Our own army
Drafted for the first time
During the war, for the first time members of the territories own population were drafted in Suriname and on the Antilles and Aruba to form their own national guard the Schutterij. The members go on patrol, build shelters, supervise air raid protection measures and operate anti-aircraft guns.
'Gunners' and volunteer groups
They cooperate closely with the US troops. Hundreds of drafted people serve as ‘gunners’ to operate anti-aircraft guns on navy or commercial ships. Dozens of them are killed in action. In addition to the Schutterij, there are volunteer services: the civic guard (Burgerwacht) on the Antilles and Aruba, and the city and country guard (Stad- en Landwacht) in Suriname. There are separate volunteer groups for women.
Liberation of Europe and the Dutch East Indies
The commanders of the Dutch armed forces also want to use the drafted troops in the liberation of Europe and the Dutch East Indies. But the local politicians refuse permission. Volunteers are called for. Several dozen Surinamese, Antilleans and Arubans fight in Europe. Hundreds left for Australia in 1944 to fight the Japanese in the Dutch East Indies. This battle claims many victims.