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Paul Copeland Maltby
Born (1892-08-05)5 August 1892
Died 2 July 1971(1971-07-02) (aged 78)
Place of birth Alleppey, India[1]
Place of death Aldershot, Hampshire, England
Allegiance Flag of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom
Service/branch Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svg Royal Air Force
Rank Air Vice Marshal[2]
Battles/wars Second World War
Awards Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order[2]
Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire[2]
Companion of the Order of the Bath
Distinguished Service Order
Air Force Cross
Grand Officer Order of Orange-Nassau[2]
Other work Sergeant-at-Arms, House of Lords[2]
Deputy Lieutenant of Southampton[2]

Air Vice-Marshal Sir Paul Copeland Maltby KCVO, KBE, CB, DSO, AFC, DL, RAF (5 August 1892 - 2 July 1971) was a senior commander in the Royal Air Force in the 1930s and during World War II.

In 1942 he was assistant Air Officer Commanding Far East Command and Air Officer Commanding RAF in Java.[2] He ordered the formation of 225th RAF (Bomber) Group on 1 January 1942.[3] Maltby arrived in West Java on 14 February 1942 and set up his headquarters at Soekaboemi.[4] The allies suffered heavy losses of planes to the Japanese.[4]

On 22 February 1942 the ABDA Command was dissolved. Churchill generally agreed with Wavell that Java should be fought for, but insisted that the main reinforcements should be sent to Burma and India and not to Java. The overall command was handed over to the Royal Netherlands East Indies Army. Churchill signaled Maltby the very next day: "I send you and all ranks of the British forces who have stayed behind in Java my best wishes for success and honour in the great fight that confronts you. Every day gained is precious, and I know that you will do everything humanly possible to prolong the battle". Maltby's main tasks were to continue the fight to defend Java as long as equipment could be maintained and do everything possible to evacuate surplus units and personnel to Ceylon or Australia.[4]

The Japanese invasion force landed on Java at the end of February and the start of March. The allied forces were quikley beaten. On 12 March 1942 the senior British, Australian and American commanders were summoned to Bandoeng where the formal instrument of surrender was signed in the presence of the Japanese commander in the Bandoeng area, Lieutenant General Masao Maruyama,[5] who promised them the rights of the Geneva Convention for the protection of prisoners of war.[4]

From 1942 to 1945 he was a Japanese prisoner of war.[2]


  1. 1901 Census of Royston, RG13/1292, Folio 29, Page 16, Paul C Maltby, Age 8, Relation: Boarder, Where born: India, Allepeey, Address: The Rectory, Ashwell, Royston, Hertfordshire.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 L, Klemen (1999-2000). "Air Vice-Marshal Sir Paul (Copeland) Maltby". Forgotten Campaign: The Dutch East Indies Campaign 1941-1942. 
  3. L, Klemen (1999-2000). "The Japanese Invasion of Sumatra Island". Forgotten Campaign: The Dutch East Indies Campaign 1941-1942. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 L, Klemen (1999-2000). "The conquest of Java Island, March 1942". Forgotten Campaign: The Dutch East Indies Campaign 1941-1942. 
  5. L, Klemen (1999-2000). "Lieutenant-General Masao Maruyama". Forgotten Campaign: The Dutch East Indies Campaign 1941-1942. 


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