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HNLMS Van Ghent (1926)
HNLMS Van Ghent
Name: Van Ghent
Namesake: Willem Joseph van Ghent
Builder: KM De Schelde
Laid down: 28 August 1925
Launched: 23 October 1926
Commissioned: 31 May 1928, as De Ruyter
Renamed: Van Ghent, 1934
Fate: Scuttled, 15 February 1942
General characteristics [1]
Class & type: Admiralen-class destroyer
Displacement: 1,316 long tons (1,337 t) standard
1,640 long tons (1,666 t) full load
Length: 98.15 m (322 ft 0 in)
Beam: 9.53 m (31 ft 3 in)
Draft: 2.97 m (9 ft 9 in)
Propulsion: Parsons geared turbines[2]
3 × Yarrow type boilers
31,000 hp (23 MW)
2 shafts
Speed: 36 knots (67 km/h; 41 mph)
Range: 3,200 nmi (5,900 km; 3,700 mi) at 15 kn (28 km/h; 17 mph)
Complement: 149
Armament: • 4 × 120 mm (4.7 in) guns (4×1)
• 2 × 75 mm (3 in) AA guns
• 4 × .5 in (13 mm) machine guns
• 6 × 533 mm (21 in) torpedo tubes (2×3)
Aircraft carried: 1 × seaplane

HNLMS Van Ghent (Dutch language: Hr.Ms. Van Ghent ) (originally named De Ruyter) was an Admiralen-class destroyer built for the Royal Netherlands Navy in the 1920s. The destroyer served in the Netherlands East Indies but was wrecked after running aground in 1942.


Passing the Sydney Harbour Bridge, 3 October 1930, is the HNLMS DE RUYTER as the ship was known at the time.

In the mid-1920s, the Netherlands placed orders for four new destroyers to be deployed to the East Indies. They were built in Dutch shipyards to a design by the British Yarrow Shipbuilders, which was based on the destroyer HMS Ambuscade, which Yarrow had designed and built for the British Royal Navy.[3] The ship's main gun armament was four 120 millimetres (4.7 in) guns built by the Swedish company Bofors, mounted two forward and two aft, with two 75 mm (3.0 in) anti-aircraft guns mounted amidships. Four 12.7 mm machine guns provided close-in anti-aircraft defence. The ship's torpedo armament comprised six 533 mm (21.0 in) torpedo tubes in two triple mounts, while 24 mines could also be carried. To aid search operations, the ship carried a Fokker C.VII-W floatplane on a platform over the aft torpedo tubes, which was lowered to the sea by a crane for flight operations.[2][4]


The destroyer De Ruyter was laid down on 28 August 1925 at Koninklijke Maatschappij De Schelde, Vlissingen, was launched on 13 October 1926 and commissioned on 31 May 1928.[1] She and her sister Evertsen left the Netherlands on 27 September 1928 for the Dutch East Indies.[5]

On 31 August 1929 she participates in a fleet review at Tanjung Priok. The review was held in honor of the Dutch Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands who was born that day. Other ships that participated in the review where the destroyer Evertsen and the cruiser Java. 29 July that year De Ruyter her sister Evertsen, the cruiser Java and the submarines K II and K VII left Surabaya and steamed to Tanjung Priok. At Tanjung Priok the ships waited for the royal yacht Maha Chakri of the king of Siam and the destroyer Phra Ruang. After this the ships without the submarines visited Bangka, Belitung, Riau, Lingga Islands, Belawan and Deli. On 28 August that year they returned in Tanjung Priok.[6]

While practicing with the cruiser Sumatra, her sister Evertsen and five submarines the Sumatra stranded on a reef near the island Kebatoe that was not on the map on 14 May 1931. Sumatra was later pulled lose by Soemba and a tugboat.[7]

De Ruyter was renamed Van Ghent in 1 October 1934. She was renamed because of a newly built light cruiser would take that name.[8]

World War II[]

In 1940 she and her sister Kortenaer guarded five German cargo ships. The ships were relieved by the Java 26 April 1940.[9]

When war broke out in the Pacific in December 1941, Van Ghent was serving in the Netherlands East Indies as part of Rear Admiral Karel Doorman's command. She was involved in the salvage of the USAT Liberty. De Ruyter, along with several Dutch and American cruisers and destroyers, took part in an unsuccessful attempt to attack on Japanese shipping off Balikpapan on 3–4 February, with the Allied force being driven off by Japanese air attacks.[10][11] Doorman's forces attempted another sortie against Japanese invasion shipping on 15 February 1942, but Van Ghent was wrecked when she ran aground in Tjilatjap habour, and was scuttled by the destroyer Banckert.[10]


  • Gardiner, Robert and Roger Chesneau. Conway's All The World's Fighting Ships 1922–1946. London: Conway Maritime Press 1980. ISBN 0 85177 146 7.
  • Whitley, M.J. Destroyers of World War Two: An International Encyclopedia. London: Cassell & Co, 2000. ISBN 1 85409 521 8.

Coordinates: 3°05′00″S 107°21′00″E / 3.08333°S 107.35°E / -3.08333; 107.35

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