Flying Tigers
revised and updated

Those Buffalo bits in the Netherlands

Buffalo fuel gauges
Here are Brewster Buffalo fuel gauges, among the bits & pieces recently acquired by the Dutch aviation museum, the NLTP Aviodrome in Lelystad, the Netherlands. (kindness of Bas Kreuger)

Kindness of Jos Heyman, here's a translation of a posting on a Dutch message board:
"The Aviodrome [museum] has indeed purchased parts of three Brewster Buffaloes, viz: B3-174 Buffalo B-339D ex NEI-Army c/n 375 (parts); B3-178 Buffalo B-339D ex NEI-Army c/n 379 (parts); '304' Buffalo B-339D ex [USAAF Australia] c/n ??? (parts). The Aviodrome has plans to build a Buffalo B-339D fuselage. It is intended to fix the parts to this replica fuselage. It is not known when this is going to happen."

I've looked at the museum's web page, but as far as I can make out, the replica hasn't since made an appearance. But here is the earlier reporting on these aircraft:

Thanks to the alert reporting of Paul McMillan and Roel Lucassen, we have a fairly complete picture of the three Buffalo ghosts reported in California. They are the property of Vintage Aircraft Company, located in Sonoma, California, and owned by Christopher Prevost. Mr. Prevost evidently owns the remains of three Brewster Buffalos, probably B-339-23 models built for the Dutch colonial air force in the Indies (now Indonesia) but diverted to Australia in early 1942. Two of them bear the (RAAF?) serials B3-174 and B3-178. The third is USAAF 304, operated by the U.S. Army until it crashed into the side of Mount Stanley.

All three aircraft were recovered from Australia by Graham Orphan, publisher of Classic Wings Downunder.

The early reports said that one of the Buffs had been acquired by the Militaire Luchtvaart Museum in Soesterberg, Netherlands. Roel Lucassen provided this translation of an interview in the magazine Luchtvaart:

"The new museum director reveals a new addition to the collection: a Brewster Buffalo, the fighter aircraft that was in use with the KNIL (the Dutch East Indies): "We are currently going through the final stages with the American owner of the Brewster Buffalo. This example is one that was for use with the KNIL but due to the breaking out of WW2 couldn't be delivered." Along with the Fokker C.X replica that will be constructed in the near future, it will be a nice addition to the collection."

The planes that went to Australia were originally bound for the Netherlands East Indies and the Dutch colonial air force. In his Squadron-Signal book about the Buffalo, Jim Maas identifies them as model B-339-23--essentially, an F2A-3 with a refurbished Wright R-1820-G5 airline engine. Altogether, twenty-one Buffaloes were diverted to Australia, including twenty B-339-23s and one of the earlier B-339Ds, identical to those that had been lost in the Indies. A few were flown by the USAAF and the rest by the RAAF. See Buffaloes Among the Kangaroos on this website.

The NLTP Aviodrome in Lelystad is evidently an entirely separate institution from the Militaire Luchtvaart Museum in Soesterberg. I don't know if the original reports were wrong about the acquiring organization, or whether the Aviodrome has since taken over the project from the military museum. I'd appreciate any information about the fate of these displays.

Question? Comment? Newsletter? Send me an email. Blue skies! -- Dan Ford

Get a signed copy

On this website: Front page | Flying Tigers | Chinese Air Force | Japan at War | Brewster Buffalo | Glen Edwards & the Flying Wing | Vietnam | War in the Modern World | The Spadguys Speak | Bluie West One | Poland 1939-1948 | Book Club | Book reviews | Question? | Google us | Website & webmaster | Site map

Other sites: Flying Tigers: the book | Daniel Ford's blog | Daniel Ford's books | Facebook | Piper Cub Forum | Raintree County | Reading Proust | Expedition Yacht Seal

Posted June 2019. Websites © 1997-2019 Daniel Ford; all rights reserved.