I captured the information in the above URL with 4 images and they are presented here. This will be an ongoing project. I have a special interest in this effort; it is my old unit that provides the US Divers, the MDSU-1.
I captured the information in the above URL with 7 images and they are presented here. This will be an ongoing project. I have a special interest in this effort; it is my old unit that provides the US Divers, the MDSU-1. That kind of jobs made my service very interesting in the Navy.
I captured the information in the above URL with 3 images and they are presented here. This will be an ongoing project. I have a special interest in this effort; it is my old unit that provides the US Divers, the MDSU-1. That kind of jobs made my service very interesting in the Navy.
USS Houston, a 9050-ton Northampton class light cruiser, was built at Newport News, Virginia. She was commissioned in June 1930 and reclassified as a heavy cruiser a year later, at which time her hull number was changed from CL-30 to CA-30. After initial operations in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico, Houston steamed to the western Pacific in early 1931 to become flagship of the Asiatic Fleet. She served in that role until November 1933, spending considerable time in Chinese waters protecting U.S. interests during the conflict between China and Japan.
Following her Asiatic Station tour, Houston crossed the Pacific to join the Scouting Force. During the rest of the decade, she regularly partcipated in exercises, including the periodic Fleet Problems that tested the Navy's war plans and readiness. She was flagship of the United States Fleet during September-December 1938 and also carried President Franklin D. Roosevelt on a number of occasions in 1934, 1935, 1938 and 1939.
In November 1940, Houston returned to the Philippines for her second deployment as Asiatic Fleet flagship. When Japan escalated its disputes with the U.S. into open warfare in December 1941, the cruiser was sent south to Australian and Netherlands East Indies waters. As the heaviest unit of the Allied naval force in that area, she was actively employed in the desperate struggle against the Japanese East Indies' offensive. A enemy bomb disabled her after gun turret on 4 February 1942, but she remained in the combat zone, fighting off air raids and taking part in the Battle of the Java Sea on 27 February.
The next day, with the situation in the East Indies now hopeless, Houston was ordered to leave the area. Steaming in company with the Australian light cruiser Perth, she encountered a strong Japanese navy force supporting an amphibious landing on western Java, near the Sunda Strait. In a valiant night battle against overwhelming odds, Houston and Perth were sunk by enemy gunfire and torpedos.
Here are only 7 pictures from the above URL:
Z489---Photo #: NH 81592 USS Houston (CA-30) In Manila Bay, Philippine Islands, in 1940-41, after her final modifications. Courtesy of Robert I. Martin, 1975. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.
Z490---Photo #: NH 94180 USS Houston (CA-30) Ship's officers and crew, circa 1931-1933, with her band seated on deck in front. Houston's Commanding Officer, Captain Robert A. Dawes, is seated in the center, behind the life ring. Note that most of the bandsmen appear to be Orientals. Courtesy of Lieutenant Oscar W. Levy, USN (Supply Corps), (Retired). U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.
Z491---Photo #: NH 53590 USS Houston (CA-30) The ship's starboard 5"/25 guns in action, during anti-aircraft battle practice off Chefoo, China, 1932-33. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.
Z492---Photo #: NH 93163 President Franklin Delano Roosevelt Seated in the well deck of USS Houston (CA-30), with a shark he caught in Sullivan Bay, Galapagos Islands, July 1938. A sailfish is being hoisted up in the left distance. Courtesy of Otto Schwartz, USS Houston Association, 1982. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.
Z493---USS Houston (CA-30) Ship's baseball team, circa 1940-41, while she was flagship of the Asiatic Fleet. Men identified include (Standing): Parker (2nd from left); Bain (4th from left); Stefanek (6th from left); O'Brien (8th from left); Dingler (4th from right); and Erler (right). (Kneeling): Jarvis (left); Burger (2nd from left) and Hobush (right). (Seated): Wisecup (right). Courtesy of Otto Schwartz, USS Houston Association, 1982. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.
Z495---Photo #: NH 43649 USS Houston (CA-30) (right center) At Darwin, Australia, probably on 15 or 18 February 1942. The destroyer astern of Houston may be USS Peary (DD-226). Among the ships in the background, to the left, are HMAS Terka and the SS Zealandia. The donor was on board HMAS Tolga, then used as a water carrier for ships in Darwin harbor. Courtesy of Arthur W. Thomas. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.
On 28 February 1942, the day after the Battle of the Java Sea, the ABDA cruisers Perth and Houston steamed into Bantan Bay. It is believed that they had no knowledge of the Japanese battle fleet, their last intelligence report having stated that the only Japanese warships in the area were 50 miles (43 nmi) away and headed away. It is however possible that they were hoping to damage the Japanese invasion forces there. The two ships were attacked as they approached the bay, but evaded the nine torpedoes launched by destroyer Fubuki. According to ABDA post-battle reports, the cruisers then reportedly sank one transport and forced three others to beach. It is also possible and viewed in some quarters as more likely, however, that the transports were damaged by "friendly fire" in the form of some of the over 90 Long Lance torpedoes fired at the two ABDA cruisers by Japanese destroyers. A Japanese destroyer squadron blocked Sunda Straight, their means of retreat, and the Japanese heavy cruiser Mogami and Mikuma stood dangerously near. The Houston and Perth could not withdraw. Perth came under fire at 23:36 and in an hour had been sunk from gunfire and torpedo hits. On board the Houston, shells were in short supply in the forward turrets, so the crew manhandled shells from the disabled number three turret to the forward turrets. Houston then fought alone until soon after midnight, when she was struck by a torpedo and began to lose headway.
Houston's gunners had scored hits on three different destroyers and sunk a minesweeper, but then suffered three more torpedo explosions in quick succession. Captain Albert Rooks was killed by a bursting shell at 00:30 and as the ship came to a stop, Japanese destroyers moved in, machine gunning the decks. A few minutes later, Houston rolled over and sank, her ensign still flying. Of the original crew of 1,061 men, 368 survived, including 24 of the 74-man USMC detachment, only to be captured by the Japanese and interned in prison camps. Aftermath
Houston's fate was not fully known by the world for almost nine months, and the full story of her last fight was not told until after the war was over and her survivors were liberated from the prison camps. Before then, on 30 May 1942, 1,000 new recruits for the Navy, known as the Houston Volunteers, were sworn in at a dedication ceremony in downtown Houston, to replace those believed lost on USS Houston. On 12 October 1942 the light cruiser Vicksburg CL-81, then under construction was renamed Houston in honor of the old ship
Here are three pictures from that Wikipedia URL
z526---Captain Rooks, Commanding Officer USS Houston CA-30
Z527---Commander, Chaplain George S. Rentz.
Z528--- USS Houston CA-30 escorting convoy 1942
Captain Rooks received posthumously the Medal of Honor for his actions. Chaplain George S. Rentz, who had surrendered his life jacket to a younger sailor after finding himself in the water, was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross. He was the only Navy Chaplain to be so honored during World War II
Z578---This is a picture of the USS Houston Marine survivor from the above news story
Pasted here is page 1 of the URL above:
The old warrior needs a little help these days, slowed by a stroke two years ago that has left him with staccato speech and dependent on a wheelchair.
But San Marcos resident Lloyd Willey's eyes are still clear and his memory still sharp as he picks up a photo from three years ago that shows him with two other gentlemen.
"Three … out … of … 75," Willey says, holding up three fingers. Out of 75 Marines aboard the USS Houston, sunk in a battle with a Japanese fleet on Feb. 28, 1942, only three survive today. Of the 1,064 total crew members aboard the Houston, two-thirds perished.
Those who survived the sinking of the ship would face one of the darkest ordeals of any American prisoners of war in World War II: the construction of a 260-mile railroad between Ban Pong, Thailand, and Thanbyuzayat, Burma.
In popular culture, their story is mostly known from the movie "The Bridge Over the River Kwai," the 1957 film generally regarded as inaccurate by veterans and historians. They have another name for the project: the Burma-Thailand Death Railway.
"The British in the 1800s had surveyed that route and decided it was too dangerous and would take five years," said writer James Hornfischer about the railway.
"The POWs completed it in about a year, with the death of about 16,000 of their number, mainly British, Dutch and Australian. The number of Americans was about 400."
Including native slaves who worked on the railway, the total death toll might have been nearly 200,000 in one year, he said. Willey, 92, was one of 20 veterans of the USS Houston interviewed by Hornfischer for his book, "Ship of Ghosts" ($26, Bantam). The interview was done before his stroke.
While many people have heard of the railway and the bridge over Kwai, the story of the USS Houston is largely unknown. Hornfischer, a literary agent in Austin, Texas, and author of "The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors," said despite having a vast knowledge of the Pacific theater in World War II, he did not know about the ship himself until a historian friend mentioned it over lunch.
The cruiser, launched in 1929 and a favorite of President Roosevelt, was lost in an epic sea battle, its fate unknown until the war's end. The book's title is taken from a headline that asked, "Where is the crew of the ghost cruiser Houston?"
"That night, the Houston and the Australian cruiser the Perth were trying to get the heck out of Dodge," Hornfischer said.
The ships were part of the Allied fleet that had fought in the Battle of Java Sea the previous night. The Allies had been looking for a Japanese fleet for weeks when the two lone ships had the misfortune of stumbling upon them.
"They went up against an entire amphibious operation in full swing," Hornfischer said. The two ships faced 56 Japanese transport ships escorted by three cruisers and three squadrons of destroyers.
Post by Karl Welteke on Jul 21, 2014 9:08:10 GMT 8
USS HOUSTION DIVING AND SALVAGE SHIP AND DIVERS STOPPED BY IN SUBIC BAY 2014-07-05
In view that I am a retired US Navy diver I’m interested in the effort of the Navy conducting a survey on the “Ghost ship” USS Houston CA 30. Then it was one of my ex units who done the job, the Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit 1 (MDSU-1) out of Pear Harbor.
Another retired US Navy Master Diver, a good friend of mine and who now works for the Military Sealift Command (MSC) invited all those divers to join the Subic Bay VFW Post 11447 to celebrate the 4th of July American Philippine Friendship Day. We actually done the celebrating on Saturday, the 5th July 2014.
Here are 2 pictures from that event with the MDSU-1 Divers.
Z579---From left to right, my close friend, retired Master Diver Rick Storment (Storming Rick Storm) who invited the MDSU-1 Divers to join us, Chief Warrant Officer Jason Shafer, the Officer in Charge of this MDSU-1 WESTPAC Detail, Karl Welteke, the PI-Sailor also a retired Navy Diver and last but not least Master Diver William Phillips who as the Senior Enlisted Man really runs the day to day affairs of the group.
Z580---Here are most of the MDSU-1 WESTPAC Detail divers as a group. They impressed me; I am sure the present US Diving Navy is in good hands. They were all very mature men and they are going thru a rigorous selection program to become US Navy Deep Sea and Salvage Divers. Interestingly in the middle of this group is a gentleman who served in the Subic Bay Diving Locker in 1968, got hurt in Viet Nam and was medical discharged? We enjoyed talking to him.
Just in case should anyone be interested in the US Expat Community here in Subic Bay I established an album about this Subic Bay VFW Post 11447 4th of July American-Philippine Friendship Day one can look at the many pictures of this album. But the pictures don’t have names or descriptions. tinyurl.com/k6kfx6f
“They met a hero's end that night, going down with guns blazing," he said. Nobody knew the ships had been sunk, and reports from "Tokyo Rose" about the Houston's sinking were ignored because the Japanese had falsely bragged several times in the past that they had sunk the president's favorite ship.
"They were ghosts for 3 1/2 years," Hornfischer said of the survivors. "Nobody knew whether they were dead or alive." Survivors were put to work on the railway. Unlike the movie, which showed British laborers taking pride in building the bridge, the actual workers did everything they could to sabotage the railway and were treated much worse by their captors than in the film. Willey is quoted several times in the book, which shows his memory is so sharp that he recalled the tone of the bugler as he blew the call to abandon ship.
"It would have been absolutely beautiful, if it had been anywhere else but at that time," Willey said in the book. In the book, Willey also describes how the ship's chaplain repeatedly tried to give his life vest to a younger man. Finally, he convinced him to take it. The chaplain, 59, disappeared into the sea.
Many of the survivors were put to work building the railway through the jungle by hand, using picks and shovels. Working 12 to 16 hours a day, the men were often beaten and starved, and fell prey to jungle diseases.
They also were tormented by the Kempeitai, the Japanese secret police. Willey told Hornfischer about seeing the "Kempeis" take some Indian prisoners into the jungle, bury them up to their necks and douse their heads with sugary syrup to attract carnivorous insects. He also described watching Japanese guards beat an Australian prisoner to death and drag his body by rope through their camp because he had struck a guard.
Hornfischer said Willey was more open than many veterans in telling of the atrocities he witnessed, but it wasn't the stories of torture he remembered from him as much as the poetry Willey wrote as a captive.
"Lloyd really stands apart from the rest of those tough, oversized Marines," Hornfischer said. "Lloyd was the literary voice of the Houston's Marine detachment. I think writing poetry was the way he processed the experience and maybe coped with it, and maybe even transcended it. The fact that he was able to compose poetry under these conditions, I think says a lot about the human spirit."
Among Willey's albums bulging with letters, newspaper clips and commendations is a tattered booklet filled with his handwritten poems. For three years as a POW, Willey hid the book from his captors by burying it, stashing it in the ceiling and even sewing it into the bottom of his barracks bag.
"All through the years ahead of us, we'll give a thought or two "To the fighting ship we battled on, and to her fighting crew. "Maybe at conventions, or talking with old friends, "We'll trace her record from the start, to where her story ends.
Artem: I use to work in that shipyard. Heard of D. Cleland through my uncles who were previous generations that worked there. Saw a photo or two of D.Cleland in the shipyard library. If my memory is correct I saw his grave out in the city's protestant cemetery.
May 11, 2020 8:24:25 GMT 8
faulkvi2: Hi! My name is Vickie. I am here to learn more about the Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor and to honor the life of my Uncle, Pvt Eugene Mott, who has not been returned to us after his death on the Oryoku Maru.
Jun 20, 2020 10:59:59 GMT 8
Gen. Gaudencio V. Vera : Brief Biography of Gen. Gaudencio V. Vera
Jul 31, 2020 10:26:06 GMT 8
Whitney Galbraith: In 2018 I self-published my father's WWII memoir (https://www.valleyoftheshadowpow.com) Col. Nicoll F. Galbraith, GSC, US Army, was a senior staff officer of Gen. Jonathan M. Wainwright during the Fall of the Philippines. I would enjoy conversation.
Aug 17, 2020 5:42:01 GMT 8
chadhill: Whitney: I was not aware of your book and just ordered it from Amazon. Can't wait to read it. Chad Hill.
Aug 17, 2020 12:42:24 GMT 8
RobH: Hello, I am looking for clarification on the how my Uncle John A. Holmes died at Corregidor. He was with the 3rd Battalion, G Company.
Sept 1, 2020 2:36:14 GMT 8
chadhill: RobH: Try messaging EXO or tmayer on this website. They have much info on individuals of the 503rd.
Sept 2, 2020 11:22:50 GMT 8
RobH: chadhill: My approval status is still pending, so it won't let me message them yet. Any idea how long that takes? Thanks.
Sept 3, 2020 5:33:10 GMT 8
chadhill: RobH, I think you're set now. You may have to make a brief intro of yourself on the guest board to prove to a monitoring system that you're not a spam robot, but try messaging them first.
Sept 3, 2020 6:49:56 GMT 8
chadhill: RobH: Be sure to login with a password, too (you probably already know that).
Sept 3, 2020 6:55:00 GMT 8
rob: chadhill: Thank you! I'm set up and have messaged EXO. Thank you again!
Sept 3, 2020 11:27:51 GMT 8
alalba: Hello.I'm looking for any information about where and how the US recruited Filipinos just after WWII, 1945-46 (Subic or Sangley).I'm writing a memoir for my Dad who was a guerrilla during WWII, joined the US Navy in Apr '46, and retired in 1971. Thanks
Sept 23, 2020 11:30:51 GMT 8
SteveG: My father, Alex Georgakas, was in the 503rd and is listed on the 2nd BT HQ list of participants in the Corregidor action. His service records make no mention of that action, nor did he receive the Presidential Unit Citation awarded to his group. Thoughts?
Nov 13, 2020 0:46:52 GMT 8
Eduardo P. Sayajon : Hello to all, my uncle Crescencio B. Sayajon served & was a member of the 26th Cavalry Regiment Philippine Scout during WW2 a letter of Appreciation was given but unfortunately it was destroyed. I would like to know where I could get a copy??
Nov 16, 2020 23:04:02 GMT 8
tmayer: Steve G, Did you ever talk to your Dad about his time in the service? Does his discharge list a Philippine Liberation Medal? Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal with any bronze stars or an arrowhead?
Nov 19, 2020 8:26:25 GMT 8