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Former Dutch RAF Servicemen Who Died in Another Service

1942-11-13 The Loss of Hr. Ms. Isaac Sweers

This vessel was lost in the Mediterranean.

1. Henri de Fisser

Fisser, Henri Enrico de. Stoker 1kl. Born Malang, NEI, 06/05/1921. Served with 320C Sqn 01/07/1940-01/05/1941. Transferred back to the Royal Dutch Navy, 01/05/1941. Died 13/11/1942, Mediterranian Sea a/b Hr. Ms. Isaac Sweers. MIA. OGS: yes

2. Gerard Look

Look, Gerardus Johannes. Lichtmatroos. Stb.Nr. 16440. Born Amsterdam 27/07/1921. Served with 320C Sqn 04/12/1940-01/05/1941. Transferred back to the Royal Dutch Navy, 01/05/1941. Died 13/11/1942, Mediterranian Sea a/b Hr. Ms. Isaac Sweers. MIA. OGS: yes

3. Sjoerd Stevan

Stevan, Sjoerd. Adsp Kpl Machinist. Stb.Nr. 10153/Z. Born Leeuwarden, 14/02/1916. Served with 320 Sqn 05/06/1940-09/12/1940. Transferred back to the Royal Dutch Navy. Died in the Mediterranian Sea on board Hr.Ms. Isaac Sweers, 13/11/1942. MIA. OGS: yes

4. Gerrit Jan Pijl

Pijl, Gerrit Jan. Matr 2kl. Born Den Helder, 10/01/1922. Served with 320 Sqn 01/07/1940-01/11/1941. Transferred back to the Royal Dutch Navy. Killed 13/11/1942 in the Mediterranean Sea with Hr.Ms. Isaac Sweers, MIA. OGS: yes

Hr.Ms. Isaac Sweers in La Valetta Harbour, Malta, 18-19/12/1941. Source: unknown. Isaac Sweers in Malta b.jpg


November 26 1938

Isaac Sweers is laid down at 'De Schelde' dockyard in Flushing ( Vlissingen ).

March 16 1940

Isaac Sweers is launched

May 10 1940

Isaac Sweers is towed to England by the Dutch tug Zwarte Zee. They arrive on the 11th on the Downs.

May 12 1940

Arrival in Spithead

May 29 1941

Isaac Sweers is completed at the John I. Thornycroft Dockyard in Southampton.

June 24 1941

Operational for the first time, with commander J. Houtsmuller in command. She leaves Southampton for Greenock via Plymouth and the Channel of Bristol. She conducted trials here.

July 5 1941

Isaac Sweersleaves for Scapa Flow, where her crew get their training. After that, she is allocated to the 19th destroyer flotilla in Greenock on the Clyde, which has a specific task escorting troopships southward, usually to a position near Spain.

November 5/6 1942

The convoy passes Gibraltar strait during this night. The Sweers remains near Gibraltar during the invasion days and becomes part of Force 'H'

November 11 1942

Order to pick up the survivors of a Dutch trooptransport , the Nieuw Zeeland(11.069 gross weight) together with HMS Porcupine. She was torpedoed by U-380, 14 men died. The other survivors were safely transported to Gibraltar.

November 12 1942

Isaac Sweers is at sea to rendez-vous with Force 'H'. The plan was to refuel underway from Force 'R' ( 2 oilers with 4 escorting trawlers ), and by 00.00 hours in the night of 12/13, she was ready for action. She would cover Force R on one flank and leave in the morning for Force H.

November 13 1942

At about 0500 hours, two torpedoes hit the starboard side of the Isaac Sweers, and they put the whole ship ablaze from bow to stern. The first torpedo hit a fuel tank and burning oil spread over the water, the second hit the longroom and officersquarters, where all 13 officers, at that time asleep, perished. It was clear from the start that Isaac Sweers, the ship that had survived many attacks from aircraft, wouldn't survive the damage she had sustained. Isaac Sweerssank in position 37.23 N, 02.12 E due to a U-boatattack by the German U 431 ( Kapitän-LeutnantWilhelm Dommes ). Only 86 men survived of a crew of 194. During the sinking, the trawler Loch Oskaig tried to come alongside the burning destroyer, but had to abandon her plans due to the heavy fires and exploding ammunition.

Sources:

K.W.L. Bezemer "Zij vochten op de zeven zeeën"

Ph. M. Bosscher "De Koninklijke Marine in de Tweede Wereldoorlog"



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