I would like to inform you about some recent activities directly linked to the attack of U156 on the Lago refinery and several fuel tankers including the SS Arkansas:

As most of you know in the early morning hours of February 16, 1942 U boat U156 fired three torpedo's at the Texaco owned SS Arkansas moored at the Eagle Pier. One torpedo ended up on the beach, one torpedo hit the SS Arkansas and exploded and (presumably the second) one went missing. As you know several people in Holland (Dick de Bruin, Jos Rozenburg and myself) and in Aruba (Dufi Kock and Alfred Pichardo) are investigating the events that took place in Aruba during the 2nd World War. In an email exchange some months ago when the events concerning the SS Arkansas were discussed, Stan Norcom provided us with valuable information such as the Kriegs Tage Buch (warlog) of U156 as well as a map of the Eagle Pier from 1931. With this information and other supporting documents we were able to make a viable reconstruction of the Arkansas attack and therewith make an assessment where the missing torpedo might be. Back then it was already suggested by some that a search should be undertaken for the missing torpedo.

As some members of this group have direct links with the Royal Netherlands Navy we have been able to present the case of the missing torpedo to the demolition team of the Royal Netherlands Navy. Based on the documents that were handed to them the decision was taken to shorten an exercise of the navy demolition team being held in the region, and use the last four days of their exercise to search for the missing torpedo in front of Eagle Beach in Aruba supported by the navy vessel HNLMS Pelikaan and using an underwater robot (REMUS).

This morning Dufi Kock informed me that, despite all the efforts of the demolition team and their divers, the missing torpedo has not been located. There's a strong possibility that in the last 70 years the location of the torpedo, due to strong currents, has changed significantly or is buried deep in the sand.  After four days the demolition team has ended their search. Although the torpedo has not been discovered I think this search, and the (even somewhat disappointing) result add another chapter to the "Neuland/Aruba" story.

Attached you will find some pictures sent to me by Dufi Kock. (Dufi en Alfredo in front of HNLMS Pelikaan and the underwater robot REMUS). Feel free to use this message and pictures for the Lago Colony website.


Willem Donck

These are the photos that were sent to me by Willem and Dufi.
Dufi en Alfredo in front of HNLMS Pelikaan
The underwater robot REMUS
Another view of REMUS
Divers on the job.
Captain Marten Veenstra of the Hr. Ms. Pelikaan address the press and visitors on the ship.
Commandant Will Meurer reviews the search plan with press and the divers.
Commandant Will Meurer reviews the search plan using information supplied by Stan Norcom, Dick de Bruin, Jos Rozenburg and Willem Donck
Dufi Kock presents Captain Marten Veenstra with copies of THE PROPELLER and his book HISTORIA DI SAVANETA

Alfred Pichardo is on the right side of the photo.

Dufi Kock presents Commandant Will Meurer with copies of THE PROPELLER and his book HISTORIA DI SAVANETA
Dufi Kock and Commandant Will Meurer
The following photographs were taken around the ship and are pretty much self explanatory.
Press and visitors on board the  Hr. Ms. Pelikaan
Lap top computer that receives the images from REMUS.
Alfred Pichardo looks at the images on the lap top computer.
The two photos above are some of the images picked up by the underwater robot REMUS, neither were the torpedo.
The Aruba press on deck to record the events of the search.
Dufi Kock and Alfred Pichardo talk over the events of the day.