THE sinking of HMAS Canberra, an Australian naval ship, will be commemorated this week in a memorial held by the Australian Defence force.
This marks the 73rd year since the ship was sunk after the naval battle off Savo Island during World War II.
“HMAS Canberra’s loss was keenly felt as it was the largest ship ever lost at sea by the Royal Australian Navy,” said Lieutenant Command Craig Blakey, the Australian Maritime Surveillance Adviser to the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force.
“At that time, the HMAS Canberra was the only Australian warship fighting in the region, so the loss of was an event of enormous significance,” said Warrant Officer Gary Fuss, who works at the Australian High Commission.
The memorial will be held this Sunday, 9th August at 8:30am at the RAMSI Memorial opposite the Rove Police headquarters.
Chief of Staff, Naval Strategic Command, Commodore Peter Laver, will be guest speaker at the event, which will be attended by Australian High Commissioner Andrew Byrne, Solomon Island Government officials and Australian Defence staff.
The HMAS Canberra was sunk after being severely damaged during battle. Of the 819 crew on board, there were 193 casualties.
HMAS Canberra had been forming part of the force screening the American invasion force which had started landing on Guadalcanal on 7 August.