For additional photos and information please check the 'related pages list' at the bottom of this page.
15 June 1936: K XIX is laid down at the Wilton-Fijenoord shipyard in Rotterdam.
While under construction the submarine is renamed into O 19 (exact day/year of the renaming is unknown).
22 Sep 1938: O 19 is launched.
O 19 and O 20 were the first boats in the world equipped with the "getrimd diesel systeem" or "snort system". This system allows the submarine to run its diesels while being submerged in order to recharge the batteries, ventilate the boat and cover some useful miles under water.1939
3 July 1939: O 19 is commissioned to the Royal Netherlands Navy.
3 July 1939 - 31 May 1941: O 19 is under the command of Ltz. I K. van Dongen.
25 Jul - 13 Sep 1939: O 19 sails via the Suez Canal to the Dutch East Indies.
O 19 arrives in the Dutch East Indies.
10 May 1940: Germany attacks the Netherlands.1941
31 May - 28 Dec 1941: O 19 is under the command of Ltz. I F.J.A. Knoops.
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".
11 or 12 Dec 1941: O 19 is based at Singapore Submarine Base and is under British Eastern Fleet operational control.
12 Dec 1941: The CZM orders (Tel. #240) O 19 and O 20 to position 00°00'N-105°30'E. At this position the subs will be under the command of the CinCEF. The CinCEF orders both submarines to sail to Singapore.
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 - 25 Dec 1941: O 19 patrols the South China Sea. Several attacks are made.
14 Dec 1941 between 12:00 - 16:00 hrs: O 19 and O 20 depart from the Singapore Naval Base. At 17:40 hrs the subs pass Horchlight and in the evening the O 19 and O 20 continue their transit separately.
11 Dec 1941: At position: 03°30'S-109°25'E 25' in Gaspar Strait the O 19 spots a flock of ships. The largest vessel is probably an aircraft carrier. The ships are slowly sailing a southern course. The O 19 attacks the ships, fortunately the torpedoes miss their target. It turns out the O 19 attacked the American ! passenger-cargo vessel Lillian Luckenbach which was being towed from Singapore to Soerabaja by two tugs. Lillian Luckenbach (ex Marica) is a 6369 grt turbine steamer, built in 1918-1919 by Sun Shipbuilding of Chester, Pennsylvania. She is operated by the Luckenbach Steam Ship Company. Other, non Dutch, sources report Dec.15th as the date of this incident and that the Lillian Lukenbach was just escorted (not towed) by the two tugs.
We are still looking for a photo of the Lillian Luckenbach. Do you have one ? Then please contact us at email@example.com.
16 Dec 1941: O 19 attacks a Japanese freighter. The attack is unsuccessful.
18 Dec 1941: O 19 attacks a Japanese freighter. The attack is unsuccessful.
23 Dec 1941: O 19 attacks a Japanese convoy. The attack is unsuccessful.
14 Dec 1941: Japanese planes bomb Tarempah (Anambas Islands) which is Netherlands East Indies territory.
27 Dec 1941: Japanese invaders occupy Tambelan Islands, Dutch territory, between Borneo and Singapore.
28 Dec 1941 - 12 Aug (or 4 Oct) 1943: O 19 is under the command of Ltz. II / Ltz. I H.F. Bach Kolling.
1 Jan - 15 Jan 1942: O 19 patrols the South China Sea. Two ships are sunk.
10 Jan 1942: O 19 sinks the Japanese freighter ss Akita Maru (3817t), three torpedoes are fired. Position: 07°35'N-103°13'E, Gulf of Siam (South China Sea).
The Japanese freighter ss Akita Maru. Date and place unknown.
15 Jan 1942: On return to Singapore on January 15 the British Naval Authorities of the Eastern Fleet allocated a second ship sunk in the attack on the 10th of January. The ss Tairu Maru (4944t), which is also spelled as Taieryu Maru, was unintentionally hit by one of the three torpedoes fired by the O 19. This ship was unintentionally sunk by one of the three torpedo's fired by O 19.
We are still looking for a photo of the ss Tairu Maru. Do you have one ? Then please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
15 Jan - 28 Jan 1942: O 19 patrols the Makassar Strait. The Dutch are afraid of a Japanese invasion of East-Borneo.
24 Feb 1942: The Japanese invade Borneo
26 Feb - 1 Mar 1942: O 19 patrols the Java Sea. No attacks are made.
26 Feb - 27 Feb: O 19 patrols off the Bawean islands and coast of Java. She barely escapes from a Japanese destroyer. Depth charges force the O 19 to dive deep.
1 Mar 1942: O 19 participates in the evacuation of Soerabaja. During the night O 19 escapes from Soerabaja and sails via the Strait of Sapé to Colombo.
25 Mar - June 1942: O 19 is based at Colombo and is under British Eastern Fleet operational control.
31 Mar - 8 Apr 1942: O 19 patrols off Minicoy (Maldives). No attacks are made.
20 Apr - 9 May 1942: O 19 patrols the Strait of Malacca. No ships are attacked, but during an Japanese depth charge attack the boat's aft horizontal rudders (hydroplanes) are damaged.
O 19 will be refitted in the U.K. In order to prepare the boat for the journey the submarine first receives a small refit in Bombay.
16 May 1942: Submarines O 23, O 19, HMS Scout and tender Colombia depart Colombo and head for Bombay. The ships arrive the same day.
Mid July 1942: O 19 returns to Colombo (Ceylon).
O 19 is based at Kilindini (Mombasa, Kenya).
O 19 is used as a ASDIC piggy boat.
10 Sep - Jan 1943: O 19 is refitted at Simon's Town (South Africa). During this refit one of the 'Vulcan Clutches' of the O 19 is installed on the O 21. (S-A sources report the transfer of the Vulcan Clutch' starts in Nov 1942).
Oct 1942: According to the C-in-C South Atlantic War Diary the anticipated completion date for all O19 and O 21 repairs is 5 Dec 1942.
23 Dec 1942: O 19 departs from Simon's Town (South Africa). On only 1 diesel engine, because one 'Vulcan Clutch' is removed, she sails to Freetown. She stays a few days off Freetown and then continues via Falmouth (England), Greenock (Scotland), Scapa Flow and Dundee to Grangemouth (Scotland).
9 Feb 1943: O 19 arrives in Dundee (Scotland).
12 Feb 1943: O 19 Arrives in Grangemouth (Scotland).
12 Feb 1943 - 1 Feb 1944: O 19 is in Grangemouth (Scotland) at the HM Dockyard for a major refit. The "snort" system is removed and several new equipment is installed.
16 July - unknown 1943: O 19 is fitted with new batteries. This new battery has the new permali cell trays.
1943 or 1944: During the refit in Scotland crew member Siem Spruijt designs a small flag (65 x 27 cm) of which one hundred are made. This flag is used as a souvenir for family and friends of the crew.
The O 19 souvenir flag designed by Siem Spruijt. (Photo: © Siem Spruijt)
12 Aug (or 4 Oct) 1943 - 16 Dec 1944: O 19 is under the command of Ltz. I A. van Karnebeek.1944
Feb - June 1944: O 19 uses this period for work-up, trials and training off Dundee and Holy Loch (both Scotland).
1 Mar 1943: The initial work-up is done near Dundee (Scotland) but from March 1 she works-up near Holy Loch (Scotland).
Late Apr 1944: O 19 is in the Camperdowndock in Dundee for battery repairs and to load 40 dummy mines.
Late May 1944: O 19 returns to the Scottish West coast in order to continue here mine laying exercises mines. Photos as one of these exercises are located at page Loading mines on board O 19.
After another dry-docking, for cleaning, the submarine is ready for her transit to the Far East.
12 June 1944: O 19 departs from Holy Loch (Scotland) and sails via the Mediterranean, where from the Malta submarine base a war patrol (in Greek waters) is made, to Fremantle (Australia).
June - Sep 1944: O 19 is based at Colombo and attached to the 8th Flotilla. O 19 is under British Eastern Fleet operational control.
27 July 1944: O 19 arrives in Colombo.
11 Aug 1944: O 19 arrives in Trincomalee (Ceylon), joins the 8th flotilla and is under British operational control.
21 Aug - 18 Sep 1944: O 19 patrols the west coast of Sumatra. She departs from Trincomalee and after the patrol she will return to her new home port Fremantle. Several attacks are made during this patrol.
1 - 2 Sep 1944: O 19 conducts a reconnaissance mission to the Emma harbour in Padang, west coast of Sumatra.
4 Sep 1944: O 19 uses her deck gun to sink a Madurese Prau (10t). Position: West of Sumatra.
6 Sep 1944: O 19 uses her deck gun to sink a Japanese coastal vessel (200t). Position: 03°9'S-101°20'E.
10 Sep 1944: O 19 uses her deck gun to sink the Japanese freighter ms Korei Maru (599t). Position: 05°59'S-101°12'E. Other sources state the ship was only damaged or they state the ship is the same one as the Hinoki Maru, which was sunk on the 10th by U.S. submarine Pargo. But according to a crewmember of the O 19, who was there at the time, they really sunk the ship.
We are still looking for a photo of the ms Korei Maru. Do you have one ? Then please contact us at email@example.com.
Sep 1944 - July 1945: O 19 is based at Fremantle (Australia) and attached to the 8th Flotilla. The complete Flotilla is under U.S. operational control.
23 Oct - 24 Nov 1944: O 19 patrols the Java Sea and north of Bali, one ship is attacked.
16 Nov 1944: O 19 uses her deck gun to sink the Japanese coastal vessel Kaishin Maru #2 (150t). Position: Java Sea.
A photo, of what is probably O 19 picking up Kaishin Maru #2 survivors, can be seen at the O 19 in WWII photo page.
We are still looking for a photo of the Kaishin Maru #2. Do you have one ? Then please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
16 Dec 1944 - 8 July 1945: O 19 is under the command of Ltz. I J.F. Drijfhout van Hooff. A. van Karnebeek is relieved because of medical reasons.1945
19 Dec 1944 - 15?21 Jan 1945: O 19 patrols the Java sea. Two ships are attacked.
3 Jan 1945: O 19 conducts a mine laying operation (40 mines) in the Bay of Bantam, Batavia (Jakarta, Dutch East Indies) approaches. Position: 05°50'S-106°16'E, east of Bawean Island.
5 Jan 1945: O 19 attacks a Japanese escort vessel. The attack is unsuccessful.
9 Jan 1945: O 19 sinks the Japanese freighter ms Shinko Maru #1 (934t). The submarine fires three torpedoes of which one hits the target. Position: Bantam Bay, east of Bawean island, 03°41'S-111°54'E. The Japanese locate the submarine and in the following depth-charge attack O 19 is damaged heavily, she has to return to Fremantle via Darwin.
We are still looking for a photo of ms Shinko Maru #1. Do you have one ? Then please contact us at email@example.com.
For more information about this war patrol read the special 3rd War Patrol of O 19 written by Siem Spruijt, a crewmember of the Dutch Submarine O 19.
1 Apr - 3 May 1945: O 19 patrols the Java Sea, several attacks are made.
10 Apr 1945: O 19 sinks the Japanese tanker ms Hosei Maru (696t) by gunfire. Position 05°25'S-106°39'E. According to other sources the ship is the Hojyo Maru.
The Hosei Maru is the former Dutch tanker Poseidon of the Nederlandsch-Indische Tankstoomboot Maatschappij.
We are still looking for a photo of ms Hosei Maru, Hojyo Maru and the Poseidon. Do you have one ? Then please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
13 Apr 1945: O 19 conducts a mine laying operation (40 mines) in the northern part of the Bangka Strait. Position: 01°56'S-105°04'E., east coast of Sumatra. The type of mine and sinker used was T III T Vickers.
18 Apr 1945: O 19 attacks a Japanese cruiser. The attack is unsuccessful.
22 Apr 1945: O 19 damages the Japanese heavy cruiser Haguro (10000t). The submarine fires four torpedoes of which one hits the target. Position 05°29'S-107°00'E, Java Sea off Jakarta. Other sources identify the ship as the Ashigara. But a submariner, who was there at the time, 'confirms' it was the Haguro.
Japanese heavy cruiser Haguro underway, 1936. (Photo: © Collection Gino den Ridder). Japanese heavy cruiser Ahigara, year unknown. (Photo: © Collection Gino den Ridder).
8 May 1945: Germany surrenders.
25 June - 8 July 1945: O 19 patrols the Pacific, Java Sea and the South China Sea.
8 July 1945: While on her way to the Philippines with a speed of 16 kts the O 19 strands on the Ladd Reef in the South China Sea at 4 o'clock in the morning. O 19's position is 08°40'N-111°40'E. Part of the cargo for Subic Bay was a load of medicinal alcohol and training mines. These mines were to be used for midget sub exercises, these midget subs had to learn to manoeuvre between them.
8 July 1945: The submarine USS Cod receives a message telling them that a Dutch submarine has gone aground on the Ladd Reef which was about 200nm from Cod's position.
9 July 1945: The USS Cod arrives at the Ladd Reef in the morning and tries to pull O 19 off the reef. This only results in breaking the heavy steel cable used for the towing attempt twice. The cable is connected to the conning tower and, while the USS Cod is pulling, the O 19's diesels are fully in reverse, ballast tanks are blown and torpedoes fired.
10 July 1945: The attempt to pull O 19 free is repeated but without success once more, so the USS Cod takes O 19's crew on board and demolition charges are set on board the disabled submarine. The extremely secret radar and sonar is also destroyed. Two torpedoes are fired and destroy the aft, 16 shells of the 5-inch deck gun finishing off the job of denying her usefulness to the enemy. The USS Cod takes the crew to Subic Bay in the Philippines.
During the attempt to pull O 19 off the reef and during the transfer of the crew the subs receive air cover from a US Consolidated PB 4Y-2 Privateer.
13 July 1945: USS Cod, with the Dutch crew on board, arrives at Subic Bay (Manilla) in the Philippines.
The O 19 crew, except the Cdt. who is staying in Manilla, is taken back to Fremantle by ship and airplane, Fremantle being both O 19's and USS Cod's home port. This return voyage was not officially organized, the crew just "hitchhiked" to their destination.
The O 19 crew is waiting for USS Cod when she arrives back in Fremantle and brings them to a party they had arranged as a "thank you" to the USS Cod for saving their lives. The party last for three days and USS Cod memorializes the event by adding a cocktail glass and the name the O 19 to her battle flag. These emblems are proudly displayed on USS Cod's bridge and battle flag today.
|USS Cod's bridge. Note the cocktail glass and the text "O 19" (Photo: © Collection J. Fakan/usscod.org).||USS Cod's battle flag. Note the cocktail glass, the text 'O 19" and the word 'onderzeedienst (Dutch for submarine service) (Photo: © Collection J. Fakan/usscod.org).|
For more information about the Ladd Reef incident read the special Fatal War Patrol of O 19 (written by Siem Spruijt, a crewmember of the Dutch Submarine O 19).
The USS Cod / SS 224 is a Gato class submarine. Check out the USS Cod homepage for more information.
22 Oct 1952: The U.S. Navy has taken some aerial photos / film footage showing the O 19 still on the Ladd Reef with only minimal visible changes noticeable.
In the early nineties a submarine veteran flies over the Ladd Reef and sees that the O 19 is still there.
11 July: O.N.N. reports: "The Dutch navy honoured an American submarine now docked in Cleveland as a floating museum. The U.S.S. Cod rescued 56 sailors on board a grounded Dutch submarine near the end of World War II in the South China Sea. Yesterday a Dutch naval officer presented a Dutch flag to the Cod. He says the Dutch navy and people are still grateful."
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