Australian and British Z Special Unit commandos paddled folding kayaks into Japanese-occupied Singapore Harbour, blowing up and severely damaging seven ships in a daring raid at the height of World War II in the Pacific.
Held in front of the newly restored MV Krait vessel moored at the Australian National Maritime Museum, the ceremony included an address from Special Operations Commander of the Australian Army Major General Adam Finlay and special guest, Australian War Memorial Director Dr Brendan Nelson, the service honoured those who took part in a clandestine raid on ships in Japanese-occupied Singapore Harbour on 26 September 1943.
Director of the Australian National Maritime Museum Kevin Sumption PSM said it was an honour for the museum to host the commemorative service for what is one of the most incredible operations of the War in the Pacific.
"Seventy-five years on and the bravery of those who took part in this courageous and selfless operation both those men on the Krait and the brave Singaporeans still provide an inspiration to us all," he said.
The commemorative service was followed by the first screening of the museum’s new short film Dark Victory - Operation Jaywick: Singapore 1943, produced in collaboration with the National Museum of Singapore with the support of the Australian War Memorial and a grant from Saluting their Service.
The six-minute film combines archival footage, CGI and historic news reports to tell the story of Krait and the men of Operation Jaywick, and also the brave Singaporeans such as Elizabeth Choy, who were caught up in arrests made by Japanese secret police following the raid.
Sumption said visitors to the museum will also be able to see a diorama of the night of the commando raid, which has been installed in the museum’s Action Stations pavilion along with a small exhibition that highlights key moments of the operation. The film and exhibition is part of the museum’s ongoing War and Peace in the Pacific 75 program.
MV Krait is owned by the Australian War Memorial and has been on long-term loan to the Australian National Maritime Museum since 1987. The vessel has just undergone an extensive refit to return it to its 1943 configuration at the time of Operation Jaywick.
More information about the exhibition is available here.