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USS Samuel B. Roberts (DE-413)

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U.S. Navy destroyer escort of the John C. Butler-class, commissioned on 28 April 1944, Lt. Comdr. R. W. Copeland, USNR, in command., and sunk on 25 October 1944, during the Action off Samar, while exchanging gunfire with Japanese heavy ships, primarily the battleship IJN Kongo. She was named in honor of Samuel B. Roberts; two subsequent ships bore this honored name.

She was armed with two 5"-38 caliber guns, 4 40mm-56 caliber guns, 10 20mm autocannon, three 21" torpedoes for anti-surface warfare, depth charges, and a Hedgehog launcher.

Early career

Following shakedown off Bermuda from 21 May to 19 June and availability at Boston Navy Yard, Samuel B. Roberts departed from Norfolk on 22 July 1944, and transited the Panama Canal on 27 July to join the Pacific Fleet.

She arrived at Pearl Harbor on 10 August, and conducted training exercises until sailing on the 21st escorting a convoy to Eniwetok which she reached on 30 August. On 2 September, she steamed back for Pearl Harbor, arriving there with a convoy on the 10th. Following further training, she got underway on the 21st escorting a convoy to Eniwetok where she arrived on 30 September.

Samuel B. Roberts proceeded to Manus Island where she joined Task Unit 77.4.3, then steamed for the Battle of Leyte Gulf and commenced operations with the Northern Air Support Group off Samar.[1]


  1., Dictionary of American Fighting Ships, U.S. Naval Historical Center