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Thread: Java to Ceylon by Lockheed 212

  1. #1
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    Default Java to Ceylon by Lockheed 212

    I have been reading a newspaper article about five airmen who escaped Java in March 1942 using a Lockheed 212 that they had virtually put together from two "decommissioned" aircraft. Of those taking part, I have been able to identify three - Sergeant Rudy Mendzibal (RCAF, later killed), Sergeant Douglas Jones (RNZAF, seems to have survived the war) and Sergeant Stuart Munro (RAAF, later killed at Port Morseby). Of the others, one is reported to be RAAF (no further information and some would be welcome). The other, apparently Dutch, has been identified on a website as F. Pender (no further information and some sought).

    The "hybrid" Lockheed is reputed to have been impressed into RAF servic as LV762 - true ? ultimate fate ?

    Finally, I am advised that this epic was described in a lengthy magazine article, circa 2008 or earlier. Can this article be identified ?

  2. #2
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    Hugh,

    There is an account of this adventurous escape on pp339-341 of Vol Two of 'Bloody Shambles'. The five pilots (who all took turns at the flying) are named as:

    Plt Off Mendizabal (Canadian)
    Sgt Stuart Munroe (Australian)
    Alan Martin (Australian)
    Doug Jones (New Zealander)
    Ens Frits Pelder (Dutch)

    The last mention of the Dutch Lockheed 212 is its landing at Ratmalana, Ceylon.

    Douglas Loftus Jones, incidentally, was killed on 9 Jan 44 while flying a P-40 with No 17 Sqn, RNZAF, on an escort op to Rabaul.

    Errol

  3. #3
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    Hello,

    Australian (RAAF) participants in this episode:

    AUS402245 Sgt Alan Bryant MARTIN RAAF.
    +21-5-1942. No.76 Sqn RAAF. Kittyhawk IA A29-37 (41-5530).
    Crashed at Mount Black, 15 miles from (Weir Aerodrome), Townsville, Queensland.
    (Ex-57 OTU,401 & 72 Sqns) Buried Townsville Cemetery.

    AUS402963 P/O Stuart MUNRO RAAF.
    +27-8-1942. No.75 Sqn RAAF. Kittyhawk IA A29-108 (41-36095).
    Presumed shot down by Japanese fighters, Fall River area, New Guinea. Body recovered from the headwaters of the Arada River, NG.
    (Ex-61 OTU,401 & 72 Sqns) Buried Port Moresby (Bomana) War Cemetery.

    Frits Pelder went on to fly B-25 Mitchells with No.18 (N.E.I.) Sqn in Australia and stayed in the Dutch Air Force, rising to Lt Col. He retired and lived in Den Haag, Netherlands (as of Sept,1983).

    An excellent contemporary wartime account can be read here:

    http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/11338821?searchTerms=pelder&searchLimits=

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 10th October 2010 at 07:58.

  4. #4
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    Sad to learn that all but one of these resourceful and adventurous airmen failed to survive the war.

    Errol

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    There are also several pages in Mohawks over Burma on his adventure, and then several entries for some of his missions with 5 Squadron. And there are a couple of photos of him.

    If you are interested in any of this info then PM me Hugh

    A
    cfww2.com
    Commonwealth Forces of WW2

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    I see Pelder has an entry in the Dutch wiki

    http://translate.google.co.uk/translate?hl=en&sl=nl&u=http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederik_Pelder&ei=E7ixTNDPDdm5jAeUjdXWDw&sa=X&oi= translate&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CCIQ7gEwAg&prev=/search%3Fq%3D%2522pelder%25221942%2Bbuffalo%26hl%3 Den%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-GB:official%26channel%3Ds

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  7. #7
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    From the Dutch Wikipedia site (thanks for putting the idea in my head, Amrit) I can pass on the following information.

    Frederik Pelder, born The Hague 19 January 1918, died The Hague 19 September 2000. Flew Brewster Buffalo fighters on combat missions in the defense of Singapore and the (then) Netherlands East Indies as 2nd lieutenant with the N.E.I. Airforce (ML-KNIL) from the start of hostilities in the Far East, December 1941 to March 1942. During that period he was stationed at Kallang (Singapore) and Semplak (Java).

    Pelder was the last ML-KNIL flyer to escape the invading Japanese on 11 March 1942 (3 days after the surrender of the N.E.I.) flying from Sumatra to Ceylon with "others" (no doubt the Allied flyers mentioned earlier in this thread), according to Wiki in a Lockheed "trainer", without maps or radio. The flight took approximately 6 hours and was successfully completed thanks to 2 auxiliary fuel tanks installed behind the pilot's seat.

    Retired from the RNLA with the rank of lieutenant-colonel.

    Decorations: Dutch Cross of Merit and Flyers' Cross.

  8. #8
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    This has been a most interesting discussion. Although there has been some dispute in sourcea as to the type of aircraft, I understand it was a Lockheed 212, one of several supplied to the Netherlands East Indies Air Forces for gunnery training, which would explain how the men making the escape would be able to install one or two machine guns.

  9. #9
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    Dutch Lockheed 12 models.

    Model 212A-26: Twelve aircraft coded L-201 to L-212, plus a further four, L-213 to L-216. Of these sixteen machines all except L-201 were destroyed during Japanese attacks. At least one aircraft was later used by the Japanese.

    Info per Joop Wenstedt.

    Pelder's aircraft was L-201.

    Col.

  10. #10
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    Default Lockheed 12A

    G'day Hugh

    LV760 (NEIAF s/n L2-32), LV761 (NEIAF s/n L2-30) and LV862 (NEIAF s/n L2-01) were serial numbers assigned to three Netherlands East Indies Air Force Lockheed 12A's that were impressed into service with the Royal Air Force after being flown out of harm's way of the advancing Japanese.

    Your subject aircraft's R.A.F. history goes like this:

    Air Headquarters Bengal Communication Unit (previously known as the Communication Flight, then Bengal Communication Flight) at Dum Dum, India and later Barrackpore Race Course, India and then Dum Dum again.


    3rd Tactical Air Force (Burma) Communication Squadrons
    (originally designated as Tactical Air Force (Burma) Communication at Comilla, India


    Air Command South-East Asia Communications Squadron at Willingdon (Delhi), India.
    The aircraft was lost on the 18th of July, 1944 at Willingdon (Delhi), India after it crashed as a result of a stall on take off. Today the airfield is known as Safdarjung Airport.

    Cheers...Chris

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