USS Houston Memorial Service

As many as a hundred people are expected at Sam Houston Park today for the 11th annual memorial service to honor the crew of the USS Houston, which sank in the Pacific early in World War Two. Houston Public Radio's Jim Bell has more.

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Two thirds of the crew died when the cruiser Houston went down on March 1st 1942. The Japanese used the survivors as slave labor to build a railroad from Burma to Thailand, and the infamous bridge over the River Kwai. It's estimated that 13 thousand allied POW's died building that railway. One who didn't die was Navy Seaman Howard Brooks, now in his 80s, and he says the 1957 movie about that bridge didn't come close to capturing what it was really like. He didn't like the movie.

"Because with the group we were with...........end of you."

Brooks now lives in New Jersey, and while it's not easy to travel halfway across the country at his age, he says he's glad to come because it's an honor to represent his shipmates at the memorial in Houston.

"It has been very comforting.....................regard.

The USS Houston Memorial Service will be held at 3pm today, at the Memorial monument in Sam Houston Park in downtown Houston. Jim Bell, Houston Public Radio News.


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