Jouke Spoelstra (1957) joined the Netherlands Navy in 1979 as a midshipman at the Royal Naval College in Den Helder. After his promotion to officer he served most of his active career on submarines or in submarine related posts in the Netherlands Navy. Since 2007, as a side job he has been a member of the Work Group Submarines, established to find the wrecks of the still lost Dutch submarines HNLMS K XVI (lost in the South China Sea) and HNLMS O13 (lost in the North Sea). In this Group he was appointed Project Leader for the search of O13. In the last years he has been involved in the identification of about 10 submarine wrecks on the Dutch Continental Shelf. The search for O13 goes on!
Lecture title: The Search for O13
In May 1940, after the German invasion in the Netherlands, most of the Dutch submarines managed to escape to the UK. The submarines were assigned to the various British Submarine Flotilla’s. In June 1940 the Dutch Submarine HNLMS O13 came under the command of the newly formed 9th Submarine Flotilla in Dundee. After some sea trials to check the equipment, and especially the radio installation, HNLMS O13 was sent out on a patrol near the entrance of the Skagerrak. She was never to return from this patrol.
The Foundation of Relatives of Submarines 1940-1945, together with specialists of the Netherlands Navy, endeavour to find the wreck of the submarine in order to find out more about the fate and circumstances around the loss and to bring peace and solace to the family members of the long lost crew.