USS Coronado Makes Goodwill Visit to Jakarta, Lays Wreath on USS Houston in Sunda Strait

Story Number: NNS170918-06Release Date: 9/18/2017 9:56:00 AM
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By Lt. Clyde Shavers, Destroyer Squadron 7 Public Affairs

JAKARTA (NNS) -- The Littoral Combat Ship USS Coronado (LCS 4) made a goodwill visit to Jakarta, Indonesia Sept. 14-16 to engage with civic leaders, the diplomatic community, and Navy counterparts from the Indonesian Navy (TNI-AL).

During the visit the crew hosted a shipboard reception attended by U.S. Ambassador Joseph Donovan and senior members of the Indonesian government and military.

After departing Jakarta the crew of USS Coronado to laid a wreath in remembrance to the fallen Sailors of the former USS Houston (CA 30) who perished in the World War II Battle of the Sunda Strait 75 years ago in waters near West Java.

"It is an honor to visit Jakarta to engage with our U.S. Ambassador, our Navy counterparts and then have an opportunity to remember the sacrifices of the brave Sailors aboard USS Houston and HMAS Perth," said Cmdr. Douglas Meagher, commanding officer of Coronado. "We thank our Indonesian partners for helping us preserve this important site."

In the early morning of March 1, 1942, the cruisers USS Houston and HMAS Perth were sunk by the Japanese Imperial Navy in the Sunda Strait, about 60 nautical miles from Jakarta, Indonesia. During the battle, in which both ships fought to the last of their fuel and ammunition, 696 U.S. Sailors and Marines aboard Houston and 375 Australian sailors aboard Perth, including the captains of both ships, lost their lives. The wrecks remain their final resting places as war graves beneath the sea.

"The heroism exhibited by the Sailors aboard USS Houston and HMAS Perth is inspiring, and their ultimate sacrifice has not been forgotten," said Capt. Lex Walker, commodore of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 7. "As the U.S. Navy continues to operate and work with partner nations in the region, the site serves as an important symbol of remembrance and lasting tribute to those who served during World War II."

USS Coronado continues to operate in the Indo-Asia-Pacific engaging with navies across the region in exercises such as Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) with 9 partner nations, Exercise Pacific Griffin with Singapore, Maritime Training Activity (MTA) in Malaysia and the Philippines, and Naval Engagement Activity (NEA) in Vietnam.

Task Force 73 and DESRON 7 staff conduct advanced planning, organize resources and directly support the execution of maritime exercises such as Pacific Partnership, the bilateral CARAT series, NEA with Vietnam, and the multilateral Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training (SEACAT) with Bangladesh, Brunei, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.

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170916-N-GR361-055 JAVA SEA (Sep. 16, 2017) Chief Boatswain's Mate William Garcia (left) and Boatswain's Mate 2nd Class Paul Coombs conduct a wreath laying ceremony aboard the littoral combat ship USS Coronado (LCS 4) at the site of the wreckage of USS Houston (CA 30) and Australian ship HMAS Perth (D29), sunk in 1942 during World War II. Coronado is on a rotational deployment in U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility, patrolling the region's littorals and working hull-to-hull with partner navies to provide 7th Fleet with the flexible capabilities it needs now and in the future. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kaleb R. Staples/Released)
September 16, 2017
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