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K X. Date and place unknown.  (Photo: Collection G.D. Horneman).
K X. Date and place unknown  (Photo:  Collection G.D. Horneman)

Check out the K boats 1920-30s photo special for more K X related images.



27 June 1917: K X is ordered.


1 Nov 1919: K X is laid down at the K.M. De Schelde shipyard in Vlissingen.


2 May 1923: K X is launched.

24 Sep 1923: K X is commissioned to the Royal Netherlands Navy.

24 Sep - 1 Dec 1923: K X is under the command of Ltz. I  J.W.A.A. Heijdt.


25 Sep - 7 Dec 1924: K X departs Nieuwediep (Netherlands) and sails on her own to the Dutch East Indies. She takes a route via Sevilla, Tunis, Alexandria, Port Said, Suez, Aden and Colombo 

7 Dec 1924: K X arrives in Sabang (Dutch East Indies).


28 Jan - 1 Aug 1926: K X is under the command of Ltz. I  J.W.A.A. Heijdt.

1 Sep (Aug is incorrect) 1926 - 15 Feb 1927: K X is under the command of ?


15 Feb - 1 Apr 1927: K X is under the command of C.H. Brouwer.

1 Apr 1927 - probably 21 Feb 1928: K X is under the command of J.J. Wichers.


21 Feb 1928 - 1929: K X is under the command of ?


1 Feb - 12 Nov 1930: K X is under the command of ?

12 Nov 1930 - 1933: K X is under the command of P.J.G. Huyer.


?15 Jul 1932?: K X arrives in the Netherlands.


6 July 1934 - 15 Feb 1935: K X is under the command of Ltz. II  D.J.A. Westerveld.


15 Feb 1935 - 1 Oct 1936: K X is under the command of Ltz. I  J.W. Ort.

H.M. Ort reports: 11 Feb 1935 - 29 Oct 1935: K X is under the command of Ltz. I  J.W. Ort.

H.M. Ort reports: 2 Dec 1935 - 7 Mar 1936: K X is under the command of Ltz. I  J.W. Ort.


11 Jan - 1 Mar 1937: K X is under the command of Ltz. II  F.J.A. Knoops.

27 Mar 1937 - 17 Jan 1938: K X is under the command of Ltz. II  F.J.A. Knoops.


17 Jan 1938  - 9 Dec 1939: K X is under the command of ?


3 May - 24 June 1939: K X is under the command of Ltz. I  J. Beckering Vinckers.

9 Dec 1939 - 13 Apr 1940: K X is under the command of Ltz. II  C.W.Th. van Boetzelaer.


10 May 1940: Germany attacks the Netherlands.

22 Aug 1940: K X has a defect air pump, it will take about 6 weeks to get it fixed. K VIII will stay in service untill the repairs on the KX are copleted.

14 Oct - 4 Nov 1940: K X is under the command of Ltz. II  C.W.Th. van Boetzelaer.

6 Nov 1940 - 1 Jan 1941: K X in under maintenance


11 Feb 1941: The CZM decides to put K X back in service.

14 Feb - 29 March or 28 Apr 1941: K X is under the command of Ltz. I  A.H. Deketh.

24 Feb 1941: K X, K XVII and K XIX monitor the Sunda Strait.

28 Feb 1941: K X is at Tandjong Priok (Java).

15 Mar 1941: K X is at Tandjong Priok (Java) and the Sunda Strait.

Mar 1941: K IX, K X and K XVII are ordered to Sunda Strait because the German "pantser" ship Scheer is spotted in the Indian Ocean and attacked several merchants

27 Mar 1941: K X to Soerabaja to move over to K XI.

1 Apr 1941: K X is under repair in Soerabaja (Java).

7 Dec 1941: The USA declares war on Japan after Japanese forces attack Pearl Harbour. Approximately 7 hours after the attack the Netherlands also declares war on Japan.

7 Dec 1941: The CZM radios (#109 1207-2215) that "War with Japan has broken out".

< 8 Dec 1941 >: K VII is kept in reserve at Soerabaja.

8 Dec 1941: K X is commissioned again

8 Dec 1941 - 2 Mar 1942: K X is under the command of Ltz. I  P.G. de Back.

8 Dec 1941: The crew of the K IX is transferred to the K X so the later can return to active service.

9 Dec 1941: Because of her old age the K X will be used for the local defense of Soerabaja.

11 Dec 1941: K X returns to Soerabaja.

14 Dec 1941: Japanese planes bomb Tarempah (Anambas Islands) which is Netherlands East Indies territory.

18 Dec 1941: K X l departs from Soerabaja through the Eastern channel and is ordered to take position between Sapoedi and a mine field.

25 Dec 1941: K X is ordered to sail to the Celebes Sea (via Ambon) in order to attack the Japanese fleet off Davao (Philippines).

27 Dec 1941: Japanese invaders occupy Tambelan Islands, Dutch territory, between Borneo and Singapore.

30 Dec 1941: K X is ordered to Tarakan (Borneo).

31 Dec 1941: K X is refueled at Ambon.


1 Jan 1942: K X sails from Ambon and heads for Tarakan.

During the trip from Ambon to Tarakan (Borneo) there are several repairs on the diesels are made. The electrical controls of the bow dive plane can not be repaired and there fore the steering has to be done manually.

8 Jan 1942 at noon: K X arrives in Tarakan. One of her engines is damaged and she is trapped by the Japanese invasion fleet. The escape route of K X takes her right through a minefield  But the submarine survives the minefield, she also attacks a Japanese air plane. The attack is unsuccessful. (more details in the following text). (more details in the following text).

Jan 8 1942 at 12:00 hrs: K X arrives in Tarakan (Borneo)  and moors alongside the Dutch vessel Prins van Oranje. K X's commander, Ltz. I  P.G. de Back, reports to the CMMTK (Tarakan naval commander) Kapt.ltz. F.H. Vermeulen that the K X entered port for several small repairs and that he expects to depart again the next day. Ltz. I  P.G. de Back also reports to the CZM (Commander Naval Forces Netherlands East Indies) and the EC (Squadron Commander) that the bow dive plane control is malfunctioning and that steering can only be done manually. In Tarakan the batteries are topped of with distilled water and general supplies are loaded

Jan 9 1942 in the morning: K X is moved to the 'old dock' in order to load fuel and oil

Jan 9 1942 at 09:00 hrs: There is an air raid alarm, luckily the K X has just finished loading fuel and oil. The submarine submerges at some distance of the dock and lays down on the seabed while keeping an eye on the Japanese air attack with her periscope. Eight Japanese bombers show up. They also attack the Dutch navy ship Prins van Oranje, which results in damage to the steering gear and 5 wounded men. After the attack the K X surfaces and anchors.

In the meantime the K X has received new general wartime orders (radio message #536 0102-1231 and #838 0102-1401). In radio message #940 0107-1615 and #941 it is already ordered that K XIV and K XVIII should mainly attack Japanese forces up to 0400'N-12000'E, in the Soeloe Archipel and off Holo (this order is withdrawn at a later date) and that K X should take part in the local defence of Tarakan. Radio message #992 0109-1031 orders K X to stay on the line Mangkalihat - North Eastern tip of Borneo

Jan 9 1942 at 16:00 hrs. The K X weighs anchor and leaves the harbour. Half way the minefield, that protect the harbour entrance, the starboard diesel has to be shut down due to a defect on the compressors. The damage is so serious that it can not be repaired while at sea so the K X returns to Tarakan harbour and moors alongside the Prins van Oranje once again. The compressor has to be repaired onshore at the BPM (Bataafse Petroleum Maatschappij) and will take approximately three days. In radio message #994 0109-1200 the CZM (Commander Naval Forces Netherlands East Indies) is informed of this setback. It is agreed with the Prins van Oranje that as soon as the moon is rising (about 24:00 hrs) she will sail up the Kali in order to take shelter for the expected air-raids. The K X will also sail up the Kali (+/- 1 mile), and submerge as soon as the air raid alarm is sounded.

Jan 10 1942: The Prins van Oranje sails approximately 30 miles up the Kali and K X anchors off the harbour. The broken compressor is brought to the shore by the 'hoofd M.K.' (head engine room) and two other men. After the departure of this party the K X sails up the Kali another mile and anchors.

Jan 10 1942 at 07:00 hrs: The air-raid alarm is sounded, the K X submerges and lays down on the bottom. Through the scope the submarine observes the alarm of the aircraft carrier and of course the radio is monitored as well. Strangely the K X does not spot any airplanes.

Harold Stockton writes: "The identity of this "carrier" was that of the USS Langley, AV-3. The Langley had sought shelter at Tarakan in order to seek some kind of protection from the watchful eyes of the IJN. Langley's mission had been to deliver 90 +/- crated P-40Bs to Soerabaja"

Jan 10 1942 at 14:00 hrs: A sloop, with on board the 'compressor party', is spotted. K X surfaces and takes the men on board. The 'hoofd M.K.' (head engine room) reports that the party is ordered to return to the submarine by the CMMTK (Tarakan Naval Commander) because the Japanese fleet has shown up off Tarakan in the morning. He also reports that the CMMTK (Tarakan naval commander) would like to speak to K X's commander on the dock.
The CMMTK (Tarakan Naval Commander) informs K X's commander that the Japanese fleet consists of approximately 30 ships, including cruisers, destroyers and transports. The Dutch lightship has already been blown apart and several Japanese scout planes are airborne. The CMMTK (Tarakan Naval Commander) also reports that his attempt to contact the K X by radio did not succeed.
The CZM (Commander Naval Forces Netherlands East Indies) reports via radio (message #1012 0110-0345) that the sub has to do all she can.

K X's commander sees the Prins van Oranje returning from laying a 'sluitversperring' that blocks the harbour entrance with mines. The commander returns to the K X. Later he goes on board the Prins van Oranje to obtain a map of mine chart of  the 'sluitversperring'. It appears there is a 'hole' of 500 m on the East side of the 'sluitversperring'. But the markings are not visible very good. The commander of the Prins van Oranje informs the K X that she has planned to escape, after dark, via the Kali North of Tarakan.

10 Jan 1942 at 16:30 hrs: The K X leaves the harbour (using one diesel only). She can not wait until dark since she has to approach the 'sluitversperring' during day light and because the water depth is only 8 to 9 meters. During this approach the K X is attacked by a Japanese sea plane. During the approach all watertight compartment door are closed and only the engine room crew and engineering crew is below decks. All other personnel is on deck. During the sea plane's first run she drops a bomb from  +/- 30 m which explodes +/- 25 m off the bow. The machine gun of K X is already rigged up but after +/- 20 shots the gun jams. The second run results in an explosion +/- 20 m aft of the stern. During the third run the sea plane takes a dive at the K X and uses its machine guns to attack the submarine. The K X turns her broadside towards the sea plane in order to enable the crew to seek shelter behind the conning tower. During this last run the mine chart of the 'sluitversperring' is lost and the conning tower plating shows several 7.7 mm bullet holes. Fortunately no one is injured and the sea plane leaves in a Easterly direction.

K X continues her course and submerges as soon as the water is deep enough. When the sub submerges she spots many air planes and AA fire in the East. This is an attack of Glenn Martins from the Sarimanda II. Due to the strong current the K X has to use her main electric motor at half power, which depletes the batteries for 75%.

10 Jan 1942 at 20:30 hrs: After dark the K X surfaces and spots many silhouettes at a zero bearing. The ships appear to have anchored south of the bank. The commander decides to cross the bank south of these ships, then to attack the ships and try to get away. To succeed the K X has to sail along a row of Japanese ships (at a distance of 2000-2500 meters) in order to stay clear of the shallow waters (only 2 m water depth) of the bank.
A lot activity is spotted on the North side of the ships, the Japanese are probably embarking troops, and the Japanese ships send messages to each other using a blue lamp.
After passing about 12 ships the K X estimates she is at the Eastern end of the bank. At this same moment she spots a small Japanese destroyer at +/- 1500 m which is sailing a Westerly course. The destroyer probably has spotted the submarine at the same time since a small searchlight is shinning in K X's direction while she crash dives. She submerges to 30 m where she turns away on silent running. The destroyer probably has no ASDIC gear on board since she sails on different courses for an hour and does not drop any depth charges.

10 Jan 1942 at 24:00 hrs: The K X surfaces again, nothing is spotted using the periscope. She stays on the surface, but in a trimmed position. Using the binoculars several ships are spotted. A small cruiser and three destroyers are seen North at a distance of about 3000 meters and also two destroyers South of the submarine at about 2500 meters distance. These two destroyers are on a Westerly course.

At this moment the batteries are depleted for +/- 5000 AU (Ampere Hour), since the moon will rise at 00:50 hrs the commander decides to break away from the convoys protective screen, head out of sight and recharge the batteries before the moon rises. Since there is only one diesel available there is no engine available for the propulsion while the batteries are recharged. This means the submarine has to sit still, trimmed of course, on the surface until the Japanese ships are out of sight. When the diesel is started the exhaust produces thick clouds of black smoke, which is not uncommon, but certainly not welcomed. The submarine sails for +/- 30 minutes in South-Easterly direction.

11 Jan 1942 at 00:50 hrs: The recharging of the batteries is stopped. The batteries are still over than half empty.

11 Jan 1942 at 01:00 hrs: The K X spots the first flames of the destruction of the installations at Tarakan.

The electrical steering gear is malfunctioning and since the only available diesel engine is not really reliable the commander decides not to return to the convoy after submerging at daylight. He decides to return to Soerabaja.

During the day K X submerges and sails via the Makassar Strait and the Java Sea to Soerabaja.

While transiting to Soerabaja, via the Makassar Strait and the Java Sea, there are several problems with the only available diesel engine. The engine room crew has to do repairs during the most of the day (while the submarines is submerged) in order to have the diesel(s) up and running during the night. The 'Hoofd M.K.' (Head Engine room) OMSD I KMR C.G.L. Pillen manages to get the port side diesel running again by creating a direct connection of a refuelling hose of the diesel's oil pump and by using the air pump as a compressor. This makes it possible to recharge the batteries at night and spare the other diesel engine a bit.

12 Jan 1942 at 20:30 hrs: K X passes the 'Noordwachter'. This is reported to the CZM (Commander Naval Forces Netherlands East Indies) in radio message #1115 0112-2030.

19 Feb 1942: K X arrives in Soerabaja, repairs are started immediately.

21 Feb 1942: K X is ready for duty again, CMR will use her to defend the West coats of Madoera against landing attempts of the Japanese.

23 Feb 1942: K X is ordered by CMR to stay in Soerabaja


24 Feb - 1 Mar 1942: K X patrols the Java Sea and off the Philippines

24 Feb 1942: K X is ordered to Pantai Barat (Sunda Strait). but must return the same day to Soerabaja because of engine, pump, and steering-gear problems. The repairs take 2 x 24 hrs.

28 Feb 1942 at 01:00 hrs: After repairs the K X sets sail once again, she is ordered to take position Northe of Lasem

The K X is harresed by depthcharges on several occaisions and hugs the bottom to wait it out.

At 01:00 hrs she is off Soerabaja and takes position Northe of Lasem, she is damaged by the depth-charges of Japanese destroyers (part of the Japanese landing fleet for Java). At 16:00 they do not hear depth charges anymore and the boat surfaces at 17:00. Sut she still manages to reach Soerabaja.

1 Mar 1942 at 22:00 hrs: K X arrives in Soerabaja.

2 Mar 1942: K X is scuttled at Soerabaja in the middle of the submarine basin in order to avoid being captured by invading Japanese forces.


1942 / 1943: K X is raised by the Japanese and is used as a floating oil hulk.


8 May 1945: Germany surrenders.

15 Aug 1945: Japan surrenders.

After the war the K X is "rediscovered" at Soerabaja.


1946: The K X is scrapped at Soerabaja.


Check out the K boats 1920-30s photo special for more K X related images.







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