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Australian $5 Coins

2002 Battle of Sunda Strait Proof $5

Aluminum Bronze

This proof coin is a tribute to the men who served on USS Houston and HMAS Perth and who showed outstanding courage in the face of overwhelming odds during the battle, and in the POW camps that followed

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II features on the obverse.

Royal Australian Mint Photo

Commemorating the 60th Anniversary of the Battle of Sunda Strait, the coin depicts the two allied cruisers that were ultimately sunk within 20 minutes of one another.
The international mintage of this coin was limited to just 15,000, with just over 10,000 actually made.
The coin comes fully encapsulated and in an attractive box with a numbered certificate of authenticity.

This battle took place on the night of 28 February and 1 March 1942 in Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra in the Indonesian Archipelago, as USS Houston and HMAS Perth were endeavoring to reach safer waters in the Indian Ocean. The two ships unexpectedly sailed into the covering force of a Japanese Invasion Fleet, consisting of nearly one dozen destroyers, three cruisers, and numerous torpedo boats and mine sweepers. Both the Houston and the Perth fired aggressively at the attacking Japanese ships from close range. Out-numbered and out-gunned, and the Perth eventually out of ammunition, they were no match for the enemy forces that completely surrounded them. Heavy losses of crew were suffered by both USS Houston and HMAS Perth. Of the Houston's 1,065 crew only 368 survived to suffer as prisoners of war on the infamous Burma Railway. Just 328 of the Perth's crew of 681 escaped the sinking. Four died ashore and 324 became prisoners of war. A further 105 died in captivity and 214 men were repatriated at the end of the war.

Further Reading

HMAS Perth

USS Houston

Nominal Specifications
Denomination: $5
Metal: Aluminium Bronze
Mass: 28.0 grams
Diameter: 38.74 mm
Reverse: Wojciech Pietranik
Obverse: Raphael Maklouf