On May 28,1914 Captain Rooks was detached from the Naval Academy and reported June 6,1914, to the Receiving Ship at San Francisco, California, pending transportation to the U.S.S. West Virginia to duty on board that vessel. On January 8,1915, he was detached from the U.S.S. West Virginia and he reported to the U.S.S. St. Louis on January 9,1915. He was detached February 27,1915, and to the Asiatic Station for assignment taking passage from San Francisco. California about March 5,1915, He reported to the U.S.S. Mohegan for submarine instruction on April 5,1915. On May 20,1915, he was placed in command the following vessels; A-5 , 1915 to 1917; B-2,1917; F-2,1918; H-4,1919; H-9,1920; U.S.S. Phelps, 1936 to 1938, U.S.S. Huston from August 28,1941. He also served on the U.S.S. Brooklyn in 1917, the U.S.S. Texas in 1921; U.S.S. New Mexico as (Assistant Fire Control Officer) , 1924-1927; U.S.S. Northampton ( duty in connection with fitting out vessel and Gunnery Officer) 1930-1933. Captain Rooks was assigned to duty as Aid to the Commandant Twelfth Naval District .on September29, 1921, and was detached June 20,1923. On July 2, he reported to the Naval War College, Newport RI, For duty under instruction. On June 16,1925,he reported to duty as Aide to Rear Admiral E. Simpson, Commandant. Twelfth Naval District, and was detached July 18,1924. He reported to the Naval Academy on June 25,1933, as Secretary of the Academic Board and Aide, being detached September 28,1935. On June 30 1938, he reported to the Naval War College Newport RI. , for instruction and on January 19,1939, was appointed to the Staff at the War Collage. On August 28,1941, assumed command or the U.S.S. Houston,(CA-30), Captain Rooks received the - Victory Medal (Asiatic Claps), U.S.S. Brooklyn, the American Defense Service Medal, 1939-1941,the Medal of Honor and the following citation: " For extraordinary heroism, outstanding courage, gallantry in action and distinguished service in the line of his profession , as Commanding Officer of the U.S.S. Houston during the period 4th to 27th February 1942,while in action with superior Japanese enemy aerial and surface forces . While proceeding to attack an enemy amphibious expedition, as a unit in mixed force, Houston was heavily attacked by bombers : after evading four attacks , she was heavily hit in a fifth attack, lost 60 killed and had (1) turret wholly disabled . Captain Rooks made his ship again seaworthy and sailed within 3 days to escort an important reinforcing-convoy from Darwin to Koepang. Timor, Netherlands East Indies. While so engaged ,another powerful air attack developed witch by Houston 's marked efficiency was fought off without much damage to the convoy. The Commanding General of all the forces in the area thereupon canceled the movement and Captain Rooks escorted the convoy back to Darwin. Later, while in a considerable American and Dutch-British force engaged with an overwhelming force of Japanese surface ships, Houston with H.M.S. Exeter carried the brunt of the battle, and for her fire alone heavily damaged one and possibly two heavy cruisers. Although heavily damaged in the actions, Captain Rooks succeeded in disengaging his ship when the flag officer commanding broke off the action and got her safely away from the vicinity , whereas one-half of the cruisers were lost."
©1998-2002 Jay W. Milliken