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Death Becomes
The Ghost

The Battle of
The Java Sea
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Grade-A Productions
270 Sparta Av 104-234
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The Glory (part 1)
For three months into the Pacific War, the American Asiatic Fleet fought with Allied Navies to hold the Japanese expansion to the South.  In the climactic Battle of The Java Sea, the Allies  ( Dutch, British, Australian and American) sacrificed their remaining battle fleets in desperation. HMAS Perth and USS Houston survived this battle only to be lost in a suicidal attack on a fresh Japanese Fleet in Sunda Strait two days later. It was a glorious but horrific death for two great ships and the end of the US Asiatic Fleet.
THE SHAME (part 2) of DEATH BECOMES THE GHOST (included on same tape with part 1. Total Running time is 110 minutes.
The carnage of battle ended and the carnage of inhuman slavery and deprivation began for those who were  fortunate enough to survive and become guests of the Japanese Army. In one of the most shameful episodes of the World War, the survivors of the Houston, the Perth and other Allied commands that fell into the hands of the Japanese, became slave labor. The deprivation, beatings, murder, disease and exhaustive slavery took 22,000 American lives.   It is a SHAMEFUL episode that must be told.

The few who survived the ferocious Battle of Sunda Strait are captured. Volume II follows the hellish existence of these sailors and others who joined them (the 131st Field Artillery, Texas National Guard, "The Lost Battalion" for instance).  The volume ends with the repatriation of the survivors and their return home to a victorious nation, their part in the victory having been long forgotten as the war continued nearly four years after their own ship was lost.

The Kwai River Bridge  after Allied Bombing Raids destroyed it. The Kwai Bridge was not like the movie bridge, tho others on the rail line were similar POWs on the rail were under constant bombing attack by Allied Bombers. They never complained about the bombs. It was just one of the many other hazards of being a guest of the Japanese Army.

Art DuHaime describes the noise of the battle as very loud, especially from the Japanese Guns as USS Houston depleted her ammunition or lost her own guns to battle damage. Art and other veterans of the battles and POW camps give you a glimpse of the history they made. Art Passed Away this year, (2002)

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The producers of "Death Becomes The Ghost" went to sea to interview some of the survivors aboard the USS Rentz (FFG-46).The USS Rentz (as described by some of the young and salty sailors aboard ) was named after "some dead guy". (This is an inside joke among many tin-can sailors because all tin cans are named after dead men) The ship, in fact, carries the name of Chaplain Rentz (Capt., USN), who gave up his life jacket to save a young sailor after their ship plunged to the bottom weighted by tons of Japanese shells and torpedoes.

Death Becomes The Ghost received excellent reviews in both SEA CLASSICS and WWII Magazine. They are not Hollywood style. They are documentary style with liberal use of personal interviews with the survivors. They are extraordinary movies. The move is available for $19.95. When purchased at the same time with the Dutch Movie "The Battle of The Java Sea" (1996, award winning film) the package price is $34.95. Shipping is $5.

More about BOTH VIDEOS, Death Becomes the Ghost and
The Battle of The Java Sea ... HERE

For Some Hollywood movies that touch on the topics here, you will want to view our LIBRARY listings. Click HERE. ("Bridge on The River Kwai", "Sand Pebbles", "The Story of Doctor Wassel", "The True Story of The Bridge on The River Kwai", "They Were Expendable" , "To End All Wars" and more.) An excellent resource for all the war films ever made and documentaries of all types is Belle and Blade Video. You might consider looking at their magnificent collection on the web at

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