Category Archives: Updates

Shafter C. McAdams, Jr., RM3C

We received news from Shafter’s granddaughter in January 2024, who shared information with us about her grandad:

Hello! My name is Lakisha McAdams. I’m the granddaughter of a radarman Shafter Claude McAdams Jr, who was a survivor of the USS Samuel B. Roberts DE-413. While my grandfather passed away  […] in 2000, I’ve collected some of his war memorabilia that I thought you might be interested to know about! I found your website regarding the survivors association. I have attached a newspaper article from our hometown that was written after he returned home from the war. I have also included a picture of him in his naval uniform as well as a photograph of a silver plate he received from his time in the service that is inscribed with a photo of the USS Samuel B. Roberts DE-413. It’s really cool to have this piece of history in my home and be able to share it with my kids and others, as I know they have just recently discovered the wreckage of the destroyer, making it the deepest shipwreck found in history.

Thank you so much for sharing, Lakisha!


Samuel B. Roberts (DE-413) Found!

Deep-sea explorers, led by Victor Vescovo (@VictorVescovo on Twitter), announced on June 24 that they have  found the wreckage of the Sammy B, nearly 7000 meters below the surface of the sea, and currently the deepest shipwreck ever found.

Quoted in The Washington Post, Rear Adm. Sam Cox, head of the Naval History and Heritage Command in Washington, said, “This site is a hallowed war grave.” 

We now know conclusively where many of our shipmates rest in peace. May the crew’s bravery and perseverance, facing insurmountable odds, always be remembered.

Image source: Victor Vescovo on Twitter.


Passing of Jim Hornfischer

We received the following sad news from Warren Stirling of the USS Johnston/USS Hoel Association about the passing of author Jim Hornfischer. With his acclaimed naval history book, The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors: The Extraordinary World War II Story of the U.S. Navy’s Finest Hour, Jim let the world fully know of the heroism of the sailors aboard the Samuel B. Robert (DE-413).

Our heartfelt condolences to his wife, Sharon, family and friends.

Jim’s obituary is here.

Dear Johnston/Hoel Family,

It is deeply saddening to report to you that our good friend, James Hornfischer, has passed away. James left us at the age of 55 on June 2, 2021, after struggling with a challenging medical situation. James attended several of our reunions while gathering information for his perhaps best known work, “The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors.” In that book he not only describes the historic aspects of the Battle at Leyte Gulf on 25 October, 1944, but he also was able to capture and relate an account of the events from a more personal perspective based on his interviews with our shipmates. There were gripping first hand accounts of what crewmembers were doing, feeling, and experiencing during the battle and also during the hours of torment in the water while waiting for rescue.

The Johnston/Hoel family is grateful for James’ friendship and for his efforts in helping others understand the significance of the events at Leyte Gulf. We extend our most heartfelt and sincere sympathy to the Hornfischer family during this time of sadness as James moves on.

Warren Stirling
USS Johnston/USS Hoel Association