Hawker Hurricane in Dutch Service


In 1941, the Dutch East Indies Air Force ordered twelve Hurricanes, but they were not delivered because there was a shortage of powerplants. In late 1941, a total of 24 Hurricane Mk Is on route to Singapore for the Royal Air Force (RAF) were delivered in crates to Tjililitan on Java for use by tbe Dutch East Indies Air Force. They had no radio equipment and no oxygen equipment. On 16 February 1942, they were flown to Kalidjati, where they were probably serialed (1 to 24?) and a red - white - blue flag was painted on the tail at Ngoro. Of the two squadrons of the Java Air Force, one squadron defended Batavia.

Operational Use

Two Hurricanes were destroyed during training. The Hurricane flown by pilot Hamming touched the ground with the propellor and the other, flown by sergeant Hermans, crashed during landing. On 21 February 1942, eight Hurricanes were surprised during their landing at Kalidjati by Japanese Nakajima Ki.43 Hayabusa (Oscar) fighters. Sergeant Jacobs turned up in a bombcrater, but two of the Hurricanes escaped to Tjikampek. On 26 February 1942, the last seven Hurricanes flew to Ngoro and on 1 March 1942 the Hurricanes attacked the invading Japanese landingcraft at Bantam Bay and Kretan. One Hurricane, flown by lieutenant Bruinler, touched a boat with the propellor, but reached Ngoro safe. Lieutenant Marinus escaped to Soerakarta, but his Hurricane crashed the following morning, whereby the pilot escaped safely. Vaandrig (pilot) Vink flew to Banjoermas. On 9 March 1942, the six remaining Hurricanes were set on fire by their crews at Ngoro.

Combat Record

The fighting at the beginning of the war in the Pacific had created a surplus of RAF pilots in the Far East, because many aircraft were lost without their pilots, and there was resentment at the handing over of the Hurricanes to the Dutch, whose pilots were less combat skilled. But, in two weeks, the Dutch Hurricanes destroyed or damaged thirty Japanese aircraft, for the loss of 18 to 20 Hurricanes.

There are no photographes of the Hurricane in Dutch service.


Ruud Deurenberg, 16 September 2000

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