The Last Stand of the USS Houston
War Plan Orange in 1941 called for the Asiatic Fleet to execute a fighting withdrawal to Java and Australia, giving the Pearl Harbor Fleet time to come to the rescue. December 7, 1941 changed all that. Now, the Asiatic Fleet and the Flagship, USS Houston (CA-30), would fight alone and no help would come their way. After the loss of Battleships HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse on December 10, the Houston was the largest remaining all gun ship among the Allied Fleets. These fleets soon banded together in a combined fleet of American, British, Dutch and Australian warships. Even the combined fleet was not enough. Nonetheless, the Japanese were challenged for every mile of conquest. It is no wonder this fleet is sometimes referred to as "THE FLEET THE GOD'S FORGOT" The Houston and her Asiatic Fleet fought battles almost continuously from December 8, 1941 to March 1, 1942. March 1, is Asiatic Fleet Memorial Day That is the day the Houston died alongside the only remaining Allied cruiser, the HMAS PERTH. They made their LAST STAND in Sunda Strait only two days after the rest of the Allied Fleet was thoroughly destroyed in THE BATTLE OF THE JAVA SEA. This two disc documentary makes heavy use of interviews with survivors of the USS Houston (CA30). The Houston survivors, among others, became slave laborers on the Death Railway in Burma. (Bridge over the River Kwai). The Battles and the POW experience are presented here. Note: This title is contained in two parts in a multi disc set which is shipped in a single case. Disc one also contains a special 60 year memorial dive feature in which divers on the Houston wreck were in contact by cell phone with a reunion of survivors in Houston Texas at the time.
Public Access Stations and PBS Texas. Local Access Stations and ETV stations are encourged to offer this film as a part of their history offerings.
Many reviews were posted in Military History magazines between 1997 and 1999. A list will be posted later.
Otto Schwarz and USS Houston Survivors
Tele Award - VHS Version - 1997