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Looking for information on Hr. Ms. Flores before 1935

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  • Looking for information on Hr. Ms. Flores before 1935

    The brother of my grandfather died at 12 sept. 1935 during a excersice at the Hr. Ms. Flores in fornt of the coast of Soerabaja, Indonesia.

    I have found a memorialbook my family made with lots of pictures, but almost no background information.

    Does anyone have some information about the ship and the dutch base at Soerabaja??

    Thanks in advance !

    Vincent Ursem

  • #2
    Hr. Ms. Flores

    Built 1925 building number 300 Feyenoord Rotterdam.
    In service 1926
    In 1935 classified as Gun Boat.

    That's all I have.

    Surabaya was the main Dutch Naval base on Java. Indonesia.
    It's on the east side of the island.

    During the war it was used as an escort ship,
    and it saw a lot of action durin the invasion of Sicily,
    Italy and Normandy.
    In 1960 renamed to Hr. Ms. Van Speyk.
    Decommisioned in 1968 and processed into razorblades.
    The ship received a Royal Citation on november 10, 1948 (number 31)

    Some sources refer to it with the Allied nickname: "Terrible twins", together with Hr. Ms. Soemba she brought devistation to enemy troop concentrations and fortifications.

    When I was a kid I was told that the Flores fired the first shot in operation Overlord, right into a German fort to knock out a huge German gun.
    This because of the skill of the Dutch gunners and guns.
    They succeeded, and then all hell broke out.
    But it is hard to prove that this is no legend of course


    • #3
      Some additional info from before 1962:

      - Gunboat. Before 1935 classified as Flotilla Vessel. After 1951 classified as Frigate.
      - Laid down 13 Jan 1925
      - Launched 15 Aug 1925
      - Commissioned 25 March 1926

      - 75.6 M x 11.5 M x 3.6 M
      - 1457 Tons
      - 2000 IPK (power)
      - 15 Kts
      - 2 Propellers
      - 2 triple expansion engines
      - 4 Yarrow boilers

      - 3 x 15 cm guns
      - 1 x 7.5 cm gun
      - 4 x 12.7 mm machine guns
      At a later date the gun layout was changed to:
      - 3 x 15 cm guns
      - 2 x 40 mm machine guns
      - 4 x 20 mm machine guns

      - Deck 25-50mm armour
      - Bridge 50 mm armour
      - Artillery 14-40-80 mm armour
      - Ammo shafts 25 mm armour

      - Complement 136

      - On 15 June 1926 together with Soemba from Nieuwediep to the East Indies. Route: Nieuwediep, Sevilla, Tunis, Port-Said, Aden, Colombo, East Indies. Arrived in Sabang on 10 Aug 1926.
      - On 5 March 1927 together with Soemba from East Indies to Singapore and Saigon. Back in Tandjong Priuok (East Indies) on 28 March 1927.
      - 24 Oct/29 Nov 1930 escorting Gouvernements Navy vessel Zuiderkruis on a trip to Haiphong, Saigon and Bangkok.
      - On 2 Oct 1937 confiscated Japanese fishing vessel which had refused to stop. After several warning shot the vessel was hit and 2 persons were killed.
      - 11 Jan/25 March 1938 she made a trip from East Indies to Australia to take part in the celebrations of 150years Commonwealth Australia.
      - On 12 Dec 1939 she departed from East Indies, via Suez, to the Netherlands. where she arrived on 3 Feb 1940 in Nieuwediep.
      - On 15 May 1940 she fled from Vlissingen to England.
      - At first she was attached to a detail that guarded the Thames mouth. Later she was on convoy duty in British waters.
      - In July 1943 she departed for the Med. and shelled several land targets on Sicily and the Italian mainland.
      - In Feb 1944 she returned to England.
      - Participated in the Normandy invasion, also shelled land targets during that operation.
      - After the war she returned to the Netherlands and got the Royal Citation "Koninklijke vermelding bij Dagorder" N.1
      - In 1951 she was clasified as Frigate (F 803).
      - Decommissioned in 1955 and on 1 May 1955 commissioned as a navy 'hotel vessel' (A 877) in Vlissingen.
      - In 1960, after the Van Speyk is decommissioned, she is renamed Van Speyk.
      - In 1963 in Vlissingen 'releived/replaced' by the vessel Heemskerck
      and layed-up at the "Dienst conservatie jagers en fregatten".

      Source: "De schepen van de Koninklijke Marine en die der gouvernementsmarine 1814-1962"

      I also checked the Navy Yearbook 1935/1936. It lists several accidents, but not an accident aboard Flores, but the book does list firing exercises for Flores in Sept/Oct 1935.The data on the accident is probably listed in the Navy Yearbook 1934/1935, which I unfortunately do not have available.


      • #4
        Wow, thanks for that load of information !
        Too bad you don't have the yearbook 34/35.
        Is there any way i can get access to the yearbook you checked?
        Do you have it digitalized or is it an actual book?


        • #5
          Passagier schreef
          Wow, thanks for that load of information !
          Too bad you don't have the yearbook 34/35.
          I am still looking for it. Might get my hands on it soon.

          Is there any way i can get access to the yearbook you checked?
          Yes, but remember its in the Dutch language. What additional info are you hoping to find. You do realise its a Navy Yeatbook on the complete Dutch Navy and not a book dedicated to the Hr.Ms. Flores ?

          Do you have it digitalized or is it an actual book?
          Its an actual book. And I only have it available as a hard copy , so no digitalized version. Sorry :-(


          • #6
            Gunnery accident Flores

            The Navy Yearbooks before 1940 reported the period from October the 1st till September the 30th next year.
            The incident is reported in the 1934-35 yearbook on page 137. Translated it gives:
            On 12 September 1935 is killed by an accident with the ordnance on board of Hr.Ms. Flores in the Netherlands East-Indies the Able Seaman (or Seaman 1st. class) J.J. Ursum, the Chief Petty Officer W. van Baars severly and two native sailors light wounded.

            Sorry for the late answer, but I am not so long a member of this group.




            • #7
              Het ongeluk op Hr Ms "Flores". / The accident at Hr Ms "Flores".

              Bron: Het nieuws van den dag voor Nederlandsch-Indiƫ. (Aug. 1936).

              Vriendelijke groet, Hans.

              "Om de kracht van het anker te voelen moet men de storm trotseren". (Pas als je iets ernstig meemaakt, weet je op wie je kan vertrouwen).