For more information about K XVII visit the following pages: Dutch officers find their fathers lost submarines, K XVII photos, K XIV class 1930-40's photo special.
25 June 1930: The contract for the K XVII is signed.
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".
1 June 1931: K XVII is laid down at the Fijenoord shipyard in Rotterdam.
26 July 1932: K XVII is launched.
19 Dec 1933: K XVII is commissioned to the Royal Netherlands Navy.
19 Dec 1933 - 1934: K XVII is under the command of Ltz. I C.W. Slot.
? 1934 / ? 1935: K XVII is under the command of Ltz. I J.A. de Gelder.
20 Jun - 1 Aug 1934: K XVII, K XVIII, Hertog Hendrik, Evertsen and Z 5 sail from Nieuwediep (Netherlands) to the Baltic. They visit the ports of: Gdynia, Koningsbergen, Riga and Copenhagen.
? 1935 - ? June 1937: K XVII is under the command of Ltz. II E.H. Vorster.
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.).
?17 Jan 1938 - 10 July 1939 : K XVII is under the command of Ltz. II J.A. de Gelder.?
17 Jan 1938 - 5 Dec 1938: The Cdt Submarine Division I, J.A. de Gelder, is stationed on board the K XVII.
17 Jan 1938 - 10 July 1939 : K XVII is under the command of Ltz. II A. van Karnebeek.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.
17 Dec 1938 - 10 Jul 1939: The Cdt Submarine Division I, J.A. de Gelder, is stationed on board the K XVII.
? - 22 Sep 1939: K XVII sails to Soerabaja (Dutch East Indies).
2 Jan - 1 Mar 1940: K XVII is under the command of Ltz. I P.A. Mulock van der Vlies Bik.
1 Mar 1940 - 14 Feb 1941: K XVII is under the command of Ltz. II / Ltz. I A.H. Deketh.
10 May 1940: Germany attacks the Netherlands.
15 Sep 1940: K XVII and O 16 depart from Tandjong Priok (Batavia/Jakarta). K XVII escorts the merchant SS Lematang, heading for Durban (South Africa), and O 16 escorts the tanker Olivia, which is heading for Lourenço Marques (Mozambique). The merchants are escorted because there are report of a German raider operating in the area.
Late Sep 1940: K XVII escorts the SS Salando, which is heading for Durban, from Sunda Strait (Between Java and Sumatra) to the Indian Ocean.
K XVII on the cover of Newsweek Jan 12 1942. At this time the K XVII and all of her crew were already lost. The sailor sitting behind at the gun is A.A. Timp. (Photo: © Collection G. Mittelstaedt)
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.
3 Apr 1941 - ? : K XVII is under command of Ltz. I A.J. Bussemaker.
Jun 1941: After intelligence reported an escorted Japanese transport fleet heading to south-east Asia several submarines, including K XVII and K XVIII, are ordered to the north-west of the Dutch East Indies.
Early Jul 1941: The K XVII and the O 16 are ordered back to Soerabaja for their half-yearly maintenance.
20 Sep - +/-21 Dec 1941: K XVII is under command of Ltz. I H.C. Besançon.
15 Nov 1941: K XVII and O 16 are at/off Soerabaja.
24 Nov 1941: K XVII and O 16 are at/off Soerabaja.
28 Nov 1941: K XVII and O 16 are ordered to Sambas (north-west Borneo). The boats are expected to arrive in the area on the 6th of December. In order to be available to C-in-C China.
29 Nov 1941: K XVII and O 16 are ordered (#2 1129-0535) to 4º00'N-104º30'E (off Malacca) for a possible unexpected action. They are expected to remain unseen and proceed with a speed of 12 knots
29 Nov 1941: K XVII and O 16 are ordered (#5 1129-0951) to go to maximum speed.
1 Dec 1941: Submarine Division I is placed under British (C-in-C China) operational control.
K XVII and O 16 are ordered to Singapore.
Early Dec 1941: K XVII and O 16 arrive in Singapore.
6 Dec - +/- 21 Dec 1941: C-in-C Eastern Fleet orders K XVII and O 16 is ordered to patrol the South China Sea. Patrol area 7º30N103ºE - 8ºN103ºE.
There are several stories/rumours/conspiracy theories that K XVII has sighted the Japanese Pearl Harbor fleet. There is an interesting thread about this subject in our forums.
6 Dec 1941 at 14:30: K XVII and O 16 depart from Singapore.
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".
According to Japanese sources: 7 December 1941: The Japanese submarine I 56 sights and attacks a Dutch submarine (probably K XVII) off the east coast of Malaya, but misses.
8 Dec 1941Two ALMR (Alle Marine Radiostations) messages (#126 1208-533 and #127 1208-535) report details on enemy forces in the Gulf of Siam and off Kota Bharu.
8 Dec 1941: K XVII patrols off the east coast of Malaya and in the Gulf of Siam.
9 Dec 1941: C-in-C Eastern Fleet orders (#154 1413 9Dec'41) Submarine Divisions I and II (O 16, K XVII, K XI, K XIII, K XII) to form a line N180ºE, distance between the submarines should be 20 miles. O 16 should be 40 miles South of the Poeloe Obi Light at 8º26'N-104º50'E. At Dec 10 at 23:30 MTG, but not sooner, the boats have to sail a general course of N260ºE between Kota Bharu, Malacca and Singora, Thailand. This because a large number of transports has been spotted off the coast 05º30'N and 07º30'N (#156 1209-2045).
13 Dec 1941: : C-in-C Eastern Fleet reports (#283 1213-0741) 100 transport vessels have been spotted off the Indochina coast at 12:13 in the morning.
13 Dec 1941: C-in-C Eastern Fleet orders (#290 0620/13Dec'41) K XVII, K XI, K XII and O 16) to proceed to Singapore at best speed. He also reports that large convoys are spotted sailing SSW from approximately 011N-109E p.m. 12 Dec or a.m. 13 Dec.
13 Dec 1941: C-in-C Eastern Fleet orders (#312 ) O 16 to return to Singapore East Sanctuary during daylight of 16 or 17 December. Staying submarines are to take positions at best speed between Anambas and the Malaya shore, on a line of bearing 310º from Mangkai light, 20 miles apart in the sequence K XII, K XIII, K XI, K XVII. K XII is to be 20 miles from Mangkai light.
14 Dec 1941: K XVII patrols off the east coast of Malaya near the Pahang and Kuantang river.
14 Dec 1941: C-in-C orders/reports (#340 0821/14Dec'41) that a force of 2 battle ships and 6 cruisers was reported in position 7º32'N-106º18'E at 0654z 14 December. O 19 and O 20 are to endeavour to gain on a position covering the advancing enemy, should they pass between position assigned to K XVII and the shore.
14 Dec 1941 at 13:00 (MJT): K XVII meets the K XII, which warns of a Japanese submarine in the area (that was unsuccessfully attacked by K XII). This was the last recorded contact with the K XVII.
15 Dec 1941: C-in-C Eastern Fleet reports (#353 0009/15Dec'41) that enemy ladings are taking place, accompanied by war ships, near Pahang River, latitude 3º30'N. Later C-in-C Eastern Fleet orders (#360 0330/15Dec'41) that K XVII, K XI, K XIII and K XII are to spread shore course of 270º from their positions.
+/- 21 Dec 1941: K XVII is struck by a mine while she is exiting the Gulf of Siam. K XVII and all of her 36 hands are lost. She sailed right into a Japanese line of mines, this line of mines also sunk the submarine O 16.
The names of the lost crew members are listed on the Lost Dutch Submarine Service Personnel page.
Check out the specials Dutch officers find their fathers lost submarines and K XVII photos for more information.
The wreck of a Dutch submarine is found off Tioman, Malaysia. Approximate position of the wreck is 3º10'N-104º12'E.
April/May 1982: The wreck of the Dutch submarine found off Tioman is identified as the K XVII. The Bridge is at a depth of 160' (48.7m), the bottom around 180' (54.8m). Because the wreck of the K XVII is regarded as a war grave the exact coordinates of the wreck will not be displayed on this site.
18 Aug 1998, from "The Strait Times", by Chang Ai-Lien: Dive expedition to film W.W.II submarines:
A Singapore team will film two sunken Dutch submarines (O 16 and K XVII) on the Pulau Tioman seabed and offer the footage to the Singapore History Museum.
A Singapore dive expedition is preparing to film and document two Dutch submarines lying on the seabed off Pulau Tioman in Malaysia. The O 16 and K 17, relics of World War II, are the watery tombs of about 70 officers who drowned when the submarines were sunk in the South China Sea by Japanese mines. Both submarines were based in Singapore under the British eastern fleet command when they were sunk in December, 1941.
The O 16, which was responsible for sinking several Japanese ships, was struck by Japanese mines as she exited the Gulf of Siam.
The K 17 hit the same line of mines about a week later, after an unsuccessful attack on a Japanese submarine. Of the 75 people on board the two craft, only one man survived. He is a Dutchman but his name is not known. (Note by webmaster: Boatswain C. de Wolf was the only survivor of the O 16)
Expedition leader Michael Lim, 32, director of Technical Diving International, told reporters on a training barge off Tuas yesterday: "No one is certain what we will find in the submarines. "If they have been air-locked, then we really will not know what to expect." The submarines could still be completely sealed or air locked.
The group of 18 highly-trained technical divers will begin their four-day expedition on Thursday. They will dive to depths of about 60 m. Recreational divers can dive only to depths of 40 m. The expedition divers will use time-tested methods, as well as the newest gadgets, to ensure their safety. For example, they will unravel lines as they dive so that they do not lose their way if it gets very dark or murky. They will also be talking to people on the boat via an underwater transmitter set, and using up-to-date dive software, which will calculate the best mix of gases to place in the tanks and how fit the divers are to dive. Mr. Lim, who was also responsible for a recent salvage operation on the Empress of Asia which was sunk by Japanese bombers in 1942, said that the film footage will be offered to the Singapore History Museum.
The $35,000 expedition is sponsored by Unilever Singapore, which markets Brut Actif Blue, a men's fragrance. Mr. Ignatius Francis Danakody, 21, is one of two men selected to enter the submarines because of his small build. Heavier men would not be able to squeeze into the submarine's hull. The salvage officer with Singapore Salvage Engineers, who started diving when he was 10, is a veteran with more than 1,000 dives under his belt. Mr. Danakody weighs 58 kg and his equipment, which includes a video camera and double tanks, weighs almost as much as he does. He said: "At that depth, everything is so different. Your movements are slower and you even think slower."
For comparison one should also read the Aug 19 and 21 article.
19 Aug 1998, from "De Telegraaf": Divers locate two Dutch W.W.II submarines:
A team of divers from Singapore located the Dutch Submarines K XVII and O 16 in the South China Sea at a depth of 60 meters. The wrecks of the two submarines were found East of Malaysia, off Tioman, by divers of Technical Diving International (TDI). The search for the submarines is financially supported by the Dutch multinational Unilever. The diving team will return to the wreck sites during the next five days in order to photograph and video the area. Since the wrecks are war graves the divers will not touch the wrecks or bring pieces up to the surface.
Reading this article one could get the impression the submarines were discovered in 1998, but the K XVII was located in 1982 and the O 16 in 1995. For comparison one should also read the Aug 18 and 21 article.
21 Aug 1998, by RTL5 TV: War grave film footage (not) used for commercial:
Today the Dutch press reported that the film footage made of the submarines O 16 and K XVII (see Aug 18 and 19) was going to be used in a commercial for the men's fragrance Brut Actif Blue from Unilever. Since the two submarines are still war graves this resulted in a lot of negative response from the Dutch. Unilever stated that because of all this negative publicity the footage will not be used for the commercial anymore.
1999: John S. Moderate took some impressive photos of the K XVII wreck. Go to the K XVII: Impressive images of the wreck, 1999 page to view the images.
2000: B&J Diving Centre, and Evan took some impressive photos of the K XVII wreck. Go to the K XVII: Impressive images of the wreck, 2000 page to view the images.
June 2005: Richard van der Wolf and his team took some impressive photos of the K XVII and O 16 wreck. Go to the K XVII and O 16 : Impressive photos of the wreck, 2005 page to view the images.
O 16 / K XVII related pages K XVII class specifications K XVII boat history Dutch officers find their fathers lost submarines K XIV class 1930-40's photo special K XVII wreck photos 1999 K XVII wreck photos 2000 K XVII and O 16 wreck photos 2005 Lost Dutch Submarine Service Personnel O 16 / K XVII related books Hr.Ms. K XVII en Hr.Ms. O 16 Meinesz - East Indies 1931 Ja Het Moest
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