Militarized trawlers in RNN service 1939-1945
The large fleet of fishing trawlers were for each country during World War II a welcome reserve of vessel capable of carrying out various duties: minesweeping, carrying out patrols, escorting merchant ships. The Royal Netherlands Navy was no exception, and just before the outbreak of war with Germany on one side and Britain and France on the other, a number of these vessels were requisitioned for use as minesweeper and danlayer. Later, after the evacuation to Britain, a number of those still operated by their owners were added to the ones already on active duty, and which had managed to escape. After an overhaul which included adding armament and sweeping gear, their operational life as minesweeper began. The first became operational in British service as early as June of 1940, operating in the Irish sea, first based at Falmouth and later that at Liverpool and Holyhead. Divisions were detached to Milford Haven and Barrow-in-Furness. The crews were often the same with which the ships sailed out to catch fish before the war.
Starting in 1942, the trawlers were gradually phased-out and replaced by purpose-built wooden minesweepers of the "105 feet" and "126 feet"-classes, which were better suited to deal with influence mines. By that time, the Caroline had been destroyed by a mine with her entire crew, whereas several others were damaged by mine or air attack. The exceptions were Claesje and Dirkje, which had been sent to the Dutch Antilles in 1941, and a few others which were relegated to other, secondary duties.
|Name (year built)||Tonnage||Pennant||Brief history and fate|
|Alkmaar (1914)||310||HMV.3||Req. 1939. Captured by German navy. Lost in German service.|
|Alma (1915)||206||FY.1747||Req. 1940 in Britain. Returned to owner 1943.|
|Amsterdam (1913)||241||4B - FY.1921||Req. 1940 in Britain. Comm. as danlayer ("Boeienschip 4"). Converted minesweeper 1940 and renamed Andijk. Royal Navy 1943 - (also listed as returned to owner)|
|Aneta (1916)||261||-||Req. 1939. Comm. as danlayer ("Boeienschip 6"). Captured by German Navy 1940. Lost.|
|Antje (1931)||183||HMV.5||Req. April 1940. Returned to owner 1940.|
|Azimuth (1911)||229||HMV.2||Req. 1939. Captured by German Navy. Lost 1944.|
|Bergen (1907)||236||6C - FY.||Req. 1940 in Britain. To Royal Navy 1942. Lost|
|Bloemendaal (1917)||242||4A - FY.1787||Req. 1939. Comm. as danlayer ("Boeienschip 5") in 1939. Converted minesweeper 1940. Royal Navy 1943 - (also listed as returned to owner)|
|Bruinvisch (1929)||164||9B - FY.1713||Req. 1941. To Royal Navy 1944. Returned to owner 1946.|
|Caroline (1930)||253||5A - FY.1729||Req. 1940 in Britain. Lost on mine in Milford Haven, April 28, 1941. 15 killed.|
|Claesje (1933)||229||HMV 7 - 8B - FY.1716||Req. March 1940. Dutch West Indies 1941-1945. Returned to owner 1946.|
|Dirkje (1934)||233||HMV 8 - 8A - FY.1745||Req. March 1940. Dutch West Indies 1941-1945. Returned to owner 1945.|
|Dolfijn (1920)||168||9D - FY.1743||Req. 1941. Renamed "Goeree" 1942. Royal Navy (HMS Jude) 1944-1945. Rebuilt to danlayer. Returned to owner 1945.|
|En Avant (1911)||264||BV.42 - 7A - FY-1743||Req. 1939. Commissioned as patrol vessel. Converted to minesweeper 1940 in Britain. Royal Navy 1943-1945. Returned to owner 1945.|
|Eveline (1912)||206||6A - FY.1756||Req. 1940. Lost in collision with HMS Shera January 27, 1942 in Milford Haven. 1 killed.|
|Ewald (1912)||209||6D - FY.1733||Req. 1939. Comm. as danlayer ("Boeienschip 2"), not satisfactory in service. Converted to minesweeper 1940. Royal Navy 1943-1945. Returned to owner 1945.|
|Gerberdina Johanna (1912)||255||5B - FY.1779||Req. 1940 in Britain. Transport ship for the mine service 1944-1946. In service as mothership for minesweepers 1946-47. Returned to owner 1947.|
|Hercules (1905)||255||5D - FY.1731||Req. 1940. Returned to owner 1942 due to old age.|
|Hollandia (1917)||220||HMV.4||Req. 1939. Captured by German Navy. Post war in R.N.N. service as tugboat RS.7, and A.847|
|Isabel (1906)||166||9C - FY.896||Req. 1941. Royal Navy 1944 -|
|Jacqueline Clasine (1906)||206||7B - FY.1783||Req. 1941. Royal Navy 1943 - (also listed as returned to owner)|
|Libra (1908)||233||7E - FY.867||Req. 1940 in Britain. Royal Navy 1943 - (also listed as returned to owner)|
|Limburgia||217||-||Req. 1940. Comm. as danlayer (replaced Ewald)("Boeienschip 2"). Captured German Navy 1940. Lost in German service.|
|Maria Elizabeth (1929)||164||9A - FY.895||Req. 1941. Royal Navy 1944 -1945. Returned to owner 1945.|
|Maria R. Ommering (1914)||216||4D - FY.1785||Req. 1939. Comm. as danlayer ("Boeienschip 3"). Converted to minesweeper 1940. Damaged by mine april, 1941. Royal Navy 1943 - (also listed as returned to owner)|
|Maria van Hattum (1925)||293||HMV.6||Req. 1940. Captured by German Navy 1940. Lost.|
|Noordsvaarder (1897)||179||BV.1||Originally tugboat. Req. 1939 and used as patrol vessel. Danlayer and transport ship mine service 1940-1942. Communication vessel 1942-1944. Danlayer 1944 - . Returned to owner 1947.|
|Rotterdam (1916)||231||BV.45 - 4C - FY.1741||Req. 1939. Commissioned as patrol vessel. Converted to minesweeper 1940 in Britain. Royal Navy 1943 - (also listed as returned to owner)|
|Uiver (1902)||216||7C - FY.1720||Req. 1940. Royal Navy 1942 - (also listed as returned to owner)|
|Vikingbank (1927)||335||5C - FY.1781||Req. 1940 in Britain. Returned to owner 1946.|
|Walrus (1929)||372||HMV.1||Req. 1939. Captured German Navy 1940. Lost 1943.|
|Witte Zee||226||-||Req. 1939. Comm. as danlayer ("Boeienschip 1"). Captured by German Navy 1940. Lost.|
|Zwarte Zee (1899)||194||7D - FY.1937||Req. 1941. Damaged by air attack 1941. Renamed IJmuiden 1941. Decommissioned 1942. Royal Navy 1944-1946. Returned to owner 1946.|
Pennants: The BV-pennants were assigned during the mobilization of 1939-1940 to vessels used in guard duties. BV = Bewakings Vaartuig = Guard Vessel. Trawlers operating in Britain were assigned two pennants, one (f.e. 7D), and a fishing pennant (FY-pennants). Why this distinction existed is not known to me. Trawlers in use as minesweepers during the mobilization period in the Netherlands 1939-1940 carried HMV-pennants. HMV = Hulp Mijnen Veger = Auxiliary Mine Sweeper.
Armament: Armament usually consisted of a few machine guns. Later in the war, their armament may have been upgraded.
Tonnage: displacements are in gross registered tons (grt)
Other abbreviations: Req. = Requisitioned, Comm. = Commissioned.
Name changes: a number of ships were renamed to avoid confusion, since there were also other vessels in Admiralty or R.N.N. service which bore the same name.
Ph.M. Bosscher "De Koninklijke Marine in de Tweede Wereldoorlog, volume 1 (1984)
Chr. Mark "Schepen van de Koninklijke Marine in W.O. II (1997)
L.L. von Münching "Schepen van de Kon. Marine in de 2e Wereldoorlog" (1978)
A.J. Vermeulen "De schepen van de Koninklijke Marine en die der gouvernementsmarine 1814-1962" (1962)
W.H.E. van Amstel "De schepen van de Koninklijke Marine vanaf 1945" (1991)