Boston/Havoc in Dutch Service

Last revised August 16, 2000

In October of 1941, the Netherlands government in exile ordered 48 DB-7Cs for use in the Dutch East Indies by the Koninklijke Marine Luchtvaartdienst. Serials were DO-101 to DO-148, with company numbers being 6265/6312. The DB-7Cs had airframes similar to those of the DB-7B but had provisions for interchangeable noses, much like those that were provided for the original Douglas Model 7B. One was a glazed nose with a bomb-aimer position and the other was an unglazed nose housing four 20-mm cannon. The Dutch DB-7Cs were equipped with automatic life rafts and had special racks capable of carrying torpedoes. The engines were a pair of 1600 hp Wright R-2600-A5Bs.

Delivery of the DB-7Cs to the Dutch East Indies had been scheduled for May of 1942. However, because of the desperate situation in which the Dutch found themselves in the East Indies following the outbreak of the Pacific War, on December 24, 1941 the US government agreed to divert 32 DB-7B Boston III aircraft from British and original French orders and deliver them to the Dutch East Indies in advance.

The first 6 of these DB-7Bs were delivered by ship to Tkilatjap Harbor in Java on February 27, 1942. However, only one aircraft was assembled in time to take part in the action. The Japanese managed to capture the remaining aircraft of the delivery, and at least one was repaired and later test-flown at Tachikawa by the Japanese Army with the Japanese tail number J-D-A-1.

The rapidity of the Japanese occupation of the East Indies caused the next 22 DB-7Bs to be diverted to Australia, where they entered service with the Royal Australian Air Force under the serials A28-1 through A28-22. The MLD serials of these planes were D-95 through D-126. The last four planes were delivered to the USAAF.

In the meantime, work on the order for 48 DB-7Cs pressed forward. However, by the time that they were ready, the East Indies had been overrun by the Japanese and there was no further need for these aircraft. As a result, they were completed with standard glazed noses similar to the noses of the USAAF A-20C and the complete batch was sent to the Soviet Union under Lend-Lease.


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