Please Report Any Broken Links Or Trouble You Might Come Across To The Webmaster
Please Take A Moment To Let Us Know So That We Can Correct Any Problems And Make Your Visit As Enjoyable And As Informative As Possible.

Navsource Online: Destroyer Escort Photo Archive

Sunk by Japanese gunfire off Samar - 89 of her crew
were lost with the ship and remain on eternal duty

USS Samuel B. Roberts (DE 413)

Flag Hoist / Radio Call Sign:
N - T - I - K
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row: Combat Action Ribbon (retroactive)
Second Row: Presidential Unit Citation - American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal w/ 1 star
Third Row: WWII Victory Medal - Philippine Republic Presidential Unit Citation (retroactive) - Philippine Liberation Medal

Class: John C. Butler
Type: WGT (geared-turbine drive, 5" guns)
Displacement: 1350 tons (light), 1745 tons (full)
Length: 300' (wl), 306' (oa)
Beam: 36' 10" (extreme)
Draft: 11' 0" (draft limit)
Propulsion: 2 "D" Express boilers, 2 geared turbine engines, 12,000 shp, 2 screws
Speed: 24 kts
Range: 6,000 nm @ 12 knots
Armament: 2 - 5"/38 cal. DP guns (2x1), 4 - 40mm AA (2x2), 10 - 20mm AA, 3 - 21" TT, 1 Mk10 Hedgehog, 8 Mk6 Depth Charge Projectors, 2 Mk9 Depth Charge Stern Racks
Complement: 14 / 201
Samuel B. Roberts (DE 413) Building and Operational Data:
  • 06 December 1943: Keel laid by the Brown Shipbuilding Co., Houston, Tex.
  • 20 January 1944: Launched and christened, sponsored by Mrs. Samuel B. Roberts
  • 28 April 1944: Commissioned, Lcdr R. W. Copeland (namesake of FFG 25), USNR, in command
  • 25 October 1944: Sunk by Japanese warships off Samar when hit by a salvo of 14-inch shells. 120 survivors clung to 3 life rafts for 50 hours before being rescued, 89 crewmembers were lost.
  • 27 November 1944: Struck from the Navy Vessel Register after 6 months of service

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    By And/Or Copyright
    Samuel B. Roberts 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
    S.B. Roberts 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)
    Mike Green
    Port Angeles, Wash.
    Samuel B. Roberts 126k USS Samuel B. Roberts photographed in 1944, probably circa June, while off Boston, Massachusetts.

    (U.S. Navy photo #NH 90603 courtesy of Robert F. Sumrall, 1980, from the Naval History and Heritage Command)
    Mike Smolinski
    Clifton, N.J.

    Navsource DE/FF/LCS
    Archive Manager
    S.B. Roberts 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)

    Crew Contact And Reunion Information

    Last Known Reunion, with the Johnston/Hoel Association
    October 2004, San Diego, Cal.
    Contact Name: Richard K. Rohde
    Address: 9045 SW 91st Circle
    City/State: Ocala FL 34481-8404
    Phone: (352) 861-0616
    Note About Contacts

    Contact information is compiled from various sources over a period of time and may, or may not, be correct. Every effort has been
    made to list the newest contact. However, our entry is only as good as the latest information that's been sent to us. We list only
    a contact for the ship if one has been sent to us. We do NOT have crew lists, rosters, or deck logs available. Please see the
    Frequently Asked Questions section on NavSource's Main Page for that information.

    Additional Resources

    USS Samuel B. Robert Survivors Association
    Tin Can Sailors
    The U.S. Navy Memorial
    Destroyer Escort Sailors Association
    The Destroyer Escort Historical Museum
    The Destroyer History Foundation
    Tin Can Sailors Shipmate Registry - USS Samuel B. Roberts
    To The DE, FF, LCS Photo Index Page
    Back To The Main Photo Index

    Comments, Suggestions, E-mail: Webmaster.

    This Page Created And Maintained By Mike Smolinski
    All pages copyright Navsource Naval History
    by Paul R. Yarnall, All Rights Reserved.
    Page Last Updated: 21 January 2020