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Jun 06, 2017 10:02 AM EDT

Illegal metal salvagers pillaged Australia's famous World War II warship, HMAS Perth. Australian National Maritime Museum director, Kevin Sumption, stated that this is not what they were hoping to find.

One of Australia's most treasured World War II warship, HMAS Perth, has been illegally salvaged for metal. Maritime archaeologists claim that HMAS Perth devastated the war grave of more than 300 sailors.

An Australian-Indonesian expedition conducted a dive on May 14 to 17 on HMAS Perth's wreck, which sank in 1942 following a battle against the Japanese Navy. Nonetheless, Sumption stated that it is with great regret that their joint maritime archaeologist diving team has discovered sections of the World War II warship are missing. Reports are claiming that only approximately 40 percent of the HMAS Perth remains, The Guardian reported.

Director Sumption also said that some damage of the HMAS Perth is a result of the Japanese torpedo strikes that sank the warship in 1942. But, the HMAS Perth warship also has signs of salvage, with some salvage equipment are still visible around the site, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.

Nonetheless, sunken ships scraps are worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, which makes the illegal salvage operations a valuable proposition. Wherein, five shipwrecks in the Java Sea that were intact in 2002 were likely salvaged in November 2016.

In spite of that, the commercial salvaging of war wrecks has upset veterans like the 97-year-old Frank McGovern. McGovern is the gunner who escaped the battle that sank Australia's famous World War II warship. McGovern said that there were two of them left out of the 682 on board the HMAS Perth.

McGovern also stated that they have learned through the years that some damage had been done to the HMAS Perth. They are hoping now that by means of negotiations with the Indonesian authorities, something might be done about Australia's famous World War II warship.

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Follows HMAS Perth Warship, HMAS Perth, Illegal metal salvagers, Australia’s famous World War II warship, World War II warship, Australia Warship, Sunken Warships
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