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The United States Navy Memorial

Navy Memorial Honoring the Men & Women of the Sea Services



Ship Designation: 
Date Lost: 
Sunday, March 1, 1942
Battle at Sunda Strait
Houston in company with HMAS Perth and HMS Exeter depart Priok and at 2300 in the vicinity of Sunda Strait encounter a Japanese landing force taking them under fire and causing wide spread damage to 4 loaded Japanese transports. Japanese battle force comprised of two heavy cruisers, one light cruiser and 10 destroyers close in on the Houston force. ... One of 8 torpedoes launched from the Japanese forces strikes Houston. At 0015 Japanese heavy cruiser Mikuma finds Houston with its 8” guns ripping into the after engine room killing the entire engine room crew. ... Turret 2 hit by enemy gunfire which starts fire in magazine; fire progresses to small arms magazine and to Turret magazine. At 0033 with the ship sinking, the order to abandon ship is given. While abandoning ship Japanese continue to shell and send torpedoes into her hull. At 0045 Houston sinks. ... Of the crew less than half make it into the water in Sunda Strait. Many of Houston’s survivors were captured and interred in Japanese prisons until the conclusion of WWII

Lost At Sea Log

Number of sailors in this log: 632

Name Service Branchsort descending
Sea 1c Robert Macdonald USN
GM 3c Francis Lochner USN
Sea 2c Cletius Mckenzie USN
Sea 2c William Miller USN
Sea 1c Adelbert Karbowski USN
Sea 1c Fred Howard USN
MM 1c Grady Kyle USN
LCdr Farrel Keith USN
F 1c Willis Hill USN
Sea 1c Floyd Guyer USN
HA 2c Arthur Gerke USN
Cox Leslie Elliott USN
MM 2c Normand Dietrich USN
F 1c Charles Inan USN
MM 3c John Edge USN
AMM 2c George Smith USN
BM 2c Alfred Skinner USN
MM 3c Robert Robertson USN
SM 1c James Sallis USN
Sea 2c Gerald Owen USN


Prepared by CAPT R.O. Strange USN (Ret.)