Wednesday, September 1, 2010

RADM Harold A. Houser '16: Governor of American Samoa

RADM Harold A. Houser, MMI 1916, served as the 35th Governor of American Samoa from 1945-1947. A native of Georgia, Houser attended Marion Military Institute from 1915-1916.

Harold Alexander Houser was born in Fort Valley, Georgia, on March 31, 1897, the son of Emmett and Mary Mathews Houser. Appointed to the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, on May 26, 1917, he graduated in the Class of 1921. Houser then embarked upon a distinguished career as a Naval officer which included posts in Panama, France, serving as a gunnery officer (Commander) aboard the USS Omaha (CL-4), and commanding (Captain) the Naval Air Station in Key West, Florida.

Naval Air Station, Key West, Florida. (Credit:

With the end of World War II, Harold Houser was appointed the 35th Governor of American Samoa in 1945, serving from September 10, 1945 - April 27, 1947. While governor, he represented the United States at a meeting of the major powers in the Pacific, including Australia and New Zealand. Houser became a Rear admiral following his governorship, and served on the staff of the U. S. Secretary of Defense. In 1949, he was appointed Director of the Office of Legislative Liaison at the Office of Legislative Affairs. Houser also served as legislative liaison of the Retired Officers Association (ROA).

American Samoa. (Credit:

RADM Harold A. Houser died of natural causes at the age of 84 on September 3, 1981, at the National Naval Medical Center. He is buried in the United States Naval Academy Cemetery in Annapolis, Maryland. His wife, Vera Allen Houser, is buried beside him.

Graves of Harold and Vera Houser in the USNA Cemetery, Annapolis, MD. (Credit: USNA)