Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: 205 Squadron RAF at Oosthaven, Sumatra

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Assen, The Netherlands
    Posts
    14
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Default 205 Squadron RAF at Oosthaven, Sumatra

    Does anyone know any details of the reconnaissance flights made by Catalina flying boats of 205 Sq from Oosthaven, south Sumatra in the period 13-16 February 1942?

    Peter Boer

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Canberra
    Posts
    340
    Thanks
    28
    Thanked 54 Times in 50 Posts

    Default Re: 205 Squadron RAF at Oosthaven, Sumatra

    Though absent from the usual Operations Record Book Form 540 or Form 541 pages of the period (AIR 27/1214), 205 Squadron operations at those dates were recorded in summary daily form in the Operations Record Book Appendices set in TNA AIR 27/1215, see Image 26 onwards at https://discovery.nationalarchives.g...ils/r/C2503854, still available for free download on registration, under current COVID access restrictions.

    A more discursive account is in Campbell and Lovell, So Long Singapore (Campbell, Hobart, 2000) at Chapter 6, 205 Squadron in February 1942,
    partly based on the Squadron record, and also on the accounts of the late Ron Lovell, AC1 Armourer of the Squadron and other 205 Sqn members.

    Although copies appear only rarely for sale, there is a copy lodged by me some years ago in
    Koninklijke Bibliotheek/National Library Of the Netherlands, and found in the online catalogue there https://opc-kb.oclc.org

    My old friend Hugh Campbell ex RANVR died in 2009, his co-author Ron passed away in 2007.

    Best wishes with your work
    Last edited by Don Clark; 30th July 2021 at 14:50.
    Toujours propos

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Assen, The Netherlands
    Posts
    14
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Default Re: 205 Squadron RAF at Oosthaven, Sumatra

    Thank you Don, this does help. Have registered and downloaded AIR 27/1215. No info on the sorties flown but some interesting information. Next to try to get hold on a copy of So long Singapore. Thanks for the link.
    As you might have guessed, I am busy with a lengthy paper on the loss of Palembang, the air, land and maritime fighting on 14-15 February 1942. Have once received some info from Colin Keon-Cohen, I think he was a 2nd pilot in the squadron. He told me that every morning as soon as there was enough light for take-off a Catalina left for a patrol for RecGroup from Oosthaven.

    Best regards,
    Peter

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Canberra
    Posts
    340
    Thanks
    28
    Thanked 54 Times in 50 Posts

    Default Re: 205 Squadron RAF at Oosthaven, Sumatra

    You're welcome. Though I knew broadly of your prior work, all I had to go on here was your initial post. My replies may be relevant to your work though to what extent, cannot say. But for what it's worth...

    From past experience, over the last decade or so only one or two copies of So Long Singapore: RAF Auxiliary "Tung Song" December 1941-March 1942 have ever been offered for sale. There are, as expected, none shown by www.bookfinder.com at present.

    Hence my mention of the copy in Koninklijke Bibliotheek, where the Reading Room is open with some restriction to numbers under COVID conditions, which I hoped might be accessible to you. I expect you are also aware that KB offer a scan service from held titles, via online request order.

    Campbell & Lovell and their contributors have a fair amount to say about Palembang and activities at P1 and P2 in Feb 1942. Among the contributors were a number of 211 Squadron men like my old friend WOp/AG Bill Baird (who died in 2010) and other air- and groundcrew. Likewise 84 Squadron and of course 205 Squadron. Fortunately, Hugh went to the labour of providing a sound index.

    If possible, you'd be best to consult the pb bound 2nd printing c 2001, which incorporates a number of otherwise loose-leaf amendments circulated by Hugh to possessors of the first smallish run of hand-assembled comb-bound copies. It was the 2nd printing that I bought in small numbers from Hugh for lodgement in the Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Library of Congress, and the National Library of Australia.

    Possibly 211 Squadron and its activities in Sumatra and Java in February and March 1942 might also be relevant: my own website has a fair amount to say about that time. Perhaps a brief intro will be of use, if not already familiar...

    The Squadron Operations Record Book for 1942 is completely missing. For my site, I was able to draw on other original contemporary source records and near-contemporary reports as far as possible. Much was contributed by 211 Sqn men (or their families), from their Flying Log Books, their diaries and letters, and some later recall. I've come to differ just a little with some details of Campbell and Lovell re Palembang. As for other published accounts and other oft-repeated summaries of Feb/Mar 1942, came to my own different conclusions on a number of matters, by ref to more original sources.

    If not already familiar to you, my site is
    www.211squadron.org
    where this page offers a discursive form of site map:
    http://www.211squadron.org/site_summary.html
    and for Jan-Mar 42 activity in particular, see:
    www.211squadron.org/site_summary.html#Jan-Mar42

    In the absence of the actual Ops Record Book, I've compiled a partial reconstruction of 1942 ops here, sources as noted:
    http://www.211squadron.org/1942.html

    And on my Blenheim IV page, the fullest account I could compile so far for aircraft fates, sources as noted
    In January 1942: http://www.211squadron.org/bristol_b...ml#HelwanJan42
    and February to March 1942:
    http://www.211squadron.org/bristol_b...ml#SumatraJava

    You are of course welcome to refer to my compilation in your research if you wish.
    While I hardly need to draw your attention to my Conditions of use I mention the point as much for the benefit of other readers now and in future.
    See http://www.211squadron.org/enquiries.html.

    Wishing you well with your work

    Postscript
    A copy of So Long Singapore is also held by the RAF Museum, though not by my act.
    Copy not in the BL - my mistake - nor in Aus War Memorial afaik.
    Last edited by Don Clark; 31st July 2021 at 21:58. Reason: Postscript
    Toujours propos

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Assen, The Netherlands
    Posts
    14
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Default Re: 205 Squadron RAF at Oosthaven, Sumatra

    Thank you Don,
    Yes, I am familiar with the services of the KB (have worked for the Dutch ministry of defence a few tours during my time with the RNLAF and often used my lunch break to do research at the KB as it was just a short walk away). Have also visited it reguarly when working in my final active years in Breda at the Faculty of the Royal Neth Military Academy. I know, of course, of your website and have visited it for info on 211 Squadron. Think you have done a remarkable job!
    Thanks again,
    Peter

  6. The Following User Says Thank You to peterboer For This Useful Post:

    Don Clark (31st July 2021)

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Canberra
    Posts
    340
    Thanks
    28
    Thanked 54 Times in 50 Posts

    Default Re: 205 Squadron RAF at Oosthaven, Sumatra

    I expected you would be Peter - but with SLS copies so hard to find, worth a mention and written with an eye also to possible other readers, now and later.

    Much appreciate your kind remarks about my site.

    Perhaps of interest to other readers, either now or later, the British Library holds a copy of Peter's book
    The loss of Java : the final battles for the possession of Java fought by allied air, naval, and land forces in the period of 18 February-7 March 1942
    P. C. Boer, 1948-
    Singapore : National University of Singapore, 2011.
    along with three other works of his on the NEI theatre 1941-1942, in Dutch.

    British Libary https://www.bl.uk/: a good online catalogue.

    Book - see also: http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/sho...of-Java-(2011)
    Last edited by Don Clark; 1st August 2021 at 00:01.
    Toujours propos

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Assen, The Netherlands
    Posts
    14
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Default Re: 205 Squadron RAF at Oosthaven, Sumatra

    Don, others,

    Thanks for all the assistance, advices and suggestions. The paper about the battle for Palembang is posted at www.academia.edu (search Peter Boer, select military history). Or try: Peter Boer - Academia.edu for quick acces (if this still works).

    Peter Boer

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •