Air Enthusiast 1999-07
L.Hellstrom - Air War in Paradise
One of the B-26Bs of the second batch of three Invaders flown to Manado in mid-May 1958, seen at Clark Air Base before delivery. Unlike the first batch these aircraft had eight-gun noses and a natural metal finish.
The two B-26Cs kept on stand-by at Clark Air Base received a makeshift dark green camouflage paint job. In the event they were never used in Indonesia and instead went to Taiwan.
Another and equally anonymous B-26B at Clark, awaiting ferrying to the CIA base at Manado. It was painted overall black without any discernible markings.
One of the first Invaders to be used in the Indonesian operation, B-26B 44-34376, is being run up at Clark Air Base on March 20, 1958, before delivery. Note the wing guns.
The B-26 Invader crashed by Connie Seigrist, after the Mapanget airfield in Manado was captured by government troops
Typical of the many C-46s used by CAT for sensitive operations such as Indonesia, B-857 carried a minimum of markings
The RoCAF also used C-46s to supply the rebels in Indonesia. This particular aircraft was snapped at Clark Air Base in the spring of 1957, though.
The C-47 was the most numerous operational aircraft of the AURI. T-442 was inherited from the Dutch and is seen in early post-independence markings
The former 44-74030 after being ‘sanitised’ and only marked ‘II’. Note the ‘pencil’ type drop tanks, not normally associated with the Mustang.
An F-51D in early 1950s AURI markings. By 1958 a national insignia had usually been added on the fuselage
The Mustangs of 3 Skadron were the main fighter force of the AURI. F-303 and F-319 both saw action in the 1958 operations
Mustang ‘III’ being prepared for a text flight at Clark Air Base in March 1958. It is believed to have been the former 44-73562.
F-51D 44-73514 was received from the Philippine Air Force for use by the CIA and is seen here on March 20, 1958, soon after arrival at Clark Air Base.
Fighter pilot Antonio ‘Tony’ Dedal - seen here during his Philippine Air Force days - was one of two Filipinos hired to fly Mustangs for the CIA.
During preparation for delivery, ‘514 was given a thorough servicing and was also completely stripped of all previous markings.
‘PERMESTA’ titles carried under wings of at least one of the Beech 18s. None of the aircraft based at Manado are believed to have been so marked
A PBY Catalina of CAT coming in to land at Matsu island off the coast of China, during one of many clandestine missions flown by Connie Seigrist. This is most likely the aircraft later destroyed in Indonesia
The sorry remains of the CIA Catalina destroyed by AURI Mustangs in the air strike on Manado on May 15, 1958.
Servicing and re-arming an AURI B-25J ‘strafer’ between missions.
A B-25J of 1 Skadron over Sumatra in typical mid/late 1950s markings
Two of AURI B-25Js - one unidentified ‘strafer’ and ‘bomber’ M-459 - at Maumere during the operations against Manado in May 1958.
The sole AURI B-25 pilot James Ismail fourth from left with 1 Skadron members during the first AURI operations against a Sulawesi rebellion, the Kahar-Muzakar uprising in 1950.
The 1 Skadron badge, with an orange or red deer on a black ‘1’, commemorated the lean times in the early post-independence years when the squadron officers hunted deer to feed their crews.
AURI B-25 M-423 after its landing accident at Liang airfield on May 15. It was heavily camouflaged to protect it from AUREV air attacks.
During the continued AURI operations against PERMESTA, B-25J number M-433 had to make an emergency landing at Manado after being hit by anti-aircraft fire.