U.S.S. Houston

  • Many of you will be familiar with the tragedy of the U.S.S. Houston, a Navy cruiser which was sunk in the Battle of Sunda Strait in the Java Sea in 1942. What you will not believe is that a log from the ship and an autograph album compiled by one of the sailors was sent home to the seaman's parents in Loveland, Colorado shortly before the sinking, and thus survives to this day. This album belongs to a fellow dealer at the Brass Armadillo Antique Mall in Denver, and he was gracious enough to lend it to me so that I could share it with all of you in this week's show. Seaman First Class Tommy Manion, Jr. joined the Navy in 1939 and sailed on the Houston to Pearl Harbor arriving December 7, 1939. The ship was in the environs of Honolulu until November 1940, when it sailed south to Manila. It was in the Philippines when war broke out. When the Houston went down on the night of February 28-March 1, 1942, more than 700 sailors were killed outright or later died in Japanese prison camps. Tommy Manion was captured, but he died in the camp at Moulmein, Burma (Myanmar) in August 1943. But his photo & autograph album remains as a memorial to him. Please be sure to join us this coming Sunday evening, February 19, 2017 at the usual time for this very special show: 5PM PST, 6PM MST, 7PM CST, 8PM EST.