The Royal Australian Navy suffered one of its worse losses in WWII on 19 November 1941, when the light cruiser HMAS Sydney II with all 645 men on board went down in action against the German auxiliary cruiser/raider Kormoran off the west coast of Australia. The Komoran was also sunk in the same action.
In August of 2005, the Australian Government approved a $1.3 million grant to fund a search for the sunken cruiser.
Reuters reports the latest strange plot twist in the search.
Australian defense officials said a navy team had this month exhumed the remains of an unknown sailor buried in an unmarked grave on Christmas Island, remains long thought to be those of a Sydney crewman.
Islanders have said the unmarked grave contained the remains of a man dressed in a blue boilersuit which washed up in a navy liferaft in February 1942.
A complete skeleton of what appeared to be a relatively young Caucasian male has been recovered along with other items and been sent for analysis.
“The most interesting find to date has been what appears to be a bullet wound in the skull and a small caliber round that is currently undergoing detailed analysis,” team leader Captain Jim Parsons said in a statement.
“This round appears to be from a low-velocity weapon, possibly a handgun,” he said.