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  SS Van Heutsz
British
Passenger
Cargo

325' 5" x 43' 8" x 25'
2,996 Tons
12 pounder gun stern
AA guns
Click For Enlargement
AWM c1943

Click For Enlargement
AWM January 1943

Ship History
Built in 1926. Owned by Koninklijke Paketvaart-Maatschappij (KPM) for use in the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia) as a cargo vessel.

Wartime History
At the start of the Pacific War, one of twenty-one KPM ships that took refuge in Australia and were provided by the Dutch government to the Allied war effort. Armed with a 12 pounder gun on the aft and anti-aircraft guns on the bridge.

On May 18, 1942 Van Heutsz was part of Convoy ZK.8 transporting the Australian Army 14th Brigade equipment and 4,735 troops along with MS Bantam, SS Bontekoe and MS Van Heemskerk escorted by HMAS Arunta (I30) and HNLMS Tromp that departed Sydney Harbor bound for Fairfax Harbor off Port Moresby.

During August 1942, participated in convoys transporting troops and supplies to Milne Bay. Afterwards, during Operation Lilliput transported troops and supplies from Milne Bay to Oro Bay.

On January 9, 1943 while at Oro Bay during a Japanese air raid sustained a direct bomb hit damaging the deck. Afterwards, to Newcastle for repairs.

On March 26, 1945 at Carins, embarked the Australian Army 26 Infantry Brigade along with SS Ormiston and transported them via Finschafen to Morotai arriving on April 7, 1945.

Ultimate fate unknown, likely broken up and scrapped.

References
Some sources refer to this vessel as simply "Van Heutsz".
AWM 26 Australian Infantry Brigade move from Ravenshoe North Queensland to Morotai F07555 (Cine 18:39)

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Last Updated
February 4, 2018

 

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