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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 Sylvester Shemanski USN
LCdr Sidney Smith USN
Sea 1c Lester Rehfeld USN
SF 3c Albert Rolf USN
Sea 1c Kenneth Nelson USN
RM 3c Eddie Ohavre USN
Sea 1c Kenneth Patten USN
Matt 1c Yau Wai USN
F 1c Arlie Tyre USN
EM 2c William Stevens USN
MM 3c William Thaxton USN
CM 2c Gaylord Whitney USN
Sea 1c Arlie Williams USN
Lt(jg) John Woodruff USN
Sea 1c Joseph Alleva USN
Sea 2c Lauren Autio USN
EM 2c Norvel Baughn USN
Ens Frederick Bourgeois USN
F 1c William Buice USN
MM 3c Joseph Caplicki USN


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