Bombing the Netherlands East Indies

As the Allies advanced closer to the archipelago in 1944, the eastern islands came within range of American bombers operating from airfields in New Guinea. Japanese positions in New Guinea, the Moluccas and Celebes were regular targets of Allied air attacks. Allied aircraft also harried Japanese shipping around the islands. The heavy American air offensive was carried out by the 13th and the 5th Air Forces, which were combined under the command of Gen. George C. Kenny to form the Far East Air Forces on 15 June 1944. Local air superiority was an essential condition for MacArthur's advance through the islands. Starting in 1943 the Americans began to field more and better combat aircraft than the Japanese. Airfields taken from the Japanese were expanded, and construction units built new airfields at a rapid pace. Starting in January 1943, Dutch pilots from 18 Squadron (NEI) RAAF began attacking Japanese ships and positions in and around Timor and the Aru Islands from their bases in Northern Australia.


Richard B. Frank, MacArthur (New York, 2007).
O.G. Ward, De Militaire Luchtvaart van het KNIL in de jaren 1942-1945 (Houten, 1985)

Information a.o. in:

Available in the reading room:

Access Number 2.13.93, 1 to 6 and 21 and 22 (18, 119 and 120 Squadron)
Access Number 2.13.132,

- 1844 (Headquarters Fifth Air Force USAAF) and 1845 (Headquarters Thirteenth Air Force USAAF)
- inv. no 1178-1790 (Intelligence Summary van HQ-AAFSPA, Directorate of Intelligence)
- inv. no. 1792 to 1798 (Intelligence Situation Reports of Headquarters Allied Air Forces, afterwards of Headquarters RAAF Command, Allied Air Forces Southwest Pacific Area, daily intelligence reports concerning the situation in the operation area, 1944-1945.

See also:

- War in the Pacific