I have a friend Mr. Aldred B. Lenoir FC 2 that I speak to every other week about his time in the Navy. My name is Frank Banks and I own and operate a Historical & Military Museum in Alabama. I have interviewed Mr. Lenoir on several occasions about the Battle of Layette Gulf when he was on the Samuel B. Roberts DE 413 He is listed as a crew member but I don’t see him listed in the Survivor Association. He told me that he is the last Survivor. I would like to get him listed with the association and would like to know how to go about it. But first off I think I should talk to him first.
Hi Mr Adred Lenoir is the sole survivor still living today. He lives with my husband and I. His 95th Birthday will be on Nov 9, 2018 if any of you would like to mail him or email him a note. My email address is
We would love for someone from the Navy to come to his party which will be on Saturday 11/3.
Mr Lenoir was a Fireman 2/c
If Mr. Lenoir is still with us, I would like to wish him a Happy Birthday. He served with my uncle, Tom Stevenson on the Samuel B Roberts. God Bless him.
The man in the back standing is my father Robert Koelsch. He was a radioman 1st class on the O’ Flaherty. He was 17 when he entered the navy. He went to radio school in Bedford, Pennsylvania. My father was 80 when he died in September of 2005.
Richard a Bingaman is my uncle & my namesake….(his brother) my father passed on October 28 I never put 2&2 together until I realized that the 25th was the date the samual b Roberts was sunk. My dad fought to not pass on the the same date as his brother. He passed the 28th.
We have all of dicks medals and will always cherish them and make me feel proud!
Richard L Bingaman
My second cousin John Jacob Newmiller was lost Died 10/25/1944
Charlie W. Natter was my Uncle. My father, William H. Natter, also served and died in July 5th 2005. I just read “for Crew and Counrty” learned of the sacrifice all these men made. I am truly grateful for all their service.
My uncle was Louis Longo maybe known as Louie. I would love some information on him if anyone knows anything. He was not s survivor.
Does anyone know if Where William Doherty was from ??? He was on 413 , I was on 58 “John Doherty”. I would love to find out more about him …. NHH
I was so moved by these letters..What a true hero and patriot.Mr Charles Staubach…im speechless ..Jim i hope you have some measure of comfort knowing that the freedom we all enjoy today are at the personal expense of you and your family and countless others who bore the battle and paid the ultimate price !..I often think of my cousin Ralph Decubellis who died that day as well…a farm boy who enlisted in the navy to fight for his country ..he like many that day …also made the ultimate sacrifice. ..i often wonder how he managed that fateful day ..in that far away ocean ..but our family has no letter etc to reflect .. may they all rest in peace and i thank you for the gift of your father and for kindly sharing your letters…with warm regards. Phillip DeCubellis
My father, Ignatius (Pat) Burakowski was a fireman in the engine compartment. Kept engines running. He told me he felt an explosion and found himself in the water. Made it to an island, got malaria and was eventually hospitalized in New Zealand. He stayed in USN 22 yrs, wore gold insignia on his chief’s uniform. Retired in Norfolk, VA in early 1953. Died about 2000. Lost 2 ships to torpedoes BUT, never suffered a scratch, so no Purple Heart.
Thomas J Mazura was my Grand-Uncle. Always heard about his Valor. One of my many family members that served during that time.
Happy Holidays to all you veterans , My name is Anthony Wieners. I just recently found out that my biological Father Harold Wieners passed away 2-4 years ago. He was a sailor aboard the USS Samuel B Roberts and wounded in action.
I currently work at the veterans administration Castle Point Hospital (EMS) dept. I would like to know if there are any of his buddies still alive that can probably give me some information on what kind of man my dad was , ok I know he was a sailor so I wont be shocked, I am also a veteran USARMY .lol
I would also like (2) extremely large photos of the USS Samuel B Roberts, So that I can have one for my self and also one for my brother Mark Mcgrath who was also Harolds son , there are other children in his family that we are trying to contact.
These photos of the boat are the only things we can get our hands on if possible to remember our father and all the veterans that served and gave there life so that we can enjoy the freedoms we have today. I would like to give the photo to my brother for Christmas , If anyone reading this can help me, I can be reached at the va hospital email ([email protected]
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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
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.
Cliff, nice to hear from you. I have contacted the Naval History and Heritage Command. Anyone have an idea about where else to look?
Any survivors remember Joe khourey, he was my father. He was killed when I was 3 yrs.old.was he a good shipmate I would love to know what kind of man he was.g-mail Mikar. 1519 @ gmail.com.
Any update? I would love to see this made into a movie.
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.
Beautiful comment Mr Wolfe..my 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
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?
PLEASE EMAIL ME AT [email protected]
This story is very much like the one my Mom told me of my Uncle Carl Garner. He was in the Navy, but I do not know the name of the ship he was on. He told of having to abandon his ship and was in water for days. How do I go abt finding the info abt him ?
I know so little about my grandfather, Herman E. Meyer, seeing this list and reading the history of this battle has helped me learn a little more. Thank you for the site.
Rudy was my uncle and no he is no longer living. He died about 30 years ago but I have a whole box of his papers
I’m not sure but my Dad had this pic i think it’s the original Patrick J Morriarity was his name from Susan Weaver ..
My 2nd cousin Ralph Decubellis served on the Roberts and was KIA on that fatefull day off samar island oct 25 1944 ..i never knew him and in fact his death was really never historically documented . His highschool , gulf high, in port richey fla listed him as kia at saipan 45. So he was lost so to speak historically .we ultimately found him on the roll call lists of the sammy b . We knew he had served on the sammy. The bravest sailors in the NAVY.God bless them all. PHILLIP DECUBELLIS
Where did you find the roll call my dad was stay in the for 3 days I don’t no what shìp
You may be very proud of him. Tell his story, the story of the Battle Off Samar where a handful of Destroyers went full on John Paul Jones on an enemy naval force larger and more powerful in every way. Nowhere in Naval history is there a battle like this.
Was this movie ever made, or still in the works? My uncle, Eugene Wagner was one of the crewmen. My father was not quite two years old when Eugene was killed, and therefore never got to know his brother. His other brothers were reluctant to talk about it other than to say “it was basically a suicide mission”. Shortly before his brother, Pete, passed away, he did give some fascinating information. Pete was in port, about to ship out the next day. He started talking to another sailor at a bar. After some visiting, the other sailor put two and two together and told Pete to stay right there. Shortly after, the sailor came back with Eugene. The brothers got to see each other just days before Eugene was killed.
In another twist of fate, when Pete was in a VA hospital in Spokane, WA, he met a man who was in the hospital next to Eugene just before he passed.
If anyone recalls or has any information on my uncle, I would love to pass that information on to my father. All of his siblings have passed, and I know he would be so touched to have information on Eugene.
My Uncle Charles Alexander Ross went down with the Ship and never recovered.
I was on the second Samuel B. rOBERTS dd 823
The story of the USS Samuel B. Roberts (DE-413) and the Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors have made a indelible impact on my life; their sacrifice will not be forgotten.
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.
my dad “William sokol’ was a survivor of the sinking. he obtain a purple heart for that day. we were told that 3 days later a supply ship came back to pick up any survivors. when he was brought aboard one of the first sailors he saw was a man he had gone to high school with. what are odds of that happening to anyone. my dad has passed on and talked very little about the event.
To some generations come terrible responsibilities that others cannot fathom. These brave souls were such men. Their actions and sufferings belong to us all. God Bless you splendid souls.
My dad landed on Leyte (32nd infantry) a few days after the invasion. He was likely protected by the brave sailors,of the Samuel B. Roberts.
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
Sad to annouce that my grandfather Albert Rosner passed away yesterday
Coxswain John Conway was my sister in law’s father. She was a sponsor for the “Survivors” when they came to Albany, NY to see the USS Slater DE 766. she is Patricia Conway Hedgeman. Regretfully I missed this event. She told me her father was one of the survivors so I purchased the Book “Spirit of the Sammy B.” What a brave crew the “Sammy B” had. I later became a member of the “Sammy B Survivors.” This brave men are in my prayers forever. While reading the book I learned Mr. Conway was later assigned to a new ship. The USS Littlerock, Cleveland Class Light Cruiser. Some years later I was a member of ships company aboard the “Littlerock”
My grandfather survived the sinking
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.
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.
Also, very good information can be found in the series Dogfights “Death of the Japanese Navy”, this will give you all the info. you need. My father was also a WWII Navy Vet who saw combat in the Pacific and later in Korea.
Hello ..i would love to see the ww2 HD documentary on the battle off samar..how can i find this? Thank you
Phillip, you can view the series on the History Channel website. http://www.history.com/shows/wwii-in-hd
From Darrell H [zwiddle1 @ gmail.com]:
I recently purchased a used book titled “Little Wolf at Leyte” with the inscription “Merry Christmas Dad Love Dany”. Not sure it is Dany, could be Dana or other so picture of inscription attached. Maybe this has sentimental value to originator and I would be willing to return. Let me know if you can make the connection to the originator.
Thankful to all who served and those who support them,
May God Bless,
I have recently finished reading the last stand of the tin can sailors and this reinforced my appreciation of the selfless sacrifice that so many good people made. You have my heartfelt gratitude, yours aye from an ex Australian DE sailor
Can you tell me more about the movie Small Boys
My dad was a sonarman on the Jonnie Hutchins DE360 from 1944 through the end of the war. As a child of 5 or 6 I was told the story of Gunners Mate Paul Carr and the Tin Can Sailors. The point was the price that these men paid for our freedom and that needed our utmost respect and dedication. I will never forget what has been purchased for me by these men who gave all of their tomorrows so that we could have today. My dad is now almost 91 years old with advanced dementia but still remembers his shipmates and the battles that they fought in. May God bless the members of the Greatest Generation.
I am looking for the hats that have the Samuel B Roberts on them. My husband’s Father was killed in the battle at Leyte and he received a hat at the reunion in 2004. We had the honor of sitting at dinner with Jack Yusen and his lovely wife then. It was quite an honor. I appreciate any assistance.
Mrs. J. Lecci, Jr.
Can anyone tell me if Wilho Akexander (Bill) Kaasinen served on this ship?
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.
I did not know but God bless him for serving our country!
SAMUEL LEWIS SERAD
I believe my father Samuel (Shiek) Lewis Serad was a crew member of one of the Taffy 3 ships. His ship was sunk during the Leyte battle and he swam and survived and was later transferred to the Rocky Mount. He went into the hospital in 1945 instead of coming come first. He died 8/7/47 from service connected illness; the Navy could not determine what was wrong with him. He received numerous treatments (including mercury drips) but to no avail. I remember sitting on his lap (I was not yet 4) while he hung out the window to breathe. He received two bronze stars and all the other Pacific medals he earned. He was only 30 when he passed, leaving a wife and four small kids. I would really appreciate learning which of the Taffy 3 ships he was on. Any help with this matter would be helpful. [email protected]
I have just read of your extraordinary battle and your sacrifice made; extraordinary courage of extraordinary people…bless you all….
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
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:
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 ( [email protected] ).
That was my dad in the cartoon with the seasick sailor.
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.
John … I really enjoyed your book … My dad served on the De413.. your book told the personal story of the people on board not just t a recap of a naval battle. As such, I found it a the most effective depiction of something that was in the big picture a very historic event, but in the smaller context an important demonstration of ordinary men rising to the extraordinary, Thank you so much for telling a well known story in such a particular, and I hope appreciated , fashion.
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I have read the last of the tin can sailors. Bothe of my sons have served in the Navy. One is still in and will be for duration of at least 20 years. I Have been and I still am proud and believe that this is one of the greatest moments of the U.S. Navy. I have seen specials and read the history of this event and believe that it may of not changed the outcome of the war in the pacific it represented the ultimate in what our Navy stands for and what our country stands for. I stand in awe of what those who did not come back did and to those that did thank you. I just wish my Sons could meet with true American Hero’s.
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
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.
Contact his daughter, Sue Hartley, in Long view, WA
Frank mitchell zaleski was my uncle. I never knew anything other than he was killed during the war.i was completely amazed when i saw ur comment.
Aloha Mr. Zaleski: I lost track of this and just wanted to know if you have any info? Know anything about Mr. Frank Zaleski? Thank you and I hope you are well
My uncle Yeoman Anthony Blaszczyk served on the Samuel B. Roberts.
Setup a Facebook page for the Paul Henry Carr Memorial Foundation
I’ve done some research on S2nd Class John J Paone. John liv3ed one block away from me in North Phila on 3000 N. 23rd St.
John is listed on a plaque with his name inscribed and he was KIA on October 25, 1944 . He is also listed on the Tablet of Honor Manila American Cem Ft. Bonifacio, Manila, Philippines.
I can be reached at [email protected].
Jack Yusan mentioned John during the broadcast of WWII In HD as being his very good friend and how he was killed. I do have a couple of pictures of the Tablet of Honor that was atken by my Daughter-in-law on a visit to the cemetery.
I believe my uncle was on the Roberts during the Battle of Leyte Gulf…. Ralph Natali……. does anyone know him or can confirm this
As I was reading “For Crew and Country” I realized there is a Coast Guard/Navy connection with Samuel B. Roberts, name sake of DE-413, and Petty Officer Douglas Munro, the ONLY US Coast Guard member in history to be awarded the Medal of Honor. Both men died on the same day, 27 September 1942, during the same evacuation operation of US Marines trapped on a beachhead on Guadalcanal. Both Roberts and Munro guided their Higgins Boats to protect the Marines as they were evacuated. Both men performed heroically, died from wounds suffered during this operation and have ships bearing their names to remember their sacrifice.
Does anyone know where RADM Copeland is buried? I know he died in Tacoma, WA in 1973, but my internet research has not turned up the cemetery where he is buried. I live near Tacoma and would like to visit his grave site at some point.
my father seaman second class clifton g hensley wounded in action when the samuel b roberts was sunk during the battle of leyte gulf. he like his four brothers all served in combat during ww11. one navy 3 army. two purple hearts. i was 15 when the war ended and expected to hear many stories of thier war experiences. at our family gatherings which were very large. they never discussed their stories. guess this is typical of this generation.. . .
I was on the USS Remey, DD-688, Fletcher Class. We were dispatched to Tacloban, Leyte to help the town celebrate the 4th of July, (1954, their and our Independence Day is the same date.) Operated off of Korea and China. I just finished the book, The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors. Going over the Straits again in the book brought back memories. The only thing I’m sorry about is that I was 10 years too young to be there with you guys.
Are there any more reunions or planned reunions?
Thanks for asking. There are not currently any being planned.
My father was a survivor from the Sammy B! He was in battle on my 2nd birthday, Oct 20 1944! My father’s name was Archie Wallace Killough. He wrote an account of the battle which is on my website. Military Pride
Is your father still alive? If so, does he recall Eugene Wagner? He was my uncle. My father was a child when Eugene was killed, and never got to meet his brother. I would love to be able to give him some information.
I served on two tin cans . The USS EVANS (DE1023) and the USS BRIDGET(DE1024). I just finished reading”FOR CREW AND COUNTRY”. The history of this ship made me feel like a wimp when I gripped about 60′ sea states, 47 degree rolls and three section watches. Thank GOD for USS Samuel B. Roberts Brave Souls
Wow. I just ran across this again. My email is [email protected]. I have absolutely no information in Jackson McCaskill but would love to find out anything at all about him. @ rohdec12: my mother was Jackson’s oldest child which makes him my maternal grandfather. But, as it is, I don’t know who you are either.
John, Did you ever get a list of serviors on theUSS SAmual B Roberts. I found out my father Lewis K. Meaney had a Destroyer sunk under him but don’t know which one, he never talked abou it. any help in this matter would be appreciated. thank you R K Meaney.
Shipmate information, including wounded and killed in action, is here: http://de413.org/shipmates/
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?
Hi, Bobby. The list of those killed in action is here: http://de413.org/2011/05/08/shipmates-killed-in-action-25-27-october-1944/
I served in USS Loeser (DE-680), a Buckley class DE, when she was a reserve training ship in Norfolk, VA back in the 60’s and later on USS Henley (DD-762) a Sumner class destroyer.
I’m now reading “For Crew and Country” about the “Sammy B”. What a ship and what a crew.
This was the last reunion my Father/best friend attended. I was suppose to go with him on the next reunion. He passed onto holy ground on Nov 20 1997. I was raised with war stories, not nursery tales, at bedtime every night. He was my hero and friend, and not a day goes by that I don’t think of him. Shipmates called him Irish from Chicago and boy were they right, he had a wee bit of the blarney in him at all times. I am very honored to be the daughter of one of the men on the Great Sammy B.
Looking for information on John Chalkley who was a crewman on the USS Samuel B. Roberts. He was in the battle for Leyte Gulf in October 1944, when the ship was sunk. He survived the sinking, but has since passed on.
I am asking for this information on behalf of my father, age 80. John was his first cousin. Do you have a physical address where dad could write to for more information?
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I WOULD APPRECIATE HAVING THE ABILITY TO CONTACT ONE OR MORE OF ADM. COPELAND’S CHILDREN AND/OR GRANDCHILDREN FOR THE PURPOSE OF PROVIDING THEM WITH A WELL-DESERVED MEMENTO OF ANNAPOLIS, WHERE HE “ALMOST” WENT.
I AM A 1952 GRADUATE ALONG WITH JIM LOVELL, TOM STAFFORD, AND TWO OTHER ASTRONAUTS, AND I BELIEVE HE WOULD HAVE BEEN AN OUTSTANDING MIDSHIPMAN AND GRADUATE.
I REALIZE THAT IT WAS HIS CHOICE NOT TO, BUT I JUST WISH TO HONOR HIM BY SEEING THAT HIS DECENDANTS HAVE SOMETHING PHYSICAL TO REMIND THEM OF THAT PHASE OF HIS LIFE.
HE WAS ONE OF THE GREATEST HEROS OF WWII, AND IN MY OPINION THE NAVY CROSS WAS INADEQUATE; HE SHOULD HAVE RECEIVED THE MEDAL OF HONOR.
I HAVE A SPEAKING ACQUAINTENCE WITH SUCH MATTERS SINCE I AM THE TREASURER OF THE SURVIVORS OF FOX CO., SECOND BATTALION, SEVENTH MARINE REGIMENT, FIRST MARINE DIVISION IN KOREA.
OUR 230 MAN INFANTRY COMPANY RECIVED FIVE MEDALS OF HONOR IN THREE YEARS OF COMBAT, UNPRECEDENTED IN THE KOREAN WAR…PERHAPS IN ANY WAR.
AS A RIFLE PLATOON COMMANDER I WROTE MY CORPSMAN UP FOR AN ACTION WE WERE IN WHICH WOUND UP BEING ONE OF THE FIVE MEDALS. UNFORTUNATELY HE LEFT US MARCH OF LAST YEAR JUST SHORT OF HIS 82ND.
HE HAD A SECOND DISTINCTION AS BEING THE ONE WHO CHOSE WHICH OF THREE COFFINS (EUROPE, PACIFIC, KOREA) WOULD BE BURIED WITH THE UNKNOWN SOLDIER FROM WWI.
I WOULD APPRECIATE ANY HELP YOU COULD GIVE ME TO HELP HONOR THE MEMORY OF THIS GREAT HERO.
GOD BLESS OUR TIN CAN SAILORS
(I SERVED ON THE USS NOAH AS A FIRST CLASS MIDSHIPMAN!)
J. VAL SMITH
I am a baby boomer who has always been interested in WWII as my family members served. In the 60′s I read of the USS Gambier Bay and was moved at the actions of the men and the horrors they endured. I just read The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors. This book brought the action to life as never before, especially to a non-swimming reluctant sailboat mate.
Thank you for revisiting your stories and making them last in your association. I hope that it has been an easing of the burden of memory to allow Americans to read in absolute awe of your men and your ships. I also hope that your meetings are enriching and beneficial.
God bless you and bring only the good memories.
With respect, and with thanks for the opportunity of allowing me to express my thanks to you for your actions person-to-person.
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.
Just an amazing act of true courage and leadership Lt.Com Copeland. My son is student at theUS naval Academy, I hope the history of these brave sailors will inspire him to be a leader like his predessors. Thank you Samual B Roberts
Jack conway was my sister-in law’s Father. Thats how I learned about him and the Samuel B Roberts. After the sinking of the “Roberts” Mr. Conway was assigned to a new ship. The USS Littlerock CL 92.My last year in the Navy I was assigned to The “Littlerock” which was “CLG 4” by then. I wish I could have met Mr. Conway. Bob BM 2 1964-1968
Thanks… I did 2 tours to Nam but cannot believe your sacrifice.
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I just finished reading “For Crew and County” and “Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors” and have studied the battle to some degree but enough to speak about it to groups around Atlanta. I am President-elect of the World War II Round Table of Atlanta and one of our member’s uncle was Exec. Officer on the Heermann during the battle off Samar. Needless to say, all of our Navy and supporting Airmen are real heroes for what they did. I will do my best to make sure these sailors and airmen are never forgotten and that our younger generation knows the sacrifices made in their behalf so that they enjoy the freedoms they have today.
Lee M. Weinstein
My dear father, Eugene Olson, USS Navy, was on the White Plains during the battle of Leyte Gulf. He will turn 90 years old in March 2015. I would like to honor him like no other. Would you be able to assist?
His devoted daughter,
What happened to Steward Freddie L. Washington?
I don’t believe Freddie ever made it to a reunion. My recollection is that efforts to find him failed. I think there’s information about that in the Copeland book.
Freddie did make a reunion,the first reunion, which was in Long beach Calif.
I am certain that the only time Freddie made any of our reunions.
I, like many before, after recently reading about Taffy 3 and the “Tin Can Sailors”, can only wonder at the incredible heroic performance by a dedicated group of Americans! Your actions and the sacrifices you made, fill me with astonishment and inspiration. It has allowed later generations of Americans such as myself, to be filled with gratitude for protecting this great land of ours. Thank you so very much and may God bless.
I met Jack Yusen somewhere over the past years. It came flooding back when I saw the story of the ship on TV the other night. Can you put me in touch with him? I currently live in Athens, GA and can be reached at my email address.
Just finished the book “For Crew and Country” I cannot express the gratitude to all who served on the Samuel B. Roberts! Amazing courage and bravery in the midst of certain death. The charge at an overwhelming larger and stronger force is a classic American tale. Thank you to each and every member of the crew.
I never get tired of the story of the Sammy B and the Taffy 3 unit sailors fighting like lions against a 23 ship task force of Imperial Navy cruisers, battleships and destroyers. Like the boxer that keeps getting up after a knockdown and keeps fighting, Taffy 3 eventually scared off Vice Admiral Takeo Kurita and his dreadnaughts (saving MacArthur’s landing force from possible destruction) .
My utmost respect to the men that gave their lives and all of those that showed uncommon valor and bravery under the most harrowing of conditions. We’ll never forget this– I’ll make sure of this by passing the history on.
This is high praise coming from an ex “bubblehead” too!
I STAND RIGID AT ATTENTION AND SALUTE IN HONOR AND AWE AT THE EXAMPLE AND VALOR DISPLAYED BY THE MEN OF TAFFY 3. AT NO TIME IN HISTORY, AND THERE HAVE BEEN MANY, HAS ANY SEGMENT OF MY US NAVY STOOD ANY TALLER OR MADE ME MORE PROUD. GOD BLESS YOU MEN. AND THANK YOU FOR GIVING ME A BENCHMARK TO REACH FOR, BUT MOST LIKELY NEVER ATTAIN. SIERRA HOTEL! ADJC WILLIAM JOHN RIGNEY JR. USN-RETIRED. BT
The experiences of these men indescribable with mere words. Thank you to all the men. I wish I had the autograph of at least one of these heroes!!
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
Oops, embarrassing. Well, second guess is the guy who didn’t go thru hazing and regretted it. 🙂
Who is alive today and are there still meetings? This is one of the all-time greatest stories ever told. I would like to see James Cameron make a film of this. What a movie this would make.
I read “Tin Can Sailors” and am now reading “The Spirit of Sammy B.” I am fairly convinced I was Lloyd Gurnett in my last life. While in meditation, I attended someone freezing to death in a compartment in a sunken ship.
Everyone else was dead, “burned but not by fire.” Ten years later, while dying of a brain tumor (now removed) I find this story. It fits a lot of things from my entire life, and anyway if Cameron got in his little supersub and found the Sammy B, he is going to find Lloyd in a compartment near where the boiler blew up. That much I am confident of. That he was me is more of an informed guess, but fits with me here and now.
I did find a posting where there is a film in the works, with a shooting date to start sometime in 2013.
USS Hoel DDG-13
Don’t know about the movie you mention, but there is an episode in History Channel series Dogfights, Season 1, episode 08: Death of the Japanese Navy (12/29/06): The Leyte Gulf attack on Taffy 3, and the counterattack of destroyers, destroyer escorts and escort carriers against an armored main battle force in the Battle off Samar. Despite lacking suitable armament except for torpedoes, destroyers with carrier air support inflicted enough damage and confusion to send the Japanese force back without it accomplishing its primary goal. The episode also covers Operation Ten-Go, the last major Japanese naval operation in the Pacific campaign of World War II, and the sinking of the Japanese battleship Yamato.
I’m currently listening to Hornfischer’ book Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors, about the Battle of Samar. My father was a US Navy Lt jg in the Pacific. I believe he did repair on Navy plane.
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John Conway Coxswain was my sister in law Father. Pat Hedgeman my sister-in-law hosted your organization at the USS Slater in Albany NY
I am a Navy vet BM 2 1964-1968 U S Sixth Fleet.
USS Springfield CLG 7 1964-1967
USS Littlerock CLG 4 1967-1968
I am a member of your organization and proud to be.
I believe my uncle, Rudy Skau was on the Sammy B. Does anyone know him? He died many years ago but I grew up hearing the stories of the hours he spent in the water.
Thanks to all of you heros, our Country is safe today.
Blessings to you all,
Yes I knew Rudy. I met him early in our reunion get togethers.
I was hopeing to get some information on my grandfather mm1or2 lewis meaney he was in your task force an was told his destroyer went down out there also.I have tried to get help from the navy an the only thing we got back was that he was on the hospital ship mercy after word.thank you GMG1 scott meaney ret.
I am currently doing a restoration project on this entire album!
This summer I received my Grandfather’s album of all of Sidney’s O’Flaherty photographs, and I would love to share them with everyone.
If someone knows where I can get a hold of Sidney R. Morrow or any vets of this ship, please let me know!
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I have heard over the years about the battle and valor of the destroyers
Off samar in
ww2 and what you went threw.i dont know what to say but
THANK YOU for what you did and the courage you showed for all of us americans.i wish i could shake you hand and thank all of you.
But all i can say is god bless you and your sacrifice is and allways
Will be remembered…mike
I have long had a FREE cardstock paper model ship plan for the Samuel B. Roberts’ Butler class destroyer escorts on/via my http://LCoat.tripod.com 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 http://www.papermodelers.com/forum/ships-watercraft/17706-coatneys-samuel-b-roberts-de-413-a.html 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.
Look at my facebook site. ” clark parks”. Its about Battle of Leyte as well as other things.
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
my dad Joseph d nabors served on the roberts i doubt he stayed in contact with the suvivor association. i was less than one year old when the roberts was sank. i knew he was very proud to have served aboard but would not talk about the experience until i was in my late forties. i would be glad to share memories with anyone associated with samual b roberts.
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.
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
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!
I just finished reading “The Last of the Tin Can Sailors” and was astounded by what all you guys went through. I served in the Navy from 1963 to 1967 and was on a survey ship working up and down the coast of VietNam and had some interesting experiences, but nothing like what you guys had to face. My hat is off to you completely.
-Larry Riehn June 13, 2012
I am about 2/3 of the way through “The Last of the Tin Can Sailors”. You are right, our life aboard ship was nothing in comparison. I served for 4 years on the USS Hoel DDG-13. We NEVER forgot our brothers that passed before us. Any time that we would pass over the spot where the Hoel DD-533 was sunk, we would “all engines stop”, and remember. All the ships that were there had brave men.
Also I must note that one of my shipmates on the Hoel DDG-13 went to the last reunion just recently for the Johnston/Hoel survivors. Only a few are left now. He got me the book, and had it signed by half dozen of the remaining survivors.
MY UNCLE WAS ON THE SAMUEL B. ROBERTS = UNFORTUNATELY HE WAS NOT A SURVIVOR ON OCT.25,1944. IF ANYONE REMEMBERS A YOUNG SAILOR NAMED DUD O’CONNOR AND WOULD BE ABLE TO SHARE SOME STORIES ABOUT HIM I WOULD BE VERY GRATEFUL.
Sirs…I viewed “WW2in HD” and the comments make by Jack Yusen about the Samuel B. Roberts sinking in 1944. At that time, I was a child of 2, safely at home in my mother’s arms while these brave men endured the unedurable. They went in my place. What strikes me is how many of our fellow citizens take our beautiful country for granted and have no understanding or appreciation for those who went before us to answer the call of duty. I am now 70 and often think about how fortunate we are to be Americans, to be citizens of the greatest country on earth. Not in an arrogant manner but to understand that we are truly blessed to be in America. I thank you and my grandchildren thank you. Frank A. Pelaggi, Bethlehem, PA
Your bravery and sacrafice will be remembered as long as there are sailors who put to sea and defend this great nation. I am a Tin Can Sailor from the VietNam era and can well identify with your shipmates. Thank God I never was put in the position you were but all, to a man, of those I served with were willing to put ourselves in harms way. Thank you for your service.
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!
Hi. Looking for information regarding Seaman Frank Zalesky [Zaleski]. My grandmother may have been married to him briefly while the USS Samuel B. Roberts was at Pearl Harbor.
Does anyone know if the Frank M. Zaleski, while having stopped at Pearl Harbor, married a local girl before shipping out? I just found out my grandmother had married a seaman who was killed in action. She just passed on, and had never spoken about it. Does anyone have any info? Just wanted to fill in the gaps in her life.
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.
To the brave crew of DE-413, I offer my thanks. You men are heroes. I was a tin can sailor and saw a little action, but nothing in the same league as what you faced. I would say that few sailors have. You stood with your captain as he set a course into the teeth of 14” guns, and turned back the enemy against impossible odds. You fought your ship beyond its capability. It’s a story that will still be told long after all of us are gone. Well done.
Thank you for these. They’re great background for the movie!
To the survivors of USS Samuel B. Roberts, DE-413
I have just finished reading James Hornfischer’s book, “The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors” and I am compelled to contact you. Through the news, and movies old and new I’m certainly aware of the cost of war, but only in an abstract way. That has most certainly changed. Words cannot fully express my deep and heartfelt appreciation for your brave actions on that terrible day in the Philippines. I don’t think I will ever take another day in this great country of ours for granted. Thank you. From the very bottom of my heart, thank you.
With deepest respect,
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
God bless all the brave men of the Sammy B (DE-413) and Taffy 3. I am a retired Chief Petty Officer having served aboard three ships, the last one USS Aylwin (FF-1081) homeported in Newport, RI, on the same pier as the newest Sammy B (FFG-58). I wish I knew then what I know now about the original Sammy B. Since then, I’ve read quite a bit on the Battle of Sumar and Taffy 3 especially “The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors.” This former tin can sailor thanks all of you brave men for your service. You are truly the Greatest Generation!
I too have read “the Last stand of the Tin Can Sailors” along with other numerous books and magazine articles about naval combat in WWII. I can honestly say that battle off Samar has to be one of the most heroic acts of bravery by the US Navy. The odds were incredible. I salute all the men of DE-413 and Taffy 3. I am truly thankful for their service and sacrifice. May God bless them!
I just finished reading “The Last Stand of the Tin Cab Sailors” by James Hornfischer. What can any individual say? How can anyone stand up to what the crew of the Samuel B. Roberts went through and accomplished? I never served in the armed forces and as I read the book (and others) I’ve tried to imagine the unimaginable. The terror of that battle. The courage and sacrifice of every man on board. Horrible and uplifting at the same time. Magnificent but very, very sad. These men paid a more than ultimate price for what they did. Hopefully all will have eternal peace and the thanks of a forever grateful nation.
Thank you for the comment. This webmaster recently visited amazon.com and learned that the #1 helpful positive review was from my father, Dick Rohde, who passed away in 2009. I didn’t know that he had written the review. He was always humbled by those who served and were not as fortunate as he to survive the battle.
John T. Rozzelle was my uncle. Left 13 brothers and sisters from Reform, Alabama.
I served on the Samuel B Roberts from May 1961 thru April of 1964. [Ed. note: presumably a reference to the Samuel B. Roberts, DD-823] Would love to hear from any shipmates who servered at this time. Roger
I am looking for the name and address of a survivor of the” Sammy B” , who lives in or around Bethpage, Long Island. I met him at he American Airpower Museum on Pearl Harbor Day, talked with him for a short while but failed to get his name. If anyone can help it would be greatly appreciated.
David Gayton [email protected]
Dec 7, 2011
My name is MM1(SW/AW)Dave Gayton and I am an Machinist Mate in our Navy. I take this time on the anniversary of the Pearl Harbor Attack to let you all know I THANK YOU for your sacrifice for our freedoms. Without YOU I couldn’t see my little girl’s smile everyday and when I put on this uniform I honor those who have fallen! I thank DE 413 for their unwaivering courage during the Battle off Samar Oct 1944. I will never forget it or you shipmates.
Honored to read the warm words of so many on this site. My Dad, Peter Mihos served on the Beatty and the Tweedy in both WWII and Korea. His memories of his time serving were something I always looked forward to hearing. God Bless All Patriots Who Served Our Country. Christy
Is this the Christy Mihos of Brockton and the eastern MA area?
To those gallent survivors of the Suamuel B Roberts. My brother-in-law John Joseph Sullivan of Belchertown, Mass. has shared the story of the crew of the Samuel B Roberts and of his Father, John J. Sullivan Jr., one of the many who gave their lives serving on the Samuel B Roberts during the battle off Samar, Philipines 1944.
I salute you, who still bear the scars of this battle so many years later. Thank you.
I honor your mutual sacrifice and cherish the valor of the crew.
John A. Rohr
this is very interesting reading .
Hi.I ever was in the military.I just have a ball cap-a navy cap with Samuel B Roberts FFG 58 o n it and I was wondering if anyone wanted it-free including shipping.I decided that I am not going to keep it for my collection.I bought it at our church yard sale.If you would like to see a picture of it I posted it on my facebook page.Thanks y’all and God bless.
Having just finished reading “the Last stand of the Tin Can Sailors”, I have a far deeper understanding and respect for all US Navy’s Greatest Generation. Thank you and may you always have fair winds and following seas and may long your big jib draw.
I am writing regarding my father Francis Dickson. He is now 85 years old and suffering from advanced dementia. When he was younger he told us of his destroyer being sunk in the Philippines in 1944. He told us of floating at sea for several days and of being picked up by a ship. He had shrapnel wounds in his knee and suffered from malaria. He was not one to speak of the war often.
I contacted the records office in St. Louis many years ago to obtain his service records. There is no listing of where he was serving during the 1944-1945 time period.
While cleaning out my parent’s house after my mother’s death recently, I came across a newspaper clipping from November 1944 entitled “survivor” and accounting the events as described above, but no ship’s name is listed in the article.
I recently found your site and I have looked at the list of survivors of the USS Samuel Roberts to see if his name is on the list. It is not. I have also contacted the Hoel and Johnston Association. He is not on their lists either.
Can you tell me if this is a complete list of survivors and where I might be able to find information regarding what ship he may have been on?
Thank you for any information you can provide.
You might consider the Museum of the Pacific War as a starting point. Good luck!
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
I am trying to find out if Hershel Jones was on this ship. He survived a shipwreck that I believe was the USS Samuel B. Roberts DE 413. Can you help me in any way? Thank You
My mother’s eldest brother SA Kirby Davis served on the USS Roberts and went down the ship in the battle of Samar.
Oliver E Coyle, Sr died this past Sunday, August 28, 2011. He was 92 years old.
My dad was on this ship during WWII. I would love to share this picture with him. I was curious if you have any thing else. He called the ship the Lucky O. My dad did work in the radio shack as well.
Enjoyed the O’Flaherty picture. My brother Arthur D Brush served on the Lucky O till the War ended and I have his letters home. Wish someone remembered him to tell me more because I was only 2 when he went to war.
James Kenneth Weaver was my uncle.
My wifes grandfather was a crewman on the Sammy B. S 2/C John J. Paone MIA. My wifes family only has three picture of John and I was hoping to find some of him for them. If anyone remembers John or has any pictures of him the family would greatly appreciate it. I was also hoping to but a display together for my father in law and was wondering if anyone knew what awards he would have recieved had he survived. Thank you for any help.
[edited] how out thair nose kathleen cronin ..so that i can find her ..
i all have picture of a lady and one boy in car and one child in the arms of the lady she looks can the lady at the top of page ..and four men on a shilp in FLY GREARE .. JUST CALL ME ……OR EMAIL ME AND I CAN SEND YOU PICKS …..
I THINK I HAVE PICTURE OF CHARLES YOUR DAD ..IT IS HIS SHIP ID
CALL ME IF IN INTRESIT
I HAVE BEEN LOOK ING FOR YOU FOR ALONG TIME …THE YEAR ON THE SHIP ID JUN, 7 ,1945 ..I DO THINK THAT HE IS YOUR DAD ..THE NAME IS CHARLES T. CRONIN JR. …DAKOTA ..
I attended Parkside Junior High School in Massapequa, NY during the middle 1960’s. One of my teachers there was a Mr. John Conway. Even at that early age, I was interested in World War II, and I spent many hours talking to Mr. Conway about World War II while he had “playground duty” after lunchtime. I don’t remember a lot of details about what we talked about, but his mentioning the name Samuel B. Roberts stood out in my mind all these years. About two years ago, I read the book “The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors” by James Hornfischer, just about the time I was working as a contractor in Houston for Kellogg, Brown and Root, whose Brown Shipbuilding division built the U.S.S. Samuel B. Roberts. The photo shown above looks a lot like the Mr. Conway I knew, especially his curly hair, and I wonder if it really is the teacher I knew, and what became of him afterward. Any information would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you for your service.
I had the honor to meet Mr Whitney Felt but never found out much about his service on the Sammy B until after his passing. A great American that served upon a mighty ship.
I have just read “The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors” and am very proud of the “surface navy” of WWII as well as at present. I was a 4 year naval aircrewman from Tacoma with 2241 air hours during 1948-52. Rober W. Copeland is well remembered in Tacoma for his service on DE413 during the epic Naval encounter with the Japanese near Leyte as WWII drew to a close. — My regards to the family of RADM Robert W. Copeland.
I am a plank owner of the USS Copeland (FFG-25) and trying to get a reunion together for her. Some of the crew suggests that we have a combined greeting with USS Carr, USS Samuel B. Roberts. Is there a point of contact for either the Carr or Roberts that I can contact. Thanks Rm1 Humphrey.
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What a gallant ship and crew. Tom Brokaw had it right when he reffered to the ww11 Generation as the greatest. I dont know where we got such men but I hate to think where we would be without them.
My father Frank S Bergman served on Destroyer Escorts during the same time period, I was wondering if any survivors of the D-E 413remmember serving with him. I’m not sure what ships he was on, But I do know two or more of them were lost in action. He was from Pittsburgh Pa and past away in 1966. If any one knows of serving with him, and on what ships he was on,I would like any information you can share. Thank you
I was wondering if there is a crews list anywhere of the Sammie B?
My fiancée’s father was on two different ships in WWII that were sunk while he was aboard them, He never spoke of either and has passed in the last few years, I am trying to help her find either ship, His name was” J. Poston”
I have read “The Last of the Tin Can Sailors” by James Hornfischer. This afternoon I was watching “WW II in HD” and the Roberts is in this show. I heard Jack Yusel talk about the Roberts.
My father was a paratrooper inWWII. When it came my time to serve, my father would not let me go. I regret not serving my country but do appreciate the sacrifices all of you have made. I have had a good life as I was lucky to meet and marry the girl of my dreams. We recently had our 37th anniversary. The service I still do is voluntering in the Boy Scouts of America. I am one of the persons who sign off on a Scout becoming an Eagle Scout. I feel every time we have a new Eagle Scout, the world is a better place. Thanks to all of you for what you have done.
I was a friend of Don Young SC2. He was an old timer in AA when I first met him at a meeting. Both Don and his wife Gin,interesting name for a wife of an alky, are gone now. He was my sponsor in AA and we were doing step work on my divorce when he said I need to talk to you about my WWII experience. I was a carrier sailor for Vietnam. He had put his Sammy B experience behind him, but his boys got him a picture of the ship for Christmas and all of the PTSD stuff came back to him and he needed to talk. That was 1996 and I have forgotten some of what he said, but I do remember saying that the Japanese put pastel dyes in their shells, so that they could tell what ship had sunk what. He floated around in the Pacific for two days before they were rescured. The steel on the Sammy B was so thin that the Japanese shells did not explode when they passed through the ship. They just punched holes in the boat, Don remember the ship being lifted out of the water by 3 to 5 feet when the shells hit. Thats all I remember about his experience. We all miss him at the Thursday Night meeting in Los Alamos, CA
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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.
I am writing b/c my grandfather was a survivor of this ship. He passed away a little over 2 years ago and have recently come across some of his possessions from the Navy. Looking for info., photos, etc. Thanks!
my father servered on the samual roberts 413.he was burned pretty bad from the oil/fuel in the water,he always spoke kindly of the men he servered with.he was a proud sailor,an never spoke much about their ordeal.god bless the men of ww11,a generation not soon forgotten.
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I just wanted to drop a note to say thanks. I think of you every time I hear the National Anthem.
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.
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.
The list is here, http://de413.org/shipmates/
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
I just wanted to drop a line here. I’m not sure if I have the right sight. I think my grandfather served on this ship. His name was Jackson McCaskill. I never knew him and only saw him once before he died.
I was just online researching his name so I could try and find out anything about him.
I am a WWII historian writing a book about the Samuel B. Roberts. I would like to chat with you about your grandfather, as I am very interested in obtaining whatever information I can about him and his shipmates. Jackson was quite a heroic individual from what I can gather. E-mail me if you receive this.
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