Presentation on Australian-Dutch WWII events at ANZAC Square & Memorial Galleries

Camp Columbia Heritage Association invites you to a presentation by Dutch historian Bas Kreuger on Dutch Australian WWII events on 17 November 2023 at the ANZAC Square & Memorial Galleries. Reservations are limited to 60 persons. Register for free here.

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Dutch visitor to Brisbane Bas Kreuger

Bas Kreuger (Delft, the Netherlands 1962) studied maritime history at Leiden University with his thesis on the loss of the first Dutch navy steam gunboat “Zr Ms Onrust” in 1859 on Borneo. He worked at the Air Force Museum and the Aviodome aviation museum where a lifelong interest in the WWII war in the Pacific started, specifically in the operations of the Netherlands East Indies-Air Force (NEI AF), operating from Australia (including from Archerfield).

Till 2015 he was director of the Netherlands Fortification Museum in the beautiful 17th century fortified town of Naarden. In this capacity there were also numerous projects that involved Dutch fortifications in Indonesia. Since 2015 he is self-employed in cultural heritage projects, mainly focused on build heritage, exhibitions and project management.

In the past years, Bas has participated in several Australian – Dutch heritage projects. Amongst others: research in the Netherlands for:

  • The Brisbane-based Camp Columbia project.
  • Research for the WA Museums project on the Broome 3 March 1942 disaster.
  • Research into the crash of a Dutch B-25 bomber in NW Australia with 1 million guilders on board.
  • Research into the 1942 Timor guerrilla campaign fought by Australian commandoes and Dutch military troops.
  • The rescue of a US bomber crew from Dutch New Guinea in 1944 by a Dutch-Australian-US rescue team.

Currently Bas is working for the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands (RCE) on an inventory of all Dutch military aircraft losses since 1911 and remaining wreckage parts worldwide. In Australia those are NEI AF/RAAF squadrons 18 and 120, Naval Air Service Dornier Do-24 and Catalina’s plus Dutch transport units.

Camp Columbia Heritage Association

The Camp Columbia Heritage Association aims to create a heritage trail along the last remnant of Camp Columbia – the major staging camp for the war in the Pacific from US General MacArthur. The Dutch operated from this camp between 1944 and 1947 and established here the NEI Government-in-Exile, the only foreign government ever operated from Australian soil. The association recently received a grant from the Dutch Government for the start of an exhibition.
Anzac Square & Memorial Galleries, 85 Ann Street November 17 10am-12 noon