Thursday, December 21, 2006

Reviews of "Ship of Ghosts"

THIS is FROM LIN DREES: Friends who now live in Hallettsville sent me a book review, / Victoria ADVOCATE, Wed., Dec. 13, 06 - p.B5. (and once while in Houston they attended one of our Memorial Services)
Cindy Bonner, the reviewer who is also an author, wrote: "James D. Hornfischer understands naval warfare and puts that knowledge to compelling use in his brilliant description of the chaos of that final battle." Later she discusses the Cruiser HOUSTON collection @ UH and lists both our USS HOUSTON website and Jim's website. This is probably just one of a large number of reviews. Also, one of the librarians @ the Houston Public Library put together an exhibit on the city of Houston during the war years. He has some photos of the USS HOUSTON, the 1000 Volunteers - and Ron asked him if he would like our copy of Jim's book to add to the display (he already had Winslow's book on display). The HPL has ordered Jim's book, but has not yet processed and sent the copies out for check out. Again, Jim thanks for putting "our story" out there for all to read.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Leslie Hurrell - KIA Sunda Strait

Attached are two photographs taken at Mountain View Cemetery in Danville, Virginia. This cemetery is around the corner from Obie's childhood home. We were walking in the cemetery one day and decided to stop and read all of the markers in the WWII Memorial section. Much to our surprise, we found a marker for a USS Houston sailor who is still standing watch in Sunda Strait. Obie played there often as a child never suspecting, of course, that some 50 years later he would learn the history of one of those markers and that it would have so much meaning to us (and the USS Houston family). Here is a link to the location on a map . We have not yet had any success locating any of Leslie Hurrell's family members. Leslie Hurrell, you are remembered. Submitted by: Judy Bunch and Obie Roach.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Last Man Out - Updated Paperback

In addition to "Ship of Ghosts," there is another recently printed USS HOUSTON-related book available in bookstores these days, with which Jim Hornfischer has been (quietly) involved, called "Last Man Out," written by my father, Howard Robert (Bob) Charles. This is a new, updated paperback version, which features a new (and excellent) Forward by Mr. Hornfischer, as well as several photographs that did not appear in the original 1988 hardcover edition.
"Last Man Out" describes Dr. Hekking's heroic efforts to save allied prisoners of war during the miserable months of POW captivity on the Burma-Thailand Railway construction project. A Dutch army medical officer, Hekking was captured on Java by Japanese forces in 1942 and eventually found himself in POW labor camps along the Burma-Thailand Railway, caring for USS HOUSTON and Lost Battalion survivors. The Americans who were in the camps with Dr. Hekking, including my father, always considered themselves to be extremely lucky. This book explains why that was so true. -- Dana