Battle of Coral
Sea Remembered by Veterans, U.S. Navy and Royal Australian Navy In
Communication Specialist 3rd Class Christopher Farrington, USS
Halsey Public Affairs
Posted: May 7, 2012
– More than 50 U.S. Navy Sailors and
distinguished guests attended the Australian-American Association
70th anniversary of the Battle of Coral Sea commemoration ceremony
at Newstead Park in Brisbane, Australia, May 5.
Throughout the service, speakers paid
tribute to the special connection between the two countries and the
service members who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of their
US Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano delivered a
speech and a message from US President Barack Obama before laying a
wreath at the foot of the Australian American War memorial.
"The United States has no stronger ally than Australia," she said.
"Aussies and Americans have fought together and given lives together
at every single major conflict over the last 100 years."
Also in attendance was Harry Frey, a former sailor who served aboard
USS Lexington (CV-2) during the Battle of Coral Sea.
“It was great to see so many people gathered together in honor of
the men and women who fought during the Battle of Coral Sea,” said
Lexington was sunk during the Battle of Coral Sea when the ship was
damaged and set on fire by Imperial Japanese torpedo-bombers. Frey
is one of few survivors who made it to safety.
"It could've been me, I was just lucky," said Frey. “Right after we
came back up from the sick bay to help the doctors, it blew up.”
"I went back up on the flight deck and the guys were abandoning
ship. When they were going over the side I kept saying we are going
to make it, they are going to salvage us”.
"All of a sudden the ship dropped 10 degrees on the port side and I
thought she was going to roll then, so we decided it was time to
For Yeoman 2nd Class Robert Raynor, a Sailor assigned to the
guided-missile destroyer USS Halsey (DDG 97), being able to pay
respects to the veterans who fought for their country during World
War II was a humbling experience.
“I’ve read about the Battle of Coral Sea quite a few times, but
being able to hear about it in person from people that were their
was an amazing experience.”
Distinguished visitors also laid wreaths at the foot of the war
memorial at Newstead Park.
The ceremony included a flyover by two World War II aircraft from
each country, a Wirraway and a PT-6 Texan.