42 Armoured Cars 

 


    42nd  Independent Reconnaissance Squadron  (RHB)

 
              
by H.C.Voges, colonel ret.

Arrival and training of the personnel.

The conscripts intended for the Squadron arrived at the Prins Willem III  Barracks in Amersfoort during the second half of 1948. After a short basic training they were divided over various schools for functional training, i.e. weaponschool, communications school, driving school etc. Due to a continuing shortage of instruction vehicles the driving instruction could not be finalized and had to be continued in the Dutch Indies.

Foundation and organization of the Squadron.

The Squadron was founded in January 1949 and existed of a Staff platoon and a Service platoon,
3 Reconnaissance platoons, each consisting of a reconnaissance and a tirailleur section,
1 Mortar platoon, existing of three sections of two 8 cm mortars.
Commanding Officer Major W.D.Bosch (regular), Second in Command  res.1ste Lieutenant J.H.C.Voges, who had already seen service as platoon commander with the 1st Reconnaissance Regiment in the Dutch Indies  from January 1947 till end August 1948. He had become a regular officer one day before the departure for the Dutch Indies.
Res. 2nd Lieutenant C. Meijaard (commander 1ste platoon ) with the cavalry sergeant Vermeijs (n.c.o) commanded the reconnaissance platoons, Vermeijs as second in command.
Cornet R.S.Schortinghuis (commander 2nd platoon) and cornet J. Schoenmaker as second in command. Cornet N.M. Hart (commander 3rd platoon) and  cornet J.Hellenberg Hubar as second in command. Cornet G.W.Corporaal (commander  mortar platoon). The service platoon was commanded by res. 2nd Lieutenant E.A. Krijgsman (also MTO) with second in command cornet mr. J.O.J. Idenburg.
Cavalry Sergeant Major B.Bouma (regular) was squadron-instructor.
Shortly before embarkation a "Parents and Fiancées" Day was held in the Prins Willem III Barracks in Amersfoort which was well-attended and where the squadron-song, composed and provided with a text by Joop van de Marel, could be heard many times, loudly sung by all present. At the end of the afternoon everybody returned home with family and fiancées for a short two days embarkation leave. 25the March 1949 was our big day of departure. Reveille proved hardly necessary. A final morning parade on the familiar forecourt of the Prins Willem III  and waved farewell by those staying behind in the barracks, the Squadron marched in formation through the town to the station, profusely waved good-bye by the Amersfoort inhabitants. The Squadron sailed from Rotterdam by M.V."Volendam". The boat trip went smoothly. The familiar items worth nothing such as the passing of the Rock of  Gibraltar, and , of course Port Said with its small boats with  merchants round the  "Volendam" on  4th April 1949, the bartering with the merchants, the arrival on board of the famous magician with his  "kielle-kielle" and his chickens. Further the interesting  crossing through the Suez Canal, the soaring temperatures in the Red Sea followed by those long days in the Indian Ocean with nothing but water around us. During the voyage various theory lessons, fatigue duties and also periods of lazing about in the sun.
19th April. Sabang, a short shore leave.
24th April. Disembarkation of a battalion by 2 landing craft at Semarang.
26th April. Arrival in Soerabaya. The squadron was placed temporarily in the so-called Subsistentenkader Barracks intended for units in transit. We received small arms and a number of light machine guns (Lewis with round cartridge drums) with wich our CSM Bouma had become familiar during his pre WWII service years. Consequently he was able to demonstrate these weapons rapidly on the spot. We also received some motorized transport, new weapon carriers. We were transferred to Probolingo by three-ton lorries safely accompanied by 1-2 RHB. 
Lieutenant Meijaard returned to West-Java by vessel with the majority of our drivers to conclude their training in Tjimahi. During the period 26th April - 10th Juni 1949 started a working-in period and a gradual taking-over of tasks and equipement from 1-2 RHB, patrolling by vehicle and on foot to protect the sugarcane fields which were set on fire quite frequently. Actions on a smaller scale in co-operation with parts of 1-2 RHB and 3-5 R.I. On 12th May the 2nd platoon left for Djombang to reinforce the outposts of  4 R.I. and the 3rd platoon was transferred to 2-2 RHB in Lawang. On 19th May the 1st platoon left for the sugar-factory Djatiroto to take over tasks and equipment from the 1st platoon 1-2 RHB. Two sections of the mortar platoon together with two sections of the mortar platoon 1-2 RHB  were stationed in Bondowodo and Sepandang to protect sugar-factories and sugar-fields. The 3rd section of the mortar went to Wonolongan for a while, near Besoeki, where a former sugar-factory was restarted. Following a few further postings of parts of the Squadron, often at large distances from the Squadron Headquarters in Probolingo, among other things part of the 3rd platoon to Pasoeroean-Malang (4 days) and the return and re-posting elsewhere together with the 2nd and 3rd platoon, and the mortar platoon, the take over of the equipment from 1-2 RHB was finalized around 5th June. This Squadron was accompanied in convoy by us this time to Soerabaja from where they were to sail for Sumatra.
The 1st platoon had remained stationed in Djatiroto




all this time, the largest sugar enterprise in the East then, far removed from our staff in Probolingo. They had had a very good time there and were rather envied by everybody else in the Squadron. Excellent housing, a swimmimg pool and spoilt by the planters as well. The territory they were responsible for was large indeed, but it was rather quiet in comparison with other territories our units were responsible for Finally,on 10th July, our mortar platoon was reunited and posted in Porong, in an old and largely destroyed sugar-factory together with the 8th Squadron Armoured Vehicles. Their most important task was to go on patrol with units of the 8th SAV and to accompany covoys between Porong-Bangil-Pasoeroean and Probolingo and back, a tiring and rather dangerous task.
13th July. Our first wounded casualty Hussar Wilkoos of the 2nd platoon, shot in the upper-arm, fortunately not seriously wounded.
20th July. We received word that our cornets had been promoted to the rank of 2nd res. lieutenant. This fact was celebrated as far as in Probolingo, but they were not sworn-in until later.
29th July. The Squadron staff also moved to Porong. 3rd August. Hussar Faber of the 1st platoon lost his life at a traffic accident near Klakah. In addition, there were four wounded, fortunately not seriously. 8th August. Not far from Porong a train ran on a mine. Some vehicles from the 8th Squadron and our  mortar platoon departed immediately to lend assistance and to deploy at the scene of the attack. On the way back near Wonokerto major Bosch's jeep ran onto a mine. The major and his driver hussar Olij, were slightly wounded only, fortunately. The jeep became a total write-off.
25th August. The various postings of the 2nd and 3rd platoons were ended and the Squadron, except the 1st platoon, was billeted in old dilapidated Japanese barracks in Madioen. These ruins were situated outside the town on a bleak sandy plain. The heat was suffocating, the bilik roofing material was full of holes, and when it rained it was pouring inside the building almost as much as outside. It was the worst place we stayed at during the whole of our period in the Indies. Among others our duties were convoying lorries,lending protection to the airport Maospati, patrolling in vehicles and on foot. Section of the platoons were posted also for a few days at infantry-outposts such as Ponogoro and surroundings and when these posts were handed over to the TNI, at Balong, Badegan, Sampoeng, Tjampoersari, Blingi and Megatan, during the first two weeks of October. End November vehicles that could not be repaired before the hand over of Madioen to the TNI  were sent back to  Soerabaja.
Early December 1949  Madioen was handed over to the TNI and the Squadron moved to Soerabaja where they were billited in the Engineers barracks near the Wonokromo bridge.
The 1st platoon rejoined the Squadron. Christmas and the New Year were celebrated there and a quiet time followed. Many sporting events took place and outings were organised to the lovely cool area of Trètes. Gradually the armoured cars were handed in, followed by the other armoured vehicles. Wheeled transport was kept as long as possible. Early May the Squadron found itself housed in the harbour godowns in  Soerabaja's harbour district and the monotonous  task of guard duties in the harbour and the patrolling in town began. "Welfare" Service organised holiday trips of a few days to Bali. A number of lucky  persons  amongst us have been able  to avail themselves of this offer before the Squadron sailed to Batavia  per M.V. "Zuiderkruis" at the end of  August and was placed there  for a few days in  transit camp "Makassar". Then embarkation took place early September on the U.S. troopship "General Ballou" and the adventures had ended for the 42nd ZVE in the Dutch Indies.
Following a successful voyage the Squadron arrived in Rotterdam harbour on 7th October 1950 and left for a weldeserved disembarkation leave.
Demobilization took place during the period up to and including 31st  October 1950.

Personalia, regular-reservists,of  the 42nd  Reconnaissance  Squadron. Between (   )  last rank.

Major W.D. Bosch (Lieutenant-colonel), deceased
1st Lieutenant J.H.C. Voges (colonel), deceased
2nd Lieutenant C. Meijaard (major)
cornet R.S. Schortinghuis (Cavalry Captain), deceased
cornet J. Schoenmaker (2nd Lieutenant), deceased cornet N.M Hart (2nd Lieutenant)
cornet J. Hellenberg-Habar (2nd Lieutenant)
cornet G.W. Corporaal (2nd Lieutenant)
2nd Lieutenant E.A. Krijgsman
cornet mr. J.O.J. Idenburg (2nd Lieutenant)
C.S.M. B. Bouma, (warrant-officer), deceased

P.S.
On arrival in the Indies the 42nd ZVE was renamed 42nd PAW. Its new emblem was designed by Hussar Zwetsloot. More is to be told about  Zwetsloot. A day after the Sabang outing hussar Zwetsloot was ordered to do some fatigue duty.  Instead, he opted to jump overboard and did so. In spite of the fact that the water was full of sharks he was saved just in time. When he was found, he was swimming round wearing a few life-buoys and still correctly wearing his cap. Here the story fizzles out, although the "Volendam" was delayed for many hours.

 






Click for more information on buttons above






          Translated by F.Warmink