KNILM Fleet List

KNILM Equipment 1928 – 1945.

Registr. Type c/n History Entry Fate
PK-AKU DH.89A Dragon Rapide 6296 PH-AKU PK-AKU 00.08.35 Written off Ketapangdaja Madura 16.08.38
PK-AKV DH.89A Dragon Rapide 6292 PH-AKV PK-AKV 00.08.35 Broken up Andir Army request 08.03.42
PK-AKW DH.89A Dragon Rapide 6294 PH-AKW PK-AKW 00.09.35 Written off in New Guinea 07.03.36
PK-AFA Fokker F.VIIb-3m 5069 H-NAFA PK-AFA ==> NEI Army FTA-1 T-901 01.07.29 ?
PK-AFB Fokker F.VIIb-3m 5070 H-NAFB PK-AFB 01.07.29 Written off 04.02.38
PK-AFC Fokker F.VIIb-3m 5071 H-NAFC PK-AFC NEI Army FTA-2 T-902 01.07.29 Accident Langgan Sumatra 14.2.32
PK-AFD Fokker F.VIIb-3m 5072 H-NAFD PK-AFD 01.07.29 Written off 20.12.38
PK-AFE Fokker F.VIIb-3m 5123 H-NAFE PK-AFE 01.07.29 Written off Mt Tabangan Bali 16.08.32
PK-AFF Fokker F.VIIb-3m 5188 PH-AFF PK-AFF 31.12.30 Written off Kiunga New Guinea 26.10.39
PK-AFG Fokker F.VIIb-3m 5189 PH-AFG PK-AFG 31.12.30 Written off in enemy action Kemajoran 09.02.42
PK-AFH Fokker F.XII 5243 PK-AFH 18.06.31 Scrapped Andir Army request .42
PK-AFI Fokker F.XII 5247 PH-AFU PK-AFI 03.10.31 Written off by enemy action Semplak 19.02.42
PK-AFJ Fokker F.XII ? PK-AFJ ? 32 ?
PK-AFK Fokker F.XII ? PK-AFK ? 32 ?
PK-AFJ Douglas DC-2-115G 1374 PK-AFJ(2) 00.06.35 Damaged beyond repair – Darmo .12.41
PK-AFK Douglas DC-2-115G 1375 PK-AFK(2) ‘VH-CXG’ 41-1375 44-83226 00.06.35 Sold 28.03.42
PK-AFL Douglas DC-2-115G 1376 PK-AFL ‘VH-CXH’ 41-1376 44-83227 VH-ADZ VH-CDZ N8486D 00.07.35 Sold 28.03.42
PK-AFV Douglas DC-3-194B 1965 PH-ALP PK-AFV 00.06.40 Shot down Carnot Bay Australia 03.03.42
PK-AFW Douglas DC-3-194B 1982 PH-ARG PK-AFW (44-83229) 00.06.40 Written off after enemy action Samarinda Borneo 24.01.42
PK-AFZ Douglas DC-3-194B 1981 PH-ARE PK-AFZ 00.06.40 Written off after enemy action Djambi Sumatra 26.02.42
PK-ALN Douglas DC-3-194B 1936 PH-ALN PK-ALN 00.06.40 KLM -Damaged Beyond Repair enemy action Medan 29.12.41
PK-ALO Douglas DC-3-194B 1937 PH-ALO PK-ALO 00.06.40 KLM- Damaged Beyond Repair enemy action Broome Australia 03.03.42
PK-ALT Douglas DC-3-194B 1941 PH-ALT PK-ALT VH-CXD/44-83228 00.06.40 KLM – Written off Higgins Qld 05.05.45
PK-ALW Douglas DC-3-194B 1944 PH-ALW PK-ALW VH-CXL/44-83229 VH-ANR 00.06.40 KLM
PK-ADA Douglas DC-5-511 430 (PH-AXE) PK-ADA 00.07.40 Damaged Kemayoran 09.02.42 taken to Japan
PK-ADB Douglas DC-5-511 428 (PH-AXB) PK-ADB VH-CXA/44-83230 00.09.40 Written off Parafield .42
PK-ADC Douglas DC-5-510 424 (PH-AXA) PJ-AIW PK-ADC VH-CXB/44-83231 00.06.41 Broken up .46
PK-ADD Douglas DC-5-511 426 (PH-AXG) PJ-AIZ PK-ADD VH-CXC/44-83232 VH-ARD Israel AF 1501 00.09.41 Broken up Israel .55
PK-AKE Ford 5-AT-B 5-AT-42 NC9676 (PH-AKE) PK-AKE PH-AKE 00.09.35 Sold 26.08.36
PK-AER Grumman G-21A Goose 1009 G-AFCH PK-AER 00.07.38 Written off in enemy action Lake Tondano 26.12.41
PK-AES Grumman G-21A Goose 1008 VH-AAY(1) PK-AES 00.06.39 Written off Koepang 26.01.42
PK-AFR Grumman G-21A Goose 1080 PK-AFR 00.03.40 Damaged in raid Semplak 20.2.42 Broken up 08.03.42
PK-AFS Grumman G-21A Goose 1081 PK-AFS 00.03.40 Shot down by Japanese Kupang Timor 26.01.42
PK-AFM Lockheed 14-WF62 1411 PK-AFM ‘VH-CXF’ 00.03.38 Written off Katherine 26.03.42
PK-AFN Lockheed 14-WF62 1414 PK-AFN ‘VH-CXI’ 44-83233 00.04.38 Sold 28.03.42 Written off 13.02.44
PK-AFO Lockheed 14-WF62 1415 PK-AFO 00.03.38 Crashed off Bali 22.01.40
PK-AFP Lockheed 14-WF62 1442 PK-AFP ‘VH-CXJ’ 44-83234 00.08.38 Sold 28.03.42
PK-AFQ Lockheed 14-WF62 1443 PK-AFQ ‘VH-CXK’ 44-83235 00.08.38 Sold 28.03.42
PK-AFT Sikorsky S-43B 4352 PK-AFT 00.12.40 Written off by enemy action Lake Tondano 26.12.41
PK-AFU Sikorsky S-43B 4353 PK-AFU 00.01.41 Written off by enemy action Semplak 19.02.42
PK-AFX Sikorsky S-43B 4351 NC20697 PK-AFX 00.12.41 Written off by enemy action Semplak 19.02.42

17 Responses to KNILM Fleet List

  1. Ronald Dijkstra says:

    PK-ADC Douglas DC-5-511 the correct version is Douglas DC-5-510.


  2. Willem Kramer says:

    I have an amateur film from my grandfather’s maiden flight from Soerabaja to Batavia in September 1932 by the F.VII registration PK-AFC. (on the fiilm) According to your list above this plane crashed in 1931. How can?


  3. says:

    Thanks Robert. I think the plane was repaired after the crash on 14.2.1932 and continued to fly for the Koninklijke Nederlandsch Indische Luchtvaartmaatschappij and sold after 21.9.1932. The date of my grandfather’s flight. Should you be interested I could send you the footage as MP4. I also have two letters from him describing this experience.


  4. says:

    With this link to Youtube you should be able to see the footage:

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Willem Kramer says:

    Hi Robert. Somebody brought to my attention that the youtube starts halfway. I changed this, so it is starting at the beginning. Think it is best to reload it at you blog. In the meantime I found some timetables from those years. Interested in a digital copy? Regards, Willem


  6. Jim Baker says:

    Hi Robert —

    I have a photograph of PK-AFN from my father’s collection, likely shot in the 1950s. I do not know where or when it was shot — I am fairly certain he did not shoot the photo, because it’s slightly out of focus — but your data appears to be a little off. 44-83233 indicates the contract to build this aircraft was approved in 1944 (i.e., the aircraft was technically sold to the US Army Air Force), but you have it here as having been sold in 1942 and written off in 1944. I would likely not have been built yet in 1944, if that is the actual US serial number.

    I’d be interested to know more about the airline for which this aircraft operated.


    • Kingsleyr says:

      Hi Jim,
      Thanks for spotting this discrepancy.
      There are two possibilities, a) I made a typing error or b) the USAAF serial was awarded after the plane was acquired from KNILM.
      Contrary to the Australian wishes (pay 1 UK pound for each plane) the US Government wanted to have control of the KNILM fleet (DC-2’s, 3’s, 5’s and Lodestars) and bought all Dutch planes that had fled to Australia in one bulk purchase at a later date.
      I will check this out and get back to you

      Thanks for visiting my blog!

      Robert Kingsley


      • Jim Baker says:

        You know, this is a VERY strange subject, and I think I was operating under the misconception that this was originally an American-contracted aircraft. I’ve never seen an American aircraft built for a foreign power being reassigned an American serial number that was different to its original USAF/USAAF serial; had it originally been, say 40-12345, transferred to Australia, then the RAF, then back to the USAAF, it would have been reassigned its original serial number, and that’s where I was going with this, but this one’s different. As a prewar contract, this aircraft would have been assigned only its Lockheed C/N and its civil registration at destination, and then only assigned a USAAF serial number when it was impressed into service with the USAAF — this is the part I find really, really strange as most foreign aircraft used by the Americans retained their original serial numbers, as in the Spitfires used by the US Navy in the Britain and also the ones the 5th Air Force used in Tunisia. Those may have been borrowed aircraft, though, and not purchased or commandeered — an aircraft actually “owned” by the US military would have had to have some sort of accounting trickery done to account for its existence, and this seems to be where the late US serial comes from — that serial was apparently assigned to the aircraft AFTER it was written off in a takeoff accident. Bizarre.

        According to this site: , which I just now found, it looks like my hunch was correct. Even more oddly, though, this person claims it was not carried on the Australian civil register as VHCXI, and there are photos of it on that site in Army paint with the VHCXI on the vertical stab/rudder.. VH is certainly an Australian civil registration sequence, but I wonder if the VHCXI was assigned to the airplane as a radio call sign for expediency. With the war going full blast at that point the commanders had far more important things to be doing than paperwork to transfer a single airframe to an ally, so they just kinda pencil-whipped it until they had time to sit down, breathe, and try to figure out what went where.

        Just an interesting problem that has no real bearing on whether the planet will continue spinning, huh. A bit of an enigma, this one.


      • Kingsleyr says:

        Wartime accounting sometimes IS a bit weird Jim.
        When I went over that USAAF contract purchasing the Dutch planes I found that they paid for at least two airplanes that were already written off, including a DC-5 that had been shot to pieces by Japanese fighters. Here is what I published about it:

        With eleven aircraft evacuated to Australia (two DC-2, two DC-3, three DC-5 and four Lockheed 14) KNILM possessed a significant component of the country’s meager air transport fleet. KNILM initially operated its aircraft under charter to the U.S. military but General MacArthur was reluctant to allow so many valuable aircraft to remain in civilian hands. As a result, KNILM were coerced into selling their aircraft to the USAAF. This coercion took the form of a suspension of logistical support (such as the impounding of one hundred cases of spare parts) Surviving documents suggest that all of the KNILM aircraft were to have been sold to the Australian government for a token £5 each, but the transaction was apparently overruled in favor of a sale to the USAAF. This purchase is reputed to have cost Uncle Sam $530,000.00 for ten aircraft (one Lockheed 14 had been written off).

        And this last bit tallies with your assumption.
        It is also important to remember that the LNILM planes were civilian purchases and had no previous military series, neither US nor Dutch.
        About the why – my guess is that someone in Washington wanted to have the Dutch Purchasing Commission out of his hair and had a contract drawn pdq to get rid of them.



  7. Jim Baker says:

    Macarthur certainly was an arrogant little empire-builder, wasn’t he? Withholding spares is exactly the kind of Draconian steps he’d take to get his way. It bit him in the end, though.

    It’d be interesting to be a fly on the wall for the “negotiations” that resulted in AUS losing the airplanes, and what Macarthur’s reasoning was about why Australia shouldn’t have them instead. I think that the USAAF preferred to do its own chartering mainly because it was far more efficient in all aspects (apart from military command structure and its attendant problems). I’m not sure about other forces, but pulling all assets as close under one single umbrella is generally a wise choice, as it simplifies supply lines, maintenance, crew requirements, and scheduling, among other facets. Had they contracted with a civilian organization to provide even basic rear-area transport, it would have meant negotiating contracts for not only the aircraft but also the maintenance and personnel, scheduling, replacements, and so on, all of which can — and will — be a true nightmare. In peacetime, such a contract can save a lot of money, but in wartime (or in locations where there is a LOT of traffic),

    The stupidity of relying on contracts was driven home to me many times in a previous life, when I ran a parts department at a small but very busy aircraft maintenance shop and needed a part for a customer’s airplane. Manufacturers are increasingly driving towards distributorships rather than selling direct, and that is exactly the same supply-line minefield. I genuinely don’t understand how it’s good customer service to do it this way, but.,… anyway. As an example, I once got a Bellanca Viking in with one landing gear transition indicator lamp burned out (the amber one). It’s a six dollar part, retail. Cheap. All the pilot REALLY needs is the red one and the green one, but he cannot legally fly the airplane with the amber one not working, so I got on the phone and called Bellanca. They didn’t have any in stock, and gave me the manufacturer’s part number and website address. When I went online to look for a disrtibutor, I quickly found five or six locations relatively near me on the list, and started calling them. Not one distributor had that lamp in stock — it was, for them, a “special order only” item, which meant that they could get it for me, but I would either have to wait until enough customers needed that exact part to justify their spending the money to cut a PO and make the order, or it would cost me an additional $250 in special-order fees to order one, and my customer would not be happy about that.

    So I called the manufacturer, and the conversation went something like this:

    Me: I need an amber lamp, part number whateveritis. Do you have these in stock?
    Them: Yes sir, my computer tells me we have 1,117 of them in our warehouse.
    Me: Great! This airplane only needs one, but it’s relatively inexpensive so I’d like to buy ten of them so I can have one in stock when I need it rather than having to order one. In fact, I’ll order ten full sets of green, amber, and red. Can I give you a credit card number?
    Them: Sorry, sir, you’ll have to get one from one of our distrbutors. We don’t sell to the public.
    Me: I’m not the public, I am a parts department and I need that part. I have a customer’s airplane here NOW that cannot fly without that part. You have over a thousand of them, and not one of your distributors NATIONWIDE has a single one in stock.
    Them: Sorry, sir. I can’t help you. You’ll have to go through a distributor.

    I ended up finding one at an aircraft scrap yard in a Viking someone had groundlooped, Took me months to get a full stock replenishment on that one, and I would not have wanted the customer to be grounded for want of six dollars’ worth of light bulb. Utterly idiotic.

    I can’t imagine trying to prosecute a war and having to deal with stuff like that. Much more efficient to just buy the planes. Or steal them. Or confiscate them.


    • Kingsleyr says:

      Logistics have always been the bane of operational units. And your landing gear lamp example is a classic.
      So, yes, simply buying the planes saves a lot of stress. But the sale had an amusing aftermath,

      Under the terms of the contract, KNILM was required to test fly all their aircraft before the handover to the USAAF. As a manifestation of their outrage at having to surrender the aircraft for which they had fought so hard, the KNILM staff resolved to have all ten aircraft ready for a spectacular test flight over Sydney Harbour on 14 May 1942.
      After several aircraft buzzed the Dutch destroyer Tromp, a DC-2, a DC-3 and a DC-5 lined up on another target – the Sydney Harbour Bridge! In line astern, the formation proceeded to fly under the Bridge, once in each direction.

      I’d loved to see that – and the furious Aussies afterwards!


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