Memorial Page Willy Haye

Willy "Prul" Haye's tales to his son Jesse Haye

In memory of my father Willy "Prul" Haye

born 14 May 1914 in Soerabaja, Dutch East Indies and died

at home on 26 February 1996,in Cloverdale, California


Ilse Eureka Leonie Boon & Willy Haye



HRH Prince Bernard of the Netherlands, with Lieutenant Willy Haye on the right. Circa 1948



Over the years Pappie told and retold me many stories of his youth in the former Dutch East Indies. In the early nineties, I persuaded him to retell some of them on tape. Now, almost twenty years later, I am in a position to share them with all who are interested. These stories are all in Dutch, cover a variety of subjects such as superstition, the spirit world, the occult, family, history and war. For those who knew "Prul" here are some stories you might have heard and surely some that are new to you. In any case, I am sure that you will enjoy them!

Eleonora Smabers, widow of my late cousin Jan Haye, spend hours transcribing these tapes for future generations.

I cannot thank her enough for the wonderful job!



Prul's stories to his son tape 1 view PDF

Prul's stories to his son tape 2 view PDF

Prul's stories to his son tape 3 view PDF

Prul's stories to his son tape 4 view PDF

Prul's stories to his son tape 5 view PDF



Before WWII Willy was a customs officer, but with the start of hostilities in the Pacific was called up to serve in the KNIL. He was assigned a posting at a bridge near Makassar, but thanks to the intervention of a highly placed friend or uncle and after taking an examination he entered the Royal Dutch Navy on June 1, 1941.

On March 4,1942, he was on board of the Dutch freighter Tjisaroea. This vessel had left the port of Tjilatjap, with 800 men on board hoping to beat the Japanese blockade. Their destination was Fremantle, Australia.

 WWII unit histories and officers by Hans Houterman

Nederlandse marine-officieren 1940-1945


Java China Japan Lines Tjisaroea


4 March 1942:
280 miles SSE of Tjilatjap, Java. At sunrise, the cruisers MAYA, ATAGO and TAKAO and the Destroyer's ARASHI and NOWAKI, attacked the allied convoy that departed Tjilatjap for Fremantle, Australia.

The cruisers sink the 4,900-ton British tanker FRANCOL, British Motor Minesweeper 51 and 3, 470-ton British depot ship ANKING. For more than an hour-and-a-half, LtCdr Robert Rankin's 1,060-ton Australian sloop HMAS YARRA puts up an heroic defense against impossible odds, but is smothered by 5-inch and 8-inch shells and finally sinks a blazing wreck. Rankin is killed on the bridge. At about this point, or just after, the destroyer Arashi, commanded by Cmdr. Yasumasa Watanabe, captures the Tjisaroea. (Later in Japanese service as CHIHAYA MARU)The POW's were taken to Makassar(Ujunpandan) and imprisoned there.

The Japanese pick up one lifeboat of survivors from FRANCOL, then depart to the NNE. FRANCOL's survivors are never heard of again. Four days later, the Dutch submarine K-XI picks up a total of 18 survivors of YARRA, ANKING and the survivors of torpedoed Dutch freighter PAGIRI that had been rescued by YARRA. One survivor dies, before K-XI arrives in Colombo, Ceylon.

For a tabular record of movement of the cruiser MAYA and other ships of the Japanese fleet see my source:

  This event as remembered by Willy Haye

Fragment of Naval Alamo by A. P. "Tony" Tully


The destroyer Arashi

photo courtesy Wikipedia



For the next four years dad would be a guest of Emperor Hirohito, at Makassar, Tjideng (Batavia), Struiswijk and Thihapit (Bandung) camps. He was liberated  on 26 September 1945, six weeks after the Japanese surrender from the Thihapit in Bandung. Camp commander Sone)

One day in Makassar as told by Willy Haye

A self made Monopoly Game from Tjideng

Camp drawings by 16yr old Patricia de Brissac Bernard

Traces Memoirs of an Indonesian Wartime Boyhood (1939-1946)



Guards at Tjideng.

Photo taken the last week of August, 1945
Photo from NIOD ( Netherlands Institute of War Documentation)



For an excellent book with other photos of Tjideng see:

In September of 1944, Willy was at the camp of the 10th Battalion KNIL, Batavia, together with his uncle Frederik Anton Nieuwenhuyzen, and the youngest brother of his mother in law and uncle of his wife, Ferdinand Benjamin Bletterman. It was from here that these two uncles were taken aboard the Japanese freighter Junyo Maru.

On September 18, 1944, this 5065 ton vessel was cramped, besides the crew and Japanese guards, with 2300 American, Australian, British, and Dutch, POWs and 4200 Javanese slave laborers (Romushas). They were all bound for work on the 220km long Sumatra Railway Line between Pakan Baru and Muaro. However the British submarine HMS Tradewind, not aware of this human cargo torpedoed the Junyo Maru, and send it to Davy Jones'Locker. This happened in the Indian Ocean, near Benkoelen.

Approximately 5620 souls perished, making this the largest maritime disaster in history.(1

1)1 Nederlandse Zeemansgraven Tweede Wereldoorlog (1988), blz. 256, 258 en 370.


The Junyo Maru


On 24 January 1947 Willy Haye, together with his wife and now three sons fled Tandjong Priok, on board of the Oranje. They arrived in Amsterdam on 17 February 1947.

Robert Haije remembers the last weeks in Nederland's Indie

Journey to Holland on the 'Oranje' 1947 by Marian Bruinvels


The Oranje

On 1 February 1951, Willy Haye received an honorable discharge from the Navy.


Indisch monument

Verzetsmuseum Tweede Wereldorlog