Destroyer Escort - Battle Off Samar

Battle Off Samar

Destroyer escorts were not meant to fight against cruisers and battleships, but that is what happened in the Battle off Samar. While Admiral Halsey's main force of US carriers and battleships was pursuing the Japanese decoy carrier force, the task of guarding the landing ships and troops fell to escort carriers, destroyers and destroyer escorts. While the escort carriers launched their planes, the Butler-class destroyer escort ship Samuel B. Roberts of task group Taffy 3 joined other outgunned destroyers in a counter-attack against Admiral Kurita's powerful force of Japanese cruisers and battleships, including the Yamato.

With no armor, only two 5-inch guns and 3 Mark-15 torpedoes capable of punching a hole in enemy hulls, her crew lacked the weapons and training in tactics to compete with the much larger heavy cruiser Chokai. The Roberts dodged shellfire to fire a salvo of 3 torpedoes which struck the cruiser. The battle continued for an hour, and the Roberts fired over 600 5-inch shells, and hit the upper works with 40 mm Bofors and 20 mm anti-aircraft guns at close range. Chikuma's bridge was set afire and the number 3 gun turret was disabled. Chikuma scored two direct hits on the Roberts, which soon sank with 89 of her crew. After the battle the Roberts became known as "the destroyer escort that fought like a battleship". The Roberts was an instrumental part of a small task force of light ships that forced a much larger armoured battle force to turn away from American landing forces in Leyte Gulf, though at a high cost.

Read more about this topic:  Destroyer Escort

Other articles related to "battle off samar, samar, battle, battles":

USS Gambier Bay (CVE-73) - Service History - World War II - Battle Off Samar
... carriers left the escort carriers of "Taffy 3" as the only ships guarding the area around Samar ... were unaware of nighttime movement of the Japanese Center Force toward Samar ... slipped undetected through San Bernardino Strait and down the fog-shrouded coast of Samar, bound for Leyte Gulf ...
Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery - Monuments and Memorials - Battle Off Samar
... have been erected in memory of the sailors lost in the Battle off Samar, October 25, 1944, a part of the Battle of Leyte Gulf (Philippines), and in subsequent battles of the Pacific The USS St ...
Battle Off Samar - Legacy
... A number of ships were named after participants in the battle, and ships from that battle, including USS Copeland (FFG-25), USS Evans (DE-1023), USS Clifton Sprague (FFG-16), and USS Carr (FFG-52) ... While the battle is frequently included in historical accounts of the Battle of Leyte Gulf, the duels between the destroyer and destroyer escorts and Yamato and the Japanese force was the subject ...

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