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  #1  
Old 01-12-06, 12:13
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Default Officier-vlieger J. Blok

Pilot officer Johannes (Johan) Blok was my grandfather's (from my mother's side) youngest brother.
He was a navigator with the merchant marine because his father told him to get a proper job. When the war broke out in May 1940 his ship was in the Netherlands East Indies where he instantly joined the Navy as a pilot, because this was what he had always wanted to do.
When the NEI were invaded by the Japanese he was shipped to Australia to continue his training, followed by a move to the USA to complete his training as a pilot.

Johannes was posted to FAA Naval Air Squadron 1847 at RNAS Eglinton, Londonderry, Northern Ireland. The Squadron commander put a lot of pressure on the pilots to fly on the edge, resulting in a number of fatal crashes.

On 27 March 1944 Officier-vlieger J. Blok and sergeant-vlieger S. (Simon) de Ridder - a good friend of him - collided in mid-air. One Hellcat destroyed the tail of the other while changing formation. Both planes crashed and both pilots lost their lives in the acccident.

More later when I have the time to dig up some files.

Hanno
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  #2  
Old 02-12-06, 01:36
Vets Dottir
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Default Re: Officier-vlieger J. Blok

Quote:
Originally posted by Hanno Spoelstra
On 27 March 1944 Officier-vlieger J. Blok and sergeant-vlieger S. (Simon) de Ridder - a good friend of him - collided in mid-air. One Hellcat destroyed the tail of the other while changing formation. Both planes crashed and both pilots lost their lives in the acccident.
What a sad story Hanno. I hope you find those files so we can learn more about Johan and Simon.

Karmen
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Old 26-12-06, 03:44
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A pic of 1840 Sqn's Hellcats, those of 1847 Sqn must have been identical except for markings.

Source: http://www.iwmcollections.org.uk
Quote:
Photo No.: A 24533
Photographer: Royal Navy official photographer
Title: THE ROYAL NAVY DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR
Collection No.: 4700-01
Description: Formation flying by Dutch pilots of 1840 Squadron in Grumman Hellcats based at Royal Naval Air Station Eglinton, Northern Ireland. The squadron is made up of over 80% Dutch.
Date: 23 June 1944

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  #4  
Old 26-12-06, 04:19
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Quote:
Originally posted by Hanno Spoelstra
those of 1847 Sqn must have been identical except for markings.
I do not know 1847 Sqn's markings. Some allocated tail numbers were:
- JV112, reportedly flew with 1847 Sqn in April 1944;
- FN390, crashed on 28 april 1944 killing E.H. den Hollander;
- JV182 and FN376, crashed on 18 May 1944 killing H.C. de Jager and F.C.M. Brogtrop;
- FN404, crashed on 6 June 1944 killing Th. Limbosch.
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  #5  
Old 01-01-07, 06:43
Vets Dottir
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By the way Hanno, I like your Grandfathers youngest brothers' name ... it's the same as my father's and my Grandfathers' ... Johannes. Dad was simply "Joe" and Grandfather was called "Joe or Joi"

Will look forward to reading more about "Johan" here.

Karmen
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  #6  
Old 04-06-07, 21:40
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Default Re: Officier-vlieger J. Blok

Do you have any idea where they were buried?

I live a short distance from Eglinton, and pass it every day on my way to work.

The air station is now the City of Derry airport:-

http://www.cityofderryairport.com/


The Maydown site further up the road from it is now part of a small industrial estate, and Duponts plant, and Ballykelly is in use (for the meantime) as a barracks for the resident Army unit.

Aghanaloo, another station of that time, is also part of a small industrial estate, although parts of all of them are still visible.

Paul

Last edited by PPS; 05-06-07 at 01:26.
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  #7  
Old 05-06-07, 03:29
peter simundson peter simundson is offline
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Default Karmen

My father's first name....Johannes. Scary eh?
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  #8  
Old 05-06-07, 14:47
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Default Re: Re: Officier-vlieger J. Blok

Quote:
Originally posted by PPS
Do you have any idea where they were buried?

I live a short distance from Eglinton, and pass it every day on my way to work.
Paul,

Thanks for joining us here.

Like all killed pilots, Johan Blok and Simon de Ridder were buried at the cemetery at the local church. Johan's remains were repatriated shortly after the war - allegedly (one of) the first. Simon's body was repatriated shortly after. Both were then reburied in the Netherlands. Other airmen are still buried there.

I visited Eglinton many (12?) years ago with my grandfather, his brother and an uncle. We were amazed to see so much of the infrastructure was still intact. The major runway is now as you say the City of Derry airport, but many taxi runways and hard standings are still there, outside of the perimeter of the airport. Some of the WW2 hangars are in use as stables etc. I found a runway light in the dirt along one of the taxi runways. I took it home, much to the amazement of the airport security officer who checked my hand luggage. He did look surprised when he saw a half-spherical item with wires running from it on the scanning machine. But he was relieved to find out it was only a rusty chunk of metal and allowed me to carry it on board (ah, those pre 9-11 days!).
We also visited the barracks close to the airfield. They were derelict; I think the site was owned by a car scrapper. Our guide was a local man (whose names escapes me at the moment) who in 1944 was a teenage boy delivering the newspaper at the base. He drew a very lively picture while showing the officer’s barracks, mess, cinema, etc.
Later we visited the crash site, it was a soggy farmer’s field next to a dyke of the bay. Very moving moment, especially for both of Johan’s brothers (who have passed away since our visit).

Your response triggered me to dig into this subject again, will do so when I retrieve my files, but I have just moved house and have yet to unpack my files on my grand uncle.

More later, thanks!
Hanno
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  #9  
Old 14-06-07, 02:28
Vets Dottir 2nd
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Default Re: Karmen

Quote:
Originally posted by peter simundson
My father's first name....Johannes. Scary eh?
Oh Dear ... small community, one never knows does one ... hello Bro (I hope all is well with you Peter)

Karmen
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  #10  
Old 24-09-07, 17:13
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Time to put a face to his name, don't you think?

Here is a picture of Johannes Blok. I'm not sure when this picture was taken, but obviously after he joined the Navy, possibly in the Netherlands East Indies around May 1941.

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  #11  
Old 24-09-07, 23:33
Norm Cromie (RIP) Norm Cromie (RIP) is offline
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Default Documents

Hanno:

The loss of Zlieger J. Blok was like all losses in the air either by accidents or enemy fire it was tragic and had an indirect effect on us all. This is a letter that I mailed to my brother from Ortona in 1944. You will notice on the top that it was salvaged from an air crash.
God knows if there were any survivors.
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  #12  
Old 25-09-07, 01:33
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Apropos nothing at all, the former Sr Curator at the CWM and one of the founders of the Org of Mil Museums of Cda, Dick Malott, collects covers from air crashes. I can only start to imagine how difficuult it would be to chase these down. As Norm has shown, these are stamped as such. In some cases, as Dick has shown me, the actual airline and flight number are stamped on the envelopes.
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  #13  
Old 21-10-07, 23:50
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Default Re: Documents

Quote:
Originally posted by Norm Cromie
Hanno:

The loss of Zlieger J. Blok was like all losses in the air either by accidents or enemy fire it was tragic and had an indirect effect on us all. This is a letter that I mailed to my brother from Ortona in 1944. You will notice on the top that it was salvaged from an air crash.
God knows if there were any survivors.
Thanks Norm, amazing stuff. I am surprised by the effort that postal services - public or military - put into delivering the mail at all cost. It is quite well possible the crew transporting your letter did not survive the crash. Somehow it was arranged to pick up the mail bags from the debris and deliver the mail to the addressees. This is what happened to a letter from the Blok family in 1934. Their letter was sent by Douglas DC2, the famous KLM Uiver, but it crashed in the Syrian desert. The crew was killed, and much of the mail was lost in the ensuing fire. This particular envelope was scorched by the fire, but it was delivered anyway (and is still in posession of the family). Who would think one would bother about a couple of scorched envelopes when recovering a dead crew?

Hanno
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Old 21-10-07, 23:57
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Quote:
Originally posted by servicepub
Apropos nothing at all, the former Sr Curator at the CWM and one of the founders of the Org of Mil Museums of Cda, Dick Malott, collects covers from air crashes. I can only start to imagine how difficuult it would be to chase these down.
Well Clive, Dick might be lucky as there's one from the famous 1934 Uiver crash up for auction at Ebay:
1934 airmail crash cover KLM DC-2 UIVER Rutbah Wells Item number: 270177690702

Hanno
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Old 11-11-08, 17:11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanno Spoelstra View Post
Pilot officer Johannes (Johan) Blok ... was posted to FAA Naval Air Squadron 1847 at RNAS Eglinton, Londonderry, Northern Ireland. The Squadron commander put a lot of pressure on the pilots to fly on the edge, resulting in a number of fatal crashes.
At the Fleet Air Arm Archive Forum I found some more information about the pilots who lost their lives in while operating from RNAS Eglinton. I have copied it here:

Quote:
Blok, Johannes, Off Vl 2kl MLD, 1847FAA Sqn, born Batavia, Java, NEI 14-11-1919, KIA Tullybrisland, Londonderry, Ire, 27-03-1944, with Hellcat Mk I. Buried Nieuwe Oosterbegraafplaats, Amsterdam, grave 42/57. Collided with S. de Ridder

Ridder, de, Simon, Sgt Vl, 1847FAA Sqn, born Amsterdam 14-03-1918, KIA Tullybrisland, Londonderry, Ire, 27-03-1944, with Hellcat Mk I. Buried Ereveld Loenen, grave E/1012. Collided with J. Blok.

Hollander, Erick Hendrik den, Off Vl 3kl, 1847FAA Sqn, born Bandoeng, Java, NEI 29-09-1922, KIA Loughmagarry, near Ballymena, Antrim, Ire., 28-04-1944, with Hellcat Mk I FN390 M. Buried Faughanvale St. Canice Churchyard Eglinton, Ire, grave 15. Fell out of formation at 26.000 ft and dived to the sea. Oxygen failure presumed.

Brogtrop, Franciscus Cornelis Marie, Sgt Vl Wnr ML-KNIL, 1847FAA Sqn, born Breda 13-02-1919, KIA Lough Foyle, 2 mile N of RAF Eglinton, Londonderry, Ire., 18-05-1944, with Hellcat Mk I JV182. Buried Mill Hill, London, grave A/15/1. Collided with H.C. de Jager during forming up after take-off.

Jager, Hendrik Christiaan de, 2Lt VL ML, 1847FAA Sqn, born Tilburg 27-02-1918, KIA Lough Foyle, 2 mile N of RAF Eglinton, Londonderry, Ire., 18-05-1944, with Hellcat Mk I FN376. Buried Faughanvale St. Canice Churchyard Eglinton, Ire, grave 16. Collided with F.C.M. Brogtrop during forming up after take-off.

Limbosch, Theodoor (Theo), Off Vl 3kl, 1840FAA Sqn, born Malang, Java, NEI 26-04-1923, MIA SW of Greenock, GB, 09-06-1944, with Hellcat Mk I FN404. Flying accident presumed.
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Old 11-11-08, 17:23
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RAF Museum photo captioned "Grumman Hellcat I aircraft of 1847 Squadron FAA, 1944".

It shows five (out of ten?) of 1847 Sqn´s Hellcat I´s. What is the chance this pic shows my great-uncle flying?

H.

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  #17  
Old 11-11-08, 18:42
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Hi Hanno,

Attached is a photo from 1847 Naval Air Squadron.

Source:
Book titled "Van Tirpitz tot Kamikazes"
Author: J.G.Boon van Ochssee.
ISBN 90 6707 502 7

Hope this is of interest.
I'll have a look if I can find more information.

Best regards,

Marco Hogenkamp
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Old 11-11-08, 22:52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marco View Post
Attached is a photo from 1847 Naval Air Squadron.
Hi Marco,

Thanks! We have the picture, but I´m not sure if we have all the names so this helps a lot.

Hanno
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Old 11-11-08, 22:54
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From http://www.iwmcollections.org.uk, a picture of Hellcats flying with 1840 Sqn, was was 1847's "sister" Sqn.

Quote:
Reference Number: A 24533
Photographer: Royal Navy official photographer
Title: THE ROYAL NAVY DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR
Collection No.: 4700-01

Description: Formation flying by Dutch pilots of 1840 Squadron in Grumman Hellcats based at Royal Naval Air Station Eglinton, Northern Ireland. The squadron is made up of over 80% Dutch.

Period:Second World War

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Last edited by Hanno Spoelstra; 15-04-12 at 22:00.
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  #20  
Old 17-11-08, 12:00
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Hanno,

Do you have the book "Dutchies in the air fleet arm"?
ISBN 906720398X
He is in that book also.

Best regards,

Marco
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Old 28-11-08, 18:00
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marco View Post
Do you have the book "Dutchies in the air fleet arm"?
ISBN 906720398X
He is in that book also.
Marco,

No, I will get a copy. Thanks for the heads up!

M.vr.groet,
Hanno
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Old 07-12-08, 21:08
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanno Spoelstra View Post
From http://www.iwmcollections.org.uk, a picture of Hellcats flying with 1840 Sqn, was was 1847's "sister" Sqn.
Here's the same picture, now scanned from the article "Dutchies in de Fleet Air Arm" in Luchtvaart wereld magazine (Dutch), December 1999.

Caption reeds: "Hellcat formation of 1840 Sqn over Northern Ireland with three Dutch pilots: Jan Boon van Ochssée in JV117 "H", Felix Nauta and Charlie Poublon."

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  #23  
Old 12-01-10, 14:07
Marbeth Wilson Marbeth Wilson is offline
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Default Death of Johannes Blok and Erick Hendrik den Hollander in N Ireland

FAO Hanno Spoelstra

While browsing the web for information on Erick Hendrik den Hollander, I came across your postings on the MLU forum amd was quite surprised to find that Johannes Blok was your Grandfather's youngest brother. I had been aware of Johannes untimely death when I was researching information about Erick Hendrik den Hollander.

As you know Johannes Blok and Erick H den Hollander were both pilots with FAA Sqn 1847 in WW2 and both lost their lives in flying accidents in N Ireland.

Erik H den Hollander died when he crashed into my Grandfather's farm at Loughmagarry in N Ireland around 10.30am on 28 April 1944. Having listened to my father talk about this accident over the years has inspired me to learn more about Erick H den Hollander, his life and friends in the FAA and the den Hollander family; I thought that it might be possible Johannes may have made mention of Erick Hendrik in letters he posted home. I do not know if Erick Hendrik was married but I suspect not as he was only 21 years old when he died - but then in the war years - who knows?

I believe around 1942, and in the ensuing years, many Dutch people made their way to either Australia or Canada - and I would be very grateful if you would share with me any information you might have about the FAA or the den Hollander family or what might have become of them after the war?

I found the photo of the 1847 squadron on the 'maple up' website and unfortunately, for whatever reason, EH den Hollander was not included in it - I do however, have a head and shoulders picture of him.

Marbeth
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Old 13-01-10, 11:09
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marbeth Wilson View Post
I would be very grateful if you would share with me any information you might have about the FAA or the den Hollander family or what might have become of them after the war?
Marbeth,

Welcome to this forum and thanks for joining us!

Very good to hear about your interest in Erik den Hollander. Many years ago when we visited the crash site of Blok and De Ridder, the farmer in who's field they crashed could give us an eyewitness account. This type of information is vital and is valued very much by relatives. If you can, please post the details about Erik's accident here.

I do not have information about Erik den Hollander at hand, and will have to ask the keeper of the Johannes' files if any reference is made to him. If I find anything I will post it here or contact you through the forum. No doubt these men knew each other, as the squadron was a relatively small unit and the Dutchmen were all a long way from home.

If you can, please post Erik's picture, as it is always great to put a face to a name.

All for now,
thanks & best regards,
Hanno
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Old 14-01-10, 23:20
Marbeth Wilson Marbeth Wilson is offline
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Default Photo of FAA 1847 Sqn.

Quote:
Originally Posted by marco View Post
Hi Hanno,

Attached is a photo from 1847 Naval Air Squadron.

Source:
Book titled "Van Tirpitz tot Kamikazes"
Author: J.G.Boon van Ochssee.
ISBN 90 6707 502 7

Hope this is of interest.
I'll have a look if I can find more information.

Best regards,

Marco Hogenkamp
Rob Philips has asked me to submit the following information:-


Persons in the FAA 1847 Sqn group pic are:


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

Source: Geldhof, Nico; 'Een kwart eeuw carrierbedrijf binnen de Koninklijke Marine, I - 'Dutchies' in de Fleet Air Arm', manuscript, june 2000



FAA 1847 Squadron, with 10 Hellcats, was erected on 1/2/1944, with four British and eight Dutch naval pilots, all depicted above. Six of them would die in flying accidents, four in collisions, shortly after this picture was taken. All but one of the bodies could be salvaged from the water.



On 20/5/1944 the Squadron was absorbed into FAA 1840 Sqn.
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Old 15-01-10, 01:16
Marbeth Wilson Marbeth Wilson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanno Spoelstra View Post
Marbeth,

Welcome to this forum and thanks for joining us!

Very good to hear about your interest in Erik den Hollander. Many years ago when we visited the crash site of Blok and De Ridder, the farmer in who's field they crashed could give us an eyewitness account. This type of information is vital and is valued very much by relatives. If you can, please post the details about Erik's accident here.

I do not have information about Erik den Hollander at hand, and will have to ask the keeper of the Johannes' files if any reference is made to him. If I find anything I will post it here or contact you through the forum. No doubt these men knew each other, as the squadron was a relatively small unit and the Dutchmen were all a long way from home.

If you can, please post Erik's picture, as it is always great to put a face to a name.

All for now,
thanks & best regards,
Hanno
Hanno - thanks for the warm welcome and hope you will find my contribution useful.

It would be wonderful to find reference to Erick Hendrik den Hollander in Johannes Blok's files. I will keep my fingers crossed that you might find something. In the meantime, 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. I do not seem to be able to post Erick's picture - I may need my son's help with this when he next pays me a visit - but between us, we will manage it eventually.


On Friday 28 April 1944, my Grandmother, Lizzie McCarroll, and two of her children, Tommy (16) and Jean (15), were going about their normal duties on the family farm at Loughmagarry in N. Ireland. As it was market day, my Grandfather, Robert, was not at home. Their eldest son James (17) - who was later to become my father - was at work in HM Vitualling Depot in Dromona, approximately 4 miles away. My father worked in a clerical capacity.

It was a beautiful morning with clear blue skies. Around 10.30am, however, this peaceful scene was shattered, when my Grandmother and her two children heard the roar of an aircraft, looked up, and were stunned in horror as a plane plummeted towards them.

They had a lucky escape; the plane narrowly missed their house and crashed into their cornfield on the other side of the road.

My father, who had been at work, heard the crash take place, although he had no idea that that was what he had heard at the time. He recognised the sound of aircraft flying overhead; he thought there was more than one aeroplane, flying in convoy. This was a regular occurrence at that time. Suddenly, he heard two high pitched, short, sharp whines - one immediately after the other. He knew that this noise came from an aircraft in trouble. Then there was silence. Although he was inside a large building and couldn’t see outside, he was acutely aware that something had happened.

Around 11.00am, the staff supplies van returned from Ballymena and the driver and helper confirmed that an aeroplane had indeed crashed. They had followed the cloud of smoke rising from the ground and, by their description of the crash site, my father knew it was very close to his home. He got permission to leave work and cycled home as fast as possible.

When he arrived, the scene before him looked like a war zone, it appeared to him like ammunition was exploding everywhere and plumes of smoke were still rising from the wreckage strewn over the road and adjacent fields. A policeman stopped him, telling him he couldn’t go any further. My father explained he had to get through, as he lived in the farmhouse beside the crash and was worried about his family.

The policeman told him to leave his bicycle and to keep as close as possible to the hedge running alongside the edge of the potato field on the other side of the road from the crash. When he got home he was relieved to find that his family was safe, albeit in shock, as they thought the aircraft was going to land on top of them - its undercarriage and axle landed on top of the hay-shed roof, a mere 20 feet away.

The Ballymena Fire Brigade arrived and used water from the well on the farm but this quickly ran out. People were running with buckets of water trying to put out fires and shortly after that, Air Force personnel arrived and cordoned off the crash area. Within a short time, the American Fire Brigade arrived and it was believed they came from Toome, where they were stationed. They sprayed the fires with water and foam.

The pilot's badly burned body was located in the field behind the house. Aircraft personnel wrapped his remains in his parachute which was spread out in the field. They managed to retrieve the pilot’s wallet from the breast pocket of his badly burned flying jacket.

It took days for Air Force personnel to dig out the remains of the plane which was deeply embedded into the ground and to remove the wreckage from the surrounding area.


As previously stated, I would be indebted to anyone who could supply me with information relating to the pilot, Erick Hendrik den Hollander who was born in Bandoeng in Java, NEI, on 29/9/1922 or the den Hollander family.

EH den Hollander was laid to rest in St Canice's Churchyard, Eglinton, N Ireland.

Marbeth
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Old 30-01-10, 17:35
marco marco is offline
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Marbeth,

Do you know if EH den Hollander had his training at Jackson Army Air Base?
This a a photo from some of the pilots in advanced (fighter) training in 1943 at Jackson Army Air Base.

Amongst many others, the pilots J. Blok, F.C.M. Brogtrop, H.C. de Jager, K.A. la Bree, J.Schwencke and R.R. Twijssel had their training there also.

Source: Book "Royal Netherlands Military Flying-School" by 1st Lt. R. van der Laan, 1943.

Marco
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Old 30-01-10, 17:36
marco marco is offline
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From the same source a photo from J.Blok.

Marco

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  #29  
Old 30-01-10, 18:59
Marbeth Wilson Marbeth Wilson is offline
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Default Officier-vlieger J. Blok

Marco
Thank you for your reply. I do not know where EH den Hollander had his training but it is very likely it was at Jackson since, as you say, most of the others in his squadron were trained there....... more than that I cannot say.

I just wonder if he is in the photo your posted.......??

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?

I am interested to know what happened to EH den Hollander's family. Did they relocate to Australia or Canada before the Japanese invaded Java - or were they interned in Java in prisoner of war camps - or did they survive the Japanese invasion to die in the 'uprising' - or did they relocate to Holland or elsewhere after Java was granted its independence? There are so many possibilities.

Any and all information would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks Marco for your information - I found it very interesting.

Marbeth
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  #30  
Old 31-01-10, 13:55
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Hanno Spoelstra Hanno Spoelstra is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marbeth Wilson View Post
Hanno - thanks for the warm welcome and hope you will find my contribution useful.
Marbeth,

Thank you, your contributions are very useful. Here`s hoping this forum enables us to find the snippets of information and then piece them together to complete the puzzle.

Hanno
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