Attack on Muntok.

February 1942 saw the Japanese forces closing in on the Dutch East Indies. On several placed the Japanese forces had landed and were making ground. Desperate to stop this the English, American and Dutch Air Forces tried to bring the attack to a halt. The Command ML and the British West Group did not have enough operational bombers to retry the failed attack on Muntok of February 23rd 1942. That's why the attack was left over to the Reconnaissance Group, which attacked with two individual Do-24K-1's (X-17 and X-18) of GVT 8 (Groep Vliegtuigen 8, Group Airplanes 8) of the MLD (Dutch Navy Air Force). This Group operated together with Groups 16 and 18 of the MLD and with 205 Squadron of the RAF (all three equipped with Catalina flying boats), based at Priok, the harbour of Batavia. These units flew reconnaissance missions in the Straight of Soenda, the western part of the Java Sea to the coast of Borneo and around Bangka and Billiton to trace Japanese ship concentrations and manoeuvres. From time to time reconnaissance missions were flown in the direction of the Anambas and Natuna Islands. The forementioned Catalia units, together with GVT 17 of the MLD, performed mine laying missions in the Moesi river and the Straight of Bangka, flying from Priok.. The X-17 and X-18 bombed five small ships at Muntok and were chased by Japanese Army I's of the 64th Sentai. Both were shot down at Noordwachter, the most northerly island of the "Thousand Islands". Both Do-24K-1's were lost and one crew was killed. According to Japanese documents the damage done to the ships was small and none were sunk. The Japanese fighters were there by accident, they were on their way back from an attack on Tjililitan.