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The AFB's


On the fifth day the Luftwaffe no longer frequented the AFB's in Zeeland, convinced as they were that the bases were no longer of use. And since no Allied formations appeared to have moved to these bases, attention was shifted elsewhere.

Another matter re-occurred this fifth day though. The option to evacuate the bases.

Flushing AFB  

At the 12th the deputy commander of Flushing AFB had requested permission whether it wounldn't be wise to have the entire flight school evacuated to France. His request had been denied.

A second lieutenant [pilot officer] - still uncertified as a pilot - did not accept the denial and blamed his commanding officers for it. He distrusted them and found plenty of support amongst the men. He himself - accompanied by an equal in rank and function - commandeered a car and drove to the HQ of Rear-Admiral Van der Stad in Flushing.

Remarkably enough the two lieutenants managed to convince somebody important that the base had to be evacuated and they returned from the HQ with the written instruction to the base-commander to do so. During this trip the driver overheard the two young officers accusing their direct superiors of treason and subversive acting and when he had dropped off both officers the driver spread the news to all men he could find. Within no time the news was travelling through the ranks that a massive case of treason was taking place at Flushing AFB.

As a result French and Dutch soldiers arrested the base commander. The young lieutenant himself tried to arrest his own superior officer, but when he bashed into his office with drawn pistol the simple command of the Captain to get out of the office was enough to have the lieutenant holster up his weapon and ... leave the office. The commander of the guarding infantry troops, that was told the news of the base commander being captive, quickly assembled a patrol around him and liberated the Captain. The crisis had been brought under control, but it was a clear show of what one single man could achieve by telling a ghost story.

Within two hours after the event the 23 planes of the flying school that could still fly, left the base for France. No more than 19 reached Berck-sur-Mer. Later the lot flew to Caen, via Chartres, where they arrived at the 16th. The ground-crew - and about 20 men of the guarding unit - had followed the airplanes when they left Flushing a day later. They arrived in Caen at the 18th. All of these men [and three officer wives!] would later reach England.

Veere navy airfleet base

Also at the 14th, the remaining four Fokker C-XIV-W seaplanes at Veere were ordered to evacuate to France. Their role in The Netherlands - for as far as they ever had one during the five days' war - was finished. The airfleet navy base itself remained occupied though.

The planes eventually arrived at Cherbourg and were later flown over to England. From England all Dutch navy seaplanes [basically all surviving seaplanes had evacuated from the Netherlands] - with exception of the modern Fokker T-VIII-W [who would fly in the RAF 320 'Dutch' squadron] - were crated and sent to the NEI. Here they would serve during the war with Japan in 1941 and 1942. Virtually all of the planes would be lost during this three months battle in the NEI.