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2024 Day of Remembrance
Houston, TX-March 1-2, 2024
Houston Garden Inn at Houston Galleria
3201 Sage Road
Houston, TX 77056



2024 Day of Remembrance in Houston

City of Houston officials presented a proclamation to the Association at the 2024 USS Houston (CA-30) annual Memorial Service in Houston, Texas on March 2, 2024, (Left to Right): Robert Dembo III, Houston’s Director of Veterans Affairs; Teresa Reilly, widow of USS Houston (CA-30) Survivor John Reilly; Donna Mae Flynn, widow of USS Houston (CA-30) Survivor David Flynn; Amy Peck, Vice Mayor Pro Tem and Council Member, District A; and Eunell Weissinger, widow of USS Houston (CA-30) Survivor William Weissinger.


                                                               Day of Remembrance 2024 

                                                                       By Dana Charles

Association members, families, and friends, were among over 40 registered attendees who enjoyed mild spring weather on March 1-2, 2024, during the 2024 “Day of Remembrance” (DOR) weekend at the Hilton Garden Inn—Houston Galleria in Houston, Texas. The weekend marked the 82nd anniversary of the WWII loss of USS Houston (CA-30) and HMAS Perth (D-29) at the February 28-March 1, 1942 Battle of Sunda Strait.


DOR attendees gathered on March 1, 2024, inside the Indonesian Consulate for a group photo with the Honorable Andre Omer Siregar, Consul-General of the Republic of Indonesia (Front row, 5th from Left).



The DOR weekend officially began on Friday afternoon, March 1, 2024, as a bus, generously provided by the Harris County Precinct Four Transportation Department, brought most DOR attendees to the Indonesian Consulate in Houston, where the Honorable Andre Omer Siregar, Consul-General of the Republic of Indonesia, Houston, and his staff warmly welcomed us. The Association’s executive director, John K. Schwarz, presented the Consul-General with a gift from the Association—a framed schematic of USS Houston (CA-30) in appreciation for Consul-General Siregar’s close relationship with our organization during his tenure as Consul-General (Photo at left). Consul-General Siregar will be re-assigned soon, and we will miss him. After the presentation, Consul-General Siregar and his staff showed us the consulate’s large exhibit room, including a display featuring a model of Houston and several large, framed pictures of Houston and other ships of ABDA. We appreciate the cordial relationship we have with the Consul-General’s staff, including: Hadyan Tamimi, Vice Consul for Information and Social Culture Affairs; Oktorian S. Hakim, Consul for Information and Social Culture Affairs; Muhamad Alam, Staff of Information and Social Culture Affairs; and Budiardjo Waluyo, Staff of Information and Social Culture Affairs, Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia. We thank them for their hospitality during our visit.
The Association’s Executive Director John K. Schwarz kicked off the Friday night banquet program with a moment of silence for the USS Houston (CA-30) survivors, family members and friends whom we lost over the past year, including: USS Houston (CA-30) Survivor Marvin Sizemore; Cletus M. Flynn, Son of USS Houston (CA-30) Survivor David C. Flynn; Ella Jane Harris, widow of USS Houston (CA-30) Survivor Lanson Harris; Annette Smith, widow of USS Houston (CA-30) Survivor Harold P. Smith; Jack Mintzer, cousin of USS Houston (CA-30) crewman LT (jg) Francis Weiler, USN; and HMAS Perth (D-29) Survivor Frank McGovern. John then announced our Association’s 2024 USS Houston CA-30 Scholarship Award recipient, Avery Chambliss, granddaughter of the late USS Houston (CA-30) Survivor Cecil Chambliss, USN, and the recipient of the U.S. Naval Academy Scholarship, the “USS Houston (CA-30) Memorial Scholarship,” Ashley Rubiano. Congratulations to both scholarship recipients! Many thanks to our Association’s historian, Donald M. Kehn, Jr., for hosting and displaying his collection of USS Houston (CA-30)-related materials in the Association’s meeting/dining room at the hotel.

After announcing our scholarship recipients, John introduced Blair Atcheson, Program Analyst with the Naval History and Heritage Command’s (NHHC) Underwater Archeology Branch, Washington, D.C., (left) who presented a PowerPoint show featuring many interesting insights on the NHHC’s underwater archeology activities

Author Sally Mott Freeman then discussed the creation of her book about three brothers—her father and two uncles—who served as U.S. Naval officers during the Pacific War. The excellent book, The Jersey Brothers, tells the WWII stories of all three brothers, one of whom was captured by Imperial Japanese forces in the Philippines.

On Saturday morning, March 2, Historian Blane Ampthor presented an interesting PowerPoint show called “From Pearl Harbor to Midway,” which helped place early Pacific War battles, including Houston’s various WWII battles, into historic perspective. At 12:30 p.m., a bus departed the hotel for the annual USS Houston (CA-30) Memorial Service at the site of the USS Houston (CA-30) Monument in Sam Houston Park in downtown Houston.

                    The 2024 Annual USS Houston (CA-30) Memorial Service

At the USS Houston (CA-30) Annual Memorial Service on March 2, 2024, at the site of the USS Houston (CA-30) Monument in Sam Houston Park in the City of Houston: Brayden Wehring (at the podium), Lead Cadet, Petty Officer 3rd Class, U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps, Houston Division, led attendees in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. John K. Schwarz (at left), Executive Director, USS Houston (CA-30) Survivors’ Association & Next Generations®, served as Master of Ceremonies. (Photo by Dennis Flynn)

 Approximately 200 people attended this year’s USS Houston (CA-30) Annual Memorial Service held at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday afternoon, March 2, 2024, under partly cloudy skies at the site of the USS Houston (CA-30) Monument. The Association’s executive director, John K. Schwarz, again served as MC this year. The Reverand Gil Raynor, MM2, SS (retired), presented the Invocation and Benediction. Brayden Wehring, Lead Cadet, Petty Officer 3rd Class, U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps, Houston Division, led us in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, and Wayne R. Thompson, CW04, U.S. Coast Guard (retired), provided the “All Hands” Boatswain’s Call. Association vice president Dana Charles welcomed and recognized guests, which included 13 relatives of USS Houston (CA-30) crewmen Tai Chi Fat, Zee Zhong Fong, and Tung Ven Yun (see photo on page 10). The relatives were attending their very first USS Houston (CA-30) Memorial Service. Robert Dembo III, Director of Veterans Affairs, Mayor’s Office, and Amy Peck, Vice Mayor Pro Tem, the City of Houston and City Council Member, District A, provided a welcome by the City of Houston. Ms. Peck then presented the Association with a special City Proclamation, which the widows of USS Houston (CA-30) Survivors in attendance—Donna Mae Flynn, Teresa Reilly, and Eunell Weissinger—gratefully accepted. Speakers representing the WWII nations of the American-British-Dutch-Australian Command (ABDA) included: The Honorable Ned Talbot, Deputy Consul-General of Australia, Houston, Texas; Commander Chris Emonson, RAN, Assistant Naval Attaché, Embassy of Australia, Washington, D.C.; Commander Derek Powles, CEng CMarEng, MIMechE, Royal Navy, Assistant Naval Attaché, British Embassy, Washington, D.C.; Captain Matt Tharp, USN, Chief of Staff, Naval History and Heritage Command, Washington, D.C.; and Chief Warrant Officer 5 Jose Alvarez, U.S. Marine Corps. Speaking as a representative of the Republic of Indonesia: the Honorable Andre Omar Siregar, Consul-General of the Republic of Indonesia, Houston, Texas.


 The Association’s vice president Dana Charles recited the lyrics to “The Navy Hymn” as The Community Band of Southeast Texas performed the music. The McLemore Detachment, Marine Corps League provided the Rifle Salute. Echo Taps was beautifully provided by The Community Band of Southeast Texas. Matt Rejmaniak led us in singing the National Anthem and “God Bless America,” accompanied by The Community Band of Southeast Texas.

CAPT Matt Tharp, USN, Chief of Staff, Naval History & Heritage Command, laid a wreath during the Memorial Service. (Photo by Dennis Flynn). 



At 7:00 p.m. on Saturday evening, 2024 DOR attendees gathered for dinner back at our hotel’s “USS Houston (CA-30) meeting room.” After dinner, Scott Ingram and Association Secretary Bernice Harapat presented a PowerPoint show, “Our Death Railway Pilgrimage,” about the August 2023 trip they and Jerry Ranger made to Thailand to visit the Burma-Thailand Railway. Dana Charles then presented a video made during the 1990s in which a large group of USS Houston (CA-30) Survivors and their wives gathered at the home of USS Houston (CA-30) Survivor Art Duhame in the Poconos. Among the USS Houston (CA-30) Survivors appearing in the video were: Otto Schwarz, Joe Gans, Howard Brooks, and Paul “Pap” Papish. 


Many thanks to all who attended and participated in DOR 2024! We have already begun planning for next year’s “Day of Remembrance” gathering to be held in Houston in early March 2025. See you there!








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.[1

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.

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