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  Hr Ms Evertsen (EV)
Koninklijke Marine
(Royal Netherlands Navy)
Admiralen Class Destroyer

1,316 Tons (standard)
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
RAN circa 1941-1942

Ship History
Built by Yarrow Shipbuilders in Bergerhout Scheepswerf en Machinefabriek in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Laid down August 5, 1925 as a Admiralen-class destroyer. Launched December 29, 1926. Commissioned April 12, 1928 as Hr Ms Evertsen named after Dutch Admiral Johan Evertsen. Also known as HNMS Evertsen or HNLMS Evertsen.

Prewar
On September 27, 1928 departed the Netherlands with Hr Ms Van Ghent bound for the Netherlands East Indies (NEI) operating from Sumatra and Java.

On July 29, 1929 departed Surabaya with Java and submarines K II and K VII bound for Tanjung Priok on Java to wait for royal yacht Maha Chakri of the king of Siam and the destroyer Phra Ruang. Without the submarines, the warships made voyage to visit ports including Bangka, Belitung, Riau, Lingga Islands, Belawan, and Deli then on August 28, 1929 returned to Tanjung Priok. On August 31, 1929 Evertsen participated in in a fleet review at Tanjung Priok, in honor of the birthday of Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands.

On May 14, 1931 while steaming with Sumatra, De Ruyter and five submarines, Sumatra ran aground on an uncharted reef off Kebatoe Island but was later towed free by gunboat Soemba and a tugboat.

On November 13, 1936 visited Sumatra and Java, and the destroyers Evertsen, Witte de With, and Piet Hein conducted training exercises in the South China Sea then made a fleet visit to Singapore.

Wartime History
On February 28, 1942 Evertsen 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 on Java and waited for new orders while HMAS Perth and USS Houston departed. She was ordered by HMAS Perth to "Take station one mile ahead of me but did not have engine power and could not comply with the order. An hour later, received orders from Helfrich to escort the cruisers but both were over the horizon and departed Tandjong Priok bound for the Sunda Strait in hopes of catch up with them.

After several hours, she saw star shells and tracers light up the sky. The captain decided not to get involved in this battle, and to try to pass through Sunda Strait undetected. In fact, this was the Battle of the Sunda Strait that resulted in the damage and sinking of both HMAS Perth and USS Houston.

This destroyer managed to pass undetected until reaching Dwars Island in de Weg where she encountered two ships at high speed and thought it to be the two Allied cruisers, 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, Evertsen only had two of three boilers working and again encountered the two ships, Japanese destroyers Murakumo and Shirakumo on patrol to protecting to southern flank of the Bantam Bay landing site and immediately both opened fire and scored seven hits in a short period of time.

To evade their gunfire, Evertsen laid a smokescreen and the enemy fire ceased when she was no longer visible. One of the hits caused a fire on the stern which the destroyer's fire brigade was unable to extinguish. As the two destroyers closed in, they again opened fire. Aboard, the fire control system was down and the fire was in danger of reaching one of the magazines, which couldn't be flooded and the crew was untrained in this procedure.

Fate
On March 1, 1942 due to the damage Evertsen was beached on a coral reef near Sebuku Island (Seboekoe Besar, Sebuku Besar, Pulau Sebuku) off southern Sumatra Island. Before the destroyer was abandoned, the secret codes were thrown overboard and the torpedoes were fired. The crew were able to abandon ship and swim to shore. When the fire reached the aft magazine it caused an explosion that blew of most of the stern.

Fate of the Crew
Most of the crew were taken prisoner on March 9, 1942 or March 10, 1942 and became Prisoners Of War (POW). Some small groups attempted to swim or paddle to Sumatra, but most disappeared without a trace or were massacred. In captivity, the captain died in April 1942.

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Last Updated
March 28, 2020

 

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