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S2C John Almasie enlisted in the Navy from Portland, Oregon, on 8 February 1941. He served aboard the USS Enterprise, USS Helena, USS Pensacola, and was then sent to Pearl Harbor where he joined the crew of the USS Henderson en route to Guam and on to Manilla, P.I. where, in September 1941, he joined the crew of the heavy cruiser USS Houston. (CA-30).
He was one of several men aboard the USS Houston (CA-30) that was killed in action by Japanese bomber aircraft in the Flores Sea, Netherlands East Indies (Indonesia), There were 60 of these bombers, 36 Mitsubishi G4M1 "Betty" and 24 Mitsubishi G3M2 "Nell" medium bombers.
The USS Houston was one of several American-British-Dutch-Australian (ABDA) fleet ships that was to counter the Japanese complete seizure of the Makassar Strait. They were not successful.
During the attack, the USS Houston initially evaded bombs successfully, but suffered a severe hit during a final attack; a bomb hit the deck near the aft gun turret, and killed 48 crew. The rear guns were rendered useless, and the ship was forced to retire from the action.
This battle was known as the Battle of the Makassar Strait (or Battle of the Flores Sea, among others).
S2C Almasie was temporarily buried in the Europeesche Bergraafplaats, Tjilatjap, Java with his fellow crewmen. He was eventually returned to his home near Swisshome, Oregon and was interred with his family in the Deadwood Pioneer Cemetery, Deadwood, Lane County, Oregon in 1950.