HNLMS Van Ghent (1926)

HNLMS Van Ghent (Dutch: 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.

HNLMS Van Ghent in 1934
Name: Van Ghent
Namesake: Willem Joseph van Ghent
Builder: Koninklijke Maatschappij De Schelde
Laid down: 28 August 1925
Launched: 23 October 1926
Commissioned: 31 May 1928
Renamed: Van Ghent, 1934
Fate: Scuttled, 15 February 1942
General characteristics [1]
Class and type: Admiralen-class destroyer
  • 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)
Installed power:
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
  • 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 × Fokker C.VII-W floatplane
Aviation facilities: crane


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 29 July 1929, 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, they returned in Tanjung Priok. On 31 August, she participates in a fleet review at Tanjung Priok, 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.[6]

While practicing with the cruiser Sumatra, her sister Evertsen, and five submarines, Sumatra stranded on an uncharted reef near the island Kebatoe, on 14 May 1931. Sumatra was later pulled lose by Soemba and a tugboat.[7]

De Ruyter was renamed Van Ghent on 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 Java on 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 United States cargo ship USAT Liberty.

De Ruyter, along with several Dutch and US cruisers and destroyers, took part in an unsuccessful attempt to attack Japanese shipping off Balikpapan, on 3–4 February 1942, 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 harbour, and was scuttled by the destroyer Banckert.[10]


  1. Whitley 2000, p. 210.
  2. Gardiner and Chesneau 1980, p. 389.
  3. Gardiner and Chesneau 1980, p. 390.
  4. Whitley 2000, pp. 210–211.
  5. " :: Maritieme kalender 1928". Retrieved 2013-10-13.
  6. " :: Maritieme kalender 1929". Retrieved 2013-10-13.
  7. " :: Maritieme kalender 1931". Retrieved 2013-10-13.
  8. " :: Maritieme kalender 1934". Retrieved 2013-10-13.
  9. " :: Maritieme kalender 1940". Retrieved 2013-10-13.
  10. Whitley 2000, p. 211.
  11. Muir, Dan. "Order of Battle - Battle of Makassar Strait - 4 February 1942". Retrieved 19 March 2012.


  • 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.

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