Coosje Ayal, born in 1926 in the Moluccas, Western New Guinea, became a notable figure for her resistance efforts during World War II. Adopted by her aunt and uncle, who was a civil servant of the Dutch colonial government, she attended a Dutch school and learned the language. When the Japanese invaded the Dutch East Indies, her uncle was tasked with hiding supplies in the jungle. Ayal, at the age of sixteen, joined a guerrilla group led by KNIL Captain Geeroms, surviving in the jungle for thirty months.

The 17 surviving members of the group under KNIL sergeant Mauritz Christiaan Kokkelink were relieved by the Allies on 4 October 1944 and were flown to Camp Columbia in Brisbane..

Coosje followed a nurse’s training in Brisbane, Australia, as an infantrywoman in the Royal Netherlands East Indies Army Women’s Corps and she was promoted to corporal. In Brisbane she also met the Dutch Caribbean soldier Henry Evers, whom she married in 1947.

Dutch New Guinea, 1944. A Dutch officer with members of a group of Dutch and Indonesian guerrillas who fought the Japanese for two years. The sixteen year old girl is holding a sword captured by the guerrillas from the Japanese. Australian War Memorial
Group photo at Camp Wacol of eleven of the eighteen guerrilla fighters of the Kokkelink group, which took action against the Japanese occupier in Dutch New Guinea.
From left to right: Nahuwae, soldier Sagrang, soldier Soeha (Soendan), soldier Guus de Mey, sergeant M.Ch. Kokkelink, soldier P.P. de Kock, Coosje Ayal-Nahuwae, fourier A.J.C. Beaufort, Private R. Jaquard, Private L. Attinger and Private Sandiman.

In the pdf below the full story of the heroine is told by Ellen Lock and was published in September 2012 in the SVB/PUR-magazine Aanspraak, Leiden, the Netherlands.

Coosje’s story also appears in Ellen Lock’s short story collection.