Dornier Do-24K MLD, an update

The Royal Dutch Naval Air Service’s excellent Do-24K seaplane still attracts a lot of attention. As a result I have been able to update this blog’s Do-24K page, especially the table at the end, providing the readers with an overview of each individual plane’s fate.


A rare peacetime photograph of “X-9” visiting New Guinea sometime during 1940

It was (and is) an imposing seaplane, although an Australian pilot had misgivings when he first took off in one. Used to flying the Short “C” class flying boats with their elevated cockpits, he compared a rough water take off in a Do-24K to “… a submarine rising to the surface and then taking off with waves lapping over the cockpit roof…”

Called “X” boats (because of their serials), the Dutch Navy used the Dorniers for reconnaissance and anti-shipping missions, the latter in cooperation with submarines. This deadly combination was fairly successful during the early stages of the pacific war.
And at least one Japanese destroyer was sunk by bombs from a Do-24K.
But when the Japanese captured more and more airfields, their fighters started to exact a heavy toll. In the end, the offensive role of the Do-24K was abandoned, replaced by reconnaissance and evacuation missions.


Do-24k “X-2” taking off at Morokrembangan, (date unknown)

During three months of operations, six “X” boats were shot down, eight crashed (in most cases due to battle damage) and a staggering 18 were destroyed while moored at various bases. In the end, only six escaped to Australia.

The death toll was also heavy: at least 46 crew members were killed in action. The worst casualties were caused on March 3, 1942 at Broome where five Dorniers (and three Cats) were strafed and set afire by Japanese fighters. At least 16 crew and 48 passengers were killed – but that number is uncertain. (see my post “Broome, Australia’s Pearl Harbor” )

More information on the  history of this magnificent airplane may be found at the page “Do24K in Dutch Service”.




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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