The preparation of the formation of the 18 NEI Squadron RAAF started in Archerfield, Brisbane and was formalised in Canberra on 4 April 1942. There is an annual reunion of the children of the 18th squadron (For enquiries:  Leonie Killeen The world-wide reunion takes place in Arnhem , also organised by the Kinderen van het 18 NEI RAAF Squadron .

One of the NESWA (Netherlands ex-Service Men and Women Association) members, Phillip Barnaart, attended the 80th anniversary of theworld-wide reunion.

Philip’s father (Willem Philip Barnaart) wasn’t present at the inauguration of the 18th as he had only just escaped from Java and was already on his way to the USA for training.

He joined the squadron in Batchelor, NT, the following year and flew over 37 missions to Japanese-occupied NEI earning the “Vliegerkruis” for his efforts.  

After the Japanese capitulation the squadron continued to fly, carrying out supply drops and other humanitarian tasks.  

There are (2022) still four RAAF Australian veterans of the 18 Squadron alive: Brian Coleman, LAC Electrician Alan Day LAC, Dentist Roy Porter Flt Sgt Gunner John Iskov. 

Veterans at the 75th anniversary of the 18 NEI Squadron.
l-r: Colonel Harold Jacobs, Senator Anne Rushton, Allen Day, Brian Coleman, Hans de Vries, and Leesa Vlahos

For a detailed history of the 18 NEI RAAF Squadron click here.