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The Hon Dan Tehan MP
Minister for Veterans' Affairs
Minister for Defence Personnel
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Cyber Security
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC

19 November 2016

75th anniversary of the sinking of HMAS Sydney

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Dan Tehan said Australia remembered the service and sacrifice of the 645 crew of HMAS Sydney that sunk 75 years ago today.

HMAS Sydney and the German raider Kormoran clashed off the West Australian coast resulting in the loss of more than 720 men, including all crew members aboard Sydney, on 19 November 1941.

There were no witnesses to the Sydney sinking but its wreck was found in 2008 a few hundred kilometres off Carnarvon, and about 20kms from the wreck of the Kormoran.

Mr Tehan said the tragic loss of Sydney and her crew was felt around the country and was a tremendous blow to the Royal Australian Navy.

“The loss of HMAS Sydney’s crew accounted for more than a third of the Royal Australian Navy’s casualties during World War II,” Mr Tehan said.

“The loss of Sydney and her crew had a major impact on the people of Australia because the ship’s destruction was so complete — without a single Australian survivor — and because the circumstances of her loss were clouded in mystery.

“Today we remember the victims of this tragedy and all of the Australian servicemen and women who have lost their lives in the service of our country.”

Media enquiries:

Minister Tehan’s Office: Byron Vale, 0428 262 894
Department of Veterans’ Affairs Media: 02 6289 6203

Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) can be reached 24 hours a day across Australia for crisis support and free confidential counselling. Phone 1800 011 046 (international: +61 8 8241 4546). VVCS is a service founded by Vietnam veterans.