B-24s for Netherlands

Last revised August 19, 1999






Number 321 Squadron of the Royal Air Force Coastal Command had originally been established in June of 1940 by a group of Dutch Navy personnel that had escaped to England following the German conquest of the Netherlands. This squadron initially operated Consolidated Catalinas and flew convoy escort missions over the Irish Sea. No. 321 Squadron was later supplemented by additional Dutch crews that had escaped from the Netherlands East Indies when the Japanese overran these islands.

In November 1944, No. 321 Squadron was re-equipped with Liberator VIs (primarily Convair/Fort Worth-built B-24Js). However, it was not until May of 1945 that No. 321 Squadron was declared operationally ready. By that time, the war in Europe was over, and the squadron transferred to the Pacific theatre for the final assault on Japan. They flew anti-shipping, bombing, and minelaying missions out of bases in the Cocos Islands during the last few months of the Pacific War. A total of 23 Liberator VIs ended up serving with this squadron. Following the Japanese surrender, No. 321 Squadron flew relief and supply missions in support of Allied prisoners that had been released from POW camps in Sumatra, Java, and New Guinea.

Following the re-establishment of Dutch control in the East Indies, the Liberators of No. 321 Squadron relocated to Java and were repainted in the colors of the newly-reformed Royal Dutch Air Force, whose insignia at that time was a rectangle consisting of parallel red, white, and blue bars. However, as required under the terms of the Lend-Lease agreement, the Dutch Liberators were withdrawn from service and scrapped in late 1946. None survive today.

The following Liberators were operated by No 321 (Dutch) Squadron:

RAF serial	USAAF Designation 	USAAF Serial

EV824			?                   ?	
EV831		        ?		    ?
EV832			?		    ?
EV834			?		    ?
EV869			?                   ?
EV889			?		    ?
EV317		B-24J-35-CF		44-10320
EW320		B-24J-35-CF		44-10323
EW321		B-24J-35-CF		44-40324
FL912		        ?                   ?		
FL940		        ?		    ?
KG847		B-24J-35-CF 		44-10352
KG852		B-24J-40-CF		44-10357
KG991		B-24J-75-CF		44-10656
KH138		B-24J-80-CF		44-10703
KH186		B-24J-80-CF		44-10751
KH187		B-24J-80-CF		44-10752
KH193		B-24J-85-CF		44-44054
KH194		B-24J-85-CF		44-44055
KH296		B-24J-90-CF		44-44167
KH299		B-24J-90-CF		44-44170
KH382		B-24J-95-CF		44-44253
KH383		B-24J-95-CF		44-44254

Sources:

  1. Famous Bombers of the Second World War, William Green, Doubleday, 1959.

  2. British Military Aircraft Serials, 1912-1969, Bruce Robertson, Ian Allen, 1969.

  3. Liberator: America's Global Bomber, Alwyn T. Lloyd, Pictorial Histories Publishing Co, Inc, 1993.

  4. The Consolidated B-24J Liberator, Roger A. Freeman, Profile Publications, Inc. 1969.

  5. B-24 Liberator in Action, Larry Davis, Squadron/Signal Publications Inc, 1987.

  6. General Dynamics Aircraft and Their Predecesssors, John Wegg, Naval Institute Press, 1990.

  7. Consolidated B-24D-M Liberator IN USAAF-RAF-RAAF-MLD-IAF-CzechAF and CNAF Service, Ernest R. McDowell, Arco, 1970.

  8. United States Military Aircraft Since 1909, Gordon Swanborough and Peter M. Bowers, Smithsonian, 1989.