HNLMS Abraham Crijnssen

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Career Missing image
Netherlands_ensign.png
Royal Netherlands Navy Ensign

Ordered:
Laid down: 21 March 1936
Launched: 22 September 1936
Commissioned: 27 May 1937
Decommissioned: 29 May 1961
Fate: museum ship
General Characteristics
Displacement: 460 tons
Length: 56.8 m (186 ft)
Beam: 7.8 m (25.5 ft)
Draft: 2.2 m (6.9 ft)
Speed: 15 knots (28 km/h)
Complement: 45
Armament: one 75mm gun, two 2 .50-cal MG

HNLMS Abraham Crijnssen was a Royal Netherlands Navy minesweeper, famous for its escape from Surabaya, Java in 1942, disguised as a tropical island.

She was the third of eight Jan van Amstel-class minesweepers, built at Gusto in Schiedam, and named after the 17th century navy commander Abraham Crijnssen.

The ship was stationed in the Dutch East Indies when Japan invaded in 1941. After the Allied fleet was destroyed in the Battle of the Java Sea in February 1942, Abraham Crijnssen was ordered to escape to Australia. The crew covered her thickly with tree branches, so that to observers she looked like one of the many small jungle islets of the area, and she was able to pass by the Japanese navy undetected.

After the war, she cleared many minefields in the East Indies, then returned to the Netherlands and became a net-guardian ship. Decommissioned in 1961, she was then operated by the Dutch Naval Cadet Corps, in 1995 was designated for preservation, and opened for visitors in July 1997 at the Dutch Naval Museum.

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