Netherlands to Honor Indonesia War Dead

JAKARTA ~ The Netherlands was to unveil on Friday a monument to navy personnel who died during the Japanese invasion of the former Dutch colony in World War II, the embassy here said.

Dutch Royal Navy commander Vice Admiral Jan Willem Kelder would unveil the memorial to the 356 crew of 19 naval vessels at Kembang Kuning near the port of Surabaya, it said in a statement.

There is already a monument for the Dutch who fell during the Battle of the Java Sea in February 1942 trying to stop the Japanese invasion of Java.

It is named after Admiral Karel Doorman, commander of the combined Dutch, US, British and Australian naval forces that suffered disastrous defeat at the hands of the Japanese Imperial Navy.

The allies lost 10 ships and 2,300 sailors while the Japanese lost four loaded troop transports.

Visiting Dutch frigate Hr. Ms. Tromp was to place wreaths on the spot where Doorman’s flagship, the Hr. Ms. De Ruyter, was sunk by a Japanese torpedo with the loss of 345 men, including the admiral.

The Tromp was from Thursday paying a week-long visit to Indonesia, formally the Dutch East Indies.

Indonesia declared independence in 1945 but the Netherlands only ceded sovereignty four years later.

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