Air Force Association Victoria

Supporting Those Who Served And Who Are Serving

Battle of Java 1942 - Information Sought

Dr Barry Turner, a former RAAF intelligence officer and academic at Deakin University and RMIT, is researching the Japanese invasion of the Netherlands Indies in 1942. He would like to know more about the 160 RAAF members from No 1 Squadron who were left behind on Java.

A No 1 Squadron Hudson was the allied asset to spot the Japanese invasion force as it neared Malaya in December 1941.

The squadron was later deployed from Malaya to Sumatra where they continued to attack Japanese forces in Malaya and the Indies before being sent to an airbase just outside Buitenzorg/Bogor in West Java. It suffered heavy losses and was ordered to withdraw its last four aircraft to Australia on 2nd March 1942.

The 160 who were left behind, including their Commanding Officer, Wing Commander L.H. Davis, became prisoners of war. Fewer than half of them survived Japanese prison camps. 

Barry is keen to know if anything has been published about this episode and to hear from anybody who has information about who the men were (musterings, ranks, etc.) and their movements once they fell into the hands of the Japanese.

If you can assist Dr Turner with any information for his research, please contact him at barryturner102@gmail.com.


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