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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
MM 3c Harry Hirsch USN
Sea 1c Henry Grodzki USN
SK 3c Gilbert Gagnon USN
CSK Robert Ermis USN
ACMM William Dewald USN
RM 2c Maryle Drake USN
SF 2c Theodore Schwamle USN
FC 3c Horace Smith USN
WT 2c Chester Short USN
BM 2c Harold Roach USN
EM 2c Henry Sadowski USN
Mus 1c Eliberto Panganiban USN
Sea 2c Leo Plude USN
MM 3c Nelson Walling USN
FC 3c Robert Vanderauwera USN
CY Raymond Street USN
Ck 3c Ah Soy USN
Sea 2c Larkin Wheeler USN
GM 1c Ben Weaver USN
Sea 1c Melvin Wooten USN


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