Allied Warships

HNMS Jacob van Heemskerck (D 20)

Light cruiser of the Tromp class

NavyThe Royal Dutch Navy
TypeLight cruiser
ClassTromp 
PennantD 20 
Built byNederlandse Scheepsbouw Maatschappij (Amsterdam, Holland) 
Ordered 
Laid down31 Oct 1938 
Launched16 Sep 1939 
Commissioned11 Feb 1941 
End service20 Nov 1969 
History

Became an accomodation ship on 12 March 1951.
Decommissioned on 20 November 1969.
Sold to be broken up for scrap on 23 June 1970.

For HrMs Jacob van Heemskerck's service career see this website (offsite link).

 

Commands listed for HNMS Jacob van Heemskerck (D 20)

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CommanderFromTo
1luitenant ter zee 1e klasse (Lt.Cdr.) Jonkheer Arnold van Foreest, RNN10 May 194014 May 1940
2kapitein-luitenant ter zee (Cdr.) Jonkheer Edzard Jacob van Holthe, RNN14 May 194030 Apr 1943
3kapitein ter zee (Capt.) Willem Harmsen, RNN30 Apr 194327 May 1944
4kapitein ter zee (Capt.) Willem van den Donker, RNN27 May 194415 Sep 1944
5kapitein-luitenant ter zee (Cdr.) Jonkheer Gustaaf Alexander Berg, RNN15 Sep 194415 Oct 1945

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Notable events involving Jacob van Heemskerck include:


28 Nov 1942
The Australian light cruiser HMAS Adelaide (A/Capt. J.C.D. Esdaile, OBE, RAN) and the Dutch light cruiser HrMs Jacob van Heemskerck (Capt. E.J. van Holthe, RNN) intercept the German blockade runner Ramses (7983 GRT) in the Indian Ocean about 830 nautical miles west-south-west of North West Cape, Australia in position 23°30'S, 99°21'E. However before the German ship can be captured she is scuttled by her own crew.

11 Jan 1943
During 11 and 12 January 1943, HrMs Tromp (Capt. J.B. de Meester, RNN) and HrMs Jacob van Heemskerck (Capt. E.J. van Holthe, RNN) conducted exercises off Fremantle. (1)

27 Jan 1943
HrMs Tromp (Capt. J.B. de Meester, RNN) departed Fremantle for exercises about 100 nautical miles west off Rottnest Island together with HrMs Jacob van Heemskerck (Capt. E.J. van Holthe, RNN) and HMAS Adelaide (A/Capt. J.C.D. Esdaile, OBE, RAN). (1)

1 Feb 1943

'Pamphlet' convoy, Suez - Sydney, 1 February to 27 February 1943.

This convoy, made up of the British liners (troopships) Queen Mary (81235 GRT, built 1936), Aquitania (45647 GRT, built 1914), Ile de France (43548 GRT, built 1927, former French), the Dutch liner (troopship) Nieuw Amsterdam (36287 GRT, built 1938) and the British auxiliary cruiser Queen of Bermuda (A/Capt. (retired) the Hon. Sir A.D. Cochrane, DSO, RN) (22575 GRT, built 1933) were transporting 30000 men of the Australian 9th Division from Suez to Melbourne and Sydney.

This convoy had departed Suez on 1 February 1943 and were escorted during their passage through the Red Sea by the British destroyers HMS Pakenham (Capt. E.B.K. Stevens, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Petard (Lt.Cdr. R.C. Egan, RN), HMS Isis (Cdr. B. Jones, DSC, RN), HMS Hero (Lt.Cdr. W. Scott, DSC and Bar, RN), Derwent (Cdr. R.H. Wright, DSC, RN) and the Greek destroyer Vasilissa Olga (Lt.Cdr. G. Blessas, DSO, RHN).

The convoy was joined on the 4th by the British heavy cruiser HMS Devonshire (Capt. D. Young-Jamieson, RN).

Later the British light cruiser HMS Gambia (Capt. M.J. Mansergh, CBE, RN) joined near Addu Atoll.

Around 0840 hours on 16 February 1943 the Dutch light cruiser HrMs Tromp (Capt. J.B. de Meester, RNN) and the Dutch destroyer HrMs Van Galen (Lt.Cdr. F.T. Burghard, RNN) joined the convoy near postion 26°06'S, 101°09'E.

Around 2120 hours on 16 February 1943 the Dutch light cruiser HrMs Jacob van Heemskerck (Capt. E.J. van Holthe, RNN) joined the convoy in approximate position 27°41'S, 104°35'E.

Around 2130 hours on 17 February 1943 the Dutch destroyer HrMs Tjerk Hiddes (Lt.Cdr. W.J. Kruys, RNN) joined the convoy in approximate position 30°30'S, 112°52'E.

In the afternoon of the 18th the convoy arrived off Fremantle.

In the evening of the 20th the convoy departed Fremantle now escorted by the Australian light cruiser HMAS Adelaide (A/Capt. J.C.D. Esdaile, OBE, RAN), the Dutch light cruiser HrMs Jacob van Heemskerck (Capt. E.J. van Holthe, RNN) and the Dutch destroyers HrMs Van Galen (Lt.Cdr. F.T. Burghard, RNN) and HrMs Tjerk Hiddes (Lt.Cdr. W.J. Kruys, RNN). Tromp and Van Galen only remained with the convoy for a short period.

Around 1615 hours on the 24th the convoy was joined by the Australia (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, MVO, DSO, RAN) heavy cruiser HMAS Australia and the US destroyers USS Henley (Lt.Cdr. E.K. van Swearingen, USN) and USS Bagley (Lt.Cdr. T.E. Chambers, USN). The New Amsterdam escorted by HMAS Adelaide, HrMs Heemskerk and HrMs Tjerk Hiddes then departed the convoy and proceeded to Melbourne where they arrived arrived noon on the 25th. The other ships continued to Sydney.

In the afternoon of the 26th the Dutch light cruiser HrMs Heemskerck rejoined the convoy. Later in the afternoon the Free French destroyer Le Triomphant (Capt. P. Ortoli) also joined.

The convoy arrived at Sydney on the 27th.

11 May 1943
HrMs Tromp (Capt. J.B. de Meester, RNN) conducted exercises off Fremantle together with HrMs Jacob van Heemskerck (Capt. W. Harmsen, RNN). (2)

12 May 1943
HrMs Tromp (Capt. J.B. de Meester, RNN) conducted exercises off Fremantle together with HrMs Jacob van Heemskerck (Capt. W. Harmsen, RNN). (2)

18 May 1943
HrMs Tromp (Capt. J.B. de Meester, RNN) conducted exercises off Fremantle together with HrMs Jacob van Heemskerck (Capt. W. Harmsen, RNN), HrMs Tjerk Hiddes (Lt.Cdr. W.J. Kruys, RNN) and the US submarine USS Grayling (Cdr. J.E. Lee, USN). (3)

19 May 1943
HrMs Tromp (Capt. J.B. de Meester, RNN) conducted exercises off Fremantle together with HrMs Jacob van Heemskerck (Capt. W. Harmsen, RNN) and HrMs Tjerk Hiddes (Lt.Cdr. W.J. Kruys, RNN). (3)

9 Jun 1943
HrMs Tromp (Capt. J.B. de Meester, RNN) conducted exercises off Fremantle together with HrMs Jacob van Heemskerck (Capt. W. Harmsen, RNN). (3)

Sources

  1. File 2.12.03.6850 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
  2. File 2.12.03.6851 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
  3. File 2.12.03.6852 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)

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