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Captain Albert H. Rooks Papers

Identifier: 2010-010

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.


  • 1914-2005

Conditions Governing Access

Open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Special Collections owns the physical items in our collections, but copyright normally belongs to the creator of the materials or their heirs. The researcher has full responsibility for determining copyright status, obtaining permission to publish from copyright holders, and abiding by current copyright laws when publishing or displaying copies of Special Collections material in print or electronic form. For more information, consult the appropriate librarian. Reproduction decisions will be made by Special Collections staff on a case-by-case basis.


4.0 linear feet

Biographical Information

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."

Acquisition Information

Donated by Harold R. Rooks, Jr. on July 13, 2010.

Related Materials

Cruiser Houston Collection

Samuel Milner U.S.S. Houston (CA-30) and 2nd Battalion, 131st Field Artillery Papers

William A. Bernrieder Collection

Guide to the Captain Albert H. Rooks Papers
Chinh Doan
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2021-12-16: As a part of the 2021 Special Collections reparative description project, Bethany Scott revised this finding aid’s biographical information for relevance and brevity per current best practices.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Houston Libraries Special Collections Repository

University of Houston Libraries Special Collections
MD Anderson Library
4333 University Drive
Houston TX 77204-2000 USA