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Discussie: 72 jaar oud mysterie ontrafeld

  1. #1
    13 december 2012

    Standaard 72 jaar oud mysterie ontrafeld

    Zojuist gelezen op Seawings :

    Media Release today from the Civil Aviation Historical Society:

    72-year-old mystery of missing Qantas flying boat Circe solved

    Tomorrow is the 72nd anniversary of the disappearance of Qantas Empire flying boat Circe on a flight from Java to Broome. Now, after 72 years, the mystery of the vanished airliner has finally been solved.

    Circe disappeared on a flight from Tjilatjap, Java, to Broome, Western Australia, on Saturday, 28 February 1942. She was carrying 16 passengers, including a contingent of Dutch diplomats and a US Navy officer, and a crew of four under Captain Bill Purton. Long presumed to have been shot down by Japanese aircraft, no trace was ever found of the aircraft and post-war examination of Japanese records did not reveal her fate. In a long-running dispute over the insurance for the aircraft and her crew, the Australian and US Governments steadfastly maintained that there was no evidence that Circe was lost due to enemy action.

    Through recent research in Australian and Japanese archives by aviation historians Phil Vabre and Osamu Tagaya it can now be confirmed for the first time that Circe was shot down by a Japanese ‘Betty’ bomber based at Denpasar, Bali. The Betty, flown by Flight Petty Officers Yamamoto and Ashizawa of the Imperial Japanese Navy, was on a maritime patrol when it spotted and engaged Circe some 200 miles (320 km) south of the Java coast.

    The loss of Circe came at a critical time in the Second World War, just as Japan’s campaign to seize the Netherlands East Indies (today Indonesia) came to its culmination. Although unarmed civil aircraft, the Qantas flying boats, the ‘Jumbo Jets’ of their day, were at this time being employed on charter to US military forces to fly vital supplies and personnel into Java. When loads permitted, they were used to evacuate mostly civilian personnel from Java on the return flights to Broome.

    Circe was the second Qantas flying boat to be shot down by Japanese forces, sister-ship Corio having been shot down off Timor a month earlier.

    Phil Vabre is Vice President of the Civil Aviation Historical Society, which operates the Airways Museum at Melbourne’s Essendon Airport. He is currently writing a book about the Qantas Empire flying boats and the Bases that were established to support them on the main air route between Australia and Great Britain.

    This is believed to be one of the last photos of Circe before she disappeared. Note that the aircraft is in camouflage with red, white and blue recognition stripes indicating a civil aircraft. The aircraft was owned by the British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC), hence the British registration G-AETZ, but was being operated by Qantas on an interchange agreement at the time she was shot down.

    (Photo: Qantas Heritage Collection)

    Circe as we think she looked when lost.

    (Artwork: David Williams)

  2. #2


    Naast het BOAC-rood-wit-blauw steekt er zo te zien ook een Nederlandse vlag uit de cockpit.

  3. #3
    8 januari 2011
    Den Hoorn (ZH)


    het camouflage patroon van de reconstructie klopt al niet, vergelijk het patroon op het kielvlak maar.

  4. #4


    Ik heb ook zo mijn twijfels.
    Het lijkt sterk op het 'willen' oplossen van een zaak.

    Ik lees namelijk dat er 16 passagiers aan boord zouden zijn geweest op deze tweede 'lonely' vlucht, terwijl de eerste een maand er voor is afgeschoten...vreemd.
    16 Is een onwaarschijnlijk laag getal voor een land in nood dat leeg liep richting Broome...

    Ik ken het verhaal van mijn oude zweefvlieginstructeur (toen Overste), Rudy van Es.
    Hij vloog met een Catalina naar Broome met 80(!) passagiers, vrouwen en kinderen.
    Over elkaar heen gepakt. Startgewicht was even géén issue.

    Dan klinkt 16 me wat erg als niet representatief in de oren...

    Ik kan het op weinig baseren, maar heb er dit gevoel bij.


  5. #5
    6 maart 2014
    Wellington, NZ


    Meer informatie over de laatste vlucht van de Circe:
    From ”Flying Empires - Short ‘C’ class Empire flying boats”
    Written by Brian Cassidy
    Published by Queens Parade Press
    3 Queen’s Parade
    BATH BA1 2NJ UK.
    Copyright © Brian Cassidy 2004 All rights reserved. ISBN 0 9529298 2 1
    'TZ CIRCE (Captain W.B. Purton, First Officer M.W.Bateman, Radio Officer H.G.A.Oates, Pursers L.J.Hogan & W.R.Bartley and sixteen passengers including the Netherlands Consul General, his wife and
    daughter) was lost without trace about 160 n.m. or 300 km. out from Tijlatjap on the last of the
    shuttle services to Broome on 28 February. 'BG CORIOLANUS (Captain Howard) was flying a few
    minutes ahead and heard 'TZ give a last position report at 10.25. Nothing else was heard so the 'boat
    was presumably shot down by fighters. A search by 'UC CORINNA found no trace.
    'TZ CIRCE, complete with its crew of four and thirty passengers, is somewhere in the deep water between Tijlatjap and Broome, believed to have been shot down by Japanese fighters while on the last
    of the shuttle flights on 28 February 1942. 'TZ gave a position report at 10.25, about 130 n.m. (240 km.) out from Tijlatjap, the last message ever received.




    Het aantal passagiers schijnt te variëren van 15 tot 16 tot 30. Is dat omdat er geen passagierslijst bestaat? Als er wel een is, waar zou die te vinden zijn?


  6. #6
    6 maart 2014
    Wellington, NZ

    Standaard 72jaar oud mysterie ontrafeld-passagierslijst

    Ik heb nu de onderstaande E-mail ontvangen van de heer Phil Fabre, Vice President of the Civil Aviation Historical Society & Airways Museum, Essendon Airport, Victoria, Australie:

    Hello Nick,

    Thanks for your email. There is quite a lot of inaccurate information on
    the web concerning Circe!

    As you will see from the attached copy of a page from a file in the
    Australian Archives, there were 16 passengers in total aboard Circe, of
    whom 10 were Dutch. The list gives their names and, where applicable,
    positions. The 'Commander Murphy' referred to has been established to be
    Commander Joseph A. Murphy USN and it seems that he was definitely aboard
    as he was posted missing the following day. The reason more people were
    not carried was twofold: firstly, the Tjilatjap-Broome flight was at the
    limit of the range of the Empire flying boats, even with extra tankage,
    and thus payload was limited; secondly, Circe was carrying a significant
    amount of Qantas engineering stores and paperwork that had been evacuated
    from the Qantas base at Sourabaya.

    This passenger list was compiled by Malcolm Millar, formerly the Qantas
    agent in Singapore. After the fall of Singapore, Millar escaped to the
    Netherlands East Indies where he was eventually responsible for overseeing
    the loading of the Qantas flying boats at Tjilatjap. Millar was to
    evacuate Java aboard the flying boat going over from Broome on 28
    February, but this aircraft was recalled on the orders of the Australian
    Department of Civil Aviation. Millar and the remaining one or two staff
    then made their way to Bandoeng, from where they were flown to Broome
    aboard a USAAF B-17.

    It has been my intention to write to the Dutch authorities in Australia
    concerning the new information about Circe, but I have not yet been able
    to do so. Any information your contacts can dig up about any of these
    people would be most welcome.



    Ik heb de passagierslijst bijgevoegd als een bijlage. Hopelijk komt dat ook goed over.

    Groeten, Nick-NZ

  7. #7


    Het verduidelijkt iets in ieder geval.

    De gehele Nederlandse Consulaire vertegenwoordiging in (British) Malaya, met Singapore, scheen spoorslags naar Australië te moeten.
    Inclusief familie.

    Not your average 'women and children first' type of evacuation....

    Waar zagen we dat ook nog meer?
    Was het Saigon? April 1975?
    (om er maar een te noemen).

  8. #8
    5 januari 2010


    vrouwen en kinderen eerst geld aleen bij burgers
    zodra er hooge piefen in het spel zijn is het
    eerst e hooge piefen en de mensen om hun heen
    de rest komt later

  9. #9
    6 maart 2014
    Wellington, NZ


    Dat de gehele Nederlandse Consulaire vertegenwoordiging in Singapore ineens spoorslags naar Australië moest is geen wonder want Singapore was toen al [of bijna] in Japanse handen, en ik weet zeker dat ze niet zaten te wachten om in dat Changi kamp gehuisvest te worden. Dezelfde Japanse bezetting stond Java te wachten. Een paar dagen na hun "spoorslagse" vertrek was Tjilatjap [Cilacap] in Japanse handen.

  10. #10
    25 juni 2010
    The dark side of the moon


    Uiteindelijk is het met deze mensen ook niet goed afgelopen
    Als WO2 verzamelaar, verzamel je uit interesse naar het verleden.

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