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  Dornier Do 24K-1 Serial Number X-1  

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MDL circa 1938-1941

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March 1942

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Stan Gajda 1981
Commander  LTZ 2 KMR. H. P. Valk
1st Pilot  SGTVLGR. Heinrich T. Hasselo, 14293 (survived)
2nd Pilot  SGTVLGR. Jan Van Persie, 14319 (survived)
Observer  Mil. SGT.ZWNR Hubrecht Boslooper, 19914/D (survived)
Mechanic  Sgt VLGTMKR. (M) Simon Johannes Koens, 10988 (survived)
Mechanic  Sgt VLGTMKR. (M) Jan W. Piers, 7482 (survived)
Radio  Mil. MTR.-TEL. B. Belloni, 155518/D
Crew  KPL.VLGTMKR. (M) G. J. Stuivenberg, 13105
Crew  VLGTMKRSMT (M) J. Ruiter, 14162
Crew  VLGTMKRSMT (M) H. Hoogendoorn, 14178
Passenger  Mrs Johanna A. Van Persie (survived)
Passenger  Mrs. Van Der Zande (survived)
Passenger  Jack Van Der Zande (survived)
Passenger  Sara Koens (survived)
Passenger  Mrs Sara Koens (survived)
Passenger  G. Piet Koens (survived)
Passenger  Elisabeth F. Koens (survived)
Passenger  Mrs Cornelia G. E. Piers-Morien (drowned)
Passenger  Frans Piers (drowned)
Passenger Cornelius "Cor" Piers (drowned)
Destroyed  March 3, 1942

Aircraft History
Built by Dornier Flugzeugwerke as a model V3. Werknummern 761 (Werk Nr 761). On July 2, 1937 first flight by Dornier pilot Erich Gundermann without any markings.

During flight testing in Germany, the tail was painted with a black hakenkruez swastika in a red band with a white circle on both tails with German registration D-ADLP in black lettering on both sides of the fuselage. On September 8, 1937 this aircraft underwent seagoing tests in the North Sea.

This flying boat was purchased by the Marine-Luchtvaartdienst (MLD), the first of eleven flying boats built for the Marineluchtvaartdienst (Netherlands Naval Aviation Service). Before shipment overseas, this aircraft was converted into a Do 24K-1 variant. Painted in MLD markings with serial number X-1 painted on both sides of the fuselage in large black letters.

On November 10, 1937 loaded as cargo aboard the vessel Kota Nopan and shipped from Hamburg overseas to Morokrembangan Seaplane Base in eastern Java. During 1938, used at the flying school at Morokrembangan Seaplane Base near Soerabaja in eastern Java.

Wartime History
On January 30, 1942 assigned to squadron GVT-7 at Lake Grati near Soerabaja in Java flying reconnaissance missions over the Savu Sea (Savoe Sea) along with Do 24 X-1, Do 24 X-24 and Do 24 X-36.

On February 7, 1942 assigned to GVT 7 based at Lake Grati near Soerabaja in Java to fly reconnaissance missions along with Do 24 X-1, Do 24 X-24 and Do 24 X-36.

Mission History
On March 2, 1942 took off from Lake Grati overloaded with passengers and civilians on an evacuation flight to Australia and landed on March 3, 1942 at approximately 8:30am at Roebuck Bay off Broome. This flying boat was unaware a Japanese air raid by six A6M2 Zeros was in progress and was strafed and destroyed roughly a mile from shore.

Recovery of Remains
The bodies of the three civilians that drown in the strafing attack were recovered.

King tides with a difference of 32' make the wreck accessible from shore at extreme low tides.

In 1982, the rear turret, aircraft tool kit and personal effects were salvaged by Stan Gajda and later donated to the Western Australia Aviation Museum (WAAM).

Stan Gajda adds:
"Although I did clear a section of the X-1 hull, in the center, the bow was there and one control column, but hard to spot. It is a real shame that my efforts to raise interest and funding to recover one of these wrecks and preserve it came to nothing."

The three civilians that drown were buried at Perth War Cemetery in the same row of graves. Mrs Cornelia G. E. Piers-Morien (age 42) at grave 4, Frans Piers (age 7) at grave 5 and Cornelius "Cor" Piers (age 14) at grave 6.

On ANZAC Day April 25, 2000, the Broome Allied War Memorial was unveiled in Broome with the names of those killed including those aboard Do 24 X-1.

Jan Willem Piers (grandchild)
"My grandfather, Jan W. Piers was an aviation engineer of the Marine Luchtvaartdienst which means something like Naval Aviation Service. He was stationed at Morokrembangan near Soerabaja on Java. My grandfather decided to take his wife (Cor Piers) and two of his three children (Cor Piers and Frans Piers) with him on his flight to Broome. The oldest son was not on board of the flying boat, because he was in the army, fighting against the Japanese troops. On arrival in Broome the X-1 was attacked by Japanese flyers and my grandmother and the two boys were killed. My grandfather buried them on the beach of Broome. Fragments of the shot-down flying boats were used to mark the places were people were buried. My father and grandfather survived the war, though with serious mental and physical damage."

References - Werknummern 761
Dutch Institute for Naval History Do 24 X-1 passenger list
"Australia’s Undersea Aerial Armada: the aviation archaeology of World War II flying boats lying in Roebuck Bay, Broome, Western Australia" by Silvano Jung, PhD thesis Charles Darwin University, 2008
Thanks to Stan Gajda and Jan Willem Piers for additional information

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Last Updated
March 3, 2021

Tech Info
Do 24

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