Wednesday, May 25, 2005

USS Houston's last Battle

I have the most interesting friends. One, Don Kehn of Houston, Texas is a veritable encyclopedia of interesting facts about the Asiatic Fleet (destroyed early in WWII by the Japanese) and the USS Houston. He has given me a discussion board link that goes on and on about recent photo finds. He discovered, for instance, that a short captured Japanese film clip of a destroyer being blown out of the water and used in a Dutch film about the Pacific battles for Java (Battle of The Java Sea) is actually the last images of the USS Edsall which was lost without at trace. Now he has discovered on a discussion board, a link to an IJN (Imperial Japanese Navy) site where the command ship for Lt.Gen. IMAMURA is shown sunk in Banten Bay (a result of Houston and Perth's final fight). By the way, it was sunk by torpedoes. Houston and Perth had no torpedoes. There were over 70 torpedoes fired by the IJN that night. 4 took out the USS Houston. 4 took out the HMAS Perth. So there were plenty more torpedoes going around to hit other targets ... including the general's ship, the 'Shinshiu Maru'. From the BB I learned it was refloated and sunk again ... in 1945.
Here is my post on the BB: "Don Kehn keeps dragging me into the most fascinating things, this discussion among them! I am awed by the information here and know the USSHouston.org "family" and HMAS Perth "family" and the Asiatic Fleet folks will all be greatly enthralled to learn of all these facts and photos! Love the Nelson dialogue also. I have nearly finsihed "Dreadnought" by Massie. The book begins by telling of Nelson's Trafalgar and the 100 years subsequent Pax Britannica. Some of the notes here have added insight to Trafalgar. I continue to be amazed at the things Don Kehn falls into! It is good to have somebody with brains on point. For my part, I hope to have the film about USS Houston into DVD format by summer .. and include footage from recent dives, and reunions." Ref: Japanese Ships.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Vic Campbell's "Death Becomes the Ghost", a film documentary dealing with the American warship USS HOUSTON (CA30)& her crew, was a labor of love, which means it came from the heart and speaks to it, too.
As someone who has had some involvement with the CA30 'Next Generation' Association for over a dozen years, I can attest to Campbell's warmth, humor, earnestness, lack of pretention, and ability to endure sub-freezing temperatures in just a light sweater while lesser men in anoraks & Goretex fainted away like brittle six-foot icicles...
As for that Don Kehn from Houston, I say Look Out...No one should be THAT smart and THAT good-looking! It's just not fair; Mother Nature ought to portion out her gifts more EVENLY and not pour so much talent & handsomeness into a single package.
Well, that's my opinion anyway. And I know Vic would agree with me...

Friend of Don said...

Anonymous:

Are you talking about the Don Kehn, Jr. I know? Doesn't really sound like it...Tall, spindly, with a grizzled set of chin-whiskers and protruberant thrapple?
Beady eyes, Roman nose, Ichabod Crane-fingers? I've known him for over forty years, and no one has EVER accused Don of being either good-looking or too terribly bright...tho' bless his heart he always tries hard.

The man hisself said...

I don't know either of the anonymous posters, and disavow any connection with them! [ Tho' given the option I might lean towards the first evaluation rather than the second...]
Recently, however, I have become friends with the gentlemen at the Houston Maritime Museum, James Manzolillo, Chairman & CEO, and
Dr. Serpell Edwards, PhD, President. They have assembled a truly remarkable collection of nautical items, including hundreds of beautiful, meticulously-constructed scale models of warships & sailing vessels, numerous rare sextants, quadrants, & octants, dating back to the 17th century, as well as a fine library of maritime-related texts. This summer I hope to be able to help them catalogue a good deal of their collection, and perhaps provide histories for the various WWII model warships also...Among the most interesting items at the Museum are a set of identification models built in WWII of Japanese warships, for use by aviators, and another group of mementos from USS NORTHAMPTON, one of HOUSTON's sister ships. It's truly the kind of place that a naval history buff could lose himself/herself in for hours at a time, if not longer...Plans are being laid for an eventual move into a much larger, 20,000 sq ft space in downtown Houston across the street from Minutemaid Park, home of the Astros. I will attempt to see that more photos are posted of the collection as we proceed in the task of cataloguing this splendid assemblage of artifacts.
I know that my friends from USS HOUSTON Survivors Assoc./Next Generation would greatly enjoy visiting the Maritime Museum as well...

Jeanie said...

I have located in my photos pictures related to Pearl Habor 1938 Naval Ship yards and apparently some bombing beginning. A few photos not marked on the back.19 July 1938 Sports new from the ship SSSHouston. Along with Anchient Order of the Deep Membership card for Harold V Lyons. Does anyone know the gentleman? I also have and inviation tothe Farewell Party hornoring Captain Guy E. Baker 11 June 1937. Does anyone collect this memorabilia. Please contact
me.