By John Grider Miller

A global conflict II event tale of epic proportions, this ebook tells the heroic story of a committed band of guys who refused to permit their crippled send sink to the ground of the Pacific in past due 1944. in response to over seventy eyewitness debts and countless numbers of reliable records and private papers, it documents in wealthy aspect the USS Houston's 14,000-mile perilous trip domestic to the Brooklyn army backyard. a part of Bull Halsey's well-known Pacific activity strength 38, the Houston's have been assisting air moves as a prelude to the conflict of Leyte Gulf, whilst she took an aerial torpedo hit that triggered critical flooding. approximately two-thirds of the team deserted send prior to the damage-control officer confident the captain she should be stored. one other torpedo hit days later complex the crew's determined struggle. Surrounded through loss of life, floodwaters, and fireplace, stalked through enemy subs, threatened by way of air assault, and working from a hurricane, the lads of the Houston's remained towers of power whereas understanding their send was once by no means greater than mins clear of breaking up. John Miller's action-packed account provides insights into the character of heroism and management that stay helpful this present day. remarkable photographic documentation accompanies the textual content.

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Regardless of the threats of Tokyo Rose and the ominous portent of the air-raid alert the day the Houston went into dry dock, paintings at the send proceeded with no harassment with the exception of one short alert overdue in January. during this recognize Manus proved to be far better than Ulithi. A more often than not confident temper now prevailed, with the midships patch approximately entire and the chance of undocking below per week far away. Commander Miller was once too drained to percentage within the clean surge of optimism, even if he admitted that maintenance have been often going good. He were stuck up within the hard attempt for months, attempting to be all over and to envision on every little thing round the clock. He learned that the unrelieved pressure was once most likely undesirable for him and allowed himself rare breaks at the seashore. however the monkey continuously went alongside. round sunset on five February Miller used to be down within the ahead engine room bottoms staring at York and his welders positioned a plate over the ultimate gap within the hull, a bit little greater than a foot sq.. They heard a surprising commotion at the decks above. Hatches have been slamming close. males have been operating for his or her conflict stations. normal quarters. FLASH BLUE. York persevered welding. If the assault materialized they might need to flood the dry dock to reduce capability bomb harm. The water may come pushing up via that awful little one-foot gap and wipe out weeks of labor, at most sensible. Miller didn’t are looking to examine the worst case, one other bomb or torpedo hit. York stored on welding, absolutely absorbed in his paintings. Miller moved nearer, the place he might see over York’s shoulder. How may he inform a guy to weld quicker? Miller bit his tongue and attempted to not breathe loudly. The welding persevered, yet time had stopped. not anything taking place. eventually observe filtered down: “All transparent. ” the ultimate week in dry dock hurried because the major equipment went throughout the ultimate phases of reconditioning. On eleven February Miller shaped a hull board, which include Lieutenant Commander Hibschman and Lieutenants Smith and York, to provide the send a last inspection prior to undocking. The inspection took all day. The 4 males scrutinized the hull and the underwater fittings; the interior bottoms; the vertical bulkheads of the boiler cubicles; the underwater valves; the propellors and shafting; the rudder; and the facility and hand pumps. They labored until eventually 2230 that evening. The Houston used to be able to sail. yet there has been regularly anything else to detain them. under one hour after the inspection was once accomplished a hearth broke out in a third-deck compartment—somewhat all of sudden, contemplating Schnable’s very good music checklist as hearth leader through the dry dock interval. The Houston went to fireside quarters, and a fire-fighting social gathering had the blaze out in 9 mins. On 12 February 1945 the Houston is undocked at Manus and readied to begin sea trials below her personal strength. regardless of a clean camouflage paint task, her port part amidships nonetheless indicates the consequences of repeated battering by means of the Hector’s shallow-draft camels in Ulithi, in addition to broad wrinkling aft from the second one torpedo hit.

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