WWII Navy ship wrecks disappeared from Java seabedto


Saw an Indonesian NM: Something is happening.

110 Jawa Sea Western Part – North of Panjang Island
IDNM. 12 / 133 to 134 - 2015 Deleted
Insert Prohibited Area Historical Wreck Vessel at position as follows :

  1. 05° 51’ 34.721” S – 106° 07’ 30.021” E ( HMS. Perth )
  2. 05° 54’ 05.931” S – 106° 08’ 40.792” E ( USS. Houston )
    ID Chart Affected : 66,68,78,365
    Source : Letter Foreign Ministry Republic of Indonesia, Directorate General USA
    and Europe Nr 15442 / BK / 08 / 2017 / 35, 18 Agustus 2017


Only two ships are mentioned. Maybe because they lie in 34 m water depth and are diver tourist attractions. A lot already has been stolen. The position of the USS Houston is unclear. On the internet I found another wreck position: 05° 48" 27" S 106° 07’ 33" E


Another map gives totally different positions of both wrecks.

This statement of a government official playing hardball gives little hope for the future.

Chief of Indonesia’s Navy Information Office, Colonel Gig Jonias Mozes Sipasulta, confirmed Indonesia’s view that the Dutch, British and US governments should have done more to protect the wrecks:
The Indonesian navy cannot monitor all areas all the time. If they ask why the ships are missing, I’m going to ask them back, why didn’t they guard the ships?


Agree it is bolting stable doors and more of a face saving exercise by what is an inherently corrupt part of the world.

More on the Houston and related vessels here:



Corrupt and all the way up I am afraid. I foresee for the future a probable total loss of all wrecks. Matter of time.

This plaque was attached to what remained of Hr. Ms. De Ruyter and probably already looted and melted down to nice Chinese objects.

Lot of pictures, including bottom sweeps.


Every year on 4 May the entire nation commemorates with two minutes of silence at 20.00 hours all those that have died during the German occupation and those who paid with their lives in the liberation of our country such as the Americans and Canadians. We were liberated at 5 May and probably for cost reasons this is only celebrated every 5 years, typical Dutch. We still honor our liberators and those who have fallen in the battle.


This is the American cemetery at Margraten in the south of our country.

The Dutch merchant navy made by far the largest contribution to the war effort. Of the 840 Dutch flagged ships 400 were sunk taking with them 3500 lives out of the total number of 18.000 seamen. I am afraid that this fact is hardly recognized by the country, it is never mentioned and we are not the boasting types.

I still remember the horror stories of old captains who had sailed on ships in the Murmansk convoys ploughing through fields of small lights burning on the Mae West life vests of sailors who were torpedoed up front in the convoy. Stopping was just impossible, the convoy had to go on.


I visited the site of the wreck of HMAS PERTH to pay our respects when I was a junior officer in an RAN frigate in the early 1970s. We located her easily from records and local fishermen clustered over the site. We scanned the wreck with our fairly rudimentary bottom classification sonar (used to indentify bottomed subs) and it painted out a reasonable picture of the ship on her side.

It was close to the shore as per the lat long in the Indon notice. The RAN was concerned at that stage that looting was taking place.


And how many Asians are there in the world? Someone reading about Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, Eric Schneiderman, Charlie Rose, Roy Moore, Scott Pruitt, Bill Clinton, etc., might think we are a nation of out-of-control sexual degenerates. Oops, I don’t know why I put Scott Pruitt in the list.


It doesn’t happen only in S.E.Asia:


No, that is true. However, there is somewhat of a difference as these chaps were small scale scavengers. In the Java Sea it was plundering on an industrial scale.

What I donot understand is how it was possible that they could exercise undetected there handiwork for five years, being on and off on the same location under the direct supervision of Dover Port Control, who were literally almost at a stone’s throw away. Nobody during that period was suspicious and they never sent out a coast guard boat to investigate, Russian spy ship? Smart cookies, boy o boy…

PS - I like those mugshots, in this country it is not done. Infringement of a person’s privacy and all that crap. Shame. Criminals loose there right on privacy, it is as simple as that


Dutchie, I realise I am very late to the party but I have just today come upon this thread, and while I appreciate the sentiments of this thread - having been directly involved in the discovery and first dives on all the missing warships in the Java sea, I do not appreciate you using my photo (in your very first post) of the name plate of USS Perch with my copyright imprint removed. :frowning:

So, I cordially ask you to either remove the image, or put under Image 'Copyright Kevin Denlay, used with permission".

Thanks in Advance.


Oh, and by the way, below are the exact location of HMAS Perth and USS Houston wrecks.

Having dived both with two different operators, and given their vicinity to land, they are no secret to anyone who wants to know, so I do not feel posting their exact location (for the historical record) is any sin. Besides there is not much left of Perth now anyway.


Oh and I just gotta ask Evanjonesinbatam re your below;

“Plundering wrecks may now be done by Asians, but the expats pioneered the business. I knew a group of Singapore based expats, who in the 80s, blew the props off the Royal Navy battleships Prince of and Impulse, both sunk off Trengganu by the Japanese in WW2;…”

Who are Prince and Impulse? You must mean HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse, no?

And if so you are incorrect, only one prop was missing from Repulse at the time you mention, having been salvaged in the 80’s. All other three where there till a few years ago. As for PoW, one prop and a length of shaft went ‘missing’ (i.e. broke away) during the action from the first and ONLY torp hit to port. The other three shafts where there also until a few years ago, as can be seen in our survey report and analyses paper here (for those so interested you will have to cut and past the link, it will not open by clicking on it):



But now all shafts and props are gone from both wrecks!

Not sure how many of you have seen this very clear video, as salvage happened some years ago now, but…if you haven’t seen it’s a must see, but a sad sight. HMS Prince of Wales unfortunately.

Way, way too late for any more exterior surveys now!!


Your objection is duly noted. I am certainly not in the habit of infringement of copyright, I donot know where I got the picture from, probably one of these ship wreck sites. I only have an iPad and have no photoshop capabilities. Maybe it was taken from your picture with the American flag but the colouring and contrast are different what could indicate the use of photoshopping software if it came from that picture at all.

The topic is closed and therefore I don’t have permission to delete the picture. I have to submit a flag for the moderator’s attention together with reasoning in order to rectify this. Keep you informed.


In the mean time the offending photo has been removed.


Those links can only be opened from the actual computer where the files reside.


**Well that’s odd, cut and paste and they opened on any computer a day or so ago. as I do not have them hosted on mine.

Anyway go here then, and open by clicking on links down side of page, specifically Overview Expedition ‘Job 74’ and Deatrh of a Battlship.



That may be because the files reside on your computer??


Hopefully rectified above now and accessible via a different path.

But still odd (to me) why cut and paste no longer works.

Oh well, stranger things have happened.


Computers are notorious for doing odd things (which is not really fair as it’s really the programmers) – but the “file:///C:” explicitly specifies that the desired resource is a file that exists on the user’s C drive.


Yes “cut-n-past” works, but you have to cut and past only the part that is searchable.
I found both pdf you referred to by using the part that has nothing to do with your computer:
got me to this site:
and this one:
got me to this site: