|Seaman 2nd Class Leo Plude, lost with the USS Houston.|
Leo E. Plude could have been 100 years old today.
He was born on March 30, 1917 in Michigan as was his father. His mother was born in Indiana. His father was a farmer. Leo was the oldest of thirteen children. He had eight younger sisters and four younger brothers. By 1940 he had completed four years of high school where he was vice president of his senior class and was working in construction.
Leo joined the Navy in 1939 and became a Seaman 2nd Class on the heavy cruiser USS Houston.
The USS Houston was in the Philippines when war broke out with Japan. It was sent to Australia to join forces with British, Australian and Dutch warships. In late February 1942, this group of Allied ships were tasked with stopping the Japanese invasion of Java but were outnumbered by the enemy. One by one the allied cruisers and destroyers were sunk. The Houston lasted until February 28 when it found itself low on ammunition and surrounded by enemy destroyers and cruisers in Sunda Strait. Hit by multiple torpedoes, the Houston sunk. Among it's compliment of 1,061, just 368 survived, only to become POWs for the duration of the war. Seaman Plude was among those who died.
|Painting depicting the final minutes of the USS Houston at the Battle of Sunda Strait|
The fate of the Houston remained unknown for nine more months and it wasn't until after the war that the details of the Houston's fate became known. The remains of the Houston were discovered by divers in June 2014.
Please share this if you think honoring the World War 2 fallen should be brought to the attention of more people. We enjoy our freedoms due to the sacrifice of the fallen.
Follow on Twitter @ww2fallen100
Join public Facebook group WW2 Fallen 100