WWII Question: Did Adm. Doorman Survive the Java Sea battle?

Admiral Karel Doorman was the senior allied naval commander in an engagement with the japanese navy (the battle of the java sea). In this battle, a small allied fleet 9composed of Dutch, Australian, American, and British ships) engaged a very superior japanese flett in the java Sea. An account i read said that Adm. Doorman was killed when his ship the (Dutch cruiser DeRuyter) struck a mine and blew up. However, a few years back, I saw an old book about the Ploesti (Rumania) bombing raids conducted bythe US AAF in 1943. American bomber crews who were shot down were interned in a Rumanian prison camp-and Adm. Doorman somehow was there. is this true? What happened to the guy-how did he get from the east indies to Rumania in wartime?

To the best of my knowledge, Doorman died in the Battle of the Java Sea. What book are you reading?

Sorry, i don’t have the title, but is was the definitive book about the Ploesti Raids. i think it was published about 1962 0r 63. There was a photo of Doorman (quite alive) in the Rumanian prison camp. I’ll try to hunt down the book this weekened.

I have Ballantine’s Illustrated History Of The violent Century, Battle Book No. 30, Ploesti: Oil Strike © 1974. I haven’t read it yet, but the Ballantine books are usually pretty good at providing photos of the major players. I’ve thumbed through it, and I did not see a photo of Doorman. This doesn’t mean much. He may be mentioned in the text, but his photo was unavailable. Or he might have been killed at Java Sea, and so would not appear in the book. But in any case, I did not see his photograph.


Sorry for the late reply to this very out/date message string. Hopefully this answer still does you some good. K.W.F.M. Doorman did indeed die in the Java Sea in March 1942. However, the photo your Ballentine book shows is most likely that of his brother, L.A.C.M. Doorman. Both were Rear Admirals win the Dutch Navy during WW2. LACM Doorman was captured in Holland in May 1940 and imprisoned in Poland (Romania?). He later escaped and eventually made his way to England (via Spain) where he served the Allied for the remainder of the war.