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Blaak Prewar
Pilot  Captain Cornelis Blaak (Missing)
Co-Pilot  Hendrik Willem Nieuwdorp (Missing)
Engineer  Marinus Veenendaal (POW, died)
Radio  Pieter Pronk (Died, body recovered)
Crashed  February 26, 1942

Aircraft History
Built by Douglas. Construction Number 1981. Purchased by Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij (KLM) / Royal Dutch Airlines for use as a civilian airliner.

Wartime History
On February 26, 1942 at night took off from Broome Airfield piloted by Captain Cornelis Blaak on a flight bound for Bandoeng West Airfield (Andir) on western Java. Due to lack of fuel this plane attempted an emergency landing roughly 18.6 miles / 30km from Palembang but during the landing hit trees and crashed near Loeboekkelibat (Lubuk Kliat) on southern Sumatra.

Fates of the Crew

The entire crew survived the crash lading, some with injuries. Afterwards, the precise fate of each of the crew is unknown. It is possible pilot Blaak was murdered by locals or Japanese forces. Co-pilot Nieuwdorp managed to escape but is still reported as missing. Engineer Veenendaal was captured and later dies as a prisoner at Birma Railroad Works. Radio Pronk was killed.

Postwar, in 1948 the crash was investigated by the Dutch authorities and the bodies of Blaak, Nieuwdorp and Veenendaal where never found. The remains of Pronk were recovered and transported to Bandung for permanent burial.

Pronk is buried at the Dutch War Cemetery Pandu (Ereveld Pandu, Pandu Cemetery) at Bandung in western Java.

Jaap Blaak (son of Cornelis Blaak)

Ed Ijsbrandij adds:
"I am a friend of the Blaak family and it is very difficult for them to accept that there is no known grave. The Dutch Authorities and KLM Historians from Holland can not help the family more than they did. My question is; Is there anybody who knows the crash site or have contacts in the area of the crash site at Loeboekkelihat? All the info we have so far, is based on the report of 1948."

FindAGrave - Pieter Pronk (Ereveld Pandu) date of death listed as March 6, 1942
Thanks to Ed Ijsbrandij for additional information

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Last Updated
March 3, 2021

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