No. 120 (Netherlands East Indies) Squadron RAAF

No. 120 (Netherlands East Indies) Squadron RAAF

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No. 120 (Netherlands East Indies) Squadron RAAF

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No. 120 Squadron was a joint Dutch and Australian squadron of World War II. The squadron was first formed in December 1943 as part of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), and saw combat in and around New Guinea during 1944 and 1945 equipped with P-40 Kittyhawk fighters. Following the war, No. 120 Squadron was transferred to the Netherlands East Indies Air Force in 1946 and participated in the Indonesian National Revolution.


No. 120 (Netherlands East Indies) Squadron was formed at RAAF Station Fairbairn in Canberra on 10 December 1943. As a joint Australian-Dutch unit, the Dutch authorities provided all the squadron's aircrew and aircraft while the RAAF provided its ground crew. This arrangement had been previously used for No. 18 Squadron and the short-lived No. 119 Squadron. It was originally intended that once formed, No. 120 (NEI) Squadron would be deployed to northern Australia and operate alongside No. 18 (NEI) Squadron. However, it was later decided to deploy the unit to Merauke on the south coast of New Guinea, which formed part of the pre-war Netherlands East Indies (NEI).

The Squadron completed its training in early 1944. During December 1943, the No. 120 (NEI) Squadron pilots who had been trained in the United States received training at No. 2 Operational Conversion Unit to familarise them with RAAF procedures. The squadron acquired its full complement of P-40...
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