From the Archives at: USS Houston CA-30
Survivors Association & Next Generations
Photo Acquired by John Bradford (Australia). John's source for the photograph of USS Houston (at anchor in Darwin) was the wife of the late Ron Beard who saw action while a member of HMAS Warrego’s No. 1 forward gun during the aborted convoy to Koepang and the Darwin air raid. He left Warrego in December 1942.
Still "Perpetuating the Memory of the CA-30 and Her Men"
By John K. Schwarz
"I had the pleasure recently of being able to spend the better part of a day while vacationing in Florida with this beloved survivor and his fabulous wife, Donna Mae. When greeting them, I was offered a little gift in the form of the book Allan McElhiney: One Man's Vision by John and Minerva Bloom, the story of the founder of the Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale Historical Association (NASFLHA).
Within a couple of days I began to read this book and couldn't put it down. Turns out that the Airport down there serving Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood, Florida, an airport I have flown in and out of for over 15 years, was a major training base during WWII for Naval aviators and enlisted Naval airmen of the U.S Navy and Marine Corps. Among its notables who trained there was President George Bush Sr. He went on to fly off the aircraft carrier San Jacinto which ties it into the USS Houston CA-30 through fund raising following the CA-30's sinking. This air station was also notable in being the base from which was flown the memorable Flight 19 which disappeared without a trace while on a training mission over what has been characterized as the "Bermuda Triangle". All fourteen crew members were lost and nothing has ever been found of the plane or crew.
Allan McElhiney was a Navy man who served during WWII aboard the second USS Asheville Patrol Frigate (PF-1), and was stationed in Newport, R.I, during the Korean War. Coincidentally, the first USS Asheville (PG-21), was part of the Asiatic Fleet! Anyhow, just like the spirit of my late beloved Dad, Otto Schwarz, Allan set about and has devoted his entire life to preserving the memory and legacy of the contributions and sacrifices made by so many of the servicemen who served at NASFL. He established the historical association which has been able to retain an original building from the WWII air station which now sits on the airport grounds as a Navy Museum. I had the pleasure of spending an afternoon at this Museum and with this great WWII American hero. There he was, 85 years old, suffering from Parkinsons Disease, and staffing this Museum on his own, continuing his life's work through this Museum packed with artifacts. What a man! He is a true example of the "greatest generation".
Low and behold, commencing on page 94 of the book, is "Survivor's Story" which turned out to be a six-page depiction of David Flynn's experience as a CA-30 shipmate! I have to tell you that it made me so proud to read and see such a fabulous job David and the authors did in condensing David's story into these six pages. What a testament to the CA-30 and her crew. This is such a great example of one of our own beloved men having the courage and talent to tell the story so that the mission of "perpetuating the memory of the USS Houston CA-30 and her men" gets accomplished.
David, hat's off to you, JOB WELL DONE, and God bless you!"
John Schwarz is the Executive Director of the Blue Bonnet Newsletter of the USS Houston CA-30 Survivor's Association. He is the son of USN survivor Otto Schwarz. His father started this association in 1948. Otto recently passed away. Our deepest condolences to the Schwarz family.
To visit David Flynn's website Tribute by his son Shawn Flynn, click on this link.