No. 8252. Brewster B-339-18 (NX341B c/n 317)
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Brewster B-339-18

11/31/2008. Remarks by Charles Mac Kay: "The Netherlands East Indies AF (ML-KNIL) ordered 72 Brewster Model 339Ds with the ML-KNIL s/n B-395 to B-399 and B-3100 to B-3166, by the time they were delivered they were redesignated Model 339-18. A second batch was ordered as Model 439 with the ML-KNIL s/n B-3167 to B-3186, eventually only 50 were delivered before the Netherlands East Indies surrendered to the Japanese on March 8, 1942.

Pictured with the civil registration NX341B while test flown over the USA before delivery, this aircraft was produced for the ML-KNIL with the s/n B-3119 as shown on the fuselage, and by the 3119 on the leading edge of the wings. It dispensed with the familiar roundel for a black bordered equilateral triangle to end confusion with the Nipponese Meatball, however on February 23, 1942 the triangle was replaced by a Dutch flag insignia to end confusion with AA gunners.

The aircraft was shipped to the Netherlands East Indies in early 1942, and on February 1, there were 31 Buffaloes available divided among five bases. B-3119 was issued to 3-V1.G IV which was virtually wiped out at Tjililitan on February 3. On March 5, four Buffaloes fought the last Dutch action with one being shot down. B-3119 survived the hostilities and diverted to Australia where was used by the USAAF carrying s/n 3119, its fate is unknown.

The performance of the Model 339-18 was lousy due to the engines which according to tradition were reconditioned civilian DC3 engines and its armament was rifle caliber machine guns a death trap."

Created October 31, 2008