Dornier Do-24K’s in Australia

Eleven of the Dutch Naval Air Service’s iconic workhorses made it to Australia at the end of the Dutch East Indies campaign. Five of them were destroyed during the raid on Broome (March 3, 1942) with massive loss of life.

But on February 19, 1942, five of the older Dorniers (X-5, X7, X-8, X-9 and X-10) had already been “transferred to Australia”  as part of a planned evacuation of the MLD training school to a safe location. These five Dorniers formed up at RAAF Rathmines in March to continue MLD crew training before being taken over by the Royal Australian Air Force.


Ex MLD “X-9” seen here as A49-4 “DQ-G” of No. 41 Squadron RAAF. Date unknown. (Source Geoff Goodall Collection)

The five training machines sent to Australia in February were joined by a sixth (X-24)  later in March 1942. This machine remained in Dutch hands until the end of 1943 and was used for clandestine flights to the former Dutch East Indies under project “Aeronaut”.

According to ADF Serials  “…all the Dornier’s were in poor condition and required several months of repairs and modifications after reaching Australia. The aircraft were given RAAF Serials A49-1 thru A49-6 consecutively. One of the machines (A49-6) served the majority of its remaining career with the Netherlands Forces Intelligence Service flying between Australia and the NEI, while the other five (A49-1 thru A49-5) served with No 41 Maritime Transport Squadron based in Townsville, Queensland.  Maintaining the aircraft proved to be very difficult as spares were virtually non-existent because the aircraft arrived without support equipment, servicing manuals or tools…’


Former MLD “X-10″ – now A49-5 *DQ-H” riding at anchor. Date unknown. Source Geoff Goodall Collection)

The RAAF “X”- boats were withdrawn from use in 1944.

I have posted a complete history of the MLD Do-24’s as a separate page at Background Information, Aircraft, Go and have a look at it!

Want to know more about the ex Dutch airplanes in Australia?  Go and have a look at:


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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