Lt 1 BC Fock BL

Started by Andrew William Harold on Thursday, July 7, 2011


Profiles Mentioned:

7/7/2011 at 3:13 AM

Hi Phillipus,

There is some minor miss information here....
Bernard Fock was the son of a Dutch Admiral and Nephew of the Governor General of the Dutch East Indies. He did not "work his way up the ranks" but entered the Navy (not the marines) as an officer cadet and at the time of WW2 was a lieutenant first class (Lieutenant Commander in the British Navy) in the Royal Netherlands Navy (Koninklijke Marine). He was the first officer on Hr Ms Van Nes and also the Gunnery officer.
The Dutch Military had been encouraged to place troops on Biliton Island in the Gapsar Straits by the Allied command, but after the fall of Singapore and the Japanese attack on Pelembang they decided that it could not be held and needed to be evacuated. The KPM liner Sloet Van de Beele was tasked with this job and loaded with approximately 1000 people including troops and civilians. She was met on the morning of the 17th by the Dutch Destroyer Hr Ms Van Nes. They were spotted in the mid morning by scouting planes from the Heavy Cruiser Mogami. Aircraft from the Light carrier Ryojo attacked the pair sinking the Sloet in the first pass but due to the excellent ship's handling and antiaircraft fire it took them them several hours to sink the Van Nes. The Captain, Charles Lagaay died with his ship but Bernard along with about half the crew managed to get off. The survivors them spent 96 hours in the water before they were picked up by Dutch flying boats. Bernard was amongst the survivors but died of exposure at Batavia a few days later. He was awarded the Bronze Lion for his part in this action.

Andrew Fock

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