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Re: M. S. Bloemfontein

June 1 2009 at 12:22 PM
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Jan Visser  (Login Visje1981)

Response to M. S. Bloemfontein


Hi Jacques,

The "Bloemfontein" was originally built for the Holland - Africa Line of the VNS. In September, 1939, the VNS decided to redeploy her and the "Klipfontein", "Jagersfontein" and "Boschfontein" in the Java - Pacific Line (eastbound from the East Indies to America's West Coast). This line was operated by the Rotterdamsche Lloyd and the Stoomvaart Maatschappij "Nederland", which chartered the VNS ships. The decision to redeploy these valuable ships was in part caused by the increased risk to shipping due to mines, submarines, aircraft etc. in European waters.

After May, 1940 (when Germany conquered the Netherlands), Bloemfontein continued to be deployed in the Java - Pacific Line. She was part of the first Dutch convoy, when she and the ships "Marnix van St. Aldegonde", "Zaandam", "Mapia" and "Polyphemus" were escorted by the Dutch cruiser Hr.Ms. "Tromp" from a position west of Api Island to a positions five days beyond the Gilbert Islands. This voyage started January 1, 1941.

Bloemfontein continued to sail in this line until the outbreak of the Pacific War. She was converted to a troop transport in San Francisco and made her first voyage as such on April 13, 1942. She was deployed by the US War Shipping Administration.

There is scant mention of her in secondary sources, so she appears to have had an uneventful career.

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  • M. S. Bloemfontein - Jacques on Jun 6, 2009, 9:18 AM
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