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Hanno Spoelstra 31-01-10 13:03


Originally Posted by Marbeth Wilson (Post 124609)
I have summarised the events of Friday, 28 April 1944 when Erick Hendrik den Hollander crashed into my Grandfather’s farm. The information outlined below was supplied to me by my father, James McCarroll, and his friend Sam Gaston who was an eye-witness to the crash.

Marbeth, thank you very much for the account. After reading it, I can imagine this crash made a deep and lasting impression on your family.


Originally Posted by Marbeth Wilson (Post 124609)
EH den Hollander was laid to rest in St Canice's Churchyard, Eglinton, N Ireland.

Paul made a picture of Erik's grave a couple of years ago:

Originally Posted by PPS (Post 76298)

Hanno Spoelstra 31-01-10 13:08


Originally Posted by marco (Post 125406)
From the same source a photo from J.Blok.


Thanks again for the pictures!


Hanno Spoelstra 31-01-10 13:19


Originally Posted by Marbeth Wilson (Post 125410)
I just find it so very sad when I think of FAA 1847 Squadron, which was formed 1/2/1944 with 4 British and 8 Dutch pilots. 6 of its members were lost, ie half of the squadron, in flying accidents between 27/3/1944 and 18/5/1944 ie in less than 2 months. Of the 6 pilots killed in this period, 5 of them were Dutch and all died in training accidents. Can anyone tell me if it was 'normal' for such a high percentage of any one squadron to be killed during training exercises?


It was certainly not "normal" as this was a very high number of losses. Our family has wondered about this as well. One of the theories (named so as I cannot back it up with archive references) is that the pilots were put under high pressure training so the Squadron would be ready for the upcoming invasion. This led to the Squadron Commander and/or pilots taking unacceptable risks. As we have seen the result was disastrous. Word has it Commanding Officer L/C(A) H Colville-Stewart RNVR was relieved from his position, and 1847 Sqn was disbanded at Eglington in May 1944. The remainder of the squadron was absorbed into 1840 Squadron.


Marbeth Wilson 02-02-10 01:03

Faa 1847 Squadron

Yes...... it is difficult to understand how so many died in training exercises in such a short space of time; somehow the mind could accept their deaths more readily had they been killed in combat.

I cannot even begin to understand how their Commanding Officer, L/C(A) H Colville-Stewart RNVR must have felt in trying to come to terms with the loss of so many young men under his command. You say he was relieved of his post; in that case, do you think he would have been allocated a job on the ground.

Surely the deaths of these young men, whatever the cause(s) must have adversely affected him for the rest of his natural life.

Your grandfather's brother, Johannes Blok, was born in Java, as was EH den Hollander. Might I ask what happened to Johanne's parents (your G'Grand-parents)and siblings during the war years? Did they relocate elsewhere before the Japanese invasion of Java? The reason I ask is that it might give me some indication as to what happened to the den Hollander family?


marco 07-02-10 17:03


When war broke out, many Dutch men were called for military service in the Netherlands East Indies.
The Dutch Navy had a flying school in the region and I think that Johannes Blok and EH den Hollander were in this school.

Just before the capitulation to Japan, all personel/flyers from that school were transfered to the Royal Netherlands Military Flying School at Jackson Army Air Base in Februari 1942.

So I think that Johannes Blok and EH den Hollander, and maybe their family made this same move.


Marbeth Wilson 08-02-10 22:52

Thanks for that information.
The only information I know at present is that a Den Hollander family, father H.G.. travelling with P.W. and E.H., sailed from Sabang, near Batavia, Java, with vessel Sibajak, to Rotterdam on 21/7/1935. The same three people sailed back from Rotterdam to Batavia with vessel Dempo on 3/4/1936. (Data from Passenger lists). These apparently are the only occurrences of people with the name den Hollander travelling between NEI and the Netherlands 1910-1940 and 1945-1964 periods. Although it is not certain, odds are that the above E.H is Erick Hendrick.
If the above supposition is correct - Erick Hendrik's father was H.G. den Hollander. Do you know if any records were kept in USA of Dutch people who relocated there from Java during or after WW2?

Hanno Spoelstra 01-01-16 23:19

I started a facebook group to gather more information about the Dutch pilots serving with the British Fleet Air Arm during World War Two:

Hanno Spoelstra 27-03-16 21:17

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Today, 72 years ago, my great-uncle Lt. Johannes Blok took off for a training flight in his Grumman Hellcat Mk.I of 1847 Naval Air Squadron, Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm.

While changing formation, Sgt. Simon De Ridder hit the tail of Johannes' Hellcat with his propeller. This mid-air collision caused both Hellcats to crash in a field near Tullybrisland, Londonderry, Northern Ireland, killing both pilots instantly.

They were initially buried at St Canice's Church, close to their home base RNAS Eglinton. After WW2 they were laid to rest in The Netherlands: Johannes in a family grave in Amsterdam, and Simon at the Field of Honour Loenen.

RIP Johannes and Simon.

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Hanno Spoelstra 11-06-16 18:18

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Watching a 1941 documentary, "De Marine Vliegt" (The Navy Flies), I was stunned to recognise my late great-uncle Johannes Blok! He is the pilot whose first solo flight in a Ryan ST-M is featured prominently.

Trained as a merchant officer, he joined the Navy in 1941. Johannes Blok made his first flight on 16 September 1941, flew his first solo flight on 12 October and finished his primary flying training on 21 November of that year with 104h.36' flying time under his belt.

See for some more screenshots.

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marco 11-06-16 19:48

Great find Hanno!


Mike Kelly 20-06-16 04:43

Wizard find Hanno :thup2:

I wonder how many of the pilots survived the war ..... probably very few

marco 20-06-16 20:14

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About 200 Dutch pilots succesfully went through the pilot training at Jackson Army Air Base. About 150 of them returned to Australia to fight the Japanese and the other 50 pilots joined the Royal Navy.
From these 50, more than half didn't survive.

Pilot training in itself was dangerous also.
This is the memorial at Jackson Army Air Base for the Dutch pilots who didn't survive training .


marco 20-06-16 20:42

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Around 1943, a little booklet was printed at Jackson Army Air Base.
I scanned it, hopefully it is of interest.


marco 20-06-16 20:43

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The next 5 pages.

marco 20-06-16 20:45

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The next 5 photo's.

marco 20-06-16 20:46

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And the last photo from the booklet.


Hanno Spoelstra 20-06-16 20:55


Originally Posted by Mike Kelly (Post 225907)
Wizard find Hanno :thup2:

Still can't get my head around this 1-in-a-million-chance find :eek:

Hanno Spoelstra 20-06-16 21:01

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Originally Posted by marco (Post 225928)
About 200 Dutch pilots succesfully went through the pilot training at Jackson Army Air Base. About 150 of them returned to Australia to fight the Japanese and the other 50 pilots joined the Royal Navy.
From these 50, more than half didn't survive.

Pilot training in itself was dangerous also.
This is the memorial at Jackson Army Air Base for the Dutch pilots who didn't survive training


Thanks for this background info! The booklet is very interesting.

Here is some info about the Lockheed 12 L2-36:

Attachment 82931


PJ-AKC Lockheed 12A 1304
L2-36 (Royal Netherlands Military Flying School, Jackson, USA)
17.10.1943 arrival Hato, Curaçao on delivery.
00.02.1944 rgd to KLM West-Indisch Bedrijf. The aircraft was in camouflage c/s, markings in white. Aircraft was owned by Dutch Governement, flew by crew from the former RNMFS.
00.07.1944-00.08.1944 used for a series of flight with miss Lee Ya-Ching, "China's First Lady of the Air" and her company for the Chinese Relief Fund.
03.07.1944 Special charterflight: Port-au-Prince (Haiti)- La Guaira (Venezuela) with Dr. Elie Lescot (the president of Haiti) and his company. On his way back Lescot stayed two days at Curaçao as guest of the Governor. He flew back to Haiti with PJ-AKB.
15.09.1944 a charter from Curaçao to Nassau (Bahama Islands) was made, pilot Captain Hakkenberg. During 1944 only 74 flying hours were made.
00.00.1945 cld (not active at Curacao anymore after 00.04.1945).
to AX236 (No 1316 Dutch Communication Flight), T-1 (Dutch Air Force), SE-BXP, OY-ADB, 00.09.1965 b/u.
"On 6 June 1941 the ML-KNIL ordered 10 L.12s with serials L2-27/36. This was later followed by an additional 10 aircraft with serials L2-37/46. Several of these aircraft had been delivered to the NEI before the war broke out. These were L2-27, L2-28 and L2-29.
Of the remaining aircraft, several went to Australia, whereas L2-36/46 were delivered to the Royal Netherlands Military Flying School which had been established in Jackson, MS to provide training to Dutch crews. In 1943 the school was closed and the aircraft were dispersed. L2-36 went to the KLM in the West Indies as PJ-AKC. L2-38, L2-45 and L2-46 had registrations PJ-AKD, PJ-AKE and PJ-AKF reserved for them but these were not taken up. Instead they went to Great Britain to join the 1316 Dutch Communication Flight of the RAF.
Eventually these four aircraft found their way to the Netherlands where they served with the LSK as resp. T-1, T-2, T-3 and T-4. Of these T-2 was eventually displayed in Denmark as L2-38 before going to the Soesterberg Museum in The Netherlands as L2-100 where it is being restored."

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marco 20-06-16 21:26

Well earned Hanno, I guess you spent quite some time to find information about Johannes Blok...

marco 20-06-16 21:41

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Another publication on the subject is "Royal Netherlands Military Flying-School in United States of America".
The author is 1st Lt. R van der Laan.
The 290 page book was published in 1943, very well illustrated, leather bound and printed on glossy paper.
Johannes Blok is in the fighter pilot section of this book.


Hanno Spoelstra 20-06-16 22:14

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Originally Posted by marco (Post 225937)
Well earned Hanno, I guess you spent quite some time to find information about Johannes Blok...

Marco, I just recalled your message about the son of H. Moekardanoe. I have yet to contact him.....

Here is a picture (left to right) of Sergeants Hartojo ("Harry") Moekardanoe, Simon de Ridder, and Alexander Joseph Smith, after passing their pilot/observer certification at the RNMFS in June 1943.

De Ridder crashed with Johannes Blok (see above); both Moekardanoe and Smith served in 1840 Sqn, into which the remainder of 1847 Sqn was absorbed after the horrendous losses during training.

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Hanno Spoelstra 13-11-16 21:48

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October 12, 2016, was Poppy Day at the Amsterdam cemetery where Johannes was reburied after the war.

After the ceremony at the field where all the Commonwealth airmen, sailors and soldiers are buried, I went to visit the grave of Johannes. My daughter placed a poppy on his headstone.

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Hanno Spoelstra 08-07-19 22:30

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I found a better version of the group picture:

Attachment 108118


Originally Posted by Marbeth Wilson (Post 124603)
1847 FAA Squadron on RNAS Eglinton, March 1944.

Left to right, standing:

1. S/Lt. John David Standish Smithwick RNVR, MIA 12/4/1945

2. S/Lt. Hendrik Christiaan de Jager RNN, KIA 18/5/1944

3. S/Lt. J. Schwenke RNN

4. S/Lt Simpson

5. CPO Rob R. Twijssel RNN

6. CPO Frans Cornelis Marie Brogtrop RNN, KIA 18/5/1944

7. CPO Simon de Ridder RNN, KIA 27/3/944

Left to right, sitting:

1. Lt. Hugh Grenville Knowles RN, KIA 22/4/1944

2. Lt. Gerry Volkersz RNN

3. Lt. Cdr. A. Colville-Stewart RNVR, 1847 Sqn Commanding Officer 1/2/1944 to 20/5/1944

4. Lt. Karel A. La Bree RNN

5. Lt. Johan Blok RNN, KIA 27/3/1944

RNN = Royal Netherlands Navy

Hanno Spoelstra 04-04-20 14:26

Frans Brogtrop
Short family background on Sergeant Pilot F.C.M. (Frans) Brogtrop, one of the pilots of No. 1847 Sqn at RNAS Eglinton.
On 18 May 1944 Frans Brogtrop was on a training flight in Hellcat JV182 when S/Lt. Pilot H.C. de Jager in Hellcat FN376 collided with him while changing formation. Both aircraft dived into Lough Foyle from 1,000 feet, 2 miles North of the airfield. Both pilots were killed.

(Text and video in Dutch.)

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