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Australia's worst wartime naval disaster was remembered on Wednesday on the 75th anniversary of the sinking of HMAS Canberra.
Canberra went down near Savo Island in the Solomon Islands on August 9, 1942, with the loss of 84 men, including the captain. A further 109 were wounded.
At the site of the sinking, where Canberra lies 700m below the surface, wreaths were dropped from HMAS Success by the Solomon Islands Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare, and Governor-General Sir Frank Kabui, naval personnel from Australia, New Zealand and the United States, as well as diplomats, including New Zealand High Commissioner Don Higgins. Australia’s oldest veteran of the Guadalcanal battle, Bill Quinn (94), who served on HMAS Australia, also put a wreath into the water.
Sailors from Success then put into the water 84 small wooden crosses — one for each life lost. The crosses were made by Australian schoolchildren.
The ceremony marked the end of the 75th anniversary commemorations of the Battle of Guadalcanal from August 1942 to February 1943.