MS Sloterdijk

MS Sloterdijk

Tom
Tom

March 8th, 2014, 7:49 am #1

Does anyone know on what date the merchant ship Sloterdijk put into Tjilatjap in February or March 1942?
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Felix
Felix

March 25th, 2014, 2:44 pm #2

I have her arrive in Tjilatjap on 2 March 1942
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Tom
Tom

March 28th, 2014, 1:39 am #3

Thanks Felix (N/T)
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Jacques
Jacques

April 10th, 2014, 8:37 am #4

Does anyone know on what date the merchant ship Sloterdijk put into Tjilatjap in February or March 1942?
SLOTERDIJK was a modern twin-screw motor cargo ship of 9 230 GRT completed in early 1940 for the Holland America Line. At the time of her building she was identified for possible conversion to an armed merchant cruiser. (see the Armed Merchant Cruiser section on this site) and provision was made for strengthening of her decks where guns were to be placed.

Very little is known of her wartime career but for the following: On Saturday 23rd of March 1940, SLOTERDIJK was sighted westbound in the North Atlantic, South of Iceland (War Diary, 18th Cruiser Squadron, RN), on what was probably her maiden voyage to New York. The Straits Times of Singapore reported during March 1940 that SLOTERDIJK and her sister SOMMELSDIJK were to be employed on the Java-New York line via the Cape of Good Hope (the Suez Canal/Mediterranean route was no longer an option) with scheduled stops at Singapore.

SLOTERDIJK was probably still on this run when she made her final voyage to the NEI with 10 Brewster 339-23 Buffalos and 7 Curtiss Wright CW-22B Falcons aboard. Since both aircraft manufacturers were situated in the vicinity of New York, I suspect that the planes were loaded there and she sailed directly to the NEI with a likely stopover at Cape Town. I've read somewhere that SLOTERDIJK was at some point under the control of the British Ministry of War Transport before being taken over by the (US) War Shipping Administration but that was probably only for a short period around mid-1942. Prior to her being taken over by WSA there is no mention of SLOTERDIJK in any convoy - she always sailed independently.

According to Peter Boer's "The Story of the Douglas DB-7", she was in port at Tjilitjap on 1 March 1942 and off-loaded ammunition but not the aircraft. With TJIBESAR and TABIAN, SLOTERDIJK departed for Albany, Australia on the 2nd or 3rd where the trio arrived safely later that month. However, the date of her being in Tjilitjap on the 1st is somewhat contradicted by the following report from the RAN website which states:

"At 1252 on 1 March Bendigo entered Tjilatjap Harbour. Shortly afterwards she was ordered to proceed to sea in company with Burnie to search for the Dutch ship Sloter-Dijk, which had been reported attacked by a Japanese submarine. Unable to locate the merchant ship Bendigo returned to harbour."

Here is a photo of M.S. SLOTERDIJK during the war years (in USN Measure 14 camouflage?)



And repainted in her HAL colours just after WW2 but still with gun tub (no gun) visible forward and a large number of stacked life rafts.



And lastly,with a fresh coat of paint, the gun tubs removed but the rafts still in place, at the time in the service of the Dutch government for transporting military personnel to the NEI.



She reverted back to HAL service in 1948 and was finally scrapped in 1966. Can anyone explain why her name was changed to SLOTERDYK with a "Y"?

Regards,

Jacques





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Tom
Tom

April 10th, 2014, 10:21 pm #5

According to K.W.L. Bezemer in his 2-book series, "Geschiedenis van de Nederlandse Koopvaardij in de Tweede Wereldoorlog" her name was always Sloterdyk. Most people always just write it Sloterdijk. As I'm sure you already know, the letters "y" and "ij" (pronounced "eh") are pronounced the same in Dutch.
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Jacques
Jacques

April 11th, 2014, 7:13 pm #6

Yes Tom, at first I thought nah, it can't be, there are thousands of references to Sloterdijk on-line and in virtually all cases it is with an "ij" which I believe is the proper Dutch spelling. In my home language Afrikaans, we use a "y" and maybe it was a mistake made when the ship was painted in Cape Town. It wasn't and you are 100% right!

Traditionally HAL Passenger ship names end with "dam" and cargo ships used the "dijk" suffix early on but it appears that sometime after the First World War it was changed to "dyk".

Here is a photo of M.S. SOMMELSDYK in 1939 (under Danish flag), her name on the hull clearly spelt with a "Y":



Many more photos of HAL -DYK and -DAM ships and the story of Captain "Kees" Haagmans here:

http://www.hollandamericablog.com/capta ... -cornelis/

Incidentally, Kees Haagman mentions being on board M.S. SLOTERDYK in New York during early January 1941, at the time when the Buffalos and Falcons were probably loaded.

Regards,

Jacques

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Joined: December 23rd, 2007, 11:46 am

April 12th, 2014, 8:33 am #7

It has more to do with the changes in the use and official spelling in the Dutch language over the years (and there have been quite a few). The use of "Y" instead of "IJ" appears to be preferred up until a few decades ago, and could also have been the correct spelling according to Dutch "language rules" for that era (not sure about that last one).
Nowadays, no one will use "Y" where "IJ" is intended.

What I know about Afrikaans is that traces its roots back to Dutch, but developed very differently over the centuries (which I learnt the "hard" way when I was on vacation in South Africa in 2012. I couldn't understand Afrikaans, because grammar is very differently from Dutch and well, because of the thick accents, but the Afrikaners could understand Dutch perfectly!).

On a sidenote, there are instances where the "Y" is intended to be pronounced as "ie" instead of "ij". An example is Generaal Verspyck, which is pronounded Verspieck instead of Verspijck. Also notice that nobody uses "ck" anymore, but only "k" (except when used in surnames).

HTH,
Jan
Last edited by Visje1981 on April 12th, 2014, 8:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Jacques
Jacques

April 13th, 2014, 8:22 am #8

Yes Tom, at first I thought nah, it can't be, there are thousands of references to Sloterdijk on-line and in virtually all cases it is with an "ij" which I believe is the proper Dutch spelling. In my home language Afrikaans, we use a "y" and maybe it was a mistake made when the ship was painted in Cape Town. It wasn't and you are 100% right!

Traditionally HAL Passenger ship names end with "dam" and cargo ships used the "dijk" suffix early on but it appears that sometime after the First World War it was changed to "dyk".

Here is a photo of M.S. SOMMELSDYK in 1939 (under Danish flag), her name on the hull clearly spelt with a "Y":



Many more photos of HAL -DYK and -DAM ships and the story of Captain "Kees" Haagmans here:

http://www.hollandamericablog.com/capta ... -cornelis/

Incidentally, Kees Haagman mentions being on board M.S. SLOTERDYK in New York during early January 1941, at the time when the Buffalos and Falcons were probably loaded.

Regards,

Jacques
"...early January 1941, at the time when the Buffalos and Falcons were probably loaded."

"The ship went into dry-dock and I was transferred to the m.s. Sloterdyk, a sister ship of the Sommelsdyk for port duty until Jan. 7th, 1942."- not 1941.

Regrets,

Jacques
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Jacques
Jacques

April 13th, 2014, 8:31 am #9

It has more to do with the changes in the use and official spelling in the Dutch language over the years (and there have been quite a few). The use of "Y" instead of "IJ" appears to be preferred up until a few decades ago, and could also have been the correct spelling according to Dutch "language rules" for that era (not sure about that last one).
Nowadays, no one will use "Y" where "IJ" is intended.

What I know about Afrikaans is that traces its roots back to Dutch, but developed very differently over the centuries (which I learnt the "hard" way when I was on vacation in South Africa in 2012. I couldn't understand Afrikaans, because grammar is very differently from Dutch and well, because of the thick accents, but the Afrikaners could understand Dutch perfectly!).

On a sidenote, there are instances where the "Y" is intended to be pronounced as "ie" instead of "ij". An example is Generaal Verspyck, which is pronounded Verspieck instead of Verspijck. Also notice that nobody uses "ck" anymore, but only "k" (except when used in surnames).

HTH,
Jan
Jan,

Looks like you and I swopped continents for a while there in 2012...except that my vacation was ridiculously expensive (exchange rate) and I expect that yours was a bit more affordable! I can tell you that my experience w.r.t. languages was similar to yours - I find Dutch easy to read but very difficult to understand when spoken. On the other hand Flemish, as spoken in the Brugge region (of Belgium) is very similar to my native language and quite easy for me to follow.

Delving deeper into the site that I mentioned in my previous post, I came across this in part 2 of the HAL history:

"A note in regards to the spelling of the names of the ships; in 1923 Holland America went from Dutch spelling to English spelling and so the ij became the y. Hence the Rijndam of 1900 was spelled Ryndam after 1923. The Ryndam of 1951 started her life with the Y. Although you will find publications once in a while where this is still muddled up."

I suppose for international marketing HAL (the ever-considerate Dutch!) used the "Y", same as the Dutch sports car maker Spyker, which changed from the original name "Spijker". (Not contradicting your explanation, of course)

Regards,

Jacques
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Denise
Denise

June 22nd, 2014, 1:14 am #10

"...early January 1941, at the time when the Buffalos and Falcons were probably loaded."

"The ship went into dry-dock and I was transferred to the m.s. Sloterdyk, a sister ship of the Sommelsdyk for port duty until Jan. 7th, 1942."- not 1941.

Regrets,

Jacques
Hey I sure hope there is someone out there who can help me. I take care of a 93 year old WWII Marine veteran of the Peleliu battle in the pacific theatre. He remembers getting loaded up onto a transport ship leaving Peleliu and going to Pavuvu, the MS Sloterdyke, on 30 Oct 1944. He was the last of the F/2/7 marines leaving the island. He remembers fondly the apologetic captain explaining to the troops that the only thing on board to eat was steak, and for that he apologized. These guys hadn't eaten a real meal or had a peaceful night's rest in 45 days. So anyway if I could find any information to take to him I would be most appreciative.
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