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The Dai Nippon Occupations Sumatra

History Collections



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By 13th February,

 the headquarters of the Group decided that a reconnaissance must be made to discover whether or not the Japanese intended to land on Sumatra.

The position in Singapore was known to be desperate, and it was felt that the enemy would assuredly attempt to extend the range of their conquests.

 A single Hudson from No. 1 Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force, accordingly took off in the afternoon and presently returned with the report that there was a concentration of Japanese shipping north of Banka Island.

 This seemed to show that an invasion of Sumatra was imminent. An unsuccessful night attack by Blenheims in darkness and rain was succeeded at first light on 14th February

by an offensive reconnaissance carried out by five Hudsons. They discovered between twenty-five and thirty transports, heavily escorted by naval vessels and fighter aircraft. The suspected invasion was on the way.


The five Hudsons, subsequently reinforced by all available bomber aircraft, delivered a series of attacks upon the convoy and achieved conspicuous success. Six transports were sunk or badly damaged for the loss of seven aircraft.

The squadrons engaged, Nos. 1 and 8 of the Royal Australian Air Force and Nos. 27, 62, 84 and 211 of the Royal air Force, fulfilled their tasks without fighter protection, for the Japanese had staged an attack by parachute troops on P.I, the fighter airfield at Palembang.

The attackers were able to cut the road to the south and west of the airfield and to overpower the meagre ground defences. Wing Commander Maguire, the Station Commander, at the head of twenty men, hastily collected, delivered a counterattack which held off the enemy long enough to make possible the evacuation of the wounded and the unarmed.

He was presently driven back into the area of the control tower, where he held out for some time, short of ammunition and with no food and water, until compelled to withdraw after destroying stocks of petrol and such aircraft as remained.


The fighters which should have accompanied the bomber force attacking the convoy belonged to No. 226 (Fighter) Group, formed

on 1st February

The Surrender:

Slowly being pushed back on February 13,

Percival was asked by his senior officers about surrendering. Rebuffing their request, he continued the fight.

The next day,

Japanese troops secured Alexandra Hospital

and massacred around 200 patients and staff.

Early on the morning of February 15,

the Japanese succeeded in breaking through Percival’s lines. This coupled with the exhaustion of the garrison’s anti-aircraft ammunition led

Percival to meet with his commanders

at Fort Canning. During the meeting, Percival proposed two options: an immediate strike at Bukit Timah to regain the supplies and water or surrendering.

Informed by his senior officers that no counterattack was possible, Percival saw little choice other than surrender.

Dispatching a messenger to Yamashita, Percival met with the Japanese commander at

the Ford Motor Factory later that day to discuss terms. T

he formal surrender was completed shortly after 5:15 that evening.

February 15, 1942 –

 Singapore surrenders, when food, water, ammunition, and gasoline are nearly gone. They were taken to the Ford Motor Company assembly plant on the outskirts of Singapore town. Here Lt. General A. E. Percival yielded to Lt. General Tomoyuki Yamashita’s 25th Army.

820 British seaman were lost, while 2,081 were picked up by flotilla destroyers. Of the 88 Japanese planes, only four were shot down.

It is thought that the Naval Base was evacuated, just before the fall of Singapore on February 15, 1942. The Aquarius sailed on February 12/13, 1942 and sunk off the Sumatra coast north of Banka Island by air attack. Three survivors were picked up, but they also died shortly after. Unfortunately, the Aquarius never made its Darwin, Australia, destination. The Aquarius was launched on February 14, 1934, as the R.A.F.A. (Royal Air Force Auxilliary) “Aquarius,” and was an aircraft tender. It arrived originally in Singapore on May 28, 1934. There are many accounts of the Aquarius in various sources, and some accounts are about two U.S.A. ships also named Aquarius. There was a listing for an Aquarius as a U.S. Navy attack cargo ship (AKA 16) of the C2 type commissioned in 1943. However this ship is thought to have been 6094 tons and did not sink. It ended up in the Soviet Union in 1945. One account has the passengers of the ship at 1,000 and while the British vessel carried 60-70 persons. In both cases, it is stated that there were three survivors picked up, who then died shortly thereafter. One account says they were picked up by ML 310s. The same account has the the ship being sunk by a Japanese destroyer near Tjebia Island (off Sumatra) on February 15, 1942.

I originally thought that the Aquarius was the ship that my uncle died on when it sunk. Now I know that Alexander Malcolm died after the sinking of the SS Redang.. The SS Redang was registered in Bangkok, Thailand, to the Siam Steam Navigation Fleet, and was seized by the British government, and was then made part of the Singapore Strait Steamship Company. On February 12, 1942, this ship was attacked by two Japanese destroyers and sunk. Alexander Malcolm and his friend, Tommy Hand, died 50 miles from the Berhala Strait one of many casualties of World War II.


DEI troops survivors of the battle of Palembang (Sumatra) 15 Feb 1942 this troops would cease to exist after Battle of Java (march 1942)

they’re known as a KNIL in indonesia, people who try to get a better luck by joining the army rather than live as a poor farmer

on 15th February,

 the day on which the fortress of Singapore surrendered unconditionally, the greatest success up till then scored in the Far Eastern War had been achieved, and achieved by the Royal Air Force and the Royal Australian Air Force. The landing of the enemy at the mouth of the Palembang River had been completely arrested, thousands of his men had been killed or wounded, and his plan of invasion brought temporarily to naught. The action fought that day on the coast of Sumatra shows only too plainly what might have been accomplished on the coasts of Siam and Malaya had an adequate Air Force been available

Sad to say, this highly successful counter-measure had no sequel.

There were no troops or naval craft available to exploit the victory and the reaction of the Japanese was immediate and violent.

They made another parachute troop landing on Palembang airfield and in the neighbourhood of the town. It was successful and its success jeopardized the situation at P.II, the secret airfield, where stocks of food, ammunition and bombs were running very low. Orders were reluctantly given for a retreat to Java.

All aircraft were to fly; their ground staff were to go by ship and to embark at Oesthaven.

 Here occurred an administrative blunder which added to the difficulties of the Air Force and considerably reduced its further capacity for fighting.

The Dutch authorities at the port had already set on fire the bazaar and destroyed all equipment of a military kind.

A dark pall of smoke lay over the town, and beneath it the airmen striving to carry out their orders and to reach Java as quickly as possible found themselves faced with an obstacle created not by the enemy, but by the British Military Embarkation Officer.

He was one of those men to whom an order is as sacred and inflexible as are the Commandments of Sinai. All officers

and men of the ground staff were to be clear of the port by midnight, but they were to leave, so he ordained, without their motor transport or their equipment.

 In other words, they were to reach Java in a condition in which they would be quite unable to take any further part in operations.

To every remonstrance he returned the same answer: those were the orders. It says something for his personality that they were obeyed. No. 41 Air Stores Park left behind them spare Hurricane engines and other urgent stores; so did the Repair and Salvage Unit of No. 266 (Fighter) Wing, and the anti-aircraft guns and ammunition brought away with such difficulty from P.I and P.II were also abandoned.

This departure, in an atmosphere which can only be described as that of panic, was quite unnecessary, for two days later Group Captain Nicholetts at the head of fifty volunteers from No. 605 (Fighter) Squadron, returned to Oesthaven by sea from Batavia in H.M.S. Ballarat of the Royal Australian Navy and spent twelve hours loading the ship to the gunwales with such air force equipment as could by then still be salvaged.


With its Royal Dutch Shell oil refineries at nearby Pladju, the city of Palembang in southern Sumatra, Dutch East Indies was a major objective early in the Japanese campaign southwards.

The Allied defenses there consisted of two air groups located in Pangkalan Benteng airfield, also known as P1, and Prabumulih airfield, or P2.


The air forces there consisted of the Royal Air Force No. 225 Bomber Group (with two Royal Australian Air Force squadrons) with 40 Blenheim bombers and 35 Hudson light bombers and No. 226 Fighter Group with two squadrons of Hurricane fighters and a number of Hurricane and Buffalo fighters that carried wound from the earlier Malayan and Singapore campaigns.

A few American B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bombers were in Palembang in Jan 1942, but they were withdrawn to Java and Australia before the Japanese invasion.

The ground troops were led by the Royal Netherlands East Indies Army Lieutenant Colonel L. N. W. Vogelesang, with 2,000 troops under his command in the Palembang area, organized in one South Sumatra Garrison Battalion and one home guard Landstorm company in reserve; there were other Dutch troops in other areas of southern Sumatra, but they lacked mobility and played no part in the subsequent Japanese invasion. A few Dutch navy officers were also present, with one minelayer (Pro Patria) and two patrol boats (P-38 and P-40) under their command.

On 13 Feb 1942,

 the Japanese invasion fleet approached southern Sumatra. While the Allied aircraft took off to attack the naval vessels, Japanese Army Ki-56 and Ki-21 transport planes delivered about 160-180 paratroopers and their supplies over P1 airfield and 90 troopers near the Pladju refineries, escorted by a large force of Ki-43 fighters.

The paratroopers failed to take P1 airfield, and another 60 paratroopers were dropped two hours as reinforcements. Those who landed at Pladju gained control of the entire industrial complex without damaging any equipment, though they were driven out after a Landstorm counterattack; the Dutch troops then began a demolition operation to destroy the oil refineries, setting equipment on fire.

By the next morning, unable to hold ground, the Japanese paratroopers advanced to the Musi, Salang, and Telang Rivers, and waited there for the main invasion force to arrive.

The main Japanese invasion force for southern Sumatra was under the command of Japanese Navy Vice Admiral Jisaburo Ozawa. The fleet consisted of the heavy cruiser Chokai, light cruiser Sendai, 8 destroyers, and 22 transports, which held the invasion force of Japanese Army 229th Infantry Regiment and one battalion from the 230th Infantry Regiment.

A covering force sailed in the distance, which was consisted of the carrier Ryujo, four heavy cruisers, one light cruiser, and three destroyers. The invasion fleet was first engaged by British river boat HMS Li Wo, which engaged the much larger Japanese ships with its lone 100-millimeter gun; Li Wo eventually was damaged beyond repair, and rammed into the nearest Japanese transport before being sunk.

 Meanwhile, an Allied fleet consisted of Dutch cruisers De Ruyter, Java, and Tromp, British cruisers Exeter and Hobart, and 10 destroyers attempted to intercept the invasion fleet, but the fleet gave up after being attacked by aircraft from Ryujo and nearby ground bases. As the Japanese landing forces sailed up the river leading up to Palembang, British aircraft based in Sumatra attacked, sinking the transport Otawa Maru.

While the invasion started, an episode of massacre took place nearby.

On 12 Feb

, 330 soldiers, nurses, and civilians commandeered the vessel SS Vyner Brooke and attempted to escape from Singapore.


 On 14 Feb,

 the freighter was found by Japanese aircraft off the Bangka Island off southeastern Sumatra, sinking her with three bomb hits. The 90-some survivors of the sinking and the Japanese aircraft strafing made it to Bangka Island’s Radji Beach. In the evening of 14 Feb, all but one civilian women left the group for a local village with their children, leaving the men on the beach with the Australian military nurses.

Shortly after, Japanese soldiers discovered those on the beach, and massacred the men with bayonets. The nurses were marched into the ocean, and when they reached waist-deep water, they were fired upon with rifles. Nurse Vivian Bullwinkel, British Army Private Pat Kingsley, and several other survivors hid in the nearby jungle for several days; Kingsley later died from his bayonet wound. They were eventually found and placed into a prisoners of war camp. Bullwinkel survived the brutal camp treatment and gave evidence against the Japanese at the 1947 war crimes trial in Tokyo.

On 15 Feb,

it was decided that southern Sumatra, with its weak defenses, was to be abandoned. All of the aircraft and some of the personnel were sent to Java, where the Dutch East Indies seat of government was located; remaining personnel were transferred to India. The aerial evacuation was completed by the evening of 16 Feb, while the evacuation by sea did not complete until 20 Feb.

With southern Sumatra evacuated, the 8,000 Dutch reserve troops and 1,200 para-military policemen in northern Sumatra were practically stranded. Lacking adequate transportation, the Dutch were dispersed in small groups. On 8 Mar, they received word of Dutch commander-in-chief General Hein ter Pooten’s surrender in Java on 8 Mar; however, most of them chose to disobey the surrender order.

On 28 Feb 1942,

a sizeable Japanese force set sail from Singapore for northern Sumatra; the force consisted of 27 transports, three cruisers, ten destroyers, and various other smaller vessels, divided in four groups. On 12 Mar, Operation T was launched with landings at Baloeng Bay on Sabang Island, Cape Pedro near Kotaradja airfield, and Iri. The second landing took place at Tandjoengtiram, where the four battalions landed to secure a beach head for the landing of tanks, air groups, and the divisional headquarters. All landings were nearly unopposed as the Dutch lacked the resources to do so.


Dutch East Indies Campaign, Sumatra Timeline

23 Jan 1942 Japanese bombers attacked Palembang, Sumatra, Dutch East Indies for the first time.
7 Feb 1942 Japanese aircraft attacked Palembang, Sumatra, Dutch East Indies, destroying 34 RAF aircraft.
11 Feb 1942 The Japanese invasion fleet for Sumatra, Dutch East Indies departed Cam Ranh Bay, French Indo-China.
14 Feb 1942 360 paratroopers of Japanese 1st Airborne Division landed at Pangkalanbenteng airfield near Palembang, Sumatra, Dutch East Indies; in response, ABDA command sent 5 cruisers and 11 destroyers to transport troops to Palembang; Dutch destroyer HNLMS Van Ghent in this force ran aground on the next day and would be scuttled. Meanwhile, the British ship Vyner Brooke, escaping from Singapore with 300 on board, was bombed off Sumatra; around 100 survivors, including 22 Australian nurses, reach shore on Banka island; the men were marched away by the Japanese and bayoneted and shot, the wounded were bayoneted where they laid, and the nurses were herded into the sea and machine gunned; one, Sister Vivian Bulwinkel, was wounded but survived to tell of the atrocity; she died in 2000, aged 85.


Dutch East Indies Campaign, Sumatra

13 Feb 1942 – 28 Mar 1942Contributor:C. Peter Chen15 Feb 1942 100 additional Japanese paratroopers arrived at Palembang, Sumatra, Dutch East Indies, helping with the securing oil refineries and other facilities. 200 kilometers to the south, British troop transport Ocrades arrives at Oosthaven with 3,400 Australian troops, but the ship would continue on to Java without disembarking the troops. North of Palembang, Japanese troops disembarked at the mouth of the Musi River; the British RAF interfered by attacking the landing with over 50 aircraft, sinking 20 landing craft and killing 100 Japanese. Finally, in the Bangka Strait, Japanese naval gunfire sank British tug HMS Yin Ping; 50 were killed, 25 survived.
17 Feb 1942 Japanese carrier aircraft from Ryujo sank Dutch destroyer HMNS Van Nes, escorting Dutch troopship Sloet van Beele, in the Bangka Strait; 69 were killed, 60 survived.
12 Mar 1942 On Sumatra, Dutch East Indies, Japanese troops landed at Sabang at 0235 hours, Koetaradja at 0330 hours, Idi at 0540, and Laboehanroekoe at 0700 hours. They would capture the airfield at Medan in the morning.
28 Mar 1942 Dutch Major General Roelof T. Overakker surrendered his 2,000 troops at Blangkedjeren, marking the end of resistance on Sumatra, Dutch East Indies.





Information from Dai Nippon Club Netherland









Indische en buitenlandse zegels
Op Sumatra is een grote verscheidenheid aan zegels en opdrukken gebruikt. In het begin zijn zegels zonder opdruk gebruikt, met uitzondering van zegels die de beeltenis van de koningin droegen, die waren niet toegestaan. Japanse postzegels mochten in alle bezette gebieden gebruikt worden, we komen ze dan ook veel tegen.Vanaf eind september 1942 tot medio april 1943 vormde Sumatra een administratieve eenheid met Malakka, waardoor we veel Japanse bezettingszegels van Malakka tegenkomen. Ook zegels uit andere bezette gebieden, zoals Mandsjoerije komen af en toe voor, meestal met gelegenheidsafstempelingen. De afstempeling bepaalt waar en wanneer de zegels gebruikt zijn.


Lokale en regionale opdrukken
Als snel komen in 1942 de eerste instructies om vooroorlogse postzegels van een opdruk te voorzien. Dit werd zowel lokaal als regionaal gedaan, waardoor meer dan 50 verschillende opdrukken ontstaan. Vele lokale opdrukken kunnen nog verder onderverdeeld worden, zoals de kruisopdrukken van Midden Sumatra, waarvan meer dan 20 subtypen bestaan.Het is bijzonder dat zelfs twee Nederlandse postzegels overdrukt zijn. De grotere postkantoren hadden een voorraad Nederlandse postzegels van 5 en 12½ cent, die meegezonden konden worden naar Nederland om retourpost te frankeren. Als gevolg van de instructie om alle voorradige zegels te overdrukken zijn op sommige postkantoren, zoals bijvoorbeeld Pajakombo, ook Nederlandse zegels overdrukt.


Algemene opdrukken
Eind 1942, begin 1943 zijn semi-algemene opdrukken uitgegeven. Deze zegels werden voorzien van een opdruk Dai Nippon (Groot Japan) of Dai Nippon Yubin (Groot Japan Post). Op 29 april 1943 verschenen zegels van 3½ en 10 cent uit een definitieve serie. Deze werden op 1 augustus 1944 gevolgd door nog 10 waarden. Op 1 januari 1944 verscheen een algemene T-opdruk. De semi-algemene en de T-opdrukken zijn ook aangebracht op zegels die al een opdruk hadden.

Original content © 2009 Dai Nippon. All rights reserved. Contact the Webmaster with any technical problems or comments.


Vooroorlogse postwaardestukken en opdrukken
In het begin van de bezetting werden vooroorlogse postwaardestukken zonder opdruk gewoon doorgebruikt, vooral briefkaarten. Vrij snel werden op Sumatra en in het marine gebied postwaardestukken voorzien van opdrukken, meestal dezelfde als bij de postzegels. Niet alleen briefkaarten, maar ook allerlei andere postwaardestukken, zoals internationale brief- en antwoordkaarten, enveloppen, postbladen en verhuiskaarten.


De eerste gedrukte postwaardestukken uit de bezetting
De eerste uitgifte van een nieuwe briefkaart vond in juni 1942 plaats op Celebes. De bekende Dai Nippon briefkaarten van Java verschenen in september 1942 en in mei 1943 kwam een nieuwe briefkaart op Sumatra in omloop. Eind 1943 verscheen er voor Java en Sumatra een gezamelijke uitgifte, een nieuwe 3½ cent Dai Nippon briefkaart in een kleiner formaat om papier te besparen.


Andere nieuwe uitgiften
Op Sumatra zijn er daarna geen nieuwe postwaardestukken meer verschenen, wel op Java en in het marine gebied, zoals een nieuwe verhuiskaart op Java en een definitieve kaart voor het gehele marine gebied.


Op 1 juli 1944 werd in het marine gebied het tarief voor een briefkaart verhoogd naar 4 cent. Dit resulteerde in een verscheidenheid aan regionale uitgiften. Een jaar later, op 1 juli 1945, werd het tarief op Java verhoogd naar 5 cent en kwamen ook hier nieuwe kaarten in omloop. Op Sumatra werd het tarief pas op 15 augustus 1945, de dag van de Japanse capitulatie, verhoogd naar 7 cent. Hier zijn geen nieuwe kaarten uitgegeven.


Postwaardestukken van Malakka gebruikt in Indië
In de Riouw en Lingga archipel en op de Anambas Eilanden werden postwaardestukken van Malakka gebruikt, zoals bij de postzegels. Het tarief voor een briefkaart was hier 2 cent, wat later verhoogd werd naar 4 cent. Hier werden ook postwaardestukken gebruikt die we niet uit Nederlands-Indië kennen, zoals de aangetekende enveloppe. Het tarief hiervoor bedroeg 15 cent, tijdens de oorlog werd het verhoogd naar 23 cent.













Dai nippon Occupation Indonesia Postal History courtecy Dai Nippon Club Netherland


Het innen van rechten tijdens de Japanse bezetting en de Republikeinse periode ging op dezelfde manier als voor de oorlog. In het algemeen moesten de rechten betaald worden door diegene waarvoor het stuk werd opgemaakt. Dit werd gedaan door fiscaalzegels op de daarvoor bestemde documenten te plakken, zoals plakzegels, loonzegels, handelszegels, enz.


Plakzegels zijn vooral gebruikt voor de rechten op kwitanties, polissen van verzekeringen, hypotheekakten, wissels, huurcontracten, enz., waarbij het transactiebedrag meer dan f10.00 bedroeg.In het begin zijn vooroorlogse plakzegels doorgebruikt, al snel werden ze overdrukt, meestal met dezelfde opdrukken als de postzegels. Na verloop van tijd werden nieuwe plakzegels enz. in de Maleise en/of Japanse taal gedrukt. Tijdens de Republikeinse periode zijn evenals tijdens de Japanse bezetting zegels zonder opdruk doorgebruikt, vervolgens van een opdruk voorzien en uiteindelijk zijn nieuwe plakzegels enz. gedrukt.


Loonbelasting was verschuldigd over de lonen die verantwoord werden op speciale loonlijsten. De verschuldigde belasting bedroeg 4% van de lonen die aan werknemers betaald werden en 2% van de lonen van huishoudelijk personeel. De formulieren en loonzegels waren evenals plakzegels op het postkantoor verkrijgbaar. De zegels bestonden uit twee delen, de linker helft werd op de originele loonlijst geplakt, de rechter op een kopie daarvan.


Gezegeld papier
Gezegeld papier werd gebruikt voor notariële akten, uittreksels van overheidsbesluiten, zoals benoemingen en loonsverhogingen, uittreksels uit de burgerlijke stand en registratie van hypotheken bij het kadaster. Het recht werd berekend naar de grootte van het papier. Vooroorlogs gezegeld papier werd doorgebruikt, later voorzien van een opdruk en uiteindelijk werd nieuw papier gedrukt. Tijdens de Republikeinse periode is evenals tijdens de Japanse bezetting het papier zonder opdruk doorgebruikt en vervolgens van een opdruk voorzien. Nieuw papier is niet gedrukt.


Andere belastingen
Andere belastingen, rechten en vergunningen zoals, gemeentebelasting, verkeersbelasting, slachtvergunningen en tabaksbelasting moesten ook voldaan worden


Dai Nippon Occupation Indonesia fiscal revenue collections courtecy Dai Nippon Club Nertherland






a map of Japanese occupied Sumatra with the postmarked province


and the Japanese had taken Palembang in southern Sumatra.

Likely this was one of the Hurricanes flown by the 64th Sentai. Photo was taken at Palembang in 1942, after the airfield was occupied by Kato’s group; those are Japanese ground crews lounging beneath the captured plane. The type is Hurricane IIB

The group was under the command of then-Major Kato Tateo, probably the most famous of the Japanese army’s fighter pilots.

On January 16,


on 23rd January

an attack on Palembang by twenty-seven Japanese bombers showed that the main airfield in Sumatra, P.I, could not be adequately protected.


Japanese bombers attacked Palembang, Sumatra, Dutch East Indies for the first time


  1. Click to enlarge the picture  

Since the outbreak of the Pacific War in 1941,

Japan and then trying to control natural resources, especially petroleum by attacking and controlling the occupied Dutch East Indies, including Indonesia, which was then known as the best producer of petroleum (Sumatra) where the oil produced can be directly used as fuel ships without having to go through the distillation process first.


Beginning in February 1942,


Japan started to invade the territory of Sumatra and began putting his patrol boats around the Java Sea, having previously managed to control some areas in Kalimantan and Sulawesi.


Then the Japanese overran the oil city of Palembang as a very valuable time

  • on February 13, 1942.


The next day, February 14, 1942


 history records the sinking British ship HMS Li Wo by the Japanese navy when the ship was evacuating troops from Java (another source notes that the ship HMS Li Wo was on his way from Singapore to Batavia when ditengeelamkan).


February 1942 closed with the outbreak of War of the Java Sea, where the Allied navy joined in ABDACOM (American-British-Dutch-Australian Command) was defeated by the Japanese navy. Dutch East Indies government surrendered unconditionally and surrender its colonies of Indonesia to Japan through Kalijati Agreement on March 8, 1942.



Japanese aircraft attacked Palembang, Sumatra, Dutch East Indies, destroying 34 RAF aircraft


The Japanese invasion fleet for Sumatra, Dutch East Indies departed Cam Ranh Bay, French Indo-China


360 paratroopers of Japanese 1st Airborne Division landed at Pangkalanbenteng airfield near Palembang, Sumatra, Dutch East Indies; in response, ABDA command sent 5 cruisers and 11 destroyers to transport troops to Palembang; Dutch destroyer HNLMS Van Ghent in this force ran aground on the next day and would be scuttled. Meanwhile, the British ship Vyner Brooke, escaping from Singapore with 300 on board, was bombed off Sumatra; around 100 survivors, including 22 Australian nurses, reach shore on Banka island; the men were marched away by the Japanese and bayoneted and shot, the wounded were bayoneted where they laid, and the nurses were herded into the sea and machine gunned; one, Sister Vivian Bulwinkel, was wounded but survived to tell of the atrocity; she died in 2000, aged 85.


14th February 1942,

HMS Li-Wo in action 14 Feb 1942 North of Banka Straits


HMS Li-Wo in action 14 Feb 1942 North of Banka Straits

The Sinking of HMS ‘Li-Wo’


On Wednesday 6th March 2002 I visited my niece in Cardiff. Quite casually, she handed me an A4 brown envelope saying that her grandfather (and my father) had given it to her a few years before he died. Inside, I found a 24 page photocopied letter, penned by my father, to the Imperial War Museum about the sinking of HMS ‘Li Wo’.

I have reproduced the letter below exactly as it was written.

Moyra Jones 7th March 2002

The Director

Imperial War Museum

Lambeth Rd

London S.E.1

Sunday 30/8/64


Dear Sir,

On the 14th August, this year, I visited London with my Daughter and Nephew, and took them to The Imperial War Museum.

It was a surprise, and a proud moment, and a sad one, when I saw the scale Model of H.M.S. “Li-Woo” (sic), as I am one of the few survivors of the short but epic action, North of the Banka Straits, on Sat 14th February 1942.

I feel that I must write to you, correcting much of the information about the Ship and the action that took place, between H.M.S “Li-Woo”, and a Japanese convoy and Japanese Naval Escorts.

I commented to one of the Attendants on duty, that the facts were wrong, and was advised by him, to see the Records in the Records Department, of which I did.

Which of course, after seeing them, decided to write to you, hoping most sincerely, that you will investigate most fully, the facts I intend to give.

Before I give any account, I wish to make it perfectly clear, that I seek no glory, I seek no financial gain, and I seek no publicity.

My object and reason is purely and simply this.

Ever since 5-30 P.M. Saturday 14th 1942. I have honoured and admired the memory of the Bravest Man I ever knew.

Lt. Wilkinson V.C. R.N.

This is the first time I have written to anyone about this action, as until that visit to the Imperial War Museum, I was always under the impression that the true real facts were fully known.

I wonder how many of the gun’s crew, who composed of “Prince of Wales”, and “Repulse” survivors were interviewed? Or interrogated over this action? I also wish to add, that I was never asked for an account of the action after the war had ended, and the reason why I was unable to give an account during my 3 1/2 years as a Japanese P.O.W. was simply this:-

When I was first taken P.O.W. the survivors of the “Li-Woo” were in a tempory P.O.W. Camp at Muntok, in Banka Island, with Army, Navy, R.A.F. personel, and with many civilians, of which there were many children.

I was only at that Camp, which had no real British Military Administration for a week at the most, when I escaped with Lt. Col. Daly of Dal Force Malaya, Lt. Eno, Army, Sgt. Ken Wharton, Australian Army, only to be eventually betrayed by Natives, and handed over to the Japanese, when we landed at Java.

During my captivity, the Japs never knew that we were recaptured P.O.W.s.

I deemed that discretion was the better of Valour.

I could not mention the “Li-Woo” action North of the Banka Straits, without giving myself away that I was an escaped P.O.W.

The punishment was death.

Also we were mixed with many Dutch, and Dutch Eurasians, many of the Eurasians were Pro-Jap, and would give away their own Mother.

Here now is the facts as I know them, nothing added, nothing exaggerated.

After being sunk on the “Prince of Wales” I was sent up into Malaya with:-

C.P.O. Rogers “Repulse”

Ldg/Smn Adly(sic) “Repulse”

Ldg/Smn Bennett “Repulse”

Ldg Smn Countant “Prince of Wales”.

I need not bother you about details, as it is non revelant to the “Li-Woo”, except this.

After returning to Singapore from Malaya, we were detailed to patrol the Jahore Straits in small boats. We operated from a small village opposite Paula Ubin Island.

We were recalled from there to the Orange Hotel, Thursday afternoon 12th Feb 1942.

We were then detailed to go aboard the “Li-Woo” to sail for Java.

On arrival aboard, we were detailed as Guns Crew, being that the others were Torpedo ratings, and C.P.O Rogers, a Rangetaker, I was appointed Gun Layer.

My Guns crew consisted of C.P.O Rogers, Ldg/Smn Adley, Bennett Countant, and two stoker ratings who were with us in the Jahore Straits Patrol.

We left Singapore Harbour late Thursday night Feb 12th 1942 only to drop anchor outside the Harbour.

On Friday 13th Feb 1942 we sailed for Java with the “Fu Woo” a sister ship. We were attacked many times by aircraft, and came through.

On Sat 14th Feb 1942 we dropped anchor close inshore, we were informed that we were anchoring for a while, trusting to luck that we would not be spotted by enemy aircraft, as the Captain intended to go through the 80 miles of the Banka Straits in darkness.

We were spotted by a Jap seaplane just had we got under way again.

Between 4-30. 5-0 P.M we sighted smoke on the horizon off the Port Bow. It was a convoy.

Lt Wilkingson (sic) asked if anyone could recognise if any of the warships were Jap.

Informed him that I had served two years on the China Station, 1936-1938 and was familiar with Jap warships.

He told me to come to the bridge, and then handed me his telescope.

I saw one Jap light cruiser and two Jap destroyers, without looking for any more, I told him they were Japanese.

He then asked me if I had any doubt, I told him “none whatever”.

The convoy was about 10 mile away, and I was told to report back to the gun.

Captain Wilkingson’s words to us was this:-

“A Jap convoy is ahead, I am going to attack it, we will take as many of those Jap Bastards, as possible, with us.

Those words I will never forget, they have always been fixed clearly in my mind.


My report to him was this.




He replied :- “Gunlayer, is that all the ammunition you have”?

I answered :- “Yes Sir”, thirteen shells in all, plus three practice shell.”

How or why 13 practice shells came into it, I don’t know, all I can assume is this.

Possibly, it was because for most of the crew, it was their first taste of action, and I know the effect it has on many.

Admitted there was thrteen shells, but they were 6. S.A.P. 4 GRAZE FUSE and 3. A.A.

I do not class a practice shell as shell for action.

Do you think that I can ever forget that moment.

The hopelessness of knowing that I had only six shells that could do any damage, and realising that two shells would probably be wasted before we found the range and target.

The “Li Woo’s” Gunnery Officer joined us, Captain Wilkinson’s name is the only one I remember.

The Gunnery Officer was Ginger headed, I believe he was a New Zealander.

I had a hurried conference with him, and said to him :-

“Look Sir, I have only six shells that can do any damage, four that can do harm if we fire at the super structure as anti personel shells, then our last hope is to set the A.A. shells at Fuse 2 and hope for the best.”

I also pointed out, that unless we were lucky with our first shot, as all we had was “Gunlayers Control”, “Gunlayers Firing”, with no range Finder and no Inclanometre to help, we might waste two shells at least, before we were on target, should we use the practice shells as our ranging shots?”

He paused for a moment, then replied: “it might be a good idea, but then again it might not, as if we can get in close enough, and we find our target, it is a wasted effort.” I received the order to load with S.A.P.

Approx. half an hour later we engaged the enemy.

Our selected target was a transport of between four to five thousand tons.

At an estimated range of four thousand yards, deflection six left, we opened fire.

The first shell was over target.

I ordered, “Fixed Sight, Rapid Salvos.” I know that at least three of our remaining five S.A.P. shells, were bang on target, as fire broke out on her immediately.

Soon she was blazing furiously. In less than two minutes our ammunition was expended.

Captain Wilkinson selected another target, the ship nearest to him, about 800 tons and deliberately rammed and sank it.

We were now among the Jap convoy, helpless, drifting, and no ammo.

I will never forget another hero of this action, a man unknown, unsung, unpraised.

An R.A.F. sargeant who manned the Vickers Lewis Gun, from the time the ship left Singapore, to when the “Li Woo” sank.

It was his deadly accurate fire, that wipe (sic) out the four man gun’s crew aboard the Jap transport we rammed.

The enemy’s gun was about 30 to 40 M.Metre. It was this gun that caused our first casualties.

I myself was wounded in the chest. The R.A.F. Sargent then swept the bridge and decks with his deadly fire, killing many.

He then opened up on another transport about 200 yards away.

The Jap convoy cleared away from us, and we came under fire from the Jap warships.

It was a fearful experience as it took the Japs five to ten minutes to find our range, their gunnery was lousy, and the noise of their shells whistling overhead, always expecting the next one to land inboard, knowing that we had to just sit there and take it, and and the helplessness of not being able to do anything about it.

When they eventually found our range, it was all over.

The “Li-Woo” listed to Starboard and sank stern first.

When we survivors were swimming in the water, the Japs transports closed in. I myself was on one of two rafts which for safety we had tied together. The transports came towards us, and picked up their own survivors, we were then under the impression when they came slowly at us that they were going to pick us up as well.

But we were in for a shock. They came right at us and deliberately rammed us but we realise just before, what their intentions were, and hastily dived into the sea.

With my own eyes, and there are times when the memory of it is most vivid, I saw that transport go among a group of survivors, and mamouver amongst them with churning screws, killing at least a dozen.

It was only the sudden darkness that saved us.

We succeeded in regaining the rafts, and all night we could see the transport we set on fire blazing fiercely.

The following afternoon,

Sunday 15th Feb

 we were picked up by other survivors who were in a boat, with a sail and oars.

It was badly holed, and the gunwales was four inches above the water.

It was only its buoyancy tanks keeping it afloat.

Just after sunrise on Monday

100 additional Japanese paratroopers arrived at Palembang, Sumatra, Dutch East Indies, helping with the securing oil refineries and other facilities. 200 kilometers to the south, British troop transport Ocrades arrives at Oosthaven with 3,400 Australian troops, but the ship would continue on to Java without disembarking the troops. North of Palembang, Japanese troops disembarked at the mouth of the Musi River; the British RAF interfered by attacking the landing with over 50 aircraft, sinking 20 landing craft and killing 100 Japanese. Finally, in the Bangka Strait, Japanese naval gunfire sank British tug HMS Yin Ping; 50 were killed, 25 survived17 Feb 1942


16th Feb, 1942,

we were washed ashore.

My shipmate C.P.O Rogers was in the sailing boat.

We seemed to separate in groups, just aimlessly walking around the Island, there were four of us in the group I was in, C.P.O Rogers was one of them.

Late that afternoon we ran into a Jap patrol and was taken prisioner.

A few days later I met L/Smn Adley, and Bennett, they also had run into a Jap patrol, but were not so fortunate as we were.

The Jap patrol opened fire on them, L/Smn Adley was shot in the arm, and Ldg/ Smn Bennett was bayonetted.

That is my story, nothing added, nothing exaggerated.

My one intention, and the only reason why I have written this down, is that the facts should be known, in fact must be known to all, the courage and bravery, and the great achievement accomplished by Lt. Wilkingson V.C. of H.M.S Li-Woo, on Saturday 14th February 1942, against tremendous odds.

I was on the gun deck, during the short journey from Singapore to the end of the “Li-Woo”.

I was the Gunlayer. I will state most emphatically, that to the best of my knowledge, there was no member of the “Li-Woo s” original crew, a member of that gun’s crew.

How can a practise shell cause a transport vessel to burst into flames?

Sunday afternoon we could see her, an abandoned, floating, blackened wreck, smoking slightly.

Do you think it possible?

I will willingly travel to London and undergo any interrogation you wish to put me through. But please, I beg of you, please see that “Lt. Wilkingson V.C. gets the credit that is due to him.

Is this too much to ask, for a man who made the Supreme Sacrifice, and who won the Highest Award that his Country could bestow upon him?

It was my intention after seeing the model of the “Li-Woo” to get in touch with C.P.O. Rogers. I believe that he resides at Bristol, but for the time being, I have decided against it, so that you can have the opportunity to check my story, without any collusion between C.P.O. Rogers or any one else, with me.

I swear to you on oath, that since the war ended, I have not seen or communicated with any of the “Li-Woo” survivors.

There is a lot more details, small ones, that I can give you, but, my aim is, as I have stated previously, Let “Lt Wilkingson V.C. have the just credit due to him, and the facts put right.

Yours sincerely,

T.H. Parsons

E/34 Room

Chace Guildhouse

London Rd


Late Leading Seaman T.H.PARSONS



Follow up



01-219 4166


The Rt Hon. James Callaghan, MP. 8th January 1986


Dear Mr Parsons,

Thank you for your letter with the account of your service in the Far East during the last war. First, allow me to congratulate you on the determination and courage you showed throughout the period.

I will readily take up the matter up with the Ministry of Defence in order to secure a statement from the Admiralty that you took part in the “Li-Wo” action but will not do so until you have been to see me in Cardiff on 18th January, at the offices of the GMBATU, 17 Newport Road, between 10.00 and 11.00 a.m.

I shall look forward to seeing you then, when we can discuss any additional points that need to be put forward.

Yours sincerely,

(Signed Jim Callaghan)


This is to certify



On the 14th February 1942

took part in the action when his Majesty’s Patrol Ship

LI-WO whilst on patrol duty off Singapore, gallantly

engaged the superior forces of the enemy, inflicting

significant damage on a convoy of troopships before being

sunk by a Japanese cruiser. The heroism and self sacrifice

of the many who died and the few who survived were in the

highest traditions of the Royal Navy.

George Younger





February 15, 1942.

Battle of Singapore, British Surrender. Lt.-Gen. Yamashita (seated, centre) thumps the table with his fist to emphasize his terms — unconditional surrender. Lt.-Gen. Percival sits between his officers, his clenched hand to his mouth. (Photo from Imperial War Museum)


Japanese carrier aircraft from Ryujo sank Dutch destroyer HMNS Van Nes, escorting Dutch troopship Sloet van Beele, in the Bangka Strait; 69 were killed, 60 survived

By 18th February,

 the evacuation from Sumatra to Java of air force pilots and ground staff had been completed and more than 10,000 men belonging to different units, and in a great state of confusion, had arrived in the island.

To add to the difficulties of the situation, the civilians in Java, who up till the landing of the Japanese on Singapore Island had shown calmness and confidence, now began to give way to despair and were soon crowding on to any vessel they could find which would take them away from a country they regarded as lost.

The confusion brought about by the mass of outgoing refugees and incoming reinforcements is more easily imagined than described, and the scenes enacted a few days before in Singapore were reproduced on an even larger scale in Batavia. Equipment, motor transport, abandoned cars, goods of every size, description and quality, littered its choked quays, and still troops and air force ground staff poured in, hungry, disorganized and, for the moment, useless. Inevitably their spirits and discipline suffered, and the climax was reached when it became necessary to disband one half-trained unit.

These few were the only men for whom the burden proved insupportable. The rest rose gallantly to their hopeless task and under the stimulus of Air Vice-Marshal Maltby and Air Commodore W. E. Staton, overcame the chaotic circumstances of their lot and in less than twelve days were ready to renew a hopeless contest.

The fighter strength available had, by the 18th, been reduced to twenty-five Hurricanes, of which eighteen were serviceable.

The bomber and reconnaissance squadrons were in equally desperate case. At Semplak airfield, twelve Hudsons, and at Kalidjati, six Blenheims, sought to sustain the war. Behind them, No. 153 Maintenance Unit and No. 81 Repair and Salvage Unit, together with No. 41 Air Stores Park, did what they could to provide and maintain a ground organization. On 19th February all the Blenheims available, to the number of five, attacked Japanese shipping at Palembang in Sumatra, and this attack was repeated

 on the 20th and 21st,

a 10,000 ton ship being set on fire.

On the 19th and 22ndFebruary 1942

 the Japanese delivered two ripostes at Semplak which proved fatal. Of the dwindling force of bomber aircraft, fifteen were destroyed. Yet even after this crushing blow the Air Force still had some sting

 left. On 23rd February,

 three Blenheims claimed to have sunk a Japanese submarine off the coast.

By then the hopes originally entertained by Wavell and the Chiefs of Staff in London of building up the strength of the Allies in Java had been abandoned; Supreme Allied Headquarters had left the island and handed over to the Dutch Command, to which henceforward the remains of the Air Force looked for guidance and orders.

They came from General ter Poorten, who had as his Chief of Air Staff, Major General van Oyen. Under the swiftly developing menace of invasion, these officers, with Maltby and General H. D. W. Sitwell, made what preparations they could to maintain the defence. Despite the encouraging messages which they received about this time from the Prime Minister, the Secretary of State for Air and the Chief of the Air Staff, Maltby and Sitwell knew that no help from the outside could be expected for a long time.

General ter Poorten had under him some 25,000 regular troops backed up by a poorly armed militia numbering 40,000. Sitwell could count only upon a small number of British troops, two Australian infantry battalions, four squadrons of light tanks and three antiaircraft regiments, of which the 21st Light accounted for some thirty Japanese aircraft before the end came. On the sea, Admiral Dorman commanded a small mixed force of which the main units were a British, an Australian, an American and two Dutch cruisers.

No breathing space for the organization of these inadequate and ill-armed forces was afforded by the enemy.


On 26th February,

 a Japanese convoy, numbering more than fifty transports with a strong naval escort, was discovered by air reconnaissance to be moving through the Macassar Strait southwards towards the Java Sea.

On the next day, Admiral Dorman put out to meet it. Hopelessly outgunned and outnumbered he fought a most gallant action and lost his entire fleet, a sacrifice which secured a respite of twenty-four hours. Subsequent to the naval battle the Air Force attacked twenty-eight ships of the convoy eventually found north of Rembang

by No. 1 Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force,

 being close to the runway, were taken off under fire and reached a nearby airfield at Andir. Kalidjati had fallen; a small ground defence party composed of Army and Air Force officers and men, ably supported by the local Dutch defence force, fought with great gallantry to defend it and died to the last man.

Their efforts were, however, of no avail, for they had been surprised by the swift move of the Japanese who, after landing at Eretanwetan in the early hours of that morning, had encountered no opposition on the ground either on the beaches or at the various strong points covering the river crossings.

The fact was that by then conditions in Java were too confused and desperate to make further defence anything but local and spasmodic.

Nevertheless the Air Force struggled on for a few more days. Nos. 232 and 605 (Fighter) Squadrons had remained in action from

the 17th to 27th February

 doing their utmost to conduct the air defence of Batavia. The normal odds which they were required to meet were about ten to one and they had little warning of the approach of enemy aircraft.

Their task would have been eased and might, perhaps, have been successfully accomplished had they received as reinforcements the P.40 fighters carried on the U.S. aircraft carrier Langley.

 After considerable delays this ship had been ordered to sail for the Javanese port of Tjilitjap. She set out on what was a forlorn hope and as soon as she came within range of Japanese bomber and torpedo aircraft based on Kendari in the Celebes, she was attacked and sunk.

By noon on 28th February

the total strength of the fighters was less than that of a single squadron, but still the hopeless fight continued. It was decided to retain No. 232 Squadron, under the command of Squadron Leader Brooker, since all its pilots and ground staff had volunteered to remain in Java. Vacancies were filled by volunteers from No. 605 and on 1st March the reconstructed squadron, in the company of ten Dutch Kittyhawks and six Dutch Buffalos, all that remained of a most gallant and skilled Air Force which had been in constant action

on the night of the 28th February.

 It was in this action, in which a small force of American Fortresses took part, that Squadron Leader Wilkins, the outstanding commander of No. 36 Squadron, was killed. The squadron claimed to have sunk eight ships; the Americans, seven.

Feb-March, 1942: HMAS BURNIE – last ship to leave Sumatra, second last to leave Java. Photostream acquisition.

4238. Built at Mort’s Dock, Balmain [Sydney] on the British Admiralty’s account, and commissioned on April 10, 1941, HMAS BURNIE had been one of the small and gallant band of RAN corvettes that remained behind to pick up rearguards and stragglers as the Dutch East Indies fell to the advancing might of Japan in early 1942.

With powerful Japanese units all around them, they and a group of Dutch ships, including the minesweeper ABRAHAM CRIJNSSEN see pic Nos 985-6], had run the gauntlet of the circling enemy to safely reach Australia, an escape that the sloop HMAS YARRA and two her convoy charges [see preceding entry] had tragically failed to make. Pic NO. 985, showing ABRAHAM CRIJNSSEN disguising herself with vegeatation as an island, is here:

From Feb. 18-20, 1942

during the evacuation of Sumatra, HMAS BURNIE had stood off Oosthaven where, after laying demolition charges, she had embarked the rearguards and taken them to Tanjong Priok. She was the last Allied ship to leave Sumatra. On the way out at Java Head she and HMAS BENDIGO rescued survivors from the torpedoed Dutch ship BOERO and carried them to Tjilatjap.

Subsequently, with Commodore John Collins, RAN, and the former captain of HMS PRINCE OF WALES, Captain Leonard Bell, RN, embarked, BURNIE was also, with HMAS BALLARAT, one of the last two ships to get out of Java [see preceding entries]. BALLARAT had turned back to scuttle the small and unserviceable British minesweeper HMS GEMAS that had turned up just as they were leaving Harbour, and embarked her crew. Thus BALLARAT became to last ship to leave Java.

BURNIE was later with the British pacific Fleet at Okinawa. After the war, moving to Royal Navy control in 1946, she was sold to the Royal Netherlands Navy, and was re-named CERAM. She was finally decommissioned in 1958.

a Dutch ship called the SS Rooseboom that sailed from Padang on the island of Java 

on 26th February 1942,

 bound for Columbo in what was then Ceylon. Padang was, at that time, the last port on the official escape route for Allied troops and civilians from Singapore and Malaya. 



Dai Nippon Syonanto(Singapore) Postalhistory

including Sumatra area(1942-1943)

Singapore Postal History(Sumatra under Dai Nippon center Singapore)





March 1942



On 1 March 1942 at 11.35pm the Rooseboom was steaming west of Sumatra


On 1 March 1942 at 11.35pm

 the Rooseboom was steaming west of Sumatra when it was spotted by the Japanese submarine I-59 and torpedoed. It capsized and sank rapidly leaving one life boat (designed to hold 28) and 135 people in the water. 80 people were in the lifeboat the rest clung to flotsam or floated in the sea. Two of these survivors, one of whom was a Corporal Walter Gibson, were picked up nine days later by the Dutch freighter Palopo. Until the end of the Second World War they were assumed to be the only survivors. Sadly, Robert Kingshott did not survive and his body was never recovered. The reason that I mention Walter Gibson, is that he wrote an account of his survival which demonstrates the conditions he, and others, endured in the days following the sinking.


According to Gibson in and around the lifeboat were an estimated 135 survivors, many with injuries, including Gibson himself who was in the lifeboat due to those injuries. By the time the boat had drifted for more than 1,000 miles, to ground on a coral reef, less than 100 miles from Padang, Rooseboom’s starting point, only five of its 80 passengers remained alive, and one of those drowned in the surf while trying to land.


In Gibson’s account the ordeal that followed the sinking showed the worst of human nature under some of the most extreme conditions. On the first night many of those in the water drowned or gave up. Some twenty men built a raft from flotsam and towed it behind the boat. The raft slowly sank and all twenty perished three days later. In the first few days discipline collapsed men and women went mad with thirst, some drinking sea water which sent them into hallucinations. Many threw themselves overboard rather than face further suffering, and a gang of five renegade soldiers positioned themselves in the bows and at night systematically pushed the weaker survivors overboard to make the meagre rations go further. Gibson claims to have organized an attack on the renegades with a group of others who rushed them and pushed them en masse into the sea. Brigadier Paris died, hallucinating before he fell into his final coma. The Dutch captain was killed by one of his own engineers. Towards the end Gibson realized that all who remained alive were himself, another white man, a Chinese girl named Doris Lin (who turned out to be a secret agent for the British) and four Javanese seamen. That night the Javanese attacked the other white man and started to eat him alive. Later the oldest Javanese died.


The lifeboat eventually landed on Sipora, an island off Sumatra and only 100 miles from Padang, where the Rooseboom started its journey 30 days earlier. One of the Javanese seaman drowned in the surf whilst the other two disappeared into the jungle and have never been found. After a period of being treated by some of the local population Doris Lin and Gibson were discovered by a Japanese patrol. Gibson was returned to Padang as a prisoner of war while Lin was shot as a spy soon afterwards. 


It is not clear at what point Robert died, but I would hope that his death was quick and as painless as possible.


Robert was my 5th cousin once removed

Soyrce: Jan Brian Kingshot

On the 1st March 1942 she was scuttled on the coast of Madura oppositeon march ist at the coast madura

By 1st March1942,

 the position became clear enough after the confusion of the previous two days. The convoy which No. 36 Squadron had attacked was one of three all making for Java. What remained of the Blenheims and Hudsons after the bombing of Semplak, took off from Kalidjati whither they had been transferred, and did their best to interfere with the Japanese landing at Eretanwetan, some eighty miles from Batavia.

They went in again and again, some pilots being able to make three sorties, and accounted for at least three and possibly eight ships, but they could not prevent the landing.

By dawn on 1st March

the bomber crews, who had operated almost without a break for thirty-six hours, were approaching the limit of endurance.

 Hardly had they dispersed, however, to seek the rest which had at last been given them, when the Dutch squadrons sharing their airfield left without notice.

The Dutch aircraft had just disappeared into the clear morning air when a squadron of Japanese light tanks, supported by lorry-borne infantry, made their appearance.

 The exhausted pilots of No. 84 Squadron, who had by then reached their billets eight miles away, had no time to return to their aircraft, which were in consequence all destroyed or captured; but the last four Hudsons possessed



beside the Royal Air Force, attacked the Japanese, who were engaged on two new landings begun that night at Eretanwetan.

 Despite intense anti-aircraft fire, twelve Hurricanes went in low and inflicted heavy losses on Japanese troops in barges and set on fire six small sloops and three tanks. They also caused a certain number of casualties and a certain amount of damage to the Japanese troops going ashore at another point on the west coast of Java.

Though the Royal Air Force could hamper the landings and increase their cost in terms of casualties, they could not prevent them, and the next day saw the Hurricanes pinned to their airfield at Tjililitan, whence they were withdrawn with some difficulty to Andir, near Bandoeng. During the withdrawal they maintained a running fight with Japanese fighters.

The last remnants of the Air Force maintained the fight for another three days, attacking the newly captured airfield at Kalidjati

Robert is recorded as dying “at sea”

 on 2nd March 1942.

Robert William George Kingshott was a Warrant Officer Class II with 7 Coast Regiment, Royal Artillery. His service number was 840146.



on the nights of the 3rd, 4th and 5th March.

These assaults were made by the remaining Vildebeests of No. 36 (Torpedo Bomber) Squadron, of which only two were serviceable when the end came. On the morning of the 6th, they were ordered to seek the dubious safety of Burma, but both crashed in Sumatra and were lost. At the same time the gallant remnant of No. 1 Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force, took its three remaining Hudsons to Australia.

In Java, as in Malaya, the attitude of the local white population contributed in no small measure to the swift and overwhelming disaster. The feelings of the Dutch in Java can best be described as those of confused despair.

The island on which they lived and from which they drew the source of their great wealth had been at peace for many generations.

Now, the prospect of the destruction by fire and high explosive of all that had been built up and handed on to them from the past stared them in the face and their hearts misgave them. If any great show of resistance were to be made, Surabaya and Bandoeng would burn.

Why then make it, when the chances of success were infinitesimal? When it is remembered that the chief Far Eastern bastion of an ally far stronger than they were had fallen after a bare fortnight’s siege, their attitude is understandable.

 It was, however, responsible for the grim scenes which were enacted during the last few hours of resistance. ‘I was in command that morning’, records an officer of the Royal Air Force writing of the events of the last day, ‘of a big convoy with all the remaining spare arms, ammunition and such-like equipment of the Royal Air Force in Java. We practically had to fight our way through the mess to prevent the lorries being forcibly stopped, and get them, according to our orders, up on to the hill roads where we understood—poor mutts—that at last we would have another go at the Nips’.

The surrender of Java was thus a foregone conclusion as soon as the Japanese had set firm foot upon the island.

Nevertheless it took place in circumstances which, to say the least of it, showed little consideration towards the armed forces, ill-armed and ill-prepared though they were.

On 5th March,

 ter Poorten convened a conference in Bandoeng which was attended, amongst others, by Maltby and the Army Commander, Sitwell. At this meeting, the Dutch Commander-in-Chief painted a picture of the situation which could not  have been more gloomy.

 Bandoeng, he said, might fall at any moment, and if its outer defences were pierced, he did not propose to defend the town.

 The native Indonesians were very hostile to the Dutch and this hostility made it quite impossible to retire to the hills and there carry on a guerilla war. Nevertheless, though he himself was prepared to surrender, he would, he said, issue orders to the local Dutch commanders to maintain the fight.

He had, he averred, instructed his troops not only to do so, but also to disregard any order which he might be compelled to issue calling upon them to lay down their arms.

 In the event, when discussing the final terms of surrender with General Maruyama, the Japanese Commander-in-Chief, the Dutch Commander subsequently withdrew this order to disobey orders.

The attitude of ter Poorten does not seem to have been shared by General Schilling, commanding at Batavia, who was prepared to emulate the selfless gallantry of Admiral Dorman, but who did not possess enough weight to influence the general situation.

 After some discussion, the Dutch Commander-in-Chief was induced to name an area north of Santosa as the spot where British forces should concentrate for a final stand, but he made no secret of his opinion that to do so would be folly or worse.

That grim evening, therefore, Maltby and Sitwell were brought face to face with the imminence of disaster. One slender hope remained. General Schilling, who had not been present at the conference, was understood to favour a retreat to the hills in south-west Java whither, it was said, he had already been able to transfer a certain quantity of stores and ammunition with the courageous intention of prolonging resistance.

Hardly had this faint flame been kindled, when it expired. Ter Poorten made any such move impossible by making Schilling responsible for the defence of Bandoeng while at the same time issuing orders that it was not to be defended, and forbidding any further fighting.

The two British officers took what counsel they could together. The surrender of some of those under their command, those for example at the airfield of Andir, was inevitable.

Andir was part of Bandoeng which had been declared an open town, and the officers and other ranks at Poerwokerta had neither rations nor arms. Their position was, in the circumstances, hopeless. For the rest, Santosa seemed to offer the only chance but, when reconnoitred, it was found to be quite unsuitable for defence and to be inhabited by Dutchmen who had obviously no intention of continuing the struggle.

Throughout this confused period, matters were further complicated by the efforts made to evacuate as many men of the Royal Air Force as could be got away. They left from Poerwokerta, priority of passage being accorded to aircrews and technical staff.


 By 5th March

seven out of twelve thousand had been taken off, but by then no more ships were available for they had all been sunk and about 2,500 of the air force awaiting evacuation were therefore left stranded in the transit camp.

In these attempts to send away as many skilled men as possible the Dutch gave but little help.

They could not be brought to realize that our airmen were quite unpractised as soldiers and would be of far greater value playing their part as trained members of an aircrew or as technicians on the ground, in some other theatre of war, than they would be trying, without arms or food, to stage a last stand.

Santosa being unsuitable, about 8,000 mixed English and Australian forces, of whom some 1,300 belonged to the Royal Air Force, were concentrated at Garoet; here, too, the Dutch District Civil Administrator, Koffman, proved unsympathetic.

 He feared what he described as ‘a massacre of the whites’ if any guerrilla warfare were attempted, and made no effort to collect supplies or to give any aid to the British forces which had so inconveniently arrived in his district. They were by then in a sorry plight and by then, too, the last embers of resistance in the air had expired.


 By 7th March,

 only two undamaged Hurricanes were left and on that day these, the last representatives of a fighter force which, during the campaign in Sumatra and Java, had accounted for about forty aircraft, their own losses amounting to half as much again, were destroyed.

On the next day, 8th, Match 1942

came the inevitable climax. About 9 a.m., to their great astonishment, the British commanders received a translation of a broadcast, made an hour previously by ter Poorten, in which he said that all organized resistance in Java had ceased, and that the troops under his command were no longer to continue the fight.

The Dutch land forces, in striking contrast to their Navy and Air Force, had capitulated almost without a struggle. They felt themselves to be no match for the Japanese.

This broadcast revoked all previous decisions and was ter Poorten’s final word. Maltby and Sitwell were placed in an impossible position.

 A decision of decisive import had been taken and promulgated without reference to them.

If, however, they decided to disregard it, their troops, should they continue the struggle, would, under international law, be subject to summary execution when captured. They had few arms, and what there were, were in the hands of men untrained to them; they were surrounded by a hostile native populace, with little food and, for drinking, they had nothing but contaminated water.

 In such conditions and with medicine-chests empty, they were in no state to carry on the fight. Moreover their whereabouts and intentions were well known to the enemy.

 In these circumstances, the two commanders had no alternative but to comply with the Dutch Commander-in-Chief’s order to surrender. Four days later they negotiated terms with the Japanese commander in Bandoeng, Lieutenant General Maruyama. He undertook to treat all prisoners in accordance with the terms of the Geneva Convention of 1929.

How they subsequently fared can be gathered from a description of the arrival in Batavia two years later of a contingent which had been sent to one of the numerous islands of the Malayan archipelago, there to work on airfields.

 It has been set down by a squadron leader, once a Member of Parliament, who survived the horrors of Java, horrors which were repeated in Malaya, in Siam, in Korea, in Japan—anywhere where the Japanese were in control of unarmed and defenceless men—and is one of the few printable pages of a diary kept intermittently during his captivity and hidden from his gaolers:

Of all the sights thatI would like to forget [he writes]I think I would put first some of these returning island drafts being driven into Batavia . . . Imagine a series of barbed wire compounds in the dark with ourselves a gathering furtive stream of all races East and West, in every kind of clothing or none; here an old tunic in rags with a pair of cut down pyjama trousers, there a blanketed shivering malaria case or someone with night-blindness groping along with a stick, blundering over gypsy bundles of still sleeping prisoners.

 At the side runs a camp road with one high floodlight and all of us waiting to see if any of our friends have made the grade and returned.

At last a long procession of stooping figures creeps down the road with jabbering Nips cracking at their shins with a rifle or the flat of a sword. Most of them half naked, and they leading those going blind with pellagra.

Others shambling along with their feet bound up in lousy rags over tropical sores (not our little things an inch across but real horrors), legs swollen up or half paralysed with beri-beri, enormous eyes fallen into yellow crumpled faces like aged gnomes.

 And then a search—God knows what for after months in a desert and weeks at sea. Some Jap would rush up and down hurling anything any of them still possessed all over the place, while as sure as the clock, the dreadful hopeless rain would begin again like a lunatic helplessly fouling his bed.

 Everything swilling into the filthy racing storm gutters; men trying to reach out and rescue a bit of kit and being picked up and hurled bodily back into the ranks; others clutching hold of a wife’s photo or suchlike souvenir of home, small hope for the Nips always liked pinching and being obscene about a woman’s picture.

And at last after two or three hours when everyone was soaking and shivering with cold, the dreary, hunted column would crawl down the road out of the patch of light where the great atlas moths disputed with the bats, away into an isolation compound, with no light, no food, no knowledge of where to find a tap or latrine, with wet bedding or none at all.

The Nips would disappear laughing and cackling back to bed, we faded away to our floor space and all was quiet again; and the evening or the morning was the eight or nine hundredth day and God no doubt saw that it was good.

In few respects does a nation show itself in its true colours more clearly than in its treatment of enemies who have the misfortune to fall into its hands.

 To describe as bestial the behaviour of the Japanese towards their prisoners of war of whatever race or rank is an insult to the animal world.

Of the thousands of Royal Air Force and Royal Australian Air Force officers and airmen who fell into Japanese hands in Malaya, Sumatra, Java and later Burma, 3,462 only were found alive, after due retribution had fallen from the skies above Hiroshima upon the sons of Nippon.

Not by any means all the Air Force was captured in Java. Some, as has been related, were successfully taken by ship to Australia, and a small number to Ceylon. By a combination of good fortune and stern courage a still smaller number escaped.

 Of these, the most remarkable was Wing Commander J. R. Jeudwine, commanding No. 84 Squadron, which it will be recalled lost the last of its Blenheims at the capture of Kalidjati.

Such pilots and ground staff as remained had been sent to the port of Tjilitjap, there to be taken by ship to Australia.

 No ship, however, was forthcoming; the port was in flames, and the ‘Scorpion’, the only seaworthy vessel to be found, was a ship’s lifeboat capable of holding at most twelve.

To try to avoid capture by taking to the woods and jungles near the shore there to await rescue by submarine offered a slender chance.

To seek that help in an open boat seemed certain death. Jeudwine and ten others chose this course and boarded the ‘Scorpion’. Flying Officer C. P. L. Streatfield alone knew the elements of sailing; Pilot Officer S. G. Turner could handle a sextant and was chosen as navigator; the remainder of the crew was made up of another officer and seven Australian sergeants.

On the evening of 7th March,

they put to sea, bound for Australia which the navigator calculated would take sixteen days. It took forty-seven. Through all that time they never lost heart, though as day after day passed in blazing sun or torrential rain, the chances of reaching land grew smaller and smaller.

They played games, held competitions, but found ‘that the mental exercise made us very hungry and that talking and arguing brought on thirst’. Saturday night at sea was kept religiously, a ration of liquor being issued, which was found on closer investigation to be a patent cough cure.

 Their worst experience was the visit paid to them by a young whale, about twice the size of the ‘Scorpion’, who came to rest lying in a curve with its tail under the boat.

 ‘Eventually it made off, and when we had regained the power of movement, we passed round a bottle of Australian “3 Star” Brandy . . . after which we did not care if we saw elephants, pink or otherwise, flying over us in tight formation’. At long last, they sighted land near Frazer Islet, were found by a Catalina flying boat of the United States Navy, and taken to Perth. An American submarine sent at once to Java found no sign of their comrades.

Such men as these typify the spirit of the less fortunate who had fought to the end in circumstances which, from the very beginning, made victory impossible, and even prolonged defence out of the question. It was through no fault of theirs that they did not accomplish more.

The straits to which they were reduced, flying unsuitable aircraft in the worst conditions, were soon reproduced on the same scale farther north. How the Air Force fared in the first campaign of Burma must now be told

8th March 1942

Status of land still owned Sultanate fortress, but the de facto held by the Dutch government. Because of the strong Dutch influence the Sultanate party can not do much in overcoming the problem of possession of the fort. Until finally the Japanese Army troops occupied the fort in 1942 after the Dutch surrendered to the Japanese with marked with kalijati Agreement in March 1942 in West Java.


On Sumatra, Dutch East Indies, Japanese troops landed at Sabang at 0235 hours, Koetaradja at 0330 hours, Idi at 0540, and Laboehanroekoe at 0700 hours. They would capture the airfield at Medan in the morning





16th March 1942





The postal service in Singapore re-opened on 16th March 1942,

Japanese Occupation of Malaya

a display by Susan McEwen  17th January 2009

Susan’s display comprised three rounds, with a great deal of interest during the viewing. Some pictures of the display below are followed by some notes from Susan with scans and notes about five items.




A display of this subject needs to start with an expression of our respect to those who endured the occupation, and lived through that difficult time.  Philatelically it was a time of Overprints, provisional postmarks and a lack of documentation which means we have to rely on the material for information.  Work by previous collectors is much appreciated and acknowledged.

Approach for the display:

Topics of interest to me, which hopefully hang together to tell the story of the Occupation.  Covering the stamp, postal history, postal stationery and Revenues of the occupation.

A full report will appear in the May edition of the Newsletter.

Meanwhile here are a few scans and notes relating to them.

1.      The postal service in Singapore re-opened on 16th March 1942, this card shows Double frame chops to convert it to Occupation use, posted 17th March  2nd day.

2.      Cover to show issued Single frame chop stamps and a ‘Request’ stamp, the 6c red. The Japanese would convert on request some, but not all, pre-occupation stamps to Japanese use by handstamping them with SFC, at a charge of the face value of the stamp.  Surely only philatelists would bother to have stamps converted in this way, someone just wanting to post a letter could buy a stamp at face value, rather than take his own stamps for converting.

3.      Photo postcard, endorsed on the back ‘Parade through Market Street Bentong, Pahang’  can anyone confirm the location ?


4.      Straits stamps converted to Occupation use with Single frame chops, in red, used at Medan in the  Japanese Occupied East Indies.  Initially the Sumatra part of DEI was administered from Singapore,  later  when Sumatra had its own postal administration Japanese-Malayan stamps were still accepted.

5.      Most of the post during the occupation was within the peninsular of Malaya.  This cover is from Singapore (CDS SYONAN 17.5.17)to Sarawak.  The note ‘In Romanise’ means the letter is written in Romanised Malay, not Jawi, and is information for the censor.

. Digest of operations

17th – 19th March 1942

Preparations for the assault on Batavia continue. Several BB taskforces have bombarded the port, causing widespread damage on military facilities. Collateral damage is minimal, due to selective targeting. The worlds leading battleship – the Yamato – has joined in the attacks.

Teloekbetoeng on nearby Sumatra was also bombarded by several taskforces. CA’s Mogami and Chokai report excellent gunnery and considerable damage to the colonial defenders.

Pomala in the Celebes fell on the 18th. A starving Dutch occupying force readily laid down their arms.

On the Kokoda track near Port Moresby, a large detachment of Australian troops surrendered early in the afternoon on March 19th. The remainder of the Port Moresby brigade have been located nearby and are likely to be rounded up shortly.

Headline Japan Times:-


March,22th 1942

By 22 Mar,

 the Japanese had routed many Dutch resistance pockets, while Muslim uprisings, sparked by the Japanese invasion, seriously hampered Dutch efforts. The Muslim rebels were threatening civilian evacuation columns at every opportunity, while providing every piece of intelligence they gathered to the Japanese. Morale soon plummeted, and desertions became more frequent across all resistance groups.




22 March 1942

A military spokesman for Southeast Asia Command announced this evening that Batavia, last significant Allied stronghold in the Dutch East Indies, has fallen to the Japanese.

 Under constant air, sea and land bombardment for the last two weeks the postition of the defenders had been adjudged all but hopeless and had been anticipated as likely to occur at any time. “The troops fought on inspite of having no reasonable expectation of relief or rescue and thereby imposed a decisive delay in the enemy’s timetable of conquest.”

The garrison of slightly under 20,000 was composed of mostly Dutch forces but contained small contingents of British and Australian troops. Well over 100,000 enemy troops were involved in the final assault.

A small taste of what is to come saw Allied heavy bombers based in India smashing at a Japanese column advancing in North Burma and at their main supply base in Mandalay.

At Mandalay several enemy aircraft were destroyed on the ground and numerous supply dumps were seen to explode and burn furiously.

The enemy column hit the previous day lost a large number of tanks to the bombers. Neither attack was seriously opposed in the air by Japanese aircraft.

At sea two days ago, Allied ships damaged a Japanese submarine approxiamately 100 miles WSW of Ceylon. A large oil slick was observed before contact was broken off.

Operations between 20th to 22nd March 1942



After several further BB bombardments, elements from a numer of elite infantry divisions stormed Batavia

on the morning of the 22nd.

Facing only light resistance, first the Chinese then the European districts were taken within several hours. By early afternoon, the Dutch high command signalled a request for cessation of hostilities. It is estimated that well over twenty thousand prisoners of war have been taken. However it is understood that leading members of ABDA had alreadly fled the beleaguered enclave.

Kokoda trial

All remaining Port Moresby garrison units have been rounded up, after only minor skirmishes.


Several Chinese divisions were routed

on the 21st March.

 These units were thought to be fleeing Nanning, however after a short battle some 60 miles to the NW of the city, they were last observed retreating back to the city, in some disorder.


With the fall of Java, Batavia is to be renamed Jakarta
Furthermore Singapore is to be renamed Syonan (Light of the South)

Heavy armour enters Jakarta (formerly Batavia)

This was the last known photo of him before taken prison March 1942!

Gerrit Hendrik Schuppers
I am trying to reconstruct the war history of my father. My father is Dutch, was a KNIL-soldier/gunner, Koninklijk Nederlands Indisch Leger (= Royal Netherlands Indies Army), 2nd Bat. Field Artillery. Before the Japs came, he rotated from Tjimahi/Bandung, to many other places at Java and Sumatra before taken POW. Please contact me.
His name: Schuppers, Gerrit Hendrik, born 6th September 1921. He died last 12th December 2004 and took most of the secrets with. His KNIL (army) number that time: 96406.Thanks to Wes Injerd and Henk Beekhuis for their translations to my fathers camp-card, in short here-after my fathers ‘war-history’ for sure known now.

Below is a picture of my father taken before leaving Holland 1940. The other one, taken at Pangkalansusu/Sumatra, New Years Day 1941. This was the last known photo of him before taken prison March 1942!

1) 11th March 1942 taken POW at Java (presumably Madura) at Camp C or III (administration no: 8480)
2) Date unknown: to POW Darmo at Surabaya/Java (administration no: ?)
3) April 6th , 1943: transported to POW-camp Djengi (Also spelled as Changi or Chengi) at Singapore (administration no.?)
4) April 14th , 1943: transport by train from Singapore to Thailand
5) April 21st , 1943: Arrived at Thailand Camp 6 Burma Railroad (administration no: 8329)
6) Date unknown: back to Djengi at Singapore again (administration no: ?)
7) June 5th , 1944: embarked MV TEIA MARU (ex Aramis) for Moji / Japan
8) June 18th , 1944 arrival at Fukuoka #12 Miyata; the Dutch group for this camp represented 100 men of which one officer, the 1st Lt. Horstman.
9) August 15th , 1945 renamed to #F-9B), administration no: 31500 and released
10) September 20th , 1945: turned over to Capt. Griffin at Nagasaki-Port and repatriated by USNS ??? (Aircraft Carrier?) to Okinawa (medical checks)
11) September ??, 1945: left for Manila by USNS or HMS ?? to the 5th Replacement Camp
12) November 29th , 1945: 5600 KNIL-troops reunited and ordered by the Dutch Government to leave Manila for Balikpapan / Borneo by HMS ?? (British Aircraft Carrier?) and a battalion of Marines left Manilla for Makassar.Is there anyone who can tell me more at the notices #1, 2, 6, 10, 11 and 12?

Manila Replacement Camp 11 Nov 1945

Click for larger picture

Click for larger picture


March,23th 1942

Maru was the ex-Van Waerwijck, scutlled in March 1942 at Tandjong Priok


March,26th 1942




The Malayan inspection– Lieutenant Colonel Shizuo Saeki (left of officer with walking stick) takes questions from the observation group with inquires about the breakthrough.


South front inspection schedule—March 9th Tokyo,March 13th Hong Kong,March 19th Bangkok,March 20th Kuala Lumpur,March 21st Singapore,March 24th Sumatra,March 26th Singapore,April 1st Manila,April 4th Clark Airfield,April 7th Tokyo




Dutch Major General Roelof T. Overakker surrendered his 2,000 troops at Blangkedjeren, marking the end of resistance on Sumatra, Dutch East Indies




On 28 Mar,

 Major General R. T. Overakker surrendered at Blangkedjeren, finally marking the end of resistance on Sumatra.

A small number of guerrilla groups continued fighting for the following year, but they were generally ineffective in the face of a resourceful occupation force.

Sources: Armchair Reader World War II, Wikipedia


April  1942


Kamp Sabang. Nie Nie Nie Nie Belawan. Sannn Sannn Sannn Sannn Bangkinang

May 1942

May 17th 1942


CDS SYONAN 17.5.17)

Most of the post during the occupation was within the peninsular of Malaya.  This cover is from Singapore (CDS SYONAN 17.5.17)to Sarawak.  The note ‘In Romanise’ means the letter is written in Romanised Malay, not Jawi, and is information for the censor.








July ,2nd . 1942



 Fragment Dai nippon overprint  west sumatra cross early on Kon 10 cent used CDS Sidjoendjoeng.2.7.42
















1942 (July 17), censored cover from Medan to Koetaradja (J.S.C.A. 2SS3. Bulterman 22a), a 7½¢ letter sheet with Aceh Star overprint, thin star type, with stamp imprint tied by “Si() 17.7.15” cds, along with Meden 23.7.15 transit, plus brown censor tape across top and violet boxed handstamp, forwarded to Koetaradja. Fresh and Very Fine, rare.
Estimate $2,500 – 3,500.

Dainippon occupation Koetaradja

Briefkaart Japanse bezetting met ovaal handstempel 75 sen,

c. 1942, censored cover from Sumatra to Nagoya, Japan, franked with Japan 10s Showa definitive, Sumatra censor’s stamp below. Cover wrinkles, Fine to Very Fine.
Estimate $2,000 – 3,000.


1942,  Official free port stampless air letter from Sumatra to Tokyo, Japan, with two light strikes of blue bilingual DINES handstamp, Fine to Very Fine.
Estimate $2,000 – 3,000

August 1942


August ,3th. 1942



Oof cover Dai nippon emergency overprint Lampong Hinomaru red ball , type 1 during Sumatra under DN Singapore administration(April 1st 1942-1943), very rare, Ihave sold one postally used cover with this stamps to bulterman that put in his catalogue



Envelope, 1942 10¢ on 12½¢ revalued Lampong entire (Bulterman 118b. J.S.C.A. 10SS13), a splendid mint entire, showing Lampong in violet, ball and medium size “5” in red violet, plus  postmaster chief postmark overprint “LTT” in black with manuscript “10 sen”. Fresh and Very Fine, rare.
Estimate $3,000 – 4,000.



Envelope, 1942 10¢ on 12½¢ revalued Lampong entire (J.S.C.A. 10SS13. Bulterman 116b var), a splendid mint entire showing lampong, LTT and a large “5” all in black with manuscript “10 sen”, but with “ball” overprint in unlisted red color, pristine, Very Fine, rare.
Estimate $3,000 – 4,000.









December  1942





22 april 2009, 7:00 uur – Philip Levert van Postzegelvereniging Haarlemmermeer

Voor serieus sparen van Indische bezettingszegels is een catalogus onmisbaar, bijvoorbeeld die van de vereniging Dai Nippon. De bondsbibliotheek heeft literatuur, het Postmuseum beschikt over een paar uitgebreide verzamelingen. Japanners noemen hun land Nippon, tijdens de bezetting was het woord Japan verboden. Het Japanse (Nipponse) bestuur over Nederlands-Indië duurde van maart 1942 tot september 1945.


Eerst iets over het toenmalige Ned.Indië. Ned.Indië – nu Indonesië – is enorm uitgestrekt. Viervijfde van de inwoners woont echter op de belangrijke eilanden Java en Sumatra, veruit de meesten op het dicht bevolkte Java. Dat waren in 1941 miljoenen inheemsen (6% daarvan Chinezen), 100.000 Hollanders en ca. 200.000 Indo’s. Nederland had in Ned.Indië miljarden geïnvesteerd in o.a. landbouwcultures, mijnbouw en infrastruktuur. Het Ned.Indische leger, het KNIL, telde in 1941 60.000 man waarvan 3/4 inheemsen. Het was niet georganiseerd om een buitenlandse agressor het hoofd te bieden. Ook de marine was veel te zwak en Nederland was in 1940 door Nazi-Duitsland bezet. Met Java als centrum was Ned. Indië een zeer ontwikkeld gebied.

In 1939 reden bijvoorbeeld op Java 100.000 auto’s rond, weinig minder dan in Nederland. Het wegen- en spoorwegnet waren in betere toestand dan nu, misschien had het gewone volk het toen ook beter dan nu. Bij het bestuur waren maar een handvol Nederlanders betrokken welke de topfuncties bezetten. Indonesiërs – toen inheemsen genoemd – met hogere studie-opleiding op topfuncties waren er ook. Daar had je echter maar weinig van. Op de Indische posterijen was niets aan te merken. Een brief deed er meestal korter over dan in het huidige Indonesië. De post werd bijna alleen gebruikt door  Chinezen en Hollanders want het gros der inheemsen was destijds analfabeet. Dit is te zien als je de oplagecijfers van postzegels vergelijkt met die van Nederland.

De Japanse inval

Begin 1942, kort na Pearl Harbour werd Nederlands-Indië binnen enkele weken door een Japanse overmacht van circa 160.000 man veroverd. De strijd kostte enige duizenden doden, waaronder 2550 Nederlanders. Moeilijke tijden braken aan. De Hollanders en een deel van de Indo’s werden van hun bezit beroofd en geïnterneerd  in zogenaamde Jappenkampen, vrouwen en kinderen apart van mannen en jongens. KNIL-militairen en vele burgergevangenen werden afgevoerd naar verre landen zoals Japan, Malakka en Siam (Thailand) waar ze slavenarbeid moesten verrichten, o.a. aan de beruchte Birmaspoorweg.

Vrouwen, kinderen en een klein aantal mannen bleven achter in kampen in Nederlands-Indië, bijna alle op Java en Sumatra. Als bekend was de toestand in de Jappenkampen ten hemel schreiend, een deel van de geïnterneerden heeft de transporten en de kamptijd daarom niet overleefd. Buiten de kampen was het ook slecht. Zeker een miljoen inheemsen werd dank zij Japans wanbeheer slachtoffer van ziekte en voedselgebrek. De Jap echter organiseerde inheemse anti-westerse strijdgroepen om de wind er bij het volk onder te houden. Deze vormden de basis van het latere Indonesische leger, de TNI. Onder Japans militair gezag werd ook een inheems marionettenbewind geïnstalleerd met Ir Soekarno als spreekbuis.

In augustus 1945 capituleerde Japan voor de Amerikaanse overmacht en de atoombommen. Ned.Indië was toen nog steeds bezet behalve Nieuw Guinea en enige kustplaatsen op Borneo. Ook nog in Japanse handen waren Malakka, Singapore, Siam (Thailand), Frans Indo China (Vietnam), Hongkong, Korea en grote delen van China.

De Amerikanen bleven ver weg, de Engelsen vanuit Birma en India gaven prioriteit aan de bevrijding van hun eigen gebieden. Pas september-october 1945 verschenen kleine Engels/Engels Indische troepeneenheden langzaam aan op de belangrijke eilanden Java en Sumatra. Zij zorgden voor ontwapening en afvoer van de Japanners, en bescherming en evacuatie van de Jappenkampen waar vrouwen en kinderen belaagd werden door bendes jonge Indonesiërs.

Op Java kwamen zo Engels-Indische enclaves in Batavia (Djakarta), Semarang, Bandoeng, Soerabaja, op Sumatra in Palembang, Belawan-Medan. Over de tijd na de Japanse bezetting zie een volgend artikel.

Toestand onder de Jap

De Japanse bezetter ontsloeg in 1942 direct de meeste Nederlanders, met een vertraging van enige maanden werden deze in kampen geïnterneerd. Hun bestuursfuncties werden bezet door onbekwame Japanse militairen want jammer maar helaas: het schip Tayo Maru met enige honderden speciaal voor Indië opgeleide Japanners was mei 1942 door de Amerikanen getorpedeerd.

Een (maakwerk-) brief vermoedelijk uit Medan (Sumatra), gefrankeerd met bezettingszegels van staten op Malakka, met propagandastempel, zonder datumstempel.

Van de post mochten kampbewoners geen gebruik maken, post van buiten mochten ze niet ontvangen. Ook buiten het kamp was het uitkijken. Wie een privé-brief verstuurde of ontving was eigenlijk al verdacht. De brief mocht alleen in de Maleise taal geschreven zijn. Of de geadresseerde de brief of kaart zou ontvangen en daar blij mee moest zijn was zeer de vraag. Op veel plaatsten mochten alleen maar briefkaarten verstuurd worden. De Japanse Gestapo, Kempei Tai geheten, steunde op een groot aantal fantasierijke inheemse verklikkers, niemand was te vertrouwen.

Deze Kempei Tai sloeg willekeurig toe met vaak marteling of dood als gevolg. Overigens maakte de als bevrijder ingehaalde Jap zich bij niet-collaborerende inheemsen al snel diep gehaat door wanbeleid en ranselcultuur: de Japanse generaal sloeg de kolonel, de kolonel de kapitein enzovoort terwijl geslagen worden voor Indonesiërs een dodelijke belediging is. Als bekend kregen de Hollanders in de Jappenkampen regelmatig slaag met stokken, zwepen of geweerkolven: buiten het kamp/werkgebied werd volstaan met de vuist of de vlakke hand. Kinderen daarentegen werden nooit geslagen.

Niet-militaire post tussen de eilanden onderling hield door oorlogsomstandigheden bijna op te bestaan. Hollandse postgebruikers waren er niet meer. Gevolg: poststukken en echt gebruikte postzegels uit de Japanse tijd zijn nu nog wel te krijgen, maar toch redelijk schaars. De Japanners voerden direct hun jaartelling (1942 werd 2602) en hun tijd (1½ uur vooruit) in. Ook werd Nederlands-Indisch geld vervangen door bezettingsbiljetten. Er ontstond een enorme inflatie. In augustus 1945 had het geld nog maar een duizendste van de waarde in 1942 maar de posttarieven veranderden nauwelijks. Het eerste bezettingsgeld had een Hollandse tekst (zie afbeelding), in 1944 werd het vervangen door biljetten in roepia-waardes met Maleise tekst.

Bestuursorganisatie onder de Jap

Het enorme eilandenrijk werd bestuurlijk in aparte militaire zones gesplitst:

  • Java, Sumatra en enige eilanden bij Sumatra: legerdistrikt, bestuurd vanuit Batavia (Djakarta). Lange tijd viel Noord Sumatra onder Engels-Malakka, landmachtcommando Singapore.
  • De vele eilanden oost en noord van Java: marinedistrikt, bestuurd vanuit Singapore.

Beide zones vielen onder een hogere autoriteit waar ook Malakka, Siam, Burma, enzovoort onder ressorteerde: commando Zuid. Samenwerking tussen de zones was er niet.

De postzegels

In Nederlands Indië waren aanwezig de Kreislerseries karbouw en Wilhelmina met en zonder watermerk, no 272 (NVPH Ned.Indiënummers) 5 c cijfer, de Konijnenbergserie Wilhelmina 274-289, restbestanden Moehamadijah 293-297, Danserserie 298-303, ‘Bijzondere Vluchten’zegel LP 18, en portzegels 23-28, 30-33, 35, 39, 40. Deze werden doorgebruikt, vanaf juli 1942 voorzien van een opdruk (‘chop’).

‘Chop’zegels in mijn bezit met ‘Dai Nippon’ briefkaart, stempeldatum onleesbaar.

De Japanners hadden trouwens koerserende zegels van Japan meegenomen welke gebruikt bekend zijn in Nederlands Indië: uiteraard durfde de posterijen daarmee gefrankeerde post niet te weigeren. In de begintijd werden dus Nederlands-Indische zegels zonder chop gewoon doorgebruikt.

 Deze gebruikte zegels zijn te herkennen als de jaaropgave in de balk door het rondstempel leesbaar is: 02 of 03 of 04 of 05, weergevende de Japanse jaartelling 2602, 2603, 2604, 2605. Ze zijn schaars en aan de prijs, vooral voor plaatsen buiten Java. Het kan dus lonen uw gestempelde Nederlands-Indië-doubletten nader te bekijken, je weet maar nooit.

De zegels met chop zijn een chaotisch verzamelgebied: complimenten voor het uitzoekwerk van de Dai Nippon Vereniging. Afhankelijk van tijd en plaats werden opdrukzegels gefabriceerd per provincie, per distrikt of per postkantoor. Afgezien daarvan heb je diverse types en variaties want vele (niet alle) werden met de hand aangebracht. Zie de Dai Nippon catalogus. Die onderscheidt chops van de marinegebieden Noord, West en Zuid-Oost Borneo, Celebes, Noord Celebes, Samarin

da, Ambon, Lombok. Voor legergebied Sumatra, ingedeeld in hoofdstukken ‘general’, ‘semi general’, ‘local’ en ‘provincial’, zijn vele postkantoren te vinden plus de provincies Atjeh, Tapanoeli, Riau, Jambi, Palembang, Lampung, Banka/Billiton, Benkoelen en de Oostkust. De opdrukken kunnen zijn een kruis, ster of andere figuur  (belangrijk was de afbeelding van Wilhelmina onherkenbaar te maken), teksten in Japanse lettertekens al of niet in kastje, en in marinegebied (bijna) altijd een anker, verschillend per eiland of postkantoor.

Een (maakwerk-) brief uit Soerabaja (Java), gefrankeerd met twee definitieve Java-bezettingszegels en enige Ned.Indische zegels met en zonder chop. Let op de stempeldatum 6-7-05: 6 juli 2605 oftewel 6 juli 1945, vijf weken voor de Japanse capitulatie.

Om het spannend te maken bestaan er ook zegels met meerdere opdrukken (in Dai Nippon catalogus ‘simplified’ niet gecatalogiseerd). Leuk zijn de briefkaarten, dezelfde als vroeger maar ‘Nederlands-Indië’ is op de ingedrukte karbouwenzegel door ‘Dai Nippon’ vervangen, zie afbeelding. Tevens is een Japanse tekst toegevoegd welke de vroegere Hollandstalige tekst vervangt.  De verzamelaar moet voor dit verzamelgebied helaas bedacht zijn op naoorlogs maakwerk en vervalsingen terwijl echtheidcertificaten niet bestaan.


Stamps,and other are like Djambi NIPPON MA, SOUTH SUMATRA POSTMASTER





Degenen die krijgsgevangen zijn gemaakt worden in aparte kampen ondergebracht en gedwongen om onmenselijk zware dwangarbeid te verrichten. Zeer berucht zijn de Birma-spoorlijn, de Pakan Baroe-spoorlijn en de mijnen in Japan. Velen komen hier om door uitputting, ondervoeding, mishandeling of ziekte.

Dai nippon IPL(IP Lengkong postmaterOf Palembang)


Postmaster MN overprint

Tjpoeroep  postmaster overprint

Loeboeklingau postmaster Arifin overprint

Dai Nippon Arifin postmaster ringsingnet overprint

Dai Nippon Loeboeklingau postmaster  Arifin ringsignet r overprint on adresskaart of postpakket send to padang in 1943

Liwa overprint


Postal Card, 1943, 3½¢ black (Bulterman 25), overprinted “Gun Sei Bu A Ti E Shu Si Bu No In” in violet, unused, fresh, Very Fine.
Estimate $2,000 – 3,000.(fake ?)

January 1943



1943, card from Sipirok to Atjeh (Bulterman 136), a clean 3½¢ Tapanoeli Japanese Flag postal card, cancelled by Sipirok cds, violet boxed chop, fresh and Very Fine.
Estimate $1,000 – 1,500.

February 1943


DEI Military Postcard used during Dai Nippon Occupation Aceh, the dutch briefcard  overprint handwritten in dai Nippon languagua postcard send from  CDS showa katakana Tapaktuasn  3.2.18 to Koetaradja Atjeh.

Atjeh “Star” overprints, franked by various adhesives overprinted by the Atjeh “star” occupation chops. Includes 3 cards with Netherlands Indies 3½¢ stamp, but with different color or size chips, including a usage on a feldpost card. Nice specialist group, F-VF.
Estimate $2,000 – 3,000.


February 1943,although there was no special notes for an incident that occurred  on February 14, but there are some historical events that occurred in this month and it is important to note.


 Beginning with the Japanese effort to master the eastern region of Indonesia, by sending additional troops to Tanimbar, Kai Islands, and West Irian.


Japan’s defeat in the Solomon Islands in February 1943 made the Americans back in charge of the Pacific region.


This defeat made many changes to the policy of Japan in Indonesia, especially in military policy.


Throughout 1943, Japan many Japanese built up the army (like Heiho, Giyugun, and Defenders of the Homeland or MAP) as a form of anticipation of an attack of the Allies to Indonesia later.

March 1943

March,2nd. 1943




Fragment cover palembang Dai Nippon square overprint, used CDS 18.3.2,this time sumatra still under Singapore Dai nippon Military adminsitration, al Sumatra area had got permission to overprint the Dutch East Indie stamps with Ryal Head picture, but also the other deffinitive,but different in Java no emergency ovpt because different military administration.











1943, registered censored cover from Bangoen-Poerba (J.S.C.A. 14S11) (now Bangunpurba on Sumatra), franked with two unoverprinted Netherlands Indies 2½c plus Japan 25s Showa, Pematang-Siantar backstamp, Fine to Very Fine, unusual mixed franking. J.S.C.A. 15,000 yen ++ (HK$ 1,450).
Estimate $2,000 – 3,000












March,5th. 1943




Off cover  Japan homeland stamp used at medan








march,13th. 1943




One year anniversary  great east Asia War issued at Atjeh in march,13th. 1943


Fragment one years nniversary dai Nippon occupation Sumatra issued at Medan in march 13th.1943




1943, registered cover from Benkoelen to Nagoya, Japan, a 10¢ on 12½¢ revalued Bengkulu framed “Dai Nippon” entire, with additional 10¢ (pair) adhesives added, each cancelled by 19.4.14 cds’s. Front also shows dual censor chops and Benkoelen registration label, fresh and F-VF, a great Rarity, unlisted used in both Bulterman and the JSCA, a show piece.
Estimate $7,500 – 10,000





Kempetei Freeport stempless propaganda pictorial  ajo menjang kolonisasi postcard from lampong to klakah















1943, cover from Djambi, Sumatra to Nagoya, Japan (J.S.C.A. 13S1//13S11, 11S2 etc), franked with Netherlands Indies  kon Dai Nippon T overprint machinal (for all Sumatra issued) and non queen unoverprinted 1c, 4c and 5c, plus dai nippon yubin overprinted 5c, 10c, 15c and 17½c; Syonan transit and two Sumatra censor backstamps, Fine to Very Fine.
Estimate $2,000 – 3,000.)date 30.3.04)








April 1943



Postally used  sencored Dai Nippon overprint hinomaru of Tapanoeli on DEI Karbouw 31/2 cent [postal stationer sent from CDS Sipirok  18,4,5k to Meulaboh (Atjeh)








May 1943

Dai Nippon Occupation Indonesia

March,17th. 1943



Rejoined fragment with the photocopy Japanese postal stationer 2c,overprint Dai nippon added 1 1/2 cent , used CDS  Boekittingi 18.3.17.


1943, newspaper sent from Padang, Sumatra to Nagoya, Japan (J.S.C.A. 13S1), the Japanese-language Sumatora Shimbun (“Sumatra Newspaper”) of Wednesday, March 15, 1943, complete and entire, franked with Dai Nippon yubin westcoast over[rint on  Netherlands Indies 1c definitive tied (on wrapper and on newspaper) byPadang cds, violet Sumatra censor’s handstamp on the wrapper; Padang vertical 2-line backstamp on the wrapper. Only minor wear and aging, Fine to Very Fine overall.
Estimate $2,000 – 3,000



1943, newspaper sent from Padang, Sumatra to Nagoya, Japan (J.S.C.A. 13S1), the Japanese-language Sumatora Shimbun (“Sumatra Newspaper”) of Friday, April 26, 1943, complete and entire, franked with Netherlands Indies 1c definitive tied (on wrapper and on newspaper) byPadang cds, violet Sumatra censor’s handstamp on the wrapper; Padang vertical 2-line backstamp on the wrapper. Only minor wear and aging, Fine to Very Fine overall.
Estimate $2,000 – 3,000




March,28th. 1943



Violet Dai nippon est sumatra overprint Postcard staioner 31/2 cent DEI , postally used from CDS Tarutung.

postally used Black Dai Nipponin box  overprint east sumatra on Postcard Stationer DEI 31/2 cent


Rare DN overprint Hinomaru Tapanuli



Dai Nippon syonanto (Malayan) Stamps used and found In Sumatra

Red Dai Nippon(DN0 overprint in frame type 2 (single frame) on straits 1 cent, very rare and never seen used postally cover at Sumatra, the different color overprint like black,green and brown very rare and never seen used at sumatra, please report. The collections below @copyright Dr iwan s. and just found two postally cover with commemorative postmark used at Syonanto(Singapore) will put under Dai nippon Singapore postmark.

1942. DN in frame type 2 red overprint straits 5 c, very rare postally cover if used at Sumatra

1942.DN in frame type 2 red overprint straits 8 cent, very rare postally used at Sumatra

DN in frame type 2 red overprint on Straits 15 cent, very rare postally used cover at sumatra.

DN overprint on single frame (type 1) on Negeri Sembilan 30c used in Sumatra, very rare postal cover (wh have that item please report)

Red Dai Nippon 2602 Penang overprint on straits 8c, this stamps very rare used postally cover at Sumatra (never seen ,please report )

1942. DN 2602 Malaya overprin Negeri sembilan 8c and 20c , very rare if used oncover at Sumatra.

Very rare Red Dai Nippon overprin type 2 single frame on straits 2c used CDS PRIAMAN ( the late bigger eartquake location 2009), only one report,who have on postal cover please report.

9.8.1942. DN overprint Perak 8 cent used Syonanto(Singapore) , rare used postally cover at Sumatra

1943 commerative stamps one years the fall of Singapore on Japan Toyo stamps 4c overprint + 2c

1943. Used strip two Commemorative one years the fall of Singapore by Bai Nippon Armed Forces, overprint Japan Toyo stamps 2 cent added 1 cent, the other series green 4c+2c

Clear Syonanto(Singapore) postal CDS on DN Malaya 2 cents overprint Perak 10 cent

2.8.2603(1943) Dai Nippon Malaya overprint on Perak 1c used in Malaya(city please identify), and not clear postal CDS on Perak 10c and 8 c issued at Singapore

1944-1955. Sideways Dai nippon Malaya overprin Negeri sembilan stamp 3c issued at syonato(Singapore) as the center of DN Malaya Military administration 1942-1945

19.1.1945 Dai Nippon Malaya overprint Negeri sembilan stamp , red on 2cent, black on 3c and 6 cent used in Syonanto(singapore, please correction )






April 1943


April,16th. 1943



.Small Dai Nippon west Sumatra overprint, postally used postcard cds Medan 18.4.16

(18 syowa was  1943)






April,16th. 1943


Japanese Occupation of Netherlands East Indies, 1943 (April 16) registered cover to Sumatra, franked with Japan 30s Showa tied by ‘Galang’ cds. Japanese Censor’s red boxed cachet with blue pencil annotation. Dutch Indies style ‘Censuur 32’ backstamp (April 17) and indistinct ‘Pematang-Siantar’ arrival backstamp




May 1943


June 1943


Sencored Dai Nippon postal stationer 31/2 cent send from CDS Palembang  18.5.8 to manggala Lampong







June 1943


Dai Nippon Postalstatione r with IPL (Ip Lengkong postmaster Initial) without Frame type bigger  Palembang Overprint on DEI Karbour 31/2 cent send from CDS Palembang 18(1943).6(june).3 to Manggala Lampong










 card from Palembang to Tokyo, Japan (Bulterman 165b), a 3½¢ black card, canceled Palembang and censored. Since Showa year 16 is 1941, year date can not be correct. Clean and Very Fine.
Estimate $1,000 – 1,500.




1943 (June 10), cover from Pematanji to Perlanaan (J.S.C.A. 15S7), franked with General Issue 10c tied by Pematanji postmark, neat Perlanaan receiver at left, red Pematanji censor’s handstamp, Fine to Very Fine.
Estimate $2,000 – 3,000



The same Sencored Dain Nippon sumatera postal stationer 31/2 sen send from CDS Palembang 18(1943).6(june) 15to Mangala Lampong in 1945


Read the letter at the back of post card






July  1943


1943 (July 12), cover from Kotanapan to Pontianak (Bulterman 142), a 7½¢ Tapanuli letter sheet with red Japanese flag and framed, violet “Dai Nippon”, cancelled by Kotanopan 18.7.12 cds, with black instructional chop. (hinomaru)Exceptionally fresh and clean, Very Fine, scarce.
Estimate $1,500 – 2,000









August 1943

August,17th 1943

(CDS Medan 18.8.17)


Straits stamps converted to Occupation use with Single frame chops, in red, used at Medan in the  Japanese Occupied East Indies.  Initially the Sumatra part of DEI was administered from Singapore,  later  when Sumatra had its own postal administration Japanese-Malayan stamps were still accepted









August,24th 1943




Fragment Dai nippon acheh star overprint used at Koetaraja(now bandar Aceh)













August,27th 1943

Japanese Occupation of Malaya, 1943 (Aug. 27)

cover to Pontianak, franked with Japanese Occupation of Perak 10c ‘Dai Nippon 2602 Malaya’ overprint (Scott N20) tied by ‘Medan Sumatra East Coast’ cds. Censor’s violet boxed cachet with orange oval chop.







1943, card from Padang Pandjang  to Medan (J.S.C.A. 14SS1. Bulterman 146), a 1½¢ on 2s Horsemen postal card for the West Coast, tied by Boekittingi g 18.8.28 cds, along with red censor chip and partial violet chips, light fold through center, otherwise Very Fine, scarce.
Estimate $1,500 – 2,000.



September  1943




Japanese Occupation Riau Archiphelago which under Dai Nippon Malaya command at Syoananto(Singapore) until 1945 that is why they used dai Nippon Ma;laya stamps look Dai Nippon club collections below


Fragment cover CDS Tandjong Pinang 8.9.2603, also left 5.7.2604(1944) dan left tandjongbalai karimeun29.9.3


Omdat zowel Sumatra als Malakka onder het bestuur van het 25ste leger met als hoofdkwartier Singapore viel, werden zij eind september 1942 administratief samengevoegd. Niet alleen het eiland Sumatra, maar ook alle Indische eilanden die onder Singapore gelegen zijn. Hiervan zijn de Riouw en Lingga archipel en de Anambas en Natuna eilanden de voornaamste. In april 1943 werd de administratieve eenheid verbroken, maar de hierboven genoemde eilanden bleven administratief onder Singapore.


Daarom zijn hier Japanse bezettingszegels van Malakka gebruikt. Dit zijn zeldzaamheden en kunnen alleen aan het poststempel herkend worden



Tandjong Batoe 2604.2.24 and  Dabosingkep 2.3.2603

Courtecy Dai Nippon club Netherland.


Postwaardestukken van Malakka gebruikt in Indië
In de Riouw en Lingga archipel en op de Anambas Eilanden werden postwaardestukken van Malakka gebruikt, zoals bij de postzegels. Het tarief voor een briefkaart was hier 2 cent, wat later verhoogd werd naar 4 cent. Hier werden ook postwaardestukken gebruikt die we niet uit Nederlands-Indië kennen, zoals de aangetekende enveloppe. Het tarief hiervoor bedroeg 15 cent, tijdens de oorlog werd het verhoogd naar 23 cent.



Othe Sumatra postal used stationer and cover courtecy Dai Nippon club Netherland



Many falsification during this era, that is why many study and discussion about that, like in Dai Nippon Club announcement below in 2012

Falsificaten project Een project om vervalsingen van opdrukken uit de Japanse bezetting te beschrijven is van start gegaan. De eerste opdruk die onder de loep genomen wordt is de Atjeh ster. Hebt u informatie over verschillende typen steropdrukken en/of vervalsingen, neem dan contact op met R.G. Ackerstaff, Jan van Goyenlaan 1, 3401 NM IJsselstein, email















September,29th. 1943

Japanese Occupation of Malaya, 1943 (Sept. 29)

Send from Mr Oesman oebis marchnat  Lai Besar (big) streat  Kotanopan south Tapanuli CDS in dai nippon katakana char Kotanopan sumatora tapanuli 17.8.29 cover to Mr M.Joenoes Dalyus Toko Intan(diamond shop) Gadji Djafri street  Pontianak, franked with Japanese Occupation of Perak 10c ‘Dai Nippon 2602 Malaya’ overprint (Scott N20) tied by ‘Kotanopan Sumatra Tapanari’ cds. Censor’s violet boxed cachet at left






October   1943

October,17th. 1943



Rare Dai nippon Bangka overprint on DEI kon 10 cent , used CDS Soegai Liat Banka island  18.10.17.















October,26th. 1943


Japanese Occupation of Netherlands East Indies, 1943 (Oct. 26)

registered stampless cover from Tandjong Karang to Singapore, with ‘DINES’ boxed handstamp in blue, registration label tied by ‘Tandjong Karang’ cds. Censor’s cachet in blue with oval chop in orange. Singapore ‘Syonan’ backstamp (Nov. 5).




October,26th. 1943

Japanese Occupation of Netherlands East Indies, 1943 (Oct. 26) registered cover from Tandjong Karang to Singapore, franked with 10c, 20c Dutch Indies with ‘Lampong’ bilingual handstamps tied by ‘Tandjong Karang’ cds with additional strike tying registration label. Censor’s cachet in blue with oval chop in orange. Singapore ‘Syonan’ backstamp (Nov. 5)



1943 (Oct 29), registered censored cover from Djambi to Nagoya, Japan, a splendid, highly attractive cover, franked by 11 adhesives, 9 of which bear large type Dai Ni Hon Yubin overprints in violet for use in Jambi. A stunning, visually attractive large size cover, Very Fine, scarce.
Estimate $2,000 – 3,000.


November   1943


November,8th. 1943


Japanese Occupation of Malaya, 1943 (Nov. 8)

 Cover fron CDS Tandjoeng balei Karimoen Riau island  to Johore Baru , franked with two Japanese Occupation of Malaya 2c Fruit pairs (Scott N30) tied by Dutch Indies style ‘Tandjongbalei Karimon’ cds. Censor’s violet boxed cachet and oval chop route 33





November,18th. 1943


Palembang Dai Nippon square overprin used cds Prabumoelih (King moved) the oil city south Sumatra ,my son work at Indonesia Oil company Pertamina sumatra center explortaion & production center.

Palembang Dai Nipponsquare overprint also used in other south sumatra , used CDS Pagaralam south sumatra.










1943, card to Nagoya, Japan (J.S.C.A. 14SS1. Bulterman 146), a 1½¢ on 2s Horseman postal card for the West Coast, cancelled by 18.11.22 cds, violet censor chip, fresh and Very Fine, scarce.
Estimate $1,500 – 2,000



December 1943



Very rare 1943 (Dec 1), cover from Palembang to Nagoya, Japan (J.S.C.A. 7SS1. Bulterman 69), a 10¢ on 12½¢ revalued postal entire with IP Lengkong ring signet ring, franked with additional 5¢ (2) and 10¢ Netherlands Indies adhesives, each bearing signet strikes in blue or red, to registered, censored cover used to Japan. Fresh and Very fine, a tremendous rarity and major exhibition piece, choice.
Estimate $30,000 – 40,000.

MA on DEI Port  40 and 20 cent on document  1943

Telegraphic money order or daftar pembayaran langanan post

(provenance Dr iwan suwandy 1972)


1943, registered cover from Padang to Nagoya, Japan (J.S.C.A. 4SS3. Bulterman 149), a 10¢ on 12½¢ revalued West Coast entire with Sumatra cross and large “Dai Nippon” chop, franked additionally by unoverprinted 20¢ and overprinted 10¢ Netherlands Indies adhesives, all tied by Padang 18.10.12 cds’s. Front also shows red censor chop and partial censor tape along with padang registration label, with reverse showing Singapore receiver, F-VF, a rare and attractive entire.
Estimate $4,000 – 6,000





December ,23th. 1943

Dai Nippon Bold west sumatra Dai nippon Yubin overpint on lettersheet 71/2 cent (restored) cds Padang Simatra sinbun(newspaper) Medan









December ,26th. 1943



Rare Dai Nippon Lampong ovpt. on DEI Kon 10 cent CDS Telok Betong












December ,27th. 1943



CDS Palembang 18.12.27

Dai Nippon Postmaster Initial overprint on DEI Kon 10 cent, IPL(I.Piet lengkong) postmaster palembang first from his sihnet ring and then five type of IPL , the other Post office also issue the Ring signet or handsign overprint from all post office at south Sumatra-look at Dainippon occupation Sumatra catalogue, the guinined overprint very rare on postally used cover (please report)










Money order send from CDS showa 18.12.30(30.12.1943) to Sigli used Dai Nippon Overprint Dai Nippon laya 2602 on Malaya Perak stamps 2×10 cent






December  1943



The photocopy of Straits postal stationer used at Bintan riouw Island, this area still under Singapore center DN military admin. from 1942 -1945 different from another sumatra island only until April 1st 1943 center move to Bukittingi(Didik collection)



1944, cover from Djambi, Sumatra to Nagoya, Japan (J.S.C.A. 13S1, 13S14, 13S15), franked with unoverprinted Netherlands Indies 1c, 4c and 5c definitives, tied by DJAMBI postmark; violet Djambi censor’s handstamp below and lengthy vertical 3-line censor’s handstamp in the center, Fine to Very Fine.
Estimate $2,000 – 3,000.


1944, registered cover from Djambi to Nagoya, Japan (J.S.C.A. 11S61, 11S64), franked with Netherlands Indies overprinted 20c and 40c definitives, tied by Djambi 31.3.44 cds’s, boxed red “Kakitome” (registered) handstamp alongside, violet censor’s handstamp below; Syonan transit and two censor’s backstamps. Cover a bit wrinkled and worn, about Fine.
Estimate $2,000 – 3,000

1944, registered cover from Tapatoean to Nagoya, Japan (J.S.C.A. 11S61), franked with pair Netherlands Indies 20c definitive with printed 1-line “Sumatra” overprint, Medan censor’s handstamp alongside. Cover wrinkled and worn, about Fine.
Estimate $2,000 – 3,000

1944, newspaper, sent from Padang, Sumatra to Shizuoka, Japan, the Japanese-language Sumatora Shimbun (“Sumatra Newspaper”) of Wednesday, Jan. 16, 1944, complete and entire, franked with unoverprinted Japan 1s Showa definitive tied (on the wrapper and on the newspaper) by Padang, Sumatra cds, Bukin-Tinggi censor’s handstamp below. A bit worn (as would be expected), Fine to Very Fine overall.
Estimate $2,000 – 3,000

1944, registered cover from Senlimeuni to Nagoya, Japan (J.S.C.A. 11S66), a large-size adversity cover made from a Dutch receipt form, franked with Netherlands Indies 10c block of 4 with 1-line Sumatra overprint, faint violet Sumatra censor’s handstamp at left and several Japanese-language Senlimeuni cds’s (“Surimun” in Japanese). Cover worn (as expected), about Fine.
Estimate $2,000 – 3,000.




1944, registered censored cover from Natal tapanoeli , franked with pair each of Japan 7s and 8s Showa definitives; Pematang Siantar , Sumatra East Coast backstamp. Cover wrinkles and small edge tears, Fine to Very Fine.
Estimate $2,000 – 3,000.


(may be fake,many Switzerland cover exist E Strechutsen because did not  not open and closed by sencored label ?)




1944, card from  Tandjong Pandan billiton(Belitung) island Pantian to Palembang (J.S.C.A. 9SS1. Bulterman 33), a 3½¢ postal card with red Banka and Belitung chop, tied by Tand() 19.1.29  tandjong Pandan cds, along with red boxed chop, used to Palembang, F-VF.
Estimate $1,000 – 1,500.



March 1944

March.2nd .1944

c. 1942, picture post card from Baremban to Fukui-Ken, Japan, franked with unoverprinted Netherlands Indies 1c and 3c, red censor’s handstamp alongside; back has sketch of Japanese soldiers outside Manila, Fine to Very Fine.
Estimate $2,000 – 3,000.




1943, registered cover from Padang 19.3.23 , Sumatra to Nagoya, Japan (J.S.C.A. 4S75-76, 4S161-162), large-size, franked with 5 overprinted Netherlands Indies definitives, violet censor’s handstamp below, numerous Padang cds’s and Sumatra “New Life” commemorative cancels (S11); reverse bears Syonan transit and violet straight line Padang Central P.O. Japanese backstamp. Some cover wear, Fine.
Estimate $2,000 – 3,000


June  1944


Japanese Occupation of Malaya, 1944 (June 26)

cover to Japan franked with 4c Tin Dredger pair (Scott N3), tied by Malayan-style ‘Tandjongpinang’ cds. Censor’s violet boxed cachet and Tokyo stamp dealer’s red circular receiving handstamp. Minor flap damage not affecting stamps or markings






The stamp is a 1943 definitive issue for the Japanese Occupation of Sumatra.

Tebing Tinggi (Deli) is a town on Sumatra (as distinct from Tebing Tinggi the island).

The date on the cancel looks like 19.9.21 which doesn’t make sense unless the Japanese used a different calendar, like “in the year of the reign of emperor …”

I would appreciate any information I can get on the cancel, the rectangular Japanese stamp, and the rest of the typewritten text (I can’t even tell names from titles or address elements).

The Japanese chop reads ‘Sumatra – [illegible personal seal]/Censored’. The date 19.9.21 probably translates to 21 September 1944 (19th year of the Showa Era).

Dr Iwan note

This dai Nippon showa date read from back 21.8.19(1944) on Postcard,note cover because cover must sencored labe,the square only for postcard



October  1944

 Japan homeland definitif stamp used at Batusangkar west sumatra. 6.10.1944

November  1944


1934, wrapper used from CDS Koetaradja 19.11.7  Atjeh (J.S.C.A. 13S1) to sabang , franked with unoverprinted Netherlands Indies 1c definitive tied by Sumatra town cancel; publisher’s purple handstamp below, Fine to Very Fine.
Estimate $2,000 – 3,000




 Djambi Nippon  MA overprint on DEI revenue 40 cent block four






1944, post card from Atjeh to Koeteradja (J.S.C.A. 2S44), franked with Netherlands Indies 3½c with Atjeh star over tapaktoan print, violet Koeteradja censor’s handstamp at right, Fine to Very Fine.
Estimate $2,000 – 3,000.












Dai Nippon Sabang camp

Sabang: De in de loop der tijden gevangen genomen TNI militairen, zijn ondergebracht in verschillende interneringskampen. Hoewel zij buiten de kampen natuurlijk geen vrije beweging hebben, genieten zij in de kampen een grote bewegingsvrijheid en hebben zij een eigen organisatie met eigen bakkerij, cantine, etc.


Sabang: De in de loop der tijden gevangen genomen TNI militairen, zijn ondergebracht in verschillende interneringskampen. In de kampen genieten deze geinterneerden een grote bewegingsvrijheid. Met kaartspelen korten de gewezen leiders en officieren van de republikeinse strijdorganisaties de




Three postal history of Aceh

1.The homemade cover free stamp(stampless) to the tiho hoin(justice court) at Bireun and sencore chope have sencored

2,The Dai nippon Postal stationer card sumatra send from Teuku Taungoh Gunseibu Syoin(Dai Nippon Military Office of Koetardja city) CDS  Koetaradjia 20.1.18 means January,18th 1945 to Tiho Hoin(Justice court) at Bireun

3.Dai Nippon Postcard Karbouw 3 ½ cent CDS  20.7.4 means july 4th 1945 to sjaefamaoen lhoseumawe at Biruen with sencore handchoped


1945, cover from Bukit Tinggi to Malacca (J.S.C.A. 15S7), franked with General Issue 10c, tied by Bukit Tinggi, Sumatra cds, Sumatra censor number 5’s handstamp at left and Bukit Tinggi censor’s handstamp on censor etiquette on the reverse. Stamp damaged at bottom and cover worn in places, otherwise Fine.
Estimate $2,000 – 3,000.



Postally used Dai Nippon sumatra postal stationersent from M Jaiani Kokusai Denkin Kyoku  cds showa Boekittinggi 20.2.12(12.2.1945) to Mr choo Kwai Low 8 North Bridge road Syonan(Singapore)



c. 1944, censored cover from Bukit Tinggi 20.3.7 to Malacca (J.S.C.A. 15S7), franked with General Issue 10c; reverse shows fancy censor’s etiquette with handstamp as the one on front, Fine to Very Fine.
Estimate $2,000 – 3,000









 そこで、オーストラリアは、1944年、ニュージーランドとともにキャンベラ協定(第一次世界大戦時に編成されたオーストラリア・ニュージーランド軍団 :Australian and New Zealand Army Corpsにちなみ、オーストラリア・ニュージーランド合同の軍事組織を意味する“アンザック協定”とよばれることもある)を締結。独自に、対日戦の戦後処理や南ならびに南西太平洋での安全保障、南太平洋政策での両国の協同をニュージーランドと約しています。主要国の決定に無条件で唯々諾々と従うわけではないとのアピールでした。









 降伏文書調印の当日、シュロップシャーの艦内郵便局では、“TOKYO BAY/JAPAN”の文字が入った日付印と、降伏文書調印を祝う“Official Signing Of Japanese Surrender(日本降伏の公式調印)”の文字の入った記念スタンプが使われています。










From dai Nippon Club Netherland

CATALOGI – Japanse bezetting Nederlands-Indië en Republiek
Auteur / uitgever Titel Prijs (euro’s)
Dai Nippon Catalogue of the postage stamps of the Netherlands East Indies under Japanese occupation 1942-1945. Engels, 276 pagina’s, kleur, 2001. 35,00
Dai Nippon Catalogue of the postage stamps of the Republic of Indonesia, 17 August 1945 – 27 December 1949. Engels, 345 pagina’s, kleur, 2005. 35,00
Dai Nippon Catalogue Vienna & Philadelphia printings and sub areas of the Republic of Indonesia. Engels, 290 pagina’s, kleur, 2003. 35,00
Dai Nippon Catalogue / Handbook Revenues Netherlands Indies Japanese occupation 1942-1945 and Republic of Indonesia Administration 1945-1949. Engels, 474 pagina’s, 2008. 65,00
Saros Katalog Prangko Indonesia. Indonesisch/Engels, 340 pagina’s, kleur, 2009. 49,50
BOEKEN – Japanse bezetting Nederlands-Indië en Republiek
Auteur / uitgever Titel Prijs (euro’s)
G.J. Bessels Postwaardestukken gedrukt door de Koninklijke Drukkerijen N.V.
G. Kolff & Co. te Batavia. Nederlands, 458 pagina’s, full colour, 2011.
G.J. Bessels NICA Timor NICA Soemba Medan porten / Medan postage due. Nederlands/Engels, 97 pagina’s, 2004. 25,00
N.F. Hedeman &
R. Boekema
Dai Nippon in South East Asia. Engels, 186 pagina’s, 1948. 14,00
R. Boekema Auction catalogue, Dutch East Indies 1941-1945. Engels, 480 pagina’s, 1975. 27,50
Ch. Boissevain &
Zijn stempel gedrukt, een beschrijving van de Ricardo collectie. Nederlands/Engels, 118 pagina’s, 1997. 11,50
J.R. van Nieuwkerk The Postal History of the Lesser Sunda Islands, Moluccas, and New Guinea during the Japanese Occupation and Immediate Aftermath 1942-1946. Engels, 496 pagina’s, kleur, 2008. 85,00
ARTIKELEN – Japanse bezetting Nederlands-Indië en Republiek
Auteur / uitgever Titel Prijs (euro’s)
Y. Aoki A different view of the Nongkodjadjar cover. Reprint from Japanese Philately. Engels, 5 pagina’s. 0,60
A.V.P.I. Periodieke Publicatie no.3. Nederlands, 28 pagina’s. 4,50
R. Boekema De cirkelvormige opdruk van Ambon. Nederlands, 25 pagina’s. 4,50
W. Bruijnesteijn v. C Republiek Indonesië, de boekdruk-opdrukken van 1945. Nederlands, 15 pagina’s. 1,15
M. Hardjasudarma Prisoners of War and Civilian Internees in Japanese occupied Netherlands Indies. Engels, 15 pagina’s. 1,80
M. Hardjasudarma The Rising Sun over Insulinde. Engels, 8 pagina’s. 0,95
M. Hardjasudarma Republik Indonesia: the war of independence 1945-1949. Engels, 14 pagina’s. 1,70
R. Hausman Typering van de ankeropdrukken van Bali, Lombok en de Kleine Soenda Eilanden. Verkrijgbaar in het Nederlands en Engels,19 pagina’s. 2,30
R. Hausman Datering tijdens de Japanse bezetting. Nederlands, 3 pagina’s. 0,35
R. Hausman,
L. Kuiper, &
B. Hiegentlich
The “Gouvernement Nippon” overprint: another Ampenan (Lombok) initiative. Kopie uit Japanese Philately. Engels, 19 pagina’s. 2,30
R. Hausman &
B. Hiegentlich
The “Smoking typewriter” of Ambon postmaster The Tiong Hao. Kopie uit Japanese Philately. Engels, 20 pagina’s. 2,40
J. Jeffries Stamps of South Moluccas fact or fantasy? and Stamps of Permesta. Engels, 8 pagina’s. 0,95
L. Kuiper Japanese occupation stamps of Dutch East India. Engels, 22 pagina’s. 2,60
D.G. Piket De filatelistische nalatenschap van de Japanse bezetting van Nederlands-Indië. Nederlands, 14 pagina’s. 1,70
H. Ramkema Function chops and emergency issues in the Navy area of the Japanese occupation of Dutch East Indies. Engels, 6 pagina’s. 0,70
A. Ryantori Rp. 2.50 overprint on 1946 president Soekarno is no longer a mystery. Engels, 9 pagina’s. 1,10
H.J. Verschuur De noodportzegels van Medan. Nederlands, 16 pagina’s. 4,50


Theend @copyright 2012

2 thoughts on “Contoh Buku elektronik dalam CD-rom ciptaan Driwan:”Koleksi sejarah Pendudukan jepang di Sumatra 1942-1945″

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