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  Hr Ms Evertsen (EV)
Dutch Navy
Admiralen Class Destroyer

1,316 Tons (standand)
1,640 Tons (full)
321' 6" x 31' 3" x 9' 9"
4 x 120mm
2 x 75mm
4 x 40mm
4 x 50 cal MG
6 x 21" torpedo tubes
1 x seaplane
Click For Enlargement
circa 1941-2

Ship History
Built by Bergerhout. Launched on December 29, 1926. Comissioned on May 31, 1928. Assigned to the Far East.

Wartime History
On February 28, 1942 Evertsen had joined the Western Striking force in her sweep in the direction of Banka Strait, but had lost sight of it on the way back. She returned to Tandjong Priok and awaited orders. She saw the HMAS Perth and USS Houston leave Tandjong Priok and received from the Perth the order "Take station one mile ahead of me". At that time, Evertsen didn't have engine power and couldn't follow the order, and had to leave an hour after the Perth and Houston did. She officially received orders from Helfrich to escort Perth and Houston, but both of the cruiser were nowhere to be seen. She set course for Sunda strait, trying to catch up with them.

After several hours, she saw star shells light up and tracers flying from HMAS Perth and USS Houston fighting in the Battle of the Sunda Strait. The captain decided not to get involved in this battle, and to try to pass through Sunda Strait.

All went well until the Dwars Island in de Weg where she encountered two ships at high speed and thought it to be the HMAS Perth and USS Houston, but one of them turned on a search light and opened fire. Evertsen altered course away from the ships and managed to loose them. After re-entering Sunda Strait, she again encountered the two ships. These ships, destroyers Murakumo and Shirakumo were on patrol to protect to southern flank of the Bantam Bay landing site and immediately opened fire.

The Evertsen only had two of her three boilers at work. The Evertsen layed a smokescreen. The firing stopped when she was no longer in sight, but she had received no less than seven hits in a very small amount of time. One of them had caused a fire on the stern which the fire brigade couldn't extinguish.

Beaching
The Japanese destroyers closed in again and opened fire again. Aboard, the fire control system was down, the fire was reaching one of the magazines, which couldn't be flooded and the crew was untrained. All of this led to the decision to beach the ship on on a coastal reef near Seboekoe Besar on March 1, 1942. The topedoes were fired and the secret codes put overboard. The crew escaped onto land and when the fire reached the aft magazine, it exploded and blew off most of the stern.

Fate of the Crew
Most of her crew were taken prisoner on March 9 or 10, 1942. Some small groups left the island trying to reach Sumatra, but most of them disappeared without a trace or were massacred. The captain died as a POW during April 1942.

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Last Updated
February 4, 2018

 

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