Guardians of Sunda Strait: The WWII Loss of HMAS PERTH and USS HOUSTON


  • USS KIDD Veterans Museum

The Australian National Maritime Museum's banner display, Guardians of Sunda Strait- the WWII Loss of HMAS PERTH & USS HOUSTON, is now on exhibition at the USS KIDD Veterans Museum. Eight large banners set the stage for the night of February 28, 1942, in the narrow sea passage between the Indonesian islands of Java and Sumatra. More than 700 died that dreadful night as the two ships and their heroic crews fought gallantly against a large Japanese cruiser and destroyer force and were ultimately sunk. The banners also tell the story of the survivors and their experiences in Japanese POW camps. Many were forced to work on the 'death railway' to Burma. This exhibition exemplifies the century-old alliance between the U.S. and Australia. It has been developed as part of ANMM's 'War and Peace in the Pacific 75' commemorative program supported by the USA Bicentennial Gift Fund.