Shipwreck Explorer and SCUBA Diver
During December 2004, Kevin Denlay reported:
"We have now found all four wrecks that were unaccounted for from the Battle of the Java Sea. The other ship also lost that day, HMS
Jupiter, is a previously known and Admiralty charted wreck site position; but very broken up, mostly salvaged and very close to the Java coast. The position of the other four, Hr. Ms. De Ruyter, Hr. Ms. Java and Hr. Ms. Kortenaer and HMS Electra, were not known before our discoveries."
The following is a list of the wreck discoveries Kevin has been directly involved with in Asian waters and made the very first dives on during his time spent aboard the dive vessel MV Empress, in the order they were discovered and first dived. Kevin is one of only three people that participated in the discovery of all the following wrecks [the other two being Empress’ then owner/skipper Vidar Skoglie and his close friend Capt. Phil Yeutter (USN Ret.)].
Unfortunately, by 2017, almost all these wrecks were found to have been either partially or completely salvaged by illegal salvors. In an interview for the British ‘History Of War’ magazine, Kevin comments on their loss: History of War: "Java Sea Shipwrecks of World War 2: One of the men who found them reflects on their loss" by James Hoare November 23, 2016.
Hr. Ms. Java
Dutch light cruiser sunk in the Java Sea around midnight on February 27, 1942 by torpedo from HIJMS Nachi; discovered December 1, 2002.
Hr. Ms. De Ruyter
Dutch light cruiser sunk in the Java Sea around midnight on February 27, 1942 by torpedo from HIJMS Haguro; discovered December 1, 2002.
Japanese mine layer sunk in the Java Sea on October 17, 1944 by torpedo from the Dutch submarine Hr. Ms. Zwaardvisch; discovered December 15, 2002.
Japanese heavy cruiser sunk in the Malacca Strait in the early hours of May 26, 1944 by destroyers from the British 26th Destroyer Flotilla; discovered March 4, 2003.
British destroyer sunk in the Java Sea by gunfire from IJN destroyers in afternoon of February 27, 1942; discovered August 19, 2003.
Japanese light cruiser sunk in the Malacca Strait on January 11, 1944 by submarine HMS Tally-Ho; discovered March 12, 2004.
Hr. Ms. Kortenaer
Dutch destroyer sunk in the Java Sea during the afternoon of February 27, 1942 by torpedo from HIJMS Haguro; discovered August 12, 2004.
USS Perch SS-176
American submarine scuttled in the Java Sea on March 3, 1942; discovered November 23, 2006.
British heavy cruiser sunk in the Java Sea in the late morning of March 1, 1942 by gunfire and two torpedoes from Inazuma; discovered February 21, 2007.
British destroyer sunk in the Java Sea during the late morning of March 1, 1942 by gunfire; discovered February 21, 2007.