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70th Anniversary of Cruiser Houston Sinking

Collections, Events, Exhibits, In the News, USS Houston & Military History

The U.S.S. Houston (CA-30) was launched on September 7, 1929 in Newport News, VA.

Today marks the 70th anniversary of the sinking of the heavy cruiser U.S.S. Houston (CA-30). The Houston was the flagship of the U.S. Asiatic Fleet during World War II. On March 1, 1942 she was sunk by the Japanese during the Battle of Sunda Strait, and her surviving crew members were taken prisoners of war.

In the late 1940s, the U.S.S. Houston Survivors Association was formed. In addition to publishing a newsletter for survivors and their families and attending annual reunions, the association has done much to preserve the memory of the ship and her crew. The members collected historically valuable documents and memorabilia about the Houston, which they donated to the University of Houston Libraries.

The materials donated by the association along with others acquired by the Libraries make up a number of collections in Special Collections, along with a permanent exhibit housed on the second floor of the M.D. Anderson Library. This exhibit is the location of a survivors event each year that marks the anniversary of the Houston‘s sinking. Special Collections also has an online exhibit with detailed information about the ship, her crew, the war, the prison camps, and the survivors.

Archival materials relating to the U.S.S. Houston can be found in the Cruiser Houston Collection, the William A. Bernrider Collection, the Samuel Milner U.S.S. Houston and 2nd Battalion, 131st Field Artillery Papers, and the Captain Albert H. Rooks Papers.

For more coverage of the anniversary and related events, see the Bayou City History blog, the Houston Chronicle, and the Cypress Times.

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