Category Archives: Shipmates

Seaman James Gregory awarded Bronze Star

Seaman First Class
James A. Gregory
U.S. Naval Reserve

USS SAMUEL B. ROBERTS (DE 413)

BRONZE STAR MEDAL

bronze star

The President of the United States takes pride in presenting

the BRONZE STAR MEDAL posthumously to

JAMES “A” GREGORY, SEAMAN FIRST CLASS

UNITED STATES NAVAL RESERVE

for service as set forth in the following

CITATION

“For heroic achievement while serving on board the U.S.S. SAMUEL B. ROBERTS in action against enemy Japanese forces off Samar Island during the Second Battle of the Philippine Sea, October 25, 1944. Courageous and efficient despite continuous, close-range hostile fire, GREGORY assisted in loading a 5″/38 gun when the regular crew became physically exhausted during an attack by a numerically superior Japanese surface force on the SAMUEL B. ROBERTS. Despite battle damage which under ordinary circumstances would have rendered this mount inoperative, GREGORY assisted in maintaining an extremely high rate of fire and was instrumental in inflicting serious damage upon an enemy heavy cruiser. Carrying on valiantly under the most perilous conditions, he was fatally wounded when an explosion within the mount destroyed the gun. His unwavering devotion to duty reflects the highest credit upon GREGORY and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.”

For the President

/signed/
James Forrestal
Secretary of the Navy

From the personal collection of Captain William A. Rogers, Jr., USN [per Robert Jon Cox BOSAMAR site]

ADDRESS OF J. DUDLEY MOYLAN, NORFOLK, VA, MAY 19, 1998

At our first reunion in Long Beach at the time of the commissioning of COPELAND, I spoke and began by wondering if others were like me in almost always having a favorite song, a tune that kept coming until replaced by another. I had one that was from a movie I saw on the base here in Norfolk, and it was pretty much the background music for my whole life aboard the ROBERTS, for there was no chance for replacing. I was lucky in my song, for it was by Jerome Kern and became a standard. The sentiment of the song is not relevant but the title WAS even that night for it is “Long Ago and Far Away,” and what we all had in mind was really a long time ago and far away.

And even that highly emotional reunion now seems a long time away, too, and though appropriately then I spoke of Captain Copeland I’d like to now think aloud of our reunions,

They have meant people with whom we have shared one of the most important experiences of our lives or with those having in common memories of those lost in battle. Of those lost in battle I for one think of a signalman who shook my hand with hopeful words as we abandoned the open bridge, who went on to really help others in the water hut did not survive himself.

Another grouping of shipmates are those that survived but we did not find or who had died before getting together. To pick one I remember there, is a man who had written the most powerful letter I had to censor, written home on learning of his brother’s death in the war. That sailor and I part of the first night in the water alternated semicircling each other on the edge of the net to give the safe rest we needed. We searched for him but could not find him.

There is no way I would dare example the shipmates who have made our reunions so successful. There have been so many, and even among them we have lost more than a few to join the others in our memories.

There is also that group of relatives and friends of our shipmates or those tied to us through our reunion experiences with the FFG’s, and there I WILL give an example. On my way home from San Francisco, by arrangement, between flights in Dallas I met with a family, including a probably 14-year old brother of our shipmate, to tell them that they should find no hope in “missing in action.” How hard it must have been on him I don’t know, but he has come to make a great contribution to our reunions.

Whit and Jack gave a superb historical account of our reunions last year in San Antonio, but I’m not sure you would know from that just why our reunions have been great and meaningful to all of us.

We have not descended to being just a social club. We have always met at places with appropriate connections to us, We have always included the military and of course especially the Navy in our activities and ceremonies. And in our memorial services we have remembered those now lost but not forgotten.

The final and most important thing our reunions have done is kept alive the spirit that is in the St. Crispins speech from Henry the Fifth. Shakespeare wrote of a very important and decisive battle in European history that was fought on St. Crispins Day as ours was. I read it all in Long Beach, but will only lift phrases now. “On St, Crispins Day, though old men forget, we remember with advantages what feats we did that day.” And though it may not be “to the ending of the world, we shall be remembered,” we can say with Henry that those “that fought with us upon St. Crispins Day” are truly “We few, we happy few, we band of brothers…. “

Dick Rohde, WIA

Dick Rohde, WIA, c. 1964

Dick Rohde in Columbus, Ohio, with his momma, Stephanie Keller Rohde, in May 1964. Who says cigars don’t make a good diet?

See Dick as he looked after returning to the U.S. after rescue, standing (Dick on R),

or sitting (Dick in middle) with friends, and looking pretty tired in either case.

(Fall 1945, Naval Convalescent Hospital, Asbury Park, NJ (Berkley Cartaret Hotel))

See Dick alone with his cigar in May 1964 (not for the faint of heart).

Shipmates Killed in Action 25-27 October 1944

 

Number Shipmate Rank Date
1 Russell Abair, Jr. Seaman First Class 25 October 1944
2 Albert L. Abramson Seaman Second Class 25 October 1944
3 Wilber E. Anderton Radioman Third Class 25 October 1944
4 Francis P. Bard Watertender Third Class 25 October 1944
5 Harold Barrett Seaman Second Class 25 October 1944
6 Ray E. Bartlett Fireman First Class 25 October 1944
7 Fred W. Bates Seaman Second Class 25 October 1944
8 Richard A. Bingaman Fireman First Class 25 October 1944
9 Norbert F. Brady Machinists Mate Third Class 25 October 1944
10 Lloyd G. Braun Machinists Mate Second Class 25 October 1944
11 Vernon R. Butler Storekeeper Third Class 25 October 1944
12 William F. Butterworth, Jr. Fireman Second Class 25 October 1944
13 Joseph W. Caddarette, Jr. Boatswains Mate Second Class 25 October 1944
14 Paul Henry Carr Gunners Mate Third Class 25 October 1944
15 Robert P. Cummings Machinists Mate Third Class 25 October 1944
16 John K. Davis Seaman Second Class 25 October 1944
17 John B. Debellis Fireman First Class 25 October 1944
18 Ralph Decubellis Fireman First Class 25 October 1944
19 Elroy Downes Seaman Second Class 25 October 1944
20 Robert W. Fickett Seaman Second Class 26 October 1944
21 Cecil First Stewards Mate First Class 25 October 1944
22 Albert H. Freye Machinists Mate Third Class 25 October 1944
23 Leonard N. Gallerini Machinists Mate Third Class 25 October 1944
24 J.C. Goggins Boatswains Mate 25 October 1944
25 Leonard S. Goldstein Seaman Second Class 25 October 1944
26 Martin C. Gonyea Pharmacists Mate Third Class 25 October 1944
27 John R. Gray Electricians Mate Second Class 25 October 1944
28 Joseph F. Green Storekeeper Second Class 25 October 1944
29 James A. Gregory Seaman First Class 25 October 1944
30 John J. Groller Gunners Mate Third Class 25 October 1944
31 Frederick A. Grove Chief Watertender 25 October 1944
32 Justin C. Haag Machinists Mate Second Class 25 October 1944
33 Woodrow W. Harris Seaman First Class 25 October 1944
34 Donald R. Hausman Gunners Mate Third Class 25 October 1944
35 Hubert B. Hawkins Seaman Second Class 25 October 1944
36 Troy T. Hodges Machinists Mate Third Class 25 October 1944
37 Enoch Hood Seaman First Class 25 October 1944
38 Jacob D. Kensler Fireman First Class 25 October 1944
398 Fred Kilbum Seaman First Class 25 October 1944
40 Charles E. Knisley Seaman First Class 25 October 1944
41 Chester P. Kupidlowski Fireman First Class 25 October 1944
42 Lewis C. Kyger Fireman Second Class 25 October 1944
43 John S. Le Clercq Ill Lieutenant Junior Grade 25 October 1944
44 Joseph Lecci Fireman First Class 25 October 1944
45 Herman J. Levitan Fireman First Class 25 October 1944
46 John Locke, Jr. Seaman First Class 25 October 1944
47 Louis V. Longo Fireman First Class 25 October 1944
48 Shirley R. Macon Chief Gunners Mate 25 October 1944
49 Edward M. Maher Radioman Third Class 25 October 1944
50 Thomas J. Mazura Signalman Third Class 25 October 1944
51 George H. Merritt Fire Controlman Third Class 25 October 1944
52 Herman E. Meyer Fireman First Class 25 October 1944
53 Mike Miller Gunners Mate Second Class 25 October 1944
54 John J. Moran Machinists Mate First Class 25 October 1944
55 William C. Mort Watertender Third Class 25 October 1944
56 Steve Mudre Seaman First Class 25 October 1944
57 Charles W. Natter Signalman Third Class 25 October 1944
58 John J. Newmiller Seaman Second Class 25 October 1944
59 Dudley B. O’Connor, Jr. Watertender Second Class 25 October 1944
60 Clarence E. Oliver Machinists Mate Third Class 25 October 1944
61 Joseph Orlowski Seaman Second Class 25 October 1944
62 Jerry G. Osborne Watertender First Class 25 October 1944
63 John J. Paone Seaman Second Class 25 October 1944
64 Hilan R. Pierson Chief Machinists Mate 25 October 1944
65 Leopold R. Riebenbauer Ensign 25 October 1944
66 Charles A. Ross Seaman Second Class 25 October 1944
67 John T. Rozzelle Seaman First Class 25 October 1944
68 Arthur E. Saylor, Jr. Fireman First Class 25 October 1944
69 Darl H. Schafer Carpenters Mate Second Class 25 October 1944
70 Harold K. Scott Seaman First Class 25 October 1944
71 Tullio J Serafini Chief Radioman 28 October 1944
72 Russell W. Shaffer Seaman Second Class 25 October 1944
73 Charles N. Smith Chief Machinists Mate 25 October 1944
74 Melvin L. Spears Fireman First Class 25 October 1944
75 Gilbert J. Stansberry Seaman Second Class 25 October 1944
76 Charles Staubach Chief Electricians Mate 25 October 1944
76 William E. Stovall Seaman Second Class 25 October 1944
77 Fred A. Strehle Ships Cook First Class 25 October 1944
78 John J. Sullivan, Jr. Electricians Mate Third Class 25 October 1944
79 Willard A. Thurmond Seaman First Class 25 October 1944
80 Herbert W. Trowbridge Lieutenant 25 October 1944
81 George P. Ulickas Machinists Mate Second Class 25 October 1944
82 Eugene Wagner Fireman First Class 27 October 1944
83 Percy H. Wallace Seaman First Class 25 October 1944
84 James K. Weaver Electricians Mate Second Class 25 October 1944
85 Thomas R. Wetherald Machinists Mate First Class 25 October 1944
86 Cloy W. Wethington Machinists Mate Second Class 25 October 1944
87 Charles J. Wilson Seaman Second Class
88 Frank M. Zaleski Seaman Second Class 25 October 1944
89 John R. Zunac Fireman First Class 25 October 1944

Charles Cronin, Jr., Yeoman Second Class

Charles Cronin and his wife on their wedding day, May 1, 1943.
cronin wedding

Charles’ daughter, Kathleen Cronin Gastan, writes, “Mom always told the story that Dad had swabbed the deck of the ship in this uniform the day before the wedding and never bothered to have his uniform cleaned.”