My Navy Time 05

Mine Counter-Measures Services

From September 1963 to November 1964 I was posted to the Mine Counter-Measures Services Barracks in Den Helder and assigned to the Conservation Service of the Mine Counter-Measures Services at the Buitenhaven as a corporal on duty (waiting for promotion). There I was charged with the supply stock detailed management of the ships under conservation. Later we switched from detailed management to the supply stock central management. That was quite an operation, all the administration of the preserved minesweepers, and there were quite a few at that time, had to be adjusted. But the supply stock administration of the Conservation and the Mines Counter-Measures Service Barracks also had to be adjusted. We've been working on that for over a year as far as I can remember.

Wapenschild Hr. Ms. Soemba

        HMS. "Soemba" (A891)

From November 1964 to March 1965 I was posted aboard the Naval Diver Training Ship HMS. "Soemba" in Den Oever. At the beginning of November I was suddenly called to my boss. That was the adjutant Kuizinga, who had been also my superior on board of HMS. "Pelican". He told me that I suddenly had to go to HMS. "Soemba" to relieve

my colleague who was there because he did not meet the expectations of a future corporal. Moreover, it was a corporal placement. In other words, I would be promoted to Corporal quite quickly if I could, of course, live up to what was expected of me. So I was given an independent position (my first) and my main task was to put HMS. "Soemba" on central management in terms of supplies. And the adjutant remained my immediate superior. I liked that,

That was a different life there between those rough men. But it did appeal to me, of course, mainly because I was once approved as a diver myself. Now I could experience it up close.

On March 1, 1965, I was promoted to corporal warehouse manager by the commander of HMS. "Soemba", the LTZ 1 Tortike in front of the enlisted crew . That was quite an experience and I did not expect that it would take place in such an official way. I actually expected that I would then be called into the commander's cabin and be notified of my promotion in front of my division chief. Of course this was nicer.

Mine Counter-Measures Services

From March 1965 to September 1966 I was again posted to the Mine Counter-Measures Services in Den Helder.

As soon as I was promoted I was called back by my superior with the announcement that the function on HMS. "Soemba" had become a first class function again because they urgently needed corporals in both the Conservation and the Mine Counter-Measures Services Barracks itself. The first months I was in the "Atjehloods", a large warehouse at the Buitenhaven and later in the warehouse behind the Diving Company at the Mine Counter-Measures Services Barracks itself. I was manager in both warehouses.

During that period the outfit for the corporal changed in the Royal Navy. The sailor's cap with the swagger collar and the bay shirt disappeared and in its place came the real non-commissioned officer's outfit. After all, the corporal in the Royal Navy is also a non-commissioned officer. This is not the case with the Army and Air Force. They have not had any cadre training there, and we have. That only applies to the sergeants there.

Images and additional information

(Most images can be enlarged by clicking on them.)

Uitleg van hetwapen van de Mijnendienst
Uitleg van het wapen van de Soemba

HMS. "Soemba" was a gunboat and was built at the Wilton shipyard in Rotterdam. The keel laying took place on December 24, 1924. The launch was on August 25, 1925. The ship was commissioned on April 12, 1926 and decommissioned on January 1, 1956. After that the ship was used as a lodging ship for the Naval diving company in Den Oever.

This ship has teamed up with HMS. "Flores" in the first line participated in the Normandy landings. Known during the war as "The Terrible Twins".

Length                                             75,60 m Beam                                                 11,50 m

Draught                                             3,60 m

Displacement                                1676 tons

Power supplied by 2

Triple Expansie steam installation   2000 pk

Speed                                                  15 kn

Crew                                                136-143


15 cm guns                                              3 st

7,6 cm guns                                             1 st

12,7 mm machine guns                             4 st

Machine guns nr. 4                                  2 st

40 mm pom-pom                                      1 st

Boulton Paul turrets                                2 st

Hotkissmachine gus                                 2 st

     Corporal rank insignia (March 1, 1965 promoted)

Corporal rank insignia (March 1, 1965 promoted)

     Print promotion to corporal warehouse manager

Print promotion to corporal warehouse manager

Uitleg van het wapen van de Mijnendienst

The other pub was "Klein Kras" (for insiders) I don't have a picture of that.

The petty officer's cap.

© 2000 PCL