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NavSource Online: Cruiser Photo Archive



Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign: November - India - Quebec - Foxtrot
(Provided by USS Houston survivor RM2c David Flynn via Donald Kehn)

Displacement 9,300 Tons, Dimensions, 600' 3" (oa) x 66' 1" x 23' (Max)
Armament 9 x 8"/55, 4 x 5"/25, 6 x 21" tt. 4 Aircraft.
Armor, 3 3/4" Belt, 2 1/2 Turrets, 1" Deck, 1 1/4 Conning Tower.
Machinery, 107,000 SHP; Geared Turbines, 4 screws
Speed, 32.7 Knots, Crew 621.
Operational and Building Data
Launched 07 SEP 1929
Commissioned 17 JUN 1930
Redesignated CA 30 01 JUL 1931
Fate: Sunk by Japanese gunfire and torpedoes during the Battle of Sunda Strait, 01 MAR 1942

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Size Image Description Contributed
By And/Or Copyright
1.2m Houston, preparing to slide down the ways on 7 September 1929 at Newport News. William Baxter
2m USS Houston (CA 30) being launched at Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company, Newport News, Virginia, on 7 September 1929.  Michael Mohl
1.4m USS Houston (CA 30) starboard stern, shown after launching at Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company, Newport News, Virginia, on 1 October 1929. Michael Mohl
485k Although it is slightly dim, the pic of the flag-raising on HOUSTON at her commissioning ceremony (@Norfolk, VA) on 17 June 1930 is the only one I have ever seen. On the back in green ink--such as used in an official log--is written: "When Old Glory first flew over the HOUSTON". Don Kehn, Jr. Collection Don Kehn, Jr.
Houston 92k

USS Houston (CL 30) Probably photographed in 1930, at the time of her completion.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph - NH 53586.

Houston 120k Undated pre war Image. USN
Houston 11k Undated pre war image, (Very small) USN
Houston 17k Pre war, seen here moored at pier. USN

Undated photo of Houston at anchor, rigged for Dress Ship.

Photo is by George Winstead

Robert M. Cieri

Port bow view while underway, date and location unknown.

U.S. Navy photo.

Ron Titus
100k USS Houston (CA 30) pre-war postcard. From the Otto Schwarz Collection. Don Kehn, Jr.
928k USS Houston (CA 30) berth at Pearl Harbor Pre-WWII. Darryl Baker
288k USS Houston in the Houston Ship Channel, 20 October 1930, on her first visit to her namesake city. From the Otto Schwarz Collection. Don Kehn, Jr.
362k Overhead view of Houston at sea, ca. early 1930s. From the Otto Schwarz Collection Don Kehn, Jr.
760k USS Houston (CA 30) shown at Shanghai circa 1931. Darryl Baker

USS Jason is off in the left distance as a Vought O2U-3 or O2U-4 Corsair float plane of Scouting Squadron Eleven is catapulted from USS Houston (CA 30), in Far Eastern waters, circa 1931-1932.

US Navy photo # NH 94188 from the collections of the US Naval History and Heritage Command, collection of Lieutenant Oscar W. Levy, USN (Supply Corps), (Retired).

Robert Hurst
Houston 61k

USS Houston (CA 30) Photographed during the early or middle 1930s.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph - NH 53588.

Houston 144k

USS Houston (CA 30) The ship's starboard 5"/25 guns in action, during anti-aircraft battle practice off Chefoo, China, 1932-33.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph - NH 53590.

Houston 65k

USS Houston (CA 30) At Tsingtao, China, on 4 July 1933, "dressed overall" for the holiday. She is flying the four-star flag of Admiral Montgomery M. Taylor, Commander in Chief Asiatic Fleet, at her forepeak. Courtesy of Chief Radioman W.R. Lucas, USN (Retired), 1973.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph - NH 78368.

Houston 94k

11 July 1934 President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was aboard the U.S. cruiser Houston as it transited the Panama Canal en route from Annapolis, Maryland, to Portland, Oregon.  This was the first passage through the canal by a president of the United States while in office.  Military honors were rendered at Miraflores as the warship paused before locking down to the Pacific.  The Houston had embarked Roosevelt and his party at Annapolis on July 1st, proceeding to the canal via Cape Haitien, Mayaguez, San Juan, St. Thomas, St. Croix, and Cartagena.  After a day tour at Balboa on the 12th, the president re-embarked the Houston, and the cruiser got under way at 5:30 p.m. for Portland via Cocos Island and Honolulu.  While in office, President Roosevelt was to make four more visits to Panama, two aboard the Houston in 1935 and 1938 and two aboard the cruiser Tuscaloosa in 1940.  The Houston, launched by Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co. in 1929, made here final transit of the canal in 1939.  A year later the ship was posted to the Philippines as flagship of the Asiatic Fleet.  Following several combat actions against the Japanese during the first few weeks of World War II, the Houston was lost in the Battle of the Java Sea in late February 1942.  Having battles against fare superior forces, the heavy cruiser became on of the most honored ships of the war, winning two battle stars and a Presidential Unit Citation.

Photo and narration from the book Ships of The Panama Canal, by James L. Shaw

Michael Mohl

Off Cocoanut Island, Hilo, Hawaii, 25 July 1934.

Photo by Tai Sing Loo.

Robert M. Cieri
Houston 40k USS Houston entering Pearl Harbor with President Roosevelt aboard. Probably in 1934. Steve Cardali

Turning in Pearl Harbor, 1934.

Photo by Tai Sing Loo.

Robert M. Cieri
Houston 47k President Roosevelt speaking to Naval Cadets at Pearl Harbor. Probably in 1934. Steve Cardali
Houston 38k USS Houston manuevering in Pearl Harbor. Probably in 1934. Steve Cardali
Houston 59k President Roosevelt, Secret Service agents and the Captain of USS Houston. Probably in 1934. Steve Cardali
Houston 50k President Roosevelt and company along side of USS Houston in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Probably in 1934. Steve Cardali
Houston 119k

USS Houston (CA 30) At anchor off San Pedro, California, 18 April 1935. A New Orleans class heavy cruiser is in the right background.

Photograph from Department of the Navy collections in the U.S. National Archives - 80-CF-21337-1.

National Archives
Houston 120k

USS Houston (CA 30) off San Diego, California, in October 1935, with President Franklin D. Roosevelt on board. She is flying an admiral's four-star flag at her foremast peak, and the Presidential flag at her mainmast peak.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Houston 198k Port bow view while steaming in the Willamette River, Portland, Oregon, August 1936. Walter Nasmyth LST-19
Chicago 652k The USS San Francisco (CA 38) is forward of the USS Tuscaloosa (CA 37) on the left and the USS Hoston (CA 30) is forward of the USS Chicago (CA 29) at Mare Island Navy Yard between November 3rd and 5th in 1936. U.S. Navy Photo. Darryl Baker
949k USS Houston (CA 30) at Mare Island on 10 September 1937. Darryl Baker
910k USS Houston (CA 30) circa 1938 location unknown. Darryl Baker
317k Photo caption: "(Ny-14) AT SEA WITH FLEET-----AFTER THE HOUSTON "WENT DOWN "---This photo of the U.S.S. Houston, cruiser that carried President Roosevelt to the Caribbean war games, was released today by the Navy Department. Later, Admiral William D. Leahy disclosed that the Houston was theoretically sunk by an "enemy" submarine earlier in the game in the vinicity of the Virgin Islands. This photo was made from the Aircraft Carrier Lexington. (c31720) APWIREPHOTO SEE STORY" Jonathan Eno
334k Photo caption: "CTN-I- Charleston S.C. March 3---PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT ARRIVES AT CHARLESTON------Naval officers salute their chief as he arrives aboard the cruiser Houston today after viewing the Naval war games in the Caribbean Sea." Jonathan Eno
Houston 310k 1939, in the Panama Canal heading for the Pacific. Bruce Constable
87k Moored in Hawaii during her time in the so-called "Hawaiian Detachment" (1939). Don Kehn, Jr. Collection via Otto Schwarz Don Kehn, Jr.

The USS Houston (CA 30) is forward of USS Chicago (CA 29) on 10 Sep 1940 at Mare Island Navy Yard. USS Ramapo (AO 12) is berth alongside of USS Houston and the USS William Ward Burrows (AP 6) and the YD 33 (150 ton crane) are alongside of USS Chicago.

NARA San Francisco, Mare Island Navy Shipyard Ship Files

Tracy White

A view of the Mast in the Wardroom.

National Archives, Seattle Branch, Record Group 181.

Tracy White
Chicago 906k

The USS Houston (CA 30) is forward of USS Chicago (CA 29) on 10 Sep 1940 at Mare Island Navy Yard. USS Ramapo (AO 12) is berth alongside of USS Houston and the USS William Ward Burrows (AP 6) and the YD 33 (150 ton crane) are alongside of USS Chicago. In this picture there is a good view of the AA guns added to the Chicago's aft deck house.

U.S. Navy Photo.

Darryl Baker
529k Party for crew of USS Houston (CA 30), 23 November 1940, in the Philippines. From the Otto Schwarz Collection Don Kehn, Jr.
Houston 92k

USS Houston (CA 30) In Manila Bay, Philippine Islands, in 1940-41, after her final modifications. Courtesy of Robert I. Martin, 1975.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph - NH 81592.


USS Houston (CA 30) at Tjilatjap, Java, NEI, Netherlands East Indies), 6 February 1942, seen from the light cruiser USS Marblehead (CL 12), which was passing close aboard. Houston's colours are half-masted pending return of her funeral party, ashore for burial of men lost when a bomb hit near her after eight-inch gun turret two days earlier during a Japanese air attack in Bangka Strait. The disabled turret is visible in the center of the view, being trained to port. The original photo came from Rear Admiral Samuel Eliot Morison's World War II history project working files.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph. - NH 82480.

Robert Hurst
Houston 61k

USS Houston (CA 30) (right center) At Darwin, Australia, probably on 15 or 18 February 1942. The destroyer astern of Houston may be USS Peary (DD 226). Among the ships in the background, to the left, are HMAS Terka and the SS Zealandia. The donor was on board HMAS Tolga, then used as a water carrier for ships in Darwin harbor. Courtesy of Arthur W. Thomas.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph - NH 43649.

USNHC/Bruce Constable
297k Japanese propaganda postcard of the sinking of USS Houston (CA 30) in March 1942. Arnold Putnam

Commanding Officers
Name/Rank Class Final Rank Dates
Gay, Jesse Bishop, CAPT 1903   06/17/1930 - 11/18/1930
Dawes, Robert Alden, CAPT 1904   11/18/1930 - 01/03/1933
Baggaley, William, CAPT 1905   01/03/1933 - 06/05/1934
Woodson, Walter Browne, RADM 1905 RADM 06/05/1934 - 06/25/1935
Baker, Guy Evans, CAPT 1907   06/25/1935 - 07/16/1937
Barker, George Nathan, CAPT 1907   07/16/1937 - 05/24/1939
Cogswell, Francis, CAPT 1908   05/24/1939 - 09/22/1939
Oldendorf, Jesse Barrett (Oley), CAPT 1909 ADM 10/16/1939 - 08/30/1941
Rooks, Albert Harold, CAPT 1914   08/30/1941 - 03/01/1942

(Courtesy of Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves - Photos courtesy of Bill Gonyo)

USS HOUSTON (CL/CA 30) History
View This Vessels DANFS History Entry on the U.S. Navy Historical Center website.

Crew Contact And Reunion Information
CA 30 - CL 81

Contact Name: Kenneth Rogers
Address: 3949 Little John Drive York, PA 17404
Phone: 717-792-9113

Note About Contacts.

The contact listed, Was the contact at the time for this ship when located. If another person now is the contact, E-mail me and I will update this entry. These contacts are compiled from various sources over a long period of time and may or may not be correct. Every effort has been made to list the newest contact if more than one contact was found.

Additional Resources
Hazegray & Underway Cruiser Pages By Andrew Toppan.
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