Member of Class
O 12
O 13
Boats in this Class
O 12, O 13
O 14, O 15


O 13. Date and place unknown.O 13. Date and place unknown.

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


4 May 1928: O 13 is ordered.

1 Dec 1928: O 13 is laid down at the K.M. De Schelde shipyard in Vlissingen.


18 Apr 1931: O 13 is launched.

1 Oct 1931: O 13 is commissioned to the Royal Netherlands Navy.

1 Oct 1931 - 1933: O 13 is under the command of Ltz. I  P. Rouwenhorst.


25 June 1923: His Royal Highness Prince Hendrik of the Netherlands visits the O 13, and the Dutch Minister of Defence visits O 14. Both boats make a small trip to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Dutch Submarine Service.

5 Jul - 14 Aug 1932: O 13 makes a trip to Madeira and the Azores, during which Prof. Dr. Ir. F.A. Vening Meinesz, B.Sc. conducts gravity measurements and gathers information for mapping the seabed.

For more information about the gravity measurements and the Professor's submarine voyages read the book Meinesz - East Indies 1931.


? - ? : O 13 is under the command of Ltz. II  K. van Dongen.

3 Jul - 14 Jul 1933: O 13, O 14, O 15 and Z 5 sail to Esbjerg (Denmark).

26 Sep 1933: The O 13 collides with the Dutch fishing vessel HD 7 in the Schulpengat and the HD 7 sinks.


27 Jan 1934: In the Noord Hollands Kanaal the O 13 collides with motor vessel Nieuwe Zorg. The submarine is damaged.


1 Apr 1935 - 1936: O 13 is under the command of ?

14 May - 25 May 1935: O 13 and O 15 visit the World Exhibition in Brussels (Belgium).

10 Sep - 22 Sep 1935: O 12, O 13, O 15, Hertog Hendrik, Kortenaer, Van Ghent and Z 5 make a trip to Göteborg (Sweden) and Oslo (Norway).


? 1937 - 1 Sep 1937: O 13 is under the command of Ltz. II  M.A.J. Derksema.

23 Mar - 8 June 1937: The O 13 is on convoy duty off Spain because of the Spanish civil war.

1 Sep 1937 - 1938: O 13 is under the command of Ltz. I  G.B.M. van Erkel.


? 1938 - 6 Oct 1939: O 13 is under the command of Ltz. II  / Ltz. I  J.F. van Dulm.


12 Apr - 11 May 1939: O 13 and O 14 sail from Nieuwediep (Den Helder) to Curaçao.

31 Jul - 29 Aug 1939: O 13 and O 14 sail from Curaçao to Nieuwediep (Den Helder).

6 Oct 1939 - 19 or 20 Jun 1940: O 13 is under the command of Ltz. I  E.H. Vorster.


10 May 1940: Germany attacks the Netherlands.

10 May - 12 May 1940: O 13 patrols off the Dutch coast. She is attacked by German planes several times.

May 1940: O 13, escorted by the minesweeper Jan van Gelder, sails to the U.K.

12 May 1940: O 13 arrives in Portsmouth (England).

15 May - June 1940: O 13 is based at Portsmouth and is under British operational control.

??: O 13 is equipped with a loop-aerial.

29 May - 1 June: O 13 patrols the English Channel (evacuation of Dunkirk and Bordeaux). One night, off the French coast, she encounters a German U-boat.

June 1940: O 13 is based at Portland (England) and is under British operational control.

5 June - 7 June: O 13 sails to Dundee (Scotland).

6 or 7 June: O 13 arrives at the King George Wharf, Dundee.

11 June - ? 1940: O 13 is attached to the 9th Flotilla in Dundee (Scotland) and is under British operational control.

12 June 1940: O 13 departs for a patrol near the entrance of the Skagerrak, position: 57°N-05°E. The O 13 and all hands (34) are lost during this patrol.

There are three possible explanations for the loss of the O 13, the first option seems to be the most likely:

1) 13 June 1940: A German mine strikes the O 13 near the Great Fisher Bank. O 13 crosses the German minefield (named 16B or 168) at approximately 56°55'N-03°40'E.

2) 16 June 1940: O 13 is bombed by two Arado type planes from the German battleship Scharnhorst. The planes reported a position 400m north of the patrol area of O 13. It is more likely the planes attacked the British submarine Porpoise.

3) 20 June 1940, 00:25 hrs: O 13 is accidentally rammed by the Polish submarine O.R.P. Wilk, whose location was reported to be 56°50'N-03°37'E, only 16m from the estimated position of O 13. According to details described by Wilk's XO Cdr. Romanowski in his memoirs it is unlikely the Polish submarine rammed the O 13.

More info on this theory in Miltiades Varvounis'  excellent article The Wilk case.

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

19 June 1940: O 13 is ordered to return to port, but she does not respond.

25 June 1940: O 13 is presumed lost. She was expected to return from her patrol on the 21st.


The official comment of the "Dutch Institute for Maritime History" to the loss of the O 13 is still:

". .It is still not clear how Hr.Ms. O 13 was lost. The ship, under the command of Lieutenant-commander E.H. Vorster, was reported missing after 21 June 1940. It was claimed that, as you mentioned, the Polish submarine Wilk had rammed the Dutch ship on 20 June because the Polish commander believed he was engaging a German U-boat. The Polish commander reported that this submarine was hit near to its canon, but Hr.Ms. O 13 had no such armament. More likely, the Dutch ship has been sunk 13 June 1940 in a German minefield positioned at 56º55'N-03º40'E.."


Summer 2004: The "Stichting Comité nabestaanden onderzeeboten 1940-1945" will held an expedition to search for the O 13. Later the search is cancelled because over financial reasons and because the navy can not adjust its schedule. The search will now take place in 2005


19 Aug 2004: A vessel from the Dutch hydrpgraphical service has booked a berth in a Norwegian port for three weeks. Sources say this is because of the sonar search for the O 13.

The search was almost a complete failure. The Dutch vessel spend most time in port whith technical problems and due to bad weather (wind force 7). A vessel from the British Navy could also not perform a decent search because of the bad weather.

The The "Stichting Comité nabestaanden onderzeeboten 1940-1945" will try to setup a new search for the summer of 2006


Jan 2006: It is reported that in 2006 a Polish team will probably organize a search for the Orzel and the O 13.




 O 13 related pages
O 12 class specifications
O 13 boat history
O boats in the 1930's
The Wilk case
Lost Dutch Submarine Service Personnel
Stichting Comité nabestaanden onderzeeboten
O 13 related books







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