The Lockheed Lodestar

Another type of airplane that plays an important role in Book 1 of ‘The Java Gold’  is the Lockheed Lodestar.


Known as the Lockheed type L18 (or the C-60 in military service) the Dutch Army Air Service had nineteen Lodestars at its disposal. At the outbreak of the Pacific war, the squadron was based at Andir, near the city of Bandung in western Java.. These L18s and their crews played an extremely important role in ferrying army and air service units to their war destinations around the archipel as well as carrying supplies to both KNIL(Dutch Army) and allied units outside Java.
During January and February 1942 Lodestars were also tasked with the evacuation of large numbers of civilians (mainly women and children) from locations that were coming under Japanese threat, such as Tarakan, Balikpapan and Makassar.

As the ‘Lodestar’  was a military transport, there was neither need nor demand for passenger comfort and amenities. Here’s what a typical Lodestar cabin looked like when passengers were to be carried.


Canvas covered ’bucket seats’  in a practically bare interior. To qualify this as a ‘Spartan arrangement’ is a very large understatement.

Normally the Lodestar would carry up to 12 passengers; but during the evacuations this number was usually doubled or even tripled…

About Kingsleyr

Thank you for visiting my blog! The posts you find here are a direct result of my research into aviation and military history. I use the information I gather as a foundation and background for my books. You may call the genre historical fiction, a story woven into a background of solid and verifiable historical facts. However, the period and region I have chosen to write about (late 1930's - 1950's in South-East Asia) are jam-packed with interesting information and anecdotes. If I'd used them all I would swamp the stories. So this blog is the next best thing. It is an "overflow area" in which I can publish whatever I think will interest you. And from the reactions I get, I deduce I am on the right track. A lot will be about aviation in the former Dutch East Indies. This, because my series of books ("The Java Gold") follows a young Dutch pilot in his struggle to survive the Pacific War and its aftermath. But there's more in the world and you'll find descriptions of cities, naval operations and what not published on this blog. Something about myself; I am a Dutch-Canadian author, living in, and working out of the magical city of Amsterdam. My lifelong interest in history and aviation, especially WW2, has led me to write articles and books on these subjects. I hope you'll enjoy them!
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