Singkawang (Sinkawang; 108.983E 0.9N) is a town on the western coast of Borneo. In 1941 the town had an important military airfield defended by 1-VI.G.V Squadron with 5 F2A Buffalos and 2-VI.G.I Squadron with 11 B-10 Martin bombers. The airfield was deliberately constructed in the middle of undisturbed jungle with no roads, supplies being brought in by air, on the theory that this would allow it to be held by a smaller garrison. Aircraft from the field unsuccessfully attacked a Japanese convoy off Miri on 17 December 1941. The aircraft were forced to withdraw from the field on 24 December.

By 30 December 1941, the tiny Dutch garrison was joined by the remnants of a battalion of 15 Punjab Regiment which had retreated from Kuching. Although these received a drop of supplies by air from Singapore, the Japanese drove out the garrison on 26 January 1942. Two Punjabi platoons that inflicted serious casualties on the Japanese were massacred after surrendering. The remaining Punjabis marched 500 miles (800 km) through the jungle to the south coast of Borneo, but were taken prisoner when the Netherlands East Indies were surrendered on 8 March 1942.


Corrigan (2010)

London Gazette (1948-1-28, 1948-2-26; accessed 2012-1-20)

Willmott (1982)

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