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WWII Grouping POW and NAVAL AVIATOR - USS HOUSTON


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#1 KASTAUFFER

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 03:09 PM

I just recently acquired this group to Capt. Payne, who as a Lt. was the Senior Naval Aviator on the USS Houston when she was sunk during the Battle of Java Sea in Feb-March 1942. She defined " Gallant Ship" and went down with her guns still blazing. President Roosevelt awarded her a Presidential Unit Citation.

I still have a lot of research to do with this group. He was a US Naval Academy Graduate in 1931. I still need a copy of his Air Medal and Navy Commendation Medal citations and I do not know when he earned the Purple Heart. All three were most certainly awarded to him for his service on the USS Houston. He flew an SOC Seagull floatplane during his time on the Houston.


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Edited by KASTAUFFER, 02 January 2012 - 03:29 PM.


#2 KASTAUFFER

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 03:10 PM

Photo taken at Zentsuji POW camp of Capt. Payne

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#3 KASTAUFFER

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 03:13 PM

Capt Payne when he retired in 1961.

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#4 KASTAUFFER

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 03:14 PM

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#5 KASTAUFFER

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 03:17 PM

His medals do not have brooches because they were originally mounted on a bar. All are US Navy contract medals.

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1930's Naval Aviator wing in bullion


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#6 KASTAUFFER

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 03:18 PM

His Naval Aviator Flight Logbooks that span 1931-1940 . The log he would have been using in 1942 went down with the USS Houston .

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#7 KASTAUFFER

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 03:21 PM

Examples of POW mail sent home by Capt Payne from Zentsuji POW camp in Japan. The Japanese sent most of the officers from the USS Houston to Japan, while the rest of the men spent 3 spent years of hell working on the Thai Burma Railway .

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Edited by KASTAUFFER, 02 January 2012 - 03:22 PM.


#8 KASTAUFFER

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 03:23 PM

Birthday card made and presented to Capt. Payne by other Americans in Zentsuji in 1945 .

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#9 KASTAUFFER

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 03:24 PM

Birthday card from the British POWs. Many of these men stayed in touch and sent him letters after the war.

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#10 KASTAUFFER

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 03:26 PM

Telegram announcing his repatriation by US forces . It was a day none of these men would forget .


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#11 KASTAUFFER

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 03:27 PM

Letter from the president . The signature is an " auto pen" and not a real signature.


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#12 KASTAUFFER

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 03:29 PM

Presidential Unit Citation for the USS Houston.


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#13 KASTAUFFER

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 03:30 PM

1950's vintage G-1 flight jacket worn by Capt. Payne.


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#14 KASTAUFFER

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 03:34 PM

Lastly..... over all these years I had resisted the tempation to own one of these sets, but this came with the group and I do like this one.

The address tag is why I like it. He used this dress set from the time he left the USNA until his posting to the USS Houston. On the tag multiple addresses can be seen. During all this time he never updated the rank! It is still Ensign.


He must have transferred this piece of gear to shore on his last cruise as I am sure he felt he wasnt going to need it.


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#15 KASTAUFFER

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 03:35 PM

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#16 KASTAUFFER

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 03:38 PM

There is more paper, ETC with this group, but I have posted the most important pieces. As I get research completed I will add to the thread.

This thread is dedicated to the Crew of the USS Houston for their heroic service and the suffering they endured as POWs of the Japanese.


Kurt

#17 DMD

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 03:39 PM

Very nice! What is the ribbon on the far right in the fourth row down?

#18 KASTAUFFER

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 03:43 PM

Very nice! What is the ribbon on the far right in the fourth row down?



Good question! It is a Dutch award. Since the Netherlands were in control of the military forces in and around Java in WWII, they presented decorations to US members of the Asiatic Fleet who exhibited heroism during the battle.

This ribbon is the Order of Orange-Nassau

http://en.wikipedia....f_Orange-Nassau


Kurt

Edited by KASTAUFFER, 02 January 2012 - 03:44 PM.


#19 Johnny Signor

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 06:50 PM

Do you possibly know what type of Seagull squadron he was with, was it a "VO" "VCS" ??????????????
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#20 KASTAUFFER

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 07:17 PM

Do you possibly know what type of Seagull squadron he was with, was it a "VO" "VCS" ??????????????
Johnny



I believe the squadron was VCS-4 , but I need to verify it.

Kurt

#21 Timberwolf

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 09:03 PM

Wow great group. A vet friend of mine's wife's brother was a Marine Gunner KIA on the Houston.

#22 67Rally

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 09:31 PM

Wow! That is a fantastic group. The Houston veterans' story is a tragic one.

#23 38Driver

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 10:09 PM

Great book on the USS Houston "Ship of Ghosts" by James D. Hornfischer. Tom Payne is mentioned a number of times. Covers the POW ordeal very well along with the wartime action and loss of the Houston.

Some real history you have there. Payne was the senior aviator on the Houston.

#24 vicjoy1945

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 06:26 AM

:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

Fantastic grouping Kurt !! It covers both of your main collecting interests...Naval Aviation AND POW !!

Very Nice !!

Vic

#25 teufelhunde.ret

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 07:32 AM

Amazing to see the depth of this group - in a word OUTSTANDING!


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