Nautical Antiques and Antique Ship Models
Inventory ID: 13013
An historic silk embroidered pillow made to commemorate Pres. Franklin Roosevelt's 24 day cruise aboard the (ill-fated) USS HOUSTON in July 1938.
Measuring 13" by 19", this rare and historic commemorative pillow is made of blue satin or silk with red, white and blue cords along the edges. The American eagle has four stars surrounding it with the words "USS HOUSTON, 1938, Presidential Cruise." It was obviously made by a sailor who served on board at the time. Whether the President ever handled it or saw it will never be known. Historical note: Three and one-half years after this pillow was made, the ship was sunk by the Japanese fleet off the coast of Java on Feb. 28, 1942. Of the 1,168 men on board, only 300 or so actually survived the sinking of the ship. Of those remaining, the shark infested waters and hostile islanders claimed many more lives. For those lucky or unlucky enough to get that far, they faced three and a half years trying to stay alive as prisoners of war under the Japanese. The film "The Bridge on the River Kwai" is based upon the survivors of the USS Houston, along with other POW"s, trying to build bridges and railroads by hand in the jungles of Burma and Thailand. The book "Ship of Ghosts" details the full story of the USS Houston. You will probably never have another opportunity to acquire a piece of history like this.
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