Post by americanvisitor on Oct 13, 2012 12:29:07 GMT 12
Casualty notice from Auckland Weekly News for F/O Douglas Jones. "The Assault on Rabual", published in 1948, reported that after F/O Jones and Sladen parachuted into the sea, dinghies were later spotted by a Ventura but they had disappeared before a rescue could be made.
Post by Dave Homewood on Apr 24, 2013 0:00:18 GMT 12
Here's another article relating to Doug Jones, from the Auckland Star, Volume LXXIV, Issue 307, 28 December 1943, Page 2
PROPOSED BY RADIO
AMAZING ESCAPE RECALLED
(0.C.) SYDNEY, Dec. 22. One of the most remarkable air escape stories of the war has had a happy ending with the engagement of a Sydney Wran and a New Zealand airman, operating in the Solomons, says a Sunday Sun war correspondent.
The Wran is Miss Doreen Hawker daughter of Mrs. H. R. Hawker, of 49, McDougall Street, Kirribilli, and the pilot, Flying-Officer Douglas L. Jones, R.N.Z.A.F., son of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas L. Jones, of Christchurch, New Zealand.
After the capitulation of Java, Jones, with two young Australian airmen, a Canadian and a Dutchman, eluded capture, and near Pamaunpouk, in the interior, came across the deserted airfield, scattered with damaged planes. The airmen found among the debris a Lockheed 10, with its tail blown off, but its engines in running order. Searching further, they found a similar plane, nose wrecked, but tail intact. Showing fantastic ingenuity in a race against time, they fitted the tail to the fuselage (using rope, and a sixpence as a screw-driver), plugged up damaged fuel tanks from other planes with cork and chips of wood, lashed them inside the plane with bamboo and string, and mounted a machine-gun and a tommy-gun as armament.
Then, zigzagging crazily to avoid craters—because the field had been dynamited by the Dutch —they got the plane off, by a 100 to 1 chance. In this fantastic aircraft, held together chiefly by prayer, the five flew 2000 miles, up Samatra and across the Indian Ocean, to Ceylon, navigating by a map of the world torn from a magazine.
The two Australians have since died in action Sergeant-Pilot Stewart Munroe, of Grafton, at Milne Bay, and Sergeant-Pilot Alan Martin, of Eastwood, Sydney, in North Australia.
The Canadian, Flying-Officer Rudolfo Mendayabel, was killed in Burma a few weeks ago. Only the Dutchman, Lieutenant F. Pelder, and the New Zealander are still fighting the Japs.
Flying-Officer Jones met Miss Hawker in Sydney, through Sergeant-Pilot Munroe, after his escape. After 16 months' correspondence, during which he was twice shot down by the Japs in the Solomons, he proposed by radio and was accepted. The marriage will take place after the war.
I see that in his book "Kittyhawks and Coconuts" Keith Mulligan was under the impression that Doug Jones was shot down, captured by the Japanese and later executed (pg 111). A tragic version of events if it was true.
In 1946, the Australian War Crimes Investigation Detachment reported to RNZAF that they had uncovered the graves of three Allied airmen who had been executed in Java. Initially, one was identified as Doug Jones because he had a bracelet engraved with Jones’ name and serial number in a small leather wallet. It was later determined that the executions had been in April 1942 and that the body was that of RAF Hudson pilot F/O Harry Siddell. Jones was reported to have escaped from Java with nothing but a pair of shorts and a revolver. One might speculate that Jones had met Siddell as airmen were wandering about Java looking for a means of escape and left the bracelet with him on the chance that only one of them would succeed or that Siddell simply found Jones’ abandoned belongings and picked up the bracelet as evidence of someone who had disappeared in an escape attempt. There were probably many personnel lost trying to escape Java in small boats. I haven’t seen Mulligan’s book but perhaps he heard the execution in Java story before he was discharged and then never heard the follow up as a civilian.
Post by charetraite on Nov 6, 2016 20:49:00 GMT 12
Reply to American Visitor sergeant
Hello, I am a retired officer of the Belgian Army and I am presently working on an article about the escape of Pulk Pelder, Rodolfo Mendizabal, Douglas Jones, Stuart Munro and Alan Martin from Java in March 1942. This article will be published in a French magazine called 'Aerojournal'. I am already in contact with Pulk Pelder's son, who will soon send me some pictures of his father, but I would be very interested in having a high resolution of the ones you published on this site (S. Munro and R. Mendizabal and even the one of Pulk Pelder, although there is a chance I might get it from his son). Could you please help me ? You can contact me at email@example.com.
Post by Dave Homewood on Dec 8, 2017 21:25:35 GMT 12
From the PRESS, 27 MAY 1942
Escape From Java
CHRISTCHURCH PILOT’S REMARKABLE FLIGHT
This is the first part of a description by Sergeant Pilot D. L. Jones, of Christchurch, of his last-minute escape from the Japanese in Java, and of a flight in a patched-up aeroplane from Java to Sumatra, and thence to Ceylon. The description was given in a letter to his parents, Mr and Mrs T.L. Jones of Cashmere.
SERGEANT PILOT D.L. JONES
We left Durban some time in January in an old cargo boat. We knew it was going to be Singapore, so we were all expecting to see some fun before we landed. The fun didn’t start until up the coast of Sumatra to Singapore. There were three ships in the convoy, ours being the smallest. All of a sudden 27 Japanese bombers came over and dropped a stick of bombs among us. None of them hit us, so I think it was a 50-50 proposition, because we didn’t hit any of them with the fire we put up.
Everything went all right then, until we were about to go into Singapore, when over came about 50 of the blighters. They started with high-level bombing and then low-level bombing, and finished up by dive-bombing us in German Stuka dive-bombers, and at the same time machine-gunning us. We had 26 different attacks on our ship, and I counted four bombs which landed within 12 feet of us. One of the other ships had received a direct hit between the funnels, but she managed to keep on going. This bombing attack lasted about an hour and a quarter.
In and Out of Singapore We were the last convoy to go into Singapore and one of the last to leave. We were there for three days and then came out on the same boat as we went in on. There weren't any aeroplanes for us to fly there, so there was no use in staying there. Anyhow, the Japanese had already landed on the island and the evacuation was in full force. The trip out wasn’t as bad as going in, but even so it was bad enough. We landed in Batavia and went to a camp where we stayed for a while, and then were shifted to a camp in a place called Beutenzeiug, about 35 miles from Batavia. We were waiting there hoping to get some aeroplanes to fly. It soon became obvious that we were not to get any.
When the Japanese began attacking the island in earnest we could see we were going to have a hard job getting out of the country. They issued us all with rifles and ammunition with the idea of making a stand somewhere. Sort of backs to the wall stunt. The idea didn’t appeal to us much at all, so a few of us got working on our own.
The trouble seemed to be they were short of transport to shift the camp, so half a dozen of us jumped in a car and went in to Batavia to see if we could pick up any lorries. Batavia by this time was a deserted city. The Japanese had landed troops on each side of it. Around the docks there were sunken vessels which had either been bombed and sunk or scuttled. The Dutch had sunk a large vessel across the harbour mouth to stop any boat from getting in. We found some lorries after a while, but the trouble was none of them would go — which was why they were left. In the end the others got some going and left without me. I got mine going some time later. After a lot of trouble I got back to the camp.
At 4 a.m. the next day we were wakened and told to get moying, as the Japanese were down the road. Fortunately a few transports had come up, and they were able to take the whole camp. After a lot of fun we got to a camp in the town of Garbet, about 140 miles from where we started. We were in this place for about a week, just waiting for word to come through to tell us which port to go to. We didn’t know at the time that there wasn’t an open port in Java.
Escape to the Coast At 10 p.m. on March 7 we received instructions that the town we were in was an open city, and we were to hand in our arms apd await occupation. We asked the commanding officer of the unit if he would let a few of us escape as best we could. He said he wouldn't, so we told him to come back in half an hour and we would hand over our arms. In that half hour we worked like mad loading up the cars we had with food and ammunition. We had a couple of machine-guns and a couple of tommy guns and dozens of rifles. We had picked the machine-guns up at a bombed out drome near our camp in Beuterzeog.
We started out towards what we thought was the coast, but after going for about an hour we found we were going the wrong way, and that the only road led back through the town we had just left. So there was nothing for it, but we had to about turn and go back the way we had just come. Anyhow, the Japanese had not yet occupied the town, and we got through O.K.
The road to the coast was over mountainous and very rough country, and it wasn’t till daybreak we got there. On the way we ran into another R.A.A.F. convoy parked by the side of the road. We told them the Japanese were on their way up the road, and advised them to get moving pronto.
On arriving at the coast we followed another road leading along the shore line, keeping a look-out for any boats. Close to a small native village called Pamaunpouk we found a deserted aerodrome with some damaged aeroplanes scattered over it. We continued down the road till it came to an end and found a house to which a Dutch pilot and a Dutch army sergeant and his wife had managed to escape.
The country all round was very hilly and covered in bush, which offered excellent cover for hiding. These Dutch people said they were waiting for a flying-boat, in which a friend of the Dutch pilot was going to escape to Australia. About 7 a.m. the flying-boat showed up, but after circling a couple of times made off without alighting. All hope seemed to go then, so most of the boys got all the provisions together to make for the hills.
Patching up an Aeroplane The Dutch pilot and four of us sergeant pilots, however, thought we would have another look at the airfield. We found one aeroplane, a twin-engined job, with the tail bust off. The rest of it seemed all right, although it seemed unlikely anybody would leave an aeroplane in such a condition before evacuating the place. We tried to start the engines then, and as luck would have it they both started, and teemed to run reasonably well. The machine was a Lockheed 10, a small commercial aeroplane in peace time, but it bad been converted and made into a light bomber. It was fitted up with a turret, but was minus the gun. Searching round the field again we found another machine of the same type with the nose and wings smashed but the tail was untouched.
Well, I think you can guess what we did. We all hit on the same idea at once. Why not swap the good tail of this one and put it on the other and make one good machine? With the few tools we had we started, and you can believe me I thanked God I knew a little bit about engineering then. I was using a sixpence for a screwdriver and undoing ½in nuts with a pair pliers and getting myself tied up in knots with ball races and locking pins and God knows what. We found, that the tail part of the good machine was strained out of alignment, and we finished up by tying it together with rope.
We found a couple of machine-guns lying about and fitted them in the turret, and one in the nose, firing forward. Fortunately we had brought plenty of machine-guns and ammunition with us. There was plenty of petrol lying round the field in drums, and we were able to fill up the tanks with the aid of a pump we found. Searching round the field again we found a couple of spare wing tanks with a capacity of 40 gallons apiece. We strapped these tanks inside the fuselage with bits of bamboo and string, after plugging up some holes with corks and bits of wood.
I think the next bit of work just about took the cake though, I bashed a hole in the side of the fuselage - with the aid of a centre punch, and a pair of bolt cutters we found. We found a piece of bowser hose and fitted it through the hole and jammed one end in the tank in the wing, I fitted a steel rod from the/fuselage to the tank and tied the hose, to it so as to stop the slipstream from blowing it out. The idea was to feed, petrol through the hose with the aid of a home-made funnel from the tanks in the fuselage. We finished everything about 9 o’clock the next morning and I can say we were pretty proud of our effort.
First Stage, Sumatra After figuring out the range of the aeroplane with extra tanks, we found we could not quite make Australia, so we agreed the best thing to do was to fly up the coast of Sumatra and smash land on the beach when we ran out of petrol. Someone had said that the top end of Sumatra was still in Dutch hands, and it was about the only thing left for us to do. I forgot to tell you the machine belonged to the Dutch and had their insignia painted on it. While we were repairing the aeroplane word came through that the Dutch Government had capitulated, and all the Army were to proceed to Bangdeon to be demobilised. Before going, the Dutch decided to destroy the airfields, and a proper job they made of it, too. They dynamited the whole field, and blew some beautiful big holes all over it so as to stop any Japanese aeroplanes landing until it had been repaired. We examined the field afterwards, and found the only clear path over the field ran in zig-zag fashion and even then was barely, the width of the undercarriage. With an overloaded aeroplane is seemed a 10 to one chance we wouldn’t get off, but we had gone so far we were game for anything then. (To be concluded.)
Post by Dave Homewood on Dec 8, 2017 22:08:12 GMT 12
From the PRESS, 28 MAY 1942
HAZARDS OVERCOME IN CEYLON FLIGHT
ESCAPE PROM JAVA
This is the second part of a description by Sergeant Pilot D. L. Jones, of Christchurch of an adventurous flight from Java to Ceylon after the Dutch had capitulated to the Japanese. The previous installment related incidents in the final stages of the Java campaign, and the construction of one good aircraft from two damaged ones.
Then came the take-off from Pamaunpouk (in Java). The Dutch pilot had flown Lockheeds before, so he naturally took control. I never want to be in another take off like that one in my life again. Mind you, we didn’t know what sort of condition the aeroplane was in structurally. We got to the extreme edge of the field, and with the Dutchman at the controls, revved the engines up full bore. When these were just about to shake themselves to bits he let off the brakes and away we went.
We zig-zagged down the field with craters whistling by under our wing-tips. I can remember looking ahead and thinking we wouldn’t get off before hitting the fence at the end. I still don’t think we would have, had we not hit the lip of one of the craters, which bounced us into the air. As it was, we cleared the fence by inches, and got over the beach and out to sea.
We headed up the coast of Java, keeping well out to sea, although the Japanese must have seen us. Whether they thought it was one of theirs or whether it was because of the cloud we were flying in, we didn't see any Japanese fighters on the whole trip. The aeroplane had a good turn of speed. We cruised all the way at 210 miles an hour, so that probably helped.
We flew on up the coast of Sumatra, and after going about 800 miles, turned inland in the hope of finding a field or airfield to land on. If we found an airfield we were going to fly round to see if any Japanese aeroplanes were on the ground, or if anybody fired at us, so as to find out who had it.
Landing at Medan After flying round for a while we came across a fairly large town on the edge of which we saw an airfield. We couldn’t see any aeroplanes on it, so we flew over it at a good height and saw that it was all cluttered up with obstructions, so guessed it was still in Dutch hands. We couldn't see any life, though, so we took it we had caused an air raid alarm. We lowered our wheels and began, to circle the field, waggling our wings all the time to make out we were friendly. After a while we saw some Dutch soldiers appear and stand gazing at us.
We came down low over the field, just missing the obstructions. For a few minutes nothing happened, and then things started, so we guessed that someone must have realised what we wanted. Soldiers appeared as if by magic and began clearing away the obstructions. Cars began to come in from,the city, packed with civilians, and in a few minutes there were hundreds of people clearing the field so that we could land. We landed O.K. and, surprisingly, the tail held on.
From then on the Dutch treated us like kings. They took us to the best hotel in the city, which, by the way was Medan. They told us how lucky we were. It seems that about three weeks before some Japanese aeroplanes had come over with Dutch markings on, and making out they were friendly, had come in low and then bombed them to blazes. About a week later some real Dutch aeroplanes had come over, and the Dutch, thinking they were the Japanese up to their old tricks, promptly blew them out of the sky. When we came over they were tossing up whether to shoot us down or not, and thank God they didn’t.
The next day we went back and started work again on our aeroplane. We had decided to try to get to Ceylon. The Governor had given us some codes, which we were to deliver to the Admiralty; if we got there, so as to establish contact with Sumatra again. We took off early in the morning the next day, just before the Japanese reconnaissance aeroplane was due to come over, and landed about one hour later at a place called Klug-now, on the northern tip of Sumatra. We had the same trouble landing as we had at Medan, but we eventually got down O.K.
Attacked by Japanese We had no sooner landed when the Dutch grabbed our machine and pushed it under cover, and threw camouflage over it, as they said the Japanese reconnaissance aeroplane was due over in five minutes. It seemed as though they set their watches by this aeroplane, for at exactly 9 o’clock over she came. It circled us twice and then made off in a devil of a hurry. We guessed it had seen our aeroplane, and was going back to get somebody to come over and drop something on us. We started filling up all the tanks as quickly as we could. I was a bit worried about one of the engines. It had heated up pretty high, and had chewed up a few gallons of oil on the trip up, but, it was too late to do anything now, so I just filled her up with oil again, and left it at that.
We had just about finished when a look-out reported that nine Japanese bombers were heading our way. We filled up the tanks in double quick time, and threw in an extra nine tins for good measure. While we were doing this the Dutch soldiers were pulling the camouflage off our aeroplane and our Dutch pilot started up the engines. We finished all this, and the Dutchman opened up and we started down the field for the take-off. There was a stiff cross wind blowing at the time, and half-way down the1 field we went into a group loop, which means we spun round on one wheel. It was only by a very good piece of work on the part of the Dutchman that we didn’t wipe the undercarriage off. Anyhow, it held, so we taxied down to the other end of the field with the intention of taking off from that direction.
The prospect of this didn’t look too bright, for right in front of us was a whopping big hill. We either had to go over this hill or turn away from it as soon as we had got off the ground. If we tried to go over the hill, and managed to clear it (which would have been a miracle in our aeroplane), we would run straight into the Japanese bombers, which we couldn't see heading towards us. So the only thing left was to try to turn as we were in the air.
We did it. We must have missed trees growing on the hill by inches. At any rate we missed them and turned out to sea as fast as we could go. The Japanese bombers were coming down on the field now and were making their run across it. Two of the bombers, which were armed with cannon, must have seen us for they came diving down on us. But as luck would have it, we were few seconds too soon for them. We just managed to keep out range, and in the end gradually drew away from them. The old bus had a marvellous turn of speed when pushed for it, and we owed our existence to that.
Sea Flight to Ceylon We set a course on what we thought was the right way for Ceylon. The only map we had was a map of the world, torn out of a magazine. There is not much to say about the trip over the sea. We had a bit of a job transferring the petrol from the cabin to the wing tanks, but in the end found that by banking the aeroplane over we could gravity feed it in. We had brought with us a small hand pump which we had found lying on the field, so we used it for pumping the petrol out of the tins.
It was well into the aftemoon when we did sight land. I was at the controls myself at the time, and the thing I saw was a convoy going the same way as we were, and it wasn't long after that we saw land. We did not know at the time whether it was Ceylon or India, but after flying down the coast a while we knew it was Ceylon.
Knowing Colombo was on the other side of the island, we headed inland, and ran slap bang into some hills and a hailstorm. Eventually we hit the coast and followed it down in the direction of Colombo. Very soon we saw a large town and seaport ahead, and thence had an uncanny bit of luck.
There were a large destroyers and naval craft in the harbour at the time, and on sighting us coming towards them they started to challenge us with the signalling lamp. The correct, thing to do when so challenged is to fire what we call "colours of the day” with a Very pistol. We had a Very pistol on board, and several cartridges, but of course we didn't know what colours to use. There are dozens of colours to choose from and they change the colour every day. We had to shoot something off, so I picked up a two star red, fired it waited. I thought this was as good as any, as red is more or less a mercy signal, or used when you are in danger.
We expected every gun in the harbour to open up on us, but nothing happened. We flew round the the town looking for the landing field, which we found by following another aeroplane in. We landed 0.K., and you can bet we caused a bit of a stir when they saw a strange aeroplane come in bearing the Dutch insignia. We found later that the colours of day were the two star red, just what we had let off.
So that was the end of the journey by air, any rate. There are just two items I have forgotten to mention. The trip from Java to Medan took seven hours 10 minutes; and we landed with 10 minutes petrol supply left. The trip from Klug-now took eight hours, and we landed with 15 minutes’ supply left.
I was the only New Zealander to get out of Java after the capitulation of the Dutch. The Dutchman had to stay in Ceylon, and the Canadian was able to rejoin his squadron in Bombay, so the two Australians and myself got on a troopship bound for Australia.