Ondina (1939)

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Ondina 1943.jpg
Aerial starboard side view of the Ondina in 1943
Name: 1939: Ondina
Owner: Royal Dutch Shell
Builder: Nederlandse Dok & Scheepsbouw Mij, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Launched: 29 April 1939
Completed: 1 August 1939
Fate: Broken up at Hong Kong, 1959
General characteristics
Type: Oil tanker
Tonnage: 9,070 GT
Length: 130.49 m
Beam: 16.62 m
Draught: 6.40 m
  • 1 Werkspoor 6-cylinder diesel engine
  • 2,800 hp
Notes: 12 knots

Ondina was a 9,070 GRT oil tanker built in 1939 and owned by Royal Dutch Shell; initially operated by the "La Corona" company. In November 1942, during the Second World War, she was attacked in the Indian Ocean by two Japanese commerce raiders, one of which (the Hokoku Maru) was sunk possibly by a shell fired by the Ondina. After the war it continued operating until decommissioned and broken down in 1959.


Displacing 9,070 GT, Ondina was 130.49 metres (428.1 ft) long with a beam of 16.62 metres (54.5 ft). The vessel had a draught of 6.4 metres (21 ft). Fitted with a single Werkspoor six-cylinder diesel engine that was capable of generating 2,800 hp, the ship had a top speed of 12 knots. Its armament consisted of a single 102 mm quick-firing gun and several machine guns.[1]


Launched in April 1939, Ondina was built at the Nederlandse Dok & Scheepsbouw Mij shipyard in Amsterdam, in the Netherlands. Completed in August 1939, prior to the Second World War the vessel sailed for La Corona, a subsidiary of the Royal Dutch Shell company.[1]

Second World War[edit]

In November 1942, "Ondina" took part in the battle against the Japanese auxiliary cruisers and raiders ‘’Aikoku Maru’’ and ‘’Hokoku Maru’’ where it was damaged;[2] after which it was temporarily repaired and then sent to Exmouth Gulf in Western Australia where she was stationed from 22 June 1943[3] supplying fuel to US submarines.[4] On 1 September 1943 the "Ondina" also supplied fuel to the ship MV "Krait" then taking part in Operation Jaywick, the raid on Singapore.[4] At the end of 1943 the ship was sent to the US for repairs at Tampa, sailing via Melbourne, Balboa, Panama Canal and Galveston.[5]

Action against Japanese raiders[edit]

On 11 November 1942, Ondina was sailing escorted by HMIS Bengal, a Bathurst class corvette,[1] to the southwest of Cocos Islands in the Indian Ocean, when the Japanese commerce raiders Aikoku Maru and Hōkoku Maru attacked them. The Japanese ships were each armed with eight 5.5-inch guns, while Ondina had only a 102 mm gun and Bengal a single 3-inch weapon. Both Allied ships scored hits in the Hōkoku Maru which blew up and sank; the other raider escaped.[1] Although Ondina was damaged in the action, it reached port safely.[6]


Ondina was decommissioned and scrapped in 1959, at Hong Kong.[7]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ a b c d Visser, Jan (1999–2000). "The Ondina Story". Forgotten Campaign: The Dutch East Indies Campaign 1941–1942. Archived from the original on 2011-03-21.
  2. ^ Marcus, Alex. DEMS? What's DEMS?. pp. 118–119.
  3. ^ "The Potshot (Exmouth) Secret Base: The Artillery Presence" (PDF) (Artillery WA, 3/04, s. 13). October 2004. Archived (PDF) from the original on 26 February 2015. Retrieved 31 May 2015.
  4. ^ a b Marcus, Alex. DEMS? What's DEMS?. p. 119.
  5. ^ Marcus, Alex. DEMS? What's DEMS?. p. 120.
  6. ^ Kindell, Don. "Indian Ocean & South East Asia, including Burma". Campaign Summaries of World War 2. Naval History. Archived from the original on 24 August 2015. Retrieved 31 May 2015.
  7. ^ Helder, Kees. "Ondina (1)". helderline.nl. Archived from the original on 1 June 2015. Retrieved 31 May 2015.


  • Marcus, Alex (1986). "DEMS? What's DEMS?": The Story of the Men of the Royal Australian Navy Who Manned Defensively Equipped Merchant Ships During World War II. Brisbane, Queensland: Boolarong Pub. ISBN 978-0-86439-012-7.

External links[edit]