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USS Houston (CA-30) By: MIDN 3/C Sutton. Overview By the end of this PowerPoint, cadets will be familiar with:  Time line of the USS Houston’s service.

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Presentation on theme: "USS Houston (CA-30) By: MIDN 3/C Sutton. Overview By the end of this PowerPoint, cadets will be familiar with:  Time line of the USS Houston’s service."— Presentation transcript:

1 USS Houston (CA-30) By: MIDN 3/C Sutton

2 Overview By the end of this PowerPoint, cadets will be familiar with:  Time line of the USS Houston’s service  General characteristics of the vessel  Service history and battle record  Important members and fate of crew  Legacy of the ship  Importance of vessel

3 Timeline Sept 1 st, 1927- Planned heavy cruiser designated USS Houston May 1 st, 1928- Keel laid in Newport News, Virginia June 17 th, 1930- USS Houston officially commissioned July 1 st, 1934- First of four Presidential Cruises Oct 2 nd, 1935- Second Presidential cruise July 1 st, 1938- Third Presidential cruise Feb 18 th, 1939- Fourth Presidential cruise May 31 st, 1940- Designated flagship of the Asiatic Fleet Dec 8 th, 1941- Sails from Manila to join ABDACOM Feb 4 th, 1942- Battle of Makassar Strait Feb 27 th, 1942- Battle of the Java Sea Mar 1 st, 1942- Battle of Sunda Strait

4 General Characteristics Northampton Class Heavy Cruiser  Six constructed and three sunk  Displacement of 9,200 tons  Similar in size to modern Arleigh Burke Class Destroyer  570 feet long, 66 foot beam, and 17 foot draft  Propulsion: 107,000 total horsepower  Same horsepower as 246 2015 Mustangs at max output  Max Speed of 33 knots  Similar speed of modern surface combatants  Size of crew: 1,100  105 Officer and 995 Enlisted  Compared to 33 officers and 370 enlisted on Ticonderoga Class Cruiser  Armament  Nine 8-inch guns (Main Battery)  Eight 5 inch guns (Secondary Battery)  16 1.1 inch AA guns, 8.5 inch AA guns  Armor  3 inch belt, 2 inch deck

5 President Roosevelt's Cruiser Hosted first Presidential cruise in 1934  12,000 miles total to Haiti, Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Columbia, and Hawaii Hosted second Presidential cruise in 1935  Vacation cruise to Cerros Island and concluding in Charleston Hosted third Presidential cruise in 1938  Inspection Cruise and fishing expedition of 6,000 total miles from California to Pensacola via the Galapagos and Panama Final Presidential cruise in 1939  Training exercise Fleet Problem 20 with President and Chief of Naval Operations, ADM Leahy, as guests “I knew that ship and loved her. Her officers and men were my friends.” -President Roosevelt, Memorial Day 1942

6 Cruise Photos

7 Wartime Leadership Admiral Karl Doorman, RDN  ABDACOM Combined Striking Force Admiral Thomas C. Hart  Commander, U.S. Asiatic Fleet  Commander, ABDAFLOAT Captain Albert H. Rooks  Commanding Officer, USS Houston  Medal of Honor Recipient  USNA Class of 14’ Commander Arthur Maher  Gunnery Officer, USS Houston  Senior survivor of Sunda Strait  Awarded Navy Cross and Silver Star

8 Battle of Makassar Strait Confontration between American and Dutch surface and air forces of the Japanese Empire on 4 February, 1942. Attempted interception of Japanese invasion convoy bound for Surabaya Result: USS Houston aft turret knocked out of action. DeRuyter damaged. Japanese invasion force unhindered. Allied StrengthJapanese Strength 4 Cruisers36 G4M1 “Betty” Bombers 7 Destroyers24 G3M2 “Nell” Bombers

9 Battle of the Java Sea Confrontation between ABDACOM forces and Imerial Japanese Navy on 27 February, 1942. ABDACOM naval force, commanded by RADM Doorman, sailed Northeast of Surabaya to intercept Eastern Invasion Force convoy. Allied StrengthJapanese Strength 2 Heavy Cruisers 3 Light Cruisers2 Light Cruisers 9 Destroyers14 Destroyers 10 Transports

10 Battle of the Java Sea (Cont.) Large surface clash  Largest since Battle of Jutland in 1916  Japanese possessed superior torpedo's and were more experienced  92 torpedoes launched during battle.  IJN heavy cruisers had larger armament (10x8 inch each)  20 8 inch guns compared to 15 8 inch (3 KIA) for ABDACOM  Friendly Fire  2 out of 4 ABDACOM destroyers sunk  USS Houston and HMAS Perth only survivors “I attack, follow me.” Result  Overwhelming Japanese victory (2 cruisers, 3 destroyers sunk. 1 IJN DD damaged)  Allied forces effectively removed from Indonesian waters  Japanese invasion of Java and other Southwestern territories essentially unopposed  Battle of Sunda Strait

11 Battle of Java Sea Photos

12 Crew Captain Albert Rooks  Commanding Officer  Medal of Honor Recipient  USNA Class of 14’  Leadership Qualities and Persona

13 Crew (Cont.) Commander George S. Rentz  Ship Chaplain  Navy Cross Recipient  Princeton Theological Seminary Grad of 09’  Importance to Crew Gunnery Sergeant Walter Standish  Enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1919  Second highest ranking NCO of the Marine Detachment

14 Fate 368 of 1,061 men aboard survived the Battle of Java Sea All were eventually captured by Japanese on Java Island or lost at sea Survivors moved to Prisoner of War Camps in Burma Forced by Japanese Army to construct Burma-Thailand Railway  “We will build the railroad if we have to build it over the white man’s body. It gives me great pleasure to have a fast-moving defeated nation in my power. You are merely rubble but I will not feel bad because it is your rulers. If you want anything you will have to come through me for same and there will be many of you who will not see your homes again. Work cheerfully at my command.” -Colonal Yoshitada Nagatomo, Commander

15 Life on the Railway Incredibly dense jungle Forced marches Monsoon season Malnourished and mistreated Disease stricken (Malaria, dysentery, etc.) 288 survivors of original 368 13,000 total Allied POW deaths and 100,000 natives killed.

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17 Legacy of the Ship

18 Legacy of the Ship (Cont.) The Houston Volunteers  1,000 men from Houston area who volunteered for Naval Service following loss of USS Houston  $85,000,000 worth of war bonds raised by City of Houston residents  Paid for USS Houston (CL-81) and USS San Jacinto (CVL-30)  “Not one of us doubts that the thousand naval recruits sworn in today will carry on with the same spirit shown by the gallant men who have gone before them. Not one of us doubts that every true Texan and every true American will back up these new fighting men, with all our hearts and all our efforts.” Franklin D. Roosevelt, Commander in Chief

19 Source and Motivation Hornfischer, James D. Ship of Ghosts: The Story of the USS Houston, FDR's Legendary Lost Cruiser, and the Epic Saga of Her Survivors. New York: Bantam, 2006. Print.


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