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Posted: 10/25/2010 6:14:23 PM EDT
66 years ago today, the crew of the Samuel B. Roberts and the other small boys of Taffy Three stood tall and charged a massive Japanese fleet off Samar Island, Phillipines.  To give you some scale as to this fight, one Japanese battleship displaced more tonnage than the entire American force...and they faced three such ships.  If you want to read about this fight, get a copy of "The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors", by Jim Hornfischer.   At least read the Cliff's Notes here:  The Battle of Samar

"In no engagement of its entire history has the United States Navy shown more gallantry, guts and gumption than in those two morning hours between 0730 and 0930 off Samar”
— Samuel Eliot Morison History of United States Naval Operations in World War II Volume XII, Leyte"

I just spoke to a sailor from the Samuel B. Roberts, and thanked him for standing that watch against such impossible odds. Spare a thought for him and the rest of the valiant fighting sailors of Taffy Three.
Link Posted: 10/25/2010 6:16:55 PM EDT
Ernest Evans is from Pawnee, Oklahoma over in the next county. Unfortunately, there's not much of a monument to him over there.
Link Posted: 10/25/2010 6:17:13 PM EDT


Brave men...
Link Posted: 10/25/2010 6:17:51 PM EDT
My wife gave me that book for Christmas last year. I've read it a few times since then. Simply amazing. The courage and dedication to duty of our Sailors at war amazes me.



Fair winds and following seas my Navy Brothers....




Link Posted: 10/25/2010 6:17:58 PM EDT
That is a great book about some amazing sailors.
Link Posted: 10/25/2010 6:19:36 PM EDT
If I remember correctly, Taffy Three forced the Imperial Fleet to turn around.  They figured that there was no way that these destroyers were fighting so hard if there wasn't a larger American fleet backing them up.
Link Posted: 10/25/2010 6:21:19 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/25/2010 6:21:26 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Nick710:
Ernest Evans is from Pawnee, Oklahoma over in the next county. Unfortunately, there's not much of a monument to him over there.


That was one helluva fighting sailor!
Link Posted: 10/25/2010 6:23:00 PM EDT
They had the BALLS to get so close as to get "Under" the Japanese guns.
They kept at it until they couldn't keep at it anymore.
They gave everything they had, then gave some more.
Link Posted: 10/25/2010 6:32:01 PM EDT
Originally Posted By 1911SFOREVER:
66 years ago today, the crew of the Samuel B. Roberts and the other small boys of Taffy Three stood tall and charged a massive Japanese fleet off Samar Island, Phillipines.  To give you some scale as to this fight, one Japanese battleship displaced more tonnage than the entire American force...and they faced three such ships.  If you want to read about this fight, get a copy of "The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors", by Jim Hornfischer.   At least read the Cliff's Notes here:  The Battle of Samar

"In no engagement of its entire history has the United States Navy shown more gallantry, guts and gumption than in those two morning hours between 0730 and 0930 off Samar”
— Samuel Eliot Morison History of United States Naval Operations in World War II Volume XII, Leyte"

I just spoke to a sailor from the Samuel B. Roberts, and thanked him for standing that watch against such impossible odds. Spare a thought for him and the rest of the valiant fighting sailors of Taffy Three.


Agreed, that's a great book and an incredible story that even most 'historians' don't know. The actions on Taffy 3 is arguably the finest example to America's enemies of the American fighting man's spirit.
Link Posted: 10/25/2010 6:32:09 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/25/2010 6:38:02 PM EDT by gwitness]
Great book....also check out "Little Wolf at Leyte" focuses on the Samuel  B Roberts.
Sea of Thunder has a focus on several  Commanders, including Evans.

There is also a book written by Copeland.."Spirit of the Sammy B"
Link Posted: 10/25/2010 6:35:53 PM EDT
My Grandpa was a seagoing Marine stationed aboard Kalinin Bay during this battle.  He never like to talk about the war even though he was a proud ex Marine.  I never knew he was part of Taffy 3 until after he died and I researched his ship's history.  I wish I had learned more from him while he was alive .  I still have his uniform with his Presidential Unit Citation.  It's one of my most prized possesions.
Link Posted: 10/25/2010 6:36:13 PM EDT
Hornfischer is publishing a book about the Guadalcanal campaign in January.  I will have a copy.
Link Posted: 10/25/2010 6:39:17 PM EDT


Link Posted: 10/25/2010 6:44:08 PM EDT
Those ships only sank when they were unable to take the weight of the massive brass balls of the men on board. Having stood on decks of ships of similar size to those involved, you can help but realize how crazy they were.
Link Posted: 10/25/2010 6:49:30 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Nick710:
Ernest Evans is from Pawnee, Oklahoma over in the next county. Unfortunately, there's not much of a monument to him over there.


There is a great big one in my heart for him and all those who fought for our freedom that day.

Never forget.



Link Posted: 10/25/2010 6:50:49 PM EDT
Originally Posted By gwitness:
Great book....also check out "Little Wolf at Leyte" focuses on the Samuel  B Roberts.
Sea of Thunder has a focus on several  Commanders, including Evans.

There is also a book written by Copeland.."Spirit of the Sammy B"


Or 'The Ghost the Died at Sunda Strait"  (USS Houston and the US Asiatic fleet at the outbreak of the war) and 'The Fleet the Gods Forgot' (also about the 41/42 US Asiatic fleet).
Link Posted: 10/25/2010 8:27:34 PM EDT
"Little Ship, Big War", about a DE which was in Taffy 2, not 3. Great book if you get the chance to read it but gave a good synopsis about what happened with Taffy 3.
Link Posted: 10/25/2010 8:41:14 PM EDT
yep fucking brass ones






Link Posted: 10/25/2010 8:47:10 PM EDT
Thanks for reminding me.  66 years ago yesterday my Dad was almost killed:



http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/events/wwii-pac/leyteglf/cvl23-l2.htm




Link Posted: 10/25/2010 8:50:21 PM EDT



Originally Posted By dispatch55126:


If I remember correctly, Taffy Three forced the Imperial Fleet to turn around.  They figured that there was no way that these destroyers were fighting so hard if there wasn't a larger American fleet backing them up.


That is correct.  Vice Adm. Kurita was afraid his force would get destroyed –– he had already lost the Musashi –– and so he didn't press the attack.



One of those key moments of warfare that decides an entire battle.



 
Link Posted: 10/25/2010 8:54:26 PM EDT
Gigantic brass ones.

The story of Taffy 3 shows why the American fighting man is unmatched in battle
Link Posted: 10/25/2010 10:14:45 PM EDT
Originally Posted By mjcOH1:
Originally Posted By gwitness:
Great book....also check out "Little Wolf at Leyte" focuses on the Samuel  B Roberts.
Sea of Thunder has a focus on several  Commanders, including Evans.

There is also a book written by Copeland.."Spirit of the Sammy B"


Or 'The Ghost the Died at Sunda Strait"  (USS Houston and the US Asiatic fleet at the outbreak of the war) and 'The Fleet the Gods Forgot' (also about the 41/42 US Asiatic fleet).


+ Ship of Ghosts, USS Houston and what happened to her crew after she was lost.
Link Posted: 10/25/2010 10:23:41 PM EDT
Thanks for posting. Never heard of the Taffy 3.

Link Posted: 10/25/2010 10:26:06 PM EDT


all gave some, some gave all pretty much sums up Taffy 3. To say the least, all those guys had brass balls
Link Posted: 10/25/2010 10:40:49 PM EDT




Originally Posted By 1911SFOREVER:

66 years ago today, the crew of the Samuel B. Roberts and the other small boys of Taffy Three stood tall and charged a massive Japanese fleet off Samar Island, Phillipines. To give you some scale as to this fight, one Japanese battleship displaced more tonnage than the entire American force...and they faced three such ships. If you want to read about this fight, get a copy of "The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors", by Jim Hornfischer. At least read the Cliff's Notes here: The Battle of Samar



"In no engagement of its entire history has the United States Navy shown more gallantry, guts and gumption than in those two morning hours between 0730 and 0930 off Samar”

— Samuel Eliot Morison History of United States Naval Operations in World War II Volume XII, Leyte"



I just spoke to a sailor from the Samuel B. Roberts, and thanked him for standing that watch against such impossible odds. Spare a thought for him and the rest of the valiant fighting sailors of Taffy Three.




Great book. I am truly awed and humbled by the sacrifice of those men (and many others).
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 1:28:28 AM EDT


Here's a brief excerpt from the Johnston's after action report. AAR's are usually very, very dry. This one is a bit different:

http://ussjohnston-hoel.com/322/376.html

b] Ten torpedoes and over 800 rounds of 5" ammunition were fired during the action. Seven smoke screen generators were expended.

[c] Effectiveness of gunnery was great , and it should have been, as the targets were large, were not moving too radically , and the range was in most cases disconcertingly short.

2. The effectiveness of the Japanese gunnery was not impressive. While they were good enough to sink us, with gunfire they had available, our staying afloat as long as we did is nothing short of remarkable.
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 1:32:35 AM EDT
I like this:


2. The effectiveness of the Japanese gunnery was not impressive. While they were good enough to sink us, with gunfire they had available, our staying afloat as long as we did is nothing short of remarkable.


"Yeah, they sank our shit, but they sucked ass doing it."
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 1:47:55 AM EDT
God Bless those men.
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 2:00:32 AM EDT
Brass balls.



Big ones.
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 2:10:55 AM EDT
Sometimes you just have to get some!
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 2:46:48 AM EDT
Great story and a testament to American fighting spirit.

God bless all those men.

Link Posted: 10/26/2010 2:48:33 AM EDT
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LbQhBjsHKco&feature=related

History Channel Battle of Leyte Gulf
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 3:02:28 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Nick710:
Ernest Evans is from Pawnee, Oklahoma over in the next county. Unfortunately, there's not much of a monument to him over there.

What the hell is wrong with those people?  That guy got The Medal for crossing the T on a line of IJN cruisers with an already shot to shit destroyer.  People who just won't quit are a really emotional thing for me; I can't think about Ernest Evans for more than a couple seconds before I start to tear up.

Jane

Link Posted: 10/26/2010 3:56:32 AM EDT
Originally Posted By PlaneJane:
Originally Posted By Nick710:
Ernest Evans is from Pawnee, Oklahoma over in the next county. Unfortunately, there's not much of a monument to him over there.

What the hell is wrong with those people?  That guy got The Medal for crossing the T on a line of IJN cruisers with an already shot to shit destroyer.  People who just won't quit are a really emotional thing for me; I can't think about Ernest Evans for more than a couple seconds before I start to tear up.

Jane



My thoughts exactly Jane. There should be a huge memorial just to him. There is a war memorial, and his name in on a brick in the ground as a MOH recipient, but that's all I could find.
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 3:57:01 AM EDT
I read about these battles in my book, Destroyers by Anthony Preston.  What a story (and battle).
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 4:09:05 AM EDT
My Grandfather was on a "Tin can" in the Pacific. I cant find his records though. I hope they didnt mistakenly get thrown out


“This is going to be a fighting ship. I intend to go in harm’s way, and anyone who doesn’t want to go along had better get off right now.”  Captain Johnston

Link Posted: 10/26/2010 4:21:10 AM EDT
It should have been a slam dunk victory for the IJN.  Bucketfulls of cajones  determined otherwise.
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 4:40:54 AM EDT
Originally Posted By 1911SFOREVER:
Hornfischer is publishing a book about the Guadalcanal campaign in January.  I will have a copy.


John Wukovitz is writing a book about the Sammy B right now and will be out in 2012.

I have autographs from members of the crews of the Sammy B, Hoel and Johnston.

The Battle of Leyte Gulf is a study in never giving up.
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 12:55:26 PM EDT



Originally Posted By Warspite:



Originally Posted By 1911SFOREVER:

Hornfischer is publishing a book about the Guadalcanal campaign in January.  I will have a copy.




John Wukovitz is writing a book about the Sammy B right now and will be out in 2012.



I have autographs from members of the crews of the Sammy B, Hoel and Johnston.



The Battle of Leyte Gulf is a study in never giving up.


absolute definition of initiative and violence of action





 
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 6:08:13 PM EDT
Taffy Three engaging Kurita's surface force.  

The carrier being bracketed is USS Gambier Bay.  Columns reaching the top of the flight deck 8" shells from the cruisers.   Columns 3 times the mast height are 18" rounds from Yamato (whose displacement exceeded the combined tonnage of all 13 ships in Taffy 3).

Link Posted: 10/26/2010 6:23:23 PM EDT
GO NAVY

Link Posted: 10/26/2010 6:26:04 PM EDT
I'm sorry, 'Taffy Three'?  Could they have picked a gayer name?  Was 'Rampage Three' taken?
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 6:33:00 PM EDT
Their action made the name reverent. Don't mess with it.
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 6:34:39 PM EDT
Originally Posted By raven:
I'm sorry, 'Taffy Three'?  Could they have picked a gayer name?  Was 'Rampage Three' taken?


it is a contraction of Task Unit 77. 4. 3
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 6:41:06 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/26/2010 6:44:49 PM EDT by Ming_The_Merciless]
The lore of Taffy Three is that One of the old salt chief petty officers shouted out.

Hold On Boys!  It won't be long now...  We are getting those poor Jap bastards right where we want them - into 20mm range now.  Give 'em Hell!

Having been on destroyer escort (amazing how small the are. - Also pretty slow & lightly built too!) to imagine charging against a fleet of Japanese Battleships & Cruisers (4 battleships and 8 cruisers!!) is just mind blowing brave.

This example should be required in our history so students learn what bravery, sacrifice and honor are all about!

Link Posted: 10/26/2010 6:43:34 PM EDT
Originally Posted By sjuhockey10:
I like this:


2. The effectiveness of the Japanese gunnery was not impressive. While they were good enough to sink us, with gunfire they had available, our staying afloat as long as we did is nothing short of remarkable.


"Yeah, they sank our shit, but they sucked ass doing it."



I also like this attitude.  It says you might kick my ass but its gonna  HURT!
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 6:44:49 PM EDT
"The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors", by Jim Hornfischer

That was an awesome book!  An unbelievably lopsided battle.

Every one of those guys on the destroyers and destroyer escorts (and the pilots off the jeep carriers) of Taffy 3 are heros.

Thanks for the reminder of the anniversary.
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 6:50:22 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/26/2010 7:12:22 PM EDT by callgood]
Originally Posted By Warspite:
Originally Posted By 1911SFOREVER:
Hornfischer is publishing a book about the Guadalcanal campaign in January. I will have a copy.


John Wukovitz is writing a book about the Sammy B right now and will be out in 2012.

I have autographs from members of the crews of the Sammy B, Hoel and Johnston.

The Battle of Leyte Gulf is a study in never giving up.


Along those lines, on 26 October, '42-  Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands, American carrier Hornet sunk.

Damage to the smokestack and signal bridge of USS Hornet (CV-8) after it was struck by a crashing Japanese dive bomber, during the morning of 26 October 1942. Smoke at bottom is from fires started when the plane subsequently hit the flight deck. Note ship's tripod mast, with CXAM radar antenna in top left and the flag still flying above the damaged structure.


October 26 1942, Hornet fatally wounded and listing hard to Starboard. The destroyer is taking off her crew.



Link Posted: 10/26/2010 6:53:33 PM EDT
It was FO .
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 7:07:34 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Nick710:
Originally Posted By PlaneJane:
Originally Posted By Nick710:
Ernest Evans is from Pawnee, Oklahoma over in the next county. Unfortunately, there's not much of a monument to him over there.

What the hell is wrong with those people?  That guy got The Medal for crossing the T on a line of IJN cruisers with an already shot to shit destroyer.  People who just won't quit are a really emotional thing for me; I can't think about Ernest Evans for more than a couple seconds before I start to tear up.

Jane



My thoughts exactly Jane. There should be a huge memorial just to him. There is a war memorial, and his name in on a brick in the ground as a MOH recipient, but that's all I could find.


Do you know what cemetery he is at?  I'd like to stop by and see it.
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