Parmentier and Moll

Looking back: 1934

Kaleidoscoop, an overview of the main events in the Netherlands in 1934, made by the Polygoon movietheater journal. With a short flashback on the Melbournerace and the arrival of the Uiver at Schiphol Airport

Polygoon Journaal, the subject over the return of the Uiver is at the end of this fragment: Parmentier thanks the Dutch people for this warm welcome.

Parmentier speeches at the day of the return in Amsterdam

The Stork

In 1934, the first KLM DC-2 took to the air. Plesman had such faith in this entirely metal aircraft that he entered it in the London to Melbourne handicap race, which had been organised by the manufacturer A.C. Robertson.

The 'Flying Dutchman' theme was dusted off and used for one of the first posters featuring this plane,

The Snipe

In 1934 KLM's maiden voyage to the West Indies took place.

The tri-motor Fokker F-XVIII was initially deployed on the Batavia route, but in 1934 Plesman decided to use the Snip for flights to Paramaribo (Surinam) and Curaçao (The Antilles).

Poster Christmasflight to the Dutch west Indies

All excess ballast was removed for this flight. The chairs and the toilet were dismantled to make way for the extra fuel tanks that were required for the 3,612 kilometre flight across the ocean. The flight was undertaken in December 1934 and was a great success.

The Fokker F-XVIII made a crossing from Amsterdam via Paramaribo to Curaçao, carrying mail. The trip of 11,000 kms (4,000 over water) landed 8 days after take-off from Schiphol, on 22 December 1934 at Hato Airport.

Captain was J.J. Hongdong, co-pilot/navigator J.J. van Balkom, engineer L.D. Stolk, wireless operator S. v.d.Molen. The route was from Amsterdam via Marseille, Alicante, Casablanca, Cabo Verde, Paramaribo and Caracas.

Pan-American started the first North-Atlantic mail service on May 20, 1939 and the first trans-Atlantic passenger service on June 28, according to Flight 100. North Atlantic is correct (if a much shorter distance). But the first trans-Atlantic mail service was flown by KLM five years earlier. What KLM really wanted was to set up a West Indian company; eventually this became ALM Antillean Airlines.
Juan Trippe only started organizing the first intercontinental routes for Pan Am(erican World Airways) in 1936, years after KLM had been crossing the Atlantic, and having flown much longer to the Far East shoulder-to-shoulder with British Imperial Airways.

Air France and Lufthansa were in Africa and South America long since. However, the Snip flight did not inaugurate a regular KLM trans-Atlantic service.

As of january 1935, the Snipe was used to develop KLM's operations in the West Indies.

Captain Hondong and crew of the Snip

Poster for the promotion of this fast Christmas flight to Batavia. Unfortunately most of this post never arrived

These high flying days were marred by the loss of the Uiver (Stork).

Having won the second prize in the London to Melbourne race, the Stork was sent on an extra flight to Dutch East Indies, carrying Christinas mail.

Wreckage of the Uiver near Ruthbath Wells

Letter saved from the wreckage of the Uiver

Sadly, the plane crashed near Ruthbath Wells in the Syrian Desert, killing all crewmembers and destroying most of the mail.

The Stork (Uiver) back at SchipholParmentier speeches at the day of the return in AmsterdamPlesman and Captain ParmentierPrins en Van Brugge ready for their glorious drive through Amsterdam

Op 1 december werden Parmentier en Soer gehuldigd in hun woonplaats Amstelveen





The year of the Uiver

Due to the increasing popularity of air transport, there was a growing demand for larger and faster aircraft. Fokker maintained its basic aircraft structure, consisting of metal tubing, linen and triplex.

However, in the United States, passenger aircraft were being manufactured which were made entirely of aluminium and ecluipped with state-of-the-art technology.

The picture of the crew of the IJsvogel in front of a Fokker F.XII, made in september 1934, makes clear that not really much had changed in two years.

There were no new developments after the introduction of the Fokker F.XII and F.XVIII.

Plesman believed that KLM should have the fastest available aircraft. The latest Fokker models of the early 1930s, such as the Fokker F.XX and F.XXXVI, were limited by top speeds of about 200 kilometers per hour.

KLM tested one of these new 'Tin American' the Douglas DC-2 in the U.S.A., and decided to purchase 14 DC-2s, thus opening Douglas' entry into the European aviation market.

Albert Plesman entered the first KLM DC-2, the 'Stork', for the great London-to-Melbourne race, which was to be held in the autumn of 1934.


The crew of the Fokker F.XII IJsvogel is ready for departure for the 200th journey to the Dutch East Indies: G.M.H. Frijns, Th.W. von Weyrother, S. van de Molen and P. Blok

Parmentier en MollThe Stork (Uiver) at the startThe Stork (Uiver) back at SchipholParmentier and Moll


Regular service or race?

Plesman considered the race an opportunity to show the public that a regular air service between Europe and Australia was possible. This was also the intention of the man who organised the race - the Australian sweet manufacturer MacPherson-Robertson.

The Stork therefore carried paying passengers and flew the race, as if it was a normal, albeit faster, service. Captain K.D. Parmentier, Co-pilot J.J. Moll, Flight Engineer B. Prins and Radio operator C. van Brugge flew the Stork to Melbourne in three days, eightteen hours and seventeen minutes, winning first prize on handicap and second prize in the speed section.

competiting against specially manufactured racing planes piloted by only two crewmembers. This was no mean feat for an airliner weighed down with three extra passengers and 191 kilograms of mail,

Soon after the London-to-Melbourne race, a Fokker F-XVIII made history - the last time this type of plane was to do so.


Letter with special Melbourne-race stamps

The 'Snipe' completed KLM's first Atlantic crossing, piloted by Captain J.J. Hondong.

From 15 to 22 December, the Snipe flew to Curacao, one of the Dutch Antilles, via Marseille (France), Alicante (Spain), Casa Blanca (Morocco), Praia (Cape Verdes), Caracas (Venezuela) and Paramaribo (Surinam).

The same plane was used to open the first scheduled service in the Caribbean, between Curacao and Aruba (Dutch Antilles).

Amulet celebrating the victory of the Uiver