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|207k||Samuel Booker Roberts was born in San Francisco, Cal. on 12 May 1921 and enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve in 1939. Called to active duty in 1940, he served
in USS California (BB 44) and USS Heywood (APA 6) before being transferred to the troop transport USS Bellatrix (AKA 20).
In 1942, Bellatrix was assigned to Task Group Four and became part of the Guadalcanal Assault Force. As a coxswain for one of the Bellatrix’s assault (Higgins) boats, Roberts became extensively involved in the landing of Marines ashore and the transporting of supplies from ships at sea to what was a very tenuous beachhead. As a result of the heavy fighting at sea beginning 7 August, Coxswain Roberts was transferred to the Beachmaster unit on the island of Guadalcanal to perform transport and medevac duties. Early on the morning of 27 September 1942, Roberts volunteered for a rescue mission to save a company sized unit of marines who had been surrounded by a numerically superior Japanese force. Initially the rescue group of several Higgins boats were taken under heavy enemy fire and was perilously close to failure. Realizing the state of the rescue mission, Roberts unselfishly volunteered to distract the Jap forces by passing directly in front of their lines and drawing their fire. The decoy act was performed effectively until all the Marines had been evacuated. However, as he was about to withdraw from the range of the Japanese guns, Roberts‘ boat was hit and he was mortally wounded. For his valor and courage in the face of enemy fire Coxswain Samuel Booker Roberts was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross.
USS Samuel B. Roberts (DE 413) (April-October 1944) was the first ship named in his honor, she was succeeded by DD 823 (1946 - 1970) and FFG 58 (1986-2015).
(U.S. Navy Photo, a pencil drawing from the National Archives)
|Robert M. Cieri|
|167k||20 January 1944: Houston, Tex. - Samuel B. Roberts (DE 413) leaving the ways at Brown Shipbuilding Company.
(U.S. Navy photo #NH 82850 from the Naval History and Heritage Command)
Port Angeles, Wash.
|13k||photographed about June 1944, while off Boston, Mass.
(Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph)
|Robert F. Sumrall|
|193k||October 1944: the Pacific Ocean - Samuel B. Roberts at sea, wearing camouflage design 32/22D. Taken from USS Walter C. Wann (DE 412).
(U.S. Navy photo #NH 96011 from the Naval History and Heritage Command)
|C. Lee Johnson
Ships of the U.S. Navy in Dazzle Camouflage
|Samuel B. Roberts' History|
|View the USS Samuel B. Roberts (DE 413) DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command web site.|
|View the Adm. Clifton Sprague and Task Unit 77.4.3 Memorial
This monument is dedicated to the memory of Vice Admiral Clifton A. F. Sprague and the 13 ships and 7,300 men of Task Unit 77.4.3,
also known as "Taffy 3," which were under his command during the Battle off Samar, 25 October 1944 during the Battle for Leyte Gulf.
|Samuel B. Roberts' Only Commanding Officer
Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves
|Dates of Command||Commanding Officer|
|1.) 28 Apr. 1944 - 25 Oct. 1944 -||Lcdr. Robert W. Copeland (Tacoma, Wash.) (ret. as Radm, USNR)|
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