The Nedlands Yacht Club Annual HMAS Perth Regatta

CMDR Nagle, the new Captain of HMAS Perth(III) chatting with LCDR Chapman, also from the Perth, and Jim O’Neill the project leader for the proposed HMAS Perth(I) memorial.
Colin Bancroft, son of the late ‘Blood’ Bancroft one of the few survivors of the HMAS Perth(I) pointing out his father on the Roll of Honour produced by the Nedlands Yacht Club.
From the left, Peter Javis, President of the HMAS Perth(I) National Association (WA), LCDR Chapman and CMDR Nagle of HMAS Perth(III), Jim O’Neil of the Memorial Foundation and Mike Bailey, Chairman of the Memorial Foundation.
Gerry Westenberg with his model of the HMAS Perth(I)
From the left, Mike Bailey from the Foundation, Captain Gary Lawton and Peter Javis from the Foundation.
From the left, Captain Lawton, John Waller, grandson of the late Captain Waller of the HMAS Perth(I) and CMDR Nagle, Captain of HMAS Perth(III)
David Gainer, the US Consul General for WA addresses the attendees for the HMAS Perth regatta held at the Nedlands Yacht club
Peter Javis in his capacity as the President of the HMAS Perth National Association reads the Ode
Captain Lawton inspects the Guard of Honour put on by the Australian Naval Cadets
A minutes silence in acknowledgement for those lost from the HMAS Perth(I) and the USS Houston at the Battle of Sunda Strait, March 1942

HMAS Perth (I) Exhibition

 HMAS Perth(I) Exhibition

 HMAS Perth(I) Exhibition to be held in the City of Perth Town Hall under croft which be open to the public on the 28th of Feb., 2nd, 3rd, and 4th of March – Times 10.00am to 4:00pm to commemorate the loss of the Perth(I) and USS Houston at the Battle of Sunda Strait in 1942. 

The HMAS Perth(I) Memorial Foundation with the help of the City of Perth are putting on this exhibition to promote the proposal of building a memorial to those lost during the battle, those who died in captivity and those who returned after the war.

 The following will be the main attractions….

  • A model of the proposed memorial to be built on Riverside Road, East Fremantle.
  • Artefacts and paintings of the Perth (I) provided by the City of Perth and the HMAS Stirling museum.
  • Eight banners describing the Battle of Sunda Strait.
  • Large scale models of all five ships of the ABDA force that were sunk by the Japanese during this period including the HMAS Perth(I)  and the USS Huston.
  • Naval book display by Boffins book shop.





The Foundation receives a model of the proposed HMAS Perth (I) Memorial.

The Chairman of the Foundation, Mike Bailey receives the model of the Memorial from the builder, Gerry Westenberg. Gerry built the model from plans provided by the designers, Smiths Sculptures.
Model builder Gerry Westenberg with the Chairman Mike Bailey on the left and Project Leader Jim O’Neill on the right.
Committee members admiring the model of the proposed memorial.

The Church Service to Commemorate those Lost on the HMAS Perth (I) and the USS USS Houston

On Sunday the 24th of February, Church of St John the Evangelist in Fremantle held the annual memorial service to commemorate to loss of the Australian light cruiser HMAS Perth(I) and the United States Navy heavy cruiser USS Huston during the battle of Sunda Straight off the coast of Indonesia in March 1942.  There was heavy loss of life as a result of the sea action and many more were lost as POWs at the hands of the Japanese.

The Church service was lead by the Rector of St Johns, Patrick King and Chaplain Franco Siani, RAN from HMAS Stirling.  In attendance were relatives from the ill fated Perth, representatives of military organisations including the Consul General of the United States, David Gainer, Naval associations including The Navy League of Australia, the Lord Mayor of the City of Fremantle, Dr Brad Petitt, Commanding Officer of HMAS Stirling, Captain Ainsley Morethorpe CSN RAN, RSLWA and members of the United States Navy on secondment to Australia.

In a moving service, the guests were told of the suffering and gallantry of those who made the ultimate sacrifice against overwhelming odds in those dark days of 1942 when the Japanese seemed unstoppable. The Australian Navy Cadets from T.S Perth were in attendance forming a guard of honour at the front of the church and later accompanying the wreath layers as they paid tribute to the officers and men from the Perth (I) and the Huston.  The collection was done in the traditional way by passing around upturned Navy headress.

The emotion of the day was heightened by the playing of “Tapps” and the Last Post by a bugler from the Royal Australian Navy.  Following the service morning tea was served which allowed time for fellowship and stories of recollection. 

Foundation Launch Nedlands Yacht Club

On the 16th of February the Nedlands Yacht Club, as part of their annual HMAS Perth (I) memorial Regatta, hosted the launch of the HMAS Perth (I) Memorial Foundation Inc.  In front of a large number of guests, the Foundation was formally launched by the Chair of the Foundation, Captain Angela Bond RAN and Commodore Malcolm Wise OAM. 

Speakers included Mr Barry Court AM, Patron of the yacht club, Captain Michael Donnelly USN Rtd, Captain Ainsley Morethorpe RAN, and Colin Bancroft, son of Arthur Bancroft a survivor of the Perth.



Foundation Launch

The Committee is aiming to undertake a formal launch in conjunction with the 60th HMAS Perth Memorial Regatta, at the Nedlands Yacht Club, on 16th February 2020. This will signify the public commencement of fundraising activities.

As a Committee, we are committed to this project to ensure that the fate of the ship’s company of HMAS Perth (I) is remembered and that their families and the public have a place to visit and remember.