By: Sam LaGrone
Published: August 25, 2014 1:36 PM
Updated: August 25, 2014 1:37 PM The U.S. Navy’s recognition of a 72-year-old war grave began when an Australian scuba diver plucked a bent trumpet from 120 feet below the Sea of Java. The mangled horn belonged to one of 1,100 sailors or Marines assigned USS Houston (CA-30) — a cruiser sunk by Imperial Japanese Navy ships in one of America’s earliest skirmishes in World War II. The 2013 recovery of the trumpet — albeit by a well-intentioned diver — caused an association of Houston survivors to warn the Navy that the wreck is at risk to less scrupulous operations. “[There] has been a long standing concern over allegations [divers] were salvaging and pillaging that wreck,” John Schwarz, executive director of USS Houston CA-30 Survivors Association & Next Generations, told USNI News on Thursday. The service’s official examination of the wreck in June— in a diving exercise with sailors from Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit 1 (MDSU), the Indonesian Navy and U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC) —confirmed what Schwarz and his association had feared. “The DIVEX revealed and documented conclusive evidence of systematic unauthorized disturbance of the site,” according to a July 25 NHHC Underwater Archaeology Branch obtained by USNI News. “Evidence suggests ongoing unauthorized recovery of unexploded ordinance from the vessel, raising public safety and security concerns.” The Navy surmised that additional disturbance of the wreck would “potentially impact human remains within or adjacent to the hull.” The site is the final resting place of hundreds of U.S. sailors and Marines…To read more, go to:
Read about the USS HOUSTON from a first witness account: DAVID FLYNN "A Survivor's Story"