Tags: uss houston | wreck | wwii | java sea | navy | divers

USS Houston Wreck From WWII ID'd in Java Sea by Navy Divers

By    |   Tuesday, 19 Aug 2014 10:15 AM

The wreck of the USS Houston, a World War II-era cruiser sunk by the Japanese, was identified in the Java Sea by divers from the United States and Indonesia, the Navy announced on Monday.

Adm. Harry Harris told The Associated Press that divers have recorded evidence of the ship's resting place in the Java Sea, which is on the Sunda Shelf between the Indonesian islands of Borneo and Java. Harris told The AP that while there was evidence that the site had been disturbed, they were working on efforts to keep that from happening again.

"In my discussions with our Indonesian navy partners, they share our sense of obligation to protect this and other gravesites," Harris said in a statement. "Surveying the site, of course was only the first step in partnering to respect those sailors who made the ultimate sacrifice to ensure the freedoms and security that we richly enjoy today."

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The USS Houston was sunk during the Battle of Sunda Strait on Feb. 28, 1942, according to the Navy. It was estimated that more than 700 people lost their lives when the ship went down. The Navy said the ship is still the property of the U.S. under international law.

In June, divers along with Alexis Catsambis, an underwater archaeologist from the Naval History and Heritage Command, worked to document the remains of the USS Houston, which included direct observations and inspections by divers along with use of sonar sensing systems and a remotely operated vehicle.

Nicknamed "The Galloping Ghost of the Java Coast," the USS Houston is one of an estimated 17,000 sunken ships and aircraft resting in the ocean around the world, reported the AP. Since the USS Houston is in a location that is popular with local divers, there is concerned about scavengers, Navy officials told The AP.

The Houston Chronicle reported that 291 sailors and Marines survived the USS Houston sinking and that 15 those survivors were still alive during the 70th anniversary of the ship's demise in 2012.

The Chronicle said the city of Houston responded to the sinking of its namesake with a mass recruiting drive for volunteers to replace the lost crew and an $85 million fundraising campaign to pay for a new cruiser.

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The wreck of the USS Houston, a World War II-era cruiser sunk by the Japanese, was identified in the Java Sea by divers from the United States and Indonesia, the Navy announced on Monday.
uss houston, wreck, wwii, java sea, navy, divers
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2014-15-19
Tuesday, 19 Aug 2014 10:15 AM
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