Rank and organization:   Captain, U.S. Navy.
Birth:   29 December 1891, Colton,
Appointed from:   Washington.
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 4 to 27 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 a mixed force, Houston was heavily attacked by
bombers; after evading 4 attacks, she was heavily hit in a fifth attack,
lost 60 killed and had 1 turret wholly disabled. Capt. 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 which by Houston's marked
efficiency was fought off without much damage to the convoy. The commanding
general of all forces in the area thereupon canceled the movement and Capt.
Rooks escorted the convoy back to Darwin. Later, while in a considerable
American-British-Dutch force engaged with an overwhelming force of Japanese
surface ships, Houston with H.M.S. Exeter carried the brunt of the battle,
and her fire alone heavily damaged 1 and possibly 2 heavy cruisers. Although
heavily damaged in the actions, Capt. 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.
This data was extracted from the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, U.S. Senate, Medal of Honor Recipients: 1863-1973 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1973)