If you have any queries, comments, or suggestions related to the website itself, or notice any problems, please contact its webmaster, Cliff Rohde.

49 thoughts on “Contact

  1. James C. Staubach

    Request to subscribe.

    I’m the son of CEM Charles Staubach KIA on the USS Samuel B. Roberts during the Battle of Leyte Gulf. He was badly wounded and died in a raft. In reading some of my mother’s old papers recently I found a nice letter of condolence from Commander Copeland. He wrote that my father’s name was on a list of officers and sailors he was sending to the Navy to recommend they be awarded medals for heroism. The award he recommended for my father was the Bronze Star. My mother never received the medal. Was an award order ever published for the deserving men of the Sammy B? Years ago I made copies of his official records in St. Louis and there is nothing about this award. If such an order was cut I would like to get a copy and the medal for my grandchildren, his great grandchildren. I think it would serve as a source of pride for them.

    Any veterans remember him?

    James C. Staubach
    Col, US Army, Retired

    1. DE413 Survivors

      Hello, James. Thanks for writing in! I’m Cliff Rohde, son of survivor Dick Rohde, RM3C. I’m not aware of that medal being awarded to your father. If you search the site for “bronze star” you’ll find any information we have (which may not be complete) about the award being given to crew members.

      1. James C. Staubach, Col USA, Ret

        Cliff, nice to hear from you. I have contacted the Naval History and Heritage Command. Anyone have an idea about where else to look?

        Thanks, Jim

  2. Joe Wolfe

    To the crew of the Samuel B. Roberts,

    Your story of bravery, gallantry, and suffering on our behalf is not forgotten. The contribution of these men on this tiny, tiny, ship whose knowing sacrifice contributed greatly to the blunting of the Japanese attack and saved thousands of American lives is one of the highest examples of selflessness and courage ever seen.

    I’ve studied the battle off Samar for years now. I tell your story often. Not as my own story, but as an attempt to keep the story alive and in the consciousness of an increasingly complacent citizenry. This is one of the greatest examples of the American spirit that ever was.

    I know most if not all of you have moved on, but you are not forgotten. I wish I had the opportunity to meet some of you to deliver this message personally. A heartfelt “well done” and may God receive your souls.

    Thank you for your service and sacrifice.

    1. phillip Decubellis

      Beautiful comment Mr cousin Ralph DeCubellis was on board that day a fireman on the Sammy..he was MIA..and im confident he fought as bravely as an of them!..i often think of him and wonder what he confronted that day off Samar ..he was a dairy farmer from New Port Richey Florida. .a 19 year old …who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our collective freedom ..let us pray that we never forget those that have given so much to us all .phillip

  3. Craig Natali

    I NEED HELP …I think my Uncle served on the Samuel B Roberts during the Battle of Leyte Gulf .. I know he was on a Destroyer Escort and it was shot up badly during the battle … His name Was Ralph Natali and he was a Gunners mate… he was wounded at the Battle Of Leyte Gulf
    Can anyone verify that he was a cremate on the ship?

  4. Steve Compton

    My name is Steve Compton. My late father was Fred Compton, US Army 6 Ranger Bn. I have just read “For Crew and Country”, the story of the Samuel B. Roberts, and I would like to thanks all survivors, family, and friends of the crew that fought on 10-15.1945. As many of you know, the Sixth Rangers had been ashore at Leyte Island and would have been in great peril had the Roberts and the other small ships not turned back the Japanese naval force. Thanks for what you did for my dad, my family, and this country.

  5. ronald zaleski

    my name is Ronald ZaleskiFrank Mitchell Zaleski was my uncleI have been trying to find out how he was killed that day and what is job description was on the Samuel B Robertsas a little kidas a little kid I almost burnt the old barn down with a sparkler I remember the chicken coop and the long longgrapevine out frontmy father’s name was Edward Zaleskihe owned a gas station on highway 34 right down the street from green meadows restaurantI would love to hear back from youI live in sarasota florida

  6. Olcott Burke

    We purchased the home of an older polish immigrant named Zaleskie, in Colts Nec k NJ and learned her son was aboard and died on the USS Roberts in 1944. As we have found the young mans initials and name in concrete around the home, we were interested in the young man who sacrificed so much with many other young men at that ttime. we felt others in this small town would like to know more and I am asking if anyone had information regarding Seaman F M Zaleskie and would share it with us.
    Thank you

  7. Chris Coyle

    Just re-watched the ‘WWII in HD’ episode chronicling the Battle Off Samar. Subsequent to seeing the show the first time, I learned that a distant cousin of mine, Oliver Coyle, was aboard the Sammy B. The story of Taffy 3’s daring and sacrifice is wonderfully told in the book ‘The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors’ by James Hornfischer.

    1. Phillip decubellis

      Hello ..i would love to see the ww2 HD documentary on the battle off can i find this? Thank you

  8. LTJG Rachel Manning

    Hello, I am currently the Navigator on USS Samuel B. Roberts FFG-58. We are decommissioning the ship in May 2015 and I am trying to contact any living family members (most likely from his brother Jack). If anyone has any information please let me know. Thank you.

  9. ron zaleski

    My name is ron zaleski does anyone know how my uncle frank mitchell zaleski was killed that day on the sammy b and or what his job was. I cannot find any info. What a bunch of brave men thankyou

  10. Jay Diaz

    My uncle, Thomas Anthony Matio, was second in command of an assault ship in that area at that time. His ship was hit by a kamikaze plane and many of his shipmates were killed. He was wounded but survived. He was involved in the Battle of Leyte and the Battle of Okinawa.
    If anyone out there has heard of him, I would appreciate an email:

  11. Mick Stewart

    Dear SBR Survivor’s Association, DE413 was built in Houston Texas and launched at Brown Shipyard. I live about 10 miles from that location. I have searched for a plaque or memorial here in Houston, near the Ship Channel area and am wondering if such a memorial exists. The USS HOUSTON Memorial is near downtown, but I can find nothing on the SBR. Respectfully, Mick Stewart ( ).

  12. Tom Fitzpatrick, LTC(R) US Army

    Thank you to all members of the Greatest Generation and to you families. I pray the world never experiences the sacrifices each of you endured on our behalf, and in this time of renewed worldwide uncertainty, and calamity, we need to remmeber what you did so it will not have been in vain, nor be repeated. Respectfully and humbly, Tom Fitzpatrick, LTC(R), US Army, and son of a 3rd Marine Div CPL who taught me to honor those who serve and to honor my Country from from my earliest recollection.

  13. Garrison Rudolph Macon


    I am named after my Great Uncle Shirley Rudolph “Red” Macon, who was a Chief Gunner’s Mate on the Sammy B. He died that day because he wouldn’t leave the gun even though it was overheating so badly he knew he was sacrificing his life. I am so proud to be related to him. My Dad took me to the Survivor’s Association meeting near Washington DC years ago, and it was such an honor to meet so many brave men. I know one man there said he was Uncle Rudolph’s best friend. I wish I could remember what they all said, but I was a little kid. I’m a freshman in high school now, and my Dad passed away 2 years ago. I’m trying to learn more about Uncle Rudolph but his story is not in the books I’ve found so far. If anyone remembers “Red” Macon please tell me what he was like, or more about how he died, exactly, so I can tell my little brother about him. Thank you so much for your sacrifice for our freedom.

    Garrison Rudolph Macon

    1. David Macon

      Garrison, I believe I spoke with your father about 14 years ago. If you would like to know more about Macon’s in general you can find us on Facebook under Descendants of Gideon Macon Family Reunion. Also you can contact me directly on this email.

  14. bobby paxson

    I love the story of Henry Carr. His unselfish acts of heroism reflects the determined unflinching nature of the United States service man, and women. I think its wonderful that his family embraces his memory, and we should “NEVER FORGET” the nerve our fighting men, and women displayed from Dec. 1 1941 to Sept. 1945. Thank you

    Did Samuel Roberts younger brother die on the USS Samuel Roberts?

  15. Dwayne Hill

    Good evening.
    I have a facination for the naval aspects of WWII, and model fully functional working 1/48 scale models, including a US DE, the USS Lake. Just finished reading “For Crew and Country”, and I am proud of the Captain and the crew, especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.
    Dwayne Hill
    Montreal, Canada

  16. Jeff Henry

    Sirs or Madams, I just finished reading “The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors”. I know many years have passed, and there are likely few survivors among the Naval heroes of that action still among the living. So to their relatives, I say be immensely proud that you carry the same blood as those great Americans. All of us living today are, and shall always be, in unpayable debt to the courage and sacrifice of your family members. With eternal respect I am a grateful American, Jeff Henry, LA, CA January, 2013

  17. Lou Coatney

    I have long had a FREE cardstock paper model ship plan for the Samuel B. Roberts’ Butler class destroyer escorts on/via my webpage. There is also a photos section with photos of the model built at various scales. (Print it off at whatever scale you want onto gray heavy/cardstock paper.)
    And at you can see a very large scale model of it being built by “JR,” a young missionary’s son up on Alaska’s Arctic coast.
    The World War 2 generation – my parents’ – my Dad was with the U.S. Army Air Force in China-Burma-India – certainly was one of the Country’s great generations, but we must not overlook the World War 1 generation’s excellent planning, preparation, and leadership which was followed to Allied Victory.
    Lou Coatney, American formerly from Illinois and then Alaska and then back in Illinois, now living in Norway.

  18. Daniel Cosper

    When I was eleven years old while working my first summer job in 1969 I met a VFW known as Wld Bill who served aboard the Samuel B Roberts.

    My first day on the job my boss Mr. Desoto Don introduced me to four outcasts from a VFW Hall, Wild Bill, Dixon, Skeeter and Velo.

    If I may, I’d like to share a bit of this unique story to the Heroes of my youth.

    I know why they are all called the Greatest Generation. I know their True Nature. I even know where they hid their Sacred Character. I witnessed it every Saturday moring at 8am! I was Red Carpet Billiards young Saturday morning swamper and they all called me the Camino Kid.

    No one has ever believed this true story, this non-fiction! Once, on my first day of school, my two paragrah non-fictional essay to whom one met and what one did during the summer break, actually got me suspended for three days!

    I was told they had to rescue their sacred character and these four stewards all thought they had found it a new secret safe place of refuge. That was untill I discovered it, untill an eleven year old boy found out where it was! The truth be told, it’s within an old jar sitting atop a beer cooler inside a pool hall. It’s still there today! A dollar and a dime at a time they filled that old jar to make an annual donation of $2,500 for St. Jude Children’s Hospital. What I witnessed was that Wild Bill’s odd game was popular and the old jar they used, was blessed! Once a month it offered a contribution to the local ASPCA, once a week at the soup kitchen. And no one has ever believed to what they always did with all the leftover dimes at the bottom of their old jar. They used those dimes to feed and school starving little children all over the world thru UNICEF. I know because every Saturday morning at 8am, they showed me all their little pitcures! Only God knows why they did it, but it is why I have always been proud to be a Poolplayer!

    Thank you, Daniel Cosper aka the Camino Kid

  19. Paulette

    I am a niece of Paul Carr who was on the USS Samuel B Roberts, but he dd not survive the Battle of Leyte Gulf. A frigate was commissioned in his honor back in the 80’s. This year some of the descendants of Carr have formed a memorial foundation to honor him and all men who fell in service to their country.

    We are affiliated with the Katy Depot Center in Checotah OK, which was Carr’s home town. It was my privilege along with many other family members and shipmates of Carr to attend the Christening and Commmissiong ceremonies in Seattle those many years ago.

    This ship will be decommissioned in Marhcm 2013 and we are at this time trying to notify as many services, and famly members as possible. If you would like to respond to me, please feel free to do so. We have eight Board members for the organization, one to represent each of Carr’s sisters families and some of them have been in contact with the commanders of USS Carr. Any information you have to share with us would be greatly appreciated and reciprocated wholeheartedly.

    Thank you

    1. wellyn sellers

      Paulette, I served on Samuel B. Roberts FFG-58 from 1994-1998 … I felt very honored to have served on such an important ship..We went out with the USS Carr quite a bit on different operations. I was BM2 on the Roberts

  20. Marques A. Crosby

    I would just like to say thank you for all those who served and gave thier life.I am now joining the U.S. Army myself and I would like to say that the generation of WWII has inspired me more than anything. Jack Yusen and his story on WWII in HD on the History channel stood out like no other. the streth that that mad had and the will power to survive throughout his ordeal makes me believe anything is truly possible. Makes me see that you can never take a day for granted. I would do anything to somehow come in contact with Mr. Yusen and say thank you for his heroic service to our people and our country!!! THANK YOU!



  22. Tom Staniszewski

    Hello, I would love to contact Mr. Yusen or other veterans of the USS Samuel B Roberts regarding a book I am researching about the food and the memories of those in the service. It would be a unique way to remember the incredible bravery of this gallant crew!

  23. Anthony R. DePaolo

    At a moment in my life when I sometimes despair for my country the commitment, valor and courage of these brave men leaves me sad for their suffering and deaths and also hopeful that if ever again challenged in such a fashion our nation will again exhibit their love of country.

  24. Vincent Perla

    I would like to contact Jack Yusen USS Samuel B Roberts. In an episode of WWII in HD he mentioned two of his best friends die when a gun turret was hit. One of them he mentioned was John Peoni. His son (my cousin) saw the program as I did was amazed to hear is fathers name on TV. As you can imagine, we were all excited to hear this. John Peoni’s sons name is Richard and still lives in Philadelphia. ‘Richie’ would like to contact Mr. Yusen about some remembrances of his shipmate and friend John

  25. jack ryan murphy

    hello mr . jack yusen if you are our reading this then ill tell that i am 11 years old and my great grandfather was a medic in ww2, who was in northern italy but i dont know the rest of the places he served. also i watched ww2 in hd and herd what you said about how some of the guys drank so much saltwater that they started to hallucinate and about the guy who said” oh hi mommy! ” and how he was going to see his mommy on the back porch and he pulled his knife out on the guy who was trying to bring him back to the raft. thank you for serving our country. p.s. someone at the top said his grandfather was john a poane

  26. Shawna Neill

    I just ordered the book “The Spirit of the Sammy B” by RADM Robert W. Copeland (USNR), with Jack E. O’Neill (Printed) from the Lulu website. My grandfather’s cousin was Troy Thurman Hodges who was stationed and went down with the ship. I would love to hear from anyone who remembers him.

  27. Alicia Kraus

    I would like to know if anyone knew my great Uncle, James W. Smith. He served in the Navy in WWII, and my grandma (his sister) always told a story about his ship that went down that sounds very similar to the fate of the crew on USS Samuel B. Roberts. He was a radio man, and had to stay on the ship with the captain to get the word across that they were going down. The way he had described the ship to my grandma was that it had split in half and sank in two parts. Just before the ship went down, a shipmate lay dying on the deck at his feet. His entrails were outside his body, but he was still alive. My Uncle put a life jacket on him and threw him overboard, put his own life jacket on, and jumped in after him. Of course, the impact of the fall killed the man, and my Uncle and the captain pushed him out to sea so the sharks would swim away from the survivors.
    I just wondered if this was the ship he was on. He died before I was born, and unfortunately because of the incident had developed a very bad drinking habit. I want to know more about him, and I hope you can help. Thank you.

  28. Alex Godfrey

    Is there anywhere that I could find a complete roster of the men who served on the Samuel B. Roberts. My great-grandfather was named Orville Sherwood and I have been trying to find out what ship he served on. He received the Purple Heart for the Battle of Leyte Gulf and and I would like to know exactly what ship he served on. He told my dad about floating in the ocean for a time and I think this might be the ship. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  29. Kevin Pimlott

    After watching the WW2 in HD, I started reading about the Sammy B. To stand and fight against the IJN, out gunned and over matched was amazing to read. You did not back down and saved thousands of lives.

    Thank You for your dedication to this great country. IJN wanted to die for thier country, you fought and won the battle for ours.

  30. Lee Price

    Dear Gentlemen,

    I saw Jack Yusen on the World War II documentary and just wanted you to know, that as a son of a World War II veteran, I appreciate you.

    Lee Price

  31. Homer F Willis

    I have been watching the new color show about WWII.
    There was one of the members of the crew alking abou the ship. Is he same person who does the Geico TV commericals?

    If not then it would his twin brother. Please let know if they are the same person.

  32. Amanda

    I just saw Jack Yusen tell the story about the USS Samuel B. Roberts on History’s “War War II in HD.” Hearing about your experience created emotions that words cannot describe. I just wanted to come here and thank you for your service. If it wasn’t for your noble actions, the world that I was born into would be a very different and scary place. I am in awe of your bravery.
    Mr. Yusen, if you read this, thank you for sharing your story. It’s so important that these stories do not get forgotten, so that my generation and generations beyond will know the sacrifices that were made.
    I wish you all the best as you continue your respective journeys.
    Thank you

  33. Edward Williamson

    I was born just one month before the Samuel B. Roberts was lost. I just became aware of the Roberts story in recent years, sorry to say. She was a brave ship named for a brave man and manned by a brave crew. Each one is a hero to me. Thank you “Sammy B.”

  34. Pat Kelly

    Dear Sir,
    My father’s cousin,therefore mine, Edward Maher, an RM3, I believe, went down with the Roberts. Another cousin, my oldest surviving relative on that side of the family, said he was a nice kid.
    Is there any one in your group who remembers Eddie Maher? I just watched the “WWII in HD” episode about the ship, and I was surprized at its effect on me. I would like to know more about the ship.
    Thank you,
    Pat Kelly

  35. Ralph Wakley

    Hi DE413 survivors,
    You should be aware that the survivors of the destroyers USS Hoel (DD533) and USS Johnston (DD557) will be holding their 2010 reunion around Oct. 25 in Salt Lake City. Any of you guys would be welcome to come. During this year’s Hoel-Johnston reunion in San Diego, men from the USS Heermann (DD532) from Taffy Three and from the USS Haggard (DD555) from Taffy Two also attended. If any Samuel B. Roberts survivors would like to come to Salt Lake City next October, I can put you in touch with the right people. Best to all of you. Ralph Wakley.

  36. Christy Chambless Lewis

    Hi, I am the grandaughter of Orban Ray Chambless. Ever since I was a little girl, my Grandpa told me so many stories about his shipmates and what you all went through on the Samuel B. Robert’s. I feel like I know some of you personally, that is how much he kept all of your memories alive, from generation to generation in our family. …My Grandpa Ray was the best man and person I have ever known. He absolutely loved to be in contact with you all through the years. There are many names he mentioned and i apologize for not remembering anymore exactly what names he always mentioned..I do know he loved a man named “Red”. I feel like I know him myself..Grandpa always laughed when he talked about him and Red and his buddies. he loved you all. I am so proud he is my Grandpa and Thank You all for serving our country so well.
    Christy “Chambless” Lewis


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