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Old 01-12-06, 12:13
Hanno Spoelstra's Avatar
Hanno Spoelstra Hanno Spoelstra is online now
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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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