Netherland Steamship Co., Royal Dutch Mail, Netherlands

       The Motor Vessel "Poelav Bras" was a Dutch Merchant Marines vessel.  This ship was built in Scotland in 1928 for the Netherland Steamship Company (Royal Dutch Mail). A Freighter, she also had passenger accommodations for 120. It was powered by Schulzer Diesel Engines.  

       In May of 1940 when the Germans occupied Holland, She was in New York. After Holland was occupied, the Poelav Bras ran from the West coast of the United States to Hawaii then the Philipines, British Malaya and the Persion Gulf. The main cargo was Rubber for use in making tires for the military as well as palm oil tea and pepper.

       The last ship leaving the Dutch East Indies with the military men and family members enroute to Australia, on March the 7th, 1942 our ship the "Poelav Bras" was sunk by ten Japanese Navy O's in the Indian Ocean off Sumatra Indonesia. Although the ship had a total of 22 lifeboats, of the 2800 people on ship, only 114 reached land in Sumatra. The Japanese dive bombers that sunk the Poelav Bras strafed the lifeboats. The survivors were in open life boats for ten days before reaching shore and internment in Japanese Concentration Camps.


Biography of Johanus "John" Schryvers, MV Poelav Bras, POW, Dutch Merchant Marine

MV Poelav Bras Photograph, Beautiful Photograph

Back to the International Navy Unit History Exhibit

Back to the Justin Museum of Military History

Please Share your Comments and Knowledge! E-mail the Curator to share or discuss or with any questions!