The HMAS Perth, upon which Ray Parkin served and some 468 souls were lost, appears to be the target of salvagers. A ‘Save Perth Foundation’ has been formed, and a petition put forward to have the Perth listed as an official war grave.
An extract from the petition, created by Michelle Todd whose great-grandfather served on the Perth, is shown below.
The HMAS Perth was sunk by the Imperial Japanese Navy on March 1, 1942 in the Sunda Strait, between Sumatra and Java. Of the Perth’s company of 686, only 218 were repatriated.
The HMAS Perth is currently unprotected as an “official war grave”. The Governments of Australia and Indonesia are yet to ratify the UNESCO Convention on Underwater Cultural Heritage (this treaty would oblige both countries to protect such sites).
Since September 2013, scuba divers who have visited the site have made official reports relating to large-scale damage to the HMAS Perth including the sighting a large floating salvage crane.
Media reports state contact has been made with the Australian Embassy in Jakarta as well as the Department of Defence. Furthermore, a report sighted by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), created by the Department of Defence outlines the strong possibility of human remains still existing (potentially including those of my Great Grandfather, Mechanician Robert Naismith 5925, and his comrades).
Please sign this petition to support the HMAS Perth being listed as an official War Grave and to stop the salvaging and further desecration of not only the HMAS Perth, but other warships known to be in foreign territorial waters.