KNSM - M.S. Colombia 1930 to 1943
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A special thank you to
bottom of the page is a link to a 14.21 min colourised film on YouTube of
At the bottom of the page is a link to a 14.21 min colourised film on YouTube of
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 voyage to
KNSM Brochure and schedule October 1935 to May 1936
A fine stern view
However, she also operated luxury
However, she also operated luxury
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
below: Here we see two views of M.S. Colombia 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
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
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 sailing from
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
horrid sinking of the Hr.Ms. Colombia,
The Heroic sailor
survivors of the
It was on
May 6, 1943,
For a full list of all those on board the Hr.Ms. Colombia at .
M.S. Colombia Specifications &
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.
Fate: 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 1927 to 1958
The KNSM 1930 Flagship
Also view the YouTube
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 seen
“Blue Water Liners sailing to the
I watched them come, I watched them go and I watched them die.”
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