This page is attached to The Sinking of the SS Veerhaven: Epilogue

The Losses of the Dutch Ships MV Woensdrecht ,

SS Amsterdam and MV Prins Willem III

After the occupation of the Netherlands
Flag courtesy of Flags of the World.
in World War Two these three Netherlands Merchant Navy ships -- MV Woensdrecht, the SS Amsterdam and MV Prins Willem III -- were chartered to the British Admiralty and sailed for the Allied Merchant Navy under the Dutch flag. The ships' crews would have been made up of a mixture of nationalities, with many of the men, like Charlie Mountain, coming from the United Kingdom.

The term "In Ballast" refers to any heavy material which is put into the hold of an empty ship in order to make the vessel steadier. The initials "O.H.M.S." stand for "On His Majesty's Service" -- the British monarch throughout the war was King George VI. Gross Registered Tonnage (GRT) is the volume of space within the hull and enclosed spaces above the deck of a merchant ship which is available for cargo, stores, fuel, passengers and crew.

The information on the circumstances surrounding the loss of these ships has been taken from the following sources:

LLoyd's Warlosses Second World War, Volume I: British, Allied and Neutral Merchant Vessels Sunk or Destroyed by War Causes 3-9-39 to 14-9-45. Published by Lloyd's of London Press, 1989.

Axis Submarine Successes of World War Two: German, Italian and Japanese Submarine Successes, 1939-1945, by Jürgen Rohwer and others. Published in London by Greenhill Books, c1999.

The World's Merchant Fleets 1939: The Particulars and Wartime Fates of 6,000 Ships by Roger W. Jordan. Published in London by Chatham, c1999.

In two of the following entries, the name in brackets after the number of the U-boat is that of the U-boat's commanding officer.

MV WOENSDRECHT (Spelled as Woendsrecht in 1999 edition of Rohwer)
Type of Vessel: Motor Tanker
GRT: 4,668
Owner of Vessel: NV Maatschappij Motorschip Woensdrecht
Date of Attack: September 12th, 1942
Position of Attack: 10° 27 N., 60° 17 W. (Caribbean Sea, off Trinidad)

Details: Woensdrecht was en route from Matadi, Belgium Congo, (now Democratic Republic of Congo) to Takoradi, Gold Coast, (now Ghana) to Trinidad, in ballast, when she was torpedoed four times by the u-boat U-515 (Henke). Her crew of 34 and 4 gunners were all saved, but unfortunately, 1 survivor from the MV Cressington Court (torpedoed 19 August 1942 by U-510) was killed. The forepart of the ship remained afloat and was towed to Trinidad on September 19th, but it was not repairable. Please Click Here for Photo #1, Photo #2 and Photo #3.

Type of Vessel: Steam Tanker
GRT: 7,329
Owner of Vessel: Petroleum Industrie Maatschappij NV
Date of Attack: April 16th, 1942
Position of Attack: 12° N., 62° 45W (Caribbean Sea, off Grenada)

Details: Amsterdam was en route from Beaumont, Texas, to Freetown, Sierra Leone, and the United Kingdom, with 9500 tons of clean oil, when she was torpedoed by U-66 (Zapp). From her crew of 40, 2 lost their lives. Please Click Here for Photo. For more information visit Auke Visser's ESSO Tankaart Mij. Web site.

Type of Vessel: Motor Freighter
GRT: 1,524
Owner of Vessel: Zeetransport NV, Maatschappij, (Oranje Lijn)
Date of Attack: March 26th, 1943
Position of Attack: 37° N., 2 14° E. (off Algeria in the Mediterannean Sea)

Details: Prins Willem III was en route from Silloth, England, (on the Solway Firth) and the Clyde River, Scotland, to Algiers, (now Alger), Algeria, when she was bombed by aircraft. Of her crew of 35 and 1 gunner, 10 of the crew and the gunner were lost. The damaged ship remained afloat and was taken in tow, but capsized and sank early the next day. Please Click Here for Photo.

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This page is maintained by Maureen Venzi who can be reached at the e-mail address on the INDEX PAGE.