Among the 40 portraits found by S. Gerardu of 122 Squadron, 3 of them turned out to be 17 VARWA crew. It is estimated that 50-70 crew were based on 11VB Polonia.
17 Squadron VARWA was founded in 1946 on july the 15th and manned with ex-prisoners of war from the pre-war ML-KNIL, supplemented by public transport officers from LSK .
Their tasks consisted of reconnaissance for the infantry and sighting / fire control for the artillery.
17 VARWA was also used for transport, connections, surveillance and postal transport .
The squadron was equipped with the Piper L4J Cubs and consisted of a staff and the A, B, C, D and E patrols.
17 VARWA was to be stationed on Sumatra, but the planes of the new 6 ARVA, which was to take over the task on Java, were not yet there, so they were kept at Tjililitan [Ward].
In order to meet the demand for air reconnaissance on Sumatra, at the end of 1946 the A, B and C patrols were moved.
Patrol D (Kalibenteng Semarang) and Patrol E (Sepinggan Balikpapan) remained.
They were disbanded in 1947, after the arrival of 6 ARVA in february [Ward].
17 VARWA was stationed at
- 12VB Talangbetoetoe in Palembang (A-patrol),
- 13VB Tabing, Padang (B-patrol) and
- 11VB Polonia, Medan (C-patrol + staff).
4 Piper Cubs arrived in Medan November 14 1946 for the 17 Squadron VARWA (C-Patrol) , next 12 P-51 Mustang fighter aircraft for 122 Squadron and a B-25 with a team from the technical service.
As of date, the database contains 91 names. 18 (20%) of them are KNIL, most likely pre-war and ex POW’s. 61 KL or ML (67%), 5 civilians (5%) and 7 are not known. One Kl-er is marked as an ovw-er.