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BaronVonTom

Royal Netherlands Navy Submarine Ace Lt. Cdr. Antonie "Anton" Jacobus Bussemaker, HNMLS O-16

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This will be my last in the series for the history web page on Submarine Aces of WW2.

Now it might not seem as if this submarine commander falls into the definition of "Ace", however, his nerves of steel on 12 December 1941 when he entered a Japanese held port that was 35 feet deep, surfaced because diving a submarine was impossible in this bay,  firing 6 torpedoes at four Japanese troop ships, damaging one and partially sinking three of them, turning around and expertly maneuvering his submarine out of the bay surfaced without a single shot being fired at him, 5 days after the attack on Pearl Harbor, certainly warrants consideration as an Ace.  (phewwww got that all out in one looooong sentence...lol)

Unfortunately on the return voyage back to Singapore, O-16 would strike a mine and sink with only one survivor, whose story is a book in itself.  

For 54 years it was thought this submarine commander had caused his own death as well as the death of 40 crewmembers  by entering a known British minefield.  In 1995 that would all change.  

The series of events from 1995 to present day is mind numbing and shocking....and heartbreaking for relatives (Dutch, Canada, Japanese, British,  USA,  Australia, and others) of the world war 2 shipwrecks in the South China Sea and Java Sea.

You'll have to read more to see why.

 

 

 

O16.pdf

Edited by BaronVonTom
Added 3 additional pictures to the article
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Relevant.

Bussemaker would be an interesting historical commander for the Dutch / Pan European, though I'd personally suggest Karel Doorman instead. But always nice to see my countrymen getting recognition! Thanks for posting!

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4 minutes ago, Lert said:

Relevant.

Bussemaker would be an interesting historical commander for the Dutch / Pan European, though I'd personally suggest Karel Doorman instead. But always nice to see my countrymen getting recognition! Thanks for posting!

Yes I agree.  And it sucks what has happened to all these ships out there......USS Houston was one of them.  And by the way.....your write up very very good.  Well done.

Edited by BaronVonTom

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Thank you for sharing.  I suppose I'm naive but I had no idea that these war graves were being illegally salvaged.  Disgusting.

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3 minutes ago, Hiro804 said:

Thank you for sharing.  I suppose I'm naive but I had no idea that these war graves were being illegally salvaged.  Disgusting.

Yes, I had heard some things about it but had no idea the extent until I was researching this.   Absolutely horrible.

 

9 minutes ago, Lert said:

Relevant.

Bussemaker would be an interesting historical commander for the Dutch / Pan European, though I'd personally suggest Karel Doorman instead. But always nice to see my countrymen getting recognition! Thanks for posting!

I also think this submarine would be interesting in game with the amidships torpedo tubes.  

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2 minutes ago, BaronVonTom said:

I also think this submarine would be interesting in game with the amidships torpedo tubes.  

Agreed. :D

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I think Bussemaker would make a good candidate for Legendary sub commander....

but when I first saw the name - truncated in my browser to Anton Jac...I thought of this:

Thought we could all use a good laugh today

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1 hour ago, Lert said:

Relevant.

Bussemaker would be an interesting historical commander for the Dutch / Pan European, though I'd personally suggest Karel Doorman instead. But always nice to see my countrymen getting recognition! Thanks for posting!

I'll bother ya one more time.

In the 40+ years I have been studying submarines of ww2, I have only been studying the Dutch for the last year and a half...dont ask me why.....just happened that way.   I am starting to see the Dutch have a rich history of some outstanding naval officers.   I agree with you that Doorman is a great choice.....but.....it is going to take one helluva an argument to get me off Bussemaker for these reasons:

1. Here's a man whose country has been overrun by Germany with a government in exile in England.  He is wearing three hats when war breaks out, Flotilla Commander, First Submarine Division Commander, and Commander of submarine O-16.  

2.  He is given orders to seek and destroy the Japanese Troop transports and he does exactly that but how he does it is either (A) crazy, (B) has a romulan cloaking device around his submarine, or (C)  he is absolutely brilliant.   I suspect he was absolutely brilliant. 

3 He goes down in history as being the first of the Allies to successfully attack the Japanese after Pearl Harbor.  This honor doesnt go to a Halsey or a Nimitz or any of the big ww2 players.....it goes to a Dutchman named Bussemaker.

4.  The fact that 54 years passed before his name would be cleared in exactly how his submarine was sunk is a story in itself.  This man didn't deserve that.  Thankfully it has all been corrected and he is the hero he always was. It is also somewhat sad that Dutch Quartermaster Cor de Wolf's survival story wasn't proven accurate until 1995.

5. The horrible things that have happened since 1995 is just mind numbing.  

I know you are one helluva lot more knowledgeable than I am at the Dutch navy, but again, you would have to make one great argument for Doorman.  I just keep going back to Bussemaker.  Would make for a fun debate.  Either way, the Dutch certainly had their heroes of ww2.

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