land feel good.  You can beat your bottom dollar it did.  War or no war we must have music, and our band was amongst the first ashore.  Officers and men, we all in the same boat or rather getting off the same boat, and all curious to see what kind of advanced base we had come to.  We had a lot of queer ideas as to what New Zealand would be like.

“Imagine our surprise when a milk wagon came around.  We hadn’t tasted fresh milk since we left the States.  Boy did it taste good.  It wasn’t long before our Sergeant was bellowing, ‘Fall in’, and we were off again, without even getting a good look at town.  We were heading for the railroad station.

 

US Marines in transit to Paekakariki by train after landing in Wellington.

“These New Zealanders certainly did things right.  When we got off the train there was a band again and we started our march to camp just like a big parade.  We were out in the country but of course the usual kids were present to look us over and yell a few words of welcome.  It was sort of nice too.  Soon we were into camp.  Yup, and old glory was there too, flying proudly overhead.  I guess there isn’t anything any of us wouldn’t do to keep it flying.”

*  *  *

Poignant in their simplicity, those were the words of an “ordinary” young man called upon to do extraordinary things halfway around the world from home. Shortly after arriving in New Zealand Private Hatch shipped out to combat in the South Pacific, where he was wounded.

In attendance at this morning’s ceremony in addition to the Governor-General were Prime Minister John Key, Leader of the Opposition David Shearer, Minister of Defence Dr. Jonathan Coleman, Secretary of Defence John McKinnon, Chief of the Defence Force Lt. General Rhys Jones, Chair of the Greater Wellington Regional Council Fran Wilde, Mayor of Kapiti Jenny Rowan, Deputy Mayor of Wellington Ian McKinnon, and other dignitaries.

I represented the United States along with Lieutenant General Duane D. Thiessen (Commander of U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific), Major General Ronald Bailey (Commanding Officer of 1st Marine Division, the Division that landed in Wellington 70 years ago today), and World War II veteran Claude Bohn.

 

U.S. Marines from New Zealand storm ashore at Guadalcanal in the first Allied counter-offensive of the Pacific war. More than 7,000 Marines died there.

As always at memorials, I found particularly moving the recitation of The Ode, adapted from the fourth stanza of Lawrence Binyon’s poem, ”For the Fallen”:

E kore ratou e koroheketia
Penei i a tatou kua mahue nei
E kore hoki ratou e ngoikore
Ahakoa pehea i nga ahuatanga o te wa.
I te hekenga atu o te ra
Tae noa ki te aranga mai i te ata
Ka maumahara tonu tatou ki a ratou.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

 

In June 1942 the Japanese onslaught in the Pacific

It is hard to imagine now but in June of 1942 it seemed a good possibility that the Americans and British could be on the losing side of the Second World War.

In June 1942

the Japanese onslaught in the Pacific appeared nearly unstoppable. The Imperial Navy stormed across the Pacific and Indian Oceans in the months after Pearl Harbor decimating Allied Naval forces that stood in their way.

The British Battleships HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse were sunk by land based aircraft off of Singapore.

A force of Royal Navy cruisers and the Aircraft Carrier HMS Hermes were sunk by the same carriers that struck Pearl Harbor in the Indian Ocean.

Darwin Australia was struck with a devastating blow

On June 3rd 1942

a PBY Catalina from Midway discovered the Japanese invasion force and US long range bombers launched attacks against but inflicted no damage. On the morning of the 4th the Americans adjusted their search patterns in and the Japanese came into range of Midway and commenced their first strike against the island.  In response land based aircraft from Midway attacked the Japanese carrier force taking heavy casualties and failing to damage the Japanese task force.

 

The American Carrier task forces launched their strike groups at the Japanese fleet leaving enough aircraft behind of the Combat Air Patrol and Anti-submarine patrol.  As the Americans winged toward the Japanese fleet the Japanese were in confused.  A scouting report by an aircraft that had been delayed at launch discovered US ships but did not identify a carrier until later into the patrol.  This was the Yorktown and TF 17. The Japanese attempted to recover their strike aircraft and prepare for a second strike on the island and then on discovery of the carrier embarked on the task of unloading ground attack ordnance in favor of aerial torpedoes and armor piercing bombs.  The hard working Japanese aircrew did not have time to stow the ordnance removed from the aircraft but by 1020 they had the Japanese strike group ready to launch against the US carriers.

 

As the Japanese crews worked the Japanese carriers were engaged in fending off attacks by the US torpedo bomber squadrons, VT-6 from Enterprise, VT-8 from Hornet and VT-3 from Yorktown.  The Japanese Combat Air Patrol ripped into the slow, cumbersome and under armed TBD Devastators as they came in low to launch their torpedoes.  Torpedo Eight from Hornet under the command of LCDR John C Waldron pressed the attack hard but all 15 of the Devastators were shot down.  Only Ensign George Gay’s aircraft was able to launch its torpedo before being shot down and Gay would be the sole survivor of the squadron.

 

Torpedo 6 under the command of LCDR Eugene Lindsey suffered heavy casualties losing 10 of 14 aircraft with Lindsey being one of the casualties.  The last group of Devastators to attack was Torpedo 3 under the command of LCDR Lem Massey from the Yorktown.  These aircraft were also decimated and Massey killed but they had drawn the Japanese Combat Air Patrol down to the deck leaving the task force exposed to the Dive Bombers of the Enterprise and Yorktown.

 

There had been confusion among the Americans as to the exact location of the Japanese Carriers, the Bombing 8 and Scouting 8 of Hornet did not find the carriers and had to return for lack of fuel with a number of bombers and their fighter escort having to ditch inn the ocean and wait for rescue.  The Enterprise group under LCDR Wade McClusky was perilously low on fuel when the wake of a Japanese destroyer was spotted.  McClusky followed it to the Japanese Task Force.  The Yorktown’s group under LCDR Max Leslie arrived about the same time.  The found the skies empty of Japanese aircraft. Aboard the Japanese ships there was a sense of exhilaration as each succeeding group of attackers was brought down and with their own aircraft ready to launch and deal a fatal blow to the American carrier wondered how big their victory would be.

 

At 1020 the first Zero of the Japanese attack group began rolling down the flight deck of the flagship Akagi, aboard Kaga aircraft were warming up as they were on the Soryu.  The unsuspecting Japanese were finally alerted when lookouts screamed “helldivers.” Wade McClusky’s aircraft lined up over the Akagi and Kaga pushing into their dives at 1022. There was a bit of confusion when the bulk of Scouting 6 joined the attack of Bombing 6 on the Kaga.  The unprepared carrier was struck by four 1000 pound bombs which exploded on her flight deck and hangar deck igniting the fully fueled and armed aircraft of her strike group and the ordnance littered about the hangar deck.  Massive fires and explosions wracked the ship and in minutes the proud ship was reduced to an infernal hell with fires burning uncontrollably. She was abandoned and would sink at 1925 taking 800 of her crew with her.

LT Dick Best of Scouting 6 peeled off from the attack on Kaga and shifted to the Japanese flagship Akagi. On board Akagi were two of Japans legendary pilots CDR Mitsuo Fuchida leader of and CDR Minoru Genda the architect of the Pearl Harbor attack and subsequent string of Japanese victories.  Both officers were on the sick list and had come up from sick bay to watch as the fleet was attacked.  Seeing Kaga burst into flames they stood mesmerized until Akagi’s lookouts screamed out the warning “helldivers” at 1026.  Best’s aircraft hit with deadly precision landing tow of their bombs on Akagi’s flight deck creating havoc among the loaded aircraft and starting fires and igniting secondary explosions which turned the ship into a witch’s cauldron.  By 1046 Admiral Nagumo and his staff were forced to transfer the flag to the cruiser Nagara as Akagi’s crew tried to bring the flames under control. They would do so into the night until nothing more could be done and abandoned ship at 2000.  Admiral Yamamoto ordered her scuttled and at 0500 on June 5th the pride of the Japanese carrier force was scuttled.

VB-3 under LCDR Max Leslie from the Yorktown stuck the Soryu with 17 aircraft, only 13 of which had bombs due to an electronic arming device malfunction on 4 of the aircraft including the squadron leader Leslie.  Despite this they dove on the Soryu at 1025 hitting that ship with 3 and maybe as many as 5 bombs. Soryu like her companions burst into flames as the ready aircraft and ordnance exploded about her deck. She was ordered abandoned at 1055 and would sink at 1915 taking 718 of her crew with her.

 

The remaining Japanese flattop the Hiryu attained the same fate later in the day after engaging in an epic duel with the Yorktown which her aircraft heavily damaged. Yorktown was abandoned after a second strike but when she did not sink her her returned to attempt to save her. However despite their efforts she and the destroyer USS Hamman DD-412 were torpedoed by the Japanese Submarine I-168. Hamman sank almost immediately with heavy loss of life while Yorktown sank on the morning of the 7th.

It was quite miraculous what happened at Midway in those five pivotal minutes.  Authors have entitled books about Midway Incredible Victory and Miracle at Midway and the titles reflect the essence of the battle.  A distinctly smaller force defeated a vastly superior fleet in terms of experience, training and equipment and when it appeared that the Japanese Fleet would advance to victory in a span of less than 5 minutes turn what looked like certain defeat into one of the most incredible and even miraculous victories in the history of Naval warfare.  In those 5 minutes history was changed in a breathtaking way.  While the war would drag on and the Japanese still inflict painful losses and defeats on the US Navy in the waters around Guadalcanal the tide had turned and the Japanese lost the initiative in the Pacific never to regain it.   The Japanese government hid the defeat from the Japanese people instead proclaiming a great victory while the American government could not fully publicize the information that led to the ability of the US Navy to be at the right place at the right time and defeat the Imperial Navy.

When one looks at implications of the victory it did a number of things. First it changed the course of the war in the Pacific probably shortening it by a great deal.  Secondly it established the aircraft carrier and the fast carrier task force as the dominant force in naval warfare which some would argue it still remains.  Finally those five minutes ushered in an era of US Navy dominance of the high seas which at least as of yet has not ended as the successors to the Enterprise, Hornet and Yorktown ply the oceans of the world and the descendants of those valiant carrier air groups ensure air superiority over battlefields around the world.

Peace

Padre Steve

 

 

 

June,15th.1942

All Netherlandse man upper 17 years old put to inetrneer as Prisoner Of war at Fort Vredenburg in Djokja

On 15 June 1942, in Yogya


 all Dutch men aged 17 years and older interned in benteng

(Fort Vredeburg).


 The percentage of European or Indonesian blood was not of importance.

In the beginning, the prisoners were allowed to visit the day received. On such a visit noon formed a long queue along the fence of the governor house, opposite the fort lay. If you came early you had to wait a long while, but then you stood in the shade of a large tree and not in the burning sun. Maud and I usually went together without Mom.

In groups of about twenty people crossed the street and the visitors took the obligatory bow to the Japanese guard. This stood at the entrance to the grounds of the benteng.


A lady made a bow awkwardly, who apparently was not deep enough. A soldier ran out of the waiting room and gave her a broomstick with a few hard banging on her back.

Spot-Spot-Spot. At the sound could hear bystanders to their relief, that she was wearing a corset with boning. Maud and I obediently bows deeply to the soldier.  We had only thin cotton clothes.

Then followed a ritual in the cottage of the wachtcommandat: Again a deep bow. We had to give up the things that we had with us.

The control was significantly milder when the articles in the Japanese could name: Pang, banana, ifuku. That is bread, bananas and clothes. (The Japanese have centuries ago the bread of the Spaniards learned and also the name Pan [g] taken over.) Food clothes and wrapped us in a bèsèk, a box of plaited bamboo. Although it was strictly forbidden posts by Allied radio stations in Australia to listen, there were brave men who ignored the ban. We knew one of them. So we hid a note with news from the war front between the bamboo plaiting. Given the draconian punishments you received upon discovery, we took along on there soon.
At the gate of the benteng long tables were arranged in one line. The prisoner and the visitors were opposite each other on either side of the row of tables.
In each inter-managed camp were always traitors who conspired with the guards in exchange for certain favors. Caution was advised in the transmission of news. Often the messages were already a few weeks old before we heard of. I told John with hushed voice, “On Mom birthday we ate delicious sea battle with yellow rice Midway. For dessert, we were totally defeated Japanese fleet with whipped cream. “
(The battle between Japanese and American fleet at Midway took place on 3 and 4 June 1942. The Japanese lost four aircraft carriers and thus three hundred experienced pilots. The latter were hardly replaceable. New pilots could during their training is not enough flight hours to make because of scarcity to brandstof.De Battle of Midway was the turning point of the war in the Pacific Oceaan.Het was perfectly clear to everyone that the Americans would win. Nevertheless, the Japanese with doodsverachtng three years by fighting.)
The cuisine of the benteng would certainly not be able to claim a Michelin star. Yet it must be said that the food is reasonable and tasty enough. Served as the kitchen ‘Bronkos’, a well-known Central Javanese specialty. It is a dark brown sajur. This soup is a composition of kloewek nuts, coconut milk, tofu, some meat and spices. Although the brown color of the soup as it was served in the benteng visually aesthetic all met, there was some taste is a nuance to what many internees were used to at home. The Bronkos was therefore renamed pants cough.
There were in the years 1942/1943 has enough food stocks. Even the captives members not hungry. However, the regime increasingly stringent. After a few months we were the prisoners no longer speak, and only packets issue.
Within the walls of the fort is a tall building with a gallery. This is an expansion, a kind of balcony, which protrudes above the walls. Then several people can stand. How we had agreed I can not remember. Every other day, at a certain time, Maud and I biked along the road between Pasar Gde (Grote Markt) and the wall of the fort. We just looked at John and nodded. Obviously we were not the only relatives of the prisoners, who rode along. It was not long before the balcony was covered with woven bamboo.

(The fort Vredeburg is now a museum. So I could half a century later on the balcony where John once stood. I looked at the road, where Maud and I once every other day along biked to our brother to see. Jan., Maud and I were then respectively 18, 16 and 13.)

Original info

Op 15 juni 1942 werden in Djokja

alle Nederlandse mannen vanaf 17 jaar en ouder geïnterneerd in de benteng (fort Vredeburg).

Het percentage Europees of Indonesisch bloed was niet van belang. In het begin mochten de gevangenen om de dag bezoek ontvangen. Op zo een bezoekmiddag vormde zich een lange rij wachtenden langs het hek van het gouverneurshuis, dat tegenover het fort lag. Als je vroeg kwam moest je weliswaar lang wachten, maar dan stond je lekker in de schaduw van een grote boom en niet in de brandende zon. Meestal gingen Maud en ik samen zonder Mam. In groepen van ongeveer twintig personen staken de bezoekers de straat over en maakten de verplichte buiging voor de Japanse schildwacht. Deze stond bij de toegang tot het terrein van de benteng.
Een dame maakte onwennig een buiging, die blijkbaar niet diep genoeg was. Een soldaat rende uit het wachtlokaal en gaf haar met een bezemsteel een paar harde meppen op haar rug. Plèk-plèk-plèk. Aan het geluid konden de omstanders tot hun opluchting horen, dat zij een corset met baleinen droeg. Maud en ik bogen braaf heel diep voor de soldaat. Wij hadden slechts dunne katoenen kleren aan.
Daarna volgde een vast ritueel in het huisje van de wachtcommandat: Weer een diepe buiging. Wij moesten de spullen opgeven, die wij bij ons hadden. De controle was aanzienlijk milder als je de artikelen in het Japans kon opnoemen: pang, banana, ifuku. Dat is brood, bananen en kleren. (De Japanners hebben eeuwen geleden het broodbakken van de Spanjaarden geleerd en ook de benaming pan[g] overgenomen.) Eten en kleren verpakten wij in een bèsèk, een doos van gevlochten bamboe. Hoewel het ten strengste was verboden berichten van geallieerde radiostations in Australië te beluisteren, waren er moedige lieden, die het verbod negeerden. Wij kenden één van hen. Zo verstopten wij een briefje met nieuws van het oorlogsfront tussen het bamboe vlechtwerk. Gezien de draconische straffen die je kreeg bij ontdekking hielden wij daar al gauw mee op.
Bij de poort van de benteng waren lange tafels in elkaars verlengde opgesteld. De gevangenen en de bezoekers stonden tegen over elkaar aan weerszijden van de rij tafels.
In elk internerinskamp waren er altijd verraders, die met de bewakers samenspanden in ruil voor bepaalde gunsten. Voorzichtigheid was geboden bij het doorgeven van nieuwsberichten. Vaak waren de berichten al een paar weken oud voordat wij er van hoorden. Zo vertelde ik Jan met gedempte stem, ‘Op Mams verjaardag hebben wij lekker zeeslag gegeten met gele Midway rijst. Als toetje kregen wij Japanse vloot met totaal verslagen slagroom.’
(De zeeslag tussen de Japanse en Amerikaanse vloot bij Midway vond plaats op 3 en 4 juni 1942. De Japanners verloren vier vliegdekschepen en daarmee ook driehonderd ervaren piloten. De laatsten bleken nauwelijks vervangbaar. Nieuwe piloten konden tijdens hun opleiding niet voldoende vlieguren maken wegens schaarste aan brandstof.De zeeslag bij Midway was het keerpunt van de oorlog in de Stille Oceaan.Het was voor een ieder volkomen duidelijk, dat de Amerikanen zouden winnen. Desondanks bleven de Japanners met doodsverachtng nog drie jaar doorvechten.)
De cuisine van de benteng zou zeker nog geen aanspraak kunnen maken op een Michelinster. Toch moet gezegd worden , dat het eten redelijk smakelijk en voldoende was. Zo serveerde de keuken ‘bronkos’, een bekende Midden-Javaanse specialiteit. Het is een donkerbruine sajoer. Deze soep is een compositie van kloewek noten, klappermelk, tahoe, wat vlees en kruiden. Hoewel de bruine kleur van de soep zoals die in de benteng werd geserveerd visueel aan alle esthetische voldeed, bestond er wat smaak betreft een nuance verschil met wat vele geïnterneerden thuis gewend waren. De bronkos werd daarom omgedoopt in broekhoest.
Er waren in de jaren 1942/1943 nog voldoende voedselvoorraden. Zelfs de gevangenen leden geen honger. Wel werd het regime steeds strenger. Na een aantal maanden mochten wij de gevangenen niet meer spreken en alleen maar pakjes afgeven.
Binnen de muren van het fort is een hoog gebouw met een galerij. Deze heeft een verbreding, een soort balkon, die boven de muren uitsteekt. Daarop kunnen meerdere personen staan. Hoe wij het hadden afgesproken weet ik niet meer. Om de andere dag, op een bepaald tijdstip, fietsten Maud en ik langs de weg tussen Pasar Gdé (Grote Markt) en de muur van het fort. Wij keken alleen maar naar Jan en knikten. Vanzelfsprekend waren wij niet de enige familieleden van de gevangenen, die langs fietsten. Het duurde niet lang of het balkon werd afgedekt met gevlochten bamboe.

(Het fort Vredeburg is nu een museum. Zo kon ik een halve eeuw later op het balkon staan waar Jan eens stond. Ik keek naar de weg, waar Maud en ik ooit om de andere dag langs fietsten om onze broer te zien. Jan, Maud en ik waren toen respectievelijk 18, 16 en 13 jaar.)

 

 

 

 

July 1942

July,

 

after their meeting in Melbourne.

His plan then and now was to advance progressively in five successive phases under cover of land-based aircraft through the Solomons and up the northeast coast of New Guinea until his converging forces had isolated Rabaul.

Only then would he make the final assault, which, he thought, would require long preparations and great resources “and might well prove to be the decisive action of the Pacific war.”

King’s suggestion that naval action against the Admiralties be substituted for the assault against Rabaul he found unacceptable because it would have to be undertaken without land-based air support.21

This reply was far from satisfactory. What Marshall and King wanted now were detailed plans based upon a complete exchange of views among the Pacific commanders, not a concept of operations. They therefore pressed MacArthur to get in touch with Nimitz and Halsey and submit something more concrete which the Joint Chiefs could use as the basis for a directive covering such matters as target dates, command, and logistics.22 Before General MacArthur could meet this new request the Joint Chiefs and the President had already left for Casablanca in French Morocco to meet with the British.

.

The initial reaction of the naval planners to the draft directive was favorable, but Admiral King, who had for some time been pressing for a revision of

the July 1942

directive, did not give his consent so readily. He had other ideas that he thought might make Tasks Two and Three unnecessary and give to the Navy control of the offensive against Rabaul.

Why continue up the Solomons and assault the Japanese bastion frontally, he asked? On the basis of the Guadalcanal experience it would take years to reach Rabaul that way. Instead, why not outflank the Japanese by seizing the Admiralties, northwest of Rabaul, and bypass the Solomons altogether?9

Nimitz and Halsey showed no enthusiasm for this idea when King put it up to them. To the former the relative merits of a frontal versus a flanking assault against Rabaul seemed academic.

In his view, Task One would not be finished until air and naval bases had been established on Guadalcanal and the area firmly secured.

Moreover, it was impossible to start on Task Two until Washington made larger forces available.

Those in the theater were not adequate to do the job. And when the offensive was resumed it should be directed by Halsey, not MacArthur, declared Admiral Nimitz, giving as his reason the fact that since operations in the Solomons would require most of the surface forces of the Pacific Fleet, command should be vested in a flag officer. “Any change of command of those forces which Halsey has welded into a working

 

organization,” he told King, “would be most unwise.”10

These views Admiral Nimitz

expanded in a letter to King a week later. In it he met his chief’s proposal for a flanking operation against Rabaul by way of the Admiralties with the argument that the capture of the Japanese bastion would not give the Allies control of the Solomons.

The enemy’s bases there and in New Britain and New Ireland, he pointed out, were mutually supporting and there was no assurance that the seizure of Rabaul would reduce their effectiveness or induce the garrisons to surrender.

Moreover, if the Japanese retained control of the straits and seas south and east of Rabaul, the Allies would only expose their flanks to attack if they bypassed the bases in that region.

Thus, Nimitz concluded, the planners would have to accept a step-by-step frontal attack up the Solomons, with the next objective the Munda air base on New Georgia or Buin on the southeast coast of Bougainville. The choice would depend on the size of the force provided and the state of Japanese defenses. And again he urged that Halsey be given command of operations in the Solomons.11

In the South Pacific,

Both

 

Admiral Halsey

and

 

Major General Harmon

fully subscribed to the concept of a progressive step-by-step advance up the Solomons ladder as a prerequisite to the seizure of Rabaul.

“To be able to attack the Bismarcks simultaneously from New Guinea and the Solomons,” wrote Harmon, “would be ideal.”

But he did not believe that the South Pacific could do much to aid MacArthur’s advance along the northeast coast of New Guinea. “To send surface forces into the western areas of the Solomons Sea with the Jap air as heavily entrenched as it is,” he told Marshall, “would be taking a risk beyond the gain to be anticipated even with the best of fortune.”12

It was primarily to meet the danger of Japanese air attack on Allied surface forces as well as to support naval operations in the Solomons that Admiral Halsey conceived the idea of seizing Woodlark Island between New Guinea and the Solomons as the site for an air base.

That island, as well as the neighboring Trobriand group, lay outside the bad weather belt. Its possession would provide the Allies with a fighter and medium bomber base site within range of Rabaul as well as a staging point for aircraft midway between the South and Southwest Pacific.

Since Woodlark lay in MacArthur’s area, Halsey suggested to him

 

 

The Americans planned a counter-attack

against Japanese positions in the southern Solomon Islands

, primarily Guadalcanal, as a first step towards capturing Rabaul, the main Japanese base in Southeast Asia.

Both plans started in July 1942,

Beside the road in jakarta,dai nippon put their  propaganda radio on the pole,look the book illustration from magazine july 2602

 

 

 

July,1st.1942

 

Machine gun crew on anti-aircraft duty 1 July 1942. Darwin area

 

Soerakarta(solo) july,7th 2602

 

billing recieved, DEI Revenue,and Dai nippon Calender date 4 Juli 2602(1942)

 

July,8th.1942

1500 Australian and British prisoners of war (POW) are sent from Changi POW Camp at Singapore to POW Camp No. 1 at Sandakan under the command of Captain Hoshijima Susumito. They are put to work building two airstrips and roads to supply them. After their first year at Sandakan, the POWs suffer terribly from starvation, overwork and disease.

 

 

 

July,11th 2602,

The Dai nippon Liscence to print a book at the front page

 

 

 

Lieutenant Colonel Hatsuo Tsukamoto leading his infantryman to assault Kokoda village and airfield (New Guinea july 1942)

July,16th.1942

Burma

 
       

 

      Japanese Occupation of Burma, 1942 (July 16)

      legal-size cover franked with 1a Yano Seal strip of four (Scott 2N10), tied by “Experimental PO” postmarks with “1941” date error. “Rangoon Cantonment” backstamp (July 18). Minor wear not affecting stamps or markings

 

August  1942

 

August ,3th. 1943

 

 

3.8.1942.

Oof cover Dai nippon emergency overprint Lampong Hinomaru red ball , type 1 during Sumatra under DN Singapore administration(April 1st 1942-1943), very rare, Ihave sold one postally used cover with this stamps to bulterman that put in his catalogue

 

 

info from other area

 

 

RESULTS OF AIR AND NAVAL BOMBARDMENT on Tanambogo, which the Marines requested in order to halt enemy fire hindering their progress on Gavutu. Gavutu Island, on left, is connected with Tanambogo by a stone causeway and is about a mile and three quarters to the east of Tulagi Island. These islands form the western side of Gavutu Harbour where the Japanese had developed a seaplane base. On 7 August 1942, concurrent with landings on Guadalcanal, marines landed on Tulagi, Gavutu, and Florida Islands.

 

TROOPS LANDING ON FLORIDA ISLAND. Occupation of the island group, Tulagi and its satellites, was accomplished in three days- The enemy garrisons were wiped out except for about 70 survivors who made their way to Florida Island. Mopping-up operations on Florida continued for a few weeks.

 

MORTAR CREW IN ACTION on Guadalcanal. The mortar is an 81-mm. Ml on mount Ml. On the evening of 8 August, the airfield on Guadalcanal was in U.S. hands. During the following weeks enemy attempts to retake the airfield were repulsed. On 7 October six Marine battalions attacked westward to prevent the enemy from establishing positions on the east bank of the Matanikau River.

.

 

info from Java

In august

Japanese news agency formed with the motto A Three Movements Nippon Light of Asia, Asia and Nippon Nippon Chief Patron Asia for determination to implement  residents to stand fully behind the government army Dai Nippon, because established officials supported Civil m Military did not   supporting.

Original info

Kantor berita  Jepang membentuk  Gerakan Tiga A dengan semboyan  Nippon Cahaya Asia, Nippon Pelindung Asia dan Nippon Pemimpin Asia untuk menanamkan tekad penduduk agar berdiri sepenuhnya dibelakang Pemerintah Balatentara Dai Nippon , karena didirikan pejabat Sipil tidak didukung Militer (Alamsyah,87)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

August,1st.1942

 

 

Alun-alun

 

Train station

 

Bondowoso

Map

 

This route can be reached from Bondowoso

 

 

 

Look Djoerangsapi village

Location Bondowoso – wonosari –Djoerangsapi and Prajakan

Also we can look bondowoso-tosari-Tamanan-soekowono – kalisat – sempelan-Majong-Djember and mangli-sambirono

Blawan-Djampit-wringin-glagah-glenmore-kempit

This village will read at the information from the diary 119-MB(Martoatmodjo B.)

 

 

Picture

 

The green, terraced hills of Bondowoso Photo

 

The Samethini home at Bondowoso on the sugar plantation (circa 1920)

 

 

 

(119.MB,Martoadmodjo B. handwritten Diary about his work at Japanese logistic stations at Djoerang Koeda Village Bondowoso east Java which thrown away after his pass away in 1990 ,faound and became Dr Iwan collections, never publish)

 

At the cover of diary had written the name of Dai Nippon officer at Nippon Djoerangsapi ken

(I hove the family of this DN officer will glad to know their family there,please send comment and more info about them)

1. The city post office dai nippon djoerangsapi Inoue and Shiroga
2. Egami Djoerangsapi telephone office and Gado.
3. Tela factory Semboda Yasuda and Yamamoto
4.Tanaman cotton Kentjong M.Nishin
KK Djoerangsapi 5.Takashinaya sida: Mori
6.agen Genpi Djoerangsapi KK: Mori and Futama
Chokin 7.Yokohama Ginko (bank) Fujimoto, Fujii, and Hayashida
8.Osaka Seima KK: Nishiike
SH 9.CO Wadoeng: Maeda
10.CO landed: H.Takari
11.Kapas Sampelan: Mitsui and Mura
12.Rikuyu Jimusho Djoerangsapi: Nakashi, Oguri, Sitsuka, Ari Izumi (Suzuki), Kogo, Yamamoto, Fujimora, Tsubakibaru, Nakaki, Matsuyama, Mayama, Satoh and Matsuda
13.PETA: Saito Mataan

a.Send to Soetedjo Pasoeroean  17 bags(karung) Rice Toeton( double type) ,the price  f 5,90(  discount f 4 per kwintal)

b.(Meeting with)Kentyo Djoerangsapi village(cow valley DS)about the gudang(store) near Djoerangsapi, Wates, Mogli and Rawatamioe

look the picture of East Java’s Map Below

 

c, Remboek(meeting) with Mr Kayama about Kacang Kedele(soya beans) and Rice Toeton  for “Balatentara Dai Nippon”(The Dai Nippon Army)

d. Telephone from Mr Kafrawi that “Tempe” (javanese native food which made from soya beans)not yet exist

 

August,2nd,1942

Sunday

August,6th,1942

Telephone from Mr Soerjadi that M.J. Formosa must sell”enceran” (grocier) and about Coconut oil  and soap he obey to received from another grocier(Pengencer).(118 MB)

August,7th.1942

 

On 7 August 1942, U.S. Marines landed on Guadalcanal in the first amphibious assault against Japanese-occupied territory in the Pacific.

Even with support from the Air Force and Navy, the Marines’ initial logistics support was tenuous.

The bottlenecks encountered in getting food and equipment ashore had cut the limited supply rations to the bone. At one point early in the campaign, 6,000 marines were fed rice for breakfast and rice with raisins for lunch and supper. One Marine company captured some Japanese supplies, so they had oatmeal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

The Marines captured the unfinished Japanese airfield, and on 9 August the engineers and assorted helpers began to complete it. Although logistics problems would continue to plague the U.S. forces, they were not on a par with the critical shortages faced by the Japanese.

The following excerpts from captured Japanese diaries are a poignant record of the privations and suffering experienced by the Japanese infantrymen on Guadalcanal. The journals were translated by the G2 Section of XIV Corps. One was a young officer’s diary, the second belonged to a noncommissioned officer (NCO), and the third was written by a soldier of unknown rank. The first journal entry of these writers strongly suggests that they were with the Nagoya Division, the last Japanese force to be committed to Guadalcanal.


U.S. marines bring supplies ashore in the first days
of the Guadalcanal campaign in August 1942

 

August,8th,1942

Telp.from Mr Soerdjadi that all the rice  sending by IRA ship must have Izin(liscense)(119 MB)

on the 11th of August 1942

in that I read in the Dutch newspaper, De Telegraaf, that many more people had seen what my father and I witnessed that day in 1942.  Other people had seen many of these men transported in bamboo baskets not only in trucks but also in trains. The article said that the men had been pushed into the bamboo baskets, transported, and then, while still in those baskets, thrown into the Java Sea. Most of the men in the bamboo baskets were Australian military.

I have often wondered: Did my father learn what happened to those poor men we saw that day? Did   the local people see it as well? I shall never know.

Come! Let’s walk home

It was strange that we didn’t get Japanese military visitors at Sumber Sewu since they went to Wonokerto the head plantation and other plantations as well, and asked many questions there. My parents were of course more than pleased that the Japanese hadn’t visited Sumber Sewu yet(ibid Elizabeth Van Kampen

August,15th,1942

(121.NOB,the dai Nippon Occupation Java’s Order Book 1942-1944,Collections Dr Iwan)

Law No.27
About
Changes in Local Governance
Amended by Act No. 2602 19th year
08/15/1942


Article 1
Throughout Java except Kooti (vorstelanden) divided into Syuu, Si, Ken, Gun, and My Son ‘
Article 2
Syuu area equal to the “Residentie” first, concerned with the rules set preformance Syuu other legislation
Article 3
Area “Syuu” divided up “Si” and “Ken”.
Area “Si” is equal to the “Stadgemente” (City government) first
Area “Ken” sam with the ‘Regeantschaap “(District) first, unless the area is used as” Si “
Area “Ken” is divided into “Gun” and the “Gun” is divided into “Son”, while “Son” is divided into “my”
Daeran “Gun”, “Son” and “I” respectively as the “District”, “Underdistrict” and “Village” is made in advance unless the “Si”
Article 4
In the Si, Ken, Gun, My Son and each appointed a Si Tyoo (mayor), Ken Tyo, Guntyo, Sontyo and kutyo (village head)
Government rules that once defined for Stadgemnete (Mayor’s office), regentschaap, district, and village onderdistrict valid also for Si, Ken, My Son and unless there are special rules.
Article 5
“Si” named by Gunseikan (Dai Nippon armies Government Authorities) called “Tokubetu Si” (Stadtgemente Extraordinary)
For “Si Tokubetu” will be a special aturn
Rider
This Act came into force on 8 years 8 months Syowa 17 (2602).
Government affairs by Regeant, district officer, assistant district officer, village heads and village heads or Wijkmeester respectively in the Si region, starting at the time this law was announced in. Sityo power.
Create an incoming government affairs Sityo power according to the rules of paragraph 2 above shall also apply the rule set out paragraph 2 of article 4 of the Regulations Governing the first set for regeanstchap, District, and Wijk Onderdistrict and villages.
Sityo (mayor), Kentyo (district officer), and Kutyo (village head) of each appointed Chief of city government, Regeantschaap, and the village as agencies that take care of their own households and the government have their respective areas.

First regulations on local Governance is no longer valid except to the extent specified in Article 4 ayat2 in this Act and the regulations made Kooti
In addition to the above Supplementary Regulations, the Special Regulations will also set out the need to carry this legislation

Djakarta , date 4 years 5 months Syowa 17 (2602)
Commander of the army Dai Nippon

Original info

Undang-Undang No.27

Tentang

Perubahan Tata Pemerintahan Daerah

Diubah dengan Undang undang no 19th tahun 2602

15.8.1942

Pasal 1

Seluruh Jawa kecuali KOOTI(vorstelanden) terbagi atas Syuu, Si, Ken,Gun,Son dan Ku’

Pasal 2

Daerah Syuu sama dengan daerah”Residentie” dahulu, aturan yang bersangkutan dengan Syuu ditetapkan dalm undang-undang lain

Pasal 3

Daerah “Syuu” dibagi atas “Si” dan “Ken”.

Daerah “Si” sama dengan daerah”Stadgemente”(pemerintah Kota) dahulu

Daerah “Ken” sam dengan daerah ‘Regeantschaap”(Kecamatan)  dahulu,kecuali daerah yang dijadikan “Si”

Daerah”Ken”  dibagi atas  “Gun” dan daerah “Gun”  terbagi atas  “Son” , sedangkan “Son” terbagi atas “Ku”

Daeran “Gun”,”Son” dan “Ku”  masing-masing sama dengan “District’,”Underdistrict” and ”Desa” dahulu kecuali daerah yang dijadikan”Si”

Pasal 4

Didalam Si,Ken,Gun,Son dan Ku masing-masing diangkat seorang Si Tyoo(walikota),Ken Tyo, Guntyo,Sontyo dan kutyo(Kepala desa)

Aturan pemerintah yang dulu ditetapkan untuk Stadgemnete(kantor Walikota) ,regentschaap, district,onderdistrict dan desa berlaku juga buat Si,Ken,Son dan Ku kecuali kalau ada aturan yang istimewa.

Pasal 5

“Si” yang ditunjuk[B1] [B2] [B3] [B4]  oleh Gunseikan(Pembesar Pemerintah Balatentara Dai Nippon) dinamakan “Tokubetu Si” (Stadtgemente Luar Biasa)

Untuk” Tokubetu Si” akan dibuat aturn yang istimewa

Pasal Tambahan

Undang-undang ini mulai berlaku pada tanggal 8 bulan 8 tahun syowa 17(2602).

Urusan Pemerintah oleh Regeant,Wedana,assisten Wedana,lurah dan kepala Kampung atau Wijkmeester yaitu masing-masing dalam daerah Si,mulai pada waktu undang-undang ini diumumkan masuk kekuasaan Sityo.

Buat urusan pemerintahan yang masuk kekuasaan Sityo menurut aturan ayat 2 diatas berlaku juga peraturan yang ditetapkan ayat 2 pasal 4 yaitu Peraturan Pemerintahan yang dulu ditetapkan untuk regeanstchap, District, Onderdistrict dan desa serta Wijk.

Sityo(walikota),Kentyo(Wedana),dan Kutyo(Kepala desa) masing-masing menunjuk Kepala Stadgementee,Regeantschaap, dan desa sebagai badan-badan yang mengurus Rumah tangga sendiri dan yang mempunyai daerah Pemerintahan  masing-masing.

Peraturan-peraturan dulu tentang Tata Pemerintahan daerah tidak berlaku lagi kecuali sepanjang ditetapkan pada ayat2 pasal 4 dalam Undang-undang ini serta peraturan buat KOOTI

Selain Peraturan Tambahan yang tersebut diatas ini, akan ditetapkan juga Peraturan Istimewa yang perlu untuk menjalankan undang-undang ini

Djakarta Tanggal 5 bulan 4 tahun Syowa 17(2602)

Panglima besar Balatentara Dai Nippon

 

Pandji Poestaka(Library)weekly  Magazine  no 19 year XX

front cover with the picture landscape of Bali

 

Leader board K.St Pamoentjak

Editor in chief :

 

Armijn Pane

pricing  f 0.20

publisher
Kokoemin Tosjokjoku (National Publishers)

 


Balai Poestaka

Djakarta

At the page one of this magazine there was the picture of

KGP Mangkoenegaraan(Solo Mangkoenegaraan’s) King arrived at Djakarta with  Japanese Officer YH Col. Y Nakayama

 

Inside the magazine some info and illustrations

Ir Soekarno during Miradj at Kwitang Mosque

 

The meeting of Syoe employee


For the first time a few days ago a meeting was held by the employees syoe Djakarta.
The meeting was attended by Sidoboetjo (mayor) himself master Ogoera as shown on the left side was talking to the chief Dahlan Abdoelah Djakrta city and right next to the Regent Krawang, the right of all  Regents Betawi Djakarta

Above the front of the Chief of Police of the various parts

 

GENERAL easy access

 


On Monday ago Thirteen lined up otobus , instead of the usual streets inhabited by great masters such as the first passed, but passed through the side streets as well.


1.Kramat (tram station) – Menteng Pulo crossing the market Monday(pasar senen), Kwitang, Gondangdia, Mampang.Goentoer

2.Harmoni gambier-west crossing Mangarai, gang Holie sunda weg (street), Javaweg (street), weg van Breen (street) and JPC weg (Jan Pieter Coen street)

3.Harmoni-Tanah Abang, crossing Molenvliet (now Gajahmada street), Alaydrus lan, Petodjo ilir, laan Trivelli, Tjideng and Datibaroe and subsequent Tanahabang
On this picture the two otobus was waiting at the stop at Harmoni to run the first time

 

 

MUSLIM orphanage

 

In a new  and wider Muslimin Orphanage ‘s  building at extensive road Kramat  No. 11 house , on the day last week held a modest celebration meant to express gratitude to the Dai Nippon tgovernment have gave the building to house the Muslim Orphanage.

picture of a child was reading the holy paragraph Quur’an dikananya SZGoenawan mistress, the mother of the children were orphans,

Picture Mrs Goenawan ,  Mrs Mr Roeem  and Mrs Halid appear next to his left. Both the lady’s  were” the righthand” of  Ny Goenawan that not a few services in the running of this charity.

 

YOUTH SELEBES (SULAWESI) YOUTH IN YOUT ASIA RAYA ROW

(BARISAN PEMUDA ASIA RAYA)
The youth meeting Celebes (Sulawesi) held by the Youth Maesa day last week, has stated that present themselves separately rather unite in the “Barisan Youth Asia-Kingdom”

There are approximately 400 young people attended this meeting. Among others who spoke of

 

Dr. Ratoelangi (Sam Ratulangi),

 

Asia Sjimisoe and others.

 

 

 


Mr. F.Mendoer

(He was the photographer of Indonesian Independence proclamtions in august 17th 1945,name Frans mendoer, are right?? please comment)

 

as representative of the “Asia-Raya Barisan Youth” Principle and objective reading of this sequence (BPAR)

 

Many informations in this magazine, the important informations read below(other not list there)

 

 

jakarta
Restriction Lacquer Radio


Of the urban “Jakarta” was told:
If the restrictions lacquers broken radio waves, radio tustel should be taken to the PerkotaanDjakarta GambirSelatan to repair restriction laquer (lak)
To open the radio waves restrictions lacquers have requested permission to Jakarta City Authority

 

 

 

EARTH PRODUCTS SOLD Do not rush
According to the official release is announced in Probolinggo, the Dai Nippon army Authority will make people buy the produce at reasonable prices such as soybean, rice and rice., Therefore, recommended that people not rush to sell Their product earth

 

WEAVING COMPANY WILL OPEN IN JAVA
Of sjonanto (Singapore) proclaimed Domei (Dai Nippon News) With the approval of the Government of Dai Nippon all Company weaving in Java will be open a little longer Company “Java Weaving Coy” and “Triangle Waeving Coy” preformance transferred ownership of “Silk Kurashi Coy” (weaving company Toyo silk). then other companies will continue their work looms as usual

 

Nama Jatinegara baru muncul pada kawasan tersebut, sejak tahun 1942,yaitu pada awal masa pemerintahan pendudukan balatentara Jepang diIndonesia, sebagai pengganti nama Meester Cornelis yang berbau Belanda.

 

August,15th.1942

Sumatra:

The island was conquered in two weeks by the Japanese in February 1942 has not seen any military action since. The few Japanese garrisons live in a torpor punctuated by Equatorial rain and shake the earth’s crust.

The only question which concerns the Japanese on the island are the statistics of production of oil wells and refineries, as well as ores, rubber, rice. In short, the country is being fleeced.

 At night comes a message on the office of Admiral Kondo Nobukate, commanding the IInd fleet. It comes from a marine commando unit of the 91st regiment of the Guard stationed in Padang on the west coast of Sumatra.

 It signals the arrival of a British landing force escorted by destroyers Arrow and Foxhound. The big troop transport Dunera is identified. The first elements of the 6th British brigade arrive. Apparently there is a hand operation as Canadians attempt an equivalent four days later at Dieppe.

End of the day the British landed 1600 men. This is insufficient to dislodge the 1500 Japanese elite soldiers sheltered in their fortifications and bunkers.

 

August,17th.1942

After the huge losses the day before the British ships depart from Padang

during the night leaving the 6th Brigade to its fate. The landing force was divided into British deux.Malheureusement for them they did not go fast enough and are still in the range bombers destroyers.

The two trains met at the morning sailing northwest toward Ceylon. Therefore the planes come wave after wave and again it is a massacre. 3 freighters escorted by HMS Decoy are cast shot torpedoes. Fritillary corvette escorting the 2nd section of the convoy was torpedoed. Then the bombers are attacking the escort destroyers first section.

Throughout the morning the destroyers HMS Decoy Arrow and manage to avoid the thirty torpedoes intended for them. DCA of these two small vessels, dense and accurate damage several bombers. However during the afternoon bombers back.

 A short ammunition anti-aircraft destroyers become easy prey. The Decoy attacked by 18 Nells can not avoid a torpedo, then Arrow impacted by Long Lance explodes and sinks. The Decoy torpedoed again tilts and capsizes. HMS Foxhound 2nd part of the convoy escaped the pack of the aircraft continues.

A British ship is in serious trouble after the passage of Bettys.
 
Japanese airlift continues throughout the day. A 2nd para regiment is dropped to reinforce Japanese positions.

 A 3rd Regiment, 15th Marine commando Guard is deposited on land beaten by British artillery. 3700 Japanese are now hard at work in 2500 against the British. The Japanese did not attack. They expect tanks that are long in coming, wading on the slopes soggy Sumatra.

Japanese paratroopers about to embark for Padang.(121)

August,18th.1942


The Japanese continue to strengthen their defense Padang with an airlift. Their numbers reach 4,000 men against the British in 2500. 4 units with two parachute regiments were brought reinforcements entirely by aircraft.(121)

September,6th.1942

The assault led to Padang to force the 3000 British 6th Brigade to surrender failed despite the 9200 Japanese soldiers arrived on the scene backed by hundreds of tanks. Jungle promotes the defense of British hiding under the canopy for protection from daily aerial bombardment.

 

1942

 Lalu di jaman pendudukan Jepang (1942-1945) lapangan Alanglaweh diberi nama dengan istilah Jepang “Nanpo Hodo” yang artinya “Angin dari Selatan”.

Sumber

http://aswilnazir.com/2009/10/14/dari-plein-van-rome-hingga-lapangan-imam-bonjol/

August,17th,1942

Conference with Guntyo Majong (village0) about the Dai Nippon;s  goods(barang-barang), hal yang sama dengan Mr Soeharto from Rambipoedji (Village)

The Train schedule from Djoerangsapi Village to Bondowoso

Depature 7.11 arrive  9.08

Depature  8.07 arrived  11.02

Departure 2.40 arrived 4.14

Depatured 4.25 arrived 5.50

(119,MB)

 

 

August,18th,1942

Telp. From Mr Soeparto that  all izin (liscence) of BTK(Bu Tai Kyo-the office of  Japanese Government headquarters) is postpone (ditunda)  for Asking permission from the Japanese  Civil employee at Bondowoso byinterlocal telp. And Old Permission liscence didn’t “Berlaku lagi” (expired)(119 MB)

The Conference(meeting) with all Basoeki Syuu members about many thing(119-MB)

August,20th,1942

Interlocal telp from Mr Kafrawi , and also Telp from Kho about  20 Blik(metal container) for BO , 15 Blik(Tin) for  Stb(Situbondo).

Meeting(conferentie) with  H.Moenir(Kapoer village) about Chinese Kapoer urus(manage) with Mr Patih.

PAPERI asking   beslahan(confiscated ) Shirt ”, soap 9 box for BO  and 5 for Djoerangkuda village(119 MB)

August,21st,1942

The Bondowoso Nipponkonse There  are mistake  , the meeting starting 10.30 am   at  Mr Patih home (119 MB)

August,24 th ,1942

Telp from M rang sing about Soya beans(Kedelai) , coconut oil and soap (distribution) (119.MB)

 

Solomons on 24 August 1942. Builder: Yokohama Dockyard Company, Yokohama

 

Launching of HMAS Fremantle, August 1942

 

September 1942

September,1st, 1942

Telp from Nippon Kanse about 46 blik (Tin) coconut oil  for Mrs Formosa, Mr Soengkir also hear(that) (119 MB)

 

OWEN STANLEY RANGES, NEW GUINEA. C. 1942-09-01. AUSTRALIAN TROOPS

 

September 7th, 1942

Meeting with Mr Soehandi from Amboeloe village , Mr soemadi from Boloeng village ,Mr Soetrisno and Mr  soerjo from Tanggoel village. Also Mr Tjokro from Kentjong village(119 MB)

September 8th, 1942

Mr Patih promise to inspekcted (periksa) about the Soap favric, the date delayed one week for waiting Dr Oetomo coming .

In the afternoon with Mr Aw KOOTI

Telp from Jadiska  Kaliasin 117 Soerabaja number telp J 1273, about square Brankast(peti besi segiumpat-vierkand)  type AVB 55 x 35 x 30 cm  with money box(kas geldbakje)  and overrolling Mr Amer cylinder key(besloten) , the price without hangingkey(hangsloten) F 30.-  and with hanging key f 39.(119 MB)

September 9th, 1942

The imprint  revenue paper “2602  Zegel van Ned indie “ used Dai Nippon year 9 shigatsu 2602 but still used the same imprint zegel of DEI emblem, used at Magelang Polytechnic middle school certificate

 

 

 

September 11th, 1942

Telp from Mr Patih about Chinese soap Fabric this day will visit(besoek) , and this morning go to Mr Patih and I have tell his massage (to the soap fabric) about how many Boxes( production), when, sold to whom, with how much the price, and The Agent to be dealt with supervisor( controleur.)

(119 MB)

September 15th, 1942

 

Kempetei group

The Japanese Military Police (Kempeitai)

At 8.30 am  telp from

Bondowoso’s

 

Kempetei

Bo

about the situation/wealthy ‘s list of  Hai Kyu Kumiai Ima P.P.R.D and after that I do until 1.00 am night (jam satu malam) and send to The village Police(stadtpolitie)  Djoerangkoeda for deposited(dititipkan) at  morning  september 16th to the  Police agent who will go to Bondowoso with Spoer(train) at 7.00 am.(119 MB)

 

Other kempetei images

 

 

 

 

 

The Kempeitai Office in the Semeru Street at Malang

Read more info about Kempetei

 

Kempeitai soldier Corporal Kawata,

he participated in the evacuation of civilians from Iwo Jima in 1944. He decided to stay in the Iwo Jima after the evacuation of the civilians and died during the battle for the island

Is it the same kempeitai guy from Letters from Iwo Jima????

No, totally different.

This guy decided to stay and fight, while Shimizu was dishonorably dischgarged and sent to an island garrison.

 

Japanese Kempeitai officer, secret police.

 

Leden van de kempeitai verbinden een krijgsgevangene.

 

 

by mid-September1942,

the battle for Guadalcanal

took priority for the Japanese, and troops in New Guinea were ordered to withdraw from the Port Moresby area to the northern part of the island, where they faced Australian and United States troops in the Battle of Buna-Gona. Guadalcanal soon became a focal point for both sides with heavy commitments of troops and ships in the battle for Guadalcanal.

 

 

USS WASP

lists to starboard

, 15 September 1942,

as smoke billows from the ship. Several men and a plane can be seen at the bow of the ship. This aircraft carrier, patrolling near Guadalcanal, was struck by three torpedoes from enemy submarines. Despite efforts of her crew, fires and explosions made such a shambles of the ship that she had to be sunk by her own men.

September 16th, 1942

Meeting with YM Suzuki about soap,coconut oil,etc for The Dai Nippon army,trainman,I suggest  make the list of the Employ of Dai Nippon army and tranmaan  of Djoerangsapi village, except cannot for the  the employee of outside Djoerangsapi village. About radio and Gramophone in the meeting room  and if can also the restaurant Girl(nona) for served many visitors all the information have written by him and back home on 8 pm.(119 MB)

September 18th, 1942

 

 

 

AN AUSTRALIAN AIRFIELD,

18 September 1942.

An Australian sentry is on guard near a Flying Fortress in right foreground as soldiers await planes to go to New Guinea (top) ; troops boarding a C-47 transport plane for New Guinea (bottom). During the last days of September 1942 the Allies launched a counterattack in Papua, New Guinea, thus starting the Papua Campaign- American troops for this action were sent to Port Moresby from Australia, partly by plane and partly by boat.

September 21th, 1942

Telp from Mr Soesilo asking me every Friday  to phone  the Djoerangkoeda village’s police for asking who is the Police agent who go to Bondowo so  for titip(entrusted my ) letters

Telp from Mr Soemardi aking once time give 2 tin to Mr moenir Abisojak from Grenden village for chalk (  Kapur)’s squire(119 MB)

September 26th, 1942

Meetong with Mr Chin of Kalisat village  about the informations about his soap Productions from the Kasilsat village’s  Controleur.

>eeting with Mr Suzuki  about Soapsand  coconut Oil for Trainman  and also telp from H.Moenir about soya beans and corn (119 MB)

 

September 28th, 1942

Info from New Guinea(now west Papua)

 

MEN WADING ACROSS THE SAMBOGA,

near Doborlurn, New Cuinea. The enemy fell back in weight of attack

28 September 1942

 

Dai Nippon warfare which it put to good use in the Owen Stanley Range in Papua.

 

Japanese advances force the Australians back over the Owen Stanley Range

 

 

From Port Moresby and back over the Owen Stanley Mountain range

 

a fighting retreat over the Owen Stanley Ranges for the next two months,

 

30 Squadron RAAF in flight over the Owen Stanley range, New Guinea,

 

the Owen Stanley Mountain range. (AP Photo) 21. November 5, 1942

 

Australian forces in the Owen Stanley Range of Papua New Guinea

 

jungle-enclosed pathway across the Owen Stanley Range

Australians laboriously made their way over steep mountain trails ol

 

the Owen Stanley Range

 

The spectacular, rugged and relentless Owen Stanley Ranges

 

The main body of troops during the withdrawal across the Owen Stanley Range.

 

 

Owen Stanley Ranges, New Guinea. C. 1942

 

situated beneath Mt Yule along the Owen Stanley Range.

 

North of the Goldie River / Owen Stanley Mountains

 

 

Australian  were forced to fight while withdrawing over the Owen Stanley Range.

Read the complete info

at CD-ROM :”The dai Nippon Occupation eastern area Indonesia in 1942”

 

10.October 1942

in October 1942

 

 

MARINES ON GUADALCANAL

in October 1942

firing a 75-mm. pack howitzer MlAI mounted on carriage M8. Although this weapon was primarily used for operations in mountainous terrain, it was capable of engaging antitank targets.

 

FLYING FORTRESS ON A SORTIE

over Japanese installations on Gizo Island in October 1942. Smoke from bomb strikes can be seen in the background. This ram was part of a series of air attacks on the enemy during the fight for Guadalcanal. Most of the B-17’s came from Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides. (Boeing Hying Fortress heavy bomber B-I7.)

 

 

NAVAL-AIR ACTION IN THE SOLOMONS,

October 1942.

The USS Hornet after a Japanese dive bomber hit the signal deck; note Japanese dive bomber over the ship and the Japanese torpedo bombing plane on left (top). The USS Enterprise, damaged during the one-day battle of Santa Cruz when a great Japanese task force advancing toward Guadalcanal was intercepted by a much weaker American task force (bottom). The American ships were forced to withdraw but the enemy turned and retired to the north instead of pursuing them.

October ,1st .2602(1942)

Without Threads waiting list may not be sold stitches (threads should only be sold if the attached list of stitches that will be done) (119 MB)

October ,4th .2602(1942)

Meeting with Kentyo about BO letter no 485/80 dated 21-9-02 of the lord your majesty Basoeki Sityo Keseibu and  Kentyo agreement as of HK goods Coconut oil is 10, 2) soap, 3) Goods from Dai Nippon army
4) Palemboom Margarine 5) The goods beslahan (confiscated).

So the other items into the IMA PPR Djoerangsapi(119 MB)

October ,6th .2602(1942)

Mr Han Oen Koei of Sardines tin Duwu Malang buy large and small, singer needles, thread elephant seal, tread Anchors seal, vuersteintje f 145, by 8000, long grain 6000 kg m 1 kg tin souce sold f 0.27 (119 MB)

October ,9th .2602(1942)

Mr. Uemura majesty come and say so to Mrs. Formosa from Koelon market when there is a white cloth, Margarine, and matches that given a little

Excellency hosted a meeting with Ken Djoerangsapi of sale system well with soap and Sontyo Mr. and Mr. MP (meliter police?) on the soap.

(119 MB)

The book collection of the Indonesian  Dictionary

During Dai nippon Occupation

essay

E, St, Harahap


foreword footage


Readers happy greetings to Mr.
The beginning of the word in print that has-been (past) servants will not reschedule, just to host a speaker M.Latif farm servants will not forget to say thank you abundantly for his rebuke it.

Mold at the fifth and sixth servants are no longer asked to be treated even less worthy of all, what power, that the causes of foreign words as captured in the book of our language Malay dialect meaning it already was. Now let strings attached servants think Indonesia should be repeated with his life, later on when the transition has been shaded in the world a lesson. We are familiar with using the new words one day, that’s where we repeat the words makes the set of the new.

Because the wind is blowing change, the community  in our country, under the leadership of Dai Nippon paced breathing changes there, thus the name “Book of the Malay dialect meaning” man of change to “Dictionary of Indonesia”

To which this book seeks to remove the hosts Dai ​​Nippon the “Bengawan Muliawan”n servant (hamba) to say thank you very much (augmented-many),

In my business it is a very valuable contribution in guiding the son of Indonesia to a higher degree.

Hopefully, this book brings benefit and strengthen our shared passion to Indonesiaan Book Collection With luck (advice) the Muslims and the latest he would get his way

Jakarta October 1942
‘Peace be multiplied

E.St.Harahap

 

 

October,11th.1942

THE MR H.COEGEN ‘S TOBACCO BOX WHO SURVIVE FROM THE DAI NIPPON POW CAMP AT MOLMEIN BURMA, WITH HIS SCRTECH INFO TEH DESTINATION AND DATE. hE BRING BY THE DAI NIPPON WITH HIS FRIEND FROM TJIMAHI (MILITARY CAMP,NEAR BANDUNG,MILITARY TRANING SCHOOL) TO

BATAVIA(JAKARTA)11-10-42 ,

the to Penang-3-11-42

—> Rangoon(now Yangoon) Burma 9-11-42—>

Moulmein Camp , where he and his friend work to build yhe brige on the river Kwai 1n 1942. May be he met the other prosioner of war from Plaju Mr Romein, his POW card wassend in 1943 to Batavia(Jakrta) for his wife in Surahaya.

THIS THE ONLY MEMORABLE COLLECTIONS HAD EVER REPORT , please donnot copy, this illustration belong to Dr Iwan suwandy private collctions@copyright 2010.

*frontside

 

Backside of Mr Coegen POW Moulmein Dai nippon camp Burma tobaccobox@copyright Dr iwan suwandy 2010