Black, Horace D.
Crewmember Status: Deceased
09/Nov/1920 – 22/Oct/2012
Fire Controlman 2nd Class, USNR
Battle Station while aboard DD 803: Plotting Room
* Republished with permission
Horace Black Was 4 Hours In The Water After Destroyer Sank
5/30/2012 by G. RAY CHAPMAN, TEAGUE NURSING HOME ADMINISTRATOR
Horace Black Celebrating Memorial Day
As I walk the passages of Teague Nursing Home, I often wonder about the history of the residents and the part they played in America’s Greatest Generation. Is their story one of tragedy or triumph? What is their legacy? Some we will never know, but sometimes we find a story that bears remembering. This month as we remember those who died in the service of our Country, one story emerged, that of Horace D. Black.
Mr. Black was a 24 year old FC/2c (Fire Controlman/2d class) stationed in the plotting room of the USS Little, DD-803, on the afternoon of May 3, 1945. The destroyer Little was manning a radar station off the island of Okinawa providing early warning and air defense for the Task Group supporting the Marines and soldiers still fighting Japanese on the island following the invasion on 1-2 April. The ship was attacked by 4 kamikaze planes of which 3 made it through the Little’s defensive fires causing catastrophic damage amidships; the USS Little, her keel broken, sank within 15 minutes leaving 339 officers and sailors in the warm waters of the South China Sea. 39 of the Little’s crew perished that day; 300 men and the ship’s mascot, a rat terrier named DD, survived as ships and aircraft of the of the US Navy and Marine Corps risked the hazards of darkness and enemy action to affect a heroic rescue.
“I remember it happened very fast,” said Mr. Black. “One minute we were fighting the ship and the next I was in the water.” Mr. Black was in the water for over 4 hours before being rescued.”
The completed story of DD-803, USS Little, can be found at the official web-site, http:/dd803.org.
We’ll never forget the heroism and sacrifice of those who perished in the service of our Republic in order to keep us free.
Graveside services for Mr. Horace Black were held on Monday, October 22, 2012, at 2:00p.m. at Greenwood Cemetery in Teague. Rev. Richard Gillet officiated.
Mr. Black passed away on Saturday, October 20, 2012, at the Teague Nursing Home. He was born in Walnut Springs on November 9, 1920, to Sam & Anna Black. Mr. Black graduated from Teague High School with the Class of 1939. He later graduated from Westminister College in Tehuacana. Mr. Black served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He survived the battle of Iwo Jima and Okinawa and the sinking of his ship, the U.S.S. Little in 1945. Mr. Black was a member of Boggy Masonic Lodge #739 for over sixty-years. He was also a Shriner and a member of the Scottish Rite as well as other Masonic affiliates and was very active for many years. He enjoyed gardening and in his earlier years was an accomplished musician. In his youth, Mr. Black put together an orchestra that included J. R. Dobbs and W. A. Keils as members. Mr. Black was a longtime and active member of the First United Methodist Church in Teague. During his years in church service he served as Sunday School Superintendent, Lay Leader, MYF Leader, and numerous other duties.
He is survived by his wife, Dorothy Black of Teague; one son, H. D. Black, Jr. & wife Lucie of Teague; two daughters, Deborah Watt & husband Chuck of Manor, and Sandra Annear & husband Kenneth of Waxahachie; seven grandchildren, Dr. Jack Watt of Louisville, KY, Justin Watt of San Marcos, Claire Black of College Station, Ben Black of Tyler, Ana Jenkins of Mission, Angela Kimbrell of Hurst, and Amy Annear of Waco; four great-grandchildren; two sisters, Alice Lee Vail of El Paso, and Margaret Ann Jacobson of Conroe; numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
Mr. Black was preceded in death by one brother, Sam P. Black; and three sisters, Norma Black Boe, Sally Rose Black Moore, and Geraldine Black Jarvis.
The family requests memorials be made to the Shriner’s Children Hospital at www.shrinershospitalsforchildren.org. or to the charity of your choice.