In 2004, Chief Petty Officer Jordan Joseph “Joe” Garrett, USN (Ret.) sent us a memoir donation for our oral history program. The following are some of the excerpts of his harrowing ordeal with the loss of USS Houston.
It was then that I saw the Chief Bandmaster. He said, “Garrett, I think it is time for us to start swinging.” We took off our shoes and pants, neatly folded them and laid them on the deck. Then we stepped into the water which was only about 2 or 3 feet down since the ship was listing toward us. Later I noticed that my watch stopped at 12:20am, March 1, 1942, which was when we got in the water.