PERSONALIA
 
Name:  Arens, Hermanus Josephus Aloysius C.
Date of birth: November 22nd, 1914 (Nijmegen, The Netherlands)
Date of death:  October 22nd, 2005 (Morgantown/West-Virginia, United States of America)
Nationality:  Dutch
BIOGRAPHY: 
Herman Arens followed the Canisius College in Nijmegen. He follwed his flying training on Soesterberg and left for the Dutch East Indies in 1938 to work as a commercial captain on the flying-line Batavia-Sydney.
At the outbreak of war with Japan, he flies the last plane to Australia, flying Dr. van Mook (Gouvernor of the Dutch East Indies) and General Van Ooijen (Commander in Chief of the Military Air Force of the Dutch East-Indies Army). From Australia he ferries by boot to San Francisco, arriving on the 27th of May, 1942 in Jackson, Mississippi where the dispersed Dutch government found a location for her flying school. As an experienced commercial pilot, Arens succeeds in delivering numerous pilots in little time. He couldn't prevent though that almost thirty Dutchmen got killed during flying training.
After his period in the USA, Arens returned to Australia to fly on hundreds of missions agains Japanese forces in Indonesia. As a member of no. 18 (NEI, Netherlands East Indies) Squadron RAAF he joined on 53 missions made amongst others a succesful bombing raid on the barracks area on Penfoei airfield near Koepang and operated as pathfinder dropping incendiary bombs on the target area thus enabling following bombers finding the target.
On September 13th, 1945 he is the first pilot to land on Batavia and was one of the first Dutchman to visit the Japanese POW camps in September 1945 where his wife to be, Ans, also was inprisoned for three years. The POW's gave him messages for their relatives. It's because of Arens the first signs of life came out.
Herman Arens also was given the job of the so-called RAPWI-flights (Recovery of Allied prisoners of War and Internees) and manages to impound a couple of Japanse traffic aircraft to, together with Japanse pilots, endorse these flights.
After the war, Herman and his wife Ans emigrated to the USA. He studied law at the University of Miami graduating cum laude. His work included the Supreme Court and the Federal Judiciary.
For 17 years he worked as executive assistant and secretary to the president of the National Geographic Societey.
In 2005 Arens died at the age of 90 years old in Ruby Memorial Hospital, Morgantown, West-Virginia. Two years after his death his remains were buried on Cedar Lawn Cemetery in Jackson, Mississippi. Mid 2007 he's the 28th buried Dutch airman.
     
VLIEGERKRUIS (VK)
Rank: Reserve-Kapitein-Vlieger (Reserve Flight Lieutenant)
Unit: No. 18 Squadron, Militaire Luchtvaart van het Nederlands-Indisch Leger (No. 18 Squadron, Military Air Force of the Dutch-East-Indies Army)
Awarded on: July 6th, 1944
Action: Received for his part in the attack on Dilly, Timor.
Details: 181st Award
Royal Decree no. 2 6th July, 1944.
 
     
DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS (DFC)
Rank: Reserve Kapitein Vlieger (Flight Lieutenant)
Unit: No 18 (NEI) Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force
Awarded on: August 8th, 1945
 
     
VLIEGERKRUIS (VK)
Rank: Reserve-Kapitein-Vlieger (Reserve Flight Lieutenant)
Unit: No. 18 Squadron, Militaire Luchtvaart van het Nederlands-Indisch Leger (No. 18 Squadron, Military Air Force of the Dutch-East-Indies Army)
Awarded on: December 9th, 1949
Action: Received for the achieving of 51 operational sorties with 306 flying hours.
Details: 599th Award.
Royal Decree No. 25, dated 9th December 1949.
Second Vliegerkruis received in the form of a number "2" for on the ribbon of the first Vliegerkruis.
 
     
OORLOGSHERINNERINGSKRUIS (OHK)
Details: Received with two clasps.
 
 
 
  Provide alterations or additional information
Information source(s):   - MEIJER, H.G. & VIS, R., Het Vliegerkruis, De Bataafsche Leeuw, Amsterdam, 1997.
- Nederlands Dagblad
- De Gelderlander van 21 januari 1947
- The Dutch Medals Page
- Mississippi National Guard
- Shannondale & Beyond - Shanondale Club Alumni
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