USS FRANK CABLE, At Sea (NNS) -- Sailors and Military Sealift Command (MSC) civilian mariners assigned to the submarine tender USS Frank Cable (AS 40), along with naval officers from Australia and Indonesia, paid their respects to the crews of USS Houston (CA 30) and HMAS Perth (D 29) during a wreath laying ceremony Oct. 14, at the site of the sunken ships.
In the early morning of March 1, 1942, the cruisers Houston and Perth were sunk by the Japanese Imperial Navy during the Battle of Sunda Strait. During the battle, 696 U.S. Sailors aboard Houston and 375 Australian Sailors aboard Perth, including the captains of both ships, lost their lives.
"We feel it's an honor to take part in this ceremony together," said Royal Australian Navy Capt. Katja Bizilj. "We fought together and ultimately the crews of both ships paid the ultimate sacrifice together in the Indonesian territory; so, it's a great honor to pay respects to their sacrifice together."
Indonesian Navy Chief of Naval Staff, Adm. Marsetio, authorized Indonesian Navy vessels and senior officers to participate in the wreath laying ceremony.
"Every navy has their own tradition in how they honor their heroes who have lost their lives at sea," said Indonesian Navy Capt. Judijanto. "This was the first time I've experienced a ceremony like this and because these ships rest in our territorial waters, it was very special for us to honor and remember the crews of these ships with the other nations."
During the ceremony, the crew of Frank Cable manned the rails in their dress white uniforms as salutes were rendered and wreaths were lowered from the aft quarterdeck into the water above the wreckage of each ship.
Frank Cable conducts maintenance and support on submarines and surface vessels deployed in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility and is currently on a regularly scheduled underway period.
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