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  1. Hello everybody, I can finally start the build log for Hr. Ms. Java. I received the package with the kit for "Java" on November 10, 2017 from Pacific Cross Roads" in St. Petersburg, Russia. (www.pacificcrossroads.net and Facebook.com/PacificCrossRoads Several delays prevented me to start. It all started with a massive hard drive failure on my computer. My external back-up hard drive had also failed just prior to it due to the hurricane. The computer techie I brought the computer to had a very difficult time retrieving my data but after 3 weeks he thought to have it all. The problem was that all my files, folders and photos were scattered all over the place. This took a lot of my time to sort out and am not yet finished with it. There are still some other problems like it wont install any applications, some I really need for other projects I am involved with. In addition to all that there important things for me to do on Gwen's "bucket list." For those who don't know me, Gwen is my dear wife who does not want to be called "the Admiral." Then there are the usual chores around the house and a few other projects. In the meantime though I did start work on the model and consequently all my posts will reflect past history till we are caught-up to the present condition of the work. My first two posts will consist of this introduction, followed with the ship's history and specifications. After that I'll start the actual build and indicate it as Day one, November 10, 2017. All subsequent posts will follow in similar fashion - - Day two with the date, etc., till we come to the actual date. Some may ask "why this particular ship"? Everyone chooses a model to build has a reason, either historical, the looks of the ship, a challenge perhaps or personal. My reason is VERY personal, more so then the "O19." You see, this is the ship my father served on from February 1941 till her sinking on February 27, 1942, during the battle of the Java Sea, against the Japanese Imperial Navy. Due to a set of unfortunate circumstances the ship was hit by one of the Japanese long range torpedoes. She was hit at her aft ammunition storage area that also happened to be my father's battle station, at the #9, 15 cm gun. During a personal interview by a surviving officer of the "Java" in 1954 when I served in the Royal Air Force and a recent discussion with Kevin Denlay I could safely assume that my father was instantly killed, together with a large part of the crew. Kevin Denlay is the Australian diver and member of the research team that found the wrecks of the "Java" and the "Ruyter." He photographed the wreck and send me a few of the photos. The surviving officer of the "Java" was one of the 41 of the 528 men crew. A few of the survivors died in Japanese captivity. No need for me to describe the events of this and subsequent battles and final destruction of the Combined Striking Force, called ABDA FLOAT. ABDA stands for American, British, Dutch and Australia. Much can be gleaned via Internet but the best narrative I have read is from a book by Jeffrey R. Cox called "Rising Sun, Falling Skies - The Disastrous Java Sea Campaign of World War II." Needles to say, our world turned upside down. After the capitulation of the Dutch Armed forces in the Dutch Colonies to Japan, my mother, sister and I were put into a concentration camp in Soerabaja (Dutch spelling) and eventually to several others in central Java. One more dreadful then the previous one. The three of us almost succumbed due to malnutrition and disease but miraculously survived. So, here I am building a model of a ship my father hated and became his grave with the rest of the crew. He probably would give me a friendly bob on the head As much as he loved the "O19" he despised and hated the "Java." He called her "die ouwe roestbak," "that old rust bucket." Building the "O19" model was a pleasure for me, it reminded me of the happy times, this model is different. Not that I don't like it or have no pleasure in it. No, to the contrary, it depicts the bravery, heroism and dedication of duty despite the probable outcome. I therefore dedicate this model to all the men of the ABDA fleet, dead or alive. That their memory and their heroism does not die with them. I invite you to read the synopsis of our history on the introduction page of my build log of Hr. Ms. O19 in my signature below, so I'll omit that part here. During the build though I will add some personal experiences and memories, triggered by the photos and areas of the ship. The plan is to display this model in a diorama as I visualize her to be on that last day of her life, February 27, 1942 - - fighting. All photos and article excerpts I will add to my posts are in Public Domain and under fair law use. I have a complete list of these resources. Let me introduce you to my father, Opperschipper / Adjudant Petrus W. van Warmerdam, November 22, 1998 - February 27, 1942. He is here shown when he was Bootsman or bosun in English, sometime in the mid 1930's. I hope you will enjoy sharing this build with me and gain some insight to a part of history that's mostly forgotten or not known. Cheers,

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