2022 Day of Remembrance
Back Again in Houston!
| During the USS Houston (CA-30) 28th annual Memorial Service on March 5, 2022,
at the site of the USS Houston (CA-30) monument in Houston, Texas, the
Association’s Executive Director John Schwarz served as Master of Ceremonies,
introducing each of the excellent speakers seated around him. Attended by
approximately 150 people, the service commemorated the 80th Anniversary of
the sinking of USS Houston (CA-30) and HMAS Perth (D-29) at the March 1, 1942
Battle of Sunda Strait
Association members, families, and friends gathered under blue and sunny Houston, Texas skies over the March 4-5 weekend to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the March 1, 1942 sinking of USS Houston (CA-30) and HMAS Perth (D-29) during the WWII Battle of Sunda Strait. As in past years, we stayed at the Doubletree Suites by Hilton Houston by the Galleria, which served as our Day of Remembrance (DOR) “headquarters.”
On Friday, March 4, a bus, generously provided by the Harris County Precinct Three Transportation Department, brought most DOR attendees to the M.D. Anderson Library at the University of Houston where we visited the updated “Cruiser Houston Collection” exhibits. We were welcomed to the exhibits by the library’s Christian D. Kelleher and his staff. In attendance was the Consul-General of the Republic of Indonesia, Houston, the Honorable Andre Omer Siregar, who also made some brief remarks. This was the first time in many years that we visited the collection, and the first time ever that we were invited to peruse the holdings inside the Cruiser Houston Collection’s “special room.”
||The Friday night banquet program began with the annual year-end report presented by Association Executive Director John K. Schwarz, followed by a talk by RADM Samuel J. Cox, USN (retired), Curator of the Navy and Director of the History and Heritage Command. RADM Cox discussed the progress made on restoring the trumpet which was found several years ago next to the remains of the Houston. He also presented some preliminary plans for a new US Navy Museum to be built next to the Navy Yard in Washington, DC. The Honorable Andre Omer Siregar, Consul-General of the Republic of Indonesia, Houston, presented a gift of appreciation to the Association (above, left). Author Brent E. Jones, then spoke about his interesting new book, Days of Steel Rain—the Epic Story of a WWII Vengeance Ship in the Year of the Kamikaze. Documents, photos, maps, and other USS Houston (CA-30)-related materials on display were as popular as always.
| Brent E. Jones, author
On Saturday morning, March 5, our breakfast gathering featured a special Power Point tribute by our Association's historian, author Don M. Kehn, Jr., to the late James D. Hornfischer, author of Ship of Ghosts. At 12:30 p.m., a bus departed the hotel for the 28th annual USS Houston (CA-30) Memorial Service at the site of the USS Houston (CA-30) Monument in Sam Houston Park in downtown Houston.
On Saturday afternoon, March 5, at 1:30 p.m., John K. Schwarz served as MC during the service, which marked a return to our full, annual outdoor Memorial Service agenda—our first since 2020. The Invocation and Benediction were provided by Rev. Gilbert Raynor, MM2, SS, USN (retired). Sea Cadet William Bennett, PO2 led us in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. The Boatswain’s Call was sounded by Wayne R. Thompson, CW04, USCG (retired). A welcome by the City of Houston was provided by Robert Dembo, III, Director of Veterans Affairs, Mayor’s Office, and David Robinson, Council Member at Large, Position 2, Houston.
||RADM Samuel J. Cox, USN (retired)
The excellent speakers representing the WWII ABDA Command included: The Honorable Benson Saulo, Consul-General of Australia in Houston and Chris Emonson, Commander, RAN represented Australia. Representing Britain: Derek Powles, CEng CMarEng MIMechE, Royal Navy, Assistant Naval Attaché, British Embassy, Washington, D.C.; Representing the Kingdom of the Netherlands: Jos Wellink, Honorary Consul of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Jarst de Jong, Colonel, Netherlands Marine Corps. Representing the U.S.A. was Rear Admiral Samuel J. Cox, USN (retired), Curator of the Navy and Director of the History and Heritage Command, and Michael J. Yeager, Captain, U.S. Marine Corps. Dana Charles recited the lyrics to “The Navy Hymn.” The McLemore Detachment, Marine Corps League provided the Rifle Salute. Echo Taps was beautifully provided by the Community Band of Southeast Texas. Wes Landry (Baritone) and Kevin Miller (Keyboard Accompanist) of the Houston Grand Opera Company beautifully performed “I Am a Soldier” by Mark Buller. Matt Rejmaniak led us in singing the National Anthem and “God Bless America.”
Hadyan Tamimi (Left); the Honorable Andre Omer Siregar, Consul-General of the Republic of Indonesia, Houston (Center); and his wife (Right) presented a wreath during the wreath-laying ceremony.
We greatly appreciate all those who laid wreaths at the base of the Monument during the wreath-laying ceremony, including: Eunell Weissinger, Donna Mae Flynn, and Theresa Reilly; Don Rooks, grandson of USS Houston (CA-30)’s Captain, Albert Rooks; Hadyan Tamimi, Vice Consul for Information and Social Culture Affairs, Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia, Houston; the Honorable Andre Omer Siregar, Consul-General of the Republic of Indonesia, Houston, and his wife; all aforementioned representatives of ABDA; Laura and Brandie Flynn; Robert Dembo, III and David Robinson of the City of Houston; Steve Cutrer of the U.S. Marine Corps Coordinating Council; Scott Mosely of the McLemore Detachment, Marine Corps League; and Amy Conacher, Executive Director, Australian-American Chamber of Commerce.
We wish to thank the Gideon family for providing refreshments, the City of Houston, and The Heritage Society for their gracious support for the annual USS Houston (CA-30) Memorial Service.
At 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 5th, DOR attendees gathered for dinner back at our hotel’s “USS Houston (CA-30) meeting room.” The evening included a very interesting roundtable discussion on virtually anything and everything related to the USS Houston (CA-30) and her crew. Many thanks to all who attended and/or participated in DOR 2022! We have already begun planning for the 2023 Day of Remembrance gathering
NOW HEAR THIS…
August 30, 2015
On 21 December 2013, the Board of Managers of the U.S.S. Houston CA-30 Survivors' Association and Next Generations™ issued a statement "The Salvage Situation in Sunda Strait," which condemned any salvaging and disturbance of U.S.S. Houston CA-30 and H.M.A.S. Perth D-29, both of which are the final resting places of their respective crewmen who perished during the Battle of Sunda Strait on 1 March 1942.
Our December 2013 statement recognized that, as a matter of law, the U.S. Navy retains possession of U.S.S. Houston CA-30, and that we support the U.S. Navy's policies and procedures regarding diving on any sunken U.S. warship, including U.S.S. Houston CA-30.
In addition, our December 2013 statement included the following Position Statement:
<< Approximately 1,000 brave American and Australian servicemen lost their lives when the USS Houston (CA-30) and HMAS Perth were sunk in action during the early morning hours of 1 March 1942. The USS Houston (CA-30) Survivors Association & Next Generations considers both these sunken vessels as war graves. Our Association is disturbed over and vehemently condemns any salvaging operations being conducted on USS Houston (CA-30) and HMAS Perth. We also object to any unlawful removal of artifacts or disturbance to USS Houston (CA-30). We call upon citizens of all nations to respect and to leave undisturbed the final resting place of those courageous American and Australian crewmen of USS Houston (CA-30) and HMAS Perth who are "still standing watch over Sunda Strait." >>
Much has happened since we issued our December 2013 Position Statement. For example, in June 2014 U.S. Navy and Indonesian divers surveyed U.S.S. Houston CA-30 during operation CARAT (June 2014). Later in 2014, the Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC) released its final report on the condition of U.S.S. Houston CA-30, which stated: "The operation produced convincing evidence that the wreck of Houston, which serves as the final resting place for hundreds of sailors, contains potentially live ordnance, is seeping oil and is also being irreparably damaged by the unauthorized disturbance of the site."
After various discussions with NHHC officials, and after careful consideration of the evidence produced by the above-mentioned NHHC report, the Board of Managers is very concerned that the wreckage of U.S.S. Houston CA-30 is a safety hazard to any diver, and we have encouraged the NHHC to be as restrictive as possible in granting future diving permits.
In addition, we are announcing today that for legal, liability, safety, and fiduciary reasons we cannot and do not support, or encourage any diving activities whatsoever on U.S.S. Houston CA-30, unless such activities are conducted by the U.S. Navy, or are conducted under the direction or the auspices of the U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC).
Our Board of Managers continues to endorse its 21 December 2013 statement and we continue to support and to encourage the efforts by the U.S. Navy and the Naval History and Heritage Command in regards to protecting, preserving and documenting the remains of U.S.S. Houston CA-30.
The Board of Managers:
Sue Kreutzer, President
R. Dana Charles, Vice President
Pam Foster, Treasurer
John K. Schwarz, Secretary/Executive Director
USS Houston CA-30 Survivors' Association and Next Generations
Click here to view
The video provides a brief summary of the heavy cruiser U.S.S. Houston (CA-30)’s WWII story, including the story of her March 1, 1942 loss in battle and the struggle of her survivors to endure 3.5 years as POWS of Imperial Japanese forces.
The video also traces the history of the U.S.S. Houston Survivors’ Association and Next Generations® and provides membership information. Books for further information about the ship and her crew are mentioned.
Today, our Association continues to perpetuate the memory of the ship and
her courageous crewmen. Efforts of many others have helped to remember the
ship and her crew, as well. A beautiful Monument stands today in the City of Houston as
a permanent rememberance of USS HOUSTON (CA-30). Names of all crewmen
are inscribed on its sides.
Since the Monument was dedicated in 1995, our Association
members (survivors, as well as family members and friends of those who served aboard
USS HOUSTON) have gathered in March of each year at the monument site to remember
and to honor all of her gallant crew who fought during the HOUSTON's last stand on
1 March 1942. If you'd like to join the Association, click here for a membership form.
Guidelines for Becoming a Board Member
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Click here for USS Houston CA-30 Survivors' Association Annual Internal Scholarship Award Application