Commemorative coins to be issued for 60th anniversary - Battle of Sunda Strait (28 February - 1 March 1942)


Senator Ian Campbell, Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer, said "These beautiful coins are a fitting commemoration of this epic battle and serve to honour those brave crew members of both the Perth and the Houston, some of whom are still with us today, who fought valiantly against overwhelming odds".

The coins are part of the bi-annual $5 face value series commemorating Australian history, culture and ideas. There are two coins, one, an aluminium bronze proof finish coin depicts the forward sections of the Perth and the Houston, and retails for AUD$35.00. It is housed in a jewellery style presentation case with an attractive outer box and includes an Authenticity Certificate signed by the Controller of the Mint.

The other coin has an uncirculated finish and features an image of the It has an aluminium bronze centre surrounded by a stainless steel ring and comes in a credit card sized plastic holder inside a pictorial sleeve. Both coins were designed by well-known Mint Designer Vladimir Gottwald.

This battle occurred sixty years ago. The two Allied warships, cruisers HMAS Perth and USS Houston, after escaping from the Battle of the Java Sea, were seeking safe passage through Sunda Strait, when they encountered an enemy invasion fleet of some 80 odd vessels. HMAS Perth and USS Houston, though surrounded, fought valiantly until out of ammunition and severely damaged, were sunk within 20 minutes of one another in the early hours of I March 1942.

In the battle there were heavy losses from Perth with 350 naval personnel, including Captain 'Hec' Waller and three civilians, out of the ship's original complement of 681 crew, losing their lives. Four died ashore and another 106 died in captivity leaving only 214 personnel to be repatriated to Australia after enduring more than three years of privation and suffering as prisoners of war.

Similarly the Houston suffered severe loss of life in the part she played in this one sided battle. Of her crew, numbering 1065 on board at the commencement of the battle, just 368 survived the tragic sinking to become prisoners of war with only 288 surviving the horrors of the infamous Burma Railway.

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Sunda $5 Proof Coin Sunda $5 Proof Coin
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Sunda $5 Proof Coin in Packaging Sunda $5 Proof Coin in Packaging
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Sunda $5 Uncirculated Coin Sunda $5 Uncirculated Coin
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Sunda $5 Uncirculated Coin in Perth Packaging Sunda $5 Uncirculated Coin in Perth Packaging

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Sunda $5 Uncirculated Coin in Houston Packaging Sunda $5 Uncirculated Coin in Houston Packaging

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