Ocean Duty Day in Indonesia Date in the current year: January 15, 2024

Ocean Duty Day in Indonesia Ocean Duty Day (Hari Dharma Samudera), also known as Day of the Sea and Ocean Event (Hari Peristiwa Laut dan Samudera), is an Indonesian remembrance day observed on January 15. It is designed to honor the memory of those who died in various battles at sea.

Ocean Duty Day marks the anniversary of the Battle of Arafura Sea, also known as the Battle near Vlakke Howek, that took place on January 15, 1962. It was a naval battle between Indonesia and the Netherlands that occurred near the shores of Western New Guinea.

The Netherlands claimed sovereignty over New Guinea through its protection over Sultanate of Tidore in 1660. Following the collapse of colonial system after World War II, a national parliament was elected in Western New Guinea in 1961, with plans to announce independence in 1970.

However, Sukarno wanted to annex Wester New Guinea and make it part of Indonesia. In January 1962, he sent three ships to drop off soldiers in Kaimana for sabotage and to provoke a rebellion against the Dutch government. However, the Dutch had anticipated this and intercepted Indonesian ships. One of the three ships sunk, the second hit a reef and the third was disabled by shooting. During the Battle of Arafura Sea, 21 Indonesians (including commodore Yos Sudarso) died and 53 were captured by the Dutch.

The anniversary of the Battle of Arafura Sea is celebrated in Indonesia as Ocean Duty Day. It commemorates the services and sacrifices of those who died in this battle and other naval engagements.

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