S.S. van Waerwijck

The S.S. van Warwijk was built in 1909 by Maats, Feyenoord in the Netherlands. It was 99m long, 13.5m wide, 7m deep and  displaced 3,040 tons.

 

In March 1942 the ship was scuttled by her crew at Tandjong Priok, (port of Jakarta), as a blockade to stop the invading Japanese ships from entering the harbour. After the invasion the van Warwijk was refloated and then repaired by the Japanese and renamed as the Harugiku, (Harukiku) Maru. The Harugiku Maru became one of the ships known as "Hell Ships".

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On the 26th of June 1944, the Harugiku Maru was transporting prisoners from Belawan, (Medan) to Pekanbaru in convoy when she was hit by one of the two torpedoes fired by the HMS Truculent. The ship then broke in two and sunk within minutes.

HMS Truculent

The ship sunk around 100km south east of Medan. It was carrying 1,190 POW at the time of the sinking with the loss of 198 lives. The survivors, (including Judy the POW dog), clung to debris and life boats for hours before being picked up by a passing tanker. The prisoners were transported to Singapore, staying there a month, before being transported to Pekanbaru, where they built the railway until the end of the war.

© 2019 by Farrell Family

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