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USS Houston (CL/CA-30), was a Northampton-class cruiser of the United States Navy. She was the second Navy ship to bear the name "Houston".

She was launched by Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Company, Newport News, Virginia on 7 September 1929, sponsored by Elizabeth Holcombe (daughter of Oscar Holcombe, then-mayor of Houston, Texas), and commissioned on 17 June 1930, Captain Jesse Bishop Gay commanding.[5]

The ship was originally classified as a light cruiser (hull number CL-30) because of her thin armor. Houston was redesignated a heavy cruiser (CA-30) on 1 July 1931, as the provisions of the 1930 London Naval Treaty considered ships with 8-inch main guns to be heavy cruisers.Battle of Sunda Strait[edit]Captain Albert H. Rooks, commanding officer of Houston, c. 1940–1942.Main article: Battle of Sunda StraitHouston and Perth reached Tanjong Priok on 28 February, where they attempted to resupply, but were met with fuel shortages and no available ammunition.[15] The two cruisers were ordered to sail to Tjilatjap with Dutch destroyer Evertsen, but departed at 17:00 without Evertsen, which was delayed.[16] The Allies believed that Sunda Strait was free of enemy vessels, with the last intelligence reports indicating that Japanese warships were no closer than 50 miles (43 nmi; 80 km), but a large Japanese force had assembled at Bantam Bay.[17][16][18] At 23:06, the two cruisers were off St. Nicholas Point when lookouts on Perth sighted an unidentified ship; when it was realized that she was a Japanese destroyer, Perth engaged.[17][16] However, as this happened, multiple Japanese warships appeared and surrounded the two Allied ships.[17][16]The two cruisers evaded the nine torpedoes launched by the destroyer Fubuki.[18] According to ABDA post-battle reports, the cruisers then reportedly sank one transport and forced three others to beach, but were blocked from passing through Sunda Strait by a destroyer squadron, and had to contend with the heavy cruisers Mogami and Mikuma in close proximity.[5] At midnight, Perth attempted to force a way through the destroyers, but was hit by four torpedoes in the space of a few minutes, then subject to close-range gunfire until sinking at 00:25 on 1 March.[16]On board Houston, shells were in short supply in the forward turrets, so the crew manhandled shells from the disabled number three turret to the forward turrets. Houston was struck by a torpedo shortly after midnight, and began to lose headway.[5] Houston's gunners had scored hits on three different destroyers and sunk a minesweeper, but she was struck by three more torpedoes in quick succession. Captain Albert Rooks was killed by a bursting shell at 00:30, and as the ship came to a stop, Japanese destroyers moved in, machine-gunning the decks. A few minutes later, Houston rolled over and sank. Of the 1,061 aboard, 368 survived, including 24 of the 74-man Marine Detachment, only to be captured by the Japanese and interned in prison camps. Of 368 Navy and Marine Corps personnel taken prisoner, 77 (21%) died in captivity

USS Houston CA-30 MS 1 FH Print

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