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" www.buzzcreek.com (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). http://www.geocities.com/CapeCanaveral/Galaxy/3070/jjedsall.htm
The book ... http://www.zenithpress.com/Store/ProductDetails_39721.ncm
A BLUE SEA OF BLOOD (by my friend = Don Kehn