Some sources say DERUYTER had one of her Fokker CW11 floatplanes shot down as the Striking Force was making its 900-km run from Tjilatjap to Badoeng Strait in late February, and that it was shot down over Tjepoe...Is this correct? And what was it doing in that area?
The C-11W with registration w-12 was shot down over Tjepoe in February 18, 1942 (Bosscher).
Also, I have the following from T. Womack "The Dutch Naval Air Force against Japan" (2006), pp. 110.
"...On February 18, another of the single-engine Fokker reconnaissance plan went missing during an air raid on Soerabaja. The famed Japanese fighter ace Saburo Sakai, flying wiht the elite Tainan Air Wing, caught W-12 (flying off the cruiser De Ruyter) over Maospati, Java, while the floatplane was on patrol along the north coast of Java. Sakai broke formation just long enough to shoot down the hapless plan in flames, giving the ace his 12th kill of the war.
Although the pilot of W-12 had a parachute, his observer did not. So when the pilot bailed out, he went over the side with his crewman hanging on to his belt. Unfortunately, the force of the parachute opening caused the observer to lose his grip and fall to his death. The pilot safely reached the ground..."
Maospati and Tjepoe are about 60 kilometres apart, Tjepoe being closer to the Java sea (about 50 kms).
Seems my recollection was in error about the mail run.
Thanks, Visje. A very odd business, with the guy clinging to the other and falling...but, you answered my question. Guess Doorman's striking group had no planes of its own overhead on the 18th.
Here are 2 more related questions, although by no means important ones.
1.) Didn't either JAVA or DeRUYTER possess operational floatplanes after that operation?
2.) Did Dutch fliers/aviation ordnance personnel make any modifications to their planes'armament (as in the case of HOUSTON's SOCs) I wonder?
Here are six images of the Dutch floatplane, which most sources designate the Fokker C11W or C-11W, carried in these instances aboard light cruisers HrMs Sumatra, HrMs De Ruyter, and HrMs Tromp. All were taken from the AOL photo series on this aircraft.