Vessels: Tegelberg, Toba, Soedoe

Vessels: Tegelberg, Toba, Soedoe

Melmoth the Wanderer
Melmoth the Wanderer

February 27th, 2010, 5:11 am #1

Hello,

I am curious about any additional details of the fates of these vessels in their escapes from the NEI cauldron.

I believe TEGELBERG got away from Batavia around the end of January/ beginning of February (1942, of course) and made it safely to Durban, South Africa (?)

TOBA appears to have left Tjilatjap in the February 27th exodus, and lagging behind a 14-vessel convoy escorted by VALK, succeeded eventually in reaching Colombo, then Bombay (?)

SOEDOE (along with MINJAK TANAH?) departed Dobo, New Guinea around Feb 13/14 and escaped to Australia, although I do not know which port they reached

Any details TIA,

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

February 28th, 2010, 10:29 am #2

Hi Melmoth,

Tegelberg departed Tandjong Priok on February 12, 1942 for South Africa and was escrorted through Sunda Strait to a position about 200 nautical miles SE of Sunda Strait by Hr.Ms. Valk.

Source: L.L. von Münching "De Nederlandse Koopvaardijvloot in de Tweede Wereldoorlog", volume 1, 2nd print, pp.85.

Tegelberg loaded about 25 million guilders worth of gold of the Javasche Bank and sailed to South America via Mauritius, Durban and Cape Town. In Buenos Aires, the ship received some war modifications and then sailed to New York. In the early afternoon before entering New York, the ship was shaken up by the explosion of a mine, but the mine didn't cause any damage. The ship arrived on the Hudson at about 10 pm that day.

Source: Ir. H.Th. Bakker "De K.P.M. in Oorlogstijd.

Toba (master: Steendam)was indeed one of the ships leaving Tjilatjap in the afternoon or evening of February 27th. Toba left Tjilatjap in company with Merkus (later lost) and Van Goens, escorted by Hr.Ms. Valk. All three ships steered for Colombo. Only Merkus was lost en route to a submarine.

Source: K.W.L. Bezemer "Geschiedenis van de Nederlandse Koopvaardij in de Tweede Wereloorlog", volume 1, pp. 740.

Soedoe was with Minjak Tanah at Babo (McCluer Gulf) at the time of the Dutch capitulation in early March.

Source: L.L. von Münching "De Nederlandse Koopvaardijvloot in de Tweede Wereldoorlog", volume 2, pp. 120.
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Meldon the Wanderer
Meldon the Wanderer

February 28th, 2010, 6:11 pm #3

Hi Visje,

As always, very helpful! I appreciate it.

I should have also asked a bit more about JAN CARSTENSZ, scuttled (I think--but where exactly?) after evacuating BPM personnel who had been destroying oil installations in Ceram...

Thanks again,

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

March 1st, 2010, 9:08 pm #4

Hi Melmoth,

I'm not aware of Jan Carstensz taking part in any evacuation of BPM personnel, can you clarify?

Jan Carstensz served as a stationary W/T station at Ambon for the Royal Netherlands Navy. She was scuttled by gunfire of the Nona shore battery (several 150 mm guns, formerly of the Dutch coastal defence ship Hr.Ms. Zeven Provinciën) at Ambon Bay on January 31, 1942.

Regards,
Jan
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Melmoth the Wanderer
Melmoth the Wanderer

March 2nd, 2010, 4:16 am #5

Hi Visje,

According to Johan Fabricius, JAN CARSTENZ was one of a number of vessels regularly employed between New Guinea and the Moluccas before the war (along with SOEDOE, MOEARA, MINJAK TINAH, CASUARIS & BOELIAN) keeping the remote Babo station supplied and communications open among the Nederlandsche Nieuw- Guinee Petroleum Maatschappij (NNGPM) employees, in New Guinea and the rest of the East Indies, etc.

After the war began, oil installations in the eastern NEI required destruction also, and JAN CARSTENZ was returning members of Bataafsche Petroleum Maatschappij (BPM) from demolition operations at Bula on the northern coast of Ceram to Amboyna at the end of January when news of the imminent arrival of Japanese forces led to her sinking...

HTH,

M.

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

March 3rd, 2010, 9:09 pm #6

Much appreciated, thank you.
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Jacques
Jacques

March 19th, 2010, 8:38 am #7

Hi Melmoth,

Tegelberg departed Tandjong Priok on February 12, 1942 for South Africa and was escrorted through Sunda Strait to a position about 200 nautical miles SE of Sunda Strait by Hr.Ms. Valk.

Source: L.L. von Münching "De Nederlandse Koopvaardijvloot in de Tweede Wereldoorlog", volume 1, 2nd print, pp.85.

Tegelberg loaded about 25 million guilders worth of gold of the Javasche Bank and sailed to South America via Mauritius, Durban and Cape Town. In Buenos Aires, the ship received some war modifications and then sailed to New York. In the early afternoon before entering New York, the ship was shaken up by the explosion of a mine, but the mine didn't cause any damage. The ship arrived on the Hudson at about 10 pm that day.

Source: Ir. H.Th. Bakker "De K.P.M. in Oorlogstijd.

Toba (master: Steendam)was indeed one of the ships leaving Tjilatjap in the afternoon or evening of February 27th. Toba left Tjilatjap in company with Merkus (later lost) and Van Goens, escorted by Hr.Ms. Valk. All three ships steered for Colombo. Only Merkus was lost en route to a submarine.

Source: K.W.L. Bezemer "Geschiedenis van de Nederlandse Koopvaardij in de Tweede Wereloorlog", volume 1, pp. 740.

Soedoe was with Minjak Tanah at Babo (McCluer Gulf) at the time of the Dutch capitulation in early March.

Source: L.L. von Münching "De Nederlandse Koopvaardijvloot in de Tweede Wereldoorlog", volume 2, pp. 120.
Hi Jan and Melmoth,

According to some, the modern passenger/cargo vessel M.S.Tegelberg was in the service of the British Shipping Ministry as a troopship from sometime in 1940 and transported elements of the Australian 2/18 Battalion to Singapore during January/February 1941.

Not much is known about her whereabouts until 27/10/1941 when she reported the position of a Vichy convoy south of Madagascar while crossing the Indian Ocean unescorted. (The result of the report was that 5 valuable French merchant vessels were seized by British and South African naval units.)

During 1942 she had apparently been converted to an infantry landing ship and took part in Mediterranean operations. She made a rendezvous with Convoy WS28 on 16/03/1943 and sailed via Cape Town (11/04/1943) to Aden, where she arrived 30/04/1943. Later, Tegelberg joined Convoy KMF22 (17/08/1943) arriving at Gibraltar on 24/08/1943 and on VE Day she embarked troops at Bombay bound for Malaya. Despite Tegelberg being described as having a distinguished war career, very little is known about her movements.

What was the status of the Tegelberg in early 1942 and what was the purpose of her visit to Java?

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

March 20th, 2010, 10:49 am #8

Hi Jacques,

According to the information I have available, Tegelberg did not come into BMWT service until 1942. Between 1940 and 1942, she was employed on the socalled "Africa Line" of the KPM. Java was one of her regular stops. Tegelberg sailed from New York to the UK and was converted to a troop transport at Liverpool between June 16, 1942 and September 28, 1942, and sailed on her first trip in her new role on September 30, 1942. She saw extensive service in the Mediterranean from November, 1942.

You mentioned Tegelberg transporting Aussie troops and sighting the Vichy-French convoy. May I ask what your source for this information is?

Jan
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Jacques
Jacques

March 22nd, 2010, 1:48 pm #9

Hallo Jan,

pg.26, "War at Sea - South African Maritime Operations during World War 2, (CJ Harris, published 1991, ISBN 1-874800-16-2):
"...on 27 October, the DUTCH LINER TEGELBERG reported a convoy of five Vichy ships..." This is enough to convince me that she had not been converted to a troopship at that stage and was still operating on her normal South Africa/East Indies route as you suggested. She probably transported those Aussie troops to Singapore under charter as per this page:

http://sites.google.com/site/watsonfami ... smith_john

The references listed include a book by James Burfitt titled "Against all Odds: The History of the 2/18 Batalion AIF". Perhaps one of our Aussie mates with access to this publication can confirm whether the TEGELBERG had indeed transported the 2/18.

A bit on the Vichy episode:
Following the report by TEGELBERG, an interception plan, code name "Bellringer" was implimented. SAAF Martin Maryland bombers made aerial sweeps and the entire mine clearance flotilla from Durban (HMSAS's SOUTHERN BARRIER,NIGEL,FLORIDA,TERJE,STEENBERG and STELLENBERG) was dispatched.

Smoke columns were spotted at 15H45 (GMT+2) on 1/11/1941 and the mighty force of 6 converted whalers closed at top speed, making 9 knots! They probably got the scare of their lives when they caught sight of the French escort vessel, the French navy sloop "FRANCOIS D'IBERVILLE" and her 5.5 inch guns!

The flotilla withdrew to a safe distance and shadowing continued until later that evening when big brother,the heavy cruiser HMS DEVONSHIRE showed up. The light cruiser HMS COLOMBO and AMC's CARTHAGE and CARNARVON CASTLE joined a day later. After much exchanging of signals and a few shots fired, the convoy was stopped and the French sloop stood down, returning to Madagascar. The French merchant crews attempted to set off scuttling charges and put fire to some ships but their plans were thwarted by boarding parties from the minesweepers.

The French vessels seized were: COMPIEGNE, BANGKOK, COMMANDANT DORISE, CAP PADARAN and CAP TOURANE - all claimed as prizes on the grounds of "resistence and sabotage".(Still sounds like piracy to me!)

It is quite an entertaining story but I still have a problem with the identity of the French Sloop. The book has 2 photographs clearly identifying her as a "Colonial Sloop" belonging to a class of 4 vessels built between 1931 and 1939 (DUMONT D'URVILLE,SAVORGNAN DEBRAZZA,D'ENTRECASTEAUX and LA GRANDIERRE - 2 000 tons,3 x 5.5", 4 x 40mm) No trace of a "FRANCOIS D'IBERVILLE anywhere. A false name perhaps?

Regards,
Jacques.
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GilbertCasse
GilbertCasse

March 22nd, 2010, 5:53 pm #10

Jacques wrote "It is quite an entertaining story but I still have a problem with the identity of the French Sloop. The book has 2 photographs clearly identifying her as a "Colonial Sloop" belonging to a class of 4 vessels built between 1931 and 1939 (DUMONT D'URVILLE,SAVORGNAN DEBRAZZA,D'ENTRECASTEAUX and LA GRANDIERRE - 2 000 tons,3 x 5.5", 4 x 40mm) No trace of a "FRANCOIS D'IBERVILLE anywhere. A false name perhaps?"

Hello to All,

This is my first post on this forum.

D'IBERVILLE was Indeed a "Colonial Sloop" Class belonging to a class of 9 vessels (DUMONT D'URVILLE, SAVORGNAN de BRAZZA, D'ENTRECASTEAUX, AMIRAL CHARNER, D'IBERVILLE, LA GRANDIERE, RIGAULT-de-GENOUILLY, BEAUTEMPS-BEAUPRE and BOUGAINVILLE). This Sloop like most other French Warships sustained a sad fate, as being scuttled at Toulon in 11/1942.

Regards

Gilbert

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