Ships in the Diary

The following ships are mentioned in the Diary.  Please use the Search box to find where they are mentioned.

Abbekerk.  A Vereenigde Nederlandsche Scheepvaartmaatschappij cargo ship of 7906 tons, built in 1939.  1942 torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U 604 in Atlantic Ocean west of Ireland.

Alfoer.  A KPM oil lighter of 473 tons, built 1934.  Scuttled by own crew at Tjilatjap 1942 , later lost under Japanese flag.

Asheville.  A US Navy Gunboat No. 21, built 1917.  Sunk on 3 March 1942 by the Japanese Destroyers Arashi and Nowaki south of Java, Netherlands East Indies.  No one will ever know exactly how many men had been on board the PG-21 because she undoubtedly took additional military personnel aboard in Tjilatjap, but the number was probably between 160 and 170.

Atjeh.  A KPM cargo ship of 495 tons, built in 1939.  1942 capsized during Japanese air raid at Tjilatjap, 1945 raised by Japanese, 1946 repaired and reverted to KPM,

Balikpapan.  A KPM vessel of 1279 tons built 1939.  Survived the war.

Bandermasin.  A KPM ship of 1279 tons built 1939.  Survived the war.

Banka.  Royal Navy Minesweeper.  Struck a mine and sank in the South China Sea off Tioman Island, Philippines with the loss of 43 of her 49 crew.

Barentsz.  A KPM steam ship of 4743 tons.  Bombed by Japanese warplanes during an air raid on Tjilatjap on 6 March 1942, caught fire and sank.

Batavia.   KPM ship of 1279 tons.   Shelled and sunk on 6 April 1942 by Japanese cruiser in the Bay of Bengal on passage Calcutta to Karachi with the loss of 4 lives.  Captain H. Reinders

Benakat. A Dutch Steam Tanker of 4,763 tons built in 1935. On 20th May 1943 when on route from TABLE BAY for BAHIA in ballast she was torpedoed by U-197 and sunk. Crew of 44 saved.

Benkoelen.  A KPM ship of 1000 tons.  On January 9th, 1942, I-65 torpedoes, shells and sinks the Benkoelen with the loss of 3 lives, enroute from Soemenep to Cheribon.   ‘Paul Jones”  (DD-230) rescues her survivors the next day.

Bengkalis (Benkalis).  A KPM ship of 1053 tons, scuttled on 2 March 1942 at Surabaya, to prevent capture by the Japanese.

Bintoehan.  A KPM cargo ship of 1018 tons built in 1922.  On the 3rd March 1942 she was scuttled on the south coast of Bali when approached by IJN destroyer DD Arashio to avoid capture.

Blinjoe. A KPM vessel of 1331 tons built in 1930.  Survived the war and scrapped at Hong Kong in 1959.

Boelongan. A KPM cargo vessel of 1053 tons built in 1915.  On 28th January 1942 she was sunk in an air raid by Japanese aircraft near Padang (Sumatra).

Boise.  A US Navy Brooklyn-class light cruiser of 9700 tons which survived the war and was sold to Argentina in 1951.

Buijskes.  A KPM passenger / cargo ship of 1780 tons built in 1910.  According to The Ships List and Wrecksite, she was bombed and sunk at Padang by Japanese aircraft on 27 January 1942.

Br. Sailor.

Camphuijs.   A KPM cargo ship of 2776 tons, torpedoed and sunk on 9 January 1942 in the Indian Ocean by I-58 (Imperial Japanese Navy).  The crew survived.

Centaur.  The MV Centaur was an Australian Blue Funnel Line ship of 3,066 tons sunk on 14 May 1943 after being torpedoed by a Japanese submarine I-177 off Brisbane at night while fully illuminated as a hospital ship.  Loss of 299 lives.  Her captain, Lt Cdr Hajime Nakagawa was tried as a war criminal ans pent four years in prison for other atrocities such as shooting survivors from sunk ships.

Child.  USS Childs (DD-241/AVP-14/AVD-1) was a Clemson-class destroyer in the US Navy during World War II.  She provided a service to air patrol squadrons.  More information available

Colonna.  Originally the Sierra Colonna, launched in 1878.  In 1917, the Adelaide Steamship Company brought the ship to Albany for use as a coal hulk.  Following a fire in September 1943, the Colonna was sunk, and later salvaged and refloated and continued to be used as a coal hulk until it was towed out to sea and sunk.

Diomed.  A Blue Funnel Line ship of 10,453 tons which was scrapped in 1952.


Djirak.  SS Djirak was a Dutch Royal Navy steam tanker that was torpedoed, shelled and sunk in the Java Sea by Imperial Japanese Navy submarine I-57 on 7 January 1942. All crew were rescued.

Duijmaer Van Twist.  A KPM ship of 1030 tons built 1926.  On 4 March 1942 captured by the IJN heavy cruiser (CA) Atago and renamed Dai Maru and put in Japanese service.  On 14 May 1945 she was sunk by US aircraft on near Makassar.

Elout.  A KPM Cargo Steam Ship of 1775 tons built 1910.   On 28 January 1942, she was bombed and sunk at Padang, Sumatra, during an air raid by Japanese aircraft.

Enggano.  A cargo ship of Stoomvaart Maatschappij Nederland (Netherlands Steamship Co.) of 8,177 tons built 1920.  On 1st March 1942 she was damaged in an air raid by a seaplane from the IJN heavy cruiser (CA) Takao (Sentai 4).  On 4th March 1942 she was sunk by gunfire from the IJN heavy cruiser (CA) Chikuma and the destroyer (DD) Urukaze.

Gen. Michels.  A KPM ship of 1258 tons.  Scrapped in 1957 at Hong Kong.


Generaal Verspijck.  A KPM ship of 1213 tons, built 1928.  Survived the war.

Gneisenau.  A battleship or battlecruiser of 32,600 tons in Nazi Germany’s Kriegsmarine.  Launched in 1936 and commissioned in 1938. Operated with Scharnhorst for much of the early portion of World War II, including sorties into the Atlantic to raid British merchant shipping.  Decommissioned in 1942, sunk as a blockship 23 March 1945 and scrapped after the war.

Gorgon.    A Blue Funnel Line ship of 3533 tons, scrapped in 1964.  On 12 April 1943, in New Guinea waters, an enemy formation of thirty-seven aircraft attacked MV Gorgon, one of the ships of HMAS Kapunda‘s convoy.  The Gorgon was set on fire. Kapunda‘s Commanding Officer, however, took his ship alongside the burning vessel, put fire fighting parties aboard, and after a long struggle subdued the flames and brought the damaged ship safely to port.

Gouden Leeuw.  A minelayer of the Royal Dutch Navy of 1291 tons.  Scuttled by her own crew at Soerabaya on 7 March 1942 to prevent her capture by the Japanese.

Hisp Zeeman.

Holland.  A ship of the Vereenigde Nederlandsche Scheepvaartmaatschappij (VNS) line of 895 tons.  Acted as a submarine tender.  Survived the war.

Holland.  The USS Holland (AS-3) was a submarine tender for the US Navy, launched in 1926 and decommissioned in 1947.

Houston.  A heavy cruiser of the US Navy (CA30), 9050 tons, built 1929.  Sank during the Battle of Sunda Strait on 28 February 1942 when the ‘USS Houston’ and ‘HMAS Perth’ were attacked by three Japanese cruisers and nine destroyers.  Of the original crew of 1,061, only 368 survived.

Jagersfontein.  A ship of the Vereenigde Nederlandsche Scheepvaartmaatschappij (VNS) line.  Torpedoed on 26 June 1942 about 500 miles east of Bermuda by U-boat U-107.  Ship abandoned into life rafts and all 220 survived.

Jalarayan syn Jalarajan syn Djalarajan.   A British Indian cargo steam ship of 5102 tons.  She was torpedoed and sunk on 14 January 1942 in the Indian Ocean west of Sumatra by IJN submarine I-65, en route from Singapore to Calcutta, with the loss of four of her 78 crew.

Java.  The HNLMS Java was a Java-class cruiser of the Royal Netherlands Navy, 6670 tons built in 1921.  On 27 February 1942 Java took part in the Battle of the Java Sea.  During the evening phase of that battle she was struck by a torpedo fired from the Japanese cruiser Nachi.  The crew abandoned ship and the Java sank about fifteen minutes after being struck by the torpedo. 512 of her crew lost their lives in the sinking.

Karsik.  A KPM ship of 3104 tons, built in 1938.  Seized by the Dutch Government (from the Germans??) in 1940 and KPM became manager, then purchased in 1946.  Survived the war.

Kedah.  SS Kedah, built in 1927, was requisitioned by the British Navy in 1939 as an armed auxiliary vessel as HMS Kedah.  Involved in the evacuation of Singapore.  Sailed from Tjilatjap to Colombo, partially under tow, with 400 refugees.

Khoen Hoea.  A Dutch ship.

Kidoel.  A KPM ship of 775 tons, built in 1927.  1942 bombed and sunk in Japanese air raid, 1943 raised and repaired renamed Haruno Maru, 1944 bombed and sunk by American airplanes at Sabang.

Klang.  A steamship of the Straits Steamship Co.  Sailed from Tandjong Priok on 21 February 1942 arriving in Fremantle 2 March 1942.

Langley.  USS Langley, 13000 tons, was the United States Navy´s first aircraft carrier, converted in 1920 from the collier USS Jupiter (AC-3). In 1937, she was converted from carrier to tender. On 27th February 1942, Langley, escorted by destroyers Whipple and Edsall, was attacked by 29 Japanese bombers, some 75 miles South of Tjilatjap. During the third raid, Langley took five hits and 16 crew members were killed.

Le Maire.  A KPM passenger vessel of 3721 tons, built 1908.  On 4th March 1942 she was sunk by torpedo from IJN submarine I-7 near Cocos Island with the loss of all hands.

Liberty.  The USAT Liberty was a US Army Transport vessel which was critically torpedoed by a Japanese submarine (I-166) in the Lombok Strait, on 11th of January 1942, whilst Philippine- bound laden with an Australian cargo of rubber and railway parts,  An attempt was made to tow her to Port at Singaraja in North Bali but she foundered and was beached at Tulamben.  She sank in 1962 following the eruption of Mount Agung.  The wreck is now a popular dive site.

Mampawa.  A KPM cargo vessel of 537 tons built 1929.  On 6 March 1942 scuttled by own crew at Tjilatjap, 1943 raised and repaired by Japanese and renamed Haruyoshi Maru, 1945 reverted to KPM, 1950 scrapped at Hong Kong.

Mapia.  A KPM ship of 550 tons built 1930.  Seized by Japanese forces in 1942, and recovered in 1945 beyond repair and scrapped.

Marblehead.  An Omaha class light cruiser of the US Navy.  Involved in the Battle of Makassar Strait in 1942.  Survived the war.

Mijer.  A KPM ship of 1873 tons built in 1915.  In 1942 damaged in Japanese air raid, scuttled by own crew at Tandjong Priok to prevent capture on 2 March 1942.  Raised, repaired renamed Hasshu Maru by Japanese, 1943 torpedoed and sunk by American submarine Tautog in Flores Sea.

Modjokerto.   A Dutch cargo vessel of Rotterdam Lloyd, of 8806 tons, built 1922.  On 1 March 1942, she was sunk by torpedo and gunfire from IJN submarine I-54 south of Tjilatjap.

Nieuwe Zeeland.  A KPM ship of 10,906 tons, built in 1928.  1942 torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U 380 while serving as a troop transport ship in operation Torch with the loss of 16 lives. 

Ophir.  A KPM ship of 4070 tons.  Converted to a hospital ship and operated in the Indian Ocean and Bombay area 1942-1945.

Otis – a supply ship

Parigi.  A KPM cargo ship of 1169 tons, built 1922.  Intercepted by Japanese submarine I-2 and sunk by torpedo and gunfire, on passage Tjilitjap for Bunbury.  Eight survivors who were picked up by the Australian warship Yarra were lost when that ship was sunk 3 days later by 3 Japanese cruisers and 2 destroyers. The 18 survivors of this tragedy were rescued by the Dutch submarine K-XI.

Patras.  The ‘Patras’ was a KPM ship of 2,065 tons, which survived the war, and was scrapped in Hong Kong in 1956.

Peisander.  A Blue Funnel Line diesel motor vessel of 6225 tons, built in 1925.  Torpedoed and sunk off Nantucket in 1942.

Pief.  A tug

Pijnacker Hordijk.  A KPM passenger/cargo ship of 2982 tons, built in 1914.  On 22nd March 1942 she was sunk by by torpedo and gunfire from IJN submarine I-58 between Tjilatjap and Padang.

Ping Wo.   Built in 1922, it was requisitioned in December 1941 by the Royal Navy as a water carrier.  After the fall of Singapore, it was engaged in a 62-day tow (at an average speed of 3 knots) of the disabled HMAS Vendatta from Tanjung Priok (Batavia) to Fremantle, and then part of the way to Melbourne.  This was the longest ever tow involving a RAN warship.
Poelau Tello.  A cargo ship of 9272 tons  of Stoomvaart Maatschappij Nederland (“Netherlands Steamship Company”) or SMN.  Bombed and sunk at Padang by Japanese aircraft on 28 (or 29) January 1942.

Pijnacker Hordijk.  A KPM cargo/passenger ship of 2982 tons, built 1914.  On 22nd March 1942 she was sunk by torpedo and gunfire from IJN submarine I-58 between Tjilatjap and Padang

Princess Kathleen.   A ship of the Canadian Pacific Steamships Line of 5875 tons, built 1925.  In 1952 ran aground and later sank off Lena Point (British Columbia Coastal Services).

Princess Margaret syn Princess Margareth.  A ship of the London Midland & Scottish Railway Company of 2523 tons, built in 1931.  In 1962 sold to Hong Kong and renamed Macau.

Prinz Eugen.  A heavy cruiser of 16,970 tons, in Nazi Germany’s Kriegsmarine.  Launched in 1938 and commissioned in 1940.  After the German collapse in May 1945, she was surrendered to the British Royal Navy before being transferred to the US Navy as a war prize.  Used in nuclear testing and ultimately capsized and sank in December 1946.

Pro Patria.  Built in Soerabaja in 1922, 612 tons, Pro Patria was primarily designed as a minelayer, but was also used as a training ship and as a torpedo repairship.  She laid mines near Soerabaja in December 1940, and was stationed in Palembang, Sumatra as Japan attacked on December 8 1941.  She laid minefields in the entrances to Palembang, and the ship was then scuttled to avoid capture on February 15 1942.

Rigel.  A Finnish steam merchant of 1495 tons owned by Suomen Hoyrylaiva O/Y, Helsinki.  On 28 October 1944, the Rigel struck a mine near Helsinki laid on 21 September by U-boat U-242 and soon thereafter a second, causing her to sink.  All crewmen survived.Rochussen:  KPM.  A steamship of 2777 tons.  2 March 1942 scuttled by own crew at Soerabaja, 1943 raised by Japanese, repaired renamed Chusan Maru, 1945 sunk as a block ship at Soerabaja by Japanese.

Rooseboom.   A KPM steam ship of 1035 tons.  On 1 March 1945 torpedoed and sunk west of Sumatra by Japanese submarine I.59 in Indian Ocean with more than 500 lives lost, only 6 survivors.

San Pedro.   Originally classified as a patrol gunboat, PG-145, USS San Pedro was reclassified as a patrol frigate, PF-37, on 15 April 1943.  Decommissioned on 12 July 1945 when transferred to the Soviet Navy before being returned to the US on 17 October 1949.

Check – mentioned as a tanker!


Scharnhorst.  A battleship or battlecruiser of 32,600 tons in Nazi Germany’s Kriegsmarine operating mainly in the North Atlantic and North Sea.  Launched in 1936 and commissioned in 1939.  Sunk in the Battle of North Cape on 26 December 1943.

Senang.   A Dutch Cargo Vessel of 1,207 tons built 1914. On the 16th January 1942 she was sunk by a British sea mine in the Southern China Sea.

Siaoe.  A KPM cargo steam ship of 1573 tons, built in 1921.  1942 shelled and sunk by Japanese war ships between Java and Sunda Straits on voyage from Tanjong Priok to Bunbury.

Siantar.  A Rotterdam Lloyd (Stoomboot Reederij “Rotterdamsche Lloyd”) diesel cargo boat of 8439 tons, built in 1921.  On 3rd March 1942 she was sunk by gunfire and torpedoes from IJN submarine I-1 in the Indian Ocean south of Tjilatjap.  21 sailors killed and 37 rescued by Dutch steamer Van Spielbergen.

Sibigo.  A KPM cargo ship of 941 tons built 1926, purchased in 1928.  On 16 March 1945, Sibigo was on voyage from Brisbane to Finchhaven when she was lost in a cyclone off Port Douglas, with the loss of 70 lives.




Sibolga.  A ship of 1370 tons, scuttled on 2 March 1942 at Tandjong Priok to prevent capture.  Later raised by the Japanese.

Sigli.  A KPM ship of 1579 tons built in 1920.  Captured in Indian Ocean on 2 March 1942 by Japanese destroyer Hayashio en route Tjilatjap – Bunbury and renamed Shigure Maru.  In 1942 torpedoed and sunk by American submarine Sea Dragon in Strait of Malacca.

Silindoening.  A ship of 1793 tons, scuttled on 2 March 1942 at Surabaya to prevent capture by the Japanese.

Sipirok.  A KPM ship of 1787 tons, built in 1928.  On 6th March 1942 she was scuttled by her own crew off Tjilatjap, to prevent capture by the Japanese. In 1945 wreck was recovered and scuttled again in 1949.

Sipora:  A KPM ship of 1594 tonnes built in 1926.  It was scuttled in Tjilatjap on 6 March 1942 to prevent capture by the Japanese.

Soemba.  HNLMS Soemba was a Flores-class gunboat commissioned in 1926 for the Dutch Indies Navy to patrol the Dutch East Indies.  The ship fought Japanese forces in and around the Sunda Strait during the collapse of the Dutch East Indies.

Stagen.  A KPM ship of 2539 tons, built 1920, scrapped 1950.

Straat Soenda.  A KPM ship of 6439 tons, built 1939.  Survived the war.

Tasman.  A KPM ships of 4922 tons, built in 1921 for KPM’s Singapore, Java and Australian east coast tradeAt the outbreak of hostilities between Japan and China in 1937, Tasman was docked at the city of Shanghai during the bombing of Shanghai, but escaped undamaged.   At the outbreak of war in the Pacific, December 1941 the ship was in the Timor Sea from which she was sent to Singapore. On 1 January 1942 she evacuated civilians and elements of the Royal Air Force. Arriving in Surabaya the RAF personnel were left and more civilian evacuees were loaded for Australia.  Tasman was one of the 21 KPM ships that sought refuge in Australia on the fall of Java.

Tawali.  A cargo ship of Stoomvaart Maatschappij Nederland (Netherlands Steamship Co.) of 8,177 tons, built 1931.  On 4 March 1942, rescued survivors of depot ship HMS Anking which was part of the convoy escorted by HMAS Yarra completely destroyed by a Japanese cruiser squadron south of Java earlier that day.

Thedens.  A KPM ship of 2071 tons, built 1928, scrapped in 1956 in Hong Kong.

Tjimanoek.  A JCJL (Java-China-Japan-Lien) ship of 5628 tons, built 1911.  Survived the war.  Scrapped in Gent 1847,

Toboali.  A KPM coaster of 984 tons, bombed and sunk at Bagan Siapi, Dutch East Indies by Japanese aircraft on 12 January 1942.  She was later salvaged, repaired and entered Japanese service as Aki Maru.

Toba. A KPM ship of 983 tons, built 1930.

Tomohon.  A KPM cargo ship of 982 tons, built 1930.  On 1st March 1942 she was sunk by gunfire from IJN destroyers (DD) Arashio and (DD) Nowaki south of Java.

Tulsa.   USS Tulsa (PG-22),  a gunboat that served during World War II receiving two battle stars. Commissioned 3 December 1923 and renamed USS Tacloban 18 December 1944. She was decommissioned 6 March 1946.

Van der Capellen.  A KPM passenger / cargo motor vessel of 2073 tons built in 1940.  On 8 March 1942 sunk by carrier borne aircraft from aircraft carrier Ryujo in Gulf of Bengal.

Van der Hagen.  A KPM ship of 3033 tons, built in 1909.  On 4 March 1942 was burnt out and sunk in a Japanese air raid.  1942 repaired and renamed Haryashu Maru in service for the Japanese forces.  1945 sunk after American air raid.  1946 raised, repaired and reverted to KPM.  Scrapped in Hong Kong in 1952.

Van der Lijn.  A KPM ship of 2302 tons, built in 1929.  Scrapped at Hong Kong in 1958.

Van Goens.  A KPM ship of 1032 tons, built 1926.  Scrapped at Singapore in 1955.

Van Imhoff.  A KPM cargo vessel of 2980 tons, built in 1914.  On 19 January 1942 when on route from Sibolga for Colombo with German internees she was sunk in an air raid by Japanese aircraft in the Indian Ocean west of Sumatra, with the loss of more than 413 lives.

Van Overstraten.  A KPM cargo vessel of 4482 tons, built in 1912.  On 22 January 1942 she was  sunk by gunfire and torpedo from Japanese submarine I.64.

Van Rees. The ‘Van Rees’ was a KPM merchantman of 3,050 tons, torpedoed and sunk on 8 January 1942 south of Tjilatjap by Japanese submarine I-56 in the Indian Ocean with the loss of 6 lives.

Van Riebeeck syn Van Riebeck.  A KPM ship of 2,322 tons, shelled and sunk south of Tjilatjap by Japanese submarine I-56 in the Indian Ocean on 8 January 1942 with the loss of 13 lives.

van Spilbergen.  A KPM ship of 3273 tons, built 1908.  Scrapped in Hong Kong 1949.

Van Swoll.  KPM vessel built 1930, 2147 tonnes.  Survived WW2

Vendetta.  HMAS Vendetta was a destroyer which entered service in 1917 originally for the Royal Navy.  It was transferred to the RAN in 1933.  At the end of 1941, Vendetta was docked for refit in Singapore, but after the Japanese invaded, the destroyer had to be towed to Fremantle, then Melbourne. After the refit, which converted the destroyer into a dedicated escort vessel, ended in December 1942, Vendetta spent the rest of World War II operating as a troop and convoy escort around Australia and New Guinea. Vendetta was decommissioned in late 1945, and was scuttled off Sydney Heads in 1948.

Wega.  A Dutch naval patrol vessel, bombed 26 January 1942.

HNLMS Willem van der Zaan.  A minelayer of the Royal Netherlands Navy, built in 1939.





4 thoughts on “Ships in the Diary

  1. Pingback: 7 March 1942 [Saturday] | Journey of a Mariner

  2. Pingback: 10 March 1942 [Tuesday] | Journey of a Mariner

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