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The United States Navy Memorial

Navy Memorial Honoring the Men & Women of the Sea Services


Home >> Samuel B. Roberts

Samuel B. Roberts

Ship Designation: 
Date Lost: 
Wednesday, October 25, 1944
Battle of Samar Island
Samuel B.Roberts was part of a screening unit to protect a force of American aircraft carriers. When the enemy opened fire on the US Force in the Battle off Samar Island, Samuel B. Roberts immediately sought to protect her flattops. ... The first step was to lay a smoke screen and then, steaming under cover of her own screen, the Samuel B. Roberts approached within 4,000 yards of a Japanese heavy cruiser, fired three torpedoes, and returned to the protection of the smoke. One of the torpedoes struck home and started fires in the enemy ship. ... Keeping between the main enemy force and her own carriers, Samuel.B.Roberts directed all guns on a Japanese cruiser. One 5-inch gun fired more than 300 rounds of ammunition, all that was available, in 50 furious minutes, scoring at least 40 sure hits. The rapid fire from this gun was halted when a Japanese battleship found the range and blasted the gun out of action with a 14-inch projectile. ... In the next few minutes, the Japanese kept sending successive 8 and 14-inch salvos into the foundering destroyer escort. The death blow was a three-gun battleship 14-inch salvo that hit in number 2 engine room, tearing a hole 40-feet long and 10-feet wide in the ship's skin on the port side. ... Abandon ship was ordered. 89 crewmembers were killed during the action. 120 survivors, many of them wounded, had only two other rafts and two floater nets on which to cling until rescue was effected some 50 hours later. The long ordeal at sea was marked by shark attacks and lack of water. ... A PC (Patrol Craft), escorting a group of five LCI's, came upon the group at the start of their third day and effected the rescue.

Lost At Sea Log

Number of sailors in this log: 90

Namesort descending Service Branch
Sea 1c Russell Abair USN
Sea 2c Albert Abramson USN
RDM 3c Wilbur Anderton USN
WT 3c Francis Bard USN
Sea 2c Harold Barrett USN
F 1c Ray Bartlett USN
Sea 2c Fred Bates USN
F 1c Richard Bingaman USN
MM 3c Norbert Brady USN
MM 2c Lloyd Braun USN
Std 3c Vernon Butler USN
F 2c William Butterworth USN
BM 2c Jos Caddarette USN
GM 3c Paul Carr USN
EM 3c Robert Cummings USN
Sea 2c John Davis USN
F 1c John Debellis USN
Sea 1c Ralph Decubellis USN
Sea 1c Elroy Downs USN
Sea 2c Robert Fickett USN


Prepared by CAPT R.O. Strange USN (Ret.)