Fragments

Abbekerk played a role in more lives and stories then only my fathers. On this page you find (links to) other peoples memoires, stories and articles in which Abbekerk playes a role. Some found on internet, some from (old) newspapers, some from interviews and emails contact with (family) of  crewmembers.
On the left (and on the Links page) are some more links to websites that relate to Abbekerk or het voyages.

Memoirs

Books

  • The Fought With What They Had
    A excellent book about the desperate fight of the US Airforce in the Philippines and Java. Abbekerk evacuated ground Personnel from TJilitjap, Java, februari 1942.
  • My Fighting Congregation
    The Tjilitjap evacuation from the point of view of Chaplain William Taggert, february 1942.
  • SS Moena and MS Abbekerk during the London Blitz (in Dutch)
    On September 7th, 1940 the Germans started bombing London as part of
    the Battle of Brittain. Abbekerk was in Albert Dock at that time, in
    the centre of the first bombings. When she got adrift she was towed and
    moured to Moena another Dutch ship in the dock. This is her part of the
    story (in dutch for now) from J.W. Roevers book: “De Nederland in de
    Tweede Wereldoorlog”.
  • No Ordinairy War, the eventfull career of U604
    This book by Christian Prag was published only recently. Abbekerk was torpedoed by U-604, so I was surprised to read that a book was written about this U-boat. Since I know Abbekerk was the first and rather easy victim of U604, I didn’t expect more then a few pages about the event but hoped it would be an intersting read anyway. I was right on both.

Newspaper articles

  • Jan Eise Hellings
    A short artikel (in dutch for now) about Jan Eise Hellings (1889-1942). He was Master of the freighter Moena and was anchored in London next to Abbekerk and bombed during the Blitz (september 1940). Later he fled Java on Poelau Bras the same day as Abbekerk, but he was killed when the ship was sunk by Japanese airplane (march 1942).
  • Newspaper Articles (Dutch)
    Several newpaper Arcticles form the Dutch the online historical newspaperarchive . All pre-war, but quite interesting since they give some background on her building and her launch. And for example why she was build in Danzig…
  • Wheat for Holland
    Something completely different: 16 januari 1940 a local newspaper announces the arrival of six cargoships with wheat. The last years before the war wheat was short in supply and Abbekerk arrived from the US, its holds filled with wheat.

Stories from World Wide Web

  • Tweedale’s War (BBC People’s War)
    The fascinating story about Harry Tweedale of RAF 232 Squadron. During the war his path crosses Abbekerks’ several times. First he is in the same convoy to Singapore, later he helps unload Abbekerk in Singapore and finally he sees Abbekerk again when he is evacuated from Tjilitjap, Java (febuary 1942)

Contributions from this website to others

  • The Fourth Ally
    Mr Jan Vel en Ben van Essen from Adelaide Australia made this booklet for the occasion of the unveiling of a commemorative plaque on the Pathway of Honour in Adelaide.
    This booklet is dedicated to the Dutch service men and women and the Merchant Marine sailors, who gave or risked their lives alongside theirAustralian brethren to halt the advance of the Japanese in defence of our freedom. It explains what it meant to be the Fourth Ally in “defence of our nation in World War Two.”
  • China cg-vol-2007-no-2-aug-pge-151617-a.pdf
    Mr Ray D. Kester, USS Marblehead 1940-1942, now USN Asiatic Fleet reunion president and editor of the China Gunboatman THE OFFICIAL NEWSLETTER OF THE SOUTH CHINA, YANGTZE PATROL, ASIATIC FLEET used information from this website to tell the story of two wounded sailors from the Marblehead that were evacuated on Abbekerk. A short comment of one of the sailors, Mr Oscar M. Rudie, is on the introduction page, his whole story can be read on the USS MArblehead website.
  • A Blue Sea of Blood: Deciphering the Mysterious Fate of the USS Edsall
    Historian Donald Kehn very recently wrote a book about the destroyer USS Edsall. She was one of the warships fighting desperatly around Java at the time Abbekerk escaped. See here for more details. I haven’t read it myself yet, but Abbekerk’s story contributed (a little) to this book.

550 Responses

  1. adam elliott says:

    I guess you have read “Under Ten Flags”? It was written by Captain Bernhard Rogge who skippered the German merchant ship Atlantis armed as a raider. This ship operated in areas including off the coast of Africa and Australia and assumed the identity of the MS Abbekirk for a time. I do not have the book here with me but enjoyed reading it very much.

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