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K XVI. Date and place unknown.K XVI. Date and place unknown.

Check out the K XIV class 1930-40's photo special for more K XVI related images.



30 May 1930: K XVI is ordered.


31 May 1930: K XVI 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".


8 Apr 1933: K XVI is launched.

9 Aug 1933: First trials of the K XVI.


30 Jan 1934: K XVI is commissioned to the Royal Netherlands Navy.

30 Jan - 26 Mar 1934: K XVI is under the command of Ltz. II  / Ltz. I  C.J.W. van Waning.

26 Mar 1934 - 23 Apr 1935: K XVI is under the command of Ltz. I  A.H.I. Kramers.


6 or 7 Jan - Mar 1935: The K XVI and K XVII depart from Nieuwediep (Netherlands) and set sail to the Netherlands East Indies. They take the route via Lisbon, Naples, Alexandria, Aden and Colombo.

26 Mar 1935: K XVI and K XVII arrive in Padang (N.E.I.).

23 Apr 1935 - 1 Oct 1936: K XVI is under the command of Ltz. II  / Ltz. I  D.J.A. Westerveld.


1 Oct 1936 - ? June 1937: K XVI is under the command of Ltz. I  J.A. de Gelder.


? June - 27 Sep 1937: K XVI is under the command of Ltz. II  C.A.J. van Well Groeneveld.


? 1938 - 16 Jan 1939: K XVI is under the command of Ltz. I  M.A.J. Derksema.


16 Jan - 6 Mar 1939: K XVI is under the command of Ltz. II  H.C. Besançon.

?13 or 23 Dec - 23 Apr 1941: K XVI is under the command of Ltz. I  F.J.A. Knoops.


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

10 May 1940: Germany attacks the Netherlands.


?23 Apr?  - 25 Dec 1941: K XVI is under the command of Ltz. I  L.J. Jarman.

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).

22 Nov - 29 Nov 1941: K XVI patrols the off Tarakan (Borneo).

29 Nov- 8 Dec 1941: K XVI patrols the off Tarakan (Borneo).

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

8 Dec 1941: During a shower the K XVI spots an unknown submarine, she submerges and confirms the presence of an other sub by using her sound gear.

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: 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 patrol 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).

8 Dec - 25 Dec 1941: K XVI patrols between Soerabaja and the South China Sea. Two ships are attacked.

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

12 Dec 1941: CDOZ 3 orders K XVI to continue her transit to the Arends Islands.

13 Dec 1941: In radio message #293 1213-0715 the CDOZ 3 orders K XVI to stop-over at Soerabaja in order to take on supplies (last re-fuelling was on 18 Nov).

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: K XVI arrives, through Westervaarwater, in Soerabaja for supplies and re-fuelling. She has radioed ahead that she has problems with her trim pump and needs fuel, oil, compressor oil, victuals, fresh food and lots of fruit. (radio message #321 12147-0100).

15 Dec at 00:00 hrs: K XVI departs from Soerabaja and heads for the South China Sea.

14 Dec - 17 Dec 1941: K XVI sails from Soerabaja to the Gaspar Strait.

15 Dec 1941: K XVI is ordered to the parallel S 02°00', off Gaspar Strait. He has to arrive before the morning of Dec 17 (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°00'E 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 and Borneo coast. K XV will patrol the Eastern part of the second patrol area off Borneo and K XVI the Western part (radio message #529 1220-1438).

20 Dec 1941: K XVI requests K XV to meet her at 00°06'N-107°35'E (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 be stopped 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 at 03:20 hrs: K XVI is at 02°08'N-107°34'E and spots an unidentified plane. Bearing 90°, distance 6 miles, course 180° at a Southerly bearing at a distance 3 of 6 miles. (radio message #579 1223-0320).

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

23 Dec 1940 at 15:45 hrs: K XVI reports she has passed Tanjong Datoe and requests sighting reports for the area (radio message #611 1223-1545).

24 Dec 1941: K XVI attacks and sinks (two torpedoes hit) the Japanese Fubuki class destroyer Sagiri (1950t or 2090t). Position: 01°34'N-110°21'E, 30nm north off Kuching (Borneo). Sagiri's own torpedoes catch fire and blow up the ship, 121 man are lost. The Japanese Shirakumo and Minesweeper No. 3 rescue 120 survivors.

 24 Dec 1941 at 16:00 hrs: The commander makes an incorrect identification of the target and at 16:00 hrs the K XVI radio's she has sunk an Amagiri class destroyer (radio message #627 1224-1600).

The Japanese destroyer Sagiri and battle ship Nagato exercising in the Bongo Strait, 21 Oct 1941 (Photo: © Collection B van der Wal). The Japanese destroyer Sagiri and battle ship Nagato exercising in the Bongo Strait, 21 Oct 1941 (Photo: © Collection B van der Wal).

24 Dec 1941: Due to two far away depth-charge attacks the attack on a second ship, the Japanese destroyer Marakumo (1700t), is unsuccessful.

We are still looking for a photo of the Marakumo . Do you have one ? Then please contact us at

An attack on the transport fleet is also impossible because the transports are in shallow waters and escorted closely. The submarine has 8 torpedo's left. (radio message #627 1224-1600)

Following these successes the Commander of K XVI remains too long in the area searching for more targets and is torpedoed the next day.

25 Dec 1941 at about 11:45 (Japanese Standard Time): The Japanese submarine I 66 torpedoes the K XVI and all hands (36) are lost. Position is 2°30'N-109°50'E, 60 nm north west of Kuching (Borneo). Some source report 01°N-110°E as the position, which seems incorrect since this position is on land and 40 nm from the nearest coast.

60 miles NW of Kuching and only 50 ! meters off I 66's starboard bow the submerged I 66 spots K XVI. Cdr Yoshitomi starts an approach and 13 minutes later he fires a single torpedo that sinks the K XVI. The I 66 is the first IJN submarine to sink a submarine. In the battle report Cdr Yoshitomi writes: "the enemy sub was quite large".

I 66 is a I 165 class, type KD5 submarine, I 66 was renumbered to I 166 on 5th May 1942. More info on this submarine at the Nihon Kaigun pages.

We are still looking for a photo of the I 66. Do you have one ? Then please contact us at

The names of the lost crew members are listed on the Lost Dutch Submarine Service Personnel page.

25 Dec 1941: K XVI is ordered to return to Soerabaja. (radio message #635 1225-0355).

25 Dec 1941: K XIV and K XVI are ordered to take the following route to Soerabaja. North of Bawean Island and East of Goa-goa, to Meindertsdroogte and then 1 M North of Tandjong Patjinan. (radio message #643 1225-1613).


9 - 20 May 2003: The "Stichting Comité nabestaanden onderzeeboten 1940-1945 - scubaair - " will held an expedition to search for the K XVI.

The goals of the expedition are:

- To find and identify the wreck of the K XVI
Promote scuba diving for the disabled since two members of the dive team will be physically disabled.

9 May 2003: The team departs from the Netherlands.

11 May 2003: The team locates (side scan sonar) the Katori Maru, which has been torpedoed by the K XIV on 23 Dec 1941. The wreck is broken in half approximately 1/3 from the bow. The two pieces are at an angle of about 45 degrees.

12 May 2003: This is the first day the team is actually searching for the K XVI. They locate several known wrecks but not the Dutch sub they are looking for, not even at K XVI's expected position. They also visit an other site (where some team members found some metal the year before).

13 May 2003: Another day searching for the K XVI. The team also holds a small memorial service for the lost K XVI crew.

14 May 2003: Another search day. At the end of the day they change position. They do locate a reef, but no wreck. During the nigh (14-15 May) the weather gets so bad they have to return to port.

16 May 2003: A fishing crew tells the team a place where they lost their nets. But the team sticks with their plan to investigate an  area where, during the previous year, pieces of metal have been found. They do find an anchor and chain that could be from K XVI and later on the video they see something that might be a periscope. If this is indeed the wreck site of the submarine it would mean the submarine has exploded completely. Although the debris is found close to the sinking position of the fishing vessel Chesterton (lost in 1979) it is unlikely that this is indeed that vessel, since the Chesterton has not exploded.

17 May 2003: Another day at the same site. They check out the alleged periscope, but there is nothing to check out. It was just an fishing net wrapped around a mast.

18 May 2003: Another day at the same site.

19 May 2003: They team fly's home.

27 May 2003: Unfortunately there was a lot of bad weather during the expedition. Waves of 5 meters, a current of 2 kts and a visibility of only a few meters. But they team did locate some wreckage. The wreckage is +/- 45 nm North-West of Kuching and lies in a circle of about 300 meters at a depth of 48 meters.

The expedition team has provided the Dutch navy with video footage and photos which possibly shows parts/debris of the submarine. The navy will use small parts (visible in the footage), like an anchor and chain, to find out if this is indeed the K XVI. Because of the bad weather the expedition team did not recover any items. In case the Dutch think this might indeed be the K XVI then some local divers will try to recover the anchor.

August 2003: The Dutch Navy has concluded there is not enough material for a positive identification of K XVI. As a matter of fact they even don't know whether the material is from a submarine or another type of vessel. Therefore the team will try to salvage the located anchor. They hope to retrieve it this year.


21 June - 28 June 2004: The "Stichting Comité nabestaanden onderzeeboten 1940-1945" follows up on their 2003 expedition by searching the area, where they found wreckage on previous expeditions, once again. They use sonar and magnetometers to investigate four locations off Kuching (Borneo), but unfortunately they find no proof of any, large or small, submarine wreckage.


Check out the K XIV class 1930-40's photo special for more K XVI related images.







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