World War II crews from the HMAS Perth and USS Houston (CA-30) will be honored on both sides of the globe and in respect of the 69th anniversary of the two cruisers’ final battle.
In Perth – Australia, the HMAS Perth Survivors Association, the Naval Association of Australia (Fremantle sub-section) and Nedlands Yacht Club will be hosting the 51st annual HMAS Perth Memorial Regatta on Sunday 20 February 2011 on the Swan River foreshore in Perth – Australia.
Halfway around the world in Houston – Texas, the USS Houston (CA-30) Survivors Association and the Next Generations will hold their 16th annual survivors’ reunion from Thursday 3 March to Saturday 5 March 2011.
The WWII veterans who fought in the Battle of the Sunda Strait on 1 March 1942 in the Java Sea are now in their nineties. There are currently four living HMAS Perth survivors in Western Australia and 17 living USS Houston (CA-30) survivors. In both America and Australia, the adult descendants of the survivors honor their parents, grandparents and great-grandparents by organizing annual events.
The 51st annual HMAS Perth Memorial Regatta consists of two concurrent events – a memorial and a regatta. The event opens on Sunday 20 February at 1 PM (Australia – Western Standard Time) with The Pipes and Drums of the Fremantle Sailing Club and the Naval Cadet Guard of Honour. Western Australian HMAS Perth survivors Arthur Bancroft, Norm Fuller, Freddy Skeels and Robby Roberts will be in attendance and recognized for their service.
Following the tributes and guest speakers, the families will retire
for a private tea and reunion. The regatta will commence upon the
closing of the public presentation.
Beginning on Thursday 3 March 2011, a few days after the HMAS Perth Regatta, the USS Houston (CA-30) Survivors Association and the Next Generations will host a three day reunion for the next-of-kin of the crewmen, their families and friends. There will be a special presentation by USS Houston survivor’s son – Jerry Ranger and author
Jim Hornfischer about their dive observation of the USS Houston at her
place of rest.
On Saturday 5 March at 2 PM (US – Central Standard Time), an annual memorial service will be held at the USS Houston Monument in Sam Houston Park. During the service, representatives of the allied nations whose naval forces banded together in early 1942 in an attempt to defend Java (Indonesia) from Japanese invasion—Americans, British, Dutch, and Australians— will remember the American sailors and Marines of USS HOUSTON (CA-30) who perished in battle, or were later as POWS of the Japanese.
Photos available upon request.
Phone number available upon request.