“Guardians of Sunda Strait: The World War II Loss of HMAS Perth and USS Houston,”
which took the Australian National Maritime Museum and Booker•Lowe Gallery four years to put together, looks back on the battle — a crucial loss for the Allies against Japanese forces — after 75 years and the implications that still resonate today. “I believe this event exemplifies the close alliance and friendship between the U.S. and Australia, and our common commitment to preserve and defend freedom,” says Nana Booker, honorary consul emeritus of Australia and owner of Booker•Lowe Gallery. “In 2018, we will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the U.S. and Australia fighting alongside one another in wars around the world — World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq.”
10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday. Continuing 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesdays; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays. March 2 through June 30. Houston Public Library, 550 McKinney. For information, call 713-880-1541 or visit bookerlowegallery.com
“Guardians of Sunda Strait: The World War II loss of HMAS Perth and USS Houston,” Australian National Maritime Museum’s exhibition honoring the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Sunda Strait, Thursday, March 2, 2017-Friday, June 30, 2017, Houston Public Library System Julia Ideson Building, 550 McKinney Street, Houston, 77002. Free to the public. www.houstonlibrary.org
“Guardians of Sunda Strait” uses more than fifty artifacts, historic documents, and photographs to tell the story of the American and Australian sister ships which sailed into the narrow Indonesian waterway near midnight on February 28th, 1942. Having received an all-clear, they were planning to head out to sea to rejoin the Allies’ Pacific fleet. Instead, they sailed headlong into a Japanese destroyer force, and both ships were sunk early on March 1st, each losing its captain and more than half its crew. The survivors endured years of torture, malnutrition, and disease in Japanese POW camps and working on the “Burma death railway” before being released in 1945 when the Japanese surrendered. Today, monuments in Sam Houston Park, and in Perth, Western Australia, pay tribute to the men who died and those who survived, and ceremonies will be held in both cities honoring the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Sunda Strait.
Please reference www.houstonlibrary.org/location.julia-ideson-building for information on specific hours and parking.
A decently obscure war battle — The Battle of Sunda Strait on February 28, 1942 — still matters a whole heck of a lot today for American-Australian relations. The exhibition,