San Jacinto Museum of History

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  • MEASUREMENTS: 1 1/2"H x 6 3/4"L x 9"W (closed)


Mess kit (a-b). Aluminum. Oval tin. Lid (a). Etched on lid: "LESS WE FORGET OUR SHIPMATES." Underneath is image of wreath surrounding tilted cross. Underneath that is image of naval cruiser. Beneath that is etched: "USS HOUSTON/ J.L. DRURY." Ring hold bolted to right side. Base (b). Shallow-bottomed dish. Etched on exterior side: "JOHN L. DRURY/ G. M. 1/c U.S. NAVY/ NAVAL AMMUNITION DEPOT." Beneath writing is sparely etched image of building with arched doorway. Riveted to one side of dish is base hinge for narrow swinging metal arm which reaches to lip on opposite side of dish. Arm is used to clamp kit shut. Stamped on arm: "U.S./ L.[--].M.C./ 1918."


Used in WWII by Mr. J. L. Drury, Gunner's Mate 1st Class on the USS HOUSTON III (CL-81). The kit was found by Mr. L. C. Keating, Commanding Officer of USS RESCUE (AH-18). USS RESCUE was operating with the Third Fleet as a hospital ship designated to repatriate prisoners of war in Japan. Drury was rescued at Masaki (outside Nagoya), Honshu, Japan. The ship pictured on the object is likely the cruise USS HOUSTON II (CA-30), flagship of the Asiatic fleet, which went down in 1942 at the Battle of Sunda Strait. It is unclear at this time whether Mr. Drury was a survivor of this ship or on the crew of its namesake, USS HOUSTON III, launched in 1943.

  • ASSOCIATED INDIVIDUAL: Drury, Mr. J.L. and Mr. L.C. Keating
  • CREDIT LINE: Houston, City of

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