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The Military History Society of NSW Presents: Sunk Warships, 1942: HMAS Perth & USS Houston
Sat 2 Mar, 2019, 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Sydney, NSW 2000 Australia + Google Map
A lecture by Dr Natali Pearson, Sat 2 March 2019
The lightening advance of Japanese forces south to the Netherlands East Indies (Indonesia) in 1942 spelt doom for two proud warships of the Allied navies.
Australia’s HMAS Perth and America’s USS Houston were attacked by Japanese destroyers and tragically sent to the bottom of the Sunda Strait separating Sumatra from Java.
In the decades since, these underwater wrecks have been the subject of expeditions, illegal salvaging and other cultural impacts, which have grown in scale over recent years.
Taking the history of salvaged bells from HMAS Perth and USS Houston as a starting point, Dr Pearson will examine the meaning of protection and preservation in the case of underwater shipwrecks.
Should they be left undisturbed or is loss inevitable? Or should there be judicious intervention to remove symbolic objects from threatened warship wrecks?
Dr Natali Pearson is Deputy Director at the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre at the University of Sydney. Her research focuses on the protection, management and interpretation of underwater cultural heritage in Southeast Asia.