Joseph “Joe” Hubert Siler was born at Cannel Creek, Kentucky, the son of Isaac Kennard Siler and Bertha Croley.

Shipped aboard the Heavy Cruiser USS Houston CA-30. The Houston was assigned to the ABDA Fleet and participated in the Battle of Java Sea against a superior Japanese Fleet, where most of the ABDA Fleet was sunk except for the Houston and Cruiser HMAS Perth. Ordered to retire from the battle, the two cruisers complied. The next day the two cruisers reappeared and attacked the Japanese Landing Fleet in Banten Bay sinking and damaging several transports in a night action. Attempting to withdraw, the two cruisers found their retreat blocked. Perth was sunk at 23h36. The Houston then fought on alone against the superior Japanese Fleet. Receiving continuous shelling until she rolled over and sank sometime before 01h00 on 1 March 1942. It was nine months before the ship’s fate was known. And not until after the war that the details of the battle learned from the Crew that had been POWs. Captain Rooks, the Houston Captain, received the Medal of Honor for this action, posthumously.
Also lost in this action:
WT2c Jason Hunter Holmes Jr., Oakfield, TN
CGM Carl William Miller, Townsend, TN
SM2c Earl Perry, Sparta, TN

Joseph Siler is memorialized at Manila American Cemetery, Fort Bonifacio, Manila, Philippines

  • Rank: Seaman First Class
  • Date of birth:
  • 27 April 1920
  • Date of death: 1 March 1942
  • County: Campbell
  • Hometown: Jellico
  • Service Branch: Navy
  • Division/Assignment: USS Houston (CA-30)
  • Theater: Pacific
  • Conflict: World War II
  • Awards: Purple Heart
  • Burial/Memorial Location: Manila American Cemetery, Fort Bonifacio, Manila, Philippines
  • Location In Memorial: Pillar VII, Middle Panel
  • Contact us to sponsor Joseph H. Siler

Image Gallery

Click a thumbnail below to view at full size.

Submit more information on this veteran →