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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

Name Service Branchsort descending
WT 3c Francis Bard USN
WT 3c William Mort USN
Sea 2c William Stovall USN
Sea 1c Elroy Downs USN
GM 2c Mike Miller USN
Sea 2c Hubert Hawkins USN
Sea 2c Harold Barrett USN
SM 3c Charles Natter USN
SC 3c Fred Strehle USN
Sea 1c Ralph Decubellis USN
F 1c Louis Longo USN
RDM 3c Wilbur Anderton USN
F 1c Ray Bartlett USN
Sea 2c John Newmiller USN
Lt Herbert Trowbridge USN
Sea 2c John Davis USN
Sea 1c John Locke USN
Sea 2c Leonard Goldstein USN
Sea 2c Fred Bates USN
CMM Hilan Pierson USN


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