Allied Warships

HNMS Van Nes (VN)

Destroyer of the Admiralen class

NavyThe Royal Dutch Navy
ModSecond group 
Built byBurgerhout Scheepswerf en Machinefabriek (Rotterdam, Holland) 
Laid down15 Aug 1928 
Launched20 Mar 1930 
Commissioned12 Mar 1931 
Lost17 Feb 1942 
Loss position3° 27'S, 106° 38'E

HrMs Van Nes (Lt Ter Zee 1Klasse Charles Albertus Lagaay) was sunk by Japanese aircraft from the Japanese carrier Ryujo (offsite link) about 16 nautical miles south of Toboali, Banka Island, Netherlands East Indies in position 03º27'S 106º38'E while escorting the Dutch passengership Sloet van Beele which carried a detachment of troops from Billiton to Batavia. 69 of her crew died and 60 were rescued by HMNS Ceram and the Flying boat X 19.

See also this website (offsite link).


Commands listed for HNMS Van Nes (VN)

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.) Johannes Stephanus Bax, RNN17 Oct 193918 May 1940

2luitenant ter zee 1e klasse (Lt.Cdr.) Charles Albertus Lagaay, RNN13 Jan 194117 Feb 1942 (+)

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Notable events involving Van Nes include:

21 Nov 1939
HMS Dauntless (Capt. G.D. Moore, RAN) arrived in the Sunda Strait. Here she spoke the Dutch destroyer HrMs Van Nes (Lt.Cdr. J.S. Bax) which is on neutrality patrol. (1)

14 Sep 1941
HMAS Stuart (Lt.Cdr. R.C. Robison, RAN) arrived at Batavia from Singapore. En-route shadowing exercises had been carried out with RAF aircraft and also with Dutch airforce aircraft. Also HMAS Stuart was 'intercepted and shadowed' by the Dutch destroyer HrMs Van Nes (Lt.Cdr. C.A. Lagaay, RNN). (2)

27 Dec 1941
The damaged HrMs K XIII (Lt.Cdr. M.A.J. Derksema, RNN) departs Singapore for Surabaya where she will undergo repairs. As K XIII is unable to dive she is escorted until she is south of Banka Strait by the Australian minesweeper HMAS Bendigo (Lt.Cdr. J.A.R. Patrick, RANR(S)). There the Dutch destroyer HrMs Van Nes (Lt.Cdr. C.A. Lagaay, RNN) takes over the escort. Both ships arrive at Surabaya on 30 December 1941.

10 Jan 1942

Convoys MS 2 and MS 2A.

Convoy MS 2 departed Sydney on 10 January 1942.

This convoy was made up of only one ship, the troopship Aquitania (British, 44786 GRT, built 1914).

On departure from Sydney convoy MS 2 was escorted by the heavy cruiser HMAS Canberra (Capt. G.D. Moore, RAN).

Convoy MS 2 arrived at Fremantle on 15 January and departed again in the same composition on the 16th.

On 19 January 1942, while approaching the Sunda Strait the convoy was joined by a local escort made up of the light cruisers HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN), HrMs Java (Capt. P.B.M van Straelen, RNN) and the destroyers HMS Express (Lt.Cdr. F.J. Cartwright, RN) and HMS Thanet ( Cdr.(Retd.) B.S. Davies, RN) which came from Batavia.

On 20 January 1942, the destroyer HrMs Van Nes (Lt.Cdr. C.A. Lagaay, RNN) joined. The convoy arrived at Ratai Bay, Sumatra later the same day.

On arrival at Lampung Bay, HrMs Java and HMS Thanet parted company to proceed to Batavia to fuel on completion of which they returned to Ratai Bay. HMAS Canberra and HMS Express fuelled at Ratai Bay.

At Lampung Bay the troops from the Aquitania were put onto smaller ships which were to take them to Singapore as Convoy MS 2A.

These were the merchant vessels; Both (Dutch, 2601 GRT, built 1931), Reael (Dutch, 2561 GRT, built 1931), Reijnst (Dutch, 2462 GRT, built 1928), Sloet van Beele (Dutch, 2977 GRT, built 1914), Taishan (British, 3174 GRT, built 1925), Van der Lijn (Dutch, 2464 GRT, built 1928) and Van Swoll (Dutch, 2147 GRT, built 1930).

To provide cover for the operation of putting the troops on board the smaller ships the heavy cruiser HMAS Canberra, light cruisers HMS Dragon, destroyers HMS Express, HMAS Vampire (Cdr. W.T.A. Moran, RAN), USS Barker (Lt.Cdr. L.G. McGlone, USN), USS Stewart (Lt.Cdr. H.P. Smith, USN), HrMs Evertsen (Lt.Cdr. W.M. de Vries, RNN), HrMs Van Nes, sloops HMIS Jumna (Cdr. W.R. Shewring, RIN), HrMs Soemba (Cdr. P.J.G. Huijer, RNN) and the patrol vessel USS Isabel (Lt. J.W. Payne, Jr., USN) were patrolling / present in the Bay.

Around 1045GH, convoy MS 2A departed Ratai Bay for Singapore. It was escorted by HMAS Canberra, HMAS Vampire and HMIS Jumna.

Around 1830GH/21, HrMs Java and HMS Thanet joined from Batavia.

At 1000GH/23, after the convoy had passed the Banka Strait HMAS Canberra parted company leaving HrMs Java in command of the escort. HMAS Canberra then proceeded to Batavia where she arrived the following day.

The convoy arrived at Singapore late in the morning of the 24th. (3)

Media links

Destroyers of World War Two

Whitley, M. J.


  1. ADM 53/108217
  2. Report of proceedings of HMAS Stuart for September 1941
  3. Report of proceedings of HMAS Canberra for January 1942 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Vampire for January 1942

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

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