Adolf Gustaaf Lembong

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Adolf Lembong
Adolf Lembong (Right) with Joop Warouw
Born(1910-10-19)19 October 1910
Ongkaw, North Sulawesi, Dutch East Indies
Died23 January 1950(1950-01-23) (aged 39)
Bandung, West Java, Indonesia
Service/branch Indonesian Army
RankFirst Lieutenant (USAFFE LGAF)
First Lieutenant (KNIL)
Lieutenant Colonel (TNI)

Adolf Gustaaf Lembong (19 October 1910 – 23 January 1950) was an Indonesian military officer involved in guerrilla warfare against the Japan in the Philippines during World War II and subsequently in the struggle for Indonesian independence. He was killed during the APRA coup d'état in Bandung.

World War II[edit]

At the start of World War II, Lembong was an NCO in the Dutch colonial army (KNIL) in Manado. In 1943, he was captured by the Japanese and sent to Japanese POW Camp in Luzon, Philippines.[1]: 107  Lembong and several others were able to escape captivity and join a local guerrilla unit that was part of the USAFFE LGAF. It was during his prison time that he learned basic and some advanced Tagalog and English from his fellow American and Filipino prisoners.[2]: 67 

Struggle for Indonesian independence[edit]

Lt. Col. Joop Warouw and Lt. Col. Lembong in Jakarta on 18 January 1950

After the war, Lembong returned to Indonesia as KNIL officer in January 1946 and later joined an irregular armed organization called the "Loyalty of the Indonesian People from Sulawesi" (Indonesian: Kebaktian Rakjat Indonesia Sulawesi (KRIS)) after Operation Product on 21 July 1947. This group was mostly made up of men from the Minahasa region in North Sulawesi who were residing in Java.[3]: 164  In 1947, KRIS and other groups were integrated into the Armed Forces of the Republic of Indonesia (Indonesian: Tentara Republik Indonesia (TRI)).[4]: 141  In 1948, TRI became the National Armed Forces of Indonesia (Indonesian: Tentara Nasional Indonesia (TNI)) and Lembong became commandant of 16th Brigade (Brigade XVI) with the rank of lieutenant colonel. During Operation Kraai, Lembong was captured in Yogyakarta and jailed by the Dutch for a time in Ambawara.[5]: 141 

APRA Coup d'etat and death[edit]

Lembong was initially considered for the Military Attaché position in the Philippines, but was instead appointed head of the Army Education Department. He traveled to Bandung to take up his position. On 23 January, he planned to visit the commandant of the Siliwangi Division, but was unaware that APRA forces led by Captain Raymond Westerling had attacked the division headquarters. Lembong was brutally killed by APRA soldiers.[6] The place where Lembong was killed is now a museum associated with the Siliwangi Division. The street where this museum is located is now called Lembong.


  1. ^ de Jong, Loe (1985). Het Koninkrijk der Nederlanden in de Tweede Wereldoorlog [The Kingdom of the Netherlands in World War II] (in Dutch).
  2. ^ Lapham, Robert; Norling, Bernard (1996). Lapham's Raiders. Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 0813119499.
  3. ^ McTurnan Kahin, George (1952). Nationalism and Revolution in Indonesia. SEAP Publications.
  4. ^ Saelan, Maulwi (2008). Dari Revolusi 45 sampai Kudeta 66 [From the 1945 Revolution to the 1966 Coup d'état] (in Indonesian). Visi Media.
  5. ^ Lapian, Ed; Frieke, Ruata; Matindas, BE (2009). Memoar Ventje H.N. Sumual [Memoirs of Ventje H. N. Sumual] (in Indonesian). Bina Insani.
  6. ^ Nasution, Abdul Haris (1991). Sekitar Perang Kemerdekaan Indonesia, Volume 11 [Around the War of Indonesian Independence] (in Indonesian). DISJARAH-AD.