Captain Nicolaas Pieter Kruithof. This photo was taken around 1952 at the time when the company had all captains photgraphed (b)

Name:  Kruithof, Nicolaas Pieter

Born:  Hansweert, 25 Nov. 1902

Note: his war record indicates the town of Kruiningen as his place of birth. This is just outside the town of Hansweert. According to people who sailed with him it was Wemeldinge, as he required the ship to give 3 long blasts as a greeting when he sailed by. But these towns are all close together.

Son of Johannes Kruithof and Janneke Elisabeth de Nooijer. His father was Adjunct commisario of the Customs office in Hansweert. (Located on Zuid Beveland in the Province of Zeeland. This was often the last stop for small sea going vessels and inland river barges before they crossed over the “Westerschelde into Belgium) (a,b)

Religion: Dutch Reformed.

Student of the maritime school “Willem Barentz” at Terschelling and on completion of his studies joined the Holland America Line on 03 Oct. 1922

He married on 10 Feb. 1940 at Rotterdam Machelina Kramer (25 May 1904)     (a)

The cargo ship ss Ijseldijk. Seen  here laid up in Rotterdam togehter with another Holland America Line cargo ship. The ship had been built in 1915 and was transferred by the HAL to the VNS in 1926, a joint venture of several Dutch shipping company’s.  ED.: when in the sailing list below says that he spend time as cadet on a VNS ship, I suspect that he stayed with the ship when it went over, and then came back to HAL again.

Because having been laid off in the period 1930 – 1935 his career progressed much slower than his colleagues who stayed on. It was only in the war that he caught up with them, as he already had his master license.

Note: he was not dismissed in 1930 because of bad performance but because he was the youngest one and because he was single. It was the company’s way of reducing the impact of the depression on families. The moment the depression eased off, he was back again.

It would be nice to find out how he kept himself going during the depression years.

Captain Dobbinga to the left as “tracker” an 2nd Officer Kruithof to the right as “Gunner” keeping the enemy at bay. (e.f)

He spend the whole 2nd world war at sea, having left Rotterdam in April, with the Noordam, just before the invasion of the Netherlands took place.  Pictures of crew in wartime are quite scarce, so as Editor I feel quite privileged to publish two of them which not P.R photos.  One is with Captain Dobbinga Sr. at one of the Anti Air Craft stations on board the Leerdam. With then 2nd officer Kruithof shooting at the enemy. For this work the ships had gunnery crews on board, while the deck officers where the liaison officers between the Bridge and the AA station.

Although the war was grim, there were lighter moments such as here. 2nd officer Kruithof surrounded by  11 beautiful Red Cross nurses, sailing with the Edam from New York to Liverpool. Note in the background an airplane that was part of the cargo, as the Edam was a passenger cargo ship. (e,f)

He was promoted as part of the wave of new captains needed when Holland America bought the A class cargo ships at the end of the war and as such his name comes up again in the records in May 1950 when he is appointed Master of the ss Aalsdijk.

Captain Kruithof with “Aagje” the cow in the main street of Stavenisse.(c)

He is in the newspaper in 1953 when the whole world donates goods and money to the Netherlands after the severe floodings of the South West part of the Netherlands.  The crew of the Aagtedijk collects money and buys a cow which is christened with the naam Aagje. (The ships company wished that the cow should go to somebody in Stavenisse. Via a procedure unknown, the cow is allocated to farmer / milkman Pieter Stoutjesdijk of the town of Stavenisse.  Captain Kruithof as master of the ss Aagtedijk is dispatched (together with a Provision Master, a 4th. Officer and a Bo’sun) and accompanied by his wife to present the cow on 01 May, in the presence of the local mayor and his wife, to the new owner. After an official presentation with the mayor in charge, Captain Kruithof walks the cow to her new stable.  (See photo)

His career this follows the regular path of ship transfers and eventually ending up on the Noordam and Westerdam. Due to the gap in his career he lacked the seniority to reach the Nieuw Amsterdam as the final ship but finished his career on the Westerdam. After 10 years of retirement he passed away 14 Dec. 1972 in the village of Tholen at the age of 70. Tholen is a town in the same region of Zeeland as Hansweert.

Sailing List:

Date:                   Function:                          Ship:                                  Wages and/or remarks.

03 Oct. 1922      Cadet Officer                   Eemdijk                               52,–

26 Mar. 1923     Cadet Officer                   Drechtdijk                         52,–

25 Dec. 1923      Temporary ashore to study for 3rd mates license

03 jun. 1924       Passed Exam for 3rd Mate

04 Jun. 1924      Temporary ashore                                                                   (without pay)

23 Jun. 1924      Cadet Officer                   Edam                                 72,–

11 Sep. 1924      In service  (on loan) of the VNS  as cadet officer (ship unknown)

23 Jan. 1925      Cadet Officer                   Ijseldijk                              72,–

15 jun. 1925       Temporary ashore

16 Jul. 1925        Cadet Officer                   Dinteldijk                          72,–

18 Jul. 1925        In service ( on loan) of the VNS as cadet officer (ship unknown)

02 Feb. 1926      Temporary ashore

08 Feb. 1926      Cadet Officer                   Ijseldijk                              72,–

18 jun. 1926       Cadet Officer                   Kinderdijk                         72,–

10 Oct. 1926      Temporary ashore due to illness (Fever)

13 Oct. 1926      Cadet Officer                   Blijdendijk                        72,–

18 Oct. 1926      Temporary ashore

22 Oct. 1926      Act. 4th. Officer                Nieuw Amsterdam   100,–

14 Nov. 1927     Act. 4th. Officer                Leerdam                           100,–

01 Jan. 1929      Wage increase                                                                 110.—

26 Jun. 1929      Temporary ashore                                                          110,–

28 Jun. 1929      4th. Officer                        Noorderdijk                     110,–

07 Jul. 1929        4th. Officer                        Bilderdijk                          110,–

17 Aug. 1929      Temporary ashore to study for 2nd mates license

01 Feb. 1930      Passed exam for 2nd Mates license

02 Feb. 1930      Temporary ashore                                                          110,–

09 Feb. 1930      4th. Officer                        Nieuw Amsterdam         110,–

01 Jan. 1930      Wage increase                                                                    115,–

28 Jun. 1930      Temporary ashore                                                            115,–

06 Jul. 1930        4th. Officer                        Edam                                        115,–

25 Aug.1930      4th. Officer                        Andijk                                       115,–

05 Sep. 1930      4th. Officer                        Damsterdijk                         115,–

16 Aug. 1930     Dismissed due to times at hand with one month wages

What did he do during this period.

19 Feb. 1935      Act. 3rd Officer                 Blommersdijk                  118,–              temporary contract

26 May. 1935    Dismissed at the end of the voyage as he was on a temporary contract

19 Aug. 1935     4th. Officer                        Burgerdijk                         92,–              temporary contract

20 Nov. 1935     4th. Officer                        Edam                                     92,–

21 Nov. 1935     Act. 3rd Officer                 Edam.                                118,–              promoted to act. 3rd officer

16 Apr. 1936      Act. 2nd Officer                 Breedijk                            116,–              promoted to act 2nd officer

08 jun. 1936       Act. 3rd Officer                 Spaarndam                      118,–    set back to act 3rd officer

10 jun. 1936       Act. 3rd Officer                 Edam                                   188,–

24 Jun. 1936      Act. 3rd Officer                 Binnendijk                        118,–

Transferred to Blommersdijk in Galveston due to illness of L.J. van der Graaf who went to Binnendijk to be taken home.

29 Jul. 1936        Act. 2nd Officer                 Blommersdijk                  166,–    At Galveston

15 Aug. 1936     Wage as 3rd officer increased                                  121,75

19 Sep. 1936      Act. 2nd Officer                 Edam                                 166,–

18 Feb. 1937      Act. 2nd Officer                 Damsterdijk                     166,–

06 Jun. 1937      Wage increase                                                                   169.75

01 Oct. 1937      According to new regulation                                   189.25

Gap in the archives, to be ascertained later.

War record, might be incomplete.

xxx.Apr. 1940    2nd Officer                         Noordam                          Until 17 May 1941 (At New York)

29 May. 1941    Promoted to 2nd Officer

31 May.1941     2nd Officer                         Edam                                 23 Mar. 1943 (at New York)

09 April – 30 April 1943. Scheduled Leave.

23 Apr. 1943      Promoted to Chief Officer

30 Apr. 1943      Chief Officer                    Leerdam                           ?????

14 Jul. 1944        Chief Officer                    Delftdijk                            xx Mar. 1945 (at New York)

15 Mar. 1945     Chief Officer                    Philip Wouwerman


05 May. 1950    Captain                             Aalsdijk                             Until 22 Mar 1952


Xx xxx.xxxxx      Captain                             Aagtedijk                          Until 21 Mar. 1953


12 May. 1953    Captain                             Dongedijk                         until 22 Jun. 1953

25 Jun. 1953      Captain                             Almdijk                              Until 04 Nov. 1953

27 Dec. 1953      Captain                             Amsteldijk                        Until 12 Aug. 1954

19 Aug. 1954     Captain                             Schiedijk                           Until 31 Dec. 1954   ill or /on leave ???? from Newport UK

11 May. 1955    Captain                             Schiedijk                           Until 18 Jun. 1955


28 Mar. 1956      Captain                             Arendsdijk                        Until 13 Jul. 1956

21 Jul. 1956        Captain                             Noordam                          Until 13 Aug. 1956

11 Aug. 1956     Captain                             Dongedik                          Until 20 Nov. 1957

06 Dec. 1957      Captain                             Dalerdijk                           Until 06 Mar. 1958

21 Mar. 1958     Captain                             Dalerdijk                           Until 08 Jan. 1959

22 Jan. 1959      Captain                             Dalerdijk                           Until 01 May.1959


17 Dec. 1959      Captain                             Dalerdijk             Until 31 Dec. 1959

14 Jan. 1960      Captain                             Kerkedyk            Until 22 Jan. 1960 Coastal voyage

17 Feb. 1960      Captain                             Dinteldijk            Until 05 Mar. 1960 Coastal voyage

18 Mar. 1960     Captain                             Kamperdyk        Until 24 Apr. 1960

16 May. 1960    Captain                             Noordam           Until 02 Aug. 1960

15 Sep. 1960      Captain                             Kerkedyk            Until XX Feb. 1961

14 Apr. 1961      Captain                             Kerkedyk            Until 10 Jul. 1961

30 Sep. 1961      Captain                             Westerdam       Until 03 Sep. 1962

06 Oct. 1962      Captain                             Westerdam       Until 26 Feb. 1963

End of records.


  • (a) E H.Kruidhof
  • (b) Holland America Line Archives as held by the Municipal Archives of the City of Rotterdam.
  • (c) NASM News 1953 (Company Magazine)
  • (d) Local Newspapers via Delpher website.
  • (e) Laurens van der Laan, HAL Historicus
  • (f) G. Meiners 4th officer HAL WWII via (e)