When The Netherlands were overrun by the German army in May 1940, the Dutch government-in-exile in London decided to rearm as soon as possible. The ‘Blitzkrieg’ had made it painfully clear that aircraft were a decisive factor in any further conflict and for once the lesson was learned. The Netherlands Purchasing Commission (NPC) in the USA was instructed to buy as many aircraft as possible.
This unheard-expansion made it obvious that, in order to keep this large air force operational, there would be a serious need for qualified pilots and other personnel. Since the traditional training locations in the Netherlands had been lost, it was decided to establish flying training facilities in the Dutch East Indies. The NPC was instructed to buy trainers that could be delivered real quick.
The most readily available type was the Ryan ST-M (Sport Trainer-Military) a military export version of the pre-war ST-A sports aircraft powered by a 150hp Menasco C4S Pirate engine. It was a small two-seater, capable both of land and floatplane operations. The NPC ordered 108 of them.
Have a look at the page “Ryan STM Trainers in Dutch Service” for more information
For those of you who would like to see what flying a floatplane Ryan STM was like:
Here is a YouTube link to a Ryan Aeronautical promotion film shot in 1940.
Want to learn more about the Dutch Ryan’s in Australia? Visit Geoff Goodall’s excellent website ( http://www.goodall.com.au/australian-aviation/ryan-stm/ryan-stm.htm )