Hr.Ms. Schouten

Hr.Ms. Schouten

Tom
Tom

December 20th, 2013, 6:28 am #1

According to Chris Mark's book on the Koninklijke Marine in World War 2, the KPM passenger liner Schouten was requisitioned by the KM for use (conversion?) into a air defense ship. However, I'm unable to find any additional data on this ship or her conversion. Does anyone know more about Schouten and/or the Dutch plans for her?

Thanks...
Tom
Quote
Share

KevinD
KevinD

December 21st, 2013, 4:07 am #2

Hi Tom,

Not sure if this could be the same Schouten, but the only Dutch Schouten I know of was captured by the Japs and renamed Suiten Maru, which was subsequently sunk by SS Sea Robin, and now lays off Surabaya.

I can't read Dutch but the following seems to say something about the KM having something to do with her at Surabaya 7 Dec 1941.


Last edited by Visje1981 on December 22nd, 2013, 5:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Quote
Share

KevinD
KevinD

December 21st, 2013, 5:11 am #3

.......the following would seem to be a loose translation for 7 Dec 41.

".....claimed by the KM and put into service as an air protection ship for Surabaya (stationed / picket at the Gili's)".

However in the next line, i.e. 28th Feb, it seems to state she is in the Madoera Strait (and seems to imply that the Gili's are in that Strait also), whereas the only Gili's I am aware of are a few small islands just off the north west tip of Lombok above the Lombok Strait. Or are there other Gili's in Madoera Strait?

Must say, can't see what protection she would be for Surabaya over at the Lombok Gili's.

Be interested to see what some of our Dutch friends have to say (and how close I was in my 'translation'. )
Quote
Share

Jacques
Jacques

December 21st, 2013, 3:27 pm #4

Kevin,

Gili Radja (7°13'S, 113°46'E) 64nm East of Surabaya is the principal island of a group situated off the southeast coast of Madura - the Gili Islands referred to in Mark C. Jones' "Escape from Soerabaja" (see "Specials" on this site). There are no islands in Madura Strait (Straat Madoera) which I always thought to be only the narrow passage between East Java and the island of Madura but it's now clear that Madura Strait is actually the entire "gulf" between Java and Madura.

Does anyone know if/how SCHOUTEN was armed as an air defence ship and did she see any action?

Regards,

Jacques
Quote
Share

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

December 21st, 2013, 7:36 pm #5

Schouten was unarmed. I presume she functioned more as an early warning outpost (reporting formations of enemey planes coming in).
Quote
Like
Share

Tom
Tom

December 22nd, 2013, 7:35 am #6

Hey guys...good info! This gives me a pretty good idea of what Schouten was being used for in her final days under Dutch control.

Kevin...your info states that Schouten was requisitioned from the Netherlands Steamship Company on March 13, 1941 for use as a training ship for KM personnel. On December 7 she was reassigned to the role of "Air Defense Ship" in the Madoera Strait. As Jan mentioned, it appears that she was unarmed and used an air defense picket ship.

I've read that Allied fighters defending Soerabaja typically got about 10-20 minutes advance warning of Japanese bombers approaching the port. Since this most likely was before any of the Allied RADAR stations on Java were operational in late February, I'm thinking Schouten could have been the source of these early alerts. Being stationed off Gili would probably have put her right on the most favorable flight path from Makassar to Soerabaja, which is where most of the initial Japanese attacks on Soerabaja originated from.
Quote
Share

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

December 22nd, 2013, 5:26 pm #7

Hi Tom,

According to my information, the Schouten was rented by the Stoomvaart Maatschappij Nederland for use as a stationary school for mate's and machinists. The information I have from secondary sources confirms this. She was probably too oold and worn out to be used as anything else.

Jan
Quote
Like
Share

Tom
Tom

December 22nd, 2013, 9:15 pm #8

Thanx! N/T
Quote
Share

Jamie Smith
Jamie Smith

October 10th, 2016, 2:29 pm #9

I am a postal historian and have a cover with stamps of the Seycelles cancelled with a cachet of the above ship and addressed to Kenya it is not dated but would be +- 1960. Is this the same ship that was captured by the Japanese? Help!!!!!!!!!!!
Jamie Smith
Quote
Share

Jacques
Jacques

October 10th, 2016, 6:48 pm #10

Definitely not, Jamie. The ship discussed in this thread was a worn-out old steamer built in 1912. She was employed as a picket vessel during the early part of WW2, but scuttled by her Dutch crew shortly before Java fell to the Japanese. She was then raised and put back into service by the Japanese but sank in an Allied air raid before being raised a second time, and finally sunk by a US Navy submarine in the Java Sea during March 1945.

The ship you're looking for is probably the M.S. (Motorship) Schouten of the KMP (Koninklijke Paket Maatskappij) built in 1954. (There are several pictures of her on-line)

Regards,


Jacques
Quote
Share