Yearly Archive: 1942

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400 NM off the coast of Mombasa

1 January 1942 Leaving from Mombasa, the huge American troopship USS Mount Vernon joins the convoy. Even before the US was at war this ship was ‘on loan’ from the US and sailing in convoy WS.12x with British troops bound...

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Secret “Port T”, supply stop at Addu Atoll

5 January 1942 The ships anchor briefly in Addu Atoll’s bay, the most Southern island of the Maldives. Since several months the natural, well protected anchorage is being used by the Navy and known as Port T. Strategic of great...

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Three days from Singapore: tension rises, the escort grows

10 January 1942. The 5 merchant ship are now protected by eight more warships: The cruisers Hr.MS De Ruyter (commanded by rear admiral Karel Doorman), Hr.MS Tromp, HMS Durban, the destroyers Hr.Ms Backert, Hr.Ms Piet Hein, HMS Encounter, HMS Jupiter,...

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Banka Straits: Japanese bombers approaching

12 January 1942 HMS Emerald is informed that large formations of Japanese bombers are on the way to the convoy. Over time it has become abundantly clear what they are capable off and on board Abbekerk the crew is under...

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Singapore under attack, Abbekerk lucky again

13 January 1942 During the night speed is reduced to 9 knots because the mines that could have been laid by a Japanese submarine. De warships set out paravanes as protection. Also several Dutch minesweepers are busy clearing the route...

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They can’t be that stupid!

17 January 1942 Abbekerks crew find themselves in a nerve wrecking position. The engine room staff do not follow the normal routine of repairs in the engine room: the engines must be ready at anytime. Assistant engineer Adriaan Kik has...

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Still at anchor and miraculously unscathed

22 January 1942  And so we just floated around a bit. Every day the bombardments were getting heavier and the smoke of the fires ashore now continued to billow up all day. And all those planes continued to fly exactly...

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Escaping Singapore at last

30 January 1942 Abbekerk has been anchored for almost three weeks and nothing much has happened on board for the last 2 weeks. Still bombers fly over the ship every day and more and more smoke is erupting from the...

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Oosthaven, Sumatra. A brief rest

6 February 1942 Abbekerk has been anchored for four days at the Oosthaven, Lampoon Bay in the south of Sumatra. The tranquility after the chaos of Singapore is surreal. We anchored between a couple of islands in the bay. Here it...

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War catches up with Abbekerk

15 February 1942. Singapore has fallen. This news is met with perplexity. Followed by information of Airborne troops landing at the refineries of Palembang not even 300 km north Oosthaven on Sumatra. Dark smoke emerges from behind the mountains as the...