USS HOUSTON CA 30
“The galloping Ghost of the Java Coast”
WILLIAM EVERETT GARRETT
Second Class USN
William Everett (Billy Bob) Garrett was born and raised in Hempstead, Texas.
Billy Garrett was an avid hunter and outdoorsman during his brief lifetime
growing up in Texas.
He graduated from Waller
High School in 1934 and
the following year he enlisted in the Navy. He began his service in Submarine
Squadron Three aboard the USS Mallard. After being transferred to the USS
Houston, he had the priviledge of being on maneuvers
when President Franklin D. Roosevelt was aboard in 1939. At the end of his
military career, which spanned 7 years, he reached the level of Machinists'
Mate Second class. Prior to the sinking of the Cruiser Houston in 1942, in a
letter to his parents, William Everett Garrett said: "I have never said
anything like this before but if I go down I will go down for something that I
feel is more important that life." William Garrett was killed when the
Cruiser Houston was sunk by the Japanese in the Sunda Strait, March 1, 1942. It would be years
before he was declared dead not missing in action.. He
left behind his dad, mother, 3 sister, three brothers, many relatives and
friends. He was 25 years old.