This collection contains five series: Correspondence, Captain Albert H. Rooks Honors, Research Files, Photographs, and Memorabilia. Material includes correspondence, awards, published articles, newspapers, clippings, reports, pamphlets and other Cruiser Houston related material. The Correspondence and Research Files series are divided into topical sub-series. Thereafter, the collection is arranged chronologically within each series.
Open for research.
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4.0 Linear Feet
Albert Harold Rooks was born in Colton, Washington, on December 29, 1891. Rooks graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in June 1914. During his twenty-two years in the Navy, Rooks served on several ships and submarines.
Rooks didn’t get an opportunity to command a Navy ship until February 1936. He commanded the newly commissioned destroyer USS Phelps (DD-360) and remained as the Commanding Officer until 1938.
Albert H. Rooks’ last command was the heavy cruiser USS Houston (CA-30), flagship of the Asiatic Fleet in 1941. Captain Rooks and the crew of the USS Houston fought gallantly in the Battle of Sunda Strait on March 1, 1942. Many lives were lost that day, including that of Rooks. The survivors of the USS Houston were interned in Japanese POW camps for the remainder of the war. Captain Rooks received the Medal of Honor posthumously for "extraordinary heroism, outstanding courage, gallantry in action, and distinguished service in the line of his profession as Commanding Officer of the USS Houston during the period of 4 to February 27, 1942, while in action with superior Japanese enemy aerial and surface forces."
Donated by Harold R. Rooks, Jr. on July 13, 2010.
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