Combat Narrative

Java Sea Campaign

Publication Branch
Office of Naval Intelligence * United States Navy


Preface ii
Foreword iii
The Java Sea Campaign 1
Organization and disposition of our fleet 1
Withdrawal from the Philippines 6
Adventure of the Peary 9
Establishment in the Netherlands East Indies 11
Engagement off Balikpapan, January 23-24 16
Dark Interlude 24
Action of Madoera Strait, February 4 27
The Banka Island Attempt, February 13-14 32
Another move to the south 34
Japanese attack on Darwin, February 19 36
Action in Badoeng Strait, February 19-20 40
Dissolution of the Supreme Command 44
Sinking of the Langley and Pecos, February 27 and March 1 45
The Battle of Java Sea, February 27:  
      Preliminaries 50
      Contact with the enemy 57
      Retreat to the south, Exeter damaged, Kortenaer sunk 61
      Our column reforms 66
      Thrust to the north 72
      Retirement of American destroyers, loss of Jupiter 74
      Loss of De Ruyter and Java 75
Aftermath of battle 77
End of the Allied naval command in Java 81
Observations 83
Appendix I: Destroyer Division 58's torpedo attack 85
Appendix II: Contact reports before and during the Battle of Java Sea 87

Charts and Illustrations
Chart: The Netherlands East Indies area Facing Page
Illustrations: The Houston  
                      The De Ruyter Frontispiece
Chart: Raid in Makassar Strait.  
Illustrations: Balikpapan.  
                      The Marblehead 18
Chart: Track of destroyers off Balikpapan.  
Illustrations: The Bulmer.  
                      Amboina Island 19
Chart: Track of Marblehead in Madoera Strait.  
Illustrations: Damage to Marblehead by near hit.  
                      Fantail of Marblehead after bomb hit 28
Chart: Action of Badoeng Strait.  
Illustrations: The Island of Bali.  
                      Oil tanks at Palembang 29
Chart: Track of Ford and Pope in Badoeng Strait.  
Illustrations: Tandjong Priok, port of Batavia.  
                      Tandjong Priok, showing Batavia 42
Chart: Contacts during Battle of Java Sea.  
Illustrations: The Langley.  
                      The Pecos 43
Chart: Track of the Battle of Java Sea.  
Illustrations: The De Ruyter's antiaircraft battery.  
                      The Java 56
Chart: Track of our destroyers through Bali Strait.  
Illustrations: The Witte de With.  
                      The floating dock at Tjilatjap 57
Disposition of our striking force and first contacts 58
Situation at time of first Japanese torpedo attack 62
Situation about 1655 63
Loss of the Kortenaer 1713 66
Our column reforms ahout 1730 67
Counterattack by British destroyers 1740 68
Torpedo attack by American destroyers 1822 71
Sinking of the Java and De Ruyter 77
Torpedo attack by American destroyers 85

Last updated: June 18, 2002

Transcribed and formatted by Jerry Holden for the HyperWar Foundation