memories of a Dutch G.1 fighter pilot

Discussion in 'Stories' started by Marcel, Apr 19, 2009.

  1. Marcel

    Marcel Well-Known Member

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    Dutch pilot Bodo Sandenberg is known for his desparate mission to the Moerdijk bridges near Dordrecht. I wrote this story here. After all this, he escaped to the UK and eventually ended up in Australia. Our friend Wildcat will be pleased to know that he was with the 120 NEI squadron, flying P40's at the end of the war. Sandenberg died in 2005, but he published some memories in 2000, of which I have a few fragments about the G.1.

    When I first flew the Fokker G.1 from Schiphol to Soesterberg in 1937, these aircraft were considered to be very special. For starters they had two tail sections, a novelty. Secondly they were fast and manoeuvrable. They were fairly large, slightly larger then the Gloster Meteor which we got after the war. A total of 36 were ordered. Finally we got some modern aircraft…

    At the time, for me, the G.1 was the most modern fighter that I had flown You could do everything, loops, rolls, spins… The two engines didn’t make much noise, somewhat like a Dakota, a decent noise. If necessary, you could fly on one engine. It was also quite heavily armed with eight machineguns in the nose and one in the back, operated by the observer. All together, quite some firepower…

    The were quite good aircraft, our Fokkers, especially for practicing, but in wartime they were too slow. This was also true for the G.1, which weren’t fast enough, absolutely not as fast as the Messerschmitt, while they were only 2 or 3 years old. Nevertheless, we did quite well, especially when you take into account the amount of aircraft that were already destroyed by the Jerries in the initial attack.

    When the war started, I was at the new airfield called Bergen, Noord Holland. I was part of 4th Java. We stood ready day and night. At night we slept in our uniform. But after the german suprise attack, there were hardly any aircraft left. I could do nothing as my plane was damaged and could only be repaired later that day. Perhaps I got another one, I don’t know. Anyway, they sent me to Schiphol, where the Jerries had roamed the place as well.

    I got orders to escort a T.V bomber with another G.1. The T.V had to attack the Moerdijk bridges. At the first raid, the bridges were missed and the bomb stood next to the bridge, unexploded. The second time, the T.V and the other G.1 were shot down near Ridderkerk. I could do nothing but to return to Schiphol, where I reported the failure of the attack. It wasn’t pretty, they were all close friends.

    The next few days I’ve been in the air for a few times to escort some Fokker C.V reconnaissance bombers and some other aircraft. But there was not much to escort. They became less and less. Almost all D.XXI’s were out of action. There stil were 10 to 15, which seems much. But when you saw the hundreds of German aircraft in the sky, it was nothing.

    Many good friends died. That is something that will always be in my mind, although I have tried to set it out of my mind. I don’t like to talk about it, as it means I will have to think about it. It’s no good to keep talking about the past, while we live in peace now. You have to watch out so the war won’t control your life.
     
  2. SpitfireZPC

    SpitfireZPC Banned

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  3. RabidAlien

    RabidAlien Active Member

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  4. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    Good post.
     
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