Hr.Mrs.Abraham Crijnssen – Dutch ship in the service of the Australian Navy (WWII)
The ship was built during the 1930s, she was based in the Netherlands East Indies when Japan attacked at the end of 1941.
After the Japanese invasion the ship left for Australia. Three other Dutch minesweepers left behind and destroyed and sunk in the harbour of Surabaya to prevent them from falling into the hands of the enemy.
For its escape the ship was painted in camouflage colours and the ship was disguised as a tropical island with the help of nets, branches and other greenery. By sailing at night and anchoring during the day.
On 15 March 1942, she arrived in Geraldton, WA. It was stationed in Melbourne where the headoffice of the Dutch Navy was based and later it was stationed in Brisbane. Fro here the ship served as a patrol vessel until 16 August 1942. After that the ship was in service with the Australian Navy.
From the return to Dutch service until 1945, the ship again served as a patrol vessel. On 7 June 1945 the Abraham Crijnssen left Sydney for Darwin with the order to tow the Dutch submarine K IX there, but during the trip the tow rope broke, and the K IX washed ashore on a beach.
After the Second World War, the Abraham Crijnssen was used as a patrol ship in the Dutch East Indies until 1949, from 1949 until the independence of the Dutch East Indies the ship was again actively used as a minesweeper. After the independence of the Dutch East Indies, the ship returned to the Netherlands where it was given on loan to the sea cadets in 1961
In 1995 it was decided to preserve the Abraham Crijnssen for posterity, it can be seen as a museum ship for the public in the Navy Museum in Den Helder.
Video The WW2 Ship Dressed Like an Island – HNLMS Abraham Crijnssen