Naval History and Heritage Command

National Museum of the U.S. Navy

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USS Houston (CA-30)

USS Houston (CA-30), a Northampton-class light cruiser, was commissioned in June 1930.  Originally designated (CL-30), she was reclassified as (CA-30) the following year.   Becoming the flaghship of the Asiatic Fleet in 1931, she served until November 1933 to depart and to protect U.S. interests in Chinese waters during the conflict between China and Japan.  Joining the Scouting Force after her Asiatic Station tour, Houston joined the Scouting Force carrying President Franklin D. Roosevelt on numerous trips and became the flagship of the United States Fleet during September-December 1938.   Returning to the Asiatic Fleet in November 1940, she was ordered to Australian and Netherlands East Indies waters following the United States' entry into war in December 1941.   Despite an enemy bomb disabling her after-gun turret on February 4, 1942, Houston remained in the area and took part in the Battle of Java Sea on February 27.    Ordered from the area the following day, and while steaming with the Australian light-cruiser Perth, she encountered the strong Japanese force supporting an amphibious landing on western Java, resulting in the Battle of Sunda Strait.  Valiantly fighting against the enemy, both Houston and Perth were sunk by enemy gunfire and torpedoes. 

A model of Houston can be found In Harm's Way (Pacific Section) at the National Museum of the U.S. Navy.  

Image:   80-CF-21337-4:  USS Houston (CA-30), firing off Chefoo, China, June 27, 1931.  Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.