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K XV carrying a Fokker C VIIw seaplane. (Photo: © Collection K XV carrying a Fokker C VIIw seaplane. (Photo: © Collection

For additional photos and information please check the 'related pages list' at the bottom of this page.



30 May 1930: K XV is ordered.


31 May 1930: K XV is laid down at the R.D.M shipyard in Rotterdam.


10 Feb 1931- ?: D.C.M. Hetterschij is stationed in Rotterdam and has the military and nautical supervision of the
 construction of Hr.Ms. "K XIV", "K XV", " K XVI", "K XVII" and "K XVIII".


10 Dec 1932: K XV is launched.


24 Mar 1933: First trials of the K XV.

30 Dec 1933: K XV is commissioned to the Royal Netherlands Navy.

30 Dec 1933 - 2 June 1934: K XV is under the command of Ltz. I  J.L.K. Hoeke.


7 Feb 1934: K XIV and K XV (group commander) depart from Nieuwediep (Netherlands) and set sail to the Netherlands East Indies. They take a route via Lisbon, Cadiz, Palermo, Port Said, Suez, Aden and Colombo.

12 Apr 1934: The submarines arrive in Padang or Soerabaja (N.E.I.).

1 Oct - 1 Dec 1934: K XV is under the command of Ltz. I  J.L.K. Hoeke.


15 Feb - 9 Mar 1935: K XV is under the command of Ltz. II  L.H. Quant.

9 Mar - 1 Oct 1935: K XV is under the command of ?

1 Oct 1935 - 6 Feb 1936: K XV is under the command of Ltz. I  A. Molenaar.


6 Feb - 13 July 1936: K XV is under the command of Ltz. I  L.H. Quant.

13 July - 1 Aug 1936: K XV is under the command of Ltz. I  G. Mante.

1 Aug 1936 - ? 1937: K XV is under the command of ?


H.M. Ort reports: 11 Jan 1937 -  14 Jun 1937: K XV is under the command of Ltz. I  J.W. Ort.


17 Jan 1938 - 29 July 1939: K XV is under the command of Ltz. II  M.A.J. Derksema.

6 Sep 1938: To celebrate the fact that Queen Wilhelmina is 40 years head of state a fleet show is held in Soerabaja. Twenty navy ships and three Gouvernementsmarine vessels sail past the Commander Naval Forces V.Adm. Ferwerda, French V.Adm. Le Bigot and East-Java Governor Ch.O. van der Plas, who are all on board the Rigel.
The following submarines participate in the fleet show: K XVIII, K XVII, K XV, K XIV, K XIII and K XII.


21 Aug - ?20 Oct? 1939: K XV is under the command of Ltz. I  J. Beckering Vinckers.

20 Oct 1939 - 18 Jan 1940: K XV is under the command of Ltz. II  A. van Karnebeek.


18 Mar - 11 May 1940: K XV is under the command of Ltz. I  P.A. Mulock. van der Vlies Bik.

10 May 1940: Germany attacks the Netherlands.

25 Nov 1940 - 20 Feb 1946: K XV is under the command of Ltz. II  / Ltz. I  Baron C.W.Th. van Boetzelaer.


28 Apr 1941 - <= 9 Sep 1941: The Cdt Submarine Flotilla, J.A. de Gelder, is stationed on board the K XV.

18 Nov 1941 at 08:00 hrs: Submarine Division III (K XIV, K XV and K XVI) departs from Soerabaja and heads for Tarakan.

22 Nov 1941: The division arrives off Tarakan (Borneo) and patrols the area.

24 Nov 1941: CDOZ 3 / K XIV orders the K XV to Balikpapan.

26 Nov 1941: K XV arrives in Balikpapan where she re-fuels and charges/fills her batteries.

29 Nov 1941: K XV departs from Balikpapan and heads for Tarakan.

1 Dec - 8 Dec 1941: K XV patrols off Tarakan.

1 Dec 1941: K XV arrives off Tarakan.

2 Dec 1941: In radio message #16 1202-0757 Submarine Division III is ordered to patrol the Celebes Sea.

2 Dec 1941 at 15:15 hrs: K XV departs off Tarakan  for a patrol off Tarakan. She has to patrol the area between 03°10'N, 03°20'N, 118°00'E and 120°30'E.

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 at 06:40 hrs:: K XV receives a message from K XVI that the US is at war with Japan. At 08:07 hrs the CZM radioes: "War with Japan has broken out". (radio message #109 1207-2215)

8 Dec 1941: After receiving contact reports #126 1208-0533 and #127 1208-0535 by radio (reports include Japanese forces in Gulf of Siam and off Kota Baroe) Submarine Division III departs from Tarakan.

8 Dec 1941 in the evening: The CZM orders (radio message #133 1208-0803) Submarine Division III to form a picket line North-West of 'Stroomenkaap' in order to cover the Northern entrance to the Makassar Strait. From this position the boats could also be used for the defence of Tarakan (Borneo).

9 Dec - 16 Dec 1941: K XV patrols off west Borneo. No attacks are made.

9 Dec 1941 at 09:00 hrs: K XV arrives in Tarakan. The K XV off-loads the dinghy, tables, benches and the gangway. She is also supplied with water and fuel.

9 Dec 1941 at 15:00 hrs: K XV departs from Tarakan. And heads for her patrol area (see Dec 8, radio message #133 1208-0803).

11 Dec 1941: The CZM orders Submarine Division III to proceed to the Java Sea in order to intercept a reported Japanese aircraft carrier (radio message #185 1211-0911).

K XIV and K XV sail via the East side of Makassar Strait around the South tip of the Sunda Islands (radio message #265 1212-1400).

12 Dec 1941: The CDOZ 3 orders in radio message #230 1212-0133 the K XV to sail towards K XIV, that was just returning from Menado, in the direction of the line Stroomenkaap N70°E. In radio message #236 1212-0330 the EC orders K XV to quickly follow orders  from message #209 1211-090. Message #209 included the order that Submarine Division III has to proceed to the South China Sea.

12 Dec 1941, after receiving radio message #236: K XV changes her course to N228°E, direction of Aroe Banks. Her current position is 01°04'N-119°54'E.

12 Dec 1941 at 21:00 hrs: K XV changes course to N191°E. This because the CZM has radioed that US units might be present on the East side of the Makassar Strait (radio message #261 1212-1235).

13 Dec 1941 at 07:45 hrs: K XV has to shut down her port side diesel engine due to a compressor fire.

13 Dec 1941 at 08:00: Both diesel engines are shut down. The fire is probably caused because Socony 975 oil was use instead of compressor oil.

K XV radios the K XIV that she has stopped at position 01°32'N-118°35'E and urgently needs compressor oil (Socony 975) since one diesel already is shut down due to a fire. (radio message #269 1213-0045). K XIV replies that she will sail towards the K XV on a N222°E course and that she expects to be at K XV's position at 13:30 hrs.  (radio message #274 1213-0130)
The Squadron Commander also asks the K XIV to assist the K XV until she arrives in Soerabaja (radio message #275 1213-0145).

13 Dec 1941 at 13:30 hrs: K XIV arrives at K XV's position and transfers the requested compressor oil. K XV starts her starboard diesel engine and sails a N175°E course with a speed of 9 kts.

The CDOZ 3 / K XIV reports to the CZM that K XV will transit to Soerabaja on her own (using one propeller) via Madura Strait. She is expected to arrive on Dec 16 between 12:00 and 16:00 hrs. The time required for repairs will be radioed later. (radio message #294 1213-0725).

13 Dec 1941 at 17:30 hrs: At position 02°20'N-118°51'E the K XV spots a warship, probably the US Marblehead. The submarine submerges and reports the sighting to the CZM (radio message #302 1213-1035). At 18:00 hrs she surfaces again and continues with previous speed and heading.

13 Dec 1941: Submarine Division III is ordered to concentrate at the South China Sea together with Hr.Ms. De Ruyter, Hr.Ms. Tromp and a group of destroyers in order to encounter Japanese forces (radio message #305 1213-1135). Earlier messages indicated that over a 100 transports, 1 or 2 carriers, submarines, 1 aux. cruiser and others have been spotted off Indo China at +/- 11°00'N-109°00'E (radio message #283 1213-0741 and #301 1213-1005).

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

14 Dec 1941 at 10:45 hrs: K XV's port side diesel engine is back online. The submarine continues her transit with a speed of 10.5 kts.

15 Dec 1941 at 12:00 hrs: K XV is off Senapndjang and sets course to Tg. Patjinan.

15 Dec 1941 from 17:00 to 18:30 hrs: K XV is stopped because of diesel engine repairs.

15 Dec 1941: K XIV and K XV are ordered to take a route via Discovery East bank and Momparang Islands to a point, in Karimanta Strait, South-West off Seroetoe. The CZM has to be informed when Discovery Bank is passed (radio message #389 1215-1402).

16 Dec 1941 at 09:00 hrs: K XV arrives in Soerabaja.

16 Dec - 17 Dec 1941: K XV is in Soerabaja for repairs and supplies. Her starboard diesel engine is also repaired.

K XV off-loads three II53 torpedoes and loads four IV 45 torpedoes

17 Dec - 30 Dec 1941: K XV patrols the Java Sea. No attacks are made.

17 Dec 1941 at 20:30 hrs: K XV departs from Soerabaja and sails through the Westervaarwater. She has passed the minefield at 24:00 hrs.

18 Dec 1941: K XV sails in the direction of the Discovery East Bank. The submarine transits with decks awash (airplane attacks are expected) with a speed of 11.9 kts to the South China Sea. (see 15 Dec 1941, radio message #389 1215-1402)

19 Dec 1941: CZM orders the Submarine Division III to the equator between Pedjantan and Pengiri. There might be a carrier in a 240 m radius from that place since Pontianak (West coast of Borneo) has been attacked by planes. The submarine have to stay submerged during the day (radio message #501 1219-1141). Submarines K XVI, K XV and K XIV are ordered to a position 12, 24 and 36 m off Pedjantan.

20 Dec 1941: Submarine Division III is radioed that: A second Japanese fleet has been spotted off the Condor Islands, several Japanese units (including carriers) are off West Borneo and a carrier is off Malakka. The division is order to head north. One boat has to take the Api passage and patrol the area as far as 04°00'N-111°00E' and two boats have to patrol the area Greater Natoena Islands, Soebi Besar, Saint Petrus, parallel Petrus. They are all ordered to attack the enemy radio message #517 1220-0739).

The CDOZ 3 orders K XIV to the Api passage. K XV will patrol the Eastern part of the second patrol area and K XVI the Western part (radio message #529 1220-1438).

20 Dec 1941 at 22:00 hrs: K XV is at her assigned patrol area. (radio message #527 1220-1430).

20 Dec 1941: K XVI requests K XV to meet her at 00°06'N-107°35E' (radio message #528 1220-1430).

22 Dec 1941: Submarine Division III is ordered back to the positions at the equator (see 19 Dec 1941). One boat has to has to stop at Tandjong Priok (Batavia/Jakarta) at all times (radio message #559 1222-1645).

Because of new intelligence the above order  (radio message #559 1222-1645) is postponed. First Submarine Division III has to attack a Japanese force, consisting of 2 large cruisers,3 destroyers and 10 merchants, at position 03°16'N-110°36'E (radio message  # 575 1222-1645 and #595 1223-0915)

23 Dec 1941: K XV patrols of Kuching, north west Borneo, since Japanese landings are expected.

23 Dec 1941: K XV reports her position, off Saint Petrus, to K XIV / CDOZ 3 (radio message #599).

24 Dec 1941: K XV ask CZM what allied forces are at Serawak because she observed a Japanese destroyer being destroyed by artillery fire. (radio message #623 1224-1315).

24 Dec 1941: CZM responds that she is unaware of any allied forces at that position. (radio message #626 1224-1427).

25 Dec 1941: K XV is ordered to remain in the area and patrol the route Serawak - Indo China. (radio message #635 1225-0355).

26 Dec 1941: K XV is ordered to take the safest route to Tandjong Priok (Batavia/Jakarta) (radio message #660 1226-0645).

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

30 Dec 1941: K XV arrives in Tandjong Priok (Batavia/Jakarta). She re-fuels and charges her batteries. (radio message 724 1229-13130).

31 Dec 1941 - 3 Jan 1942: K XV sails from Tandjong Priok (Batavia/Jakarta) to Soerabaja. (radio message #769 1231-0510).


2 Jan 1942: The CZM informs that on Jan 6 the submarines K XIV, K XV and K XVIII will form Submarine Division V. (radio message #828 0102-0347).

6 Jan 1942 - 3 Feb 1942: K XV is attached to Submarine Division V.

Jan - Feb 1942: K XV is under repair at the Naval yard in Soerabaja.

14 Feb - 13 Mar 1942: K XV patrols the Java Sea and the Indian Ocean. Two ships are attacked.

20 Feb 1942: K XV attacks a Japanese freighter. The attack is unsuccessful.

1 Mar 1942: K XV attacks the Japanese Navy tanker SS Tsurumi (8000t), or 15050t or 14050t according to other sources. K XV fires two torpedoes and the tanker is damaged. Position: Bay of Bantam (north west Java), east of Nicholas Point. The SS Tsurumi is eventually sunk by a US sub on 5th Aug 1944 off southern tip of Mindanao Island.

Japanese Navy tanker SS Tsurumi, Kure, 1930. (Photo: © Utsunomiya & Co, collection Hisashi Noma) Japanese Navy tanker SS Tsurumi, Kure, 1930. (Photo: © Utsunomiya & Co, collection Hisashi Noma)

After a long Japanese counter attack, during which the fuel tanks of the submarine are damaged, the K XV escapes via the Sunda Strait.

?4? Mar 1942: West of Sumatra the K XV is refuelled by a Navy tanker.

13 Mar 1942: K XV arrives in Colombo and moors alongside the Dutch submarine depot ship Colombia.

Mar - July 1942: K XV is based at Colombo and is under British Eastern Fleet operational control.

3 May - 4 June 1942: K XV patrols the west coast of Sumatra. No attacks are made.

12 May 1942: K XV lands a shore party (First Lieutenant Wijnmalen KNIL) near Atjeh.

Nights of 22 - 24 May 1942: K XV waits for First Lieutenant Wijnmalen, but he does not show up.

K XV will be refitted in the U.S. In order to prepare the boat for the journey the submarine first receives a small refit in Bombay.

8 June 1942: K XV leaves for Bombay.

Mid July 1942: K XV returns to Colombo.

1 Aug 1942: K XV departs from Colombo and sets sail to Philadelphia. She will take a route via Diego Suarez, East London (South Africa), Simons Town, Freetown and the Bermuda's.

The K XV co-operated with S.A. Air Force patrols while in coastal waters.

22 Aug 1942: K XV arranged to meet Amaenthus at 33°30'S-30°00'E (N-E of Port Elizabeth, South Africa) but bad weather prevented the rendezvous. She headed for East London instead, arriving on 22 August.

31 Aug 1942: K XV, escorted by corvette HMS. Rockrose, arrives in Simon’s Town (South Africa).

Sept (exact days unknown) 1942: K XV is under repair in Simon’s Town (South Africa).

1 Nov 1942: K XV arrives in Philadelphia (USA).

Nov 1942 - May 1943: K XV is refitted (including 4 yearly maintenance) at the U.S. Navy yard in Philadelphia. Some of the repairs/changes made during this refit are:

- Sonar (the box on the bow) installed. Until then she only had listening equipment, port and starboard.
- Forward 40 mm Bofors and its platform removed. (According to A. Hopman only the Oerlikon aft of the bridge was left)
- External-traversing torpedo tubes removed. The USN considered the additional hole in the pressure hull too dangerous.
- Forward (the protruding one) hatch removed.
- .....

In April 2003 A. Hopman writes: ......There was a rumour in Philadelphia that the yanks wanted to put both boats (K XIV and K XV) on the scrap heap and combine both crews (2x 36 and some odd ones from the London fatpot) on one of their new boats (90 men) or even to give us two of their new boats (and our crews as core and on yankie training line). It was knocked back by London (so the story went and it might be just a story)..........That forward entrance, which disappeared was also escape hatch (drägervests). Torpedoloading hatch forward and aft took over, the yanks did not like holes......

K XV 'as built' bridge configuration.

bridge configuration as built (top) and after the refit (bottom) in Philadelphia (USA).
K XIV got a similar refit.
K XV bridge configuration after the refit.



12 June 1943: While loading torpedoes on board the K XV the hoisting cable breaks and the falling torpedo kills the first officer Ltz. I  van KMR OV D. van Beusekom. He is buried at the Arlington National Cemetery in the U.S.A.

George A. Keys witnessed this tragic accident. He writes: " . . . I  was stationed at Sub base New London (Connecticut, USA) in 1943-44. I had volunteered for Sub duty fresh out of Machinist Mate school and arrived at the New London Base in march 1943. I was a MM2/c and 18 years old at the time. There were 10 of us, four were assigned to Sub school and 6 of us were assigned to the engineering test and repair group on Pier 13.
I saw a Dutch sailor killed when a torpedo fell on him. I believe the accident occurred on Pier 12. They were loading torpedoes. The sailor rigged the torpedo and signalled the crane operator, a civilian worker named Smitty, to hoist it up and over him onto the Sub. The wire hoisting cable attached to the torpedo broke while it was above the sailor, the torpedo crushed the sailor. Both were on the dock. The cable broke because it had deteriated from the inside.
The torpedo was one of our Mark XIV. Also I remember that the warhead section of the torpedo broke off. It is fastened to the steam section  by a series of recessed bolts. Incidentally the accident happened between  9am and 11am because around noon we received word that the Sub R12 went down off Key West, Florida . . . "

?16 June? 1943: After trials the K XV leaves for Dundee (Scotland).

2 July 1943: K XV arrives in Dundee.

July - 21 Oct 1943: In Dundee and Rosyth the K XV is refitted further and some new equipment, including radar, is installed.

In April 2003 A. Hopman writes:  .......For the Radar ,we had to wait till we were in the U.K. We had no IFF and after my radar course in Glasgow and later discussions we were wary to use the radar and did just as well without the use......

The installed radar is probably a British Type 291-W. More details on this radar can be found on the Mystery Pictures page.

?21 Oct 1943?: K XV departs Dundee/Rosyth and sails via Holy Loch to the Far East.

4 Nov 1943: K XV departs from Holy Loch.

25 Dec 1943: K XV arrives in Colombo. She docks alongside the Dutch submarine tender Plancius.

During her stay in Colombo the K XV is dry-docked.

In April 2003 A. Hopman writes: .....We went only in dock to fix the leaking propeller shafts. They always leaked under pressure under water......


1 Feb - 28 Feb 1944: K XV patrols the west coast of Sumatra. No attacks are made.

19 Feb 1944: K XV conducts a photo reconnaissance mission to Christmas island.

Feb 1944: According to a report of Aart Hoipman:  While transiting to Fremantle (Australia) the K XV picks up a passenger. The passenger is Charles Leeksma, who comes on board in Exmouth with the charts of Australian waters to (unexpectedly  by the crew) Fremantle. They entered Exmouth Gulf without the proper charts and, "on an air bell of Maintank III", low in the water, just in case they would strike a reef in that area. Fortunately nothing happened and with careful navigation (without a chart) they come along side a USN supply ship and met Charles Leeksma. Charles had been flown in from Perth (Aart thinks Charles was originally of K XII) and he brought the charts for the rest of the voyage.

28 Feb 1944: K XV arrives in Fremantle (Australia).

Feb 1944 - Sep 1945: K XV is based at Fremantle and is under U.S. operational control.

Although based at Fremantle the K XV will conduct ten secret NEFIS missions while 'based' in Darwin (Australia) and Exmouth Golf.

13 Apr - 1 May 1944: K XV patrols off New Guinea. Two attacks are made.

20 and 22 Apr 1944: K XV lands the NEFIS shore party 'Prawn' (seven men) at the coast of Sorong, New Guinea.

23 Apr 1944: K XV uses her deck gun to sink a Prau (10t).

23 Apr 1944: K XV uses her deck gun to sink a Japanese coastal motor ship (50t).


5 Jan - 22 Jan 1945: K XV patrols off the northeast coast of Celebes. No attacks are made.

2 Feb - 17 Feb 1945: K XV patrols South Molucca Sea. No attacks are made.

14 Jan 1945: K XV lands the NEFIS shore party 'Apricot' (ten men) at the coast of the Djiko Doped Bay, north east Minahassa.

6,8,12,17 Feb 1945: K XV unsuccessfully tries five times to land the NEFIS shore party 'Firetree' (five men) at the coast of the Soela islands. The shore party is under the command of First Lieutenant J. Tahija (KNIL army)

24 Feb - 14 Mar 1945: K XV patrols off south Java. No attacks are made.

5 and 7 Mar 1945: K XV unsuccessfully tries two times to land the NEFIS shore party 'Poppy' at the coast of the Wijnskoopbaai, south coast of Java.

8 May 1945: Germany surrenders.

24 May - 20 June 1945: K XV patrols off north Java. No attacks are made.

6,7 and 8 June 1945: K XV unsuccessfully tries three times to land  the NEFIS shore party 'Parsnip' shore party and supplies at the coast of Mandalika, north coast of Java. The shore party is under the command of Lt. Abimanjoe

5 July - 18 July 1945: K XV patrols the South Banda Sea. No attacks are made.

7 July 1945: K XV lands personnel and supplies of the shore party 'Inco I' at six different places on the coast of the Damar islands.

15 Aug 1945: Japan surrenders.

Sep 1945: K XV is based at Tandjong Priok (Batavia/Jakarta).

29 Sep 1945:  KXV departs from Fremantle and sets sail to Tandjong Priok (Batavia/Jakarta).

21 Dec 1945: K XV arrives in Tandjong Priok (Batavia/Jakarta).

Dec 1945: K XV patrols the Sunda Strait and off the north coast of Java.

A typical patrol would take 7-10 days and numerous vessels would be stopped and searched.


2 Jan - 14 May 1946: K XV is under repair in Fremantle (Australia).

20 Feb - 1 June 1946: K XV is under the command of Ltz. II  A.F. Elbers.

14 May 1946: K XV departs from Fremantle and heads towrds Soerabaja (D.E.I.)

25 May 1946: KXV is decommissioned and is used as a floating generator. Possibly off Oedjong (Soerabaja).

23 Apr 1946: K XV is decommissioned.

1 Jun 1946: K XV is stricken.


Dec 1950: K XV is sold for scrap.


6 Jan 1951: K XV is towed away from Soerabaja (N.E.I.) by the tug Suus.




 K XV related pages
K XIV class specifications
K XV boat history
K XV as seaplane carrier
K boats in the 1930's
K XV in the 1930's
K XV in the 1940's
K XV related books







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