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HMAS Perth, USS Houston and the Battle of Sunda Strait

Discussion in 'WWII General' started by robtheworker, Jan 19, 2010.

  1. robtheworker

    robtheworker Member

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    Of all the naval engagements of WW2, it seems the battle of Sunda Strait, which resulted in the destruction of the HMAS Perth and the USS Houstan by a superiour japanese task force, seems to be very unclear. I've read many conflicting accounts of the action, the size of the Japanese fleet, and the losses incured by the Allied crusiers. Does anyone have information/knowledge of this engagement beyond what can be found on wikipedia?
     
  2. mikebatzel

    mikebatzel Dreadnaught

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  3. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    Ship of Ghosts is the book I'm currently reading. It gives a pretty good account of the Sunda Strait action as well as the POW experience.
     
  4. robtheworker

    robtheworker Member

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    Cheers Mike and LRusso, i'll check that book out. It is an amazing story of both the battle and the years that followed as a prisoner of the japanese. Appreicate it
     
  5. Clementine

    Clementine Member

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    I read Ship of Ghosts a couple of years ago. I "enjoyed" it great deal. And then I was amazed to find out that a young man from my hometown was serving on the Houston when she sank. He survived the sinking only to die of a tropical ulcer in 100 Kilo Camp.

    I am humbled to say that I am going to meet with a couple of his surviving siblings in a couple of weeks, and visit his grave. I found out there was a memorial for him in our local cemetery, but I thought that was all it was, a memorial. I recently found out his remains were returned home in the late 1940's and he is buried there. So I will be able to pay my respects to him, as well.

    Trying to find out as much as I can about the Houston and the Battle of Sunda Strait before I visit with them....(Which is why I am resurrecting this thread!)

    I come from a community with a winning football tradition, and this young man was very much part of that tradition in the 1930's. I heard of his football exploits all of my life, and I even heard his WWII service mentioned, sort of as an afterthought - I never knew this part of his story. I know that it is natural that such things fade from memory after a time, but I find it sad that I never heard of this when I was growing up.
     
  6. Takao

    Takao Ace

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  7. Clementine

    Clementine Member

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    Thank you, Takao. I will check them out.
     
  8. lwd

    lwd Ace

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  9. Tristan Scott

    Tristan Scott Member

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    Most track information and information concerning the IJN ships and disposition will have to come from the Japanese as niether allied ship survived. A good source of IJN information is Paul Dull's A Battle History of the Imperial Japanese Navy.
     
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  10. lwd

    lwd Ace

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  11. Clementine

    Clementine Member

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    I actually just ordered everything I could find on Amazon about the Houson!. The University of Houston has a USS Houston collection I'd really like to see. Guess I'll have to make a trip to Texas.
     
  12. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    I think the Texas is in Houston as well.
    http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/state-parks/battleship-texas
    And if you are going to Texas and interested in the Pacfic there is:
    http://www.pacificwarmuseum.org/index.asp

    As long as your aren't a vegitarian there's some very good food to be found down there as well. I think a number of our members reside in the state also. I've heard that Houston can get rather warm and muggy during the summer and if you visit Gaveston watch out for freighters full of fertilizer. :)
     
  13. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    RIP Hecter Waller...
     
  14. Clementine

    Clementine Member

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    Waller was the captain of the HMAS Perth, wasn't he?
     
  15. Clementine

    Clementine Member

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    I am out of "likes" for the day, lwd, but I will keep your warning about freighters full of fertilizer in mind! :)
     
  16. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    The Captain...and one of the best sailors of WW2...Knew how to thrash the Perth around to avoid bombing...bent the hull due to his jagging...liked to weld 20mm cannons to his decks...Went down with the Perth...A Victorian.
     
  17. Clementine

    Clementine Member

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    Hat's off to him. I hope to find out more about him as well then, in my quest to find out more about my hometown boy on the Houston.

    Rest in peace, Captain Waller.
     
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  18. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    Please do Clem...you'll enjoy his considerable story...fought in the first war also...We have a Collins class Submarine named after him..only the best get a sub named after them...
     

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