De Ruyter ship sank in Java sea, on 27 February 1942. And on 27 February 2012, for the first time after 70 years the ceremonial event was held on the spot where the the ship submerged on 27 February 1942. The location is 60 km from Bawean Island coast line, geographically on 06 º00′ SW/112º EL.
De Ruyter was a cruiser ship led by Admiral Karel Doorman as the commander of the sea fleet and the captain was Eugène Lacomblé. De Ruyter was intended to return to its base in Surabaya after patrolling in Java Sea. Evening of the 27th February 1942, American British Dutch Australian Command was surprised by the advent of Japanese cruises, Nachi and Haguro. De Ruyter was struck by single torpedo Type 93 fired by Haguro on 23.30, she sank at 02.30 and lost 345 crews including the admiral and captain. The ship wreck was tracked down after the war, 60 meter under the sea.
There were 8 participants of the commemoration ceremony. The group was led by Joop Nahuijsen. The commemoration it self was held at 15.00, on Bahari Express 1 C, a passenger ferry service between Bawean Island- Gresik.
After reaching the exact coordinate, the group then prayed led by Joop Nahuijsen. Each participant made speech to honor De Ruyter crews for their service. The core session was casting flower to the ocean by each participant. The ceremony sequences were full of emotions.
Joop Nahuijsen said that he and his family had been waiting for this moment for years, as his father who was a telegraphist died in De Ruyter, and he never knew his father in person for he died on the battle on Java Sea 6 months before he was born. All participants were content and relieved for undertaking the commemoration on the exact spot where De Ruyter sank. They stated that for seven years, they usually only conducted regular ceremony at Kembang Kuning Cemetery, Surabaya, cemetery of Dutch soldiers during World War II.
This water ceremony is expected to be conducted again next year and they hope this could be an annual ceremony.
Reported by : Dwi
Exclusive Photos from De Ruyter Commemoration 27 February 2012
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