2017 media releases

Museum marks 75th anniversary of the

Battle of the Coral Sea with special ceremony and film

Seventy five years after 1622 men lost their lives in the World War II Battle of the Coral Sea the Australian National Maritime Museum will remember this tragedy in a special memorial service on Saturday 6 May at 11.30am.

Filming, photography opportunity
Battle of the Coral Sea Commemorative Service - Saturday 6 May 2017 at 11.30am
at the Australia National Maritime Museum, Darling Harbour

Seventy five years after 1622 men lost their lives in the World War II Battle of the Coral Sea the Australian National Maritime Museum will remember this tragedy in a special memorial service on Saturday 6 May at 11.30am.  

The event will also feature the Australian premier of a new eight minute film about the battle following its launch in the USA on 4 May at a commemorative dinner attended by the President of the USA, Donald Trump and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

The Battle of the Coral Sea began on 4 May 1942 between the combined United States and Royal Australian naval and air forces and the Imperial Japanese Navy. The four day battle was the world’s first sea battle between aircraft carriers and was fought from the air as the allied forces endeavoured to prevent the Japanese from invading Port Moresby, New Guinea. While the invasion was thwarted, both the Allies and the Japanese claimed victory. The loss, however, to both sides was great with eight ships sunk, 161 aircraft destroyed and 1622 men killed.

Presented in conjunction with the Naval Officer’s Club, the memorial service will be hosted by author Mike Carlton and will recognise the enduring Australian-US alliance as well as the close friendship Australia and Japan now share. Special guests Rear Admiral Stuart Mayer CSC & Bar, Commander of the Australian Fleet, Ms Linda Daetwyler, US Country Consular Coordinator and Mr Keizo Takewaka, Japanese Consul General of Sydney will lay wreaths to acknowledge all the servicemen who tragically lost their lives.

Following the ceremony the museum will present the Australian premier of Clash of the Carriers, an eight minute film developed by the museum about the Battle of the Coral Sea which will become a permanent addition to the museum’s Action Stations experience, exploring the history of the Royal Australian Navy. The film will be first screened at a special commemorative dinner in the USA attended by 800 VIPs including the President of the United States and the Australian Prime Minister.

Kevin Sumption, museum director said, “The Australian National Maritime Museum is proud to be recognising the friendship that Australia, the USA and Japan now share through this special service and remember through the new film all the brave servicemen who were lost.

Event timings for media

11.30 am         Commemorative service starts
12.00 noon      Wreath laying
12.45 pm         Australian Premier of Battle of the Coral Sea film


Media note

Video of recorded interviews with Australian Battle of the Coral Sea Veterans, shown at the New York event, are available on request.Media contact – Shirani Aththas (02) 9298 3642; 0418 448 690; saththas@anmm.gov.au