|Battle of the Java Sea|
Battle of Sunda Strait (read full article about this battle Here)
Perth and Houston were at Tanjung Priok on February 28 when they received orders to sail through Sunda Strait to Tjilatjap. Materiel was running short in Java, and neither was able to rearm or fully refuel. Departing at 21:00 on February 28 for the Sunda Strait, by chance they encountered the main Japanese invasion fleet for West Java in Bantam Bay. The Allied ships were engaged by at least three cruisers and several destroyers. In a ferocious night action that ended after midnight on March 1, Perth and Houston were sunk. A Japanese minesweeper and a troop transport were sunk by friendly fire, while three other transports were damaged and had to be beached.
Java Sea (read full article about this battle Here)
After emergency repairs the badly damaged Exeter left for Ceylon; she departed Surabaya at dusk on February 28 and limped towards Sunda Strait, escorted by Encounter and Pope. However all three ships were intercepted and sunk by the Japanese heavy cruisers Nachi and Haguro on the morning of March 1.
The 4 U.S destroyers of DesRon58, Edwards, Ford, Alden and Jones, were also at Surabaya; they left at nightfall February 28 for Australia. After a brief encounter with a Japanese destroyer in the Bali Strait, which they were able to evade, they reached Fremantle safely on March 4.
A further two American, and one Dutch destroyer were sunk as they attempted to escape to Australia. The main ABDA naval force had been almost totally destroyed: 10 ships and approximately 2,173 sailors had been lost. The Battle of the Java Sea ended significant Allied naval operations in South-East Asia in 1942, and Japanese land forces invaded Java on February 28. The U.S. and Royal Air Force then started to retreat to Australia. Dutch troops aided by British remnants fought fiercely for a week. In the campaign the Japanese executed many allied POWs and sympathizing Indonesians. Despite their logistical problems the decisive factors in Japan's favor seem to have been air power. Eventually the Japanese won this battle of attrition and ABDA forces surrendered on March 9.