Rear Admiral K.W.F.M. Doorman on The Battle of Java Sea 27th February 1942
Crews of “De Ruyter”
in rear facade of The Karel Doorman Monument
In 2006 The OGS with cooperation between Stichting Het Gebaar and Karel Doorman Fonds assembled the bronze plates and added the name of 915 soldiers who deceased on 27th of February 1942 in Java Sea. As courtesy of OGS Indonesia, I reported this journal for all audience.
First, the military and naval invasion by Kubilai Khan. He was a prominent Mongol ruler in the 13th century and the founder of the Yuan Dynasty, also as a grandson of Genghis Khan. The invasion fleets were landing in Rembang coast in 1293. Their invasion has impact indirectly to delivery the new throne of The Majapahit Kingdom. This kingdom would change the history of kingdoms in the land of Java, because their descendants will be trickling of the kings over the Java.
Second, military and naval invasion of Royal British Army under command of Lieutenant General Sir Samuel Auchmuty in 1811. Their mission was to eliminate the authority of French influence from the Eastern Seas. At least 12,000 men and 100 ships, its size was unmatched until the Second World War. They had succeeded to touch and start their military invasion from Chillinching in 1811. The British was officially occupied the Java in 1812 – 1816. For this reason, Governor General Lord Minto promoted Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles as the Lieutenant Governor of Java, settled in Buitenzorg.
Third, Japanese military and naval invasion in 1942. Commanded by Admiral Takeo Takagi. After furious assault and capturing Philippines, Tarakan, and Makassar Straits, they have met a badly assault in Java Sea on 27th of February 1942. It was known as “Battle of Java Sea”, a major naval battle of the Pacific theatre of Second World War. However, the battle was unequal consequence. More than 1,000 men were lost their life. Finally, The Japanese landed their military in Kragan straightforwardly, northern coast near Rembang in 1st of March 1942. The following campaigns, The Japanese captured The Dutch Indies in eight days!
Since the three invasions of military and naval above, only The Battle of Java Sea in 1942 that has an extensive assault in Java Sea and also considerable of casualties, even though The Allies defense was unequal strength.
As the magnitude meaning on the subject of the history of Battle in Java Sea, The Royal Dutch Kingdom established a monument in Soerabaja for respecting all casualties by the time of the end of Dutch Indies.
27TH – 28TH OF FEBRUARY 1942
The Japanese convoy was escorted by 2 heavy (Nachi, Haguro) and 2 light cruisers (Naka, Jintsu) and 14 destroyers (Yudachi, Samidare, Murasame, Harusame, Minegumo, Asagumo, Yukikaze, Tokitsukaze, Amatsukaze, Hatsukaze, Yamakaze, Kawakaze, Sazanami, and Ushio) under the command of Rear Admiral Shoji Nishimura.
Allied navy casualties were heavy, 2 cruisers sunk and 3 destroyers sunk, whereas the Japanese was 1 destroyer damaged. They suffered a series of disastrous defeats at the hand of the Imperial Japanese Navy. On 27th of February 1942, Admiral Doorman was lost along with both of the Dutch cruisers and almost all of their crews.
KAREL WILLEM FREDERIK MARIE DOORMAN
23rd of April 1889
Born in Utrecht
Student in the Royal Netherlands Naval College in Den Helder
August 24th, 1910,
He became an officer and after serving on various ships,
in the Far East as well as in the Dutc.
He went in to the air division of the Navy at Soesterberg.
He attended a staff course at the naval staff college in The Hague.
Then there followed several postings: the naval department in Batavia, on board the armored ship De Zeven Provincien and on the naval staff in The Hague.
He served as a commanding officer on board destroyers and cruisers.
17th of August 1938 – 16th of May 1940
He was in command of the Royal Dutch Naval Air Service in the East Indies,
while on the latter date he was promoted to the rank of Rear-Admiral (Schout-bij-nacht) and appointed commander of the Dutch Squadron in the East.
He was made commander of the combined American, British, Dutch and Australian (ABDA) fleet in the Dutch East Indies, a force consisting of cruisers and destroyers.
26th of February 1942
He told the Naval Commander Surabaya that he sincerely hoped he could rely on the necessary information and assistance from the air. Fate would have it otherwise; there were just no aircraft available.
27th of February 1942
His supposed last words to the fleet: “Ik val aan, volg mij!” (”I’m attacking, follow me”). In reality, he only issued the command all ships to “follow me”
to prevent confusion when the damaged HMS Exeter sailed back to harbor.
Doorman just wanted to indicate that his ships should follow him and not the Exeter.
He was lost along with both of the Dutch cruisers and almost all of their crews.
READ BETWEEN THE LINES:
REL DOORMAN MONUMENT
27 FEBRUARI 1942
HARER MAJESTEIT KRUISER DE RUYTER”
The Karel Doorman Monument is also accompanied by a monument in front of it. Designed as like tombstone labeled by ”DE ONBEKENDE ZEEMAN” (The Unknown Seaman) . It was built for the respect of unknown casualties in the sea on the Battle of Java Sea.
Thus, Karel Willem Frederik Marie Doorman, a Rear Admiral of Royal Dutch Navy has become part of the history of resistance the Dutch East Indies against Japanese fleet.
About Ereveld Kembang Kuning in Soerabaja
Part of them who buried in the Ereveld Kembang Kuning were formerly from the graves which scattered over the Tarakan , Kupang , Ambon , Balikpapan , Makassar , and Nieuw Guinea .
For the reason of monument which established by OGS in seven war cemeteries, it represents to remember with respect those who are not called their name, but it has been the expense of their selves and do not rest in honor within the war cemeteries.