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Notable Brewster Buffalo pilots in Southeast Asia, 1941-42

by Santiago A. Flores

The following is a listing, compiled from various sources, of notable Brewster Buffalo pilots who flew in combat in the early part of the Pacific war. I have chosen to list the individual claims of those pilots who claimed 4 victories. For those who claimed over 4 victories (to include shared victories), information can be found in Aces High and Aces High Vol.2, written by Christopher Shores and Clive Williams. All the victories claimed for P/O. G. B. Fisken are already noted in this web site.

Not all the individual claims for each pilot has been found and there are some discrepancies between the sources that I have consulted from type of aircraft claimed shot-down to the day of the claim. Any help or information would be most welcomed to make the listing as accurate as possible.

SGT. GEOFFREY BRYSON FISKEN 6 victories RNZAF 243,453 Squadron WIA Feb. 1, 1942 Later flew in No.15 RNZAF Squadron, claiming 5 more victories to become the top scoring Commonwealth pilot against the Japanese.

F/LT. MAURICE HENRY HOLDER 5 victories RAF 243 Squadron KIFA July 16, 1942 (2 and 3 shared destroyed, and 2 shared damaged) He returned to the UK, only to be killed in a training accident.

SGT. ALFRED WATTLE BENJAMIN CLARE 5 victories RAAF 453 Squadron

F/LT. RICHARD DOUGLAS VANDERFIELD 5 victories RAAF 453 Squadron (plus 1 shared probable)

SGT. MALCOLM NEVILLE READ 4 victories RAAF 453 Squadron KIA December 22, 1941 December 13, 1941 3 shared Ki-51's December 22, 1941 1 Rammed a KI-43

F/LT. DAVID JOHN COLIN PINCKNEY 4 victories RAF 67 Squadron KIA January 23, 1942 (Plus 3 claimed victories, 3 probables and 1 damaged with 603 squadron in Europe. His story is listed in this web site.)

SGT. BERT SAMUEL WIPITI 4 victories RNZAF 243, 453 Squadron KIA Northern Europe (3 and 1 shared victories) Known claims:
January 10, 1942 sh Ki-46
January 21, 1942 Ki-43
January 22, 1942 "Navy 96" Bomber
Later transferred over to 453 Squadron, served in the UK. Promoted to WO. Served in 458 Squadron flying Spifires, later reported KIA probably after 1943. He would claim two more shared kills in this unit:
September 16, 1943 sh. ME-109
October 3, 1943 sh. FW-190

SGT. C. V. (Vic) BARGH 4 victories RNZAF 67 Squadron 4v Know claims based on the book "Bloody Shambles":
December 23, 1941 KI-27 Probable Bomber Destroyed
December 25, 1941 Fighter Destroyed
January 24, 1942 Bomber Destroyed

SGT. VIVIAN ARTHUR COLLYER 4 victories RAAF 21/453 Squadron
December 13, 1941 3 sh. Ki-51
December 22, 1941 1 enemy aircraft

F/LT. JACK ROTSTON "CONGO" KINNINMONT 4 victories RAAF 21/453 Squadron Generally credited with 3 claims with the Buffalo, later served in 75,76 and 86 RAAF Squadrons. Known claims:
January 15, 1942 Bomber Probable
January 19, 1942 Recon Aircraft
January 19, 1942 KI-43
January 29, 1942 Bomber Damaged
January 31, 1942 Zero Damaged

F/O. NOEL C. SHARP 3 victories RNZAF 488/243/604 Squadrons Known claims:
January 12, 1942 Fighter Probable
January 13,1942 Fighter Ki-43
January 18, 1942 Fighter Type O
January 20, 1942 2 Bombers Damaged

F/ LT. TIMOTHY ASHMED VIGORS 3 victories RAF 243/453 Squadron WIA December 13, 1941
December 13, 1941 3 e/a fighters.
Note: These claims are not credited to him, the Japanese did not suffer any losses that day. Had served in No.222 squadron in Europe, with a score of 6 claimed destroyed, 1 unconfirmed destroyed, 6 probables, 3 and 2 shared damaged. Later promoted to Wing Commander .

NOTABLE DUTCH BREWSTER BUFFALO PILOTS, 1941-1942

In the case of the Brewster Pilots of the Dutch Netherlands East Indies Air Force it has been mentioned that the Dutch pilots claimed about 55 enemy aircraft destroyed for the lost of 30 aircraft in combat. But a complete listing of all their claims has not been published to the knowledge of the author to better document the claim victories of the following notable Dutch pilots.

KAPT. JACOB.P.VAN HELSDINGER 3 victories 2-VIG-V KIA March 7, 1942 Known Claims:
January 12, 1942 1 Ki-27

LT. AUGUST. G. DEIBEL 3 victories 2-VIG-V WIA January 12, 1942; WIA February 19, 1942 Known Claims:
January 12, 1942 2 Ki-27's
Later KIFA June 12, 1950 in the Netherlands.

LT. GERARDUS. M. BRUGGINK 2 victories 2-VIG-V Known Claims:
January 12, 1941 1 Ki-27

KAPT. ANDRIAS. A. M. VAN REST 2 victories 1-VIG-V

SOURCES AND REFERENCES:

ACES HIGH by Christopher Shores and Clive Williams, Grub Street, London UK. 1994.

ACES HIGH VOL. 2 by Christopher Shores, Grub Street, London UK, 1999.

F2A BUFFALO IN ACTION by Jim Maas. Squadron/Signal publications Inc. Aircraft #81. 1987.

BREWSTER 339E BUFFALO, THE LUCKLESS DEFENDER OF SINGAPORE By Jarmo Nikkonen, AAHS Journal, Summer 1998.

BLOODY SHAMBLES VOL.1 and VOL.2 By Christopher Shores and Brian Cull with Yasuho Izawa Grub Street Vol.1 (1992) and Vol.2 (1993) London UK.

VICTORY LIST NO.7 RAF 400 SERIES SQUADRON CREDIT FOR THE DESTRUCTION OF ENEMY AIRCRAFT IN AIR TO AIR COMBAT WORLD WAR 2 by Frank J. Olynyk. November 1989.

COMMONWEALTH BUFFALO SQUADRONS IN SOUTHEAST ASIA. Annals of the Buffalo Web Site.

FLIGHT SGT. BARGH, BREWSTER BUFFALO PILOT. Annals of the Buffalo Web Site.

BREWSTER BUFFALO IN DUTCH SERVICE by Paul Andiressen Annals of the Buffalo Web.Site.

NEIAF THE STORY OF AN UNSUAL AIR FORCE by Gerard J. Casius and Peter Boer. Air Combat Vol.3 No.5 March 1975, Vol.3 No.3 May 1975, Vol.3 No.4 July 1975