Van Heutsz
1926 - 1959


A fine view of a work-stained Van Heutsz.

The Van Heutsz was laid down in April 1925, launched in March 1926 and completed in November 1926 at the N.V. Koninklijke Maatschappij "De Schelde", Vlissingen shipyard for the Amsterdam based Koninklijke Paketvaart Maatschappij (KPM) shipping line (Royal Packet Navigation Co.).

This cargo & passenger ship was primarily used in local service about the Dutch East Indies, commencing service on November 8th 1926.

Passenger timetables of the period show the Van Heutsz and sister ship the Cremer on scheduled workings between Singapore and Hong Kong, three days allowed for the trip.

During World War II it was chartered by the Ministry of War Transport from June 25th 1942.

In late 1942 the Allies attacked the Buna–Gona–Sanananda area of Papua and relied on the KPM fleet for the movement of all the men & materials involved. The ships movements were in small convoys of one or two vessels and was collectively known as Operation Lilliput, the Van Heutsz was one of the ships used.

Convoy TN18 depart Townsville December 24th 1942 arrive Port Moresby December 27th 1942 seven ships including the Van Heutsz and the Cremer.

In January 1943 six Japanese aircraft attacked the Katoomba which was escorting the Van Heutsz. The escort sustained only superficial damage but the Van Heutsz took a direct hit which killed one man and seriously wounded three others.

Convoy TN72 depart Townsville April 13th 1943 arrive Port Moresby April 16th 1943 three ships including the Van Heutsz.

Convoy TN92 depart Townsville May 13th 1943 arrive Port Moresby May 15th 1943 four ships including the Van Heutsz.

Convoy TN105 depart Townsville June 14th 1943 arrive Fall River June 17th 1943 eight ships including the Van Heutsz.

Convoy TN116 depart Townsville July 12th 1943 arrive Milne Bay July 15th 1943 four ships including the Van Heutsz and the Cremer.

Convoy TN126 depart Townsville July 31st 1943 arrive Milne Bay August 4th 1943 nineteen ships including the Van Heutsz.

Convoy TN142 depart Townsville August 21st 1943 arrive Fall River August 25th 1943 seven ships including the Van Heutsz.

Convoy TN156 depart Townsville September 16th 1943 arrive Milne Bay September 19th 1943 ten ships including the Van Heutsz.

Convoy TN172 depart Townsville October 24th 1943 arrive Port Moresby October 27th 1943 twenty three ships including the Van Heutsz.

Convoy TN182 depart Townsville November 26th 1943 arrive Milne Bay November 30th 1943 seven ships including the Van Heutsz.

Convoy TN195 depart Townsville December 20th 1943 arrive Milne Bay December 23rd 1943 eleven ships including the Van Heutsz.

Convoy TN205 depart Townsville January 10th 1944 arrive Milne Bay January 13th 1944 five ships including the Van Heutsz.

Convoy TN219 depart Townsville February 18th 1944 arrive Milne Bay February 20th 1944 seven ships including the Van Heutsz.

The Van Heutsz was noted at Madang early in August 1944 providing support for Australian engineers working on local roads and the airstrip.

In September 1945 the ship was returned to KPM. From March to October 1946 it was chartered by the Nederlands-Indische Regering (LINES). At the end of 1947 it was transferred to the Koninklijke Java-China-Paketvaart Lijnen N.V (KJCPL) (Royal Interocean Line) and had the distinction of being seized and then released by Chinese pirates during December 1947.

The Van Heutsz remained in this service until 1957 when the ship returned to KPM and was renamed the Barentsz.

During February 1959 the ship was sold for scrap to the Chiap Hua Manufacturing Co. Ltd.in Hong Kong.

Builder: N.V. Koninklijke Maatschappij "De Schelde", Vlissingen, number 180.
Launched: 1926
Deadweight: 3,734 tons
Displacement: 4,552 tons
Length: 123.44 meters
Beam: 15.90 meters
Draught: 8.23 meters
Engines: Two Schelde-Sulzer six cylinder engines totalling 3,400hp (or 4,000hp?)
Screws: ??
Service Speed: ??
Passenger Capacity: 16 first, 30 second, 25 third; 2,137 deck passengers.

Page added September 19th 2007

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