An envelope bearing the following image was carried by all members of the 42nd Bombardment Group (M) combat aircrews while on missions in the Netherlands East Indies.1
The envelope contained instructions to the natives of the Netherlands East Indies for providing aid to combat crews forced down in enemy held areas and other information. The Netherlands East Indies comprised the western half of New Guinea, the Moluccas, Sulawesi, Borneo, Java and Sumatra.
1. The white man holding this paper is a friend of our Government.
2. His plane has crashed and you must look after him so that he reaches safety.
3. He is not able to ask in Malay for everything he needs, so you must anticipate his wants.
4. Bring drinking water and drinking coconuts.
5. Give him food, such as fowls, eggs, bananas, pawpaws and other suitable foods.
6. Hide this white man and keep his presence a secret. The Japanese must not learn of his whereabouts.
7. If he is unable to walk, make a stretcher and carry him.
8. Let one man take the Government’s letter to the village chief.
9. The white man will sign and give you a paper, and when the Government returns you will be given a good reward in exchange for this paper.
THESE ARE THE INSTRUCTIONS OF THE GOVERNMENT AND YOU MUST OBEY THEM.
Notes & Commentary
1 Historical Records and Histories of Organizations. Headquarters 42nd Bombardment Group (M), 15 September 1944, microfilm B0131, Maxwell AFB, AL: Air Force Historical Research Agency, 1973, frame 1934.
2 Except for the first image above, all other images are privately held.