Member of Class
O 21
Boat
O 21
Sister Ships
O 21, O 22,O 23
O 24, O 25, O 26, O 27

 

O 21 and the torpedo work ship Mercuur (2), 1950. Note the torpedo being loaded O 21 and the torpedo work ship Mercuur (2), 1950. Note the torpedo being loaded

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

 

1937

12 Apr 1937: K XXI is ordered, but the order might still be cancelled.

19 June 1937: The order for K XXI is now definite.

20 Nov 1937: K XXI is laid down at the K.M. De Schelde shipyard in Vlissingen.

At some stage (exact day/year unknown) during the construction the K XXI is renamed O 21.

1939

21 Oct 1939 at 11:00 hrs: O 21 is launched by Mrs.M. Kwak Bout, husband of Marine Scheepvaart Inspecteur D.W Kwak. Unfortunately the boat is not willing to slip into the water and only 2 1/2 hrs later engineers and yard workers manage to get her off the slipway and into the water.

1940

10 May 1940: Germany attacks the Netherlands.

10 May 1940: O 21 is commissioned to the Royal Netherlands Navy in Vlissingen, still uncompleted and not having been tested in any trials.

10 May 1940 - 21 or 28 Mar 1944: O 21 is under the command of Ltz. I  J.F. van Dulm.

12 May 1940: O 21 sails, still uncompleted and not having been tested in any trials, from Vlissingen to Portsmouth (England) in order to escape from the invading German forces. She is accompanied by O 22 and tugboat Hr.Ms. B.V. 37 (ex Schelde). O 21 is unarmed, no torpedoes or deck gun ammo on board.

May - June 1940: O 21 is completed at the Navy yard in Rosyth (Scotland). O 21 is also equipped with a loop-aerial.

3 June 1940: O 21 conducts her first submerged exercise off Spithead.

7 June 1940: O 21 and O 22 have to submerge in the harbour to protect themselves against German air raids.

8 June 1940: O 21 and O 22 depart from Southampton and sail to Portland, they arrive in the evening.

17 June - 22 June 1940: Escorted by the Dutch vessel Z 5 the O 21 and O 22 depart Portland and sail via Milford Haven to Dundee. The ships arrive on the evening of the 22nd.

29 June - 28 July 1940: Escorted by the Dutch vessel Z 5 once again the O 21 and O 22 depart Dundee and sail to the Navy yard at Rosyth. At Rosyth a muffler problem was fixed. With the old muffler system sparks were sometimes visible when sailing at high speeds in heavy seas. At Rosyth the noises, generated by various machinery on board, was also checked. The ships return to Dundee on the 28th.

22 June 1940 - 23 Feb 1941: O 21 is attached to the 9th Flotilla in Dundee (Scotland), she is under British operational control.

30 July - 9 Aug 1940: O 21 patrols (work-up patrol) on the North Sea. Her patrol area is a 20 nm circle which has its centre at 5530'N-0220'E, Just N off Doggersbank.

30 July 1940 at 19:00 hrs: O 21 and O 22 depart Dundee for a war patrol.

31 July 1940 at 05:20 hrs: Early in the morning the O 21 and O 22 split-up.

1 Aug 1940: During the night the O 21 arrives in her patrol area.

1 Aug 1940 at 16:02 hrs: While being submerged the O 21 spots a surfaced 250 t German U-boat. At 16:15 hrs the Dutch submarine fires two torpedoes from a distance of 2000m, but unfortunately the torpedoes miss their target.
Target speed: 12 kts surfaced. Tubes used: Bow tubes. Number of torpedoes: 2. Distance: 2000 m. Position: 5534'N-0218'E. The U-boat that was attacked was probably the claimed U 60 which arrived at Bergen on Aug 2. Some sources report it could also be the U 62, but this U-boat arrived at Helgoland on the Aug 1.

We are still looking for a photo of U 60 and U 62. Do you have one ? Then please contact us at webmaster@dutchsubmarines.com.

2 Aug 1940 at 11:00 hrs: A ships screw is heard. But the vessel is not spotted. Between 04:00 and 06:00 hrs two explosions are heard, probably from a British plane that attacks a U-boat.

9 Aug 1940 afternoon: O 21 arrives in Dundee (Scotland).

The following period is used as resting period for the O 21 and her crew. But submarine is on a 8-hour notice, this means she has to be ready for patrol in 8 hours.

13 Aug - 15/16 Aug 1940: O 21 is standby. A German invasion is expected.

23 Aug - xx Aug 1940: O 21 is standby. A German invasion is expected.

17 Aug 1940: The Dutch Naval Commander, V.Adm. J.H. Frstner, visits Dundee. He decorates Ltz. I  J.F. van Dulm (O 21) and Ltz. I  J.W. Ort (O 22) with the "Bronzen Kruis" because they successfully took their boats to the U.K. when the Germans invaded the Netherlands.

28 Aug - 12 Sep 1940: O 21 patrols off Norway. No attacks are made.

31 Aug 1940: O 21 arrives in her patrol area off Kors Fjord, the southern entrance to Bergen harbour (Norway). An enemy lugger is spotted, but the vessel is very small and it would be a waste to use a torpedo.

During this patrol the O 21 also conducts a deep-dive to 100 m. At a depth of 85 m the drain of the left deck tube collapses.

12 Sep 1940 after dark: O 21 leaves the patrol area and heads for port. Due to the bad weather O 21 almost strands on the cliffs of Bell Rock.

12 Sep 1940: O 21 arrives in Dundee (Scotland).

In Dundee the two vent lines of the deck tubes are repaired, the lines collapsed during the deep-dive.

23 Sep - 8 Oct 1940: O 21 patrols off Norway. No attacks are made. She has to patrol the area off Kors Fjord, the southern entrance to Bergen harbour (Norway).

An enemy lugger is spotted, same one as on the previous patrol, but the vessel is very small and it would be a waste to use a torpedo.

During the patrol two man of the engine room crew are wounded.

5 Oct 1940 at 09:30 hrs: O 21 spots a U-boat, the 500 t type submarine is returning from her patrol. But suddenly the U-boat submerges  and shortly after the sound of screws also stops. The O 21 is not equipped with ASDIC, so it is impossible to track down the U-boat. The U-boat was probably the U 61.

5 Oct 1940 in the afternoon: O 21 is ordered to leave the patrol area after two days. But because the fuel level is getting low the commander decides to leave the area on the 6th.

6 Oct 1940: O 21 leaves the patrol area and heads for home.

On the way back O 21 does an other deep-dive (see previous patrol). At 95 m the glass of the "electrical rudder indicator" on the bridge collapsed. Other defects were heavy leaking of the screw shafts, which damaged the anchor of the starboard motor, and  the stalling of the shafts. The shafts stalled because there was too much friction at the point where the shafts entered the wall between engine room and aft torpedo room. Because the shafts stalled the motor shut down and the boat "sunk" to 106 m, after blowing the tanks the O 21 returned to the surface safely.

8 Oct 1940: O 21 arrives in Dundee (Scotland).

The defects that occurred during the last deep-dive are repaired. O 21 is also dry-docked for further inspection.

17 Nov - 19 Nov 1940: O 21 departs Dundee and conducts a third deep-dive. The submarine dives to 102 m, no defects are reported.

28 Nov - 12 Dec 1940: O 21 patrols off Norway. No attacks are made.

28 Nov 1944 at 11:00 hrs: O 21 departs from Dundee (Scotland).

30 Nov 1940 early in the morning: O 21 arrives in her patrol area off Utsire island (off Stavanger, Norway).

During one night screws are heard, but no ship is spotted.

10 Dec 1940: O 21 leaves the patrol area.

12 Dec 1940 at 11:00 hrs: O 21 arrives in Dundee (Scotland).

O 21 is docked in the Camperdown dock for several days while the crew is on leave.

Five British Mark IV**  torpedoes are loaded on board and the O 21 sails to the torpedo shooting range at Tay Sanctuary (south of Bell Rock) in order to test the combination of British torpedoes and Dutch torpedo tubes. During the test a German Heinkel plane suddenly appears. The plane drops several bombs on Dundee and then starts shooting at the exercising ships. O 21 spots the plane in time and submerges. Several days later O 21 tests three other Mark IV** torpedoes.

29 Dec - 10 Jan 1940: O 21 patrols off Norway. No attacks are made.

29 Dec 1940 at 14:00 hrs: The O 21 departs from Dundee, loaded with RN Mark IV**  torpedoes.

31 Dec 1941 early in the morning: O 21 arrives in her patrol area off Kors Fjord, the southern entrance to Bergen harbour (Norway).

An enemy lugger is spotted, same one as on the previous patrols, but the vessel is very small and it would be a waste to use a torpedo.

The Admiralty reports a U-boat heading home, but the O 21 does not spot the German sub.

1941

10 Jan 1941 at 08:30 hrs: O 21 leaves the patrol area and heads for home.

12 Jan 1941 at 10:30 hrs: O 21 arrives in Dundee (Scotland).

During the regular maintenance half of the crew  is 5 days on leave.

27 Jan - 10 Feb 1941: O 21 patrols off Norway. No attacks are made.

27 Jan 1941 at 17:00 hrs:: O 21 departs Dundee (Scotland) for her 6th war patrol.

O 21 patrols a few days off Kors Fjord.

O 21 is ordered to an other patrol area. The new area is close to the Northern shipping lane to Bergen. The sub patrolled off the island Feosen, where she almost hits a German mine.

4 Feb 1941: O 21 spot the fishery fleet. Several ships could be warships in disguise. But when the O 21 wants to check it out, after dark, the weather turns so bad that the submarine ha to seek shelter in a Fjord.

8 Feb 1941 at 19:00 hrs:: O 21 leaves her patrol area and heads for home.

10 Feb 1941 in the afternoon: O 21 arrives in Dundee (Scotland).

Extra supplies, normally not needed for short patrols, are stored on board the O 21. The torpedo load is mixed, that means a of 45 and 53 cm torpedoes.

24 Feb - 14 Mar 1941: O 21 is on convoy duty on the route Dundee - Gibraltar. No attacks are made.

24 Feb 1941 at 14:00 hrs: Under the escort of HMS White Bear the O 23 and O 21 depart from Dundee and sail via Pentland Firth to the Irish Sea. In the Irish Sea HMS White Bear is relieved by the Mine Sweeper FFS La Moqueuse.

26 Feb 1941: O 21, O 23 and FFS La Moqueuse pick-up an electric generator at Holyhead harbour (Wales). They only visit the port for a few hours.

27 Feb 1941: Off the Welsh coast the submarines are shelled by the English merchant Losada.

Because the escort vessel is sailing behind the submarines the captain of the Losada spots the submarines before he spots FFS La Moqueuse, and therefore thinks he encountered some German U-boats and starts shelling the subs.  To prevent any direct hits the subs have to dive.
FFS La Moqueuse is unaware of the fact that both submarines are submerged, but she does spot the periscope of O 21. Unfortunately the captain of La Moqueuse also thinks he spotted a U-boat and therefore starts launching depth-charges. The O 21, which sustains some light damage, surfaces immediately and the captain of La Moqueuse realizes his mistake.

28 Feb 1941 at 06:00 hrs: Due to the bad weather off Trevose Head (England) the FFS La Moqueuse breaks off her escort duties and heads for a safe harbour. From know on both subs are on their own.

O 21 and O 23 sail via Lands End to the Scilly islands. After the Scilly islands the boats submerge during the day and therefore O 21 and O 23 soon lose contact. Since both boats have different orders they take different routes to Gibraltar. O 21 plots a course to Gibraltar in order to locate the convoy herself.

5 Mar 1941 at 11:45 hrs:: O 21 arrives at the spot were she should engage FFS La Malovine. The Free French Corvette should escort the submarine to the convoy OG 51 or 54 (U.K.- Gibraltar). The O 21 waits until 20:00 hrs but the FFS La Malovine does not show up.

7 Mar 1941 in the morning at 45N: The O 21 spots an enemy ship. After a radical course change, necessary for a good attack position, more ships are spotted. It is clear the O 21 has finally spotted the convoy, OG 51 or 54 which consists of 15 ships, that she has to escort.

14 Mar 1941 at 07:30 hrs:: O 21 arrives in Gibraltar.

14 Mar - Dec 1941: O 21 is attached to the 8th Flotilla in Gibraltar and is under British operational control.

3 Apr - 12 Apr 1941: O 21 escorts convoy HG 58 (Gibraltar - U.K.) until 45N.

13 Apr 21 Apr 1941: O 21 escorts convoy OG 58 (U.K. - Gibraltar), she engages the convoy at 45N.

6 May - 13 May 1941: O 21 escorts convoy HG 61 (Gibraltar - U.K.) until 45N.

13 May - 18 May 1941: O 21 escorts convoy OG 61 (U.K. - Gibraltar), she engages the convoy at 45N.

6 May - 18 May 1941: O 21 patrols the Bay of Biscay and the Atlantic Ocean. No attacks are made.

4 June - 11 June 1941: O 23 escorts convoy HG 64 (Gibraltar - U.K.), she engages the convoy at 45N.

12 June - 18 June 1941: O 23 escorts convoy OG 64 (U.K. - Gibraltar), she engages the convoy at 45N.

18 Jun 1941 at 21:15 hrs: O 21 leaves the convoy and heads for Gibraltar.

18 Jun 1941 at 21:45 hrs: O 21 arrives in Gibraltar.

19 June - 24 June 1941: Ships- and torpedo maintenance in Gibraltar.

24 June - 30 June 1941: O 23 escorts convoy HG 66 (Gibraltar - U.K.), she engages the convoy at 45N.

24 June 1941 at 13:00 hrs: O 21 departs Gibraltar and participates in exercise A.S.P.8. She exercises together with HMS Folkestone, and Stella Carina.

25 June 1941: O 21 performs a so called distance sweep.

26 June 1941: O 21 performed a so called distance sweep.

1 July 1941 at 07:40 hrs: O 21 leaves the HG 66 and heads towards convoy OG 66 (U.K. - Gibraltar)

1 July 1941 at 12:50 hrs: O 21 is ordered to return to Gibraltar.

2 July - 6 July 1945: O 21 patrols the Bay of Biscay (off Cape Finisterre, Portugal)

2 July 1941 at 16:00 hrs: O 21 is ordered to the Bay of Biscay (off Cape Finisterre, Portugal) in order to intercept a German auxiliary cruiser.

3 July 1941 at 17:00 hrs: O 21 arrives in the patrol area.

6 July 1941 at19:45 hrs: O 21 breaks off the patrol and heads for Gibraltar. The German cruiser is never spotted.

8 July 1941 at 19:45 hrs: O 21 arrives in Gibraltar.

8 July - 6 July 1941: While in Gibraltar: Maintenance, attack teacher training and preparations for war patrol.

16 July - 6 Aug 1941: O 21 patrols the Tyrrhenian Sea.

16 July at 21:15 hrs: O 21 departs Gibraltar and head for her patrol area (south of Naples).

17 July 1941: O 21 spots the French merchant Schiaffino.

21 July 1941 early in the morning: O 21 arrives in her patrol area.

21 July 1941 at 04:17: About 70nm off Naples the O 21 spots a small convoy. The convoy consists of an Italian torpedo boat, a 5000t Strombo type tanker and a 4000t merchant. Speed: 8 kts, course: 210, distance: 5 nm. The O 21 changes to attack course, but she has to give up, the distance it too large.

21 July 1941 at 11:30: O 21 sound gear indicates a convoy in the area a convoy. At 11:30 the convoy, 4 merchants and 3 torpedo boats, is spotted. This attack is broken off also since it is impossible to manoeuvre the submarine in a good attack position.

24 July 1941 at 16:00: O 21 makes visual contact with the islands Ischia and Capri.

28 July 1941 at 18:00 hrs: O 21 spots a two-mast schooner. The commander does not attack because he suspects the schooner is a Q-ship.

At 14:50 hrs: O 21 spots a convoy, some time after they heard some ships on the sound gear and spotted an enemy plane. The convoy consists of: 5 freighters 4000-5000t, 2 destroyers. Position 3951.5'N-1346'E, 10nm north of Cape Comino course: north.

At 15:53 hrs: O 21 fires 4 torpedoes from a distance of approximately 45000 yds. The submarine dives to 35 m and runs silently away from the place of attack.

At 15:56: Two explosions are heard (at the torpedo eta). Two minutes later the two other torpedoes (that missed) explode.  The torpedoes damage the Italian steam freighter Monteponi. The Dutch commander reported 4000t, but the Monteponi was only 742t. Monteponi is reported sunk at the 29th of July.

The book "Navi mercantili perdute" (Lost merchant ships), Rome 1997, from the Italian Navy Historical Branch reports that the Monteponi is sunk off Cape Comino by the Geek submarine Olympus on 28 July 1941 at 01:45 hrs.

In Dec-2005 Egidio Trainito writes: ".....the wreck of Monteponi is actually at 56 m depth north of Capo Comino, in front of Posada. The Olympus her log reports the attack to Monteponi. ..."

We are still looking for a photo of the Monteponi. Do you have one ? Then please contact us at webmaster@dutchsubmarines.com.

From 16:09-17:01 hrs: O 21 is attacked by 3 destroyers. Two of the three destroyers drop 2 series of 12 depth charges. The nearest one exploded about half a mile away from the submarine

At 18:34 hrs: O 21 rises form 87 m back to periscope depth.

30 July at 21:30 hrs": O 21 leaves the patrol area. She heads for her new patrol area, which is on the line Naples-Cagliari and the complete area off Cagliari.

3 Aug 1941 at 20:15 hrs: O 21 damages an unknown Italian 3-mast schooner (500t), barkentine type. After the first torpedoes miss their target (probably go underneath the ship) the O 21 uses her deck gun to set the schooner on fire. At least 7 hits out of 25 shells fired. Position: South of Sardinia.

6 Aug 1941 at 6:32 hrs: O 24 sinks (torpedo attack) the Italian merchant steamer ms Bombardiere. The Dutch commander reported 5000t, but the Bombardiere was only 613t. Position: 4147'N-1206'E, Tyrrhenian Sea. For unknown reasons, the official Italian position is that Bombardiere was sunk by O 21 and not by the O 24.

The 613 tgr ms Bombardiere was built in 1918, and belonged to the Soc. An. Trasporti Industriali of Livorno. She was registered with the Maritime Compartment of Genova, ledger #2197 and never taken up by the Navy, but was leased to the War Ministry.

27 Aug - 12 Sep 1941: O 21 patrols the Tyrrhenian Sea.

31 Aug 1941: O 21 attacks an Italian Marcello type submarine (1,060/1,313t). The torpedoes miss their target.

5 Sep 1941 at 1:20 hrs: O 21 uses torpedo(es) and her deck gun to sink the Italian freighter, loaded with phosphates, ss Isarco (5738t). The vessel is 70 miles west of Naples (Italy). The O 21 picks up 22 survivors (including, or plus, the master). According to some sources the submarine reported 4248'N-0958'E as her position. But the Isarco reported her position as 4012'N-1317'E. Looking at the route taken by O 21 this last position is probably the correct position of the attack.

Italian sources report that ss Isarco is torpedoed 28 nm SW of Ischia, while en route Bone-Napoli, therefore southerly reported attack position is probably correct.

We are still looking for a photo of ss Isarco. Do you have one ? Then please contact us at webmaster@dutchsubmarines.com.

6 Sep 1941 at 4:28 hrs: O 21 attacks an Italian auxiliary cruiser. The torpedoes miss their target.

7 Sep 1941 at 4:33 hrs: O 21 attacks an Italian auxiliary minelayer of the Fasma/Fasana class. The torpedoes miss their target. Other sources report the target is the Italian steamer Ernesto (7271t), which is attacked and damaged at position 378'N-1153'E. The Fasana class is only 531 t.

We are still looking for a photo of the Fasma/Fasana class and the Ernesto. Do you have one ? Then please contact us at webmaster@dutchsubmarines.com.

8 Sep 1941: O 21 attacks an Italian convoy. The torpedoes miss their target.

21 Sep - 8 Oct 1941: O 21 participates in operation "Halberd" in the Gulf of Cagliari, O 21 escorts a convoy that is heading for Malta.

?27 Sep 1941 O 21 uses her deck gun to sink a unknown sailing vessel . Position: 42N-10E. This attack is not reported by Dutch sources (including the Captain's memoirs).

3 Oct 1941 at 12:32: O 21 sinks (torpedo attack) the French-Vichy freighter ss Qued Yqueman. The commander estimated the target as 4000t, but she was only 1369t. Position: 4058'N-0959'E, 3nm off Cape Figari, Sardinia.

We are still looking for a photo of ss Qued Yqueman. Do you have one ? Then please contact us at webmaster@dutchsubmarines.com.

9 Nov - 28 Nov 1941: O 21 patrols the Tyrrhenian Sea.

15 Nov 1941 at 16:26: O 21 attacks the Italian freighter ss Ninetto G. (5335t). The torpedo(es) miss their target. The Italian freighter is part of a convoy.

We are still looking for a photo of ss Ninetto G. Do you have one ? Then please contact us at webmaster@dutchsubmarines.com.

16 Nov 1941 at 7:45: O 21 attacks the Italian freighter ss Itu (1578t). The torpedo(es) miss their target. The Italian freighter is part of a convoy.

We are still looking for a photo of ss Itu. Do you have one ? Then please contact us at webmaster@dutchsubmarines.com.

21 Nov 1941 at 7:39: O 21 attacks an Italian convoy. The torpedo(es) miss their target.

22 Nov 1941 at 22:45: O 21 shells and sinks the Italian motor trawler ms San Salvatore (92t). Position: 4125'N-1042'E, Tyrrhenian Sea.

We are still looking for a photo of ms San Salvatore. Do you have one ? Then please contact us at webmaster@dutchsubmarines.com.

23 Nov 1941 at 2:05: O 21 attacks an Italian steamer which is part of a convoy. The torpedo(es) miss their target.

According to Italian sources the 52 tgr ship Nuovo Sant'Antonio is sunk by O 21 during this attack. Due to the small tonnage the sub was possibly not aware she sunk the ship. The official Italian position is that O 21 sank her.

We are still looking for a photo of the Nuovo Sant'Antonio. Do you have one ? Then please contact us at webmaster@dutchsubmarines.com.

24 Nov 1941 at 2:22: O 21 sinks the Italian sailing vessel ms Unione (216t). O 21 first uses her deck gun and finally the vessel is rammed. Position: 4106'N-1002''E.

We are still looking for a photo of ms Unione. Do you have one ? Then please contact us at webmaster@dutchsubmarines.com.

28 Nov 1941 at 0:50: O 21 sinks (torpedo attack) the German submarine U 95 (769t). Several survivors are taken on board, but 35 men are lost. Position: 3624'N-0320'W, southwest of Almeria, Spain. The survivors are taken to Gibraltar.

Some notes from 'U-boats Destroyed' by Paul Kemp: U 95, under the command of KapitanLeutnant Gerd Schreiber, was sunk in a torpedo attack by the Dutch O 21, which was returning to Gibraltar from an uneventful patrol off Naples. At 0030 on 28 November, in clear weather and bright moonlight, U 95 sighted the Dutch submarine first but was reluctant to attack since Schreiber knew that other  German boats were in the area. Instead he challenged her using the signal code then in force. The Dutch CO was operating with no such inhibitions. Directly the German challenge was made. The Dutch fired one torpedo at 2,000 yds which missed; a second was fired at the U-boat, which saw it coming but, while turning to starboard to comb the attack, ram right into it Casualties 33. Survivors: 4off, 3 senior rates, 5 junior rates.

Read the special Battle by Moonlight for an eyewitness account of the sinking of U 95.

The U 95 is a type VII C U-boat. Check out Uboat.net for more information on this U-boat.

We are still looking for a photo of the U 95. Do you have one ? Then please contact us at webmaster@dutchsubmarines.com.

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.

16 Dec - 23 Dec 1941: O 21 patrols the Bay of Biscay. No attacks are made.

18 Dec - 21 Dec 1941 O 21 is part of the so called 'Iron Ring' off Brest harbour. This 'Iron Ring' should prevent the German battle cruisers Gneisenau, Scharnhorst and the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen from leaving port.

23/24 Dec 1941: The O 21 arrives in Milford Haven (England). Later that day the O 10 docks alongside the O 21.

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.

30 Dec 1941: O 21 arrives in Dundee (Scotland).

1942

13 Jan - 1 July 1942: O 21 is refitted in the U.K.

14 Feb 1942: O 21 Matroos A. Breepoel dies in the Falkirk hospital after being hit by a bus. He is buried at Mill Hill, London. Click here to see a photo of his gravestone.

O 21 departs the U.K. and heads for Colombo.

12 Aug - 20 Aug 1942: O 21 is on convoy duty on the route Holy Loch - Gibraltar.

16 Aug 1942 at 17:07 hrs: While on route from Holy Loch to Gibraltar the O 21 attacks the German submarine U 254. The torpedoes miss the target.

The U 254 is a type VII C U-boat. Check out Uboat.net for more information on this submarine.

We are still looking for a photo of the U 254. Do you have one ? Then please contact us at webmaster@dutchsubmarines.com.

17 Oct 1942 - 11 Jan 1943: O 21 is refitted in Simons Town (South Africa). During this refit the 'Vulcan Clutch' of the O 19 in 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.

7 Dec - 15 Dec 1942: O 21 is in the dry-dock for cleaning and coating of outer bottom. According to

Dec 1942: According to the C-in-C South Atlantic War Diary the estimated completion date for all O 21 repairs is 7 Jan 1943.

1943

21 Feb 1943: O 21 is based at Colombo and under British Eastern Fleet operational control.

6 Mar - 24 Mar 1943: O 21 patrols off Port Blair (Andaman Islands) and off the west coast of Siam

13 Mar 1943: O 21 sinks the Japanese freighter ss Kasago Maru 2 (3967t), Kasago Maru 3 according to other sources. O 21 fires four torpedoes of which two hit the target. Position: 1140'N-9250'E, off Port Blair.

We are still looking for a photo of ss Kasago Maru 2. Do you have one ? Then please contact us at webmaster@dutchsubmarines.com.

11 Apr - 29 Apr 1943: O 21 patrols off the Strait of Malacca.

18 Apr 1943: O 21 lands two shore parties of four Chinese men near the Bernah river, west coast of Java. Both parties have the code name 'May'.

22 Apr 1943 at 08:10 hrs: O 21 sinks the Japanese freighter ss Yamazato Maru (6925t). O 21 fires four torpedoes of which two hit the target. At least one hit the engine room. She sunk within 10 minutes. Casualties: 18 crew, 34 'guest'?,  4 troops. Position: 0328'N-9947'E, Strait of Malacca.

Japanese freighter ss Yamazato Maru. Date and place unknown. (Photo: Collection Take). Japanese freighter ss Yamazato Maru. Date and place unknown. (Photo:  Collection Take).

22 Apr 1943: O 21 attacks a Japanese Q-ship. The attack is unsuccessful.

24 Apr 1943: O 21 conducts a reconnaissance mission to the Bay of Sabang (north of Sumatra).

18 May - 14 June 1943: Under the command of ?Ltz. I  F.J. Kroesen? O 21 patrols off the south coast of Java No attacks are made.

18 May - 14 June 1943 or 28 May - 18 June: O 21 patrols the Strait of Malacca. No attacks are made.

9 July - 20 July: O 21 sails to the Exmouth Gulf (Australia).

27 July - 29 July 1943: O 21 tries unsuccessfully to pickup a secret agent from the coast near Poeloe Sempoe, south coast of Java.

29 July 1943: O 21 tries unsuccessfully to pickup a secret agent from the coast at the Bay of Pangpang, east coast of Java.

1 Aug - 2 Aug 1943: O 21 lands the NEFIS shore party 'Tiger VI' (one secret agent) at the coast of the Bay of Pangpang. Unfortunately something went wrong and the agent did not return the following night.

25 Aug - 28 Nov 1943: O 21 is based at Fremantle (Australia) and is under U.S. operational control.

Dec 1943: The O 21 must return to the U.K because off engine damage.

1944

22 Feb 1944 - 18 Oct 1945: O 21 is based at Dundee (Scotland).

22 Feb 1944: O 21 arrives in Dundee (Scotland).

21 or 28 Mar 1944 - 18 Oct 1945: O 21 is under the command of Ltz. I  F.J. Kroesen.

Apr 1944: O 21 is fitted with new batteries.

Apr - May 1944: O 21 sails from Dundee, via New Foundland and Halifax, to the U.S.A.

6 May 1944: O 21 departs for Philadelphia (U.S.A.) for a major refit.

June - Nov 1944: O 21 is refitted at the Philadelphia Navy yard.

Dec 1944 - Jan 1945: O 21 is based at New London (U.S.A.) for a work-up period.

1945

8 Feb - Apr 1945: O 21 departs from Philadelphia (U.S.A.) and sails to Australia, she takes the route via the Panama Canal.

Apr - May 1945: O 21 is under repair in Wellington (New Zealand).

8 May 1945: Germany surrenders.

May - Sep 1945: O 21 is based at Fremantle and is under U.S. operational control.

8 July - 8 Aug 1945: O 21 patrols the Sunda Strait and off the north/south coast of Java.

29 July 1945: O 21 damages two Japanese coastal vessels (100t and 500t) by gunfire. Position: Off the north-west coast of Java

31 July 1945: O 21 uses her deck gun to sink a Japanese fishing boat (10t). Position: North-west coast of Java.

1 Aug 1945: O 21 conducts a reconnaissance mission to the south coast of Java.

15 Aug 1945: Japan surrenders.

Oct 1945: O 21 arrives in Tandjong Priok (Batavia/Jakarta).

18 Oct 1945 - 4 May 1946: O 21 is under the command of Ltz. II  W.F.J. Morzer Bruijns.

After World War Two the O 21 is based at Batavia (Jakarta, Dutch East Indies) and patrols the Indonesian waters to prevent the smuggling of arms.

Late Oct: From late Oct she probably (not confirmed) also patrols the Sunda Strait. A typical patrol would take 7-10 days and numerous vessels would be stopped and searched.

1946

30 Apr 1946: O 21 arrives in the Netherlands.

30 Apr 1946 - 7 Feb 1950: O 21 retires from active duty and is conserved. Before 7 Feb 1950 O 21 gets some maintenance, but the exact period is unknown. During this 'refit' her guns are probably removed.

1950

Feb 1950 - 1957: O 21 is used as a torpedo trial boat from this time on. Her new pennant is S 801.

The torpedoes are prepared on board the torpedo work ship Mercuur (2) then transferred to the O 21 and fired at a small boat (with a flag).  A fast boat (torpedo chaser) follows the torpedo in order to keep an eye on its behaviour during the run. If necessary the torpedo is adjusted and tested again.

7 Feb - 1 Sep 1950: O 21 is under the command of Ltz. II  J. van Nieuwenhuizen.

1 Sep 1950 - 17 Oct 1951: O 21 is under the command of Ltz. II  / Ltz. I  H.J. Brakema.

1951

17 Oct - 30 Nov 1951: O 21 is under the command of Ltz. I  S. van Ravesteijn.

1952

1 May 1952 - 4 Jan 1953: O 21 is under the command of Ltz. I  J. Fennema.

1953

10 Apr - 27 Aug 1953: O 21 is under the command of Ltz. II  G.P.F. Munnik.

1954

8 Apr - 16 Nov 1954: O 21 is under the command of P.S. Niemeyer.

1955

1 Mar - 19 Oct 1955: O 21 is under the command of J.W. Oosterbaan.

1956

23 Apr - 31 Aug 1956: O 21 is under the command of F.B. Hamilton.

31 Aug - 22 Oct 1956: O 21 is under the command of C. van den Zweep.

1957

1 Apr - 12 Aug 1957: O 21 is under the command of J.R. Roele.

12 Aug - 2 Nov 1957: O 21 is under the command of D. Schrijvershof.

2 Nov 1957: O 21 is decommissioned.

O 21 decommissioning ceremony, Rotterdam. (Photo:  Jack Sevenich). O 21 decommissioning ceremony, Rotterdam.
(Photo: Jack Sevenich).
O 21 decommissioning ceremony, Rotterdam. (Photo:  Jack Sevenich).

1958

24 Jan 1958: O 21 is sold for scrap to G.P. van Beckum in Alkmaar for the sum of 141000 guilders.

One of the torpedo tubes is used for the torpedo-trials vessel Van Bochove.

 

O 21 related pages
O 21 boat history.
O 21 class specifications
O 21 class photos
Battle by Moonlight
   
O 21 related books
Hr.Ms. O 21 & de kat met negen levens
Onder de bloedvlag van de O 21
Jonge honden - Oude helden
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

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