Dutch WW II sub found near Borneo

23rd October 2011, Comments 0 comments

A Dutch submarine sunk in 1941 during the battle for colonial Indonesia has been found in the South China Sea near Borneo.

HNLMS K XVI sank with 36 crew members on board after being hit by a Japanese torpedo on 25 December 1941. The wreck was found after a tip-off from a local fisherman.

Australian and Singaporean divers established the vessel’s identity on the basis of features unique to Dutch submarines. The exact location of the wreck is being kept secret out of respect for the 36 mariners entombed in it. Divers are being requested not to disturb the watery grave.

A day before it went down, on Christmas Day of 1941, the K XVI had sunk a Japanese destroyer. The Dutch defence ministry is consulting with the victim’s relatives about paying tribute to the submarine’s 36 crew members. This coming December it will be 70 years ago that the sub sank.

In all, seven Dutch submarines were destroyed during World War II. Six were attacked while on patrol, and one was hit during a bombing raid on the Indonesian port of Surabaya. Six of the wrecks have now been found, while one sub, the O13, which went down in the North Sea in June 1940, has yet to be located. cl

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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