Home Contact UsAbout UsOur projectsAbout UsContact UsPress Release
  To Honour and Peace  
  Warriors of the Deep  
  Quest For Truth  

Introduction | 016 History | 020 History | The People

Warriors of the Deep
“Stories of the Dutch 016 and 020 Submarines”

The Japanese destroyer saw the jet of fumes from the O 20 upon surfacing hence spotted the submarine. The searchlight from the Japanese destroyer kept O 20 at sight in its rays. They fired shells and O 20 replied with their guns. Torpedoes were fired but the Japanese destroyers managed to avoid them. The commander gave his last order "To scuttle the submarine and to leave the ship with life belts". His order was obeyed. Seven men including the commander perished into the deep.

The sole survivor, Boatswain Cornelis de Wolf in claimed to have swam for 35 hours in the sea. It was assumed that the O 16 had been hit by a mine from the British minefield near the island of Pemanggil due to a navigational error.

In October 1995 the O 16 was found 38 nautical miles (70 km) north of the assumed sinking position and only 7 nm from the K 17 wreck. A mine had sunk both ships from the very same line of Japanese mines north of Tioman Island. There had been no navigational error and Cor de Wolf's story was absolutely true: he had survived 35 hours in the water and had covered a distance of 44 nm (80 km) in that time.