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British and Australian Warship Losses in the Dutch East Indies
(January 10th, 1942 - March 8th, 1942)


United Kingdom Australia


Exeter – Heavy Cruiser (CA)
Date of loss – March 1st, 1942
Reason – Damaged at the Battle of the Java Sea (01/27/42) by naval gunfire from either IJN heavy cruisers Haguro or Nachi. Exeter forced to retire due to damaged boilers. After some repairs are made the Exeter leaves Soerabaya with the destroyers HMS Encounter and USS Pope. Sunk while trying to escape to Colombo by naval gunfire from IJN heavy cruisers Haguro, Nachi, Ashigara and Myoko, accompanied by the destroyers Akebono, Inazuma, Kawakaze and Yamakaze.

Stronghold – Destroyer (DD)
Date of loss – March 2nd, 1942
Reason – Sunk in action against IJN heavy cruiser Maya and IJN destroyers Arashi and Nowaki.

Electra – Destroyer (DD)
Date of loss – February 27th, 1942
Reason – Sunk during the Battle of the Java Sea (01/27/42) by IJN destroyer Asagumo.

Encounter – Destroyer (DD)
Date of loss – March 1st, 1942
Reason – Sunk while escorting HMS Exeter to Colombo for repairs. Sunk by the same IJN naval units that sunk the Exeter.

Jupiter – Destroyer (DD)
Date of loss – February 27th, 1942
Reason – Sunk in Dutch minefield laid by the Dutch minelayer Gouden Leeuw during the Battle of the Java Sea (01/27/42).

War Sirdar – Oiler
Date of loss – February 4th, 1942 or February 28th, 1942 (Sources conflict on this)
Reason – Based upon (02/04/42) loss information the War Sirdar was stranded in the Straits of Sunda and later salved by the Japanese and renamed Honan Maru. The only Honan Maru found in the sources is listed as being requisitioned by the Imperial Japanese Army. This vessel was reportedly sunk by an USN submarine Bluegill on March 28th, 1945 off Nha Trang, Vietnam. The USN submarine Bluegill’s report states that the Honan Maru was damaged and beached. The oiler was then destroyed by a demolition party sent by the Bluegill to finish her off.

Rahman – Auxiliary Minesweeper
Date of loss – March 1st, 1942
Reason – Lost due to unknown cause at Batavia.

Scott Harley – this ship was requisitioned by the Royal Navy as an Auxiliary Minesweeper
Date of loss – February 26th, 1942
Reason – Sunk by the IJN destroyers Arashi and Nowaki south of Tjilatjap.

Gemas – Auxiliary Minesweeper
Date of loss – March 2nd, 1942
Reason – The vessel had been damaged previously and was considered unseaworthy. Gemas was then sunk by gunfire from Royal Australian Navy (RAN) Minesweeper Ballarat off the coast of Java.

Anking – Base and Accommodation Ship
Date of loss – March 4th, 1942
Reason - Sunk by naval gunfire by IJN heavy cruisers and destroyers of Vice-Admiral Nobutake Kondo's task force. These vessels included the heavy cruisers Maya, Takao and Atago (Sentai 4) along with the destroyers Arashi and Nowaki (part of Destroyer Division 4). Other vessels sunk during this engagement included the RAN sloop Yarra and RFA oiler HMS Francol.

M551 – Minesweeper
Date of loss – March 4th, 1942
Reason – Part of convoy with RAN sloop Yarra, RFA oiler Francol and base and accommodation ship Anking. M551 was scuttled by her own crew to avoid capture when the convoy was attacked by the heavy cruisers of Sentai 4 (Maya, Takao and Atago) and the destroyers Arashi and Nowaki (part of Destroyer Division 4).

Perth – Light Cruiser (CL); (Australia)
Date of loss – March 1st, 1942
Reason – Sunk by naval gunfire and torpedoes from the IJN heavy cruisers Mogami and Mikuma, light cruiser Natori along with the IJN destroyers Fubuki, Harukaze, Asakaze, Hatakaze, Hatsuyuki, Shirayuki and Shikinami, during the Battle of Sunda Strait in company with the USN heavy cruiser Houston.

Yarra – sloop; (Australia)
Date of loss – March 4th, 1942
Reason - Sunk by naval gunfire by IJN heavy cruisers and destroyers of Vice-Admiral Nobutake Kondo's task force. These vessels included the heavy cruisers Maya, Takao and Atago (Sentai 4) along with the destroyers Arashi and Nowaki (part of Destroyer Division 4). Other vessels sunk during this engagement included the base and accommodation ship HMS Anking and RFA oiler HMS Francol.


War at Sea Index . Bibliography . Article List . Geographic Names
Copyright Klemen. L. 1999-2000
Forgotten Campaign: The Dutch East Indies Campaign 1941-1942

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