charles d. smith

The crew began abandoning ship. Motor torpedo boats were joining the Japanese destroyers in raking the Houston’ s decks with machine-gun fire. Some of the Houston’ s gunners refused to leave their posts until their ammunition was exhausted and dealt punishing blows to the boats with their .50cal machine guns. It was a last gesture of defiance. Officers and crewmen streamed over the sides.
Walter Winslow shook hands one last time with Captain Rooks, then climbed down a ladder to the deck below –just in time to see a hit where he had been standing with the skipper. Rooks was hit by shrapnel in the head and upper torso. The captain staggered and fell, covered in blood, some 10ft away from Ensign Charles D. Smith. The ensign injected Albert Rooks with two tubes of morphine. “He died within a minute,” Smith would later write.
Sometime later, Captain Rooks’ cook, Ah Fong, who had come with the Houston from Shanghai, was seen cradling the skipper’s lifeless form in his arms. His voice trembling with emotion, the cook, known to the crew as “Buda,” repeated over and over again, “Captain die, Houston die, Buda die, too.”
—  Rising Sun, Falling Skies, by Jeffrey R. Cox