KNSM - M.S. Colombia 1930 to 1943
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Please Note: Postcards, photographs & other images are from the authors private collection, unless stated otherwise.
A special thank you
At the bottom of
the page is a link to a 14.21 min colourised film on
At the bottom of the page is a link to a 14.21 min colourised film on YouTube of
the delightful M.S.
Colombia sailing from
Welcome to the M.S. Colombia feature of the intimate 10,782 GRT (Gross Registered Ton) ship that was the luxurious flagship of the Royal Netherlands Steamship Company (KNSM).
KNSM ordered her to be built by the
The M.S. Colombia was completed and headed out for her deep sea trials on October 1, 1930 and she reached a respectable speed of 15.5 knots. She was delivered to KNSM on October 22, and having been fully manned, and stocked up, she finally departed on her maiden voyage on November 28, 1930.
An early M.S. Colombia promotional poster, although the ship image was rather overdone
Departing from Amsterdam and sailing via Dover
(UK) to Funchal (Madeira), Paramaribo (Suriname), Demerara
(Guyana), Trinidad (Jamaica), then 5 Venezuelan ports, being Carupano,
Guanta, La Guaira, Maracaibo, Puerto Cabello, next to Oranjestad
(Aruba), Willemstad (Curacao), Port-au-Prince (Haiti), then to
New York (USA). This voyage usually took 28 days. Her return
KNSM Brochure and schedule October 1935 to May 1936
A fine stern view
However, she also operated luxury cruises to
However, she also operated luxury cruises to
The M.S. Colombia was especially built to
operate a service from
She operated for 10 years and 19 days as a full
time passenger liner, but World War II would change her role
dramatically as well her long term future, and sadly all this is
part of her history which she has become famous for!
She operated for 10 years and 19 days as a full time passenger liner, but World War II would change her role dramatically as well her long term future, and sadly all this is part of her history which she has become famous for!
An excellent aerial view of the M.S. Colombia, showing her four holds and open decks
The very popular
and long serving captain on the
C Deck Lobby with a magnificent lead glass dome, Looking forward to the Lounge
Another Lobby on B Deck
The ships Elevator (Lift)
The Music Room
Above & below: the Salon and Bar
Close up of the Salon Bar seen in the photo above
The Pursers Office
Above & below: The Dining Room
A close up of the magnificent Buffet seen in the photo above this one
A buffet of the
eating kind on the
Indoor Swimming Pool
A spacious Suite
A twin bedded Cabin
Afternoon Tea out on Deck
Relaxing at sea
Playing sport up on Sports Deck aft
Even a simple
version of golf was available on the
The M.S Colombia is
seen on her starboard side as she arrives back to
At anchor at Funchal
Another KNSM promotional poster
The Music Salon
Lobby with doors to the Smoke room
The Smoke Room
below: This Lounge also contains a
Note the Dining Room on the top right
The Lobby leading to the Dining Room
Above & below: the Dining Room had fixed seating that swivelled
Highest grade Second Class Twin Bedded Cabin
The M.S. Colombia
is seen departing
Overlooking her aft decks
M.S. Colombia is
A postcard of the
She passes through
M.S. Colombia with
her special markings before the Nazis invaded the
M.S. Colombia was requisitioned by
the Royal Dutch Navy on November 8, 1940, for
a special role, which was to become a submarine
mother-ship. Her conversion from a passenger ship to
submarine mother-ship was undertaken in
She was fitted with the following armaments.
Two 7.5cm guns came from the Dutch mine-layer
The 7.5cm gun from
In addition an anti-aircraft battery was set up on the tent deck, consisting of eight 20mm Oerlikon, six 12.7mm and four 7.7mm machine guns. All of which were connected to a telephone network that could be operated centrally by the fire leader, for whom shelter was provided behind the gauge compass on the bridge. There was also an installation was installed on the barge for carrying two paravanes, being torpedo-shaped floats to which mine sweeping cables could be attached.
On the aft pit deck, lifting seats were
installed on both the starboard and port side for the fast
communication and auxiliary motor boats Hr.Ms. M 73 and Hr.Ms. M
74 that came from
This is the Hr.Ms. M 73
In addition to the original living quarters for
the crew, the Third Class passenger compartment was intended for
troops and corporals. Room I was converted into a cafeteria and
room II into a sleeping accommodation. The Second Class
passenger compartment was predestined for the non-commissioned
officers and thus this section hardly needed any
adjustments. The Second Class Smoking Room functioned as a
long room for the ten midshipmen who would follow the practical
part of their training on the ship. The spacious Music Salon
became the long room for the officers and the staff office was
housed in the First Class Smoking Salon. Space III was
converted into a torpedo workshop and in order to be able to make
high pressure air for the torpedoes, the space was equipped with
a Junkers compressor. The reserve torpedoes were stored in
the lower hold, with a separate room amidships for the explosive
torpedo warheads. The machine shop was housed in aft hold
However it should be noted that due to the
Above & below: The Hr.Ms. Colombia the submarine mother-ship with canons showing at her bow and stern
On January 5, 1942, Hr.Ms.
In addition three Dutch submarines,
the K XIV, K XI and the O 19 & the O 23
had now also headed to
Above we see one of the Dutch submarines, the Mr.Ms. O 23
Due to a large part of the British Eastern
Fleet being stationed in
On September 17, 1942, the
HMIS Orissa was a
At the request of
On February 27, 1943, the Hr.Ms. Colombia with
a complement of 318 on board was sailing on the Indian Ocean
I have been told that in one whaleboat there were some 60 survivors and they were later picked up by a RAF air-sea-rescue launch. The escorting Genista initially launched a counter-attack, but she returned soon after and picked up the remaining 250 survivors.
This is the German U-Boat, the U 516
During the horrid sinking of the Hr.Ms. Colombia,
The Heroic sailor
The survivors of the
It was on May 6, 1943,
For a full list of all those on board the Hr.Ms. Colombia at .
Colombia Specifications & Details
M.S. Colombia Specifications & Details:
& owner: Koninklijke
Nederlandsche Stoomboot-Maatschappij NV,
Type: Passenger-Cargo Ship.
Call sign: NKPD.
. PDLA after 1933.
Ship ordered: April 16, 1929.
Keel laid: 1930.
Yard N°: 454.
Deck Type: Open Shelter Deck.
Launched: May 24, 1930, she was named and launched by Mrs. M.E. Giljam-Irens.
Sea Trials: October 17, 1930.
Delivered: October 22, 1930 to the KNSM
Maiden Voyage: November 28, 1930.
GRT: 10,782 GRT, NRT: 6,336 NRT, 6,643 DWT.
Length: 130.9 meters overall.
Beam: 18.82 meters on the frames.
Draft: 8.1 meters (Summer) .
Passengers: 312 persons.
. 180 First Class, 66 Second Class & 66 Third Class.
Propulsion: Two 4 stroke single acting Werkspoor engines.
Type: 4t., Ew. 8,000 HP, MOT at 110 rpm.
Speed: 15.5 knots.
Torpedoed on February 27, 1943 by U-Boat 516 and was hit to the
starboard near hold 2. The ship vertical, the stern high in
the air, rudder and propellers protruded 25 meters above the
water. At 11:55 am the
ThessMaritime KNSM Index
Also visit the KNSM S.S. Cottica 1927 to 1958
The KNSM 1930 Flagship M.S. Colombia
Also view the YouTube Colourised Video of the M.S. Colombia
Crossing the North
Sea on the luxury liner M.S. Colombia from
As well as 35 excellent
And the magnificent KNSM ships of 1957
the Delightful KNSM Flagship -
A stern view of the M.S. Colombia
M.S. Colombia is
Blue Water Liners sailing to the
I watched them come, I watched them go and I watched them die.
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The Author has been in Passenger Shipping & the Cruise Industry for well over 60 years
In addition he was the founder of Save the Classic Liners Campaign in 1990.
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