Allied Warships

HNMS Abraham Crijnssen

Minesweeper of the Jan van Amstel class

NavyThe Royal Dutch Navy
ClassJan van Amstel 
Built byGusto (Schiedam, The Netherlands) 
Laid down21 Mar 1936 
Launched22 Sep 1936 
Commissioned26 May 1937 
End service 

The Crijnssen gathered fame during the Second World War, because of her spectacular escape from Surabaya to Australia in March 1942. Covered with tree branches, the minesweeper crossed the Japanese naval lines camouflaged as a tropical island.

HrMs Abraham Crijnssen was transferred to the Royal Australian Navy on 26 August 1942. She was returned on 5 May 1943.

She was stricken in 1961 and transferred to the Zeekadetkorps Nederland. In 1996 she was preserved at the Marinemuseum at Den Helder. More info on that here.

More on this ship see this website (offsite link).


Commands listed for HNMS Abraham Crijnssen

Please note that we're still working on this section
and that we only list Commanding Officers for the duration of the Second World War.

1luitenant ter zee 1e klasse (Lt.Cdr.) Eugenius Cornelis Johannes van der Horst, RNN24 Dec 19382 Sep 1939
2luitenant ter zee 2e klasse (Lt.) Bernardus Poortman, RNN2 Sep 193920 Mar 1941
3luitenant ter zee 2e klasse (Lt.) Johannes Abraham Agelink van Rentergem, RNN20 Mar 19413 Oct 1941
4luitenant ter zee 2e klasse (Lt.) Anthonie van Miert, RNN3 Oct 194125 Aug 1942

5luitenant ter zee 1e klasse (Lt.Cdr.) Joseph Remy Louis Lebeau, RNN5 May 19438 Jul 1944
6luitenant ter zee 1e klasse (Lt.Cdr.) Klaas Gerrit Tiel, RNN8 Jul 194420 Mar 1945
7kapitein-luitenant ter zee (Cdr.) Sies Dobbenga, RNN(R)20 Mar 194519 Feb 1946

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Notable events involving Abraham Crijnssen include:

20 Apr 1942
HrMs K IX (Lt. T. Brunsting, RNN) and HrMs K XII (Lt.Cdr. H.C.J. Coumou, RNN(R)) departed Fremantle for Sydney. They were escorted by HrMs Abraham Crijnssen (Lt. A. van Miert, RNN). (1)

30 May 1945
HMS Vox (Lt. W.E.I. Littlejohn, DSC, RANVR) conducted A/S exercises off Sydney with HrMs Abraham Crijnssen (Cdr. S. Dobbenga, RNN(R)). (2)


  1. File (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
  2. ADM 173/20352

ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.

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