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569' x 600' 3" x 66' 1"
9 × 8" (3x3)
4 × 5" (4x1)
8 × .50 machine guns
6 × 21" torpedo tubes
4 × floatplanes
2 x catapults
Stateside, Houston hosted President Roosevelt who boarded at Annapolis on July 1, 1934. Cruised the Caribbean to Portland via Hawaii, then returned to San Diego on May 15, 1935. Next cruised off Alaskan then returned to Seattle and embarked the President again on 3 October for a vacation cruise to the Cerros Islands, Magdalena Bay, Cocos Islands, and Charleston. Houston attended the opening of the Golden Gate Bridge at San Francisco on May 28, 1937, and carried President Roosevelt for a Fleet Review at San Francisco on July 14, 1938 and toured Central America during July-August, 1938.
Houston became flagship of the U.S. Fleet on September 19, 1938 until December 28. Participated in training exercises, including "Fleet Problem XX", on January 4, 1939 traveling from San Francisco to Norfolk and Key West. Embarked the President and the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral William D. Leahy, for the duration of the exercise. Next arrived Houston on 7 April 7, 1939 for a brief visit before returning to Seattle on 30 May. Assigned as flagship of the Hawaiian Detachment, arrived Pearl Harbor after a post-overhaul shakedown on December 7, 1939. Returning to the United States on February 17, 1940 to Mare Island.
On December 4, 1941 arrived at Ilo Ilo and was fueled and readied for action, then departed on December 7, 1941 at 6:30pm, before Japanese bombers attacked. Joined by the light cruiser, USS Boise, and on the following day by destroyers USS Stewart and USS Edwards, USS Langley and the fleet oilers USS Pecos and USS Trinity. On December 15, the convoy arrived at Balikpapan, then departed for Surabaya and finally arrived at Darwin arriving December 28. After patrol duty, she joined the American-British-Dutch-Australian (ABDA) force at Surabaya.
Battle of Makassar Strait
Ship of Ghosts pages 9-10:
After the battle, Houston went to Australia, then departed February 15 with a small convoy to reinforce the Allied garrison on Timor. That afternoon and the next morning, Japanese aircraft attacked. Houston was able to drive off the aircraft without damage to the transports she was escorting.
Battle of the Java Sea
At 17:30 Admiral Doorman turned south toward the Java coast, to attack Japanese transports. With dogged fighting spirit, he dodged another torpedo attack and followed the coastline and evaded another torpedo attack, when HMS Jupiter was sunk.
Now without destroyer protection, the cruisers including Houston attacked the Japanese surface group again. The Japanese fired torpedoes sinking De Ruyter and Java. Houston and Perth were able to retire from the battle.
On February 27, Houston and Perth were in Banten Bay, and evaded nine torpedoes fired by Fubuki then sank one Japanese transport and forced three to beach. Blocked from withdrawing by Japanese warships in Sunda Strait.
The USS Houston and HMAS Perth were at Tanjong Priok at 2.30pm on February 28, 1942 after the Battle of the Java Sea. There they received orders to escape through Sunda Strait, between Java and Sumatra, and make for Tjilitap on the south coast of Java. At this time, Houston only 50 rounds left per gun.
Battle of Sunda Strait
Fates of the Crew
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