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Bomber Boys

The unknown story of a unique RAAF squadron, its men and its mission to halt the Japanese advance in the Pacific.

March 1942. Java is about to fall. An Australian military dispatch rider and a Dutch air force transport pilot embark on a frightening escape from the advancing Japanese that takes them from Bandung to a crash landing just north of Darwin. Both would later join a unique band of flyers determined to strike back at the enemy.

Bomber Boys is the extraordinary and little known story of more than 100 Dutch airmen, stranded in Australia with no country to return to, who were joined by a contingent of Australians to make up the RAAF's No. 18 (Netherlands East Indies) Squadron. Formed in Canberra in April 1942, the squadron flew operational coastal patrols before eventually being relocated to the secret MacDonald Airfield, north of Pine Creek in the Northern Territory, and eventually Batchelor, near Darwin.

This is, however, more than a story about the 900 bombing raids, reconnaissance missions and attacks on Japanese shipping that the squadron flew in its three years of existence under Australian control. At its heart, is a powerful and compelling story of a group of very different men, thrown together for a common purpose, and the strange and sometimes difficult friendships they formed.
Bomber Boys

Call of the Outback

The remarkable story of Ernestine Hill,nomad journalist and writer

Long before Robyn Davidson wrote Tracks, the extraordinary Ernestine Hill was renowned for her intrepid travels across Australia's vast outback.

After the birth of her illegitimate son, Ernestine Hill abandoned her comfortable urban life as a journalist for a nomadic one, writing about this country's vast interior and bringing the outback into the popular imagination of Australians.

Throughout the 1930s Ernestine's hugely popular stories about Australia's remotest regions appeared in newspapers and journals around the nation. She still remains famous for her bestselling books The Great Australian LonelinessThe TerritoryFlying Doctor Calling and My Love Must Wait.

Call of the Outback provides a vivid portrait of Ernestine, from the early brilliance she showed as a child in Brisbane to her later life. In particular it evokes Ernestine's larger-than-life personality, the exotic landscapes she explored and the remarkable characters she met on her travels.
Call of the Outback

The Diamond Dakota Mystery

Juliet Wills                                                                                                                                     Co-author: Marianne van Velzen

During the evacuation of java in March 1942 a Dutch/Russian pilot was attacked by Jpanese zero's near the Australian coast. He was heading for the small town of Broome in the north of Australia. He was carrying a large amount of diamonds along with his passengers and crew. The plane crashed on the beach at Carnot Bay. The survivors were trapped on the beach for five days. They were eventually rescued but the diamonds were lost. For the first time a Dutch and an Australian journalist combine the facts to tell what really happened.

The Diamond Dakota Mystery
Can We Help (ABC)

One Day

Documentary by Marianne van Velzen and Ronald Vierbergen.

One Day tells the story of the Japanese raid on the small Australian town of Broome on the 3rd of March 1942. A number ofDutch flyingboats were waiting to be refuled in the bay. The airoplanes were full of evacuees from Java. During the raid many Dutch civilians were killed.

One Day
Vertrek

Gus Winkel

Voor het blad Moesson een verhaal over Gus Winkel en het 18de Squadron.

Gus Winkel
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