Navy – Bronze Cross – HMS Tromp 1942

Siebe Staal, born 1904, was a quartermaster and combat helmsman on board of Hr.Ms. Tromp, a light cruiser of the Royal Dutch Navy.

Staal in 1938

This ship, Hr Ms Tromp, c804, was in 1942 part of the ABDA fleet, a cooperation between the American, British, Dutch and Australian navies in the fight against Japan and the defense of the Dutch East Indies between 1940-’42.

In 1942 it would have several confrontations with the Japanese enemy. During one of these confrotations in the Lombok Strait, February 19th and 20th of 1942 Staal would show courage and outstanding devotion to duty by remaining calmly at the helm of the ship when a grenade hit in close proximity and the rain of shrapnel from that would cause many casualties.

For this he would be awarded the Bronze Cross, the 3rd highest award for gallantry of the Netherlands, in 1943.

After the war he would remain in the navy until his retirement.

The three medals he earned by the end of his naval career.

The ship received an honorable mention (mention in despatches) for its activities during WW2. All crew members would receive this grand diploma for that reason.

A number of blank diploma’s have come to the market therefore I have blanked out the bottom part of the diploma in order not to make it to easy for fakers.