Saturday, December 13, 2008

Remembering the Panay

clipped from

Panay (River Gunboat PG45). Port bow, underway, 08/30/1928 (ARC Identifier: 512989 ); Series: Naval History Photographs (Bureau of Ships), 1883 - 1941; Records of the Bureau of Ships, 1940 - 1966; Record Group 19; National Archives.

 blog it

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Return to the Philippines

This article by RADM McKinnon is a must read for anyone who ever was in port in Subic Bay or Cubi Point.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

USS Houston and POW survivor Stanley Woody ARTICLE. I had the pleasure of knowing “Woody” while I was growing up in Norfolk. He is a wonderful and inspiring person. Submited for this blog by Jim Outland -- Midlothian, Va. -- The Asiatic Fleet was to be supported when Japan attacked by the Pacific Fleet in Pearl Harbor. The support never showed up.
they have no grave but the cruel
sea. no flowers at their head.
a rusting hulk is their tombstone.
at rest on the ocean floor

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Slop Chute on The old Whangpoo

A recent letter from Denver Keplenger left the above forwarding address for the few remaining sailors of the historic South China Yangtze Patrol- Asiatic Fleet. This blog and websites noted in the index will continue to keep their history available. HERE IS THE LAST LETTER from the organization. Denver Keplinger closes out with the memorable line --- "See You at the Slop Chute on the Old Whangpoo".

tune of "Let Me Call You Sweetheart"

I'll meet you at the slop chute on the old Whangpoo
Bring along your dip net; there'll be enough for two
There'll be beans and carrots and some Irish stew
I'll meet you at the slop chute on the old Whangpoo!

... Also reference the Last Flagship of the Asiatic Fleet.
... Recent Book about the loss of USS Edsall

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

New River Kwai Book

More prisoners of war died at Sonkrai than any other camp on the infamous River Kwai Railway. Seven thousand Australian and British POWs were sent by the Japanese to build the toughest section of the railway in the mountains between Thailand and Burma. Three thousand died from slave labour, disease, starvation and exposure the never-ending monsoon rain. After the war, a military tribunal tried five Japanese and two Koreans for those deaths.
In A River Kwai Story you will also find:

For the first time it tells the story of a River Kwai POW camp from both sides Allied and Japanese, based on the investigative and trial records and MORE. See the USS HOUSTON blog for more details from the author. Ordering the book at this point in the USA is problematic but the author is working on it.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

News of 2008 USS Houston Dive Team

Also noted at the USS HOUSTON BLOG.
Ranger's Blog 2008 Dive
Rangers Web for USS Houston

William Deertz []
Jerry, saw your write up on your recent dive trip to the USS Houston. Wish I had known a group of you were coming as I would have liked to join the expedition. I am a US expat and have been living in Jakarta for the past 11 years. A group of us dove the USS Houston on the 60th anniversary of the sinking. You can see a few photos and a short video I put together from this trip at this link As you’ll know from diving it the visibility is poor so in the video its often difficult to make out where you are at. I would have liked to get more wide angle from outside the wreck but the poor visibility makes this difficult.
Here is a 2007 PHOTO Album from another earlier Ranger Dive.

Battle of Badoeng Strait

Battle of Badoeng Strait: World War II Naval Duel off Bali
The Allied strike force reached Badoeng Strait too late to stop the Japanese invasion -- and the one transport they found was defended by two tenacious destroyers. This article was written by Tom Womack and originally appeared in the February 1996 issue of World War II magazine. For more great articles subscribe to World War II magazine today!
Here is another article too: , another detailed article by: Felipe C. Ramirez. (courtesy Johan VanLeer)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

USS Houston 2008 Memorial Service

This was put together by Tim Joseph (
Instructions for downloading: When you see one you would like to use click on the small floppy disk icon in the lower right corner of the screen just to the left of the music control icon. A window will open with the same image you are viewing and this new window allows you to Right click over it
and Save Picture As, Email Picture, Print Picture etc.

Love knows no depth
This story from the PRESS GAZETTE tells about Jerry Ranger of Milton. I know Jerry well since I continue to work with this group after the DVD about the Houston was completed "LAST STAND OF USS HOUSTON" (years ago). It will be educatinal to watch Jerry's letters and blogs as he goes through with this dive in Indonesia. If you are aware of people who'd like the hear Jerry talk about the Houston or this dive - he can be reached
in the local phonebook.

It is amazing to me how little known the USS Houston is ... The story of its life and death in battle with the Asiatic Fleet is legendary to serious students of the Pacific War .. but it neer seems to break into the greater public consciousness. Only this year .. in December - for the first time - will a speaker from the Houston organization be honored to talk at the Pearl Harbor memorial services. The curtain of the war dropped down just West of Pearl Harbor for the first 6 months after the war began. The reason is things were not going well.In 3 monts the Asiatic Fleet was on the bottom.

The Houston (Flagship fo the Asiatic Fleet) and the entire fleet as well as fleets of Britain, Australia and Holland were all banded together and nearly all were destroyed after 3 months of horrific fighting. Yet all we hear about is Pearl Harbor. The Asiatic Fleet is lost to the History Channel (I was once told by their people that since few photos and no film survived the battles they could not do a story on it (even more reason to do one -- think of it -- lots of film was shot but all of it went t the bottom - without film we are to forget them?).

I hope you read the article and share it around. Jerry's Dad lived in Milton for years - was an appliance repairman for White's. The man saved the Houston once from a magazine explosion by going down into a burning gun mount to flood the powder. He went up under fire one time (in a big battle - not the last one) and replaced the American Flag that had been shot away.
John Ranger was an amazing man. Walter Winslow who was also in the Houston - later wrote a book called "THE FLEET THE GODS FORGOT". He used to live in Milton.
New book about The USS EDSALL ...Lost without a trace (part of this Asiatic Fleet). Had just picked up survivors from the USS Langley (you know the road in Pensacola? - The navy's FIRST Aircraft Carrier).
The book ...

A BLUE SEA OF BLOOD (by my friend = Don Kehn

Friday, February 08, 2008

Mysterious Fate of the USS Edsall

A Blue Sea Of Blood: Deciphering the Mysterious Fate of the USS Edsall (Hardcover) by Donald M Kehn Jr. Don is a good friend of the Asiatic Fleet and the USS Houston Associations. This work is bound to be important to every student of the Pacific War - WWII. (vic)