RAAF No 6 SFTS - Dutch Pilots at Mallala
|Type of organisation:||Government|
|Also known as:||Netherlands East Indies (NEI) Pilots at Mallala|
|Street name:||Aerodrome Rd.|
|Business or purpose:||Updating the skills of Dutch Pilots|
Many personnel evacuated from Netherlands East Indies (NEI) were destined for Air Force training. Those who had some level of training required refresher courses while others had to commence training from scratch.
Early in March 1942 Course 22 commenced elementary flying training at Parafield and this was comprised entirely of Army and Navy personnel from the Netherlands East Indies. During that month the flying discipline of these personnel was causing concern. In fact, all training of Netherlands East Indies personnel was abruptly terminated at Parafield on 27 March.
In evacuating personnel from the NEI, priority was given to aircrew, and particularly to pilots, the training of whom was both time-consuming and expensive. As a result of this policy, by late March 1942 there were more than 100 Dutch airmen in Australia, few of them with aircraft, but most seeking a means of striking back at the enemy.
The records of the RAAF 6 SFTS at Mallala state that in March and April of 1942 there were 112 Dutch pilots at Mallala updating their piloting skills.
Prior to the Japanese invasion, the Dutch had ordered and paid for a squadron (18 aircraft) of US-built B-25 Mitchell medium bombers. The delivery of these aircraft to Australia offered the opportunity to quickly raise a bomber squadron equipped with modern front-line aircraft. This lead to the establishment of the No 18 (NEI) Squadron RAAF.