Volume I, Number 9.
History of the Houston
The U. S. S. Houston was built at
Newport, News, Va. The keel was
laid in 1928 and the ship was launched
on 7 September 1929, Miss Elisabeth
Holcombe, of Houston, Texas, sponsored
the ship, giving her the name
of that city in memory of General
After commissioning in the U. S.
Navy Yard on 17 June 1930, the
U. S. S. Houston made a " shake down"
cruise to Europe, visiting England,
France, . and Holland, returning to
Houston, Texas, to extend the welcome
of the Navy to the Houston's
natal city. Following this memorable
visit, final trials and overhauls were
held, and the ship sailed for the Asiatic
Station on 14 January 1931, via the
Panama Canal and Honolulu, T. H. On
22 February 1931 the Houston joined
the Asiatic Fleet in Manila, P. L, and
assumed her role as flagship, hoisting
the flag of Admiral Charles B.
McVay, Jr., U. S. Navy. On 20 September
1931, she entered the Yantze River
to assist, if necessary, in rescue
work during one of the most devastating
floods in the history of that
famous river. The Houston went up
the river about 600 miles to the city
of Hakow, returning to Shanghai on
5 October 1931.
While undergoing routine overhaul
in the Cavite Navy Yard, Philippine
Islands, on the night of 31
January 1932, rush orders were received
to proceed immediately to
Shanghai, where hostilities had broken
out between China and Japan. American
lives and interests were endangered.
Within a few hours the
Houston was ready to sail, took
( Continued on Page 2.)
The Art of Wearing Phones
Wearing phones is really an art
which cannot be overlooked. First,
let us consider the appearance of a
past master when wearing phones.
The mouth piece unit is properly secured
around his neck as it should
be. But there are many things that
can be done to the mouthpiece proper.
A rubber band, tire tape or just a
rag strip can be used. You may wonder
what these have to do with the
mouth piece. The maestro uses these
to keep his button down so that it
will not be necessary to expend the
effort to lift his hand and press it in
when he wishes to talk, a truly great
advantage, so convienient for him. It
has an effect on the rest of the people
on his circuit. Suppose he is in
the • five- inch battery during firing.
Everyone in the circuit knows just
when the guns go off. Often they are
talking to one another and a gun's
bark is a very sharp reminder that a
practice is going on that instant. He
might be in a turret during loading
drill waiting for someone to call him.
Everything in the turret is doing finely.
Trays rattle and bang, breeches
slam shut, bore clear whistles go, and
the gun fires just after the buzzers
sound. Everyone knows just what is
happening. It is a fine excellent method,
one of the simplest, he does not
have to lift his hand and press a button
when he wishes to talk.
The ear pieces too, can be handled
with great dexterity. If the prospect
is that he will have to wear them
for a long time, the best procedure is
to place them one forward of the ear
and one aft of the ear on opposite
sides of the head. In this manner the
ears are not pressed against the head
IContinued on Page 3.)
15 April 1939.
Texans' Favorite Flower
A majority of the ship's company
may be surprised to know that
their ship's paper is named after the
state flower of Texas and favorite
flower of all Texans- The Texas Bluebonnet.
A small species of blue lupine,
the bluebonnet is scientifically called
lupinus texensis. Each individual blossom
on the stalk of the flower of this
low little plant resembles a bonnet.
It may have been that its name " bluebonnet"
originated in early days when
real bonnets were common among the
women of Texas.
Among the legends of the origin
of the flower itself is the story of the
little daughter of a Comanche chief,
whose tribe and lands were visited
with flood and cold, then drought,
famine and death. Answering prayers
of the tribe, the Great Spirit agreed
to restore game animals to the land
and prosperity to the people only if
the tribe's most prized possession
were sacrificed. To save her people,
the little princess burned her own
beautiful doll as this sacrifice. With
its clothes of fine fawnskin and its
lovely blue feather headdress, this
was dearer than anything else owned
by anyone of the people. Its ashes
she scattered through her fingers to
the four winds. Where those ashes
( Continued on Pace 4.) . 1-.
What Are The Following?
( Answers on Page 4.)