Dad and one other of the five Dutch pilots, F.A.A.M. Janssens as I later learned, were sent on to the USA to train on US fighter planes.
Short history of the Royal Netherlands Military Flying School
The Nazi invasion of the Netherlands on May 10, 1940 rapidly overwhelmed Dutch resistance and the MLD (“Militaire Luchtvaart Dienst” or the “Dutch Air Force”) aircraft were redeployed to
At this time efforts were made to strengthen the MLD in the Dutch East Indies. When the war started there in December 1941, the MLD numbered 130 airplanes. The major base was at Naval Air Station Morokrembangan near
On March 3, 1942, nine MLD Dornier and Catalina flying boats were destroyed in the Japanese air attack on Broome, in
The Royal Netherlands Military Flying School was established in the United States, at Jackson Field (also known as Hawkins Field), Jackson, Mississippi, operating lend-lease aircraft, training all military aircrew for the Netherlands. Their mission was to return to the
Some Dutch pilots, including Dad, trained on Curtiss P-40 fighter planes (the famous - and fierce - “Kittyhawk”). Others trained on light bombers who practiced “low flying”, just barely over the tree tops, to dodge enemy radar. And doing so, some of them flew “just a few feet too low” and ended up in those tree tops......!! (more about that later...)
When Dad was in
After the war Mom and Dad came to
I knew that one of the five pilots had died during the war, but I didn't know who, where, or how....
As a kid I had only picked up bits and pieces of Dad’s story. I didn’t get it all. One thing I did get was that one of the five pilots had died during the war, but I never knew who, when, where or how. Dad had always shielded me from that grief.
It wasn’t until 45 years later that my wife, who didn’t even know about any of this, happened to find out, while she was on a business trip in
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