SS Van Heutsz

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SS Van Heutsz.jpg
Name SS Van Heutsz
Builder/Built 1926 KPM Holland
Type Cargo ship converted to troopship
Displacement 2,966 tons


At the start of the Pacific War, one of twenty-one KPM ships that took refuge in Australia and were provided by the Dutch government to the Allied war effort. Armed with a 12 pounder gun on the aft and anti-aircraft guns on the bridge.

On May 18, 1942 Van Heutsz was part of Convoy ZK.8 transporting the Australian Army 14th Brigade equipment and 4,735 troops along with MS Bantam, SS Bontekoe and MS Van Heemskerk escorted by HMAS Arunta (I30) and HNLMS Tromp that departed Sydney Harbor bound for Fairfax Harbor off Port Moresby. During August 1942, participated in convoys transporting troops and supplies to Milne Bay. Afterwards, during Operation Lilliput transported troops and supplies from Milne Bay to Oro Bay. On January 9, 1943 while at Oro Bay during a Japanese air raid sustained a direct bomb hit damaging the deck. Afterwards, she underwent repairs in Newcastle.

On March 26, 1945 at Cairns, embarked the Australian Army 26 Infantry Brigade along with SS Ormiston and transported them via Finschafen to Morotai arriving on April 7, 1945.

Her ultimate fate is unknown, likely broken up and scrapped.[1]

Soldiers carried

Townsville to Milne Bay Papua 14 - 18 September 1942

Finschhafen to Brisbane 19 - 28 January 1945

  • © Pacific Wrecks - SS Van Heutsz Source: accessed 14 Apr 2019