A navy department telegram was received by Mr. and Mrs. Charles Walling of Manning place, this borough, stating that no information had been received in regards to their son, Nelson Walling, first class fireman aboard the U.S.S. Houston, a heavy cruiser, which has not been heard from and is considered lost, since being in a naval engagement with the Japanese off Java several weeks ago. The telegram added that there had been some survivors of the Houston but how many or who they were could not be learned.
Nelson, who was 22-years old in February was well known in this section, having attended the local public school. Serving almost two years in China on the U.S.S. Pillsbury, a destroyer, which has also been reported sunk by the navy department, he was transferred to the Houston on November 23, of last year (1941).
Young Walling had been serving his second enlistment, his first being served on the U.S.S. Talbot and the cruiser, U.S.S. Savannah. His second enlistment was on the Pillsbury and the Houston.
He was considered an able boxer having represented several ships in naval competion, winning numerous medals for his fistcuffs.
The Navy Department, in a release today, reported as "missing" five officers and 40 enlisted men from New Jersey. In the third casualty list, made public early this morning, are listed the names of...Fireman Nelson Chester Walling, 22-year-old Keansburg youth, of 99 Manning place. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Hendrickson Walling.
The Navy release announces for the first time the listing of Walling's name on the "missing list". He was not listed in the first and second casualty Navy Department releases....
...Walling, 22 years old last February 18 has been in the Navy since 1937 when he first enlisted.
His father, 52 years old, told a Standard reporter last night not to build up any hopes that, "Nelson is alive, because if mother never hears from him, it won't be so hard then." Mrs. Walling is seriously ill, suffering a heart attack after receiving a Navy Department telegram reporting the youth as "missing". She last heard from Nelson on February 24. He attended Keansburg public schools.