Book: For Crew and Country: The Inspirational True Story of Bravery and Sacrifice Aboard the USS Samuel B. Roberts by John Wukovits

For Crew and Country: The Inspirational True Story of Bravery and Sacrifice Aboard the USS Samuel B. RobertsNew book forthcoming on the history of the Samuel B. Roberts by acclaimed author John Wukovits

In For Crew and Country, John Wukovits tells of the most dramatic naval battle of the Pacific War and the incredible sacrifice of the USS Samuel B. Roberts.

On October 25, 1944, the Samuel B. Roberts, along with the other twelve vessels comprising its unit, stood between Japan’s largest battleship force ever sent to sea and MacArthur’s transports inside Leyte Gulf. Faced with the surprise appearance of more than twenty Japanese battleships, cruisers, and destroyers, including the Yamato, at 70,000 tons the most potent battlewagon in the world, the 1,200-ton Samuel B. Roberts turned immediately into action with six other ships. Captain Copeland marked the occasion with one of the most poignant addresses ever given to men on the edge of battle: “Men,” he said over the intercom, “we are about to go into a fight against overwhelming odds from which survival cannot be expected.”

The ship churned straight at the enemy in a near-suicidal attempt to deflect the more potent foe, allow the small aircraft carriers to escape, and buy time for MacArthur’s forces. Of 563 destroyers constructed during WWII, the Samuel B. Roberts was the only one sunk, going down with guns blazing in a duel reminiscent of the Spartans at Thermopylae or Davy Crockett’s Alamo defenders. The men who survived faced a horrifying three-day nightmare in the sea, where they battled a lack of food and water, scorching sun and numbing nighttime cold, and nature’s most feared adversary—sharks.

The battle would go down as history’s greatest sea clash, the Battle of Samar—the dramatic climax of the Battle of Leyte Gulf.

Buy the book For Crew and Country: The Inspirational True Story of Bravery and Sacrifice Aboard the USS Samuel B. Roberts on Amazon.com

Film about the Sammy B and Battle off Samar in the works

From the Naval Historical Foundation:

We recently learned about a new film project being developed about the Battle off Samar. An independent group of filmmakers is working on a virtual recreation of this pivotal American victory in the Pacific during World War II – one of the great “upsets” in naval history. This ambitious project is currently in the research and development process, with a targeted shooting date of 2013.

Source: Naval Historical Foundation

Sammy B Texas Reunion December 2009

A brief account of the Fredericksburg, Texas, reunion in December 2009 from author John Wukovits:

I just returned from a five-day reunion of the survivors’ association of the USS Samuel B. Roberts in Fredericksburg, Texas. We enjoyed various presentations at the renowned Admiral Nimitz National Museum of the Pacific War, including a dedication speech given by President George H. W. Bush and three panel discussions involving the five surviving crew members present (pictured above). The survivors, their families, and other guests enjoyed a heart-warming, emotional week.

Source:  http://www.johnwukovits.com/john_wukovits/Author_Diary/Entries/2009/12/13_A_Grand_Texas_Reunion.html

Membership Roster of Survivors (date uncertain)

Name

State

Rating on Ship

Jackson D. Bishop

Wisconsin

Electricians Mate Second Class

Anthony J. Blaszczyk

Connecticut

Chief Yeoman

Sam Blue

Florida

Seaman First Class

William Branham

Florida

Seaman First Class

George Bray

Alabama

Seaman Second Class

Robert R. Brennan

Pennsylvania

Radioman Third Class

Orban “Ray” Chambless

Oklahoma

Signalman First Class

James F. “Bud” Comet

Washington

Seaman First Class

Peter Cooley

Michigan

Sonarman Second Class

Oliver E. Coyle

South Carolina

Seaman First Class

Herbert E. Eskins

Illinois

Seaman First Class

Elbert Gentry

North Carolina

Quartermaster Third Class

Vincent N. Goodrich

Pennsylvania

Sonarman Third Class

Louis A. Gould

Virginia

Sonarman Third Class

James S. Graves

Alabama

Seaman First Class

James W. Griggs

California

Sonarman Third Class

Robert M. “Mel” Harden

Maryland

Seaman Second Class

John E. “Red” Harrington

Maryland

Boatswains Mate First Class

Adolph Herrera

Arizona

Seaman First Class

E. Glenn Huffman

Arkansas

Seaman First Class

William Katsur

Pennsylvania

Fireman First Class

Adred C. Lenoir

Alabama

Fireman Second Class

S.C. “Sam” McAdams, Jr.

Texas

Radarman Third Class

Harold R. McCarl

Pennsylvania

Radarman Third Class

J. Dudley Moylan

Minnesota

Ensign

James E. Myers

North Carolina

Seaman Second Class

Thomas V. O’Hara

California

Seaman First Class

Robert E. Olson

Maine

Boilermaker First Class

James E. Patterson

Georgia

Watertender Third Class

James M. Roberson

North Carolina

Seaman First Class

Everett “Bob” Roberts, Jr.

New Jersey

Lieutenant

Richard K. Rohde

Florida

Radioman Third Class

Albert Rosner

Maryland

Seaman First Class

Thomas J. Stevenson, Jr.

Pennsylvania

Lieutenant Junior Grade

Doyle E. Tase

Tennessee

Seaman First Class

Everett L. Tomlinson

Indiana

Seaman Second Class

Harold G. Weiners

New Jersey

Gunners Mate Third Class

Edward J. Wheaton

Ohio

Radio Technician Second Class

William H. “Bill” Wilson

Michigan

Seaman First Class

Donald Young

California

Seaman Second Class

Jack Yusen

Washington

Seaman First Class