Flores history

In this regard, the book written by J.S. Bax "Batterij Gereed....Vuur...!" is recommended reading, because it covers the history of the Flores day-by-day, at least during her Mediterranean days.
January 13 1925 Flores is laid down at Mij. Feijenoord, Schiedam
August 15 1925 Flores is launched
March 25 1926 Flores is commissioned
June 15 1926 Flores left Den Helder for the Netherlands East Indies in company of her sistership Soemba. The journey goes via Sevilla, Tunis, Port Said, Aden, Colombo and Sabang, where she arrives on August 10.
October 27 1926 The ship strands on what is called the "Zwaantjesdroogte" (not sure what this is, perhaps a sankbank ?)
March 5 1927 Flores and her sistership Soemba make a trip Singapore and Saigon, after which they arrive in Batavia on March 28
October 24 1927 The government steamer Zuiderkruis is escorted on her voyage to Haipong, Saigon and Bangkok until November 29
October 2 1937 Flores seized a Japanese vessel after the ship refused to stop for investigation. Flores subsequently fired upon the fisherman, killing two of her crew.
January 11 1938 Australia is visited until March 25
December 12 1939 The ship leaves the NEI for Holland via Suez where she arrived in Den Helder on February 3 1940. During neutrality, she was used for escorting German merchants in the Dutch coastal waters.
February 20 1940 Lt. Cdr. J.G. Broekhuysen takes over command from Lt. Cdr. J.C.A. Scholte
May 10 1940 Germany attacks Holland. Flores is at that time just outside Vlissingen in southern Holland, and receives order to steam towards Rotterdam, where German paratroopers seized key positions in the city and the airbase Waalhaven. The order was cancelled after the destroyer Van Galen was sunk by air attack during a similar mission.
May 14 1940 Flores is ordered to steam to the Oosterschelde to support the defences on Zuid-Beveland. The ship was attacked several times without result.While in transit to another bombardmentmission, a pieces of debris gets stuck in the starboardpropellor. The damage could not be repaired, after which she steams to Zeebrugge the following day.
May 15 1940 Holland signs an unconditional surrender, but Zeeland, where Flores is stationed, is left outside the agreement. Dutch forces are ordered to continue defending this part of the Netherlands. Flores is at this time still in Zeebrugge, where the damage to the propellor could not be repaired. She then steams to Dunkirk.
May 17 1940 Flores arrives in Dover on May 18 with the minelayer Van Meerlant. She is part of the Thames Local Defence Flotilla until June 1, after which she steams to Sheerness, where she continues to act as a guardvessel until November 15 1941. She also escorts convoys off the eastern coast.
January 7 1941 Lt. Cdr. F.H.M. van Straelen takes over command from Lt. Cdr. J.G. Broekhuysen
August 25 1941 Flores is refitted at Chatham, during which her AA-battery was seriously upgraded. A 40 mm "pompom" was added, together with two quad Bolton Paul .303 mounts. The number of Hotchkiss MG was extended from two to four. The refit lasted until September 18
January 11 1943 The new base of operations is Newcastle. Lt. Cdr. J.S. Bax takes over command from Lt. Cdr. F.H.M. van Straelen
April 19 1943 Flores is withdrawn from escort duty and prepared for service in the Mediterranean.
June 4 1943 Flores leaves Gourock, Scotland for the Mediterranean as an convoy escort for 84 ships. She steams to Cape Passero via Gibraltar, Algiers and Malta
July 1943 Flores is part of the escort for convoy MWF 36, and is present when the troopers land their troops near Cape Passero.
July 9 1943 Flores is assigned to the bombardment force of sector "Bark East", on the eastcoast of Sicily
July 10 1943 The ship takes part in operation "Husky", the invasion of Sicily. On the first day, Flores bombards a four-gun German battery and effectively puts it out of action. Examination showed that one gun was totally destroyed, while the other shells had fallen all around the other guns.
July 19 1943 In the night of July 19 and 20, Flores is damaged by a near-miss while at anchor in Augusta. Although the damage is serious, it does not prevent her from leaving in the morning for a bombardmentmission near Catania.
July 20 1943 Flores leaves Augusta in the morning for a bombardment mission near Catania with three British ships. On this occasion, she was taken under fire by a heavy German battery ( estimated calibre 8 inch ). Fortunately, all shots fired missed.
July 23 1943 Flores assists a British destroyer flotilla, which was in action against a submarine. These were probably HMS Laforey and Eclipse with two other destroyers, which sank the Italian Aschiangi. The Flores takes the submarine under gunfire as she surfaces.
August 3 1943 Flores takes part in operations in Messina Strait and the Bay of Catania until August 17. After that, Flores is resupplied with ammunition and carries out some minor repairs in Malta.
September 9 1943 Flores takes part in operation "Avalanche", the invasion of Salerno on the westcoast of Italy until September 11. Flores is initially assigned Diversion Group 80.4, which had the task to take enemy positions under fire on the islands Ventotene and Ischia. Later, as part of 81.5 Support Group, she assisted groundtroops near Paestum by taking a German artillerybattery and a forest where German tanks were hiding under fire. The monitor HMS Abercrombie is mined in the evening, and Flores escorts her back to Malta.
September 11 1943 A heavy airattack by a German bomber causes considerable damage to the ship. One bomb detonated off the bow on the port side, while another splashed in the ocean on the starboard quarter. The ship was lifted out of the water and twisted. The damage was mainly done to the engineroom and equipment.
September 12 1943 After retreating with caution, the ship is repaired in Palermo until September 27
October 13 1943 Flores takes part in operation "Stanley", and covered the 5th army while crossing the river Volturno. She took a transportcolonne and a crossroad under fire. In the afternoon, Flores and two accompanying destroyers were attacked by 8 divebombers, which resulted in casualties on the destroyers.
December 12/13 1943 During the night, Flores took targets around Gaeta and near the river Gargliano under fire.
December 29/30 1943 During the night, Flores took targets around Gaeta and near the river Gargliano under fire.
January 22 1944 The ship takes part in operation "Shingle", the landings at Anzio until January 27. During the invasion, Flores and her sistership Soemba did not come into action, mostly because the ships were more or less "forgotten" by the Americans.
January 27 1944 Flores is ordered to Alexandria for repairs. These were competed on January 30. After that, she remains in a bay near Sorrento for two days.
February 4 1944 Until February 8, Flores bombards the Italian coast 8 times with her main guns during operation "Formia" in the Gaeta Bay. During the action, a RAF-spitfire crashed in the vicinity, after which a marine jumped in the water in an attempt to rescue the pilot. The pilot is freed but died from his injuries. He was given a seaman's buriel. After completing the operation, the guns were not well suited for coastal bombardment anymore. They had already fired 600 shells, 400 above the normal barrel life. She departs Malta for England ( via Gibraltar ) on February 25 ( with Soemba ), for a refit
March 12 1944 The ship arrives in Plymouth
March 13 1944 Flores departs for Portsmouth, where it is repaired until May 23. She receives new barrels from the stricken cruiser Sumatra
March 16 1944 The ship is visited by the Minister of Navy, Vice-Admiral Furstner, and his chief of staff, Rear-Admiral Termijtelen
March 22 1944 Wilhelmina, Queen of the Netherlands, visits the ship and her crew. Some crewmembers were decorated for their distinguished service during the past months.
May 2 1944 Lt. Cdr. G. Koudijs takes over command from Lt. Cdr. J.S. Bax
June 6 1944 Flores is one of the many ships, bombarding the Normandy shore. As part of the Eastern Task Force ( together with HMS Belfast and Diadem), she bombards the German battery "Arromanches III", armed with 75 mm-guns. The guns were silenced by effective fire around 8 in the morning.
June 7 1944 The ship is resupplied with ammunition and fuel in Portsmouth, after which she returned to the sector "Gold"
June 12 1944 Flores steams to sector "Sword". She would remain in this sector ( with the exception of two visits to Portsmouth ) until June 30. She was under continuous fire from German shorebatteries during this period.
June 17 1944 Flores visits Portsmouth until June 19
June 30 1944 Flores returns to Portsmouth
July 1 1944 The guns were replaced with "new" ones from the cruiser Sumatra. The refit lasts until July 6, after which she returns to Normandy on July 21, this time to support groundforces in the sector "Juno". She also bombards targets in the "Sword"-sector
July 26 1944 Flores bombards a German artillerypositions near Le Point Homme for about fifteen minutes. An aircraft served as artilleryspotter
August 7 1944 Flores steams from Normandy to Portsmouth, and on September 3, a message was received stating she was part of the "Expeditionnary Force"
September 6 1944 The ship steams to London, where the ship is moored in Shadwell Basin on September 8. The ship remains there until early 1946
November 7 1944 Lt. Cdr. G.J. Platerink takes over command from Lt. Cdr. G. Koudijs
November 22 1944 Lt. Cdr. A. van Miert takes over command from Lt. Cdr. G.J. Platerink
January 16 1945 Lt. ( RNNR ) C.M. de Jonge takes over command from Lt. Cdr. A. van Miert
March 29 1946 Flores leaves for Rotterdam, where she arrives on April 1. She was used as accommodationship for the submarineservice in Rotterdam, after which she is used as ferry between Rotterdam and London until April 1947. After this date, she was used as accommodation ship on several locations.
November 10 1948 The ship receives the Koninklijke Vermelding bij Dagorder
1951 The ship is reclassified as frigate, with the pennant F 803
1955 Flores is stricken and rebuilt as an accommodation ship. She was commissioned in Vlissingen as such on May 1 with the pennant A 877
July 1960 The ship was renamed Van Speyk. This action is the result of a law, stating that at all times, one ship or another must carry this name.
1963 The Flores is replaced as an accommodation ship by the former cruiser Jacob van Heemskerck. She was subsequently laid up in Den Helder
March 5 1965 The name is changed back to Flores, after a frigate named Van Speyk was launched.
August 26 1968 Flores is stricken
November 12 1968 Sold for Fl. 161.260 to Frans Rijsdijk, the ship is scrapped in Hendrik Ido Ambacht. During her wartime career, she escorted 3.070 ships, of which 2.690 on the eastern coast of England.


Ph. M. Bosscher "De Koninklijke Marine in de Tweede Wereldoorlog", Volume 1 and 3
K.W.L. Bezemer "Zij vochten op de Zeven Zeeën"
H.W. Hettema "Dispireert Niet"
K.W.L. Bezemer "Geschiedenis van de Nederlandse Koopvaardij in de Tweede Wereldoorlog"

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